How to Accept the Apology You Never Received

Reblogging another writers great insight on how to accept the apology you never got.

I know myself I used to wish for an apology from my ex. Somehow believing that if he apologized all would be vindicated. But would it really? No probably not. I had to realise that I could heal without the apology I never got.

Lessons From the End of a Marriage

In an ideal world, everyone that causes harm to another, either intentionally or unintentionally, would immediately offer up a genuine apology: accepting responsibility, acknowledging the pain, express empathy and remorse, immediately changing behavior and, if appropriate, making amends for the damage caused. But we know that rarely happens. And it never happens as quickly as we would like.

Instead, we receive a “sorry” tossed out with little thought and nothing to back it up. We hear, “I’ll do better” and better never comes. We may find that in place of an apology, we instead receive blame and misplaced anger as defensiveness leads instead of empathy. The apology may be discounted by the excuses that accompany it. We may see an utter lack of comprehension at the pain that was inflicted. Or we may just be listening to radio silence, waiting for an apology that never comes.

An apology that maybe we…

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This 21 year old woman is in jail for defending herself against her abuser

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I read the attached article this morning and my heart dropped. It’s about a 21 yr old who faces decades in jail for defending herself against her abuser.
The laws surrounding Domestic Violence are so archaic in both the USA (where this case is from) and even in Canada.

This article is about a woman who was continually assaulted by her boyfriend pre and post separation. He stalked her and harassed her post separation and even briefly kidnapped their enfant son. All to intimidate her so he could maintain power and control of her (the base reason why Domestic Violence happens).

This woman does all the right things though, according to the law (initially). She reports the assaults, the stalking, the threats and the kidnapping of their son. She gets a Protection Order. She does what a battered woman is told to do in our society.

It ends with a final confrontation where he attempts to kill her, but in the end, in the fight for her life she kills him.

The actions of the Police and the Prosecutor in this case are deplorable. She is charged with murder!!

In the trial the Prosecutor victim blames this woman for the final confrontation even happening saying she should not have had any contact with him if she knew he was violent!! What was she supposed to do? For one thing they shared a son and he had visitation. Then there is her mental state. What the Courts, in both the USA and Canada fail to ever acknowledge is the mental trauma battered women suffer leading up to this final confrontation. This woman has suffered terrible abuse of all kinds from this man, he has already taken their son from her, used his access to their son as an avenue to still abuse her, threatened her family and all of this leads her to being terrified of him and treading very carefully when he appears. Like this article says she is in the same dynamic of a hostage taking. He has taken her hostage in her own home.

When I first moved away from my marital home I saw a counsellor in my new community. After a few sessions of telling her what happened in my marriage she looked at me and said, “He held you hostage in your own life. The psychological trauma that you endured to then get PTSD is at a similar level as Holocaust victims.” That statement blew me away at first. I thought about the magnitude of trauma Holocaust victims endured and wondered if it really was the same. After doing some research and reading I learned that the trauma to the brain is very similar between Holocaust victims and battered women. And yes we are held hostage in our own life through violence and intimidation. We don’t live our own lives. We are controlled  by a man we love and were told loved us in return (that is a mentally damaging concept all on its own). If we are living with our abuser we are on alert 24/7 for potential danger, not only for ourselves but for many there are children to protect. Now you live in that environment day after day, year after year and you no longer think like a healthy person. You are like a rabbit always on alert, ready to fight to the death at any moment (I use a rabbit in this case as I have one and he has a very animalistic brain that is constantly in the fight or flight mode). You know what your abuser is capable of. You know him better than anyone else. You know that through all of his actions that you are right to fear him and tread carefully. And yes you want out, but how do you leave safely? Often after you do leave they don’t leave you alone anyways. You are their possession. And like this woman was told by her abuser, “It’s not over until I say it’s over!”

