This is Cheryl’s Health Corner for the last week of October. I am your friendly neighborhood health coach.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month I write articles for many magazines and earlier this month I shared the article on toxic relationships that I wrote for a non profit called The Shoe Box.
Chelle Muelleris someone I admire immensely and I am honored to be a part of her newsletter.. She was in a domestic violence situation and left in the middle of the night with only one red shoe. It was rough, but when she got situated, she started this foundation to help other women on the streets of Galveston, TX and her foundations motto is No Spare Women, No Women Left Behind.
With isolation this year, many couples are getting much more together time that perhaps at any other time in their relationship. This has caused some disruption in some relationships. I asked permission to share Chelle’s article from this months edition of her newsletter because I think it is so important to put a spotlight on the issue of domestic violence, and hope that this article might give someone in our community hope that there is a better life.
This is Chelle’s article. Its called “A little piece of me.”
“Leaving an abusive relationship was one of the smartest decisions I ever made, it was also one of the hardest. I had walked away from something that I believed was love.
No matter how I looked at it, I was heartbroken.
I had a loss of shattered hopes and unfulfilled dreams. I had this experience of an unbearable sense of loneliness and I was confused on how I could miss someone that had hurt me so much, emotionally and physically.
For months I had to fight the urges to return to him as I had done so many times before. I didn’t want to let go of that love or what I convinced myself love was. Even after all of the abuse I endured, I still saw a chance for us.
You see, my feelings didn’t change for him the moment I decided to walk away, I wanted our relationship to be better…not over.
Accepting that it was over was hard. Even though I was the one who ran away in the middle of the night, I was the one who felt rejected. I just had to stay away long enough so that he won’t take me back. I had to stay away until I didn’t miss him anymore. And I DID !
But still… even after time had passed the abuse continued, this time I was abusing myself …..mentally.
I didn’t know how to stop being a victim. I didn’t know what a healthy relationship was. I was lost, I didn’t know who I was supposed to be. I still believed that I wasn’t enough.
Leaving an abusive relationship was the smart part, healing from it is the hard part. Hard but not impossible.
It takes self-forgiveness for abandoning yourself and the pain that abandonment caused for you and others. Self- forgiveness for being so vulnerable and allowing yourself to be used and hurt in so many ways.
It takes acceptance of what happened to you and the strength to move forward without self-blame.
It takes a step of new self-love starting with sometimes re-inventing who you are and losing the person you used to be. That person you tried to be ….just to please him. It takes strength to break out of that mold because we accepted it as who we were for so long.
My biggest words of advice are “ Be patient with yourself “
Say “I love you” to yourself, even if you don’t really feel it. Be as nice to yourself as you can. Form a mental picture of yourself as a strong, independent person and focus on it. You will start to become this person.
See yourself as a survivor, as a warrior who is brave, strong, and capable of getting through anything. Fight for yourself, because you are the most important person to focus on.
It’s been 10 years since I left my last abuser, sometimes I need to re-forgive myself daily. Some days I just need to remind me to love me, but most importantly…. I am healing. I am healing !
Re-inventing yourself is tough but it is so worth the work and remember to Be patient, because it is also worth the wait !”
If you are in an abusive situation, there is help available.
National Domestic Violence: 1-800-799-SAFE
Suicide Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE
Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE
United States Elder Abuse: 1-866-363-4276
National Runaway Safeline: 1-800-RUNAWAY
SAFE(self abuse finally ends): 1-800- DONTCUT
Family Violence Prevention: 1-800-313-1310
Poison Control: 1-800-235-3535
Drug Abuse National Hotline :1-800-662-4357
Gay & Lesbian National Hotline: 1-800-662-4357
My comment, the final step of healing, whether it is an abusive relationship or something else that you have overcome, like improving your health, is when you step up to help others. Whatever you are dealing with, love yourself enough to take back your power, and to change. You have more power than you think, and the change is worth it. There is a better life on the other side of your pain.
The Shoe Box is a free complimentary monthly newsletter that keeps you informed of our monthly events and to also bring value to your day. The One Red Shoe Foundation, is a nonprofit organization with the mission that “There are NO spare Women”…Lift one up today”
If you have any questions, comments or would like to be featured in an upcoming newsletter please email email@example.com
If you would like to support Chelle’s work
Monrovia Messenger is an upbeat, informational forum about the City of Monrovia and is intended for those who live, work, and/or love Monrovia. …
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Anyone can find this group.