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..

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.

How’s your Mental Health?

How’s your Mental Health?

I’m a huge advocate of reaching out to someone, anyone, when you feel your mental health in decline.

Part of removing the secrecy and taboo-ness of the Mental Health topic is to talk more freely about it and acknowledge that it’s ok to not be ok. People struggle and that’s ok but you should reach out and take the little steps to try and move forward. Day by day, hour by hour if that feels more manageable.After 3 months of two very sore partially erupted wisdom teeth, 2 painful extractions and a long, hard recovery period coupled with single mum life and no breaks from my parenting and adulting responsibilities, my car at the mechanics and my sons car breaking down last night (which I’ve been driving in my car’s absence), work stresses, unable to get to work today and feeling like I’ve got the weight of the world on my shoulders means today is the point where I’m publicly acknowledging that I’m struggling right now.I have been reaching out to my beautiful soul sister over the last few weeks and I’m sure she’s noticed a decline in my mental health. I’ve had good bits here and there but the constant pain means my mood easily drops when something slightly less than desirable happens.I’ve been up since 4.50am, woken with tooth/jaw pain and I’ve had more than a few emotional moments this morning but now I need to take control of what happens from here.Right now I’m sitting in front of my current puzzle (pictured, my favourite hobby) with a coffee and I’m taking slow, deep breaths while I’m typing.I intend to finish the puzzle today and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment.

My house and washing is in shambles due to extraction, pain and recovery, rain and the fact that kids live here and while most people would advise to leave it, I know that my mood improves with a clean and organised house.I intend to set a timer of 5 minutes in every room of the house, do what I can and move on.There are several important phone calls I have been putting off which I will do today.I need to find a friend who can drive me and my son over to his car so the NRMA can come out (his level of membership meant that they wouldn’t come out last night because he wasn’t with me) and hopefully get some answers with that.I will do a guided meditation today and step outside to enjoy the fresh air, sunshine and beautiful surroundings to ground myself and recharge.From there we’ll see but for now I have a plan to try and get out of this funk.It’s ok to not be ok. But please reach out to someone and ask for support 💜

What can you achieve in 7 years?

What can you achieve in 7 years?

Yesterday was 7 years since I’d left my husband, the father of my kids and the only life I’d ever known. I needed an AVO and police intervention after years of domestic violence including verbal and physical abuse. When I left him I luckily had a lot of support around me but I had zero self esteem and had no idea how I would manage life as a single mum after being with him since I was 15.

In the last 7 years I have been raising 5 kids by myself and doing a pretty good job. They’re all good kids and I take all the credit for it.

I’ve taken them to the snow, on several cruises, on their 1st overseas trip and across NSW camping and fourbying. We’re roadtripping to Uluru in a few months too!

I go to school events, footy games, netball carnivals, take them moto riding and love them fiercely.

I got divorced, finalised property settlement, worked my ass off and sacrificed a lot to buy my exhusband out and keep the house to give my children security and stability. I then renovated the house, sold the house and moved down the coast in search of a better life for us. We found it. It’s gorgeous down here.

I bought a block of land and moved into our brand new house 12 months ago.

I’ve graduated Uni with a Bachelor of Community Development and currently at Uni studying Law to maintain my employability and ensure our futures.

I self published a book on my DV experience, sold copies around the world and about to start collaborating with a company who shares my vision.

I’ve lost 5 kilos, worked on me and my healing and gained self confidence and self esteem I never imagined I’d ever have. I’ve learned to love who I am, flaws and all, and so damn excited for what the future holds.

I’ve never been happier ❤️

Vision Board

Vision Board

I love a good Vision Board. There’s something powerful about seeing your goals in your own handwriting and/or seeing the image of your goal and imagining yourself there.

My latest Vision Board is a May 2019 creation and I’m going to share my Manifestation Journey as I achieve everything on it.

From seeing Abraham Hicks and Kerwin Rae in person to selling more copies of my book and becoming an inspirational speaker. Visiting Uluru, The Elephant Nature Park in Thailand, The Great Barrier Reef, yoga, a Grabber Blue Ford Mustang and manifesting my soul mate into my life. It’s going to be a beautiful and exciting journey.

