A real Man Never Hurts A Woman 4-19-19

This is so true. I’ll never forget when I was in San Francisco. My ex had been so awful. To the point I cried profusely. I left the house and went to my church and prayed at the altar. On the way home I was angry at God. Even yelling at him. I stopped at a convenience store before going back home. As I walked in, an older man walked in behind me. As we walked towards the back he suddenly said “I want you to know God heard you tonight”. I looked at him and said “excuse me”. He said “God saw who hurt you tonight and made you cry. He wants you to know he will deal with him but he also wants you to know he has a plan for you. Everything is going to be alright”. I was so taken aback. He told me God had a plan for me. He said don’t worry about the person who hurt you. God will deal with him but as for you he has a plan and everything is going to be ok. I began to cry. This stranger put one arm around me and raised his other arm in the air and said “St Catherine of Sienna I ask you to intercede for this woman tonight. May you offer her the same gift you offered me years ago!” I looked at him and asked “Are you Catholic?” He answered “we are all Catholic”. He went on to share a story when he was in Europe and was down and out. He prayed even praying to St. Catherine of Sienna asking her to pray for him. A miracle happened. He prayed that I too would receive the same gift of a miracle he received that time.

Now you might wonder who this man was. I have no idea. He was just a business man who was lost in the city. He had google map on his iPad and wanted to ask the store clerk questions. Before he left he said “I’m so glad I walked in here tonight. God bless you.” He walked out and got in to his Mercedes and drove away.

I probably will never forget this night. They say God speaks to you through people. I have always been grateful he spoke to me through a stranger that night.

You Love A Guy Who….4-17-19

How many of you women have found yourself in toxic relationships with a man who continuously treats you like garbage. He causes so much havoc in your life that you think you’re going insane?

I’ve found myself in these types of relationships a time or two. My guy was guilty of gaslighting me to the point I lost my sense of self respect as well as integrity. I could no longer make decisions. My head was always racing with crazy thoughts. Even thoughts of suicide.

A dear friend once sent this to me and as I read the message I found myself embarrassed. Even though the words were hurtful, especially coming from my best friend who is a male. Sadly I knew everything he said was true. I found myself reading the message this morning. I wanted to remind myself that I had to always value myself more than I value a relationship with any toxic person.

I’m sharing these questions my friend asked me to ponder while going through my own drama because I know there are many women out there who are in abusive, toxic relationships with a narcissist person whose only value is in gaslighting you and making you crazy. You’re not crazy. As you read this maybe you will relate to some but not all of the questions. If you do, I pray you find the strength to get out before it’s too late. Take pride in the woman you are. I need to always do the same. I often remember the words my dad used to say to me “Velma….men are like greyhound busses. There’s always another one at the next stop going to the same place for the same fare”. In other words, there is always someone better out there. Don’t waste your time with anyone who disrespects you, cheats on you, calls you names or makes you feel crazy when he lies to you claiming he’s simply telling a white lie or blames you for his indiscretions and saying you’re crazy. You’re not crazy!! It’s not your fault!! They are the problem. Not you. Instead walk away and pray for the next victim that comes in contact with that person. Their story will be your story in no time flat. I don’t wish my story, my experience with anyone.

This is what my friend wrote:

You LOVE a guy who….

1. Cheats on you (in my case hours before my flight landed to go see him)

2 A guy who likes dildos in his ass. (Humiliating in itself)

3 A guy who is broke ass poor.

4. A guy who cheats on you with women who are basically whores (I’m not sure they were whores rather victims like me)

5. You find all this out when you find his tablet (yup. That’s how I found out. I knew something was amiss so I snooped)

6. He nickels and dimes you

7 He calls you names ALL the time (bitch, _unt, you’re crazy, possessed just to name a few)

8. He lives 5 states over (we lived in different states)

9. You don’t see him on a regular basis (always fighting. One minute he wanted me and the next he ignored me and wouldn’t take my calls. He needed to meditate and drift)

10. He Gaslights you. (Example he called me a freak. When I confronted him saying not to call me that ever again he accused me of hearing things. Omg. He made me crazy!)

11. Lies about everything. His excuse is he’s not lying. He just tells a bunch of “white lies to protect our relationship! Bullshit! He is a liar!

12. Doesn’t value you nor does he respect you.

13 If he really wanted you he would fly to you for a day or two (I had to fly to see him and pay not only to get there but everything while being there)

14 He laughs at you behind your back. You’re crazy and obsessed! Remember?!!

15 No game plan or commitment. The only commitment is the one he wants from you.

Why do you want to be with such a total loser?!!

You decide! Read this again until you understand what he is! A loser! Your a loser as much as he is if you continue to stay with him.

I still find myself mortified when I read this. What on gods green earth was I thinking?! The truth is, I wasn’t. My life had become insane.

It’s hard to take that first step and walk away. Harder to heal from the craziness. However, time heals everything and before you know it you will head to the “bus stop” and find a better guy going your way.

