Your time to speak!

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All parents who have had terrible experiences due to ineffective courts must read this article! You now have the chance to tell your story andale a change!’n

http://www.examiner.com/article/us-department-of-justice-calls-for-examples-of-outrageous-child-custody-outcomes

The music box

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Lately I have not been posting. I have been neglecting my blog for many reasons. My birthday, school, the kids. They are all excuses that are just that-excuses.  I have been mostly posting about Domestic Violence. While that is a big part of my life, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on why I started this blog. It was not to discuss the atrocious acts of my ex. It actually was to just bring some joy and of course some understanding. So today my friends I would like to tell you about the music box.

For Christmas, my daughter was given a music jewelry box. As she just turned 2, I put it away for another time. It is a simple white box with one drawer and a lid that opens. When you wind the box and open the lid, a simple ballerina spins to the music.  Just the other day, I took it out. After her bath, I sat her on her desk/dresser and opened the top of the music box. Out came the melody of the Nutcracker and the ballerina started to move in her circle. I was sitting next to my daughter on the chair of the desk and watched her face. If the moment was not as precious as it was, I would have pulled out my camera. She sat there, staring in awe and wonderment at this little plastic ballerina. My princess looked at me with such joy in her eyes and then put her arm around my shoulders.

There we sat for about 45 minutes watching this ballerina spin around and around. We sat there, my daughter and I, until her eyes were fighting to stay open. As I put her to sleep that night, I would the box one final time, and she curled up in her bed with a smile on her face.     

This is a moment that I will remember forever. This is a moment that made me so happy to be a mom. This is a moment that will be cherished. This is a moment that I am happy to share with you all, 

No More Week

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No More Week

Abby:

If we are loud enough, they can not ignore us forever!

Originally posted on Teela Hart:

This week is no more week.  I’m asking sister survivors, fellow bloggers and friends to please help spread the word and stop the violence.  You can follow nomore.org on twitter @nomoreorg and FB.

Let’s join the thunderclap.  Raise awareness, raise your voice and stop the violence.

I say no more because for 19 years I didn’t.  This silence was a detriment to myself and my family.   It is my duty as a survivor to help others realize and understand domestic violence is a cancer that will continue to proliferate and destroy the very fabric of our society.

Why do you say no more?

nomore.org

nomore.org

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Huffington Post Update on Paid Leave for DV Victims

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Abby:

I’m sure the MEN that passes this would think differently if the DV victim was their mother, or sister, or daughter….

Originally posted on Teela Hart:

In January Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill to protect domestic violence victims from being evicted for frequent calls to the police. But when the Senate took up the bill on Tuesday, Republicans attached controversial language to the bill that would prevent city and county governments from passing paid or unpaid leave legislation…….

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/12/pennsylvania-paid-leave_n_4951673.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share

What will they think of next?  SMH

Here’s another politician to shake your head at:

http://huff.lv/1h3cK0V

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Happy blogaversary to me!

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Wow, a year. I’m not really sure how it came and went so fast. One thing that I do know is that I am happy that it happened. Not only have I been able to bore enthrall you all with stories about how amazing silly my kids are, I have been able to share a deeper side of myself.
Through this blog I have been able to release some stress and be comfortable about speaking of my past. My friends here, and those of you who have just stopped by are privy to my backstory that many who I speak to daily have no idea about. You let me bitch and whine about school supplies, you laugh with me about the gremlins at work, and you cry and hold my hand when I speak about the abuse I endured in the past.
But the best part of this blog, the very best part is that I have connected with so many wonderful, amazing, people. When I am sad you pick me up, dust me off, and let me know that it’s gonna be ok. I dedicate this year to you. My shoulders,my laughter, And my friends. Thanks for making this a great year and for joining me on my crazy carpet ride.

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Time flys by…

To parole or not to parole

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My abuser is up for parole. Time has gone by so fast. It seems like only yesterday that he was locked up and I felt safe. When I got the letter from victim services I panicked. I was terrified. I stop sleeping and the nightmare started all over again. How am I going to protect my family with this psycho loose?
Then I had my meeting. I told my story. I shared my fear and my concerns. For once, someone in the legal system told me that their main concern was for my safety. That they would do anything and everything in their power to make sure this person would be far away. For the first time in a long time I am not afraid. I may actually prefer him to go on parole.
Yes, you read that right.I would prefer him to be on parole.Why? It’s simple. No matter what happens, in 2016 he’s free. But,if he’s on parole until them, I am pretty sure he will reoffend. If he’s on parole, then when he breaks more laws (which I am pretty sure he will do) he will not only have to do all his time but he will get a new charge and be in prison again.
I know that I will always have a fear of this man. Yet, I feel like this fear will keep me safe. Combine that with my monster dog, everything will be aok!

