Tag Archives: Stop domestic violence

Words from a SURVIVOR….

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My DEAR friend Emily Anne Webber and I just had a great conversation about how abused people feel. We recorded it and there was so much goodness that I wanted to share the recording with YOU!

She has learned how to LAUGH and BE HAPPY.


Give it a listen and please pass along to anyone who could benefit from these words:

Love & light,




emilyselfgrowthEmily and I will be doing a summer call series called ASK THE SURVIVOR. You can send in questions about abuse, surviving abuse, living with an abuser, etc and she will answer. She has so much to share.

Stay tuned for more information on our Ask the Survivor Summer Series!

For more information on Emily, please visit here.

The ART of saying a Powerful NO!

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Photo Credit: horiavarlan/Flickr

Photo Credit: horiavarlan/Flickr

When a dear friend ASKS you for a favor and you are in a state of exhaustion can you say NO without guilt?

When a family member yells and screams at you about something and you feel attacked can you say “I will not respond to yelling or screaming, so we can talk when you have calmed down” without feeling scared or guilty?

When people disrespect others in your presence, are you able to stand up for what is right?

There is a good chance that you either said a quick NO to the above questions or an “Of course” but if I were to ask you for examples where you were proactive and said NO to bad behaviors, you would have a hard time coming up with examples with close friends and family.

You may be better able to do it with strangers and people for whom you care very little.

Standing up for what we believe is right is not something that we are taught.

We are often taught to not rock the boat and therefore the people behaving badly get away with their nasty behavior.

A long time ago when my son was in 1st grade, about 6 years old, I took him out of school early one day for a “mental health day” and we went to get ice cream.

He ordered his ice cream and we were sitting there talking about his latest Lego creation and he was deciding what he would build next when the following happened.

A group of three boys about 10 or 11 years old came into the store and two of the boys ordered their ice creams while the third boy just stood there.

The two who ordered were making fun of the boy who had no money.

The boys took their ice cream, laughed at the one without and proceeded to go outside.

I then got up and told the ice cream-less boy to order WHATEVER he wanted. He looked at me and said, “Really lady?”

I said “Yep … make it an order bigger than your friends.”

I kind of made him order five scoops. He was grinning so big I thought he would burst. His friends came rushing in to tell ME that it was not fair.

I asked them why it was not fair. They said that they only had 2 scoops. I then asked why it was fair that they did not share their ice cream with their friend who had no money.

They looked shocked that I would bring that up.

The other boy said that he would go home to bring money for me and I asked him to go home and hug his mom and tell her he loved her and for me, he should try to always be kind to others. He left happy, the other two…not so much.

What was my little son doing this whole time?

He was eating his ice cream and looked up and said, “What took you so long mom?”

I smiled and said that I was giving the boys a chance to be kind. He shrugged and asked could he have as many scoops as the other fella got.

That night there were two very happy boys in Kingwood, TX, one in my house and one in another house, telling his Mom about his adventures.

I said NO to unfair treatment of a child. I said YES to kindness and I showed my son that day what it means to step up and right a wrong.

How will you say NO to unfair treatment?

What will you teach your children?

How will you stand up to bullying in and out of the family?


Love and light,


Rape is about violence, not sex….

gloria_steinem_via outlookindia.com

“So we who share values across parts of the globe need each other all the more now. I have hope because I’ve seen huge changes. And besides, hope is a form of planning.” Gloria Steinem

Click here to read more excerpts from this article…an interview with feminist writer and social activist, Gloria Steinem. 

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted and is in need of support, please call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

The power of one word…..



Recently, in the WSJ, there was an article on how a disaster was not properly named. The word SURGE was used instead of the truthful word TSUNAMI!

Wow. One word could have saved thousands of lives.

Let me remind you that….
Domestic Violence is not “just punishment” or “I only shout at her” or “she needs to know who is boss”.

Domestic Violence is VIOLENCE. Simply and truthfully!
If you named it correctly, what would you do differently?

Fuel enough to burn through gravity!

rocket-launchHave you ever seen a shuttle lift off?

From what I have read, shuttles use over half of their fuel supply to break out of the earth’s gravitational pull.
After the shuttle breaks free, the fuel usage drops significantly.
If there is not enough combustion and the propulsion does not quite allow the shuttle to break out then all that initial work, all that burning will be for naught!
The shuttle will fall back down and shatter.

I like this metaphor for looking at what it takes to leave an abuser.
In order to leave, you have to have some initial fuel. Perhaps it’s a threat that you finally believe. Perhaps it’s yet another physical attack. Something fuels you to run for your life.
If you do not have the reserves of fuel to help you to stay gone (breaking free of the gravitational pull of the abuser) you will fall right back into their pull and burn up, all over again!

What are those reserves of fuel?

Those reserves are LOVE for yourself and your children.
Those reserves are finally realizing that your abuser tells you LIES!

The lies are that you are worthless, that you cannot survive without them, that you will live under a bridge or that NO ONE could ever love you.

Lies… All LIES!

The deeper you dig to find YOUR truths the better chance you have to stay gone to continue to free yourself of the gravitational pull of the abuser.

Abusers, like gravity, like to pull you DOWN.
They do not like you to move and think on your own. If they want you to think, they will TELL you what to think, when to think and how long to think it.
Abusers like to see themselves as mind readers, as purveyors of Truth!
The world revolves around them and the only thing that matters is what they believe to be so.
Read this former blog post, Bricks are for building and get an insight into some real life abuse.