If you need someone to talk to please email or call me. I’ve been there. I get it. I will listen and be your support as you make the decision to take your power back and dump that loser who has overtaken your life.

Velmadunkin@gmail.com

509-750-7451

Repost 5-22-18

I’ve spent the past week in Maui with my cousin. May 16th marked my third anniversary of the greatest escape ever. I left my abuser. The time here has brought me so much healing. There’s nothing more wonderful than that Maui Spirit. We have explored the island and I’ve created new memories that no longer include my ex.

This morning it occurred to me that I’ve been blogging since 2014. I’ve shared my journey with anyone willing to read my blog. I’ve wrote about good times and I’ve even wrote about bad times. I don’t have a huge following on my site however I’m thankful for those who have followed me and showed their support and encouragement.

I follow many bloggers myself. Often times I share their posts on my blog site. To date, I believe only one blogger has shared my journey.

Last week I blogged about my experience with gaslighting. Sharing was not at the top of my list but I realize sharing my journey might be helpful to many other woman experiencing the same. I’d like to ask anyone reading my blog today to please share my blog with others. My hope is that by sharing my story with others someone out there will be inspired to keep going. I’m attaching the link to my Gaslight post. Please post any others. In the meantime….mahalo and Aloha from Maui.

https://fiercefabulousfunny.com/2018/05/19/life-after-gaslight-5-19-18/

Life After Gaslight 5-19-18

Meet “Ron”. “Ron” was a 68 year old retired San Francisco firefighter. He is also my ex-boyfriend. I met “Ron” in 2012. At first, I was apprehensive about him but he was persistent in his pursuit to capture my heart. He showered me with compliments and gifts. He called me cutie pie, baby and would constantly tell me how “fine” I was. He uttered the words “I love you” after knowing me for only a month. I recall thinking his infatuation was too good to be true, but his words also came with his promises of a wonderful life filled with travel, love and affection. He was so sweet, after only a few months he swept me off my feet.  Unfortunately, I quickly learned that this was merely a facade with words he said to all the women he manipulated. “Cutie pie”, “baby”, “fine” and “I love you” was something he had said to all the girls.

Looking back there were a mine field of red flags, however “Ron” had a way with showering me with such kindness in the beginning that it was easy to overlook the flaws. And when I say flaws, I mean some serious issues that no woman should have to deal with ever in their life.

My experience is not unique.
“Ron” is a good guy. I think he has a good side to him. He’s been married twice like most people in America. Both divorces ended due to his infidelity.  He was the cheater but “it wasn’t his fault” or so he claimed. Red flag number one. He was also in a long term relationship with a woman who he referred to as “Mo”. I think because she brought so much havoc and “mo” trouble in to everyone’s life than one can imagine. She certainly brought trouble in to my life.  In her defense, “Ron” brought the insanity out in her. I later found her story with “Ron” was nothing short of tragic. Worse was what he did to his first wife. Sadly she was one of the sweetest women I ever met and in my opinion did not deserve what he did to her.  No woman deserves the kind of treatment myself and I’m sure many others have endured.

“Ron’s” past consisted of drunken behavior. He was an alcoholic/addict who had arrests for driving under the influence under his belt.  He stopped drinking while we were together after humiliating me with his drunken behavior. He also had an infatuation with young women in their twenties and was known to engage in sexual acts with many prostitutes. I later learned he had been on house arrest for engaging in these acts. Of course, I can’t say for sure since this was merely hear say.

“Ron” had a volatile temper and exhibited many mood swings that were enough to turn a sane person in to a psychotic nut. I should know. After three years with this man, I lost my confidence, my self esteem, my self respect, my identity and I felt like I was losing my mind. I really believed I might be crazy. My biggest regret….I only wish I had known these things before I allowed this man to capture my heart.

“Ron” was a pack rat. He had junk all over his condo, which was located in a well to do area of San Francisco. You would have never known it. His condo belonged on an episode of Hoarders. He had so much clutter and he even had old plastic bottles filled with water all over the place. Maybe it was his age.

Two years after I moved in with him he finally opened a carton of lemonade that had been in the refrigerator and had an expiration date of 2010. It had been expired for four years yet he refused to throw it out insisting it was still good. The lemonade was so spoiled when he finally opened the carton to have a glass, he had no choice but to throw it out. What a surprise. Mind you he had vilified me for wanting to throw it the year prior.

“Ron” had odd sleeping habits. He was up all night and slept all day. When I say all day….I mean all day. Often times “Ron” would arise from his slumber at six in the afternoon. Two or three was early for him. He also liked to conserve water. He was a dedicated California resident who only bathed once a month and always on a Thursday. I firmly believe he deserved accolades for being the most conservative California resident during a drought. However, if you ask me he should’ve opened up one of his plastic bottles of old tap water and taken a bath.

At times he had white crust around his ears that was creamy and had the appearance of cradle cap.  At times he smelled so bad I would want to vomit. His solution was wipes (he was the poster child for cottonelle wipes) and he would also use lots of cologne. I often wondered if he was European but was inclined to believe he might be crazy. He led me to believe he was suffering from dementia. In my experience when “Ron” would shower it was His cue for wanting to be intimate.


