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!
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:
- Social Programs
- Law Enforcement
- Religious Faith
If you would like to know more go to:
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
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.
Light 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!
I 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.
My 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.
Live a happy life!
Joy! How important it is to sing every day, give thanks every day, find joy every day! Look around you to see what you can give thanks for in your life. These gifts come in all sizes and shapes and can be small or large.
I have been challenged by Ann Voscamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts, to list a thousand small gifts in my life right now. Dwelling on blessings is a challenge worth taking. If I persist until I have listed that many things about which to rejoice, I will have developed the habit for a lifetime. You get the idea. Try it, you will like it! I do!
You can go to my website: www.littletexassweetheart.com to see information about my book, Little Texas Sweetheart. It is about my experience of 18 years as the victim of domestic abuse and how my eight children and I became free to live good lives. That is the biggest blessing for which we are very thankful!
Here are the first ten little blessings on my list:
- Waterfall trickle at my kitchen door
- Pink and white bubble of hydrangea color
- Stained-glass glow of newly made jam in glass jars
- Treble trill of the back-yard mocking bird
- Shaggy curtains of Spanish Moss
- Homey smell of freshly mown grass
- The gift of being a mother
- The joy of being Grandmother
- The first cup of morning coffee
- A basket full of garden fresh tomatoes
Life is good!
I accompanied my 88 year-old second husband to his doctor’s appointment. He is a retired Navy Chief Petty officer who served his country for twenty years, and therefore we have medical coverage through Tri-Care. We had waiting- room waits, for two doctors, the lab, and the pharmacy. At first I was aggravated because my cell phone didn’t work in the hospital, and I had forgotten to bring my Kindle so I could read.
Then I realized it was the perfect time to think of God, meditate, and connect with Him. Then, I became aware of God in everything – mothers with adorable babies, pregnant women with miracles taking place in their wombs, proud warriors strutting around, wounded warriors with somber faces. A glorious Chief Petty officer proudly strode by. I teared up thinking of my husband’s years of service in that uniform. Then, like my Dad before me, I had to write. So, on the back of doctor’s orders I wrote this:
Moses and Miriam sang in the desert.
David sang in fields and palace halls.
Mary sang at the annunciation.
Angel’s songs greeted the birth of Christ.
Heavenly hosts sing His praises around His throne.
Thank you, Lord, for songs!
We came home with a bag full of prescriptions, and I had a song in my heart!
God designed the family to be the first department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Dads offer Justice, Leadership, and Provision. Moms are there for Nurturing, Teaching, Nursing, and Nourishing. I want all girls to know that you need to choose a really special man to be a good daddy to your children. Parental love must be so selfless. You need to mold your children into good people. It takes a mom and a dad.
I had my babies in the ’60’s and ’70’s. When I became a single mom, with five little ones under ten years old and three teen-agers, I was suddenly Mom and Dad. That is an amazing undertaking!
So, what do you do when you are a single mom with eight kids and a limited budget? You get creative! You would be surprised how entertaining a trip to the pet store can be. Those excursions were always fun. The children loved watching the fish in their colorful aquarium the cuddly puppies and kitties, the hamsters even the slithery snakes. (That’s great free entertainment!) We went to the cut-rate movies on dollar Tuesdays. We saw Star Wars, Superman and Star Trek. That was great except that our feet stuck to the floor with all the sticky candy and soft drinks spilled on the floor by other cut-rate patrons.
The best thing I did for the children was instill a love of reading into their hearts. We took full advantage of the library. I read, read, read to them. Those were precious times of sharing and closeness. Simple pleasures and lots of love are wonderful ways for a family to bond.
With love and faith in God, we can surmount incredible difficulties.