Domestic Abuse Recovery Mentor
“I have been diagnosed with a disorder that is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and cognitive issues. Despite this, life is amazing! I’ve run my own design business for over 25 years, I have five amazing children. I have travelled overseas solo many times and volunteered for such organisations as Habitat for Humanity. I’ve taught craft in our local women’s community centre and have resumed organising women’s social outings aimed at providing support to women from all walks of life. The support of other women is an important healing tool.
I have finally overcome the darkness in my past. I met my older three children’s father in my first year at University. My self-esteem was extremely low, and his attention flattered me, but he started to make me doubt myself with degrading comments about who I was and how I acted. The abuse gradually deepened until I became isolated from my family and friends. By the time the physical abuse started, I was convinced I was worthless. The abuse continued with him locking me outside naked, spitting on me, sexually assaulting me, pushing, shoving, preventing me from sleeping. I suffered dislocated thumbs from defending myself, a broken finger, a split lip and bones out of place in my neck from constant strangulations. He would tell the children that they were going to have to help him bury me in the back yard and go on to choke me into unconsciousness in front of them. He harassed and stalked me for many years after I moved out, which finally stopped when I moved five hours away.
Years later I dated someone I had gone to school with. The psychological abuse started not long after; mind games, constant put downs. He would pretend to swing at me and stop as soon as I flinched and then laugh, he held a knife to my throat. I did not press charges as I was frightened of him. I was charged with assault by him after striking back, shoving him and slapping his face. These charges were dismissed by the judge once the totality of the situation came to light. The ‘gas lighting’ used by my partner to make me feel like I was ‘mad’ and others to see me as ‘crazy’ is a tool used by many perpetrators of domestic abuse.
I was able to leave in a shorter time as I understood what was going on and was stronger in my own self-worth and boundaries. The constant attention from my first partner I know now is a huge red flag but at the time I was too immature to recognise what is termed ‘love bombing’.
It’s been three years on my own again. My children are dealing with their anxiety and PTSD recovery but are kind, generous, respected, responsible young people. I’m smitten by a man who is showing me an amazing kind of ‘normal’. Making me smile a lot, but first I learnt to love myself. Through counselling I’ve learnt what my boundaries need to be.
I have become whole through my faith and ability to move forward into healing.
"I love me again.”
I am passionate about supporting you in the following ways:
Finding yourself living with domestic abuse can be confusing and confronting. You may feel trapped and weak. Realising that you are not weak is the first step towards change. You are not weak. Every day is one of survival. You are already a SURVIVOR. Changing your mindset to one of a survivor will help you find the strength to leave.
My services and training are set up for families who have come through the DV and are stuck in the ‘what next’ phase. I can help guide those still caught up in the cycle of abuse to services available to help them leave safely and refer those who are coming out of abuse to the appropriate counselling services. I also provide art / craft therapy to help survivors understand who they now are and help realise the potential they have.
Why not ask me how?