   “Ron” was wonderful in the beginning. He took me on trips, showered me with gifts,  he catered to my every whim and treated me like a queen. He always held my hand and opened my door.  But that stopped and he would throw the door in my face. He portrayed himself as a family man. An attribute that was merely a facade. He was also lots of fun.  We went dancing and even took salsa lessons. He would hum in my ear every time we danced. He was a terrible salsa dancer but no worries….he would always blame me for his shortcoming and would become extremely verbally abusive.

All his positive attributes stopped three months after moving in with him. That’s when the “real” “Ron” emerged. The trouble only got worse when a his 27 year old Latina Stripper “friend” continued to call and text at all hours of the day including when we were on vacation. Harassment that continued the entire duration of our relationship. “Ron” also began to withhold any contact with me intimately. We went from having an active intimate life to a periodic one, provided it was on his terms. “Ron” had a penile implant. I suspect many of his issues might have stemmed from this creating his own insecurities however, I’ll never know. I will share that on occasion I would wake up in the middle of the night and catch him naked in the bathroom engaging in questionable acts or even plucking his pubic hairs. I found myself in such disbelief that I would run back to bed and keep quiet.

“Ron” did crazy things such as pluck his facial hair while watching tv. He often had a scowl on his face and would pluck to the point he would cause sores on his face. He would often file his feet over the couch. This odd behavior caused me to believe either he was crazy but he convinced me I was crazy for thinking this behavior was odd.

He was very private about everything. He caused me to believe he had many secrets. Especially, since I wasn’t allowed to ask him even simple questions like “how was your day?” I wasn’t allowed to say “have a great day” and God forbid I wasn’t allowed to express how he made me feel. I wasn’t allowed to ask any questions….period!!!  He would explode and punish me  for days calling me names, accusing me of being suspicious and rejecting me to the point I couldn’t breathe. I would cry for days. Rejection can cause so much pain and anguish.

When I was diagnosed with cancer, I got zero emotional support from “Ron”. He was extremely un-empathetic and lacked any ounce of compassion. He would insult me and make me feel so bad about myself that more often than not I found myself in the bathroom on my knees crying from the pain this man would cause. Somehow in the midst of it all he managed to blame me for his behavior and would punish me for days by ignoring me and giving me the silent treatment. In my experience, I’m not sure what was worse, chemo or “Ron”. This man made fighting cancer the hardest journey of my entire life.

I posted the following post on Facebook after my first treatment.  The following five treatments were not much different.  In the end he admitted he had treated me poorly because I was no longer attractive. In my defense, when you’re in a fight against cancer, it’s rather hard to remain the beautiful person you once were. Hair loss doesn’t help.  I take solace in knowing God is a just God and my abuser will get his in the end.


    

Ron showered me with love, trips, gifts, fancy dinners, compliments, concerts…..everything and anything. It was short lived and it came at a very painful price. I now know that this is not just my experience, it’s been the experience of many women who have found themselves involved with their “Ron”. While my story may seem tragic I know I’m Not alone. There are many “Ron’s” out there and I feel they dont deserve to have any women in their life. In fact, they should be locked up and throw away the key.

If you happen to be approached by any man who exhibits any of these behaviors, my advice is run and never look back. Do not make the same mistake that I made getting involved with a man like this. It’s hard to get away once he’s got you under his spell.  I can assure you the life you have today will be no more. Happiness, joy, self respect, confidence and love for yourself will be a thing of the past. You will find yourself questioning your own sanity, when clearly the one with the mental issues is your knight in shining armor. However, if you don’t heed my advice and find yourself in a crazy relationship I will warn you..don’t bother reaching out to anyone because no one will believe you. “Ron” had two personalities. The one I dealt with at home and the other who was sweet and loving around his friends. Friends, family, doctors and church begged me to leave him but I resisted their warnings hopeful for the man I initially met to return.  Finally one day, I snapped and saw this man for he really was. I was heartbroken, humiliated and felt like there’s no way out.

On May 16th, 2015 with the help of the Deacon and sisters from my church, I packed up and left this emotionally abusive man. I left this relationship with a broken heart along with a diagnosis of anxiety, severe depression and PTSD caused from this crazy relationship. You might ask “PTSD?!” It’s a result of the war zone I found myself in. The sad part is  I really cared for this man.

Healing from this relationship has taken three years. Counseling was inevitable and it’s taken a lot of strength and determination to come out on the other side. The pain and scars left behind from a three year nightmare has taken a long time to heal. Occasionally I still experience flashbacks. Three years ago I found myself broken hearted and on my knees praying for strength to get through this. I am happy to say I made it.

