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Bullying and Women.

The Musings of GaiaMojo

imagesNot much makes me more angry than seeing people bully others. This morning I saw a video of a group of teenage girls walking up to and beating up a girl who was just sat, minding her own business. Mindless. Infuriating.

It certainly got me thinking. What is very clear is that we need to teach young people a better way. So here is my message to any young girls who feel the need to bully:

Ladies, these are your sisters. Ask any women over the age of 25 and she will tell you that you never know what life is going to throw at you. Ask someone closer to 40 and we will tell you life is hard enough. Ask a woman who is even older and she will likely tell you to grow up.

You never know what life has in store for you. Amazing things, beautiful things…

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I am a Good Parent… and the chances are, you are too.

The Musings of GaiaMojo

Parenting, the hardest job in the world. And, damn it, I’ve been one long enough to know that is the truth. I have worried myself half to death, experienced fear like no other fear known to mankind, suffered a lack of sleep so severe it should have killed me, fought schools, teachers, education authorities, doctors, other parents and my own mother to do the best for my kids over the years. It’s exhausting.

In the last two years I have been subjected to the bitter and unrelenting attacks of a certain jilted person who has claimed, over and over again, to anyone who will listen, including my own children, that I am a ‘bad mother’.

‘Bad mother’, it’s a phrase that strikes an ice cold, deep fear into the hearts of any loving Mum. It’s the ultimate weakness. If all else fails, tell a tired, stressed, depressed, traumatised woman that…

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One Day at a Time. 

Today I am having a depressive day.   

Triggered by a stressful week which has affected the whole family way too much. My mood isn’t low, it’s more numb. It means I’ll be low for a few days, I know this because I’ve been here many times before. The reason I’m so low is because of my divorce from my abusive husband 2 years ago, and his relentless attacks on me since, which have destroyed the relationship I have with two of my children. He is currently actively trying to destroy my relationship with my youngest child too. Only this time with the willing, if not utterly misinformed, assistance of my other two kids, particularly my daughter. 

The badmouthing of me to M is soul crushingly painful. Watching my confused child try to make sense of senseless, hateful behaviour is agonising. I learned this week that a particularly rude and hurtful message exchange with him was actively encouraged and watched and helped by his father and his sister. Not only encouraging rudeness and dismissiveness of me, but making him believe that his mother and his step father are dangerous to him in some way. 

Imagine that. You have a conversation with your son where he is rude to you and then later you learn that the adults around him not only allowing that to happen, but were sat with him reading and encouraging it to happen. Helping him choose words like ‘disgusting’ and ‘you’re so childish’ and ‘you don’t think of anyone but yourself.’ 

Of course, I knew at the time that they weren’t his words. I’ve heard those words a thousand times said by his father, then my daughter, my oldest son, and now by my youngest son. 

Same words. Same tone. Instantly recognisable. 

M just wants to live. To love his family and all of this to stop. I agree with him, all I have ever wanted was for it stop.

It took me years to pluck up the courage to leave that man (and I use the term in the loosest possible sense), and when I finally did, I naively believed things would improve. M

He has made damn sure it didn’t.

They stalk my social media, know far more about what I do on a day to day basis than they should. These people claim they want nothing to do with me are then actively and deliberately trying to pry into my life so they can pass judgment and stir up hatred. 

This is all nightmare enough for us to live. Along with my daughter and ex husband telling M lies about my partner, who they have never, despite invitation, deemed appropriate to meet. Instead we live with almost constant threats and nastiness, thrown from a distance, in the safety of their own web of hate.

They are cowardly, for sure. 

I send a happy, content and secure child to my ex husband’s home, only to have an anxious, scared and angry boy returned. Every. Single. Week. 

They try to convince him he doesn’t want to come home. I hear their words, hateful, spiteful, nasty words, come out of his innocent 8 year old mouth. And why?!? 

Well, why indeed! My ex is so stupid he cannot see that the only people who truly suffer here are the kids. Too stupid to see that one day they will realise he took their loving mother away from them be poisoning their minds.

My daughter is too damaged to see she is destroying her little brother. To see she is an accomplice in a hate campaign which serves no one but her self righteous father. And even then it serves him nothing because he will have the broken children to deal with too. 

They claim to love M and only want the best for him. They proclaim it to the world! Then they do the damage quietly while no one is looking. 

Taking a child from his mother is not wanting the best for him. 

Making him believe his mother is dangerous to him is not the best for him. 

Using him as a pawn in a sick twisted revenge plan is not the best for him. 

And so it goes on. This is the pattern I endured too. He would tell everyone how he was the perfect husband until the doors were shut and no one could hear him. Then he changed.

I await the day that social services come knocking on my door, or the court case for custody. I have had the threatening letters. 

I look forward to showing them the huge backlog of evidence of abuse, recordings, emails, text messages, police reports. 

I want them to talk to M so that he can tell them what he tells me. The covert behaviour they think he’s too young to notice. The conversations he’s heard. The lies he knows they have told him. 

Yes, I feel down, because I am tired of the fight. A totally unnecessary fight with a sociopathic narcissist who, while claiming he only wants to love those around him, only serves himself and his own needs, with no regard for who gets damaged in the process. 