How do you reserve enough fuel so that you can stay gone?
Some of the things you can do are:

  • TALK to professionals about your abuse.
  • Gather information on how abuse and abusers work.
  • Begin to identify the pattern in your abuse. 1. Event 2. Abuse 3. Honeymoon** 4. Apologies

**Note that in this 3rd stage, The Honeymoon Stage, is when the gravitational pull to go back to the abuse is strongest. You WANT to believe that he means it THIS time. You want to believe that he WILL never hit or rape or threaten you again. Oh, how you LONG to believe it. Beware of this gravitational pull.

All abuse follows this formula.
Sometimes the time frame between the stages varies from minutes to hours to days and even months. I have also seen the stages take years, but it still follows this formula. The abuse is still present.

Keep notes (in a VERY safe place) and note how many things you are being accused of. Ask yourself if you are really that powerful as to make those things all happen.
If indeed you WERE that powerful, would you not make the abuser stop hurting you?

You cannot fight this fight alone. It takes a whole team of qualified engineers and staff personnel to safely send that shuttle off into space. You need a team of qualified people to help you to blast away and more importantly, stay away.

Find your team.
Refill your fuel reserves.
Blast away.
Stay away.
Far away, until you love yourself SO much, that you will never again believe the lies.

Love and light,

Feeling like a puppet? CUT the strings, one at a time…

SONY DSCWhen I was in Russia a few years ago on a clown trip, I went to an hour long puppet show.
I really enjoyed that show. The puppets were exquisitely made and the puppeteer had finely honed his craft over 20 years.
This week, as I listen to some of my clients tell me about things they MUST do to make their husbands happy, I felt that I was right back at the puppet show. I could see their husbands pull the strings making them do a dance that made them feel ill, uncomfortable and compromised.

One particular story stands out:
A wife is “made” to be a voyeur while her husband engages in various sexual behaviors with other women.
She is told that at least he is respecting her by not asking her to “do it” with other men.
She feels relieved that she does not have to take other lovers, and she feels violently ill when she has to be the observer. She also feels love for her husband.

This is NOT an easy situation. She is in a sad and painful place.
It seems to me that she is the chief and most important puppet in his puppet show.
If the wife really wants to change the extra circular activities that happen in her life, she can ONLY change her OWN behaviors.
But she loves him.

I can hear you say, “What will he do?”

The short answer is he will do whatever he wants to do.
He has life exactly as he wants it.
She, on the other hand, has a life that has become disgusting to her.
She can only change her actions.
One of the first things she can do is decide which parts of her married life she can still stomach.
She then HAS to get some professional counseling for breaking the news to her husband.
She can find FREE help at various women’s shelters in her local area. In the Houston area, there is an organization called Houston Galveston Institute and they even offer FREE counseling help on Saturdays. No appointment necessary.

She can create a new life. She can even create a new marriage. But it must begin with creating a new sense of self respect.
She can kick start the whole process by making a short list of all the good things she sees in herself.
She can keep adding some positives to her list every day.
She is going to have to remind herself on a daily basis that she is worthy of respect from others and respect from herself.

If you know someone who can use some of the small steps in this blog, please pass it on to her.
You can also tell her to sign up for 5 minutes to happiness, and she will get an e-course that will help her to discover the inner strengths that she has.
Love and light,

P.S. As she gets stronger, she will be able to CUT the strings in her mind and she will find freedom.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month- Day 28



This group of men committed gang rape numerous times with little fear of the law or the consequences. This is unacceptable and awareness is key. It took great courage for these victims to come forward and most definitely saved many woman from future assaults. Please read and share.



We Need to Talk to the Men Too….

fist-on-table via paulpetersonlive


“Violence against women often appears to be so pervasive and complex that it seems insurmountable. But it is preventable.” Emma Fulu

Click the link below to read more on the new study on men and violence against women and how it can be prevented.



Love & light,


Dancing with Wild Abandon

WomanDancingonPorch via chatelaine.comI had seen her many times during the past few months. She is small and cute and always smiling.

For some reason, she always hugged me as soon as she saw me and we exchanged pleasantries.

When she danced in Zumba her hair flew, her hips spoke volumes and her arms were as expressive as the rest of the Latin lovelies in the class. She used her hair as another appendage and her golden locks flew every which way.

I always admired her ability to move fluidly and effortlessly, as I stomped about and pretended to be effortless also.

A few days ago, she lingered a little longer and I asked what she did when she was not in Zumba. She said she had two little ones, ages 2 and 5 and she takes care of them. I was surprised since she seemed to be 16 years old!

We talked a few more minutes and she asked, “You work in shelters?”

I replied, “Yes, I do.”

Without erasing her smile she said, “I was in a shelter in 2011.”

I am not easily surprised and I usually am not in “work” mode when at Zumba.

I paused and said, “The same man or another man?”

She said, “The same man.”

She continued, “He is not so bad these days.”

Then she said, “That is why I dance, to forget.”

She walked away with a sweet “Bye.”

I looked at her as she left, wanting to run to her and say I will always be here for you.

I could not, she did not ask me for my help.

I took comfort in knowing that she felt comfortable enough to speak her truth and that she has found a way to forget and deal with her pain.

Cardio for her heart…Zumba now holds a whole new meaning for me.


Love and Light,