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I have been giving this some thought for the past week. I’m not typically big on resolutions, but it seems to fit my need to continue to change myself.

In 2012:

I will be the change I want to see

I will treat myself with respect and dignity and worth

I will continue transforming my body, mind, soul

I will allow myself to be loved, and love in return

I will be swept up in the music of life

Hmm, the problem with waiting to write things down is that I tend to forget them 🙂 I usually hate holidays, new years… Everything.

Two years ago today, I spent new years in a club with the man who would become my bf (a**hole that he ended up being), was still trapped in the sex trade… On the up side, I actually punched a guy for feeling me up on the dance floor.

Last year, new years was miserable, as I had just broken off with said (ex) bf — I was burned out and could take no more. I can’t believe I spent the new years crying in a hotel room, when I should have really been celebrating.

This year, I had planned on sleeping through the new year… my new favorite activity 🙂 Didn’t happen that way… I slept early, woke up just before the official new year, and listened to music (something I would not have done even a month or so ago). I guess I could have gone out, or called someone to hang out with, but honestly, I just wanted to be quiet and reflective (or as quiet as it can get with music screaming in my ears. Oddly though, I find my thoughts quieting the louder and noisier it gets).

I opened the New Year with a smile on my face, and feeling warmed with the massive changes that have occurred in the last few months 🙂

Happy New Year!

❤ Stay safe

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Often we end up asking ourselves, can he change?

If he goes to therapy, if he takes pills, if we go to couples counseling, will that help?

If I am quieter, more submissive, if I learn to listen better, maybe he will be different…

If I just stood up for myself, maybe he would back down…

The thoughts go on and on, often in repetitive circular motions. But there is never any resolutions to those thoughts. Abusers don’t allow for that. They keep you off balance. That is their talent….

But, I digress.

As to whether there can be any change within the man abusing you, or who has abused you, here is my take, based on my own experience with men, my research, and the evolution of my thought-process from victim to survivor.

In a nutshell — no — he will not change.

Therapy is often a “school” for abusers to hone their talents. If they can con professionals into believing they have made progress, are remorseful, and are willing to change, abusers know they will have you, already their victim, wrapped around their little finger.

Therapy is where abusers learn to better control the mask of civility they wear in everyday life. You know, that other side of him that is so charming and affable. The side, that when it comes out that you have been abused, others will say, “X abused Y? No way! He’s such a nice guy!”.

Abusers are the ultimate con artists, pure psychopath.

Therapy is a place for them to learn that there actually ARE consequences to their behaviour. But instead of making them better, this can in fact make them more deadly and dangerous, as they might not be willing to leave a “witness” to his mask slipping when next in a rage. They become more calculating, more even heeled, and more observant of our behaviours, actions, and reactions, and base their behaviour upon that.

Have no doubt of this: abusers are born damaged. There is something within them that has made them undoubtedly different then you and I. Forgetting that can be incredibly dangerous.

But it is also amazingly empowering. Once you have internalized and fully accepted that abusers are inherently different, and that nothing on heaven or earth could possibly change their essential being, you have the upper hand.

By internalizing the message that they are different, a subspecies of humanoid matter, you can begin to untangle the emotional mess that he, the abuser, has placed you in. And learn what it takes to steer clear of men like him in the future.

Stay safe ❤

I feel like I’ve been running on a treadmill the last week or so. You know, running no where fast?

I do realize I am still moving forward, slowly but surely, but sometimes the slow pace frustrates me. I want life’s changes to happen now. 

I love the saying “even if you fall flat on your face, you will still be moving forward” (forget who the quote is by).

Cause even though my sleep has suffered – as in I am getting almost none – I am still going to school. I am still writing my blog. I am still taking care of myself. Even though I have been triggered by two of my exes… I am still keeping up with therapy, and with my support groups, and I decided to trust a friend with what happened when the burden of silence became too much for me.

