I have a new blog at www.iamjustawoman.com. If you’ve landed here after visiting that site or reading the eBook, welcome.
Shortly, I will be taking down this blog and starting a new one about my journey following trauma therapy. You can find it at www.iamjustawoman.com. Thank you again for following me, and I hope to see you at my new online home.
I’m spreading my wings and now have the ebook on BN.com for the Nook. I hope you’ll read and pass it on. Many thanks.
I’m very excited to announce that my book, “I Am Just A Woman,” is now available for Kindle. Here is the link.
If you have already the free .pdf, which was available on this blog, would you be so kind as to write a review on Amazon? I would sure appreciate it. Thank you in advance!
The .pdf of the book will be available soon! I’m just finishing the final round of edits. In the meantime, here is the cover.
My designer took a much-needed summer vacation, but it looks like the ebook will be ready around Labor Day. I’ll be sure and let you know, believe me! By that point, it will have been nearly a year since I started this project.
A lot has happened since then, mostly due to the excellent therapy program I have been in since Feb. of this year. I have almost completed the program, which was initially set at 18 weeks but my therapist and I agreed to extend it. She and I hope to conclude our sessions together by early October.
To say that this therapeutic process has been life altering would be putting it mildly. It has also, without a doubt, the most challenging personal endeavor of my life. That includes dealing with the deaths of my parents and my mother-in-law. The grief I have experienced over the past few months has eclipsed everything else, at times.
I also have struggled to keep my balance at work and eventually took a one-month leave. Although I’m back at work, I’m still having a difficult time being around other people constantly, every day, and having to put on that “work face” (you know the one I mean!).
Some days I feel like giving up. Other days I feel mildly hopeful. Most of the time, I keep asking myself these questions: “Who am I? What should I do now?”
Being in that state of uncertainty is, honestly, terrible. And I also have to fight against being angry all the time at my ex-husband for hurting me in such a deep and permanent way.
I suppose if I could do anything now, it would be to try and help people understand that domestic violence doesn’t end when she (usually a she) walks out the door. The damage is permanent. And she will need help and understanding every day, for the rest of her life.
The regular rules do not apply to her. She can’t “just let go,” or “pull herself up by her bootstraps,” or “just make different choices.” Those are options that people who have experienced this type of trauma NEVER have. And never WILL have.
That’s a tough concept to grasp as a trauma victim/survivor, and even tougher for people who haven’t been in this situation. But believe me, I’ve berated myself for years, wondering why all those self-help books and advice guides never seemed to work for me.
Now I know that they weren’t meant for me, and people like me.
So if I could do anything, it would be trying to explain that while survivors of domestic violence aren’t “damaged goods,” we are somewhat disabled. Our thinking processes, even with therapeutic help, are different from a non-traumatized person’s. We can learn coping skills, but the disability is permanent.
We wouldn’t tell a person with one leg to just go ahead and walk. And when he can’t, we wouldn’t say, “What’s the matter with you? Just do it! And what’s taking you so long? Hurry up!”
That’s part of the message — only a small part, by the way — that society sends to victims of domestic violence.
All this to say, we have a long way to go before we, as a culture, can truly support people like me in the best way possible. I’m fortunate to have found a good therapy provider while, God willing, I still have a few years left to live.
Maybe those years can be better.
It’s looking really beautiful! (Thank you, Marge!) We have just a few minor fixes to make, and then it will be ready to share with the world as a .pdf. :-)
I am going to share it on Amazon, etc.. Still determining the best way to do that. I’ll either create the electronic file myself or pay a fee to have a service do it for me.
I’ve also been investigating print-on-demand options, for actual printed/bound copies. My dream would be to print just a handful of them to donate to this counseling program I’ve been going to for several months and have them available for anyone else who wants them. So stay tuned for that possibility, as well.
As always, thanks for following. I’m struggling right now to integrate what I’m learning in my wonderfully challenging therapy sessions into my daily life. My hope is that over time, it will get easier, like most things. Keep the faith, right?
Just sent the manuscript to my lovely page designer, who will turn it into a .pdf that I’ll be offering here as a free download.
As for me, I’m completing the final month of a PTSD treatment program. I had to take a medical leave from my job to do so; I’m grateful to have the time off.
Having said that, I don’t feel nearly “complete.” In fact, although I’m much more aware of the effects of trauma and believe I can start to change them, I also feel rather lost. As I wrote about recently, turning my gaze toward myself is something I have never done. At times, it feels like, “What’s the point?”
But I’ll keep trying to find some purpose for myself, and for my life. I suppose it’s never too late, right? I’ll keep telling myself that, at least!
If all goes well, the .pdf of the ebook version of this blog will be ready in July. I’m also going to do a fully electronic version (like for Kindle) but am still investigating the best way to do that.
So thanks to anyone and everyone who is still following!
For people who have experienced long-term domestic violence, one of the lingering after-effects is the hyper-awareness of your surroundings and of what other people are doing. When you live “on guard” every second of every day, over a period of years, you get very good at reading people’s signals, looking for signs that they might harm you.
Unfortunately, this ability — borne from necessity — comes at great personal cost. It makes it extraordinarily difficult to “take your eye off the ball” and look inward, instead of outward.
As I start to look inside myself, literally for the first time in my life, this process is revealing a couple of things: 1) I experience a lot of physical pain all the time, whih I have managed to simply ignore (common among people with PTSD), and 2) that I really don’t know myself. The way other people see me has very little resonance with how I see myself, which at the moment is sort of a blank space.
It’s not that I have low self-esteem. It’s like I have no esteem to begin with.
Somehow I need to create a self portrait that shows me who I am. I’m just trying to figure out how to do that …