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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

When I Can't Sleep I Think...

This morning a close friend and I were talking about a woman who was being abused and left her abuser and then decided to go back to him.  Her family doesn't understand, nor do most people.  I listened as I struggled to stay awake, knowing that even though I had no sleep I had to work this morning.  I listened...

On my drive to work I thought.  That is what I do when I drive alone, I listen to my music loud and I think.  Today I thought of our conversation and how I too have been abused by the man I am still married too.  I have been hurt by his words, actions and hands.  I started writing this blog in 2009 and I knew then I needed to get out.

I wrote on and off through the years.  Some readers wrote to me with encouragement, others with questions like "Why am I still with him?" or  "Why haven't I moved out?"  and similar thoughts.  Today I can say that I have left him and moved on and I have discovered the will power to stay away from him.  Yes I had friends who helped me get to this point but I had to do the work on my own.  My brain had to figure it all out.  Of course it also helps that whenever I do see him he reminds me why I left.  His words no longer have power over me though.

Today as I drove I thought of when I went back to school, got my master;s degree and something we learned; Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.  My minds was wandering as I drive, but still I stayed on the road, both in thought and action.

It is shaped like a pyramid.  Physiological is the base, what we need the most.  Breathing, Food, Water, Sleep, but Sex also is there.  Why?  Because sex is good!  It is not only how we reproduce but it gives us pleasure.  People could argue that we don't NEED it after we reproduce but our bodies and mind prove them wrong over and over again.

We will do the stupidest things for sex.  We also will do some fantastic things for sex.  Sex is something our bodies need, want and desire.  How does this go back to why someone might stay with their abuser?  Sometimes it is for the sex.  Not for me.  That I can say with certainty, but I believe for others this is a reason.  Of course sometimes it is because they provide us with our food, they are in our home, where we sleep.  The base of a pyramid is a powerful place.

The next tier up is Safety.  In that tier we find Security and Safety, Family and Property are here as well.  Why would someone staying with their abuser for safety and security may sound wrong and it is.  But to the abused sometimes to them it is safe.  it is their world and they are comfortable there.  If they stop, leave, seek help or alter their world they may change so much that they are no longer safe.  The mind is a powerful thing and it can make you feel safe in an unsafe condition.

We also need our family and property.  Sometimes knowing you have to leave people or things behind is too much and we just can't do it.  Sometimes it could be your child.  This is where the relationship is cult like.  Ex cult members talk about being shunned by their family when they leave and sometimes this need for family is so strong they will return.  Sometimes the abused return to their abuser for the same reason.

Belonging is the next tier up.  We all need a place to belong and here is where I think the tipping point lies.  It is when we have a sense of belonging that we start to be able to leave our abuser.  This tier may be smaller but it is higher in the pyramid and is strong enough to give us that extra push.  But how do the abused get this feeling?  How is it stronger than Safety?

Honestly it takes one person or one life event.  It just takes one moving pebble to start a landslide.  When one person reaches out to them especially if it is at the right time they will find the strength to leave.  Then I thought, what gave me the strength to leave?  I was miserable, I hated my marriage, I knew I was abused and still I stayed.

The tipping point for me happened when my mom got hurt and my dad needed me.  He needed me, and that gave me the self-esteem to get out and not go back.  I stayed and did all I could for them even after I got so sick I couldn't take care of everyone and me.  I also took time to get to know me again.  I was not the same person who married him 17 years ago.

When my mom did die, I mourned but I had to get away to do it.  I left.  I had a chance to leave and get further away from my ex and I took it.   Some family will say I was selfish, let them!  We all mourn in our own way.  I needed to be away from my family and from my ex.  I was weak then and it would have been so easy to go back.  Instead I ran away.  And I am not sorry that I did.

I had a safe place to stay, a job I enjoyed and people near me who were good for me.  The thing I learned was when people near me were no longer good for me then it is time to move on.  No longer was I going to be caught in my mind or in my reality with someone who was not good for me.  My eyes were opened and my spirit was as well.

