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.

Self-indulgent Bullshit.

Luckily on WordPress there are filters. Thankfully – there are filters. Unfortunately, you may attract some haters, people that are looking to make a point, to insult and patronise. People who believe they know what counts as “abuse”, that it is as black and white as being slapped across the face. Well it isn’t. I may have not suffered physical violence. I may not have been slapped across the face. However, unless you yourself has suffered from abuse, you cannot dare to comment on what I have been through. To the rude man who decided to comment on my last post, my life, my past is just that. It is mine. If you do not agree with it then do not read it. I am not playing a victim. I do not want that label. I set out on my own journey last year and I do not have to justify it to you – a total stranger. You clearly have no idea what emotional abuse is.

My photos are only a small element of my past. I am not ungrateful for having a life. Everyone is ‘allowed’ to look back. I do not compare myself to anyone else. I am not belittling other’s abuse nor am I expecting anyone’s sympathy or “pity” as you so kindly say. Other survivors on WordPress have been incredibly supportive. They (having experienced it themselves) understand. They can see through the darkness. YOU however, will remain hidden from the light in your miserable little world, looking for someone to attack and criticise for your own personal gain.

Perhaps you have been abused yourself. I hope not. I do not wish that on anyone.

My photos are a part of my old life. My “basic human right” was to eat, not to have a cooker. Clearly that needed to be spelled out to you. Of course food is a human right and obviously there are many people in this world who cannot access that. I am not comparing myself to them. I am born and bred in the Western world. My life would always have been different to theirs abuse or no abuse.

My father had a history of abuse. He terrorised my mother for thirty years. He was a very generous man, so generous that not only did he emotionally abuse her, he battered her too! The man was clever, he learnt his lessons, he never touched me. How lucky for me (!) You are a weak human being. A troll. You do not know me yet you feel free to, behind your computer shielded from view, manipulate my words and condemn my truth. Good luck on your quest to break someone. You haven’t succeeded here.

Now tell me WordPress readers, from the rudeness of this stranger:

Am I “undermining the voices of the real victims of abuse”?

Oh and cheers for your bright and breezy comment that my life is “self-indulgent bullshit”. You really are a pleasant man.

We appreciate frankness from those who like us. Frankness from others is called insolence.
Andre Maurois

Back from a short hiatus.

I’ve been off WordPress for three days. A long time by any bloggers standards! I have not even been near a computer! Impressive. I have spent the last few days at my husband’s parents’ house for a family visit. Into the depths of Essex we went haha. It was a lovely little trip although not very productive as the rainy weather kept me indoors for the majority of the visit. The main highlight was seeing my nephew for the first time. Everyone who knows me knows my love for babies. He was as beautiful as I imagined and more. An ever so tranquil baby who was calm with anyone. A lovely start to the New Year I’d say.

On a slightly more “depressing” note – I go back to work on Monday! Cue miserable face. I hope it will be less stressful this term. I am going back as positive as possible and staying strong. Gone has to be the defeatist attitude otherwise there will be no progress. I’ll let you know how it goes on my first day back.

Have a good weekend guys!

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)

2013: A review January – March.

Ten more days to go until the first day of 2014. Once again, another year of my life has flown by and I am looking back on quite a year. This time however, I get to look back and share it with a new group of people: my WordPress followers, readers and fellow bloggers. What a year it has been. Lets look back together.

JANUARY

On the 6th of January, I decided to begin a blog on WordPress. It was a dangerous and risky decision. It would expose a life I had hidden from many people for over fifteen years. It would reveal truths some people would rather not know. It would portray a man (who many trusted) to be an evil, ruthless, callous and hurtful father who destroyed his daughter’s soul. It would be my story, a story that provoked people I had not seen for years. People who felt it was necessary to “warn” me and give their advice. They made it clear that I should keep my personal life “private” and that I might “hurt people”. I made it clear back that I had not set out to hurt anyone. It was much more than that. It was closure. It was freedom. It was truth. It would be a chance to speak and finally be heard. It would be the best decision I had ever made (bar leaving him of course).

FEBRUARY

On the 4th of February I celebrated five years together with David. We set our anniversary from our first kiss. It was a moment that changed my life. Gone were the men who used me and took advantage of my loyal nature. A new man had walked into my life. Little did I know that day he would make me as happy as he does now.

During this month, I received an abundance of support from old school friends and past colleagues about the blog over Facebook. I was taken aback from their kind words and blown away by their words of encouragement. It meant so much to know that there was no judgement, that people could see into my past and believe it, acknowledge it and most of all – accept it.

MARCH

I celebrated my 31st birthday on the 2nd. David took me to a South African restaurant in Central London for dinner. It was decadent and adventurous. I felt a little out of my comfort zone but enjoyed it nonetheless. Unfortunately, the food didn’t sit well within me and after a day I began to have horrific stomach pains. Within moments I was nauseous and lying over the bathroom toilet. I thought I had food poisoning but it was a severe case of gastric flu. The week after my birthday was spent at home ill. To top it off, my virus passed onto David who joined me for most of the week holed up in bed. Well Happy Birthday to me!

On WordPress I recounted the triggers that remind me of my father and his abuse. Fruit, movies, plastic knives and forks, making beds and self-help books were the entries I made in March, they continued into April with Furniture stores and Toothpicks and table manners. These triggers still happen. If I see certain objects or hear a particular piece of music, if I visit a particular place or even hear a phrase he might have said; it propels me back to a specific time where life was frightening and upsetting every day. I become emotional very quickly and find it difficult to calm down. A panic attack can be the worst reaction to one of my triggers.

March was the month where a colleague questioned my “motives” for writing this blog. She accused me of taking “revenge” on my dead father. That it was unkind and unfair to do so. It surprised me that she could not empathise with my situation nor could she understand my reasons for revealing my truths. I was annoyed by it. I did not feel I should have to justify my choices and actions to her. She did not know my father. She had not met him. She only had her morals and principles and values to go on. I have morals. I have principles and values too. That is an important part of why I decided to do this, because of my values and principles. I would not be following them if I hid away and “forgave” him for all the hurt and pain he caused.

Dead or not, the truth will always shine through.

The Big Move!

I’ve been out of WordPress action for the last few days due to moving house! My husband took Friday off work to help with the last dregs of packing however there was so much left to do and we were left feeling rather overwhelmed.

We had to move, not really out of choice as our landlord sort of sprung it on us. We are now at my mum’s house. Again, not ideal! But hopefully not for too long. I don’t want to be a burden to her but she would never turn us out with nowhere to go, I know my safety and comfort is on her priority list.

We are very lucky to be here with the chance to save some money for the remaining part of 2013. Renting is so bloody expensive!

The last few days have been incredibly chaotic. On Friday, after a full day of packing, David and I went out for sushi. Something must have disagreed with me as a few hours later, in the middle of the night, I awoke with a ferocious rash covering my face and neck. Gradually it spread over my body and I realized I was having a horrific allergic reaction. I woke up David as it seemed serious. I just couldn’t believe it was happening the night before the move! After taking an antihistamine and attempting not to itch my face for an hour, we both drifted off to sleep. Unfortunately, we were up just five hours later.

Being exhausted was not the ideal feeling I had hoped for on Saturday. As well as the itchy lumps that appeared on me the night before I also had to deal with the worst stomach cramps I have ever had! They were shockingly painful and left me feeling pretty sick on Saturday.

So! Crappy start to the big move.

David’s parents kindly helped us all day yesterday. It would’ve been a nightmare without them.

My mother is away and back tomorrow. The unpacking has already commenced!

Wish us luck!