Whose that crazy Chicken Lady?

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Thank you for stopping in! I am Christian married to Mr. Awesome, who is my Helpmeet and cheerleader. We are a blended family of 5 kiddos and 2 beautiful Grandbabies! I am Domestic Abuse survivor/DV Advocate, Lyme Disease Warrior, avid crafter, blogger, vlogging, budding Herbalist,Birth Junkie, growing our own food, lover of dusty treasures and all around goofball.

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Friday, July 21, 2017

Someone I think you should know- Lydia

I have been honored to  share several stories of inspiration over this past year. 

Lydia has always been someone I admired, with her amazing smile, enthusiastic outlook on life.  She has been a wonderful voice on the phone when I needed to vent about my own story, afterwards, she opened up, privately, about her situation.

No one would ever know of the personal agonies that hide behind her cheery attitude. 

Sadly, Lydia's story mirrors many victims experiences.

The sensitivity of the following Guest post about Abuse is being labeled with a 'Trigger warning' and not for anyone under 18 to read, unless permission from a parent.

As always, I hope this Lydia brings you inspiration and understanding about a very secretive subject.


I met my husband when I was 26.  

He lived upstairs from me at the apartment I was renting.  I would sit outside on the steps to read ironically, about the time he came home from work each day.  He began to earn my trust by talking about the books I was reading.  

When there was a small fire in the building, we had to move.  We went our separate ways for a while, but he would show up in random places:  at church, at the grocery store, etc.  I didn't realize he was following me.  There were so many coincidences.

I began a new job.  A few weeks later, he just happened to start working there, too.  That's when we started going to breakfast together after work.  He was so charming at first.  

A few months later (This all happened so fast!), he was having trouble finding a place to live.  I thought we were just friends, so I invited him to be my roommate.  I made it clear that our relationship was not going to be sexual.  Even so, he continued to be charming and we started to date.  

Another few short months later, he gave me a ring.  

He was asleep when I came home from work.  When he heard me come in, he popped his hand out of the blankets and in his hand was a ring.  I said yes.  He was still charming.  

Our wedding was a few weeks later.  His charming facade fell away on our wedding night. He changed from this charming, loving guy into an angry control-freak. More about this later.


I inquired whether she had an alarm that went off in her belly, 'Gut instinct'. She states:

Yes, it did.  However, I did not recognize it.  I had been abused by my parents and had therefore not learned to recognize that signal.

Sadly, she is no stranger to abuse. She shared a time in her life when she experienced a dark time:  

Back to the wedding night and honeymoon.  On our wedding night when we arrived at the hotel, I went to the bathroom to change out of my wedding dress.  I heard glass shattering outside the door.  

Somehow, he had broken our wine glasses.  The glass was all over our clothing in our suitcase.  Unbeknownst to me, glass was also on him.  He didn't tell me that there was glass in his penis, yet he proceeded to initiate sex with me.  

As we began, I felt the pain, but since this was my first sexual experience, I thought I should expect some pain.  Soon I discovered the blood.  When I discovered the blood, he began to go on and on about the glass in his penis, yet I was the one bleeding.  I got the glass out of my own body while he proceeded to be angry about the glass in his penis.  I was so confused.  

Where was his anger coming from?  

Why was he angry with me?  

Then, he started laughing and showering me with affection.  I was bleeding so much I wanted to go to the ER.  He begged me not to, saying it was too embarrassing. I listened to him, but was still confused by the change from anger to the love bomb.  I went on as if nothing happened.

On the next several days of our honeymoon, he continued to switch from anger to love-bombing. I continued to be confused, but any attempt to talk to him about the confusion was turned on me stating I was just being silly or oversensitive.  He would also talk in circles, arguing.  He would be arguing without any real point to his argument.  He would change topics often.  

No matter what point I made, he would turn the argument against me.

I asked if at any point in either of any of her situations, did she ever cry out for help to anyone, counseling, help from church or law enforcement? Did anyone ever guess something was off? 

As a child, I once called DCS, asking for help.  When there was an investigation, my parents sweet talked their way through it and threatened to send me away themselves if I ever did it again.  My mother said she would show me what abuse really was.  For the next several months, she emotionally abused me.

When I was married, I no longer recognized abuse as abuse.  

I began to think it was normal.  

Many people, including my ex-husband's parents tried to warn me not to marry him, telling me that I didn't see his true colors.  A friend of mine told me that he was manipulative, controlling, and downright creepy.  

I just didn't see it myself.  

I didn't want to see it.  

Because of the abuse from my parents, I didn't feel lovable.  Here was this man showering me with love.  Sure, he got angry easily, but the love is what I craved.  

I married my self-esteem.  

What kept you going forward?  

When I was a child, hope for a future kept me moving forward.  I did well academically.  I sang well, too.  I was smart and talented.  I knew I would do well in college, and I did.  I had hope for a future that began to come to fruition.

When I got married, that future came to a screeching halt.  My abuser made sure I didn't succeed as a Lutheran Deaconess.  He made sure I didn't participate in vocal performances or choir.  What kept me going then were my children.  I began to hope for their futures as I once hoped for my own.

