Prego and the Loon

Revisiting a Restraining Order With Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

In Domestic Violence, Family, Relationships, Restraining Order on January 21, 2015 at 7:06 am

RO 

It is my understanding that in California restraining orders can be issued for up to five years, and after that it is the individuals responsibility to renew their restraining order if they still feel that protection is needed.

Hi my name is Blank Blank, and I am a victim of domestic violence. I have suffered many moons living with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, AKA my ex-husband, or more intimately known on my blog as my abuser. I had the courage to leave everything… the house that I purchased with my own money, my career, my friends, my doctors, and so much more. As I have said before I took with me only the dearest of treasures, my baby. I have suffered through many days and many nights of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). I can check living in a homeless shelter off my bucket list because when I left everything I had to go somewhere. I could probably even check every form of self help group or therapy off that list as well because some were required by my living situation, and let’s just face it some I really needed. I have battled with the difficulties of being a single mother. No one to share in the good, the bad, and the ugly. No child support checks magically showing up on my doorstep. I had to listen to my child as he said, “My Daddy is at work.” He had never seen his daddy, and therefore in his mind he was at work. This was his thought process as a preschooler. At a later date I had to listen once again as he stated, “I have no Daddy.” Hearing these words roll off my sons tongue whispered so many things in my ears. This was a sad reminder of the white picket fence that never was, and the abuse that has forever left an imprint on my heart. 

For the past five years I have tried desperately to put the past behind, and tonight I revisit those dark corners in the hopes to maintain my sanity and our safety. I will be filing to renew our restraining order when I’m through battling things in my head. 

I would love to hear if any of my readers have words of wisdom on this topic, stories to share, or positive inspirational quotes. My mind is currently a mess, and would love to read some stories of comfort and hope. Thank you for taking the time to read and/or interact with my blog!

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  1. You had the strength to leave, not many do and your son will never know the violence his mother went through, which is truly a blessing.
    In Australia VRO’s are only for a year then it has to be renewed, it would be good to have a five year rule, I know how hard it is after a year and some don’t have the strengtth to renew and fall victim again.
    Look at your son and remember why you did this, and he’s had the best five years already, you can do it!
    Go Girl!!

    • After reading your comment I feel very lucky to have a five year restraining order. I could not imagine having to go back after one year. During that time I was still cleaning up the wreckage of our broken lives, and I was struggling to get back on my feet. The first year or two after leaving my abuser I attended a number of recovery groups followed by many counseling sessions. Today I still struggle with PTSD, and sporadic depression. Sadly, I am currently procrastinating on completing the court documents to renew my restraining order because a flood of dreadful memories begins fill my head. I believe if someone is given a restraining order in any area of the world it should be permanent until proven otherwise. Meaning the abuser would have to complete various classes, counseling, fines, and/or volunteer work before ever being allowed in the same area with those that he or she harmed. Why should the victim have to return to court to obtain a piece of paper stating something we already know… THIS PERSON IS ABUSIVE! Maybe we should ban together and see about making this a reality. Thank you for taking the time to read through my post, and leave a few words of inspiration. I greatly appreciate knowing that someone out there cares.

  2. Have you seen the movie, “What’s Love Got to Do With It”? If not, or if you did, watch it (again). It’s hard to move forward when you are locked within your own dungeon of fear and unknowing what’s outside or what’s to come. But there is a key to unlocking your prison of fear…YOU.

    In the movie, Tina found her strength within herself by practicing meditation and Buddhism. When she ran from Ike, she had practically nothing but the clothes on her back. It takes courage to leave. It takes strength to move forward. It takes love to be at peace.

    This isn’t love you find outside of you. This is the love you find within yourself. This is the love that will ultimately bring you the peace and happiness you are searching for and deserve.

    How do you get to that point? Meditation. It doesn’t matter what your religious or non-religious background is, meditation will help you quiet your mind and listen to YOU and your own voice. You’ll find the answers you seek within you. It’s through meditation that you’ll learn great lessons in life explained. You’ll find the tools you’ll need to guide you through this path through life.

