Lorelei

We are going to start breaking up our usual routine of posts with pieces from a book I just started writing. I don’t want to give anything away with a synopsis, so here it is. I hope you enjoy it.

Prologue

My sister’s thin frame lay motionless, sunken in a dirty mattress, the filth surrounding her blending with her soiled dress. I swallowed around the lump in my throat, my heart pounding in my chest. “Lorelei?” I lifted a shaky hand and pressed it gently on her shoulder, her skin cold as the frost outside. I tried not to think of the sharpness of her shoulder bone or the whiteness of her complexion or the way her clothes hung on her frame as though they didn’t belong. My heart sank as I glanced at her room, the floor seemed to move and I tried not to think of why that might be. I don’t even know how I managed to sneak in. But time was running out. Shaking her shoulder, I managed to loudly whisper, “Lorelei, wake up, I don’t have much time.”

A soft groan parted her chapped and peeling lips. Her brow crinkled into a frown as she squinted up at me, her red eyes widened and she opened her mouth to speak but nothing came out.

“What?” I asked, trying not to panic at the confused look on her pitiful face.

Her lips moved to the motion of a sentence, but still no sound.

Rage consumed me. She was worse off than I thought. I could not allow this to happen to her. “Get up, you’re coming with me. I’m getting you out of here.”

She remained motionless.

“Lorelei?”

She turned her head away from me.

“You’re coming with me, and you’ll thank me later.” I bent down to pull her up off the bed. A powerful wind punched me in the chest, knocking me clear across the room. I slid down the wall, landing with a painful thud. Bewildered, I stumbled to my feet, taking a step toward Lorelei. “Don’t you see what he’s done to you?” Adrenaline surged through me, I tried to control the quaking inside of me. “This isn’t you.” The same wind that threw me earlier, now circled around her bed, snatching up nearby debris. “Come with me!” I raised my voice over the howling of the wind. “You don’t know what’s best for you right now, let me take you away from here!” The walls around me creaked and moaned and bent inward as the ceiling expanded. I felt myself floating farther away from her. My time was up. “Lorelei! Please!”

to be continued . . .

~Lindsey V.

Defining Abuse

abuse-dictionary

Domestic Violence: violent or aggressive behavior within the home.

Physical Abuse: any intentional act causing injury or trauma to another person, by way of bodily contact.

Verbal Abuse: described as a negative defining statement told to the victim or about the victim, or by withholding any response, thereby defining the target as non-existent. If the abuser does not immediately apologize and retract the defining statement, the relationship may be a verbally abusive one.

Emotional/Psychological Abuse: is a form of abuse, characterized by a person subjecting or exposing another person to behavior that may result in psychological trauma, including anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Financial Abuse: a common tactic used by abusers to gain power and control in a relationship. Forms of financial abuse may be subtle or overt, but in general, include tactics to limit the partner’s access to assets or conceal information and accessibility to the family finances.

Sexual Abuse: also referred to as molestation, is usually undesired sexual behavior by one person upon another.

Abuse affects everyone. . .

Elderly

Women

Men

Children

Pets

Abuse is an attempt to control the behavior of another person. It is a misuse of power which uses the bonds of intimacy, trust, and dependency to make the victim vulnerable.

~Christa G.

I’m The Victim Here

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More often than not, we experience verbal abuse and don’t even realize that it’s happening to us. I’m sure we’ve all had that one friend that would walk all over you, but when you tried to let them know that their treatment of you was offensive it became the end of the world. And how dare you point out their behavior as less than friendly! You owe them an apology now for sticking up for yourself!

We tend to brush off their actions with, “Oh, they’re just very outspoken” or “I was overreacting to what she said”. But it’s not healthy. We teach those around us how to treat us. They know who will put up with their crap and who won’t, and unfortunately it’s the ones we’re closest to.

It probably started out small with them making a rude remark about your home, appearance, family, or job. And they brushed off their behavior with a flaky excuse. . .  “Well you know I had a bad day at work, my boss was on my ass about being late, and my boyfriend and I got into it that morning.” Thus turning the focus from your pain to them, making you feel guilty for your pain. And now they’re the victim, not you.

Then the verbal battering becomes more frequent, and it’s almost as if they are just picking fights. They don’t allow you to voice your feelings openly, and when you do they interrupt or make you feel as though you’re overreacting and have no right to be upset with them. They minimize your emotional pain and hurt feelings with a “how dare you” attitude.

This is text book gaslighting. Manipulation at it’s finest and they are good at it. They are pros at making themselves the victim in every situation. They are pros at never taking responsibility for their actions or words. They are pros at getting their way. This is toxic behavior and just like we urge you to get out of a toxic intimate relationship, we urge you to distance yourself from toxic friendships. They will suck the life from you, eat away at your ability to find joy, and drain your emotional sanity until there is nothing left but a shell. A shell of a person that no longer knows who they are, where they belong, or what to do with themselves.

So, don’t forget that abuse isn’t always violent. Abuse doesn’t always happen between a husband and wife. Abuse can take place in any relationship, great or small. Keep yourself aware of the red flags of abusive people. It isn’t healthy to stay in any type of toxic relationship, your mental state will thank you later. Surround yourself with those that support and lift you up.

~Christa G.

Overreacting

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When it’s “that time of the month” I’m always reminded of my ex.

I got the copper IUD shortly after we started dating. I was done dealing with the side effects of hormonal birth control and didn’t wish to continue experimenting with other forms of it. The only major side effects of the copper IUD were painful and heavier periods.  I had always had painful periods, but then again who didn’t. So I went for it. It was rough at first, the pain was and is unlike any of my previous periods, and at first I had cramps every day. I started popping Ibuprofen like Tic Tacs. I nursed my cramps every night and avoided being active because it seemed to increase the pain.

This was around the time my ex was trying his damnedest to have me go to the gym with him. I believe I’ve expressed my hatred of such public facilities. I would be motionless on the couch, trying not to moan in pain and he would be debating with me about how that he knew girls who would work out to help relieve the cramps. I tried to explain to him that these cramps were like I had the Antichrist kicking my ovaries with boots that had daggers jutting out of their soles, while some other demon was trying to pull out my uterus. And that was everyday for me for awhile. He continued to minimize my pain, saying I just needed to get up off the couch and do something.

When we’d get into arguments about totally unrelated topics, he would angrily bring up how I always complained of my cramps, like it was somehow an excuse to get out of doing stuff with him (such as go to the f*#%ing gym). I started to feel like my pain was in my head. That I was a cry-baby, a whimp, who didn’t know how to handle pain like the other women in his life . . . The ones who liked to exercise when they were cramping.

I didn’t realize at the time that my pain was an annoying inconvenience to him. He wanted a girlfriend who would go to the gym with him, despite her cramps. He didn’t care about the sacrifices I made for both of us to avoid having children. He didn’t care about my feelings or anything about me. Everything always centered around him. How dare I use pain as an excuse to get out of running on a treadmill. I complained too easily. Just like how I complained of that one time when he kicked me in the ankle. He said he barely nudged me. Or that one time he yelled and cornered me in the bathroom when I was trying to leave for work. He said I was being overly dramatic.

One day he said to me, “So you know how I bought those new boxer briefs? Well, I now know what it must be like for you to have cramps. I wore those briefs all day and they did not fit right, they were really uncomfortable and it was hard to concentrate at work. And I thought, that must be how you feel whenever you’re experiencing cramps.”

~Lindsey V.