Life after Domestic Violence

Life after Domestic Violence

While you’re living in fear, being controlled, degraded, assaulted, abused and isolated it can feel like a hell that will never end. Domestic Violence presents physical, emotional and mental pain that changes who you are and changes who you were going to be. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

I’m out now. I’m 7 years out after being in my relationship for 14 years. And the biggest mistake I made was thinking my life would be ‘normal’ once I left. There is nothing normal about my life as I know it now. But it certainly isn’t the hell that I once endured.

Acceptance

I had to learn to accept what I lived. It happened. It was done. I couldn’t change it. Ever. I had to understand and fully accept that it wasn’t my fault nor did it have to define me. I was free to choose what happened next and what to write in my next chapter. I could make different choices on how I wanted to live my life. And then followed through with those new choices because I accepted that I could.

Professional help

Over the years I’ve engaged counsellors, psychologists, doctors, alternative practitioners, medication and lots and lots of personal development reading and support. It has been imperative in my healing journey that I spoke out loud to professionals. Not to relive my past or the traumatic events in detail but to help me gain perspective and gather my thought processes together. To help me learn and develop strategies to calm my negative thoughts, to ground myself, to be mindful and present. I allowed others to support me and hold space for me while I activated my own healing mechanisms and processes.

Healing

I had to be proactive about my healing. I had to do the work. I continue to do the work. I meditate, write, journal, rest, read, listen to my body and my inner guidance. I walk barefoot on the Earth, I exercise, I drink water. I practise self-care by booking massages and getting my hair done. I try not to feel guilty or shame myself if I eat ‘bad’ food. I say no when I need to. I take steps back from negative and toxic people around me to protect my own energy. I do what’s best for me, most of the time. I acknowledge it’s a never ending journey and I remind myself that the joy is in the journey rather than the destination.

Share your story

Silence hides violence.Tell your story. Write your story. Help yourself by helping someone else. People think they’re alone until they hear about someone else’s story. You could make a real difference and help change someone’s life by sharing your own story. You could make another human being feel seen and heard. You could spark their own power to get help and begin their healing journey. You could inspire someone else to tell their own story. There is power in the spoken word. There is great power in telling your story and being heard.

Through my acceptance, professional help, healing and sharing my story I have grown confidence and self worth I never thought I’d ever have. There is a peace and happiness inside that I never knew was possible. And I’m so grateful to be alive to use my voice and tell my story..

Self care and another reason for a massage

Self care and another reason for a massage

Many years ago I felt a horrendous pain in my shoulder (muscle) and can’t remember doing much to aggravate it.

I even went to hospital but they couldn’t find any immediate causes of the pain.

I made an appointment with an Osteopath I knew and asked for his opinion.

“You’re very tight up here, relax your shoulders, relax…relax more” pointing to my whole shoulder and upper back region “Do you work at a desk and hunch over a lot?”

I didn’t. He mentioned a couple more things that didn’t resonate and then said “You could be regularly holding tension” to which I laughed and replied “Like when my exhusband’s car pulled into the driveway and I had to walk on eggshells?”

And I stopped laughing when he said Yes.

It was after that appointment that I became aware of just how many times throughout the day I clenched my jaw or held my breath or tensed my shoulders or bit my fingernails.

It was a lot and so became my love of massages. A massage for me not only works my muscles but gives me a whole hour of self care including a great chat and the opportunity to relax, daydream, doze and enjoy.

Right now unclench your jaw, relax your shoulders and take a deep breath in and out and remind yourself that you e got this.

Always remember that you are important and you are enough 💜

PS Leanne Semple Massage Therapist if you’re anywhere near the South Coast NSW

Why I Stayed and where to buy it

Why I Stayed and where to buy it

True story of a Domestic Violence relationship. I once believed the only way I’d get out of my relationship was in a body bag. I wrote this book to assist my healing and to answer the question I was asked most often “Why did you stay for so long?” I hope to create awareness of abusive relationships by telling my story of how it began, why I stayed for as long as I did and what I had to do to start the healing process. It is my vision to educate some and give hope to others. This is proof that there is life after Domestic Violence

Here are some direct links or there’s an option to buy direct from me if you’re in Australia – no additional postage costs, no waiting times.

https://m.barnesandnoble.com/s/Why+I+stayed+lisa+Lee

https://www.angusrobertson.com.au/books/why-i-stayed-lee-lisa/p/9781925993219?zsrc=go-nons&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI2sjaqpe45AIVgwsrCh38sg2WEAQYASABEgJVgfD_BwE

https://www.booktopia.com.au/why-i-stayed-lee-lisa/book/9781925993219.html

Or if you’re in Australia you can buy direct from me for AUD$15 and I’ll post it same day to you

https://www.paypal.com/webapps/shoppingcart?flowlogging_id=c150a64f427c0&mfid=1567635133808_c150a64f427c0#/checkout/openButton

Thank you for supporting the awareness of DV and empowerment for life after.

