Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Fraudulence and a room for hope

Welcome to Brave. Bravery comes out of hope. Bravery makes us stand up and chose life. Bravery causes us to breathe deep when life shows us only the shallow. Thank you for coming. This is real thoughts on being brave, having hope and sharing awareness. The Dark Corner below is the place I'm sharing the dark stories of domestic violence as they happened to me. Thank you for reading. I pray you will find hope and bravery here!

There is a certain aspect of fraud that goes on in our lives. We live with smiles on our faces, happy Christmas cards, children who dress nicely at church and cars that have been through the car wash. What is on the inside very rarely lines up with what is on the outside. We may not be smiling, we may not be happy at all, our children may wish they were dressed in all black and they may have snarly mean attitudes. During the first few weeks of leaving the abusive home I'd lived in for years I was as high as a kite. I felt like I was free and truly I was for the first time in 8 years. But then reality started to sink in. Single parenting is not easy. Working full time and single parenting five is not easy. Working through years of traumatic events is not easy. HOLY COW!!!!! How was I going to hope in the face of all that? I confided in a close friend. I told him that I was giving up, that hope was the cruelest trick God put here on earth. His response came in a quiet voice telling me that his heart hurt over that and he implored me not to give up. My friend lived a life that was full of love, not easy but had lots of love. I, meanwhile, felt alone. But as I looked at him I knew he spoke the truth. 
Hope isn't cruel, it is the peace that makes the rest bearable. 
Now Hallmark says hope and love happen when I buy a card and get teary-eyed. Their movie channel says true love will come at Christmas. Hahahahahaha. Life is no card. Hope comes from life. I live and breathe and therefore have hope. Hope- you can live in my heart and be whats inside. In the middle of my kids needing a nap and when my period starts and I'm so grumpy I think everyone should go live with my aunt... Hope you can live there too. We are not fruadulant. We are not fake. We are people that need to keep telling Hope that there is room for her. Be Brave!

Dark Corner
The ground was so hard. My back hurt so badly. My pregnant belly was so big and swollen and not liking being outside on the ground. He had told me I could live in a tent in the backyard. That was just a few hours ago. I had set up the little tent we had... the tent that had been a wedding present. My heart was sunk. It was July so the sky was light even as it got later in the evening. I sat in the tent. I had to pee. The doors were locked. I relieved myself by the shed. I sunk farther inside myself.... I started looking around... it was so close to the neighbors house... The kids were inside with him though.  My mind raced but all I could see was that I had no job right then and four kids and pregnant with another... oh goodness... I was ok. The tent was ok. I tried to sleep.
The knife pressed my pregnant belly. The threat of dying while watching my baby die too was just too much. Tears spilled out of my eyes. His eyes were cold and hard. His voice full of hate. The knife he held was sharp- a nice Wusthof carving knife. Oh ....my..... I wasn't breathing. I couldn't comprehend living like this... living was a thing of the past. I hid inside myself. But... my baby, my only fear was for my girl that moved inside me. He threw the knife down and told me to enjoy the cold of sleeping outside. I cannot find words to tell you how I felt. I felt so little. Scared, terrified, small, fading, sinking, alone, cold, alone and alone.  I couldn't see hope. I couldn't see anything other than fear. I had married fear.

The CDC has labeled violence, threats of violence, stalking and rape by an intimate partner as Intimate Partner Violence or IPV. According to the CDC on average, 24 people per minute are victims of IPV in the United States- more than 12 million men and women over the course of a year. Something is wrong with our moral alignment when 12 million people in our nation are facing Intimate Partner Violence every year. Regardless of the severity this is a huge problem in the US. My situation went on for 8 years before anyone knew or recorded it as part of a statistic. Domestic violence continues because of the silence that the "intimate" partner creates. 

Make room in your heart for Hope. You may identify with the fraudulence of looking as if you have hope- that is ok. Just make room in your heart for hope. Ask for hope and create that room. If you find yourself in a difficult or threatening situation have hope. Keep your eyes open and look for hope! Hope is not cruel, it is God's gift to make everything bearable. If you are being hurt, find help- I promise it is there. You can hope. Be Brave!