This year I have escaped my abuser, I found my father, lost my mother and discovered who among my family and friends had my back and who was just along for the ride.  I met new people who were life changing for me and discovered strength inside myself I never knew was there.  I left my comfort zone and moved up those tiers.  They may get smaller but their meaning grows stronger the higher up you go.

My friend, who knows the abused woman who went back to her abuser, she needs to move up her pyramid.  It won't be her family rushing in to save her, she has to be the one to move up those tiers.  Just be there to lend a hand or shoulder for support.  Hopefully her pebble will move soon, she has to be the one to move it and recognize it though.

That was my drive into work today.  I couldn't sleep so I just thought...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Autumn is Lonely Without Her this Year

I have always loved the season of autumn.  The colors, the smells, the cooler temperatures and the sounds.  But This year, the first autumn without my mother.  I drove home from the mountains of Pennsylvania and the trees were all changing and beautiful.  When the wind blew you could see the leaves blowing around in the wind following the patters and flow.  I was driving home and about to turn on my street so excited to tell mom about it and show her the photo and then my heart sank because she wasn't there.  She would never see an autumn leaf, she would never see them blowing in the wind again and she would never jump into a leaf pile with B and P again.

In the village we live in, I know it sounds so quaint but I can see the city from my bedroom window so it is rather urban, not all the streets run straight.  Some streets wind and turn and may start at one street but have no real outlet.  Typically these are the more wealthier homes.  No joke I was riding my bicycle down one of the streets and a woman opened her front door.  Out waddled a mama duck and all her ducklings flowing her behind her.  There houses where were we wanted to trick or treat because they would often hand out full size candy bars.

My father is like me he wants to go from point A to point B and get there the fastest way possible.  A straight line was his favorite.  My mother however was led by beauty and by sights and sounds.  If she was driving we would always go down theses streets that were windy and meandered to the next busy street.  Her excuse was she had to see one tree.  I have to admit it was a beautiful tree and when autumn came its colors were spectacular,  She would often stop the car and just sit there and watch the tree.  Sometimes she would find a particularly beautiful leaf that she just had to have.

Now that mom has gone I find myself driving home that same way.  I can't remember which tree was her favorite, but I stop and spend some time with them and remember ow aggravated I was because I wanted to get home to watch TV.  now I just want to sit there and connect with my mother through our love of autumn leaves.

I am Autumn Crow.  Autumn is my favorite season and the Crow is my favorite bird.  My mother loved owls.  I am getting a tribute tattoo designed for her for might shoulder.  I want an owl, a crow and autumn leaves.  If anyone wants to try to design it for me I would love to see your artwork.

We bonded over autumn and treasure our birds.  I miss my mom and I wish she could have seen the autumn views I saw this year.  I love you Mommy and I know you are always with me.

Friday, October 17, 2014

It's my Birthday and I am Taking Charge of Who I am

Today is my birthday, I turn 47.  I'm getting closer to 50. Sigh!  Guess what I do t care.  I a, taking this year, 47 to become me again. Last year I left my ex and he still calls me to help him solve problems. I took care of my Dad, who has dimentia and my mom who started with two brain bleeds and finally after nine months her body just gave up.

I have gotten flack from my family because I got sick and left to recover physically and mentally.  I have discussed it with the, and they want nothing to do with my point of view.  So today is the day I dp say screw it!  I've taken care of others for so long I have forgotten how to take care of me and be me,

This is supposed to be about my New Beginnings. So here is my next one. I am going to find myself and embrace who I am this year.  I joined a Druid organization to expand on my studies.  I am part of our local Pagan Pride Committee and and hoping to expand my role with them. I an part of a. New unified pagan organization in our community that in just a few weeks has become a huge unifying force in outer community.

I am working on becoming a priestess, my calling has always been to be religious clergy. Now I have the opportunity to finally achieve it.

I went to the top of a mountain to be with nature on my birthday. To feeling was Fantastic