Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cissy Hunt, author, speaks about Domestic Violence

Please welcome Cissy Hunt, author of A Rose Blooms Among the Thorns to my blog on relationships.  She's an expert on Domestic Abuse.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (A blog post by Cissy Hunt)

My book, A Rose Blooms Among the Thorns, is a fictional story about a woman’s journey from domestic abuse through healing to forgiveness. This book covers a subject matter that is very close to my heart. the subject matter it covers is domestic violence.

Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, yet the problem is often overlooked, excused, or denied. This is especially true when the abuse is psychological, rather than physical. Emotional abuse is often minimized, yet it can leave deep and lasting scars. Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police.

Domestic abuse, also known as spousal abuse, occurs when one person in an intimate relationship or marriage tries to dominate and control the other person. Domestic abuse that includes physical violence is called domestic violence.

Domestic violence and abuse are used for one purpose and one purpose only: to gain and maintain total control over you. An abuser doesn’t “play fair.” Abusers use fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation to wear you down and keep you under his or her thumb. Your abuser may also threaten you, hurt you, or hurt those around you.

Domestic violence and abuse does not discriminate. It happens among heterosexual couples and in same-sex partnerships. It occurs within all age ranges, ethnic backgrounds, and economic levels. And while women are more commonly victimized, men are also abused--especially verbally and emotionally. The bottom line is that abusive behavior is never acceptable, whether it’s coming from a man, a woman, a teenager, or an older adult. You deserve to feel valued, respected, and safe.

Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to violence. And while physical injury may be the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic abuse are also severe. Emotionally abusive relationships can destroy your self-worth, lead to anxiety and depression, and make you feel helpless and alone. No one should have to endure this kind of pain--and your first step to breaking free is recognizing that your situation is abusive. Once you acknowledge the reality of the abusive situation, then you can get the help you need.

There are many signs of an abusive relationship. The most telling sign is fear of your partner. If you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around your partner--constantly watching what you say and do in order to avoid a blow-up--chances are your relationship is unhealthy and abusive. Other signs that you may be in an abusive relationship include a partner who belittles you or tries to control you, and feelings of self-loathing, helplessness, and desperation.

When people think of domestic abuse, they often picture battered women who have been physically assaulted. But not all abusive relationships involve violence. Just because you’re not battered and bruised doesn’t mean you’re not being abused. Many men and women suffer from emotional abuse, which is no less destructive. Unfortunately, emotional abuse is often minimized or overlooked--even by the person being abused.

Understanding emotional abuse
The aim of emotional abuse is to chip away at your feelings of self-worth and independence. If you’re the victim of emotional abuse, you may feel that there is no way out of the relationship or that without your abusive partner you have nothing.

Emotional abuse includes verbal abuse such as yelling, name-calling, blaming, and shaming. Isolation, intimidation, and controlling behavior also fall under emotional abuse. Additionally, abusers who use emotional or psychological abuse often throw in threats of physical violence or other repercussions if you don’t do what they want.

You may think that physical abuse is far worse than emotional abuse, since physical violence can send you to the hospital and leave you with scars. But, the scars of emotional abuse are very real, and they run deep. In fact, emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse--sometimes even more so.

Even though A Rose Blooms Among the Thorns is a fictional book it is taken from my own life experiences. I chose to make it fiction rather than non-fiction because I want every woman that has gone through domestic violence to be able to relate to it. I don’t want them to just read about another woman who experience domestic violence. I wanted them to read the story and relate to it to be able to make it their own. I also want them to know that another man is not the answer to getting free of their situation that healing is their answer. They need to be free to seek healing and find their self. To find who they really are. Jumping into another relationship after domestic violence without healing 90% of the time leads to another abusive relationship. Yet, if they take the time to heal then they can find a new life that does not include domestic violence.

