Tag: Domestic Violence Awareness

Celebrate Recovery: My Recovery Testimony

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The following essay, was for a testimony I was to give to the attendees of the “Celebrate Recovery” of my church. To be honest, I wrote that the last minute, because of the nerves I had built on writing this. The anxiety knowing what I said and how I said about my testimony would and perhaps could change a person’s life. It was nervewrecking for me (even though I brainstormed a couple times) to know I could have impact on someone’s life. But the time it was about two day’s before I presented my testimony I spent all night to put it together. Barely even rehearsed it, but it was already in my heart and memories of the recovery process I went through. But at the end, it seemed everyone liked it because the audience was applauding and one of leader’s of the program said some people were nodding or exclaimed how I overcame my obsticles. One person also joked about how I could have come from Harvard, because of how smooth I talked and how well written was. I can’t believe people liked it! Anyway without futher adieu, he is my written testimony I presented at my local “Celebrate Recovery” location:

 I am a believer who had struggled with anger issues. I know it’s hard to believe that I have anger issues, but I do. I have struggled with anger issues for a long time…all pent up…angry at the world and angry at myself. And that was the insanity. But mostly I was doing it as a way to protect myself. My anger stemmed with loneliness, insecurities, lack, and uncertainty. It didn’t help either I grew up in a domestic violent household either. The shame of living through that (and feeling misunderstood or discounted) kept me from confidently making friends or getting into a relationship. I felt if I let go of my anger it would weaken me, make me vulnerable…and being vulnerable meant exposing myself to the hurts and feelings I’ve tired so hard to bury and forget. But like everything else, nothing lasts forever. Plus, all that pent up anger from childhood caused me to have anxiety and depression disorders.

To be honest, I didn’t want to go back into Celebrate Recovery, because at the previous church I attended the people at THAT celebrate recovery weren’t very interactive. And incase things didn’t turn out well and THIS celebrate recovery, I didn’t wanna leave my business out in the open. I mean sure, I wouldn’t see the attendees again, but I don’t feel comfortable leaving my hurts with strangers. Unfortunately, a couple years ago I didn’t have a choice. In late 2015, I was sexually assaulted and that had a toll on me. And then THAT eventually led to a falling out with my folks, which led me to living a friend, but even there I was falling apart, because I was still reeling from everything that happened in just a few months. I had to put school on pause for awhile too. Pretty much I was a mess and angry. It was then their family member suggested Celebrate Recovery. Even though I was facing some pretty rough circumstances, it gave me enough to focus on myself and the only relationship I had that was fully available: my relationship with Jesus Christ. Being in the program really helped me to vulnerable and a safe spot for me to heal. Plus seeing other people sharing their vulnerabilities helped to understand it was okay to be vulnerable….that there was strength in being vulnerable and strength in facing them as well.  It was also encouraging to see other women wanting to grow from their pain and help each other out. The more I came, the more I was able to have a handle on my anger. The step that spoke to me, was the first which was “We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that lives had become unmanageable.” I needed to accept that, because I had to stop feeling the need to control things and keep to myself. It’s like the good book says in Genesis 2:18 and Matthew 18:20, in, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” and “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

Because I pursued my relationship with God and myself vulnerable to Him, I was able to be vulnerable to myself and better it and I was able to better my relationships. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s manageable, I’m manageable. I am freer and lighter, and I have a bit more confidence in myself and how I relate with others. Yeah, the pains of the past are still within me, but they don’t dominate me as much anymore. Since, my attendance in 2016, I’ve also been able to make friends here, which was something I did not expect. I was just focusing on bettering my spiritual side and managing my hurts. And what’s great is that we all help and support one another. This recovery journey has taught me that God is in control of everything, even my anger. I spent so much time feeling like because it was my anger, it should be my responsibility. But as I look back on my life: the relationships I’ve made, the circumstances I have faced, it shown me that God has dominion over EVERYTHING…good and bad but as long as I have him in my life I’ll be okay. I don’t have to take on everything my own, not even the pain I have. He will send me all the resources and support to see that I’ll be okay through it all.

So, my advice to the newbies is this, you don’t have to take everything on your own (your addictions, your hurts) you’re in good company here as well as God’s company. So, don’t worry about what you do and don’t have emotionally or financially, nor how long you expect for change to happen in yourself. Just focus on spending the next hour here and focus on rebuilding your life with God and in his time, you will get you’ve been seeking.

GLOW (Part 1 of 3)

****Warning Discloser: Spoilers and sexual assault references***

The Cast of GLOW

I love “Glow”! Not just because it’s a nod to the times, but because of the cast and it’s great storytelling. Set in the mid 80s, Ruth Wilder, played by Allison Brie, is an up and coming actress trying her hardest to score her first big gig. Well…one thing led to another and she became a female wrestler.

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Ruth

 

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Zoya the Destroya

Believe it or not wrestling was a big deal back then. Even though  wrestling was fake, they drew big crowds on and off the small screen. Heck, GLOW is based off the actual GLOW TV Show which aired those days. And even when I watched the show  (you can  watch the documentary off the show on Netflix, it’s great), these women were amazing and crazy! There was NOTHING like that those days where women wrestled. So the show was very groundbreaking.

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Source: Inverse

If you grew up in the 80s or watched 80s films, women weren’t given a lot of roles as they are now. They didn’t have a lot lead roles, they seemed to play only as secretaries or mothers, they needed to be “pretty” and of course…they needed to have a man and be a damsel in distress. Women weren’t given a lot of personality…but GLOW gave the women to be more on television. They could engage in wresting for crying out loud! Yeah, some of those of course led to major injury, but these women were no longer restricted by gender norms.