Yet when this final confrontation happened and this woman defended herself she was still charged! Her actions throughout the relationship were questioned. Just like in my case. In my case the biggest focus was put on the fact that I didn’t lock my bedroom door therefore I must have wanted to have sex with my ex. It didn’t matter that I explained to the Courts that I had three young children that were suffering nightmares (from the abuse in the home) and often ended up in my bed at night. That I needed to be available to them, rather than lock my door and cause them further trauma. It didn’t matter that I explained that my ex knew how to unlock the door in 2 secs. That he had shown me how to do it when our son had locked himself in our room as a toddler. It didn’t matter that I explained how terrified I was of him, that he was already physically abusing our toddler son so I worried that if I locked the door this might enflame his anger and my son would suffer as a result. It didn’t matter that I told my ex no. I, somehow, was at fault for the sexual assaults because I didn’t lock my bedroom door (a room I no longer shared with him).

None of that mattered. None of what years of being a battered woman did to me psychologically mattered. I should have somehow still operated like a healthy, and uncaring to my children, woman and locked my bedroom door and therefore prevented the assaults!

The Court system needs to understand “the battered woman” and have laws that support them. Perhaps if they did men like George Zimmerman would have been convicted for stalking and killing that teenage boy in Florida and Marissa Alexander, who shot warning shots at her abusive partner, or this 21 yr old who was fighting for her life would not be ending up in jail.

I can only hope and pray that one day abused women are truly supported by our legal system and not further victimized.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=395003334014300&id=100005139095760

About Janet B

I am a Domestic Violence Survivor, who battles PTSD. I share what I know to help others on their journey and to help educate society. I also Supervise a Mentoring Program at Verbal Abuse Journals (http://verbalabusejournals.com/). This program matches Survivors who have been out of the abusive relationship for a few years, and are now Mentors,  with Survivors who are either still in an abusive relationship or have just left. A mentoring relationship is set up via email where the Mentor offers guidance and support to the Survivor for as long as they need. Please feel free to sign up for this free service at  http://ow.ly/LSii8

Verbal Abuse Journals facebook https://www.facebook.com/VerbalAbuseJournals

I have been working/volunteering at Verbal Abuse Journals as a Mentor to other Survivors of Abuse.

My facebook page: Freedom Within: My Journey through Domestic Violence and PTSD https://facebook.com/fw.dvptsd

twitter: https://www.twitter.com/within_freedom

LinkedIn Profile: <a href=”http://ca.linkedin.com/in/janetbrownleedvptsd“> <a>
Pinterest: Freedom Within

Key Differences Between the Criminal and Family Court System/ Women’s Justice Center

Thank you Protective Mother’s Alliance for this blog that is originally from the Women’s Justice System.

Protective Mothers' Alliance International

This informative article was originally posted on Women’s Justice Center ( link below)
http://justicewomen.com/help_family_law.html#one

Statue_of_Justice_80_color_5_inLanzalotti_rev_SD_whole_copy

“Suppose a person who has been run over by a truck mistakenly goes to a facial reconstruction surgeon for help, and it becomes evident that in addition to facial trauma, the patient is suffering from multiple life threatening traumas. If that facial reconstruction surgeon doesn’t immediately get that patient to a trauma surgeon, he or she is guilty of gross malpractice. In our opinion, every last one of these family law attorneys who don’t at least advise family violence victims of their limitations in dealing with the matter, is similarly guilty of gross malpractice.”

Most people mistakenly think that the difference between family court and criminal court consists mainly in the different issues these courts deal with. It’s a mistake that can seriously endanger victims of family violence who too often trust that the family court…

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Praying for the one who abused you……Really???

