A few years ago, I asked my daughter to make an Easter card for my mom. At the time, my mom was suffering through the later stages of Parkinson disease and I thought a handmade card would brighten up her nursing home room five hours away from us.
I hear you’re not doing so well so I gave my mom a stuffed animal for you.
I hope you like it and don’t worry you are going to get through this.
The innocence of my daughter’s understanding of what was going on was so emotional for me to grasp.
I’ll never forget Raven’s football player Ray Rice and his story of domestic violence in 2014. Only a few years after I was separated from my abuser, the triggers were uncontrollable as Ray’s story seemed to be told, rehashed, and replayed everywhere. I got the impression that for the first time, our story of abuse took center stage on a huge platform.
To me, it seemed to be more of a curious, intriguing, I can’t believe it happens kind of story. Not a narrative that came with supportive help and actual call to action for change. But, I often hoped that something impactful might develop as a result.
Regardless of what did or didn’t happen, the continuous talk about the subject for months on end started a continuous trigger that had no boundaries within me. I never knew when Ray’s situation was going to be brought up at work, on the sports channel my sons continued to watch, or online as I read the news.
Last week, one of my blog readers asked me if I could share a few of my coping skills that I utilize during an anxiety attack. I love this question: it really made me go back to the basic question of how am I incorporating all the things I’ve learned in the past into the world that I now live in.
It’s an ongoing debate within me: have I navigated around my triggers to the point that I control my world to minimize the impact my triggers have on me? Or, have the coping skills I’ve developed enable me to be able to live a productive life in my current environment?
Last Saturday I heard myself snap at a comment my 18-year-old daughter said. My reaction to her was unemotional, insensitive, unnecessary, and extremely rude. Definitely not deserving.
I quickly recanted: “I am sorry sweetheart, I am not really mad at you. What I really am doing is fighting off an anxiety attack. Can we work on this later?”
I am not thrilled my daughter has to navigate her day around my anxiety attack. Just a few weeks ago she commented on how happy she was that I was able to get through shopping for her prom dress on a busy Saturday morning in an extremely noisy and busy store! She said she was so proud of me for not having to have to take “quiet time” to sit away to calm my nerves; she was so excited I could enjoy the entire experience of trying on dresses with her. Hearing her tell me this breaks my heart.
Hi, I'm Sue
Welcome to my blog! I served twenty-one honorable years on active duty, living a double life of capability and accomplishment in the service while enduring brutality and abusiveness in my twenty-one year oppressive marriage. Today I'm happily married and have three children who are my inspiration and motivation.
My goal is to help combat the lies of abusers with the truth of God. I hope you find my words to be healing and helpful through your own life experiences.
Being separated from my abusive husband didn't make me a domestic violence survivor. It surely didn't release me from the grip of his brainwashing control and the innate power he had on me.
Read the full raw story in my new book, Rock Bottom and Faithless.