24/7 Hotlines: Call or text 988 or text 741741

Uncomfortable, For Now.

**I posted this blog on March 23rd, and accidentally deleted it while editing** Repost**
March 23rd, 2018

I hate where I live.

Yesterday, as a group, we were told that we would be on lockdown. For three weeks. Three weeks trapped in the house, being punished for the actions of the other women I live with.
I feel angry, so incredibly angry.
And I want to scream and be juvenile; I feel the strong urge to act out, show them how stupid and senseless this is.
But I am trying so very hard to resist this urge.
I am reminding myself that what is most important, is my daughter, and her wellbeing. I am going to remind myself that she will not realize how unhappy I am unless I show her. But I am struggling.

I live in a shelter, and I am constantly being judged based on the assumption that I have wound up here by some wrong-doing I have committed.
In reality, I came here as a result of domestic violence.

I lived in my own apartment, paid my bills, and had a savings account.
And then my relationship changed. Or maybe it didn’t really change, maybe I just woke up one day.
My awakening happened so gradually that I rejected each sign that I should leave.
And when I tried to look at it, it was only for a moment.

Slowly, the savings account disappeared. My belongings were taken or broken. I was convinced that my friends and family were horrible and no good for me. And I was no good, too.
I was promiscuous, crazy, a druggie. I flirted with everyone I spoke with. Said too much, was so embarrassing and stupid. Dramatic. I was so lucky to be loved by him and would never be loved by anyone else. I was so hard to love, I wasn’t too likeable. He was special for putting up with me.
And sometimes, I was a good mom, I tried my best, even though I was usually still bad. I was good company sometimes.
I believed it all, and never questioned it.

He handed me a mask, and I taped it to my face without any thought. At some point, I forgot it was just a mask.
Then I realized I was unhappy, and as I realized one thing was off, it all suddenly came slamming down in front of me.

And then something scary happened.
It wasn’t the first time.
But it pushed me out, I had been looking for a good excuse to leave anyways, but this was a reason to run.
And so I did.

I looked back a lot at first.
And now, months later, I feel happy. I’m feel proud. I am beginning to feel like myself again.
I still see him, talk to him, I still think of him as my friend, sometimes I think maybe I love him. Sometimes I hate him, so much. But things feel weirdly normal, and I am ok.

I cannot wait to leave this place, this dark angry place. This shelter is hard to be at.
But I remember that nothing lasts forever.

I remember staying up late at night, crying, laying next my sleeping baby because I felt so trapped. And I wanted to escape, and get out but I didn’t know how and I didn’t even know if I had the right to feel that way. And then, slowly but suddenly, I did. I set my intention, and I left. And I know that nothing lasts forever, and that is especially true for things that are painful and uncomfortable.

Life is not supposed to be good always.

And it is not bad always, and it won’t be. One day soon, Willow and I will wake up in our own bed, in our own home and we will be happy and comfortable and at peace.

(My beautiful Bear a few months ago around Christmas)

To the Moon and back

My name is Eliza, I am 22 years old and have a 7-month-old daughter, named Willow.
My life is certainly different in almost every way than I had once imagined it might be. Struggling with mental illness throughout high school, my focus was blurred and my vision of myself and the world seemed an abysmal tomb of hopeless sorrow and pain. After a very proud graduation, 6 years in the making, I thought I had begun to creep from the shadows and began to feel ‘normal’. This feeling of normalcy was a great relief, although it was short lived. I soon found myself overwhelmed with a full-time schedule at college and work, coupled with a life that continued to rush past me at speeds I could not keep up with, despite my efforts. I turned inward, and reached for drugs, alcohol, and self harm to give me relief from life, which seemed to berate and beat me until I was left laying in the dirt, begging for mercy. A deep sadness and resentment towards the world and everyone in it filled my being. Finally, I could no longer stand it and sought help. After 45 days of detox and rehab, I emerged, beaten and wary- but grateful for both my life and sobriety.
Soon after coming home, I met someone, and quickly rushed into a relationship. We officially started dating in April of 2016. By July 6th, 2016 I was 7 weeks pregnant. Feeling I could not face the thought of abortion, I decided I would have my baby. Looking back, its a decision I made quickly, and without brutal honesty with either myself or my boyfriend. Nonetheless, I committed, and though many urged me to terminate my pregnancy, I continued to move forward- sure I was making the right decision. Nine months later, on February 26th, I gave birth to a beautiful, 8 pound 6 oz, girl, Willow Moon. After less than five minutes of crying, she laid silently on my chest and took in the world for hours.
Five months later, my relationship with her dad had been crumbling for what felt like years. How long it actually took, I don’t remember, all I remember are the feelings. Sadness and anger. Suddenly, I was forced to decide to leave or stay in a situation were I feared for our safety at times, and our happiness constantly. Willow Moon and I took what we could, and left quickly. We now live together in less than 100 square feet at a shelter for pregnant women and mothers. And battling life together, we try to be brave and learn what we can from each other. This is our journey to the Moon and back.