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The price we pay to get through the day

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Stress is a funny thing. Not as in ha ha I am enjoying all this stress, more like “Hi I am stress and remember when you thought it had it all under control? I am going to throw some more shit at you and sit back and watch you unravel. Ha”  These last 6 years have been a mess. Abuse, DYFS, job shit, legal shit, all of the above. Through it all, I pretty much thought I had it figured out. I dealt with each issue, one at a time and did all unmedicated. I looked each challenge in the eye and knocked it to the ground and beat the shit out of it until it just could not stand up and bother me anymore.

I am tired of fighting. Fighting with the courts, fighting with the schools, and most of all fighting with myself. It was brought to my attention this past week that I have no support system, No one to really sit down and talk to. I never really thought about it. I just never had any time. Between my job, my kids, and school there was no time for life outside of what I was doing. And now I am paying the price. I look around and realize that within all this fighting I have lost myself. I know what I want to do with my life, I know the type of mother, wife, and friend I WANT to be, but I really do not know HOW to be that person. 

I struggle on how to see myself aside from the abuse. I am looking for that woman that was there BEFORE that time of my life. That outgoing, happy, secure woman. I see a glimmer of who she is but each time I feel like I take hold of her shirt tails, she takes a quick step and shes gone. She is always just a few steps ahead of me, just slightly out of reach, 

As I near my birthday it saddens me to admit that I have no friends. None. Not one. When I am sad, I do not have anyone to reach out to. There is no one that can rush over to my house in a time of crisis. No one to watch my kids in case of emergency. I spent so much time lying about what my life was, that in that process I lost all those that were dear to me. I recall one person that I cut myself from when the abuse started. Looking back, I am sure he would have stopped the friendship, but I did it first. I was so ashamed and afraid that I just cut her off. I loved her so much-we went through so much together. I was there when her mom passed, she watched my oldest son being born. When my life calmed down, I reached out to her. I apologized for leaving, but I tried to explain to her why it was necessary. It was in an email that she broke my heart (this was not a sexual relationship, she was my very best friend in the whole world, like a sister to me). I was trying to reconnect. I was doing ANYTHING I could to try and get my life back. After emails back and forth about possibly getting together this was what she said: 

U have to understand y I’m so apprehensive. I’ve been thru a lot n adjusted to the way I go about my day to day so its hard to just fit u back in. Not sure that came out right. Its sounds ruder than what I mean. But ya know

 

I kept that email. It was sent in 2009. We were friendly for a little bit after that, but not like it was. She moved on, While I was going through my abusive nightmare, life went on without me. Now that I am safe again, well it seemed like everyone was having a hard time fitting me back in. That rejection hurt. It ripped open that wound that was still healing. I was alone. I am still alone. And I am really angry. 

 I am so angry but I see that my anger is not an emotion. My anger is a reaction to my sadness and my fear. It is easier for me to be angry than it is for me to be sad. I am able to funnel my anger into action. But when those fights, are fought, and the anger is removed, I am still sad, I am still afraid. Most of all, I am still lonely. 

 

My worst enemy is my memory

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Out of nowhere, they come to me. So fast, so hard, it feels as if I am reliving those moments all over again. They bring tears to my eyes and literally I can feel a pain in my chest, as if my heart is literally breaking. I am speaking of memories. Specific memories of the hardest time in my life. The day my children were taken from me. Literally, taken from my home. Woken from their naps, clothing packed up, and I was not to be told where they were going, or who was going to be taking care of them. My two angels. My two boys. Ages 24 months and 8 months. I did not abuse them. They were not being mistreated. I lied  to a judge out of fear. He did not order the removal as a must, the order said may. As in, if seen as a need by the division, the children MAY be removed from the home, not MUST be removed from the home. 

Of course the division chose MUST. They always choose MUST. When it comes to the welfare of children there MUST always be someone to blame. In my case, I was the easiest target. An abused woman. A sad and confused woman suffering from severe PTSD.  A woman who went from being abused by her sons father, bullied by the worst kind of man, to being abused by a DYFS social worker, bullied by the very people that were supposed to help.

