Why Do I Shout About Gender-based Violence

Why do I shout about gender-based violence? Frankly, the answer is simple… Because I have been silent for too long! Yes, it is my time to speak up and speak out. Why? Because abuse does not go away if we ignore it. Much like the rest of society, I conditioned myself to partly ignore abuse. I did not want to, but I felt that speaking out was too risky. Why? Because it is likely that:

  1. People will not believe you.
  2. People will judge you.
  3. People will feel sorry for you.
  4. People will side with your abuser.

In other words… It is painful. It is painful to share personal pain publicly. It is like rubbing salt into a wound. But covering that wound with a band aid, does not make it go away. The wound needs exposure to heal, and when the scar emerges, it is not ugly. The scar tells a beautiful story of survival. Perhaps I sound a little abstract right now. Let me break it down…

At the age of 19, I entered an abusive relationship. He did not trust me, he accused me of things I did not do, he cheated on me, he lied to me, he badmouthed me to others, he recruited his friends and family to terrorize me telephonically, he called me vulgar names, he got physical with me a few times, and he even tried to strangle me once. He tried to use me financially. He wrote off my car, almost killing me and other passengers, whilst speeding and driving drunk in wet conditions at night. I left the relationship many times but kept going back over a period of 8 years! I went on to date other men but kept returning to him. I was trauma bonded to him and I did not know it.

What was the result of this relationship? I withdrew into a shell, became depressed and lost my confidence. Without realizing, I became a people-pleaser and essentially a doormat for everyone to use. After leaving him for the final time, it took me 7 years to recover from the abuse; to slowly rebuild myself. It took a lot of hard work, and grace from God, but I eventually liberated myself, and regained my confidence and joy. I thought I knew everything about abuse from this experience at a young age. I was convinced that it could never happen to me again because I would know better. But then…

At the age of 34, I entered a second abusive relationship. Yes, 34! I was not an inexperienced, naïve teen anymore. I was a full-grown, strong, independent, confidant, mature woman when this happened to me. And this time it was far worse! This abuse was not overt at all, so I did not recognize it and I did not see it coming. It was narcissistic abuse. This man insulted me, criticized me, judged me, belittled me, lied to me, objectified me and played manipulative mind games with me. He tried to control me and change my identity (personality, appearance, diet, political views and religious beliefs). He also tried to get money from me. He ripped my self-esteem to shreds. I only realized what was happening when the abuse changed from covert to overt. When I fell pregnant, his mask dropped. He began to harass me and stalk me because he wanted me to have to an abortion. When I refused to have an abortion, he went on to drug me without my knowledge, to kill our unborn baby.

What was the outcome of this relationship? My unborn baby was killed against my will, and my life was endangered in the process. I was living abroad at the time and had to flee the country for safety away from him. This meant leaving my home, friends, church and job. My entire life crashed to pieces, and I ended up with Complex-PTSD due to the abuse, trauma and grief that I experienced at the hands of this psychopathic man.

So how did I end up in a second abusive relationship? The answer is simple…. Lack of education! So yes, this is why I now shout about women abuse. I am not silent anymore because my story is education for women around the world. It is validation for them, and inspiration for them to also to speak up and speak out. I want to join my voice to the others who are making a difference today to bring about awareness.

After the first abusive relationship, I only understood what I had experienced. I did not have education about abuse. I did not understand what makes a woman a target, I did not understand what makes a man an abuser, I did not understand the patterns abusers follow, I did not understand the different types of abuse, I did not know that women keep falling into abusive relationships until they resolve wounds within their inner child, I did not know how to avoid being a target again, I did not know how to fully heal properly. All I ever had as a resource back then was The Oprah Winfrey Show, which helped me to a certain point at the time.

Now after the second abuse, my eyes have been opened to a whole new world of what I did not previously know about abuse. With the Internet, Facebook and YouTube now, I have had access to educational resources from multiple psychologists and survivors. I am convinced that if I had this education back then I would not have ended up in a second worse situation. In recent years, survivors have bravely come forward to tell their stories publicly about narcissistic abuse. The Internet is now flooded with resources to educate women (and men) about narcissistic abuse.

