#savingme – You are a survivor

In my post “The story behind the name Luna” I shared a part of my story about domestic abuse. It actually gave me courage to dive deeper into this problem and open up about it here because I think this is a great community to share such stories and help each other. It took me years to speak about the torment my father put me through and I can relate to many children who were abused and today I want to write a little bit about how to deal with abuse after it’s done.

When I was 11,12 years old the problem with my father started solving and it wasn’t over until a few months ago. I haven’t lived with him for years and I last saw him and spoke to him about 5 years ago. That chapter of my life is over now but it still takes me a great amount of strength to close that chapter in my head. My problem was that I identified myself with what he has done to me and I believe that’s the problem of many abused children out there. We develop a bad opinion about ourselves based on what the person who abused us had done to us. We often feel like we aren’t worthy of anything, become introverted, depressed, scared to live the lives we deserve and we can’t step out of our pasts. Going through abuse leaves a strong scar on the one’s personality, sometimes even on our bodies and I will be quite honest and say it’s impossible to hide that scar or erase it so wear it proudly!

Don’t be ashamed of yourself and of who you are and of what you’ve been through. Instead of waking up every morning feeling like you are worth less than others, feeling like you will never reach happiness, wake up and say to yourself “I’ve been through hell and I survived that. World, bring it on because I can handle you!”. Don’t call yourself an abuse victim but rather call yourself a survivor because that’s what you are. Your body and mind were strong enough to handle the weight of abuse and I know how heavy that weight is and you are still here. You are biting and scratching your way through life. You know how to handle difficult situations and your power can never be drained out. Even when depression hits and you feel worn out just repeat those words to yourself.

Who you are depends only on what you want to be so be a survivor, be a warrior and show the world there’s happiness after abuse. Learn how to show your scars to the world and demand respect for them and respect your own past because if it wasn’t for it you wouldn’t be the strong person you are. Even if you feel weak, trust me you’re not. Shift your state of mind and you will turn your life around. Remember: You are a warrior, you are a survivor.

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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. 

Dealing with Trauma Flashback – repost

Certain smells, spaces, situations or people tend to bring up bad feelings we thought we had forgotten about. Most people who went through abuse deal with this problem on the regular basis especially if they just left the toxic relationship or moved away from the abusive parent who left them with a serious trauma.

These bad feelings and flashback can manifest in different ways. Some of the ones I experienced myself are running out of air, losing my touch with reality, feeling like I can’t move, paralyzing shivers up and down my spine, excessive sweating, stuttering etc. One of the worse things I still deal with are my nightmares that happen on a regular basis. The problem with these flashbacks isn’t only that they make you live through your pain again but they can put you in serious danger. If you are in a situation where you could get hurt but your mind has a flashback and paralyzes your body you are in an even bigger danger because you can’t defend yourself.

In my 22 years of life I have been abused physically for roughly eleven years but the psychological abuse continued despite my father not being around because my mind was still trapped and going over everything I experienced as a child. I learned to control it a little bit but there are still certain triggers that give me flashbacks. Some of them are being in the presence of a man who reeks of alcohol, someone putting their hands near my throat…

With time I started to use my breathing to cope with these flashbacks and to calm myself when I wake up from a nightmare. Whenever we get agitated our breathing changes, so in order to ease your mind you need to get back to your normal breathing pattern. Try to even out your inhales and your exhales. Breathe in for 3 second and breathe out for three seconds. It’s that simple and it helps you center your mind. You just need to focus on your breath, on the sensation of air entering and exiting your body. As soon as you get your inhales and exhales evened out you will notice a slight release in your body. Your muscles will get relaxed, your mind will get clear and that pressure on your chest will slowly fade away.

This isn’t something you can accomplish perfectly in one take. It took me years of even reminding myself to breathe when I start having flashbacks and panicking. The other thing that helps a lot is meditation. I think it isn’t even necessary to state all the positive sides of mediation because you already know most of them.

When you get flashback and feel paralyzed, you have the feeling like the abuser is still controlling you. He or she is not doing it, you mind is! You need to become aware of the power your mind has over you and you need to develop techniques to calm it down and to rise above what your mind tells your body to feel.

Remember: Transform pain into strength and you will be invincible.

Fear of death

In some of my previous posts such as The story behind the name Luna and You are a survivor I shared a little piece of my domestic abuse story. Long, very long, story short – my father was an alcoholic with a mental disorder and he abused my mother, me and my sister. The abuse lasted for about 11 years in my case. I was a little baby when his condition got really bad and I just started growing up and coming to terms with the situation I was living in but I was never settled with it.

Lately I have been having some sort of writer’s block and I have also a lot of doubts about my life and career choices. I just have a feeling that enrolling to this university was a mistake, I started to have the feeling I wasted three years of my life doing something that will get me nowhere, I failed my final exam… It has just been an emotional and mental roller coaster for me lately and it got me to thinking about the person I was and the person I’ve become.

The 7 years old, abused Ana (my real name is Ana not Luna) would power through a situation like this. The seven years old me would find a way out and do whatever it takes to make herself happy. The 22 years old Ana is depressed and eating her feelings after which she pours some red wine on them. This has been going on for some time and I think I finally found the reason why I used to be more determined and why I used to find my way out of any situation while today I just get desperate.