These memories come to me at the oddest of times. Today, it was while I while I was waiting at Door #3 for my son to come out of school. I was standing alone, and my mind wandered. I do not know why, nothing in particular that I noticed triggered it ( I have been better at noticing the signs) but the mind took a trip, The first day I was able to see my babies after they were stolen from me by the State of NJ.  They were dirty, and angry, and confused, My 2 year old was afraid.  I held on to him for dear life, not sure if it was for his, or for mine. I took pictures of both the babies that day. I needed to question why he looked that way. Why was he unkempt? Who’s clothes was he wearing? Why did he smell that way? Four years later, I still do not have any answers to those questions

Perhaps the mind is wandering because I need to go to the social services office to change my address. The kidnapper of my children, or DYFS social worker as she was officially known as, is now a caseworker there. I see her every time I am in that office. She always makes a point of coming over to talk to me. I never make eye contact. I try to melt into my seat. I want to yell and scream and hit her. I want to ask her how she has the audacity to even talk to me after all she did to my family. She allowed me to be substantiated with abuse and neglect, while the actual abuser and convicted felon was let off the charges because her counsel (the DYFS attorney) was too lazy to do his job and re-try the case. There was no need. I was already blamed so they could move on. This individual tells me she understands. She knows what I went through. You see, she was an abused woman as well. HOW DARE YOU COMPARE YOURSELF TO ME? YOU STOLE MY CHILDREN FROM ME TO PROVE A POINT. YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I WENT THROUGH. If she knew she would not allowed the situation to go as far as it did. You would have known and understood that in reality protecting the mother IS protecting the child.

Maybe the memories are coming back because I finally have my time to speak to the Parole board, I get to tell them why I feel like my abuser should NOT have the chance to get out of prison. Perhaps the memory is trying to help me. Remind me of the pain he has put me through. The pain he has put my children through,  I need to express that pain to those people on the parole board. I need to show them that this person needs to be in jail. He will abuse again. He will try to kill again. He will sell drugs again. Whatever the reasons, those memories are back. The memories will not let me go, And they hurt. Pain that I can not explain. Oh memories, you are truly the worst enemies that I have. 

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Being outside the “cool” Mommy Circle

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As a kid, teenager, and even most of my adult life, I have never had any problems making friends. I had a larger circle of people that I was associated with, and those few important people that I considered my close friends. I always imagined that when I had children that I would be good friends with at least one of their friends moms, or at least I would know who these women were. I imagined that my kids would have play-dates on the weekends, and snow days ,and of course the summers.

My oldest being in Kindergarten, I am learning that creating these relationships with other mom’s is not easy. I find it hard to reach out sometimes, and not one mom has ever called me for a play-date. My son spoke about his friends in school but I never really was confident about inviting them over to my apartment. Now that I moved to a house, I am eager to have people come to my home but now we are in a new school and my anxiety over meeting new people begins again. 

Many of the families who live here either grew up in this town, or married someone who grew up in this town. Even though I grew up here, since I went to private school I do not know anyone. Now that I have moved, I have to pick up my son from his school every day. When he was on the bus, I was able to make conversation with the other moms that picked up their kids-especially since we all lived in the same apartment complex. Now, I stand alone and no one really talks to me. There are the same women gathering every day. They all group together in little Mommy circles. They are laughing, and smiling, and talking about, well I have no idea what they are talking about. I don’t think they are intentionally leaving me out,and they are not ignoring me, or being mean, they just don’t know me. I would like to have someone ask me how my weekend was, or even talk about the upcoming horrible weather we are having, but alas I do not have that at all.

 I stand at door #3, trying to be invisible, yet feeling like I have a huge red blinking sign above my head that says “NEW MOM ON THE BLOCK. I am also at fault. I do not reach out. I am not introducing myself to anyone. I think it’s because I am scared.  I do not know what to even talk about to another mom. Most of my conversations are centered around my past. My abuse. My advocacy. I try not to let that define me, however, it is such an important part of my life. I have this need to share my story so that I can try to make a  difference. So that it was not all for naught. I have gone back to school to get my Masters in Social Work so I can work with victims and survivors or domestic violence. My ultimate goal is to change laws to protect the survivor NOT the abuser and to open more centers like 180 Turning Lives Around, all over the country. 

So here is my dilemma and I am opening this forum up for advice. How do I let people know about me. who I am, and what I am about without making it too much?  I do not want to seem cold and rude but being general but I also do not know how to be less passionate. I am an “all or nothing” gal, and I have a hard time with the grey areas. But in the end, I just want someone to talk to at door #3.

If you don’t appreciate every day, you should

Video

http://screen.yahoo.com/inspiration/cancer-sufferer-leaves-emotional-final-115422168.html

 

A very sad and emotional video from dad to daughter before he passes from cancer. Watching this makes me re-evaluate and really be appreciative of all the blessings that I have.