I’m sharing my story tonight because May 16th was the anniversary of leaving my abuser. On May 16th, I was blessed to be given the opportunity to fly to Maui where I’m spending time with my cousin. I couldn’t put my finger on why this trip fell in to place. It was crazy how it all happened. My friend who owns a condo here offered her condo to me for a week for free. The dates she had available were May 16-24. I accepted her offer not even knowing how I would pay for my flight. My brother and sister in law used their air miles to buy me a ticket. Everything happens for a reason. I knew there was a reason I was coming back to Maui. I love Maui however, Maui is also reminder of the time I shared with my ex. We spent many weeks here together. Today I found an old blog and noticed that May 16th was the day I broke free from my abuser. Three years have passed. I suspect my trip here is somewhat of a Re-birth for me. I no longer have to look behind me. I can finally move forward and what better place to be to begin my new life than to start my new beginning in Maui on vacation with my cousin who is also my best friend.

I don’t particularly enjoy sharing the details of my past relationship. After three years, I’m still so embarrassed. I take comfort knowing there’s a term for what I went through. It’s called “gaslighting”. Gaslighting is a term where someone uses manipulation to cause you to question your own sanity. My “Ron” did just that. Today I’m free from that relationship as well as that toxic environment. Slowly but surely I’ve gotten my confidence back but more importantly my sanity back. Like so many women, I never thought this would happen to me. What I’ve learned is even the smartest and most intelligent women can find themselves in a relationship such as mine. I still ask myself “what was I thinking? How did I allow this to happen to me?” I still have flashbacks and I’m no longer the woman I once was but I’m happy to report I’m a new woman in progress.

Today I’m hopeful again. I’m eager to laugh and have fun again and I believe my knight in shining armor is out there and more importantly I know that when I find him I will never allow him to manipulate me to the point where I lose myself.

Life happens. Today I’m on vacation in Maui. I am waking up to the sound of the ocean and the cool breeze coming in through my lanai. I have no plans other than to spend the day at the farmers market then the beach taking in all that healing spirit Maui has to offer. Life is good again. I heard a quote once that said “I may not be everything I want to be, but thank god I’m not where I used to be!” Truth!! I’m not close to being who I want to be. Thank god I’m Not where I used to be!!

Just Me And My Mom 3-31-18

I was on Facebook this morning reviewing all of my Facebook memories from my timeline. This memory popped up. I posted this on March 31, 2014 right before I was diagnosed with cancer. I was really sick at the time. My diagnosis came ten days later. As I read my post I thought to myself how grateful I am that I’m now home with my mother. After all, it’s been the support of my mother that has carried me through the past few years.

Some times I want to “throw momma from the train”. At times I even wonder what my life would be like if I could just run as far away from here and live my life to the fullest without my mother. My dad used to say “you only have one mother and one father. When their gone you have nothing”. My dad is no longer with me but thank god I have my mother.

As I pondered the following post it occurred to me that maybe the dream I had so many years ago was a message from my guardian angel warning me to go home to my mother. Looking back, I wish I had. Maybe fighting cancer with my mother by my side opposed to enduring cancer treatment with my abusive ex boyfriend, might certainly have brought a much better outcome than I have lived through these past four years. I finally realized that being home with my mother is where I’m supposed to be.

If your mother is still alive I’d like to encourage anyone reading this today to reach out to her. Tell her you love her. Spend time with her. In the end it’s your mother who will Be by your side in the good times and the bad times. It’s your mother who will love you unconditionally forever and always. It’s your mother you will call out to if only in your dreams.

March 31, 2014. “The other night I had a crazy dream. I am still bewildered by it. I can’t remember all of it, more importantly I can’t remember the woman in my dream. In my dream I was afraid of the woman and I knew I needed my mother. I woke up screaming for my mother. I kept yelling for my mother to help me. I didn’t remember any of this until Ron told me. It bothered me so much. I called my mom just now & can you believe she’s been dreaming about me too. She’s dreamt we were together & I was making her laugh so hard she was crying. It’s funny. As teenagers the first person we turn against is our mother. I know I’m guilty of that & I know my own kids have done the same to me as have the kids of many of my friends. Mothers are regarded as nerds. We are a pain. We drive our kids crazy. But when we are in a state of desperation or in need of comfort, love, encouragement or even a hug the first person we run to is our mother. I guess at this time in my life I need my mother. It’s weird since I always ran to my dad. Not this time. This time I cried for my mother. Be good to your moms today. It may come as a surprise but while we all need our mothers, they need us too. In my case my mother must need her goofy daughter to bring back the laughter we’ve shared for so many years. Here’s to my mother. I love you mom. Thanks for being the best mom ever. Thanks for loving me and always being the one I can run too. I miss you mom. Soon…very soon. I’ll be with you telling you stories and bringing you joy and making you laugh.”

Love More, Hurt Less 3-9-18

How To Love More and Hurt Less From Relationship Failures by Crystal Aryana

“Love is never a failure unless you miss the lesson.” – Anonymous

There’s one thing that almost everyone does that guarantees your relationship will not succeed in the long term, but it’s so common that it’s hard to recognize you even do it.

This simple little thing that people do pretty much destroys your ability to truly connect – and even truly love.

