Jul. 8, 2019

Dear Mommy and Daddy (Age 6)

Dear Mommy and Daddy, I can't understand
Why you fight when my Daddy comes home
He walks in the door, you ask where he's been
And boom - out the door, he's gone, again
It makes me SOOO sad, in my little heart
'Cause he's already not home, so much
I need him to stay here, to sit on his lap
And his stubbly face to touch
So when he comes home, please don't ask where he's been
'Cause you know how it makes him so mad
And I would really like him to stay home for awhile
Please, let me spend more time with my Dad??!

Love, ...

This piece was also very cathartic for me.

In writing, reading, AND remembering, I realized I used to blame my Mother for driving my Father away. All she had to do was say, "Where were you?", when he got home, after he had disappeared for hours at a time;  and he would explode.

One time, she blocked the door, and he climbed out the sun porch window, and walked the five miles back to his business. He always went there; then would call her a few hours later to come pick him up. He usually went right to bed, after they got home.

I used to think I lived a "Norman Rockwell" childhood - now, not so much. I just read something on Facebook, the other day - "We didn't understand, as children; our parent's still had work to do on themselves." This does not excuse any of their less than stellar behaviour; but it does explain it.

My goal is to be transparent. Does this resonate with you? Anyone you know?

Have a good day, and be safe... #ENDtheSILENCEofVIOLENCE #EtSoV 

Jul. 2, 2019

The theme for our Art Exhibit, this year, was The Kaleidoscope of Domestic Violence Through a Child's Eyes. 

For this piece, I gathered lists of positive, and negative words off of Pinterest, all year.

Then I sat down to write. There are a few words I did not get off those lists, because they were words I don't normally use, but needed to be on there. (The words are all written in vibrant Sharpie Marker.) Wish you could see it, in person!!!

This was a very personal piece. The main word I needed, was SAFE...never quite achieved that in it's fullest capacity, as a child.  There was always the feeling of the dreaded, "Wait til your Father gets home."

As I wrote, there was a good bit of catharsis - my Father was a verbally abusive man. I don't know if he ever hit my Mother - I know he came close a few times; and he did push her, once. I stood up to him, that time - no idea how old I was.

At first, I was planning to fill the whole poster board; then my Friend, Saige, suggested I make a hand. Bingo!!! (Ty, Saige!!!) I took a picture of my open hand, then drew it freehand. After completing the edge words, and cutting it out, I stood it up on a chair, until I could work on it, again.

It was after I stuck it to the tri-fold board, that I noticed the hand actually looks like my Mother's hand. More catharsis, as I felt it was her blessing - it was a year, on May 28, 2019, that we lost her.

I want to personally thank Ozer Ministries, for the opportunities afforded me, both by this Blog and Website, AND the chance to "get my creative on" via the Art Exhibit. I appreciate being able to help to do my part to #ENDtheSILENCEofVIOLENCE

Have a good day, and be safe... #EtSoV 

Jun. 24, 2019

When trying to process your trauma, you must start small.

Though the word, trauma, itself, points toward something bad that happened to you; try to find ONE positive word you can focus on, and build from that foundation.

In the picture, I chose the word SAFE - this is one thing my 6-year-old-self REALLY needed, but lacked, sufficiently. God bless my Mother, and older siblings - they tried. But, in the end, they HAD to help themselves - and I totally get that!!! And, can I mention how awesome my Grandma was...she NEVER told me no, when I wanted to be with her - she truly was my BFF!!!

By using the positive word, or words, you are NOT denying the trauma happened; but this allows you to distance yourself from the feelings - thus enabling you to TRULY process, without getting caught up. As @melrobbins said in her book, "The 5 Second Rule", your "anchor" thought, which enables you to go back and procees; but can pull you back to current in the blink of an eye.

Again, I'm just giving single ideas, through this Blog. They are in NO way, exhaustive. Try and think of ways you could help yourself; but remember, if things get too hard, there is NO shame in reaching out for help - that really shows just how strong you REALLY are, as you fight FOR yourself!!!

Please keep in mind, it IS a process, which takes time...I will demonstrate that, after the Art Exhibit, when I will reveal my completed project...

Have a good day and be safe... #ENDtheSILENCEofVIOLENCE #EtSoV

Jun. 11, 2019

As I have been preparing for our Art Exhibit, on June 28, 2019 (see announcement on Ozer Ministries, Inc, Facebook page; or Upcoming Events here on the website), I have been sort of, for lack of a better term, "channeling my 6 year-old self". 

For one of my projects, entitled "Kaleidoscope of MY Childhood...", I made an open hand with the word "SAFE" in the middle of the palm, with hundreds of words written very small in different colors, completely filling in the rest of the hand.

I used a variety of words: positives - such as LOVE, PEACE, TRANQUILITY, BEAUTIFUL, etc; as well as negatives - HATE, TRAUMATIC, WAR, UGLY, etc. 

It was very cathartic for me; and got me remembering things my inner child saw that has shaped much of my adult life. 

Things that had a positive effect - my parents WERE married 64 years before my Father passed, proving love and commitment CAN get you through anything; as well as the negative effects - ie - when you have a fight with someone, and they keep hounding you to talk it out, you leave (even if you have to climb out a window, to get away). Or, your consequences for your choices/actions are ANYONE else's fault but your own - you DESERVE better than that!!! 

And I grew up in a very covert Domestic Violence situation, with no physical abuse. Imagine how kids whose parent's have the police called because of their fights, feel? Or those who are physically abused? I could go on, unfortunately...there is NO limit to what kids see, today!!!

I just want to ask you to think about how what YOU are experiencing, IS affecting your kids. No matter how much you try to keep from them; they ARE affected. They know...

Have a good day, and be safe... #ENDtheSILENCEofVIOLENCE #EtSoV 

May. 27, 2019

On this day, Memorial Day, we remember those who died fighting for our Freedom, and say, "Thank You!!!"

On this date, one year ago, I watched my Mother die, physically; after watching her die, figuratively, over many years from Alzheimer's.

There are MANY ways for people to die - physically AND figuratively. Someone who feels trapped in a traumatic situation they feel they cannot escape - be it Domestic Violence, Bullying, Sexual Assault, anything - dies a little with every traumatic event.

This is NOT something most people just "get over"; though there are those that die never acknowledging there was ever really a problem. They bulldoze through their lives, and most people look on them as "the strongest people they know", just based on what they see. I, personally, believe this behavior contributes to the Alzheimer's/dementia epidemic we seem to be having; but I will not digress.

The question I want to ask, is, are you in a situation that makes YOU feel like you're dying a little every day? There IS help available - you DO have to ask for it, however; otherwise, it's just one more episode of control in your life. Do you know someone else, that needs to hear this? Again, the choices belong to the Victims.

Do you have a child, parent, or friend that this catches your attention, regarding? I ask you to REALLY think about those dying inside, every day...

Thank you, have a good day, and be safe... #EtSoV #ENDtheSILENCEofVIOLENCE