Introducing……..

roo sleep

That’s right my WordPress friends……..I have given birth to a beautiful baby girl!

I realise I have been a little off the WordPress radar recently and she is the main reason as to why! The last ten days have been a very tiring and intense journey which has resulted in the early delivery of this little mite. Baby is seven weeks premature and sadly remains in hospital as my husband and I have returned home. We are finding it very hard to be without her and know what she is doing or how she is getting on but we know she is having the best care possible and needs to be monitored. Her health and growth are more important to us than anything else.

I want to share my journey with you from the last ten days. From the day my waters broke at work (yes really) to the adventure and journey it will be towards getting our baby girl home. I always said my last post for freefromhim would be the day my baby was born. However, this little chick came seven weeks early, eager and unexpected and we have a long road ahead of us to get her home. On that day, I will bid you all a fond farewell and continue on my own personal journey towards happiness and clarity.

In the meantime, keep us in your hearts and minds. Pray and think of the little one and send over good wishes.

So, ladies and gentlemen of WordPress and beyond, introducing………………….

Ivy-Wren 

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Dear Mum.

Dear Mum,

Who would have predicted our relationship to become what it has? Certainly not me. I am incredibly thankful that we both were able to forget the past and forgive the pain we caused each other. I know we made foolish mistakes and sadly, I will live with that regret long after you will have gone from my life.

I worry about that day. The day I eventually lose you. I think about it unnecessarily. It often haunts me. The fear is consuming as I think about the emptiness I will feel. You will berate me for it but all those wasted years of anger and stubbornness will echo louder than ever on the day we say goodbye. I am truly sorry I did not see through his lies. I regret so much. I should have listened to you but his control was so powerful. I was a puppet to him that he commanded and manipulated for his will. Undeniably, I trusted him; he was my father after all.

You hated me once.

I know it was hate.

The day I ran away and left that torrid note. The note that you and I will never forget. I remember the words, some of them at least. Saying “sorry” was not enough for my actions but there were no other words. I felt trapped. He was so convincing. He knew the game he was playing very well and I became a pawn in it. Helpless. Don’t forget, I was only fifteen. It is still young and my innocent soul was struggling to stay in reality. He had won his pathetic competition the second I walked out of your house. 

I cannot bear to think of what that did to you. Coming home to find me gone. My things, my clothes, my presence – gone. My note remained, left to be discovered on the kitchen counter. Hate doesn’t come close. What I did was detrimental to your breakdown and I know the blame falls on me. Yet, although I understand why, I cannot agree with all the comments you and my sister made towards me. I did not do it to hurt you. I did what I thought was right at the time. I did what he had convinced me to do. I truly believed your love for her was stronger and the only reason you wanted me was to spite my dad. 

You had become a stranger to me.

No longer were you my protector. The strong woman who nurtured and guarded me from harm. I did not feel safe with you. To me, you were volatile, risky. Both of you were. You and my sister became frightening. A powerful, intimidating duo. I looked for warmth, for love, for the kindness within you but your anger and hostility towards him was far more substantial. I could not break through your hardened exterior.

You mocked me.

You both did.

It hurt Ma. It hurt so much. I loved you. That never changed. Yet, you both used my hurt against me. 

I am so glad we got through that. Change can happen. We are proof of it.

To think that the woman I ran from all those years ago would be the same woman I have run to now.

Thank you Ma,

Love Tuni (your nickname for me) xxxx

WordPress nomination 2.

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Sending thanks to a fellow blogger/new friend from the blog Picking Up The Pieces,  http://sweetmarie9619.wordpress.com/author/sweetmarie9619/ for this nomination! As I have never been “freshly pressed” on WordPress (apparently, this is more of an accolade for writers who are “made” and popular). The majority of the WordPress community are aspiring bloggers with inspiring stories of wit, soul and honesty. It is lovely to see an award for writers that want recognition from their fellow bloggers, who seek support and gain an insight into other peoples’ lives so that they can have a greater impact on their own.

Thank you Amy (Picking up the Pieces) for your nomination. Her story is quite frankly an inspiration. She, and many others on WordPress, have overcome such horrors in her past. She writes so effortlessly and eloquently, telling her story of domestic abuse. She humbles me and to be given such an honour by her truly makes me smile.