My YouTube channel can be found by clicking this link here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2tYgoNF7TyHi7IsjCvwLWw where I’m making videos of My Manifestation Journey in raw, unedited form shot on my iPhone 6S in my bedroom and walk in robe. You’re seeing the journey from the bottom to the top. You’ll get to see how I do it, how I manifest everything into my life.

Why Do They Stay?

Why Do They Stay?

This was one of my first posts on Lisa’s Sanctuary. It’s a small insight into why women stay in controlling and abusive relationships long after you think they should have left.

My mission is to create awareness of Domestic Violence and empower young women and men to be the change and make a difference.

Sadly the statistics haven’t changed very much 😞

*****

In Australia, at least one woman is killed by a current partner or ex-partner every week. Every single week. So if these men are capable of such violence, why do women stay? Such an easy question to ask, not so easy to answer. Women stay with violent and abusive men for a range of reasons and unless you’ve been there, you just can’t understand.

Relationships rarely begin with a display of verbal abuse, shoving, hitting and controlling behaviour. It’s something that creeps up over time. To begin with women are made to feel like they’re making it up or blowing it out of proportion “I never said it like that, you’re hearing things” and “Do you really believe I would do/say something like that? Wow, you mustn’t know me at all.” The verbal abuse continues either bluntly or subtly for a while before the first physical incident occurs and he’s so unbelievably sorry, it’ll never happen again and he’s so sweet and attentive. She believes him. She so badly wants to believe him. After all, she never knew he was capable of physically striking her so it has to be a once off due to all of the stress he’s under.She’s in love with him. He was amazing in the beginning. “He used to take me out to dinner, buy me flowers, tell me how beautiful I looked so where has this telling me what I can and can’t wear come from? He never acted like that in the beginning.” It becomes a strange concept to grapple with. A man who abuses, controls and isolates his partner didn’t begin his relationship that way. Denial plays its part because it’s hard to understand where his new persona has come from. Maybe it’s just stress? He has been working hard lately, maybe his boss is giving him a hard time? She makes excuses trying to explain his change in behaviour. She’s trying to give meaning to who he has become. She’ll just try and keep the peace, try and make him more comfortable, go about her day and hope things go back to normal, that he goes back to normal. But this is his new normal now unfortunately.By the time she identifies that she is experiencing verbal, emotional, sexual and/or physical abuse she may have been deliberately isolated “I don’t know why you want to go and see her. She’s a whore” and “I can’t believe you’re friends with someone like that” or a blunt statement “I don’t like her and I don’t want you to hang out with her anymore.”Either she pulls back from her support network or they just drift away as her relationship takes a different course. Well meaning friends might gently persuade her that what she’s experiencing isn’t right and tell her to leave but if that causes her shame she’ll stop answering the phone and make excuses to skip social occasions. She wants to avoid any shame, embarrassment, pity and finger pointing at all costs. A lot of her energy goes into getting through the day and home on her own feels safer.Her family may be bolder and call him out on his behaviour. Arguments occur, conflict arises and he forbids her from seeing her disrespectful family members or tells her she must choose. He’s her partner, they share a house together, he’s the father of her children and she can’t take their Dad away from them. She has limited options. She chooses him for the sake of her children and for peace. Short lived peace though.As the arguing continues and intensifies the control tightens and the name calling and vitriol occurs more frequently. Even a strong woman becomes quite downtrodden when she is constantly referred to as dumb, fat, ugly, nagging, bitch, slut, stupid. It’s hard not to let words affect your self esteem and eat into your soul. She begins to believe him. She feels useless, worthless and she doesn’t think she can do anything right.Everything seems so overwhelming. Leaving becomes too hard to a worn down woman because where does she go? Family members have offered their support in the past but how can she uproot her children from their bedrooms and home and cram them into a small shared space with family? He’s already told her that he’s not leaving, if she doesn’t like it then she has to be the one to leave. She may or may not be working but she’s always shared the finances and the costs of the house and the children with him. She doesn’t have the means to continue the same lifestyle and pay mortgage/rent on her own. Finances play a big part in if women stay or leave. Statistics show a large number of women will return to an abusive relationship purely for financial support for their children.Maybe she has reached out before. Maybe she wasn’t believed because he’s such a model citizen, he’s a great friend who helps everyone when he can and he’s so charming, nice, helpful….are you sure you didn’t provoke him? Maybe he’s just under a lot of stress? She just got shut down and she won’t mention it again now.She also hopes he will change, that it is just a phase because she knows the man he was when they met, the man he can be. She prays he finds himself again and they can go back to being a loving couple and a loving, happy family.A lot of women hear threats of harm. He’ll threaten to keep the children from her if she leaves, threaten to harm their pets or family members, threaten to self harm and threaten to hunt her down and kill her if she does dare to leave. You have no idea what goes on behind closed doors and she has no idea if he is really capable of following out his threats. Does she want to find out?The most dangerous time for a woman living in an abusive relationship is when she’s planning to leave or just after she’s left. It’n not as simple as just walking out the door and leaving. Many will look over their shoulders and tense up every time the phone rings for years to come. Many struggle mentally for the rest of their lives. They have experienced trauma and develop post traumatic stress disorder. Some won’t make it. Women don’t just become safe when they leave the relationship. They are killed by their ex-partners or their demons get the better of them and they take their own lives to escape the pain.She stays for lots of reasons. Many you can’t comprehend unless you’ve been there.
‘Why I Stayed’ is my personal account of a domestic violence relationship. It takes you through my life, the beginning, why I stayed, how I left and the healing I’ve done since then. It can be purchased by download the Kindle app to your device and buying it here:
https://www.amazon.com/Why-I-Stayed-Lisa-Lee/dp/1549551345If you are in an abusive relationship and want to get out, get in contact with a local support organisation or ring a national helpline for advice, make a plan, assess your safety and remain vigilant, find your support network, engage help.If you have left an abusive relationship and are struggling, please get in contact with your local support agencies – that’s what they’re there for, reach out, find a counsellor, love yourself and know that there is life after domestic violence.