It turns love into a commodity that you barter for, rather than the infinite connection that it really is!

It’s the idea and practice of “transactional love” and it’s the #1 reason why most relationships fail (and how you can “fail yourself” onto the path of learning what real, conscious love is by contrast.)

In other words, I believe, love can be divided into two major kinds: transactional love and conscious love. Much of the suffering we experience comes from our failure to tell the two apart.

What Is Transactional Love?  

It’s the kinda “don’t rock the boat and everyone feels good” kind of love or the “I let you stay stuck in your dysfunctional patterns, if you let me stay stuck in mine” kinda game.

It’s a sneaky kind of co dependence that creeps up on you in your relationship that leaves you feeling unsatisfied and unsupported without knowing why.

Transactional love is the kind of codependent love that must be “earned.”

Transactional love is based on bargains, reciprocates, and keeping tabs on who does what for who (and even going as far as listing it for them). What’s crazy is practically everything we call “love” in today’s modern world basically falls under this category – an exchange.

The problem is that we are using love as a manipulation tool, instead of just existing in love itself – first and foremost with ourselves and then with our loved ones.

Sometimes we fail to recognize when we are “being in attachment” and we go about living our lives thinking it’s actually the “right way” to love someone.

Here’s a good example:

I have a friend who’s parents would only show him love when he did well in school, or performed well at the sporting event.  If his performance wasn’t “up to par” then his parents would treat him more like an outsider.

The poor guy grew up his entire life thinking he needs to earn love by doing a good job, because not doing a good job equated to he wasn’t worthy of love.

This creates a serious emotional attachment to the outcome of “doing a good job” which means “I am only loved when I do well” that it can create an entire buffet of codependent and addictive behaviors, just for him to feel like someone cares.  A perfect cocktail for relationship failure.

We tend to get attached to people because of how they move or inspire us to feel. We believe that we’re in love with a particular person when in fact we’re attached to them. If you’re not in love with WHO his human is – outside of any benefit or meaning to you  – then you simply love the way they make you feel.

This means what you really need is for someone to fill a void in your life or boost your self esteem.  This is why you might even feel sick when this person leaves you because you tend to feel lonely without them around. When in truth, it’s not THEM that you miss, you just miss what they can do for you.

This is why we call this kind of codependent love “transactional” and why it’s so easy to get attached this way.

The hard part is that humans LOVE TO BE attached.  We get attached very quickly and easily.  We get attached to objects, events, and people. We get attached to our personal belongings, a special place, routines, environment, atmosphere, almost everything.

When you love through attachment you become self-centered. You tend to feed your needs with these particular things. And people are not an exception.

Because here’s the bottom line:  Love is not a transaction.  You do not barter love.  You don’t trade for love.

In a lot of ways, attachment is the opposite of love, even though we’ve all been trained to think otherwise. Attachment masquerades as love.

It says, “I will love this person because I need them.” Or, “I’ll love you if you’ll love me back. I’ll love you, but only if you love me the way I want.”

This isn’t love at all – it is attachment! And unhealthy attachment is rigid and controlling.  It is very different from love. When there is attachment, there is clinging and fear.

So What Is Conscious Love? 

The question we must ask our self is what is the type of relationship that we want to have? Do we want to have a transactional relationship, or a truly loving relationship.

Concious love starts with yourself, you don’t dissolve in another person. You are an independent unit and you have your own life plan and goals, regardless your partner. Then your relationship will empower and amplify your life.

When you are attached, you wait for this person to fulfill your happiness, you bind yourself to him. This is a debilitating condition, when you place your well-being into someone else’s hands. Without the partner, you are lonely, discontented, broken, and incomplete.

If you find yourself in a clingy attachment, it may be necessary to take a break for growth, revelation, and enlightenment. When you are loving yourself and others consciously, a break away from your lover won’t break you.

Conscious love and connection is where one feeds the self from within love and thus shares this state of being and doing with others, meeting each other in the middle and not needing to “take” from each other – yet feed ourselves from within.

Conscious love is what it takes to dissolve harmful emotional attachments and codependency (which can lead to self sabotaging or abusive situations in relationships if left unchecked without healthy boundaries and communication in place).

This being “all in” kind of love is doing a “whatever it takes to get it done” kind of devotion. It is a shared, grounded understanding of each other that is authentic, transparent, congruent, and accepting. Conscious love knows itself with a capacity for emotional intelligence and self awareness.

Real conscious love allows, honors, and appreciates; attachment grasps, demands, needs, and aims to possess.

If we examine our attachment with compassion, we can see how it is constricted and conditional; it offers love only to certain people in certain ways—it is exclusive.

This is the definition of TRUE love.  It doesn’t measure.  It doesn’t compare.  It just exists to be embraced, embellished and enjoyed.

And you don’t need to earn a thing 🙂

So now let me ask …

What Kind Of Love Do YOU Have?  

One type of love is transactional, co dependent, based in attachment, and displaces true feelings for neediness and addictive behaviors.