Being that we’re now in the ME TOO era, this film really served as a reminder of what women went through to become famous. Unfortunately, it wasn’t due just hard work alone, but due to sleezy men who wanted to take advantage of women who wanted be actors.

If you look at the picture above, you can tell that Ruth was a rather dreamy and naive actress.  For starters, she wasn’t from California (I believe she’s originally from the mid west) and two, she has just such a big passion for acting. So big in fact, the director of GLOW (and soon to be love interest), Sam Sylvia, played by Marc Maron, didn’t take her seriously at first when he was putting together the cast. But thank goodness, to her passion, Sam kept her and she did very well portraying her Russian alter-ego, Zoya the Destroya.

The show, especially her character was so well liked by Tom Grant (Paul Fitzgerald), the President of K-DTV of North Hollywood, that he asked Glen Klitnick (Andrew Friedman), he could invite her to his pad. Unknowingly to Ruth, she was nothing more as some sort of “gift” to Tom Grant, once Glen left the room.

Even though Tom asked Ruth how to wrestle, it was really just an excuse to fondle her breast for example. Looking at her face, she was extremely uncomfortable, while looking at his face he was enjoying himself. Just seeing how he grabbing her and trying to put his face between her breast. Reminded me of what happened with me.

Although I told him I just wanted to make out, he thought it okay to pull down my shirt and fondle my breasts while at. I had never really known what making out at the time, only that I thought it should involved was kissing. But I didn’t even know I could decide what constituted as making out and assumed everyone knew it involved kissing.

I felt for Ruth when she escaped Glen’s house and how humiliated and confused she must have felt. Like a “why me”??? or a “I should have known better”? Unfortunately, the following day she kind of regretted running away, when it was found that  “Glow” was scheduled to be air 2 AM in the morning.

Damn…

While some how Ruth’s character annoyed me, because she was naive, but I guess she annoyed me because she reminded me of myself. I felt like Ruth, I put myself in that situation and I get upset everyday, that why did I not see that coming. Sometimes I forget the world does not have the same heart I do and will try to hide its true face. However neither me and Ruth didn’t deserve to be treated the way we did. But as you can imagine for Ruth, her dreams were reliant on someone who had the power to embolden her career, but instead it was to embolden their own ego. Then because Tom Grant didn’t get what he wanted, he punished her, which  in turn punished her fellow actresses. So not ONLY does Ruth have to deal with assault, but have to take the blame for the cancellation of her show.

Unfortunately this is what happens to assault victims…their assaulter with use some sort of means of abuse . There are many forms of abuse…according to the “Physical Violence Sexual” wheel by The National Domestic Violence Hotline:

 

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I feel that Tom Grant in the episode, used economic abuse, his male privilege, and emotional abuse to take control and get back at Ruth. This may be a fictional show, but the abuse that women underwent especially during those times in Hollywood IS real.

 

 

 

 

 

Children’s Domestic Abuse Wheel

One of the forgotten people in Domestic Violence is the children. Why? I have no idea… Believe me, since I was a child I’ve always wanted an answer…. What annoyed me growing up personally was when people would convince my mom to stay with my father, because it would be a shame if me and my siblings grew up fatherless. The ironic thing  about that was, was while he was in our lives he never really took on the roll of a father.

See the term “mother” or “father” are just names of roles, but really what makes, for instance, a “father”, is a man who decides he is going to be one.  Why do you think  terms like “father figure” or “mother figure” exist? Because you don’t have to be a blood relative or even be the parent yourself to become a “father” or “mother.” Unfortunately, the people who were indirectly shaming my mother by making us go back to abusive roots just to have a “father” have no IDEA what it was like to undergo abuse by a partner or witness the beating of your mother.

The real shame of the people who said my siblings deserved a “father” was the fact they completely ignored the apparent fear and confusion behind my mom’s face and behind my mom’s words. And because my mom valued those people, she valued their words and stayed. The real shame of those people was that they put “family first”, before (especially) before the physical and mental well-being of my siblings and I.

Children are the REAL losers of domestic violence. So young with their life way ahead of them, they counter situations and emotions that is beyond their own reckoning. So when I hear people talk about how victims of domestic violence should stay with their apparently abusive partner, because the child needs a “father”, I can’t help but to shake my head. How the hell do people like that think they can “understand” and oversimplify such dire situations??? I mean hell, I’m an adult who grew up in such situation and I’m still having a hard time understanding it.

I found this chart, “The Children’s Domestic Abuse Wheel”, to remind people how domestic violence and other forms of abuse affects children in many ways:

  • Isolation
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Physical & Mental Effects
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Using Children
  • Threats,
  • Sexual Stereotyping
  • Intimidation

The reason why I suffer from mental health issues is BECAUSE of living through such a dysfunctional environment. I suffer bad heartburn, because of all of the stress absorbed into my stomach. I don’t wish this upon any child, not even my own. That’s why I don’t have a family of my own yet. I don’t need to see my life repeated like that again.  It’s like the old saying goes, “Think of the Children”. At the end of the day, they have the most to lose.

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The War At Home: How To Spot Domestic Abuse

October is Domestic Violence Month and the month is used to bring about awareness that domestic violence can bring about homes and lives. I know—it’s a hard subject to talk about, but it’s a MUST. The infograph below gives an extensive look of all many pieces that make for the broken home and for the broken relationships. The infograph below doesn’t just state how it impacts straight women, but straight and gay men.  Most importantly, the infograph below states the many forms of domestic abuse such as financial and now digital abuse. It’s time stop turning a blind eye on the blackened eyes of victims affected by domestic violence.

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