I was so scared of death – that was the thing that pushed me further. My father would make death threats all the time, hell he even tried to kill all three of us on multiple occasions. I was afraid for my life and it made me do incredible things which I am not capable of doing now. Ever since my father exited my life, that fear has become very small and the engine that powered me through my whole life just shut down. That fear is not constantly present but it should be because despite not being abused by my father I could still die any day.

I know this all sounds a bit morbid and I’m not trying to freak you out. I am trying to tell you that you need to get in touch with your mortality in order to live your life to the fullest, to reach your potential and get rid of any other fear you have. I will give a really dumb example now. As a little girl I always wanted to play the guitar and sing. I didn’t do those things because my family was so poor we couldn’t afford to put me through music school. I still decided I would like to try and sing. I entered some choirs and I was constantly told that I can’t sing high notes and that I am really not a good singer. That didn’t stop me from entering a small singing contest. I still have the diploma from that contest and I’m proud of it because I didn’t care about what people said, I gave it a shot and to be honest I had so much fun and it’s such a great memory for me. In those times my fear of death was very present because my father was still a part of my life. If that story was going on today, while that fear is gone, I would have never entered the contest and I would probably leave the choir where they told me I don’t know how to sing. I wouldn’t even give it a shot because I am so worried about what people say about me that I don’t let myself be happy. If I die today do you know how many people will care for the fact that I entered a singing contest despite my lousy singing skills? The answer is zero. But it made me happy at the time and it still makes me happy that I had the courage to do it.

This is why I believe everyone should get in touch with their mortality because it will force you to do amazing things. It will stop you from wasting your life away, not fulfilling your dreams and stressing about other people’s opinions. Just give it a shot. Write out on a piece of paper the things you always wanted to do, but never did and do them now that you are aware of the fact that you could be dead tomorrow. The fear of death can make you live your life to the fullest and it can also force you to save your own life and protect it if you are going through abuse as I did.

If you are currently being abused that fear will get you out of it. That fear is your escape from the miserable life you must lead stuck in the hell of domestic abuse. I know it did wonders for my mum. She fought like crazy to keep herself and me and my sister alive and she fought a though legal battle to make sure our father won’t be able to harm us. I know how hard it is to fear for your life, thinking that you have no way out and it is even harder for mothers with children but you have to do it. You have the responsibility to protect your own life and your children’s life. It’s very hard for me to actually tell you to pack your bags and leave because I know it’s not that simple. Most abused women rarely have a place to go to and they are also under the threat that they will be killed if they try to escape or speak up. This is why you need to use your fear, your situation and find a way out. If all the doors are closed, break them down. Find out if there are shelters that take in abused women. Try to seek help from your family. Girl, use the power of the almighty internet to do research on the laws protecting abused women in your country. Also, I can’t stress this out enough, have solid proof of the abuse. Put your phone somewhere and tape everything that’s going on, make sure you have a witness, just have a solid ground to stand on if you will be fighting your abuser in court or if the police gets involved. This is overwhelming to even think about and I know you will maybe just pass through this article without giving it a second thought but I just want to let you know that all of this is coming from someone who, due to domestic abuse, survived an attempt on her life before she was 12 years old, jumped through a window to save her life, saw her mother in bruises all the time and with the help of her sister stopped her own father from killing their mother. I know what I’m talking about. All of this could happen to you or to your child. Save yourself, do something while you still have a heartbeat.

I know it sounds scary but do you know what’s even more scary? Losing your life due to someone thinking they have the right to beat it out of you.

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You are a survivor

In my post “The story behind the name Luna” I shared a part of my story about domestic abuse. It actually gave me courage to dive deeper into this problem and open up about it here because I think this is a great community to share such stories and help each other. It took me years to speak about the torment my father put me through and I can relate to many children who were abused and today I want to write a little bit about how to deal with abuse after it’s done.

When I was 11,12 years old the problem with my father started solving and it wasn’t over until a few months ago. I haven’t lived with him for years and I last saw him and spoke to him about 5 years ago. That chapter of my life is over now but it still takes me a great amount of strength to close that chapter in my head. My problem was that I identified myself with what he has done to me and I believe that’s the problem of many abused children out there. We develop a bad opinion about ourselves based on what the person who abused us had done to us. We often feel like we aren’t worthy of anything, become introverted, depressed, scared to live the lives we deserve and we can’t step out of our pasts. Going through abuse leaves a strong scar on the one’s personality, sometimes even on our bodies and I will be quite honest and say it’s impossible to hide that scar or erase it so wear it proudly!

Don’t be ashamed of yourself and of who you are and of what you’ve been through. Instead of waking up every morning feeling like you are worth less than others, feeling like you will never reach happiness, wake up and say to yourself “I’ve been through hell and I survived that. World, bring it on because I can handle you!”. Don’t call yourself an abuse victim but rather call yourself a survivor because that’s what you are. Your body and mind were strong enough to handle the weight of abuse and I know how heavy that weight is and you are still here. You are biting and scratching your way through life. You know how to handle difficult situations and your power can never be drained out. Even when depression hits and you feel worn out just repeat those words to yourself.

Who you are depends only on what you want to be so be a survivor, be a warrior and show the world there’s happiness after abuse. Learn how to show your scars to the world and demand respect for them and respect your own past because if it wasn’t for it you wouldn’t be the strong person you are. Even if you feel weak, trust me you’re not. Shift your state of mind and you will turn your life around. Remember: You are a warrior, you are a survivor.

Don’t forget to stalk me on Instagram, like me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.
Facebook Luna
Instagram luna.theblog
Twitter  LunaTheblog
Bloglovin Luna