The other is independent of outcome, based in infinity, feeds itself just by existing, and leads to honest, empathetic connection between two people.

Conscious love doesn’t measure, doesn’t compare.  Love just is, and loves.  From this paradigm love is not transactional, it is essential, because we ARE LOVE without needing to “earn it” outside of ourselves.

When you take a step back and look at the type of love you are giving and receiving, and see it in this way, it puts a lot of things into perspective.

That’s what I love so much about your Love Power Reading.  It goes deep into what kind of love life you’re meant to live, how you go about living it, and when you’re destined to find what you’re looking for.

She Came Out Swinging 2-13-17

As of late, the news media has been inundated with news of sexual harassment against women by powerful men in various industries. This has brought on the “ME TOO” movement. A movement where women are taking their power and dignity back.

Last week scandal broke in the White House. It was revealed that the presidents aide had abused his two ex-wives as well as his girlfriend. Despite his history, he was allowed to continue to work in the White House, even being considered for a promotion despite his abusive history. Watching this news has brought back so many feelings that I have fought hard for three years to overcome.

The president of the United States has defended his former aide citing what an incredible job Rob Porter had done while working at the White House. He has shown more concern about the abusers feelings than that of the abused women who endured years of abuse.

On Sunday, Kellyanne Conway made a comment that insinuated abuse only happens to women who are weak. I found her comment to be extremely insulting. I have always been a strong woman however I fell victim to a very abusive relationship. Abuse can happen to anyone!!

I watched the interview of Rob Porter’s ex-wife. My heart started pounding as I heard her describe her personal story. I couldn’t breathe. It was as if she was describing my own story. Her story really hit home. However, as I listened to Jennie Willoughby share, somehow I felt vindicated. I have spent the last three years suffering in silence. Humiliated as I’ve asked myself over and over “how did I let this happen to me?”

What I’ve realized is I’m not the only one this has happened to. I’m hopeful as I watch this movement of strong women come out swinging and take their power back. I’m hopeful somehow abuse will finally be recognized for what it is. Wrong! There is no room in society for any type of abuse against women or men for that matter!

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. On February 8, 2015, I blogged about my Valentine’s Day with my own abuser. I haven’t read it since I wrote it, but it popped up as a memory on my Facebook page today. I have said many times, Facebook has a way with bringing back memories that we’d rather forget. I’m attaching the link for those who would like to get a small glimpse of my experience with my abuser. An experience which I now know has a name attached to it. It’s called “gaslighting”. Once upon a time I loved Valentine’s Day. I haven’t been a fan ever since.

https://fiercefabulousfunny.com/2015/02/18/the-stranger-in-my-bed-2-18-15/

Three years have passed. It’s been a very long road for me. Healing takes time but it’s possible. I’m proof. I’m healing every day. I’m not mad anymore. The pain no longer rules my life. The memories are still there but that’s what they are. Just memories of a painful time so long ago. Today I’m healing and I’m hopeful again. I’m not yet the woman I want to be but thank god I’m no longer the woman I used to be.

I hope that by sharing my own story, like the many strong women across the nation who have inspired me by having the courage to come out and say “Me Too”, somehow, I can inspire other women to come out swinging and say “Me Too” also.

There’s a song by Tom Petty called “Swinging”. I am posting this song because it inspires me to believe that no matter how hard things get, I have to pick myself up, dust myself off and keep on swinging. I hope it inspires you too.

Control Drama 11-11-17

Protect Yourself from Control Dramas – BY JODI JANATI

The following is an excerpt from the DailyOM 

What is a Control Drama? 

A control drama, as coined by James Redfield in his book, “The Celestine Prophecy,” is played by anyone who is feeling low on power or energy, to manipulate and steal the energy of another. Control dramas are unconscious strategies all people use to gain power or energy from another person and to essentially, “get their way with others.” We get our way with others by making them pay attention to us and then elicit a certain reaction from them to make ourselves feel fulfilled. The positive feelings we gain are won at the expense of the other person and this often causes imbalance and drama in our interpersonal relationships. 
Most of us have a dominant control drama in which we engage in automatically, without even realizing what we are doing and to what extent and expense. Your need to defend and engage in defensive responses with someone means you are caught in a control drama and you will thus, “react.” When you start to become aware of your dominant control drama and can recognize it in action, you can start to hone it and make better choices in your responses to others. Likewise, once you understand how others use control dramas to make you react, you can refrain from engaging in them and move on to more healthy resolution “responses.”
As you learn more about control dramas, you will realize you are already quite familiar with them and this is because you have been exposed to a variety of people throughout your life and have had to test each of them to successfully navigate intense interactions. Most people will resort to the same control drama when feeling tested and are completely unaware of it and how others experience them during these episodes. And with awareness, comes change. 
Awareness and recognition of a control drama allows you to break the cycle and choose to disconnect from it altogether. When a control drama isn’t controlling an interaction, you can “respond” more effectively and authentically to others. You will learn about four common control dramas people use to attract and defeat others. You will also discover there are many effective ways to approach others during difficult interactions. Knowing you have choices during difficult interactions with others, allows you to live a drama free life and helps you find your “conversation peace.” 