    But you cannot get there without quieting your mind and just listening to what is inside of you and how YOU are going to save yourself by finding that peace and happiness again.

    You’re probably wondering HOW you can meditate. I highly recommend finding a meditation center (there are plenty of free ones out there). One of the best groups I’ve encountered are the Brahma Kumaris. In the first month, they’ll teach you how to meditate. It’s not a cult. It’s not some form of hypnosis or anything creepy. They teach wisdom and meditation, no matter what your religious background is. It’s only up to you to learn what they can offer. I’ve met Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and Christians just wanting to learn how they can meditate and/or connect with God. The BK do not discriminate. They just teach their knowledge.

    It’s in that silence you learn through meditation, by focusing on your soul, that even the things you don’t want to revisit, especially the stuff that caused the PTSD, will bring you a sense of peace again…in a way…it will bring a close to that chapter in life so you can move forward.

    Meditation helped me in so many ways. It opened my mind to the incredible. It helped me reconnect with God. It helped me to understand the universe as a whole, and also understand that we are truly in charge of the universe around us. A lot of times, all it is, is just a switch in our heads. We can choose to go forth and think woe is me, and every single negative thing we can think of…and then bad things will continue to happen to us, because our thoughts can create the world around us.

    But by switching our minds to think good things and positive thoughts, we not only see a change around us, we see a change within ourselves. We can find a happiness that is even greater than the definition of happiness itself.

    There is truth to the saying, “Be the change you seek in the world.” It takes first changing ourselves that we can find that peace and happiness…and share that peace and happiness with the world.

    The personal side to this story, I suffer from PTSD, as well. When I was 17, my soul mate put a bullet to his heart. I was 3 hours away when it happened. The exact moment he died, I felt a part of my soul rip from me. It was the most excruciating pain I have ever encountered in my life. But as quickly as my mind screamed his name, the pain from part of my soul being ripped from me went away. I found out the next morning what happened.

    That was the moment that changed my life forever. I gained 30 pounds over the next few months. I was so dead to the world, walking around like a ghost, that I didn’t realize I was continuously being sexually assaulted. It took 3 months for me to realize I was scared to death of a ‘friend.’

    By the end of the first 2 years of dealing with this ‘friend’ in the courts, I had gained another 40 pounds. I was diagnosed with PTSD right after I reported the ‘friend’ (just 6 months after the death). It wasn’t the ‘friend’ that caused the PTSD. I was already suffering from it before the attacks.

    I always felt half empty after the day my soul mate died. It really felt like a part of my soul was missing.

    Truth be known, 20 years after his death, I still suffer from PTSD. The trigger is suicide.

    I’ve seen many psychiatrists and doctors about my weight. I’ve even gotten the Lap-Band. None of it worked. A psychiatrist was the one who told me that it was the PTSD that prevented me from losing the weight. He said that no matter what I did or how hard I tried, the brain will never let the weight go. Just one of the rare side effects of PTSD.

    To combat PTSD, I learned that you just have to learn to choose happiness, love and peace over the sorrow, fear, pain, anguish, the ‘nobody will want me or love me,’ loneliness, and every single bad feeling out there. It takes a lot of practice and constant practice. It’s all about the mind. We have to heal it, or at least find a way to switch off what is killing us inside. You have to turn on the switch that brings you what you need most (love, peace and happiness).

    I still miss him. I was fortunate to have a meditation where God let me see him one last time. I yelled and screamed at him. I cried. He understood my pain. In that moment of understanding, he handed back the part of my soul that had ripped from me and told me to learn to love again.

    My soul did not feel whole again until that moment. After I left the meditation center that night, I put in my earphones and Celine Dion’s “I Love You, Goodbye” started playing. It was his way of saying goodbye.

    There are a lot of steps in healing. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes many, many years to even get from point A to point B, then from point B to point C.

    For me, it took having a tumor and being told to prepare for the worst (i.e. death) that I came to terms with what happened. I lost a lot of my memories after the surgery, which I’m thankful for. They came back after some time, but without the emotions attached. That PTSD is still there, but I’m learning what matters most…being open to love.

