A National Crisis

Domestic Violence has been around since the beginning of time, but in today’s world it has become so rampant that nearly everyone in the United States has been personally affected by it in some way. This scourge is heartbreaking, but help is available.  It is vital to get out the word that resources are available to victims.  We must not be silent!

The strong connection between addiction and domestic violence is obvious. The havoc wreaked upon innocent children by this violence is inexcusable and avoidable. Education is the key to recovery.

How does a victim know when it is time to go?  How can he/she find help? How does a victim stay safe before and after leaving? How do you protect your finances after leaving?  Answers and help are available.

Here are websites with information and resources that are life saving!


Addiction And Domestic Violence: A Look At The Connections

 

Talking to a Child Who Has Been Abused

 

How to Stop Bullying in Schools

 

When It’s Time to Go

 

Domestic violence against men: Know the signs

 

Staying safe before and after leaving abuse

 

12 Steps to Protect Your Finances When Leaving an Abusive Relationship

 

 

Addiction Resouce

Here is a link to a wonderful resource.  The connection between addiction and domestic violence is astounding.  This resource points victims to help and healing.  Please pass on this information to those that you know need the light this site shines on this terrible scourge.

Domestic Violence and Drug Abuse – Undeniable Connection

PIZAZZ! Book Club Review

When she was eight years old, Rose became a designated sacrificial virgin.  Her mother had recently given birth with difficulty to twin boys, against the advice of the family physician, and thereafter became bedridden.  The little daughter was to care for mother, babies, younger brothers, father, and home, and never attended school on a regular basis afterwards.  It was pretty much the rule that in case of the failure of the mother, an unmarried daughter would be pressed into service to take her place.  This was the understanding pretty much the world over at that time.  Even so aged eight was, one would have thought, too young.  

There were other female relative, including the maternal grandmother, but it seems no other arrangement was considered, or any changes made, although the father’s family was quite prosperous.  This not only deprived the child of the mothering she herself needed, and the teaching that would prepare her for domestic labor, but of the education that would enable her to take her place in her society.

Amazingly, the family survived, leaving Rose with a great hunger for learning and a grimly determined ambition to succeed in the world.  She would always strive, and although often poor, her own married family never collapsed into utter destitution.  Her father seems to have appreciated Rose, and for a long time took a real part in raising his grandchildren.

Psychological research has shown that young animals deprived of maternal care are frequently unable to nurture their own young.  In her own children’s view Rose gets a mixed report.  Besides the usual care and feeding, she made clothes, dolls and other things for them, and planned presents, parties, and treats.  They went to church, school, (Rose was vigilant about their education), were socially supervised and defended bravely by Rose when needed, but there seems to be some hesitation in naming her a ‘Good Mother’.

This may be a reflection of the current attitude towards women at that time, most probably also because Rose, who was academically gifted, was almost obsessively determined to earn needed money, and some recognition by writing.  Poor Rose! She struggled in the traditional ways, sending off her manuscripts one after another without success.  Meanwhile her children felt very neglected when they had to manage for themselves.

People need to keep growing all their lives.  When you stop learning, you are dying!  Life does not stand still.  Rose, with erratic school experiences, was not well socialized, and perhaps, too because she had grown up to be a bit unusual, was not a popular woman among her peers, although she tried hard.  Men found her more acceptable (she was pretty), but women were more critical.

At last though, her dogged determination paid off; she was able to force herself into a college, breezed through to a degree, and got a job teaching school, which she loved.  Then she found herself disastrously pregnant.  Her husband couldn’t understand why she wasn’t overjoyed! (Another failure as a woman!) After the birth of her son, Rose had to fight to get back to teaching.  Just in time!  Soon the family began to benefit from a little prosperity, and when her husband’s business trickled to a stop, they were able to live off her wages.

Rose’s saga is worth reading, and I particularly admire the honesty with which her eldest daughter examines it.  As with any other book, what the reader carries away from it will depend on the experiences of his or her own life.  I liked Rose.  She made mistakes, and her life didn’t end entirely happily, but she was a very human, loving and lovable being.  One who held my interest to the end.

Written by an anonymous Book Club Member.

A New Resource!

I have just been made aware of a fantastic resource that provides information and support to people dealing with domestic violence and abuse as well as mental abuse and addiction.  This website is a great tool in our arsenal in the fight against this terrible scourge on society.  Information and help are available for both the victim and the perpetrator.  Check it out!

Domestic Abuse, Sexual Violence and Substance Use

A Real Rainbow

http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Conservation_Camps/Camps/Rainbow/index.html

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I have once again visited this amazing facility.  Women in the California prison system who are non-violent offenders can earn early release by learning to fight fires.  I am part of the Pre-Release Program at Rainbow Honor Camp and speak to the women just before they return to society to start a new life.