I have been blogging on WordPress for thirteen months now. It was something I had wanted to do for a very long time. I just did not have the courage before. I had kept my past hidden from almost everyone in my present. Of course, family and close friends knew parts, but never to the extent that I have revealed on here. My father was my abuser. He controlled my life. He monitored my movements and held an enormous reign of power over my mind. Mentally, verbally and emotionally, my father tore me apart for thirty years. It was only until his death in 2012 (three months after my wedding) that I felt it was time to tell the truth. Blogging has allowed me to do that. It has allowed me to feel free. The support and faith from my fellow bloggers has been overwhelming. I have had many people question and attack my decision to come forward. Only recently, I was accused of being a fake and that my story of abuse was “self-indulgent”, that because I do not have physical scars or bruises over my body, I could not call what happened to me abuse. The response I received from more respectful bloggers, from my new friends and kind strangers (especially those who have suffered emotional abuse) was phenomenal. Thank you.

It is still a struggle to feel worthy but through your love and immense kindness, I am starting to feel that my father may have been wrong about me. I can be loved.

My journey did not necessarily begin with the expectation that I would reach other victims of abuse. I would never have hoped that another blogger and survivor of emotional abuse would call me “inspiring”. That to me was unheard of. But to be able to reach out and have someone sit up and say, “That’s what is happening to me.” To have someone, one person, realise that they have been emotionally abused and that all along they were right to think something was wrong, will mean more to me than anything. There are many survivors out there, haunted by their past and on the slow and lonely road to recovery. We are here for you. I am here for you. We should not have to suffer alone. WordPress is an opening to many, a chance to scream and be heard without judgement. Thank you to my loyal readers who let me vent without criticism, who join me in my journey to reach a state of peace and happiness in myself. Too many of us have been burned. You have all cushioned my fall this past year and any time I feel like it may be too much, I come to my blog, look through these kind comments and realise that my father never won. I did.

I would love to be on Freshly Pressed. It would be an honour.

Here are the blogs I want to present this award to:

http://paininhidingabuse.wordpress.com/

http://iwonttakeit.wordpress.com

http://isadoore.wordpress.com

http://sheddinglightondarkness.wordpress.com

http://masknolonger.wordpress.com

Rules for Nominees:

1. Select the blog(s) you think deserve the “The I’m NOT Featured On Freshly Pressed Award”.

2. Write a blog post and tell us the blog(s) you have chosen- there are no minimum or maximum number of blogs required- and ‘present’ the blog(s) with their award.

3. Include in your blog post a paragraph about why you’d like to be on WordPress’ Freshly Pressed OR a paragraph on why you couldn’t care less about Freshly Pressed. Up to you :)

4. Let the blog(s) that you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the instructions with them- (please don’t alter the instructions or the badge!)

5. Come over and say hello to the originator of the “The I’m NOT Featured On Freshly Pressed Award” via this link: http://DonCharisma.org/2014/01/01/the-im-not-featured-on-freshly-pressed-award

6. And as a winner of the award- please add a link back to the blog that presented you with this award, and then PROUDLY display the award on your blog.

7. If you ever do get officially “Freshly Pressed” then take down this award badge and display the official “Freshly Pressed” badge instead.

6 years with the man I love.

And yes, another year and I’m apologising to my hubby for not having the time to buy him a card for our anniversary. I am a bit of a useless wife in that regard! He knows I love him. So, to embarrass him a little, I want to blog about my husband, (keeping this as far from gushing and sickening as I can).

David:

Thank you for the last 6 years. You are the only man I have ever truly loved. Your open heart loved me so easily and although it is still a battle for me to surrender and open myself up completely to you, I am grateful for the journey you have taken me on. You are my best friend. Your loving arms and radiant warmth protects me. I know I can be ‘difficult’, I’m sorry for that. Even though I am apologising, you never see this as a fault. Instead another part of me that you love. Thank you. I love you too.

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.
Lao Tzu

The cost of kindness.

I sometimes forget all the things that are free in this world. Kindness is one of them. After being sent a link on Facebook, (35 pictures to prove there is some good in this world) it made me think about how easy it is to take such a basic emotion for granted.

When living with my abuser, kindness was almost forbidden – certainly on his part and especially towards me. His exterior often portrayed a kind and generous man but behind closed doors was a different matter. I ached for an ounce of kindness from him. I wanted him to be gentle and thoughtful with me, to be considerate of my feelings and character. I longed for him to empathise with me and have compassion. These are characteristics that he would have certainly classed himself as having as he did not see himself as ever being without these traits. Many would agree that my father was a thoughtful man but they only saw what he wanted them to.