Yes really. I prayed for my ex today. Whew that felt weird even to type.  Let me explain. Prayer-Training-Day-pic In my previous blog I wrote about seeing my “husband” in a few weeks. We were going to be in Court for him sexually assaulting me in the last nine months of our marriage.  To say it was a trying experience is a HUGE understatement.  There were so many emotions during the trial and since.  It has been a journey all in itself.  One that I have struggled to put into words, let alone write about. Yet here I am today. Writing. I soon learned, throughout the trial, that our Justice system is not built on focusing on the facts and proving them right or wrong. It is not about the Defense actually defending their client for what they have done.  It is about someone being charged, being presumed innocent until proven beyond a reasonable doubt that they are guilty. And anyone who is called as a witness, like myself, is guilty. Guilty of remembering facts wrong, of lying, of over exaggerating, of being vindictive and yes of being mentally unbalanced. Yes those were the things I had to try and prove I was not. Those were the things both the Defense and the Crown asked me to do.  It was horrible.  Beyond horrible.  And in the end to see my ex be enabled by the Courts that yes he can get away with this was sickening. I truly worry for his next victim.  I can only imagine the journey she will have. Now I’ll be honest, I absolutely fell apart after the trial was done.  I had watched my ex lie one the stand and say he never abused me or our children and I saw his mother support him.  It was too much.

On some level I always knew there was denial on his part and his families. Many of them knew, saw or heard my ex abuse us.  And by many I would say at least 20 family members.  Logically I knew that. Heck my mother in law  lied in an affidavit saying she had never seen my ex abuse us so yes logically I understood this. That night though,  after the trial, my heart finally got it and it broke.  This led to me wailing in the arms of my fiancé knowing that the family I had loved, supported, let into my home and my heart would never see past their fear and help me, my kids or even my ex (he truly needs someone other than me to tell him that his behavior is WRONG and that it cannot continue). I realized then that there was nothing more I could do to help any of them see the light.

Ahhhh the light. Yes the light, or shall I say God, is what guided me to the next part of my journey. God has been with me the whole time. He was with me when I literally fell to knees bawling. I had finally realized that my ex had abused me for over a decade (as a victim you often deny what is happening just so you can survive). I remember begging Him to save me. I remember saying quietly to myself. “Please Lord make it stop.”

My Prayers were answered in the end. It was not instant, and there was a lot of pain along the way, but He did show me that I was strong enough to save myself and my children. I didn’t need his family to finally see the Light and swoop in and stop the abuse.  I could do it. With God’s help, many friends and loved ones I could carefully escape and start a new life. That is what I did, with God by my side.

As I said I prayed for my ex today.  You may ask how did all of that come about? I mean this is a man who cheated on me, lied, deceived and abused me every way possible. Not only to myself, BUT TO MY CHILDREN! How do you pray for the man who has abused your children??

God told me to.

I was at a Bible study and afterwards everyone was allowed to pray either allowed or silently. I was sitting there with my head bowed when suddenly my ex came into my mind and I heard a voice telling me to pray for him. So I did, out loud. With tears in my eyes I prayed that one day my ex will see the error of his ways. That he will stop lying and denying what he has done. That the horribleness that he must feel inside will finally become too much for him to carry and he will turn to God, ask for forgiveness and will repent.

I do not know if my ex will ever turn to God, but I can pray for him. I can let him go knowing this is a journey I will not be making with him. It is now between him, God and yes that other place.

Peace

About Janet B

I am a Domestic Violence Survivor, who battles PTSD. I share what I know to help others on their journey and to help educate society. I also Supervise a Mentoring Program at Verbal Abuse Journals (http://verbalabusejournals.com/). This program matches Survivors who have been out of the abusive relationship for a few years, and are now Mentors,  with Survivors who are either still in an abusive relationship or have just left. A mentoring relationship is set up via email where the Mentor offers guidance and support to the Survivor for as long as they need. Please feel free to sign up for this free service at  http://ow.ly/LSii8

Verbal Abuse Journals facebook https://www.facebook.com/VerbalAbuseJournals

My facebook page: Freedom Within: My Journey through Domestic Violence and PTSD https://facebook.com/fw.dvptsd

I have been working/volunteering at Verbal Abuse Journals as a Mentor to other Survivors of Abuse.

LinkedIn Profile: <a href=”http://ca.linkedin.com/in/janetbrownleedvptsd“> <a>
Pinterest: Freedom Within