I passed my birthday in this limbo-like state. I went out to eat with my family. I normally lack the patience to eat out. I hate the insincerity of small talk. I find it depressing. I was the odd one out – my parents were there as a couple, so were my grandparents, so were my siblings with their gf and bf. I was the only single one, and for once that did not bother me.

Yet if I was so unbothered, and in a good mood, why did I break my two years -or so- sober streak? It was only one drink, but I am so unused to alcohol that it hit me by the second or third sip. And I finished the whole cocktail.

Ugh. I know why I did it. I drank to get through the dinner without being disturbed by wondering if the sex I “participated” in the day before was really consentual (it was not. I clearly said no, stop, and even kicked him back).

Am I right to be beating myself up for being fooled into that type of situation again?

Maybe.

But before I beat myself up, I would rather beat him up for creating this turmoil with me.

And for my other ex, for his constant harassment of me through text messages – time to change my number yet again.

So how about something more positive in my life right now?

It might sound silly, but when I am stressed (which is often), I tend to recite things that are good for skin care (for example, what vitamin A or zinc are good for in relation to skin)… And as a gift for my birthday, I got to order a bunch of skin care items. I like to experiment and make my own creams and lotions and body butters…

I discovered skin care as a way of turning my self-destructive tendencies into something more positive. I’m now taking classes in esthetics, and its very weird to be touching other people in the esthetics lab. Triggering in a way, but soothing at the same time.

I have this crazy dream, once I’m done school, and have established myself somewhat in the field. I want to work with survivors to make them feel beautiful, and help them gain back their self-esteem. But even more then that, I would love to create my own skin care line, with proceeds going towards DV awareness.

❤ stay strong

I am currently exploring the possibility that I completely misread someone.

Is it possible to have such a damaging past that you begin to see others who try to get close to you through the eyes of a victim, rather then an empowered and self-possessed woman?

I’m starting to open myself to the possibility that the answer is yes.

So what happens to you’re sense of trust in self when your belief that another person is manipulative, controlling, and verbally abusive is challenged?

Memory is a funny thing. Especially the memory of a trauma victim – there are things I have completely blocked out or dissociated myself from. Even my memories of things that have happened moments ago take on a sort of haze.

So I guess, I am open to suggestion that I was wrong about someone. All it took was a few ill placed words and I decided on what type of person he was, and forgot everything that made him good.

I don’t like the thought that I am sabotaging my personal relationships. But I’ve realized in the last few days, that on some degree, I am always dissociated from myself and my surroundings and experiences.

It is like I am constantly on the edge waiting for an attack, that so far, has not come.

I’m taking baby steps to change that –

I’m trying to reconnect with my body, which I think is my biggest obstacle in having a functioning relationship.

It is the most difficult and uncomfortable thing I have ever done. But I hold all my trauma in my body, and I knew that before I picked up the book Healing Sex by Staci Haines.

I’ve been breathing into my body and allowing myself to simply feel. Being aware and inside of my body is hard to sustain, I cannot do it for more then half a minute.

But, that is a start.

And the relationship I may have misread?

I guess I am open to seeing things with fresh eyes.

I’m North American born and raised. I come from a good middle class family. I’m intelligent, opinionated, kind…

And I was set in the sights of a man who trafficked me in my own backyard.

Article on pimping: http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/rights-so-divine/2011/sep/12/missing-piece-us-anti-human-trafficking-effort/

Article on a woman tricked into the sex trade: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10752933

I met my trafficker through a young woman whom I thought was a friend. She told him about me, gave him my email, and told me she would kill me if he fell in love with me.

That set the stage for his attentions to turn off of her and spotlight onto me.

That is now simple and now easy it is to get into the sights of someone who will destroy your soul.

My trafficker did not make any money off of me. He was not that kind of pimp. At least, not for the two years I was with him… But I am convinced that eventually he would have not only taken financial control, but added other women to his harem. I don’t know, but it would not surprise me if there were other women he trafficked at the same time. The man is a psychopath.

My trafficker got off on knowing I was with other men. He was a voyeur with a huge sadistic streak. He would tell me whom and where and when, and if I did not comply I would be punished.