    I have been in love with him for over 20 years. If he were the only person I loved, at least I could die knowing that at one point in my life I had found my one great love, someone I would love for the rest of time.

    It was only post-op that I started to look at suicides with more compassion and understanding. I don’t fall into this purgatory hole of existence when the PTSD is triggered anymore. Before Robin Williams died, I had a dream I was on a ship that was being sucked into a whirlpool vortex. The ship was on its side and being pulled down.

    People around me were jumping off the ship and into the vortex. As one man was getting ready to jump, and I was trying to convince everyone that we could save ourselves, one man replied, “Why, when it is so easy to just let go?” He then jumped off the ship.

    Would you believe that dream was how I was able to understand suicide? Why fight to survive when it’s easier to let go? I began to understand that I wanted to fight to live and save as many people as I can. For others, they just don’t want to fight anymore. Simply put, it’s their choice and you don’t have a say in the matter.

    I’ve worked with women who were battered by their husbands. I’ve heard their stories. We all share something in common…our desire to heal from the pains inflicted upon us that have wounded us deeply.

    One woman I worked with 10 years ago sent me a letter over Christmas thanking me for working with her doing the Vagina Monologues. It was working with the play, doing makeup, that she started to heal from her past. It was our conversations, meeting others like her, and doing something good that helped heal her and motivate her in life to live her dreams and passions in life. It was just one moment in her lifetime that she shared with me that meant everything in her journey to heal.

    There’s someone out there for you that will inspire you to greatness. Finding peace within yourself, helping others like you…that’s how you move forward and heal.

    I didn’t mean to make this such a long response, but for some reason I needed to write it for you. I wasn’t even aware I was following your blog. It popped up in my feed and I read your post. I always say that when that happens, that’s God tapping me on the shoulder to tell me he has a message for you. It’s in this comment somewhere. It’s whatever part that touches your soul.

    Good luck and if you ever need to chat, feel free to drop me a line.

    Michelle Kenneth

    • Dearest Michelle,

      It pains my heart to read the struggles you had to endure at such a young age, and in your story I find strength. Courage to live, love, and overcome any obstacle put before me.

      I thank you for pouring your heart out onto my blog for all the world to see. Your words spoke to me, lifted my spirit, made me feel accompanied, and loved on this journey we call life. I like your suggestion about meditation, and strongly agree with choosing happiness. I currently don’t know what the world has in store for me, but you have left me feeling refreshed and ready to fight back… so again THANK YOU!

  3. Wow. Good luck. I’m glad you’ve had some healing. Your son is lucky not to grow up in the shadows of shame and fear. Remember that.

  4. I also suffer PTSD from having to hop from one shelter to another while seeking work and permanent housing. I also understand how painful it is to hear your child say they have no daddy. You’ll get through this. Doing what is necessary to distance yourself is the best course of action for you and your son. It will all be okay. Perfection is a myth. Life is messy but it’s beautiful.

    • I am so sorry to hear that you too suffer from PTSD. I do not wish that upon anyone. I often think that I see him in the distance or following me in my car. Once I am home I lock myself in my house rarely opening the doors or windows afraid that someone is going to sneak in and attack me. I have difficulty rolling down the driver side window in my car because I’m afraid someone is going to attack me. I have trust issues, and this makes it hard for me to move forward.

      All that being said I love the last thing you wrote, “Perfection is a myth. Life is messy but it’s beautiful.” Growing up I always dreamed of this beautiful little cottage with a white picket fence, a porch swing, a couple kids, a wonderful husband, and a dog. Although as you already know my reality is a little different. I lost my house, my ex-husband is currently in jail, and we are struggling living paycheck to paycheck. On a brighter note: my son is amazing, I love my job, and even though we struggle like everyone else we are truly happy when we can see past the fog. Thank you for taking a moment to read my blog and share your thoughts.

  5. Hi, was just reading through some of the blogs that I follow. Just wondering how you’ve been. Hope things are well for you and your son 🙂

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