Goal Setting

Goal Setting

Goal setting begins with something you want to achieve. Do you want to land a new job? Do you want to finish your course? Save a specific amount of money? Learn a new skill? Complete an thrill seeking adventure? Go on a holiday? Buy a new car?

Whatever it is, you need to write it down!! I cannot stress that enough. There is something very powerful that happens in your mind when you see your goal in your own handwriting. And again, write it down, in your own handwriting and put it where you will see it regularly. Stick it to your bedroom mirror, on the back of the toilet door, in your car. You need to see it.

Follow the SMART principles to create a realistic goal that you will be motivated to achieve.

Is it specific?
Goals like I want a new car or lots of money aren’t specific enough. Which car do you want to buy? How much money do you want to earn? What industry do you want a new job in? What is the skill you want to learn? Make it specific and also consider your why factor. You’ll be much more motivated to achieve a goal if you attach a why statement to it such as I want to quit smoking to improve my breathing ability and health.

Is it measurable?
It’s not enough to set a goal like I want to be happy or successful because it’s hard to measure when you get there. Setting a goal like I want to add 10 clients to my business in the next 12 months is measureable because when you hit that 10th client, you’ll be there.
Your goal should also be something meaningful because you’ll be more motivated to achieve it. Goals to do with health are usually more meaningful especially if you’ve had a health scare.

Is it attainable?
Your goal should be realistic and achievable. I want to earn $100,000 in the next week may not be realistic if you’re unemployed or on a fixed income, that’s more of a wish, but I want to earn $100,000 in 5 years time due to promotions and increased sales is a more realistic goal.

Is it relevant?
Is it something you can manage to achieve in your current lifestyle? A goal of I want to become a best selling author won’t be relevant if you hate writing. Just as I want to travel the world on my own may not quite work if you have a young family.

Is there a time frame?
Goals are much more achievable if you set a time frame for them. A goal of I want to visit Italy by 2019 is more motivating than I want to travel the world at some point in my future. Put a time limit on it to push you towards getting there.

Remember that your goals are not just about the destination but the fun along the way, the lessons learned and the person you grow into on your journey.

What’s your goal?