Gaslighting 4-28-17

A few days ago I was in the phone with a friend. During the conversation she mentioned the term “gaslighting”. I had never heard the term nor was I aware of what it meant. She briefly explained the term but encouraged me to look it up so I did. I came across the following article written by Natasha Tracy. I copied the article and felt the need to post on my blog this evening. 

This article really hit home for me. It described my previous relationship in complete detail. After reading the article everything made sense. If this article hits home for anyone reading my blog, you’re not alone and You’re Not Crazy!!  

GASLIGHTING DEFINITION, TECHNIQUES AND BEING GASLIGHTED -Natasha Tracy

Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse where the abuser manipulates situations repeatedly to trick the victim into distrusting his or her own memory and perceptions. Gaslighting is an insidious form of abuse. It makes victims question the very instincts that they have counted on their whole lives, making them unsure of anything. Gaslighting makes it very likely that victims will believe whatever their abusers tell them regardless as to their own experience of the situation. Gaslighting often precedes other types of emotional and physical abuse because the victim of gaslighting is more likely to remain in other abusive situations as well.

The term “gaslighting” comes from the 1938 British play “Gas Light” wherein a husband attempts to drive his wife crazy using a variety of tricks causing her to question her own perceptions and sanity. Gas Light was made into a movie both in 1940 and 1944.

Gaslighting Techniques and Examples

There are numerous gaslighting techniques which can make gaslighting more difficult to identify. Gaslighting techniques are used to hide truths that the abuser doesn’t want the victim to realize. Gaslighting abuse can be perpetrated by either women or men.

“Withholding” is one gaslighting technique where the abuser feigns a lack of understanding, refuses to listen and declines sharing his emotions. Gaslighting examples of this would be:

 • “I’m not listening to that crap again tonight.”

 • “You’re just trying to confuse me.”

Another gaslighting technique is “countering,” where an abuser will vehemently call into question a victim’s memory in spite of the victim having remembered things correctly.

 • “Think about when you didn’t remember things correctly last time.”

 • “You thought that last time and you were wrong.”

These techniques throw the victim off the intended subject matter and make them question their own motivations and perceptions rather than the issue at hand.

It is then that the abuser will start to question the experiences, thoughts and opinions more globally through statements said in anger like:

 • “You see everything in the most negative way.”

 • “Well you obviously never believed in me then.”

 • “You have an overactive imagination.”

“Blocking” and “diverting” are gaslighting techniques whereby the abuser again changes the conversation from the subject matter to questioning the victim’s thoughts and controlling the conversation. Gaslighting examples of this include:

 • “I’m not going through that again.”

 • “Where did you get a crazy idea like that?”

 • “Quit bitching.”

 • “You’re hurting me on purpose.”

“Trivializing” is another way of gaslighting. It involves making the victim believe his or her thoughts or needs aren’t important, such as:

 • “You’re going to let something like that come between us?”

Abusive “forgetting” and “denial” can also be forms of gaslighting. In this technique, the abuser pretends to forget things that have really occurred; the abuser may also deny things like promises that have been made that are important to the victim. An abuser might say,

 • “What are you talking about?”

 • “I don’t have to take this.”

 • “You’re making that up.”

Some gaslighters will then mock the victim for their “wrongdoings” and “misperceptions.”

Gaslighting Psychology

The gaslighting techniques are used in conjunction to try to make the victim doubt their own thoughts, memories and actions. Soon the victim is scared to bring up any topic at all for fear they are “wrong” about it or don’t remember the situation correctly.

The worst gaslighters will even create situations that allow for the usage of gaslighting techniques. An example of this is taking the victim’s keys from the place where they are always left, making the victim think she has misplaced them. Then “helping” the victim with her “bad memory” find the keys.

Are You a Victim of Gaslighting Emotional Abuse?

According to author and psychoanalyst Robin Stern, Ph.D., the signs of being a victim of gaslighting emotional abuse include:

 1. You are constantly second-guessing yourself.

 2. You ask yourself, “Am I too sensitive?” a dozen times a day.

 3.  You often feel confused and even crazy at work.

 4.  You’re always apologizing to your mother, father, boyfriend,, boss.

 5.  You can’t understand why, with so many apparently good things in your life, you aren’t happier.

 6.  You frequently make excuses for your partner’s behavior to friends and family.

 7.  You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don’t have to explain or make excuses.

 8.  You know something is terribly wrong, but you can never quite express what it is, even to yourself.

 9.  You start lying to avoid the put downs and reality twists.

 10.  You have trouble making simple decisions.

 11. You have the sense that you used to be a very different person – more confident, more fun-loving, more relaxed.

 12. You feel hopeless and joyless.

 13. You feel as though you can’t do anything right.

 14. You wonder if you are a “good enough” girlfriend/ wife/employee/ friend; daughter.

 15. You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don’t have to explain or make excuses.

I’m Still Standing 4-6-16

Dear Ron

On April 10th, 2014 I received the dreaded call no woman wants to get. I’ll never forget the words I heard that day. “I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but you have cancer”. I had a wave of fear come over me. I was in shock. I was at work that day. I called you after I hung up the phone to tell you. The support I received from you was not what I expected. You were heartless and very insensitive. Typical behavior of the cruel man I came to know.  I cried the entire walk home. 