This is a very fragile and pivotal time in their lives.  My story of hope and renewal resonates well with them.  I tell them my story of desperate homelessness, deprivation, and domestic violence.  I tell how my eight children and I escaped and started a new and triumphant life.  I give each woman a copy of Little Texas Sweetheart.  They are so eager to start over and build a good life.  I am there to tell them that it can be done.  I did it!  They can too!

My story illustrates the vital components of a renewed life:

  • Friends
  • Counseling
  • Social Programs
  •  Law Enforcement
  • Religious Faith
  • Education

If you would like to know more go to:

http://www.littletexassweetheart.com to order the book, or you may order at http://www.amazon.com  The book is also available on kindle.

 

Thriving!

My children and I are much more than survivors.  We are embracing a new life, leaving darkness and despair behind us.  We want that joy for anyone who is suffering in the darkness of domestic violence.

There are four components to becoming free that I want every woman to know about.  These are the essential elements of how my family and I became free and whole.

 

  • A connection to God.
  • Close ties with family and friends.
  • A good counselor.
  • Help from society.

Once I allowed God into my life, I had an ally who goes through every trial and problem with me.  He comforts me and opens the way for me to learn what I need to know about how to live a happy life.  Seek God!

Our abuser kept us isolated away from family and friends. Everyone should have a network of friends, and every woman should definitely have a sisterhood of woman friends who care about her and understand her from the female perspective.  Family ties are essential.  Our society has become fragmented so that the structure of mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, cousins is not always as close as it should be.  Keep friends and family close to your heart.

My pathway to healing really opened up in a practical sense when I started working with a good counselor who helped me to see that I could be strong and make good choices.  He helped me to see that my woes were partly my responsibility.  I learned to stand up for myself and to strongly oppose and escape abuse.  With his help, I realized that I deserve better than a life of sorrow.

There is no shame in getting the help that an enlightened society can give to the downtrodden.  Law enforcement is there to help an abused woman who seeks help.  There is aid available to women who need assistance and a new start in life.  Education is very important to building a new life.  If you are serious about improving your life, you can get the training needed for a way to support yourself and your family.  You can become independent.

Don’t stay stuck in a life of misery! Realize that you and your children deserve to be happy.  Be a Thriving Survivor!

The information contained in books by Julia Chadwell,  Little Texas Sweetheart and PIZAZZ!  give you important information on how to start a new life.  Both books are available at http://www.amazon.com and at http://www.littletexassweetheart.com

Here is another source of help

http://www.datingadvice.com/directories/domestic-violence-resources/Texas

AMAZING!

When I retired from my twenty-year career as an elementary school teacher, I wondered what I would do with myself.  Would I be bored?  Would I be lonely?My then eight-year-old grandson said, “Now, let me get this straight, they are going to pay Grandma for doing nothing?”  It turns out that I have never been busier or happier in my entire life.  I have found my calling in life, and that is as a result of a long and harrowing journey I took in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

I really did not want anyone to know about what had happened to me and my eight children.  I felt embarrassed and stupid to have been a battered and homeless woman. When I realized that telling my story and the transformational presence of Jesus Christ in my life, lives could be changed and rescued, I gladly told all in my book, Little Texas Sweetheart.

I know that God has led me through that eighteen-year experience so that I can tell of His power in my life.  He was there with me the whole time even though I was not always aware of His presence.  I learned so much that can be helpful to victims and to those who know and love them and yet don’t know how to help.

Darkness entered my life whenI was ten years old.  Over a two-year period I was sexually molested by a handsome teacher.  That time of terror ended with the death of that man.  As children are prone to do, I felt responsible for his death, and guilty about everything that had happened.  I had no one to tell me that I was a victim.  There were no school counselors, and out of false pride I couldn’t tell the pastor of our church or my parents that I was less than perfect.  So, I buried what had happened deep in my heart.  I presented myself to the world as “Little Miss Perfect.”

I felt unloved, and had very low self-esteem which I hid from the world.  When a child is violated she loses all sense of self, of value.  She has no idea how to set boundaries, or even what boundaries are.  This led directly to my falling prey to an insistent young man in college who stalked me until I gave in.  I soon thought I was pregnant.  In the 1960’s, pregnancy out of wedlock was a terrible stigma for the unfortunate, unmarried young woman and her family.

To hide what had happened, I agreed to marry him.  Two weeks after we were married, I found that I was not pregnant.  I had no one to counsel me, and the attitude of society was such that I kept quiet and trudged on with that unhappy marriage.

This union led to the downward spiral of abuse, it went from verbal and mental abuse directed toward me, to the first physical battery when I was pregnant with our third child.  Soon after the birth of that child, things went from bad to worse and we ended up homeless.  I was forced to beg at churches, which was a huge humiliation for me.  We dragged around the North American continent from one harrowing adventure to the next.  You can’t make these things up!  Each story in Little Texas Sweetheart is more bizarre than the last.