The questions I hear often is, "Why did you stay?". What were the reasons you stayed?  

First, because of my religious beliefs, I stayed because I did not believe that God wanted me to divorce.  I didn't realize that God also wants us to flee from evil.  I couldn't recognize the abuser as being evil.  

Second, I stayed because of my low self-esteem.  I didn't think that anyone else would love me.  I didn't think I was worth much.  At least I got the love bombs from my abuser.  But over time, those doses of "love" were fewer and farther between.  I didn't know that his "love" was not love at all.  I didn't realize that he was love-bombing me to keep me under his control.

Some victims of abuse do transition into recreational drugs/alcohol, depression, emotional issues or health issues. Had any of these affected you? How are you dealing with your issue and how are you at this point?

I experience depression, even now.  I used to cut in response to the abuse.  I didn't want to, or couldn't lash out at my abusers, so I took it out on myself by cutting.  In order to stop cutting, I began smoking.  I still smoke on and off today.

Children can have various health issues that may not been seen right off the bat as related to abuse. I inquired how her children were handling this situation, she responded:

My children are emotionally delayed.  My son has autism, but I often wonder how many of his symptoms are autism and how many are PTSD.  He has high anxiety and experiences depression.  He goes back and forth between wanting contact with his dad and wanting nothing to do with him.

My daughter has Oppositional Defiant Disorder.  She displays many behaviors that are similar to her father's.  I remind her often that she is not her father.  She has an explosive temper, but is generally the most big-hearted, loving soul.  She has PTSD as well and has recently been making connections between her emotions and what her father did to us.  It is a privilege to watch her begin to heal. 

She is taking the following steps to keep her children and herself safe:

First, I divorced him in 2018.  We are working on our third consecutive protective order.  I have changed our phone number multiple times.  We have a safety plan in place that involves simply calling the police if the abuser shows up and then either exiting the residence to find a safe place, or going to a locked room while speaking to the police.  

Have family and friends been supportive once they have learned of your situation? Did the situation break your relationship with loved ones due to disbelief or fear they have for your abuser?

My family doesn't recognize abuse as abuse because of the abuse we experienced as children.  They are supportive as they can be at this point in everyone's recovery but only one of my siblings can bring herself to call it abuse.  

With friends, I have been blessed.  I reconnected with old friends after the marriage and have rebuilt friendships that were paused while I was married.  I have made new friends with folks who helped me recognize abuse for what it was and stuck with me through it all.

Do you think he will change? If he does, would you go back?

NO! and NO!  Even if he were to change, I can never trust that it is genuine.  

Where do you see yourself a year from now?  

A lot can happen in a year.  

My daughter's healing will likely progress and I expect to see fewer behavioral episodes.  

My son will be less anxious as he begins to trust that the abuser will not be in the picture.  

I will trust myself more as I consistently keep the abuser out of the picture.

How much has you life and have you changed since leaving your abuser?

First and foremost, we are safe.  My health has improved since leaving.  I was having daily seizures and could barely walk, think, or speak much while married.  I haven't had a seizure since the divorce.  While slow at first, I began to walk steadily and think more clearly.  Once the recovery got underway, things moved rather quickly.  I was able to start driving, moved to a new residence and began working part-time.  

My self-confidence is still growing and I believe I am worthy of genuine love.  

My kids went from cowering to looking people in the eye and finding their own voice.

What would you advice can you give to someone that is suffering in silence?  

I would recommend that they find someone to reach out to.  My church helped me so much. Find someone who believes you and can connect you to services such as an advocate.  If the first person you reach out to doesn't believe you or is unable to help, find another person.

I also want to add, that my primary support person is my Pastor.  He saw through the abuser's lies and gently led me out of the prison of abuse.  

Yet, it wasn't my Pastor, but it was God working through him.  God can use anyone to be that person who can lead the way for someone who is still suffering.

Lydia advised that she is open to for contact, if you Dearest Blog reader, would like to discuss her story further. She can be reached at: confessionalmama@aol.com







For help in a abusive situation call-
The National Domestic Violence Hotline-
1-800-799-7233 | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

Stay safe and God bless!






Monday, July 10, 2017

Holy smokes Batman! There's a chicken in the house! Give-away time! Update!

Well, not really in our house! But it got you wondering didn't it? Mr. Awesome created a new box for our girls that are in the nesting sort of mood. This will help give our other hens a chance to actually lay in The Abbey for a change. We are pretty sure there is a cache of eggs in the meadow. I'm sure we will discover by smell or in the Fall.

It came out neato and in super condition! HEHE! The Batman cut out was from Mini Man's loft bed that he has since outgrew last year. It's a great repurpose and the girls love it, though they are snuggled up in the same box for some reason. Any insight on this appreciated!


These weeks have been busy! I have been harvesting yummy herbs for teas, smudge sticks, bug bite balms, aches and pain balms. I have a few tinctures planned and hope to broaden my herbs to better serve myself. Sorry sounds stingy doesn't it? It's not meant to. I do share! Honest!

I'm seeking out herbs and plants to help me in my Lyme journey. Buying the plants may seem weird but the cost of many of these are expensive!