I will never forget this memory.

One summer evening after a shopping trip, my father was driving us home. It had been a bad visit to the supermarket and we had spent the majority of the journey arguing in the car as we drove back. It was a stupid and dangerous thing to partake in. Arguing while he was driving was my worst place to fight as I never could trust what kind of risks he would take. He was happy to risk our lives and leave me fearing for my life. I cannot remember the subject of our row only that he was attempting to drill in his point. It wasn’t so much of a two way argument; more of a barrage of anger from his end. I had done the unthinkable and spoken back to him. His questions were NOT to be answered. Silly me for forgetting.

I began to feel claustrophobic and tried to avert my eyes from his powerful gaze. Even as he drove he was still finding a way to bury his burning glare into my soul. As my eyes darted from window to window, something caught a hold of my attention. The car slowly pulled up to a bit of traffic as I focussed in on a man lying face down on the ground at a bus stop ahead of us. The day was fading into night and the sunlight had now disappeared into the distance. My father was still continuing his tirade at me but by now, my concentration was fully placed on the stranger.

As we slowly approached the man, I dared to interrupt my father. I could feel his shock and momentary build up of rage. Once again, I interrupted his flow and as I was too frightened to speak in fear of him screaming, I just pointed. I pointed to the lonely man lying face down on the floor.

“Ignore it,” my abuser muttered as he keep his eyes ahead of him.

His comment immediately broke my gaze.

“What?”

“Ignore. It.” He repeated defiantly.

I couldn’t ignore it. I couldn’t fathom his own ignorance. I was horrified.

“There’s a man over there. Pull over.”

“Did you not hear me the first time Babitago?! IGNORE IT!” He shouted violently and slammed his hands on the wheel.

I lost it.

I couldn’t hold it in any longer. I was not that kind of a person.

“He could be dead!” I screamed. “Pull over! We need to call an ambulance!”

“You are a insolent moron! Evil! Disgusting! What is wrong with you? You have no respect for me!”

“This isn’t about you!”

My final comment was enough for my father to release his fury. He let out an almighty roar and I practically jumped out of my seat. The traffic had subsided and he gradually began to pick up speed. I had unleashed his inner monster and it was not about to go into hiding. I turned to see the stranger still on the ground. His lifeless body waited to be found yet no one stopped to help. I wanted to show some kindness, to reach out, to help in some way but the demon beside me was preventing it. He had total control and even when we returned home he made it very clear that I was not to follow through with my plans. Even suggesting anonymously ringing for an ambulance was useless. He wanted nothing to do with it. To him, it was a problem and someone else’s for that matter. That man could have been dying and it did not matter.

I was subjected to an hours worth of abuse and insult when we were hidden behind closed doors. My father reprimanded my concern instead of praising my worry.

I was ashamed to be his daughter.

I never knew what happened to that man.

2013 A review: April – June.

APRIL

This month saw many entries on WordPress taken from old journals and diaries I had discovered from the abuser’s home. I looked back on several noted incidents that affected me in some way. I began revealing much more about my father. Not only what he did to me but how he lived his own life, the values he followed and the life choices he made.

April was the first month that I displayed a photograph taken from my father’s house (Post: And he called me “dirty”! April 17th) It showed the awful way in which we both lived. A way that I hated but it was out of my control. My father put many demands and outrageous expectations on me over the years and this photo was just a small example of his control. The five bedroom house was far too much for one person to look after. Especially a young woman with a full time job, friends and a life. I wasn’t allowed “excuses”. I wasn’t allowed a life. My life was indebted to him. I “owed” him for having a life.

On the 20th, I suffered from a severe Asthma attack where I was taken to the emergency room by my neighbour. I received a lot of support and well wishes from the WordPress community. It surprised and moved me that strangers all over the world showed such kindness to someone they had never met. I was not used to that. Thank you.

MAY

May was a busy month for me. In my general life and on WordPress. It was the first time I shared my poetry on my blog with “Control me”, a piece I wrote during the years of severe abuse.