Reach for a better feeling thought

Reach for a better feeling thought

If you ask me who my favourite spiritual teacher is, without a doubt, it’s Abraham Hicks. Abraham ignited my healing journey and continues to be my go-to for every problem I come across.

The message is centred around feeling. It’s reaching for a better feeling thought.

It’s understanding that everything that you’ve ever wanted is because you think you will feel better in the having of it

It’s about feeling better and how to reach that place.

Are you hurting? You want to feel peace.

Are you angry? You want to feel joy.

Are you in physical pain? You want to feel healthy and comfortable.

Are you confused? You want to feel clarity.

Are you lost? You want to feel stability and security.

Once you know which feeling you’re reaching for you can begin choosing better feeling thoughts.

It could be as simple as adding ‘yet’ to the phrase to soften the emotion.

I want to feel peace and I don’t….yet but I will. I want to feel peace and I don’t right now but I know I can get there. And until I get there I won’t hate on myself for not feeling peace.

I will love myself until I do feel peace.

Then notice the moments where you do feel peace. In meditation, singing along with your favourite song, in the shower where all you can hear is the water flowing. Bask in those moments. Milk those moments and watch the moments gain momentum and grow.

Always remember that you are important and you are enough 💜

How I’m trying to stop the cycle of Domestic Violence

How I’m trying to stop the cycle of Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence can be a cycle. Girls who grow up with abuse are more likely to find themselves in relationships with abusers and boys who grow up with abuse are more likely to become perpetrators. It’s a case of the unhealthy narratives they’ve become accustomed to, their views and tainted understanding of what ‘normal’ relationships are.

During my abusive marriage I thought I’d hidden a lot of it from my children. After I left my abusive marriage, I realised that my children had seen, heard and felt so much more than I’d realised. I remember constantly thinking and praying. “I hope I left early enough that Domestic Violence won’t be apart of their futures”.

I hoped I had gotten out early enough that my daughter didn’t ever find herself being treated the way I was and I hoped I had left early enough that my sons didn’t think that was the way you treated someone you vowed to love and protect. Rather than sitting on my hands nervously wishing, hoping and praying, I made the decision to actively try to change their trajectory.

I’m honest with them. They have seen their father yell, rant, punch holes, grab me and I’m honest with them that his actions are not okay. I don’t belittle him by saying he’s a terrible person but I do acknowledge his actions are wrong and criminal. I have suggested to them that their father should speak to a mental health professional. That also opens the gates for me to explain how important it is to speak to a mental health professional if they find themselves struggling at any point in the future, just like I would take them to the doctor for the flu or a chest infection.

Reach out for help. It takes a village to raise a child and it takes some professional help to support a child through emotional trauma. Utilise your General Practitioner, local mental health support organisations, counsellors and child and family centres whenever you feel it to be necessary. Children who have lived in trauma may have triggers that spark huge responses, coping mechanisms for survival, unable to self regulate or various other alternate strategies that served them then but hinder them now. Do not be ashamed to seek help. It could save their lives.

I encourage my children to embrace every single one of their emotions instead of suppressing them. I acknowledge that the emotions they feel are valid. This includes anger, frustration, sadness etc but I encourage them to be proactive rather than reactive with their emotions. This means teaching them to self regulate or control their emotions. It is okay to feel angry, however, it is not okay to hurt someone or say something nasty because you are angry. You do this by role modelling to your children how to recognise, acknowledge, sit with and redirect your own emotions.

I provide healthy outlets for their anger, frustration and energy. My children have played team sport and other activities for most of their lives. It’s a physical outlet where they come into contact with other positive adult role models. They get to run, move, be active and also learn how to accept praise and support, take direction and respect their coach. My boys have found many positive male role models and my daughter other positive female role models this way.

My older sons have access to a weight bench, hand weights and various indoor gym equipment. My younger sons have access to a plastic, water filled punching bag which is in a bedroom. Before I bought the punching bag, they used a pillow effectively. I suggested screaming into it or punching it. It helped and so I bought the lightweight punching bag to add to the mix.

Again, the emphasis is on the emotion being valid but it never being okay to verbally or physically lash out at someone to redirect that emotion.

I have immersed myself in my own healing which directly and indirectly benefits them and their futures. Anne Lamott said “The most profound thing we have to offer our children is our own healing”. I practice meditation and mindfulness every day and I encourage them to as well. I have embarked on my own journey towards peace, self confidence, compassion and happiness. I’ve found our whole existence to be a little bit calmer and little more deliberate instead of just ebbing and flowing like being on the rollercoaster of life.

Above all, be kind to yourself and don’t be too hard on yourself for the past. Everyone makes mistakes. It’s what you do from here that makes the difference. We do what we feel is best at the time given our specific circumstances, situations, abilities and capabilities. “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better” Maya Angelou.