I wish I had the knowledge back then about narcissism, sociopathy and psychopathy. I wish I knew more about abusers’ motives for power and control. I wish I had heard of the terms like love bombing, idealization, devaluation, intermittent reinforcement, coerced reproduction, blame shifting, projection, discarding, gaslighting, triangulation, smear campaign, flying monkeys, bait and switch, trance induction, trauma bonding, Stockholm Syndrome, cognitive dissonance, hoovering, narcissistic supply, impression management, masking, pathological lying, narcissistic injury, narcissistic rage, dissociation, PTSD and so on. I wish I had heard of all the various healing therapies available. I wish I knew of all the subdivisions of abuse. It is not simply verbal, physical and sexual. There is spiritual, financial and psychological abuse too. I used to think that rape was about uncontrollable sexual desires. Can you believe I only learnt last year that rape is actually about power and control? Was I living under a rock all these years?

How is it that we, as women, are not educated about these things in high school? Why do women only learn about these things ‘post-abuse?’ Why do we only get help when it is too late? Why do we have to endure abuse a second time (or more) before we find information to help us?

Reader, please, I urge you… Please read up on these terms which I have mentioned. I promise you, it is a rabbit hole worth travelling down. Please teach your children about it. If you are a teacher, please teach your students about it. Please make the general public aware of it. Please use your various social media platforms to drive awareness, as well as any other public platform that you may have.

For lists of helpful resources to get you started, follow these links: 8 Book Suggestions for Survivors of Narcissistic Abuse and 10 Online Resources for Survivors of Narcissistic Abuse.

Within my small circle of family, friends, church and colleagues, I encounter dozens of women who have been deeply wounded by abuse in its various forms. I also encounter men who are hurt by narcissistic women. This must stop! We need to stand up against this violation of human rights, and we need to stand up for each other too. Silence is not the answer! We cannot stop the ongoing cycle of abuse by remaining silent. It is time we stopped caring about what people might think or say. It is time we braved our pain and exposed it to the salt that threatens to hurt us. The long-term cleansing that takes place, will be worth the initial sting of the pain.

So why do I shout about women abuse?

  1. It could save someone’s life, or at least save them a lot of trauma and damage. Educate, validate and liberate!
  2. It brings healing. Free your voice, free your pain!

As a final note, I want to say to those women who are still in danger of their abusers… Please be cautious about speaking out. Please consider if the abuser will harm you or your children for speaking out. If that is the case, I would advise that you only speak to trusted authorities for now. When it is safe, you can share your story with the world.

Nisha Devdhat is a South African born writer, using her words to spread love, bring healing and give hope, while educating and traveling the world. Currently, she is based in Asia as an English teacher.
Her writing portfolio includes articles, poetry and book reviews, which focus on the themes of literature, travel, education, abuse and trauma.
Nisha offers her writing skills to the public through her writing service. You could hire her as a freelancer to create content for your business or blog.
Nisha’s educational background is English Language and Literature, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, and Marketing Management.
Writing is Nisha’s way of expressing herself, externalizing emotions and practicing introspection. Writing provides her the opportunity to free her voice, challenge the status quo, and positively impact change in society.

IG: @nisha_devdhat
FB: @myunshackledmindwriter

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#savingme is the column where abuse victims can publish their experiences just to let go and find comfort and support. Maybe it doesn’t feel like much but just publishing your story for others to read makes you strong. You can send your story about the abuse you went through to savingmestory@gmail.com and you can choose if you want it to be anonymous or not. More details here. 

Coffee Date with Luna: Addicted to the Noise

Hello everyone!

I rose from the dead, here I am actually blogging on my own blog. My last few weeks have been quite interesting and when I say interesting, I mean numbingly painful but I am still working through that bullshit. When I say that I rose from the dead I mean it.

Forgot to say, welcome to another Coffee Date with Luna. Depending on when I actually publish this, might be time for warm milk before bedtime with Luna, but that’s beside the point.

