"Life always offers you a second chance, it's called tomorrow...the past cannot be changed, forgotten, edited, or can only be accepted."

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Life is good

There’s one more thing I want to clarify that I just started to think about. I’ve noticed that sometimes my posts, and the article…make it seem like every day is a terrible struggle for me. And I want to be clear that it’s not. I have my moments where I get upset…and some days are higher stress than others. But for the most part…I lead a beautiful life. Yes, there are hard times right now. Between my divorce and my dad’s trial coming up…it’s hard to get through some days. But for the most part…I am the happiest and strongest I have ever been. After I read the article today and saw all the comments and feedback from people it already seems to be helping…I literally ran outside in the yard and screamed. I danced around the lawn like some 8 year old. I’ve been skipping through the house all day…because knowing that the word is getting out there…makes me feel amazing. It puts me on this crazy high…and gives me hope.
                I rarely have panic attacks anymore. Very rarely actually. My depression is essentially gone…and I can’t remember the last time bad dreams woke me up. I have this amazing family that somehow sticks behind me, no matter what knucklehead things I do. I have a large group of good friends that I know would be there if I ever needed them…and the BEST “best friend” a girl could possibly have. I am successful at work, and can honestly say that I love my job and my boss. I am truly happy for the first time in years.
                Life is hard, but I’m thankful to have the life that I do. There are constant struggles…but I’m a lucky girl. The blog doesn’t really talk about that stuff…because it’s focused on the harder aspects of life. It’s focused on the recovery…and the hard work behind it. But just because those hard things are going on…doesn’t mean I’m falling apart. It just means I’m getting stronger.

Tissues for your issues

So as I’ve made it pretty clear all over Facebook and Twitter…the article came out this morning. It was mind blowing to see my face right there in print. The response I’ve gotten from it already is absolutely insane. Hundreds of views on the blog…emails…comments…phone calls…text messages. Friends of mine that I rarely talk to are coming to me about abuse that they went through as children…that I had NO idea about until now. This is exactly what I wanted from this blog…and I am so excited that I got a chance to pair up with such an awesome reporter. It’s a great article, with so much helpful information for people. I really hope that it reaches the people that need it.
                I keep getting a lot of comments from people about the picture…and my now famous kitty Gizmo. I find it funny because as I type this, he’s curled in my lap just like in the picture…trying to steal my hairband off of my wrist. Anyone that wants an idea of the “real me”…there it is. I’m just like anybody else…I write this blog from the comfort of my couch or bed, with two kitties fighting for my attention, usually climbing all over the keyboard.
                Now for the real reason I started writing this post. I know that there’s going to be controversy over this article. It’s already kind of started actually. As it says in the article…people tend to view the victims of domestic violence as less of a person because of the things they’ve been through. They assume we’re “damaged” and that we basically can’t function normally. And as ridiculous as this may sound…anyone who thinks that way is out of their damn minds.
                Victims of domestic violence aren’t weak. If anything…they are the strongest people you’ve ever met. Do they have issues? Absolutely! I’ve got enough baggage to keep Continental in business for the next 10 years. But in NO way does that make me weak. Carrying all that baggage around has made me stronger…and the more that gets piled on…the stronger I get. The more I can deal with. It’s like that for most victims.
                You might be wondering where this is coming from. I was reading over the article again today online…and saw that there were comments. Part of me was tempted to ignore them…but “curiosity killed the Kat” and of course I read them. One was very supportive…and the other irked me a little bit. "Why follow someone's blog who hasn't overcome her own issues yet? If you have gone thru this yourself then please seek PROFESSIONAL advise from people trained to help." Now first of all…I have to say that I DO agree with the end of that sentence. If there’s a problem…and you need help…you should absolutely go for professional help. I’m not a medical professional in any way…and I’m not “trained” to give advice for any of this. But there’s a big BUT coming…I lived it. For YEARS I had “professionals” in my face, telling me how to deal with something that they had never experienced. And I HATED that. Reading about something in a book, and being able to “treat” something that you’ve read about…is completely different from LIVING it. I got more help and more support from support groups, and people that had been in my shoes. Sure, we all had different experiences…but we still understood. And that’s what a big part of this article was about…agencies in our area seeing the need for more programs to help with that. Now again…I agree with getting professional help, and will always push that. But sometimes “professional help” doesn’t help…it just frustrates.
                And now for the first part of the comment. At first, I wanted to be immature and make some kind of snotty comment in response. But then I stepped back and thought about it. The blog is about overcoming issues. I’m not perfect, but neither are you. I don’t care who you are…we ALL have “issues”. I’m just very open with mine. I hope that the struggles I have, can help someone else. If something good can come out of the things that I went through…then it was all worth it. I’m sure there are other people that are going through something similar…and they need to know that they’re not alone. Not only that, but they need to know that the way they’re feeling, isn’t in any way wrong. There are two options in life…you can sit around, pretend you’re perfect and that everything is always good…but silently be miserable…OR you can admit that life is HARD, downright impossible sometimes. And you can learn from your mistakes. You can grow from your hardships…and you can help other people struggling with you.
                So no…I haven’t “overcome my issues” yet. But quick note…I’m never going to. The things I went through, will always be with me. My PTSD…will probably always be with me as well. And I’m glad. I can handle anything because of it. I don’t want to overcome my issues…I want to grow with them. I want to use them to help other people. Putting my shortcoming out in the open doesn’t make me weak…doesn’t make me less of a person…it makes me ten times more likely to be able to help someone else. And that’s what’s important. Overcoming all types of abuse and domestic violence is the point…not attempting to make myself “perfect”. After all…I like my scars…they make me unique J