“I speak nothing because the words I say don’t mean anything to anyone maybe some one or people I see nothing because I’m not allowed to see nothing or show any emotion physical or mentally, I can’t speak how I feel. I can’t vent what’s on my mind. I can’t go to see no one. All I am allowed to do is sit at home and see my kitchen bed floor bathroom. my friends are not allowed to come over and see me they can only speak through silence behind a screen but cannot see me on video while my bf is here nor be on my phone to speak. I handle what I need to handle by obeying and shutting up cause if I ask why I get lecture or hit if I see something wrong and say the truth when he don’t like it. I am who I am and I try to be and work on finding myself hopefully getting my child back and seeking my son away from his abusive father to make my child happy.” -Anonymous

Teen Dating Violence Survivor

Hey guys! February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. So with that, I figured I’d open up about my experience as a survivor of a domestic violence relationship.

*Name changed to protect the privacy of the individual. Because I’ve gotten to a place in my life where exposing doesn’t result in healing, that comes from within for me.

His name was JC*. When I first met him, he was SO charming. He was kind, compassionate, funny, and overall a great guy. We started off being friends first and then we transitioned into a relationship. I was 16 when I first started officially dating him.

JC always complimented me and made me feel so special. However, slowly, he started to change.

JC started to become very jealous, possessive, and controlling. However, he would always make it seem innocent. For instance, he would tell me how I should dress and then make it seem as if he had good intentions behind it. He would say in a soft tone, “Hey babe listen, I think you shouldn’t wear a tank top so revealing because men stare at you and you deserve to be looked at for your insides, not the outsides.” It sounded nice, and although my tank top wasn’t very revealing at all since I dress very conservative, I would listen to him and believe his good intentions. Little did I know that it was a form of control that was going to take a turn for worse.

He would continue in his soft tones and good intentions, but he cranked his control up a notch. He started saying things like, “You should do your homework later so that we can have more time to spend with each other because I just miss you so much.” I believed and followed all of his wishes and suggestions. I think I did it because I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. I also had self-esteem issues and a twisted view of love, so I slowly became his puppet.

Then, his tone changed after a few months. Once he started to gain some control, he would then make himself a victim and I was the one who was wrong. JC started to say cruel things to me and started to make me feel terrible about myself. One time he said, “Ally you can’t wear that because you make yourself look like a whore and you have a boyfriend.” He went from being nice, to being rude. Then he would start to tell me what I could and could not do. Slowly but surely he started taking everything away from me.

The progression of his abuse became worse as time went on and I became almost possessed by him. Looking back, it was a lot similar to how addiction took over me too. I remember when he started to become more verbally abusive by calling me names all the time. He literally called me “cunt” as if it was my first name. I was constantly being called stupid, worthless, ugly, fat, etc. The worst part of it was that I started to believe it myself.

Then he laid his hands on me. That was a progression in itself. He would first grab my wrist and squeeze it, and then it turned into slaps, punches, and literally beating me up. I remember the humiliation that he would cause me. I hid the abuse, just like I hid drug abuse when I went through that too. I didn’t want anyone to know what was going on behind closed doors and I was also very fearful of the threats he would make me if I told anyone what was happening.

I remember trying to escape the relationship so many times. I was in the relationship for about 2 years until I finally left. He was the one that introduced me to narcotic drugs and brought trauma to me that the drugs helped me cope with. A part of me blames him for my addiction, despite the free will that I had.

It took me months to stop flinching when someone would touch me and accept respect and love from men and just people in general. Sometimes I still find myself flinching at a certain touch, even when the person isn’t trying to hurt me. The damage that the physical and mental abuse that JC caused held onto me for years and was mostly submerged with drugs instead of healthy ways to get through it. It wasn’t until I got sober that I decided that it was a chapter in my life that I had to address and work through in order to get full recovery from that. It was a tough process, but I got through it. God helped me the most along with professional help.

The one major thing that helped me with this was forgiveness. I had to forgive JC. I was sick at the thought of having to forgive someone who caused me so much betrayal and pain. PLUS HE WASN’T EVEN SORRY!!! HOW WAS I TO FORGIVE SOMEONE WHO FELT NO REMORSE?! However, I knew that I had to forgive him in order to help myself. So I did. I allowed vengeance to be the Lords. I felt so much peace when I truly forgave him in my heart.

They say what goes around comes around. Well, let me tell you, he reaped what he sowed. I didn’t get revenge. I didn’t get payback. I let go of the desire for that. JC ended up having some serious struggles shortly after we had broken up. He had lost all of his belongings, had 0 friends, 0 relationships, and many other struggles. Although I don’t wish pain and struggle on people, a part of me couldn’t help but think, “He got what he gave”. Everything that he took from me was taken from him.

Although I can comfortably talk about the experience I had with DV, just writing this makes my anxiety in full throttle. My hands are shaking, my heart is racing, and I’m sweating. I don’t know why this topic makes me feel this way, but talking about the depths of addiction doesn’t bring this, which was actually worse for me. I think I’m subconsciously still very angry about all that he did. I can’t help but wonder if I would have never become addicted to drugs had it not been for his abuse. I also hate the fact that some of the trauma and damage still stays in my subconscious. I hate that I still fear anger and tempers to the extreme. I HATE that an innocent touch can trigger the trauma too. However, I face the same thing with drug addiction triggers too. Thank God I’ve developed good coping skills that I resort to when these triggers come.

In the end, I’m a survivor. I have to keep the promise to myself to recognize the red flags and warning signs that I ignored if they ever come up again. I have to advocate for myself and most importantly, allow myself to be truly respected, loved, and cared for.