Growing up in domestic violence (what a lovely way to start a blog post), you cannot function in silence or in a lot of noise which is more common for such environment. When there was noise, when we were fighting or my father was chasing us around the house trying to beat us, I heard something and I knew that everyone was alive and conscious if they were speaking. Silence would sometimes be comforting, especially on those rare night when I wouldn’t go to bed listening to my father’s drunk rants about how he’s going to burn the house down while we sleep in it. But there’s this other thing that you start fearing about silence and it’s silence itself. I would often catch myself enjoying some moments of peace and quiet to only then be awaken by the thought that someone is hurt or that my father randomly fell somewhere while he was drunk and broke his neck. Yes people, welcome to my childhood thoughts. Don’t worry, he is still alive and back then he was mostly sleeping on the couch or the floor because he was too drunk to make it to bed.

This fear of silence made me into a person that constantly has to have noises around me. While I was living alone in Zadar, I always had music playing in the background or the TV was on. If I was going to the store, I had my headphones in. I had a playlist for bedtime. Music would be playing while I would get ready in the morning or while I was under the shower. And this routine continued.

Do you know what this does to you? It takes away your time to self-reflect and think about your problems and fears by constantly distracting your brain. I do not know how to be in silence or allow my brain to just process situations. I let everything build up inside of me until I become so emotionally unstable that I get depressed. And you want to know something? YOU ALL FUCKING DO IT AS WELL.

We live in a climate where we are encouraged to constantly be distracted by all types of shit. Our phones are always buzzing with notifications, there’s always someone talking, there’s always a new show to watch, news to keep up with etc. We all suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out). We are so caught up in this era of smart devices and constant noises that we forget about the whole world that’s inside each and every one of us.

I finished reading G. Steinem’s book called Revolution from Within. There’s a part where she speaks about people being healed emotionally and physically by coming back to nature. Do you know what nature is? Quiet. When was the last time when I enjoyed spending time in nature? When I was a kid, I used to run around and climb trees because being on a high tree with the fear of falling and breaking something was safer than being inside my house. Ever since I was liberated from domestic abuse, I gravitated towards the city, the noise, the constant distractions. The only thing that changes this for me is the proximity of the sea. I have a very special bond with the sea but I don’t spend much time on the seaside.

What I’ve come to realize lately, as I’ve been spending more time at home with my mom, is that this running away from my childhood and my inner self has produced a very negative side effect. I lost my memory or suppressed it so hard that I cannot remember years and years of my life. If something were to happen to my mother (God forbid), I would lose years of my life because she is literally the only person that can tell me what happened at certain points. I just don’t remember but that’s a problem for another post. I am researching this issue currently.

This is what being addicted to distractions and to noise brought me. I forgot who I was, do not like to think about who I am or what I wish to be. In this world of noises, I think it’s time for me to put the volume down and go back to me, listen to what I have to say and go through the pain and the thoughts and the memories for as long as it takes to process everything.

In a world that doesn’t want us to think, it’s hard to take that step. It’s not a step out of a comfort zone. It’s more like a jump of a cliff but we have to see it as a leap of faith, a return to the natural, to the human, to the raw part of life that was here before the noise and before devices that became smarter than us.

There is catharsis to be found in books, art, music and creation but there’s truth to be found in the world that’s inside of us. We came to the world naked, screaming and without shame. Let’s not leave it hidden, silenced and manipulated.

Sending love and positive vibes,

Luna

 

Guest Post Information

This blog is expanding really fast, new followers are coming on board every single day and I’m thrilled! Our little community is not that little anymore!

Since new bloggers who join us have questions about guest posts and don’t feel like digging through the blog to find all of the previous posts here are the two ways you can guest post on Luna. I will probably repeat this post after every 200-400 new followers just to keep everyone up to speed.

So our beloved POETRY BAR – here you send your poetry works to poetrybar1@gmail.com together with a few words about yourself and a link to your blog and an Instagram account if you have one since The Poetry Bar does and we post your works there also. Check it out here:  https://www.instagram.com/the.poetrybar/

Our second guest post category is #savingme project – here you can share your stories about any type of abuse you’ve experienced. The email is savingmestory@gmail.com. The project was made to let abuse victims know they are not alone. If you don’t want to share your whole story, you can share how you got out, some advice to people going through this hell currently. It’s a safe place and your story can be published completely anonymously. Also, you can see that I post about my own experience with domestic abuse and not only my story but my thoughts, mechanisms that helped me overcome it etc.