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

This is it

Quite a bit has happened in the last two weeks. Along with the normal work, coaching, etc…there’s been quite a few random things to prepare for. First…trial is this month. 2 weeks from yesterday to be specific. It’s starting to freak me out a little bit. I know it probably shouldn’t…but at the same time, I know it’s only going to get worse once it comes time to actually go down to Florida.
                Maybe I’m completely crazy for wanting to go to this thing. I probably am. But I am so ready to finally see him get locked up. While I know there’s a chance he’ll get away with it…I’m praying he won’t. I’m praying that there will finally be some justice in this “justice” system. It’s hard to say if it’s false hope, it probably is. But either way…I’m definitely going. I need to prove to myself that I CAN go.
On another note…the other big news has to do with this blog…and the newspaper. One of the reporter’s at the local paper was doing an article on the rise of a need for support groups for children that suffered domestic violence. I did an interview for it this week…and the article will come out on Sunday. It was a little terrifying to know that my face and name are about to be out there (as everything on this blog has been anonymous so far…well minus the people that know me personally). But at the same time, it’s a liberating feeling. Part of the problem with domestic violence is the fact that no one will talk about it. Everyone’s afraid of either the repercussions, or the idea that people will look down on them. I can’t tell you how many times people have seen me as “weaker” than a “normal” person because I went through the things I did. They assume I can’t handle myself or the struggles I face.
                In reality…all of those people couldn’t be much further off. Because of what I’ve dealt with…I’m ten times more capable of dealing with the usual stresses of life. Not to mention the harder situations. There’s nothing this life can throw at me that I haven’t been through…and made it through. Even in moments of weakness…I’m stronger than the average person.
                It felt good to say everything in the interview. Talk about how anyone who’s been through situations like I was…should talk about it. It’s not something to be ashamed of, or something to hide from. It’s something you have to take head on…and learn to live with. Plus it seems like this is what I've been waiting for. This blog has gotten pretty popular quickly. But this will reach so many other people...which was the whole reason for starting this blog in the first place. I just hope it helps someone. Watch for the article this Sunday online and in the paper J

Sunday, March 4, 2012

March 27th, 2012

March 27th…it’s a Tuesday. I have the day off because I’ll be in Florida. Sounds like a beautiful time…vacation like. But instead I have a feeling it’s going to be the start of one of the hardest weeks in my life. Hard to believe after what the past year has brought on…but nevertheless.
                I’ve made a decision to go to Florida to watch my father’s trial. I’m not sure if I’m being self-destructive…or if it’s going to give me the closure I’ve been needing. I’m hoping that finally seeing him in custody will give me some sense of peace. Sentencing should bring a feeling of safety…that it’s finally all over.
                Don’t get me wrong. I’ll be a mess. Nothing about that week is going to be easy…I’m sure it’s going to be an absolute nightmare. Days filled with listening to people talk about how insane my father is, and the terrible things that he’s done. While I know most of it already…there’s going to be a lot of hate in that courtroom…and I’m not sure I’m prepared to be surrounded by it. But this is something I need to do. I need to prove to myself that I can handle it…and I need to prove to him that I’m not afraid of him. That he hasn’t destroyed me, and will never be capable of doing so.
                I need some kind of closure. Something that says it’s finally all over. The past 14 months have been hell…and I’m sick of it being in my face all the time. I’m sure going down there will just spark conflict with everyone involved…but I need to do this for me. And I’m sure there will be people there who hate me…for something I had nothing to do with. But that’s okay. This situation was never my fault…and the decisions he made had nothing to do with me.
                I hurt for all of the people involved. I hurt for everyone who’s ever been hurt by him. And I hurt for my siblings who have to grow up in the wake of what he’s done. But at the same time I’m thankful. Thankful that no one was seriously hurt on that night last year. Thankful that I’m still alive, and so is everyone else he’s ever targeted. And thankful that my siblings don’t have to see him, or be involved in his life. I’m thankful that there will finally be safety for a lot of people…hopefully permanent safety.
                No child wants their parent in prison. At least no normal child does. But I do. It’s time for something to be done to protect him and others. He’s not okay to be in society…he’s not sane. I wish he was…more than anything I wish my dad was like any other guy I’ve met. But he’s not…thank you reality for that check.
                I like to torment myself I think. I just googled his name…(who knows why…I knew it would upset me)…and one of the first picture results that pops up…is his mugshot from that night. It truly amazes me just how much it hurts seeing that. You would think it would start to wear on you…and would eventually get easier to process. But it doesn’t. Not at all actually. It’s like a knife to the chest…takes your breath away and makes your heart stop for a quick second. Makes you this strange combination of dizzy and nauseous. Kind of like hitting the very top of a roller coaster…it’s absolutely terrifying no matter how many times you’ve done it. Unfortunately…there’s no fun part afterwards in this case.
                I’ve got a good support system…I really do. And I’m hoping that the end of this month will finally give me a little peace. It can all finally be done and over with. It’s amazing how crazed my brain has been lately…and I’m ready for a break.