The point of my book is what I learned through that incredible time of darkness and violence.  God has taken my experiences and used them for good.  As soon as I was willing to share what I learned, many people have been helped.

Candle in the Darkness

images-1Light the candle of hope and joy in someone’s life today.  Put some cash in the Bell Ringer’s bucket, smile at an elderly person in the store, give some food to a homeless person on the street corner, treat the stranger behind you in line at the coffee shop.

We are so blessed to live in the United States of America.  We have freedoms not enjoyed by everyone in the world.  Let’s act like the blessed people we are!

If you think of others and their needs, you will find more happiness than you will ever find in the pursuit of mere things.  Material things just bring you more stuff to worry about.  Invest in people and meeting the needs and hopes of others, and you will find contentment and peace that you never thought possible.

Follow the star of hope and peace in this Holy Season.  The brilliance, joy, and beauty of Christmas are to be found in the hearts of those who pass on the miracle of Christmas to others.

Merry Christmas to you and yours! 

 

Homeless in America

autumn-black-dark-decoration-41200I still occasionally wake in the night in a cold sweat.  I have just had the worst possible nightmare.  I am once again homeless, and my little children and I have only an old car for shelter.  We are cold, it is raining, and it is dark.  They call this condition Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  It is terrible.

I am so glad to wake from that terror.  I lie in my cosy bed and try to get in touch with my new reality.  I am safe, warm, and well-fed.  My loving second husband sleeps beside me.  It was not always the way it is now.

In my memory, much worse than being cold and hungry, is the brutal reality of having no home, of belonging in no particular place, having no spot that is your own territory.  The terrible memory of being savagely taken from home and safety and “hitting the road” is a specter that haunts my dreams.

This cold misery only visits me once in a while now.  I think that last night’s visit was because of the coming holidays.  Home and family are so important and precious to us all.  There are many families out there in America that are living what I once lived.  They are without hope.  According to the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, three and one-half million American are homeless right now.  Of these people 1.35 million are children.

Please, let’s all find it in our hearts during the coming holiday season to reach out to the unfortunate.  Any kindness we do for the downtrodden is done as unto Jesus.  Donate to a helping charity, serve at a homeless shelter, and reach out a caring and helping hand to those in need.  You’d be surprised how many of these people don’t want just a handout, they want a way out of the terrible situation they are enduring.  Helping the less fortunate now can give them new hope and encouragement.

Your holidays will be more blessed and joyous as a result of caring for our less fortunate fellow Americans.  Click on this link to find out how to help.

http://www.datingadvice.com/directories/domestic-violence-resources/Texas

October is Domestic Abuse Awareness Month!

Scan 1My book, Little Texas Sweetheart, tells of the scourge of domestic violence from my personal experience.  The best thing about it is that I became free and now have information that can help others to be free.

Did you know that there are signs and symptoms that point to a potential for domestic abuse?  Too often women continue to accept and condone behaviors in their partners that to them seem normal, but to observers those actions are sure signs that something is wrong.

Does your partner take pleasure in embarrassing you or making fun of you?  Does he/she put down your accomplishments or tell you that you are not smart enough to make decisions?  Do you often put up with intimidation or threats? Have you been grabbed, pushed or shoved?  If your partner claims that the influence of drugs or alcohol was what caused them to treat you wrongly or blame you for anything and everything, you need to take a serious look at what is happening in your relationship.

If control is a big issue, and you have to constantly report your whereabouts, make excuses for your partner’s behavior, or try to avoid making him/her angry, you are in trouble!  If you feel inadequate, frightened, frozen, afraid to leave,  You Need Help!

Think about the fact that you are worthy of having a happy free life.  Your happiness does matter.  You need to protect yourself and get help.  If there are children involved, it is your duty to protect them and provide a safe environment for them.

In order to protect yourself and those precious to you here are some things you need to do if you are still with your abuser.

  • Have a safe room to retreat to when an argument happens.
  • Make a list of safe people to contact.
  • Keep a cell phone and some change on you at all times.
  • Memorize important phone numbers.
  • Have a code word with a friend or neighbor that signals you are in trouble.
  • Keep a bag packed with essentials for 2-3 days.  Include copies of important papers, necessary medications and account numbers.

Remember, you and your children have a right to be safe and happy.  There is help available.  Make it your priority to seek help.

Call the Domestic Abuse Hotline for support and information about resources in your area at 1-800-7233 or visit the website at www.thehotline.org

Above all, know that if you will take steps to reach out for help, it is available.  Your life can improve.  I know, my life has been transformed because I sought help.

Read about my experience at www.littletexassweetheart.com and order my book at amazon.com or on Kindle.  HPIM5116

Live a happy life!