Can’t wait to see what you send!

Sending love and positive vibes,
Luna

We reached 5k followers

Hello everyone!

Yesterday we reached a milestone. There’s 5000 of you on this blog. I actually couldn’t believe when I saw it because I don’t really keep track of the numbers on the blog, I enjoy much more reading your comments, seeing how much you engage in The Poetry Bar and them BOOOM. 5k followers.

I think this is an important milestone for all of us and I just hope we will continue to grow, comment, share content and support each other now more than ever.

Thank you so much for everything and thank you for helping our community grow ❤

I hope I will soon see more of your lovely guest posts for The Poetry Bar, #savingme and The Positivity Press which is active during these difficult times.

If you are new here, you can read more about our guest posts in our Guest Post Information.

I am getting back to my job now and just want to thank you all one more time!

Sending love and positive vibes,
Luna

Guest Post information

This blog is expanding really fast, new followers are coming on board every single day and I’m thrilled! Our little community is not that little anymore! I went back to posting much more of my work to the blog because I had this period where I personally didn’t post that much and now it’s time for your lovely submissions to come in!

Since new bloggers who join us have questions about guest posts and don’t feel like digging through the blog to find all of the previous posts here are the three ways you can guest post on Luna. I will probably repeat this post after every 200-400 new followers just to keep everyone up to speed.

So our beloved POETRY BAR – here you send your poetry works to poetrybar1@gmail.com together with a few words about yourself and a link to your blog and an Instagram account if you have one since The Poetry Bar does and we post your works there also. Check it out here:  https://www.instagram.com/the.poetrybar/

Our second guest post category is #savingme project – here you can share your stories about any type of abuse you’ve experienced. The email is savingmestory@gmail.com. The project was made to let abuse victims know they are not alone. If you don’t want to share your whole story, you can share how you got out, some advice to people going through this hell currently. It’s a safe place and your story can be published completely anonymously. Also, you can see that I post about my own experience with domestic abuse and not only my story but my thoughts, mechanisms that helped me overcome it etc.

Can’t wait to see what you send!

Sending love and positive vibes,
Luna

#savingme – Poem #263

You. You with your bottle and words
sharp like broken glass on the floor
from the glass you threw at me. You.
You with your addiction always thinking
about yourself. I might be your daughter
but the blood in my veins is thinner than water.
Trust me, I wish I could change that red
poison which binds me to you, maybe then
this wound would hurt less.

Did you feel like you had control in your miserable
life every time you would come home drunk
and beat the shit out of me, my mother and my sister?
Did it make you feel good or worthy? Did it mean anything?
Did you ever regret it?

Million questions I’ll never get an answer to because
to this day you deny ever being an abusive monster.
You can deny it but it doesn’t change the fact that
there is a special place in hell reserved for the people
who try to put out the light they brought to the world.

And you still think you’re a king. Well, dear father, kings
protect their heirs and you tried to put yours into the ground.
Kings leave a legacy for their kids and you just took and
broke everything. Left me with nightmares and scars
that still bleed every once in a while.

Guest Post Information

This blog is expanding really fast, new followers are coming on board every single day and I’m thrilled! Our little community is not that little anymore!

Since new bloggers who join us have questions about guest posts and don’t feel like digging through the blog to find all of the previous posts here are the three ways you can guest post on Luna. I will probably repeat this post after every 200-400 new followers just to keep everyone up to speed.

So our beloved POETRY BAR – here you send your poetry works to poetrybar1@gmail.com together with a few words about yourself and a link to your blog and an Instagram account if you have one since The Poetry Bar does and we post your works there also. Check it out here:  https://www.instagram.com/the.poetrybar/

Our second child of guest posts is THE POSITIVITY PRESS – here you send your positive stories, share positive vibes, send pictures, tell us about your new job or hobby and send them to postpositivity@gmail.com. It was designed to bring joy to us on a daily basis and keep us positive and grateful for all the little experiences that happen to us. You just need to send your positive vibes to the e-mail address and attach a blog link if you’d like

Our toddler is #savingme project – here you can share your stories about any type of abuse you’ve experienced. The email is savingmestory@gmail.com. The project was made to let abuse victims know they are not alone. If you don’t want to share your whole story, you can share how you got out, some advice to people going through this hell currently. It’s a safe place and your story can be published completely anonymously. Also, you can see that I post about my own experience with domestic abuse and not only my story but my thoughts, mechanisms that helped me overcome it etc.