I am afraid I have lost my daughter because she has absorbed his toxic behaviours as her own. I see no evidence to prove me otherwise. She contacted me recently, but only because she believed I could do something for her. It wasn’t out of any real love or compassion. It was to use me for her own ends. 

Yes. It hurts like hell. But I will not stop fighting. If it drags me down to the depths of hell, I will fight for my son. So at least one of my children had a chance to see that hatred only brings misery. It makes me ill, physically, mentally and emotionally. But I was too naive with the other two, I didn’t even consider that he would destroy them to get to me. 

I won’t make that mistake again. 

So, life goes on. Those that know me, know I am not an angry, hateful person, they know that I despise conflict and I detest people who make others feel bad about themselves. They know that I am kind, supportive and caring. They know I’m a little bonkers around the edges, but I would never, ever, deliberately hurt anyone. 

I know, deep down, that I am strong and that wobbling once in a while isn’t a true reflection of my strength. 

I know that what I have been through, what he has put me through, has changed me permanently, broken me and at the same time fortified me. 

I know that real strength is quiet, kind and loving. 

I know that perfection is unattainable and I must not stress myself out trying to achieve it. 

I know that being the best me I can be, is all I can do, faults and all.

So, today I’ll wobble and tomorrow is a new day. 

Today, I accept that. 

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Damaged Goods

This is something that has come to my attention lately too. Worth a read and remember not to be too hard on ourselves, we are still healing. x

Battered Wife Seeking Better Life

Recently, I’ve been noticing a few personality traits that I now realize are related to my being in an abusive relationship for so long.  None of them are new but I am just now seeing how so much of me is netted into this lifestyle.  A little over a year ago, I had written a blog post called Survival Mode after reading another blog post (That Wasn’t Me…This Is Me), which triggered an understanding/clarity of how “we” -the abused- get sucked in so deep to a point where we are almost physically and mentally incapable of getting out.

People who have never experienced Domestic Violence or abuse in any form, are typically the ones spewing all the oh so popular catchphrases, such as…Why didn’t she just leave?  What those people don’t understand is that it’s so much more than a woman saying, I love him, and then all of a sudden – CURSE…

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Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

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I have a condition called Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

‘Complex’ being the operative word.

Since *very* recently having an episode I thought I’d share, in a nutshell, how it works for me.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is usually the result of a huge life changing, traumatic event.

Complex PTSD is the result of long term low level stress, interspersed with high levels over a long period of time, such as the stress and anxiety that is caused by abuse.

For me, CPTSD is like an emotional game of Jenga.

Half of my triggers come from what other people would consider innocent, innocuous events. Though I have a handle on it for the most part, when the game of Jenga begins, it’s hard to undo it.

Each event lays a block to build the tower. A little Stress here, a little anxiety there.

As each block adds up, the stresses, though small in themselves, all add up to a bigger one. Unless I spend time undoing each block as it arises, they stay. The small knot of anxiety in my stomach gets bigger and bigger. I brush it off. Life has to go on, right? I rationalise, it’s not that big a deal. The other half of my triggers are entirely sub conscious, hyper vigilance makes it easy for anxiety to seep in and bypass all my defence mechanisms. I’m often not even aware of why I feel anxious, I just know that I do.

So the blocks, they build. The more anxious I am, the less I can think straight. It’s as if my brain breaks. I can only explain it as a thick fog that descends in my mind and clouds everything. My thought processes become erratic, I can’t concentrate.

Inevitably, something eventually unbalances the tower. Usually something that feeds into the self loathing that accompanies being so anxious and failing to do anything about it.

JENGA! That’s when the tower falls. By now, I’m fairly useless. Defensive, terrified and so deeply sad that all I want to do is sleep it all away. By then the repair process is going to take time. Mostly time with me finding the strength to pick myself up and begin again.

I’m not the nicest of people when I’m like this. Which doesn’t help either because I feel useless enough as it is. Add guilt and shame to that and it’s like a living hell.

I want to run away. Escape. But really I can’t, because I can’t escape myself.

It lives within me. I am working on it. I’m ill and I have to accept that. I have to accept that I hurt the ones I love when I am ill too. That’s very painful to accept.

But I’ll keep going and I’ll keep trying to get better. Sometimes I know I can get better. Other times I feel I am destined to always be like this.

This is my experience of CPTSD in a nutshell.

Thanks for reading. x

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You Abusive Partner Doesn’t Have A Problem With His Anger; He Has A Problem With Your Anger.

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Abuse happens in all kinds of relationships, though abusers are often men and victims are often women, we know very well that this is not always the case.

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We are looking for your stories of abuse to feature. Many small voices make one LOUD voice.

Domestic abuse damages in whatever form and here at Many Small Voices we hope to gather the stories of those who have survived abuse into one resource to help and support those who are still victims. We also hope to support survivors through recovery once the abuse has stopped because the scars are still there and will remain forever. Support after abuse is just as important.

We are not experts, just people who are passionate that domestic abuse, in whatever form it takes, must be stopped.

If you think you or someone you know needs help please take a look in our links page to find a list of organisations that strive to help support victims of abuse.