It started with the introduction of BDSM into the relationship. Claiming me as his submissive and “collaring” me. He isolated me from my family and friends, convincing me that they were bad for me. He ended up being the only person in my life.

I did resist. I procrastinated, I made myself sick, I made myself anorexic, I cut, I drank, I did the drugs that were offered me by the men I was forced to sleep with (which of course led me to being re-victimized when I was vulnerable), I made any sort of excuse I could think of to not prostitute. And still he won.

He even “redeemed” himself by allowing me a “break” for about 2 months. I had become so sickened, so disgusted and dead inside that I was on the verge of suicide. I had already previously made unsuccessful overdose attempts, and I guess he realized he would lose control of me if I were no longer living. I had been collecting medications into a stockpile, enough to kill a horse, along with enough alcohol to drink me into oblivion.

That break was another manipulation. It made me thankful he understood, thankful he was letting me off the hook.

To be continued

Sometimes, when I am feeling vulnerable, I wonder to myself why I left you.

To the uninitiated it sounds completely bizarre, I know, but I do miss you and long for you.

So I have made a list, to remind myself of why I needed to leave you, and the ones that are just like you. Because you are all essentially the same.

You brainwashed me

You set me in harms way

You warped my perceptions of what proper female/male relationships should be

You make me cry

You disrespect me

You treat me like the worst criminal

You make me doubt my own sanity

You’re treatment of me caused complex PTSD, which I still suffer from

You caused me to momentarily die

You made me believe I was worthless. You made me believe I had no one but you to rely on, and that imprisoned me. You treated me like I was nothing, and enjoyed it when I was down, as you got to pick me back up… Only to repeat the cycle over and over. You isolated me from my friends and family, to the point that it still effects my relationship with them today. I struggle to believe they are at all about me, and I struggle to fit in because I feel warped and damaged by you.

You convinced me I was crazy. You convinced me I served no purpose in life if it was not your purpose for me, and those purposes were criminal. You degraded me, you violated me, and you admittedly reveled in your misuse of me.

So. This is where I say goodbye to you.

I’ve been asking myself how one can stand to celebrate important live events when they have been made to feel subhuman.

Even having made a complete 180 from the person I was back then when I was abused and enslaved, I still struggle with feelings of self-worth on important days of the year – holidays, birthdays.

For the most part, I avoid holidays. I used to feel guilty about this… I would be the only family member who was glaringly absent. But the truth is, I do not fit in. And if I am even more honest – the reason I do not fit in is because my abusers made sure I would always feel like I stick out like a sore thumb.

I’m now unapologetic (mostly) when I avoid important events. I would rather look after my own health and well-being then risk a set back.

I had even become pretty good at avoiding my birthday. I would not answer the phone, or tell friends of the impending event. I would not announce it on any social media I took part in.

Come to think of it, I still don’t.

My goal in celebrating the day of my birth seems to be a bit different then my peers who are also in their 20s.

I am not looking to get drunk (I quit drinking), I’m not looking to smoke any illicit substances (ditto), I do not want to go clubbing (I love to dance, but have been assaulted in clubs before… Not my idea of a good time). I don’t want a huge celebration, or even a small one.

I’m not sure I want anyone other then myself to acknowledge the day by doing anything.

So how do I celebrate a day that once brought me more misery then usual?

I focus on good things.

I count my blessings. I reflect on how far I have come, and how far I still want to go, and review the steps I have to take to get there.

I do something to pamper myself. I made plans with myself to order some skin care items online. Self-care shows me I am worth taking care of. Who needs a man when I have myself?! 😉

I might ask a couple of my close friends out, maybe for coffee, maybe for lunch. I usually wait for friends to contact me, as I feel I would be bugging them if I *dared* asked them to do something with me, instead of wait for them to ask. This is the remains of the voice of my abusers. But I’ll attempt to overcome it.

I look forward to a peaceful birthday. I am thankful to be single. I am thankful to be free. I am thankful I am happy. I am thankful for my support system.