I had to be at a consultation at 3:00 that afternoon. You offered to drive me and even attended the consultation with me. Unfortunately, rather than being the supportive partner I needed that day, you chose to bring all your bills and spent the entire consultation writing out your checks and paying your bills. I don’t remember much of what the cancer coordinator had to say that day but I do remember the lack of empathy you exuded that day. When we got in the car I began to cry. Your comforting words to me were “stop being a drama queen”. This became your mantra for the next year as I battled one of the toughest fights of my life. 

That May we met with my oncologist who shared the results of my oncotype test. She explained I had an aggressive type of cancer that would require and aggressive treatment. The treatment would include chemotherapy, radiation and infusions. She was adamant I had to begin treatment right away. Again, the empathy you displayed would leave many to believe you were a cruel and very insensitive man. And you were. Your concern wasn’t my health, rather you were more concerned about how my treatment would affect our trip to Maui that August. My oncologist was so frustrated with you she finally said “we will cross that bridge when we get there”. Of course our vacation became your concern as I battled three grueling chemotherapy treatments. We took that trip and I returned to endure three more grueling treatments with you by my side. I’m not sure which was worse. You or chemo but if I had to choose, I’d call it a tie. 

I’m sure you recall your behavior my first treatment. Despite being sick you insulted me by telling me I needed to do something with myself. Your comment still rings in my ear. “You look haggard!”  And let’s not forget my trip to the hospital. Wow!  I’ve never met anyone so cruel and insensitive like you. 

For one year rather than show any kind of support or even encouragement, you chose to abuse me, cheat on me, call me names and treat me like a piece of dirt. Your excuse was “I was unattractive!”  I will never forget how you treated me. No woman or man deserves to be treated the way you treated me when I was sick and fighting cancer.  

I had a mammogram today. Ironically it is two years to the day I had the mammogram that changed my life forever. For the first time in two years I’m happy to report there was no sign of breast cancer. It doesn’t exempt me from all the other tests I had to endure today for other types of cancer but I take solace knowing that just for today I’m breast cancer free. 

As I look back on the past two years fighting this disease I can’t help but remember the many days and nights I spent on my knees praying for strength to endure the battle I found myself in. I certainly will never forget the pain and suffering you put me through as I fought this grueling battle either. But as I ponder your insensitive, cruel behavior I take pride in myself knowing that while you and cancer may have kicked my ass, I’m above ground today and I’m still standing. I’m one strong lady!!!  A force to be reckoned with. 

I sat in the waiting room at the cancer unit today. My heart went out to all the patients I saw battling cancer. Their bald heads, the glared eyes and the suffering they were enduring was just a reminder how far I’ve come. However, the difference in the people I saw today was they all had a supportive partner. I wished I had been so lucky. 

Karma has a way with coming back to us in some way. I suspect you will not be exempt from being the receiver of exactly what you put out. And when karma comes knocking on your door, and it will, it’s my guess you won’t last one week walking in my shoes because as fate would have it, unlike you, the good lord blessed me with the gift of strength and perseverance.  Thank god for that! 

Despite the suffering I endured with you at the helm, I’m not angry. Hurt but not angry. Rather, I view the experience as a learning experience. It taught me the meaning of strength, empathy and compassion. As I close this chapter and close the door to the nightmare I experienced these past two years, I find myself beginning a new chapter. A chapter that I intend to fill with love, peace and happiness. And if cancer comes my way in the days ahead, I have faith I will rise above that battle with a smile on my face and the confidence I can get through anything.  But more importantly, this new chapter comes with a goal to ensure that no one fighting cancer will ever have to endure what I did. I’ll share my story and one day the crappy story I lived with you will be the story that will bring hope and inspiration to many throughout the world. God never wastes a bad story without turning it in to something good. I pray my story helps many. It’s my guess it will. 

I wish you the best and pray you get exactly what you’ve got coming to you. However, I pray it isn’t cancer.  I don’t wish cancer on anyone, including you. You’ve managed to get away with a lot all your life. You may even think you’ve won but there’s one battle you haven’t faced……yet!!! It’s the battle you will be facing with God. Now that’s a battle you’re sure to come out at the losing end. So you take care of yourself. Thanks for the good times but more importantly thanks for the bad times. You taught me something very valuable. The importance of how to treat others and the faith to believe in myself. I can get through anything with God by my side. Thank god for that!!!  God bless you Ron and like the song I’ve included on this blog today…..I’m still standing!! I don’t know about you but despite all my trials, if you ask me, I may still be a little haggard, who wouldn’t be? But I think I look pretty darn good standing. 

Love

Velma