Our new born baby is Post Prose where authors can publish their prose works, short stories, parts from books they’re writing etc. so that we can all indulge in some nice, quality reading. Send your works to poetrybar1@gmail.com

That’s pretty much it. Now, new bloggers and old bloggers let’s see what you’ll send my way. Love you all!

Sending love and positive vibes,
Luna

#savingme – Poem #240

I am doing this old school, putting pen to paper.
Like 13 years ago when I started writing this mess down,
learned that violence can inspire creativity.

On the floor, the bed dragged to the door,
mommy told me not to make much noise because dad
was convinced he was alone.

In case he heard me, got upset and kicked the door down
there was only one way, jump out of the window
to the grass that, I swear, was never the greener.

I found a gift in your violence, beauty in the bruises
that covered my mother’s body every time you saw the
bottom of the bottle.

I found words beneath the insults to write down my anger,
to make sure it doesn’t boil inside of me turning me into the
drunk, selfish monster you came to be.

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#savingme is the column where abuse victims can publish their experiences just to let go and find comfort and support. Maybe it doesn’t feel like much but just publishing your story for others to read makes you strong. You can send your story about the abuse you went through to savingmestory@gmail.com and you can choose if you want it to be anonymous or not. More details here. 

#savingme – Solace and Sanity

Your hand released
Everything changed
Family extracted
Like I never existed

Lost

Little girl
Tear filled eyes
Stains down on her cheeks
Scars across her tiny body

Prisoner

Love, a foreign dream
Comfort, no such thing
Tragedy, encompassed grief

Suffering

Those dark brown eyes
Concealing what they have seen
Visual antipathy

Broken

Little smile
Pasted on perfectly
Something she learned
Authentic joy a mystery

Alone

Separated siblings
Mix and Match despite their feelings
Disposed of completely

Abandoned

Another child
Made to pay the price
Adult responsibilities
Addiction’s insanity

Violence

Seven years old
Lifetime of misery
Wise beyond belief
Desperately pursuing stability

Acceptance

Running to escape memories
Desperate for harmony
Just a little safety and peace

Solace

Wonderment in simple things
Never taking each breath for granted
Every day a new opportunity

Admiring

Thoughts infiltrating
Positive healing
Complete tranquility

Sunrise

Lost in the majestic beauty
Embraced by strength
Smile on her face
Kissed by the sunlight
Absolute comfort

Serenity

Blog: https://thebrokeninsideofme.com/

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#savingme is the column where abuse victims can publish their experiences just to let go and find comfort and support. Maybe it doesn’t feel like much but just publishing your story for others to read makes you strong. You can send your story about the abuse you went through to savingmestory@gmail.com and you can choose if you want it to be anonymous or not. More details here. 

#savingme – Why Me?

Another house
A new family
Why me
New school
No one knows me
why me
A different room
New monsters
why me
All alone
This house isn’t home
why me
Picked up and removed
They have no clue
Why me
My brother is gone
Can’t even call on the phone
why me
A million tragedies
Locked inside of me
why me
Remember smile and be polite
Complete strangers judging
why me
Examined under the light
Imperfection in plain sight
why me
Confused, damaged and all alone
Scary visions feel more like home
why me
Different than them
Only demons live within
Why me
Surviving the darkness
Hungry and cold
Why me
Sleeping on a bed of stone
Down by the river as viciousness unfolds
Why me

Written By

The Broken inside of me

https://thebrokeninsideofme.com/

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#savingme is the column where abuse victims can publish their experiences just to let go and find comfort and support. Maybe it doesn’t feel like much but just publishing your story for others to read makes you strong. You can send your story about the abuse you went through to savingmestory@gmail.com and you can choose if you want it to be anonymous or not. More details here.