I would like to leave you with this exerpt from my book.
'After stepping to the podium, LaRae looked down at the urn
holding Terri’s ashes then to the picture displayed on the easel before
looking back up and beginning to speak.
“Terri never made it to true womanhood for she was only nineteen
years old when she died. She will never know what it means to be a
mother or a grandmother because her life was devalued so greatly by
her abuser that it meant nothing to him to take it. Her life was snuffed
out instantly with no thought of remorse because her life wasn’t her
own; it had been taken from her. She had become property not a human being.'

Domestic violence and emotional abuse are behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control another. Do you know that every nine seconds a woman is assaulted and battered in this country, and 5.3 million women are abused each year, and that Domestic Violence is the single major cause of injury to women, more than muggings and car accidents combined. Fifty percent of all women murdered in the
United States are killed by a spouse or an intimate partner.

Also, over 500,000 women are stalked by an intimate partner each year. An average of about four women per day dies because of domestic violence. So you see on the day Terri died at the hands of her abuser so did three other women. Three other families in this country lost a mother, a sister, a daughter, an aunt, or a niece.

Terri Carter is not the first nor will she be the last this town will gather together in mourning over. I wish she would be the last, I pray she would be, but until this community starts changing and becoming
aware of domestic violence; there will be more victims like Terri.

Think about it! The next service could even be held for one of your family members…maybe even one of your daughters.”

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Can you love someone you dislike?

Picture this, you are walking down the street hand in hand with the person you love, birds are tweeting, puppies yapping, flowers blooming and the breeze rustling the leaves of the trees.  Suddenly, your man hoiks and spits on the sidewalk.  You are disgusted.  At that moment, you decide that you dislike him intensely.  He gives you the creeps.  However, fast forward a few hours, and you are beneath your silk sheets, lying there basking in the afterglow of hot passionate steamy sex, closing your eyes and thinking of how much you love this man.  This man, who earlier in the day, had disgusted and repulsed you.  How could this be possible?

Dislike has nothing to do with love and hate.  There is a fine line between love and hate, both being very powerful emotions, and if you love someone so much, you can easily flip to hate when you are angry, and then back to love when you've calmed down a little.  Hate and love feeds off the same kind of energy, that's why they're so closely aligned.  Dislike however, is not an emotion and isn't very powerful at all.  Dislike is a feeling you get.  If you think about it, it's not the person you dislike, but the behaviour.  You dislike hoiking and spitting, picking one's nose in public, those are all behaviours.  Sometimes, we might associate those behaviours with a person.  But the chemistry, the caring, the deep down emotion you feel, that's love and can make you turn a blind eye to the irritating and annoying behaviours you dislike so much.

Often, the reason why you hate someone so much is because you still love them and they hurt you.  The real opposite to love and hate is indifference.  It's absence of emotion; you don't care either way.  Many relationships move from love and hate to indifference.  Without love to act as the cushion, the protective wall to hide away the behaviours you dislike so much, they become bigger, more annoying, until you can no longer stand to be in that person's company.  That usually signifies the end of the relationship.  Try and avoid saying, "Whatever, I don't care," because that means you are indifferent.

So, can you love someone you dislike?  The answer is most definitely YES!  Dislike is a feeling you have towards a behaviour or mannerism; love is a powerul emotion that people will die for, kill for, invade countries for.  Only a psychopath will kill someone for picking their nose in public.

Cindy Vine has written a self-help book on breaking the cycle of bad relationships in your life, called 'Fear, Phobias and Frozen Feet.'  In addition, she has written three novels, all dealing with abusive relationships or family dramas of some kind.  They are 'Stop the world, I need to pee!'; 'The Case of Billy B' and 'Not Telling.'  All Cindy's books are available on Smashwords as ebooks, and on Amazon as paperbacks or on Kindle.  You can find out more about Cindy Vine by following her blog http://cindy-vine.blogspot.com/; visiting her website http://cindyvine.com/; or following her on Twitter http://twitter.com/cindyvine or Facebook http://facebook.com/cindyvinefanpage.