On the 20th on May, I travelled to Madrid, Spain for a five day trip with three of my colleagues and twelve children from work. It was an experience to say the least! I am thrilled to have done it. To be trusted by my superiors and given that responsibility is something I will treasure. The laughs we shared will be remembered forever. It really was a once in a lifetime sort of thing.

The weekend I returned was that of my one year wedding anniversary with David. Although the wedding day itself holds some upsetting memories (a day that I still can’t bring myself to fully blog about with reasons that no one bar David seem to comprehend), it is always going to be the moment I pledged my love and trust to my devoted husband David and that is main reason why our anniversary will be special for the rest of our lives. I wrote you a letter David on our anniversary this year. Here is to many more my love.

The biggest moment of May was when I made the risky decision to “out” some very spiteful girls. Four to be exact as I began a series of posts retelling the story of their betrayals. C & C, H and N were subject to the truth finally coming out. I received many responses to the series. Old school friends and colleagues who understood whom I was referring to offered their support and agreement. Their thoughts were very welcome. However, I did receive one negative comment from a supporter and friend of N. She threatened legal action at my accusations. All I said was the truth. I did not use names, nor did I say exactly where we had known each other from. N’s friend only landed N in it, she basically announced to the world of Facebook who N actually was. She was the one who broke the rules. Her anger embarrassed her and surprisingly, many of our peers from that time spoke out in support for me. She never followed through with her threats.

A coward is much more exposed to quarrels than a man of spirit.
Thomas Jefferson

JUNE

June was a pretty easy month. The weather began to dramatically improve in England and Summer seemed to be fast approaching. I blogged seventeen times this month.

Deliberate Donkey a woman’s story about her journey through domestic violence, generously re-blogged my work. It would be the first time someone had referred to my abuser as a “sociopath” after reading my story. It was a term I began to explore.

http://deliberatedonkey.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/guest-post-freefromhim/

(Scroll up to top of page when opened)

The lady on the train.

I went out for a rare night out with my friend K yesterday.

It was an awesome night, lots of dancing, just what we both needed.

We left home around half five in the afternoon all dressed up and excited for the evening ahead. After almost seven years of friendship and countless nights out, it had been a while since we had been dancing. We were aching to be let loose on the dance floor and release some inhibitions.

As we entered the tube station and waited on the platform, I noticed a young woman also waiting for the train. When the train arrived and we all boarded it, something stood out immediately about her.

She was crying.

Sobbing.

I instantly felt for her and questions filled my head. She had a pair of headphones in her ears. I wondered if the music was triggering an emotion or memory in her. I subtly pointed her out to K with worry. K was shocked. It was unusual to see someone pouring out their emotion so openly especially in such a public environment. We both wondered if she had just lost someone or found out her partner had cheated on her, did she have a broken heart or ended a bad relationship?

Either way, it was clear to me that I could not just sit there and watch this woman suffer.

I reached into my bag and pulled out some tissues. My friend seemed surprised at my gesture questioning whether it would be appropriate. There was doubt in my mind. I could be infringing on a personal moment and she may want to be alone. However, she made the decision to get on the train, in front of watchful eyes and concerned hearts. I had to do something. I too know that feeling. Many a time, whilst living with the abuser, did I rush onto the tube in tears fearing his presence, anxious to escape. Did anyone approach me with a tissue? No. And I can honestly tell you that people have looked into my eyes as tears streamed down my face and immediately looked back down. Who’d want my problems?

So, up I got. I walked over to her, tissue in hand and sat beside the crying lady. She looked up and noticed the tissue. I didn’t say anything, I just handed it to her and smiled. Suddenly, her face changed. The tears fell into the gentle creases of her face and what was once a frown turned into a soft smile. She mouthed to me,

“Thank you so much!” over and over again.

I rubbed her arm gently.

“Are you all right?” I asked tenderly not wanting to reignite her emotion. She nodded sweetly and said thank you again silently through her smile.

I sat back down to see K with tears in her eyes. She was touched and saw that the young woman felt the same way. Why would I just sit there and watch her with judgement? I couldn’t do that. I had that done to me.

After I moved away from her, the woman wiped away her tears. She leant on the pane of glass beside her and closed her eyes. She seemed at peace.

For the rest of her journey she remained calm and as she got off for her stop, she sent me a gentle wave and mouthed “thank you” as she left.

I smiled and mouthed back,

“It’s okay”.

It’ll be okay.