We were blessed to have the local power company come and take down power from a barn that hasn't been used in at least a decade! There is a rumor the barn and silo are next! GASP! Now we have already looked at it and thought what can we ask to reuse? The answer is nothing. Most of the structure is in terrible shape. Not too much to be harvested or repurposed. Barn wood you say? A great deal is not the "Oh so gorgeous" barn wood you see on Pinterest. So, we aren't going to be crying to see it go.

The structure has been a hotbed of wild animal love. From Skunks, Raccoons to heaven knows what else!

We have had a busy few weeks, from our Annual Turkey Run Adventure, the micro-burst that hit the homestead a few weeks back to taking a self-defense course that still has me achy!





 Micro-burst mayhem in the next few pictures!
This grain dryer didn't have a dent in it prior to the storm! It was also lifted enough to take it off the concrete pad. The farmer took a peek inside to see if it was salvageable and discovered it would be too costly to repair.










This tank was about 10 feet away from this location as well as around the corner from where it landed. Alcatraz (What we call our quarantine area for animals in the background in front of the bus) was also next to the tank but was toppled to the area that you see here. Mr. Awesome did stand it up before I could take a picture. We were amazed! The barn roof also was lifted up on one side of it. Mr. Awesome has since used Hurricane straps to fasten the roof.

 Here is the agile and amazing aggressive (But not surprising) Ms. Peanut! We were gifted a 1 day session with Protective Tactics out of Chesterton, IN. We learned a great deal to help us in case of an attack and then some. While it was fun and informative, I am afraid it was too intense for me.

Part of the practice was to wait for your 'Attacker' to make his move on you so you can show what skills you have learned. I was a big ball of emotions and broke down. It made me irritated with myself. When will these feelings go away? If you don't know my story read a brief summary here- Hope when there was none- My story of surviving abuse . I was very proud of how well Peanut did during this class but it pains my heart to know how much my children experienced. Enough about that! All in all the class was full of good information.

My book is being edited by a dear Friend.  I pray it will be in Ebook form before the end of the year. No frills. Just information how we escaped our abuser and to let others know they are not alone.

I started implementing restorative yoga 2 to 3 times a week. I'm easing into it. I'm also trying to make sure I walk 4 to 6 miles 5 days a week in order to gain more energy and lose my fluff. I hope to stick to my low carb (Keto) and no sugar eating habit. It's all me and I admit I love my sugar and whites. I kicked them to the curb before but need to dig in with more restraint. None of these are good for Lyme Disease.

My garden isn't as flourishing as I hoped. I'm still losing plants to heat, rabbits and now Japanese Bettles! UGH! The dream of canning a bunch of items may not happen. I do have quite a bit of herbs to dry and have found several spots of Elderberry and Echinacea!

WHOOPIE!

I have also missed a few chances to set up to sell my vintage treasures. I have to admit it but I'm beat after working. The time I do have after is spent napping or just trying to catch up on domestic stuff. Then I'm too tired to think about selling. I've enlisted J.V. to help when she and Mike are available. We worked a bit today with inventory but it was a bit warm out despite Mr. Awesome reminding me to turn on the fan... Duh!

I really hope by next Spring to have some digs to call my own for Customers to browse and shop. I would like to host some foraging and herbal concoction classes too.

Oh did I mention I'll be hosting a Give-A-Way of a Pendulum?
What mystical witchcraft am I spewing? How am I a Christian talking about this?

No I'm not talking about conjuring spirits or anything like that. You can use this as a tool to help you with food and your body. Seriously! Feel free to message me for the how-to's of using this privately.

So how do you win? You have to enter of course! I'll be sharing a post about entering on my Instagram account and at Legacy Antiques and Estate Sales within the next few days. More Give-Aways for the next few months.

Also to come are more interviews, 'Someone I think you should know' as well as updates on a few past interviewees.

 How's your month been so far? I'd love to hear from you!

BIG HUGS!
Mel

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Give-away time! Winner will win either 1 necklace or 1 pendulum of their choosing.  Available  Pendulums are #rosequartz , #rosewood , and #opalescence. Like this page or if you already have please Share page on your feed! Leave a comment about which item you would like to win. 1 lucky winner will be chosen on Saturday!

Pendulums can be used as a tool for your health! How?!

You can take it shopping and use it to help you choose what foods are good for your body. As an example:
Is this cheese fresh?
Is this a good buy?
Does this product have preservatives or chemicals in it?
Does this fruit have pesticides?
Is this meal fit to eat?

As you would for muscle testing place a common remedy in your left hand (Peppermint tea, ACV, Eldberry, etc...) and see what the pendulum does!
The fabrics that you wear daily have different vibrations as well and the pendulum can be used to figure out if a particular outfit has good vibrations for you.
Pendulums can be used to help realign the energy of someone that is suffering from Depression as well as Bi-Polar issues.

I was recommended The Pendulum Book by Hanna Kroeger to use. It is very informative and useful as are many of her books!

So! You ready to enter? Head over to Facebook and Like my page- Legacy Antiques & Estate Sales. Comment which item you would like to win. That's it!