For so many years I felt as if life was just about getting up every day, existing just until another night of the haunting dark hours. I would be still in the dark, fighting with all I had to stay awake. Why could I not just close my eyes? That meant the return of the nightmares. I would feel the quiet all around me, and remember that for so many years those hours were not safe for me. You listen for the creek on the stairs, the lights going off and the house falling into silence. This is a memory I know I share with others, all be it a slight variation on my own situation. We are haunted by our past. At that time in my life, I never knew the sheer joy that was to come into my life altering it forever.
I sat this evening with my two-year old Grandson asleep next to me; I have never felt more elated to be here on this side of life. He loves me for who I am, with a pure love that has no bounds. My past can only take this from me if I let it. I look at his sleeping face and the gentle rise and fall of his chest, the innocence, the trust he has in life. His small hand tightly in mine, just where he had put it. For so many reasons I could have missed this miracle of life.
So I say to all of you out there thinking that life is not worth living, that only the bad things in life ever happen to you. That somehow you can only see dark corners and shades of black. Look to the future. Some years from now you will be in a situation such as mine, and you will be glad to be alive. Keep getting up every morning, because one of those mornings not too far away in your future…. life will take your breath away.
This situation for me was something I had to contend with for many years.
The room is full but for me it may as well have been empty. All I can hear is white noise, were they talking to me? Why would they want to talk to me? Someone asks me if I am ok; but the voice seems so far away, somewhat like a distant echo. I am stuck within my mind. Why does the world not stop turning, there is nothing out there but pain and sorrow. All of a sudden the room becomes full, people crowding in on me, judging me. The evil within me must be so very apparent. I was the one that allowed the abuse; I could have stopped it in a heartbeat. But I was far too weak. Part of my suggested treatment was to get out more, to mix with others. How could I do that? How can I share the complete and utter despair I was feeling? I didn’t feel the need to do so. Why look for an ear to share with, when you already have the ear of the one person you fear – the Bogeyman. Was he not just a childhood apparition? How could he possibly follow me on and in to adulthood? But there he was sitting on my shoulder.
The above situation I am sure to some may feel like a mirrored speculum, shadowed within your own thoughts. For each of us the refection may appear differently, which matters none. Our goal is to be able to look into that mirror, and not to be ashamed at the hateful person looking back at you as I felt. This is achievable to that I bear witness; we just need to alter our attitude, change our behaviour from that of a victim to that of a survivor. Realise the strength you needed has always been there, deep inside of you. You can and will come through this triumphantly, because I believe in you . . .
Last night I connected with Lori Finnila on blog talk radio – L J Productions – Women Empowerment Show. Along with Tammy Gagnon the Author of the book ‘No Longer Silent’
Three people got it together with one goal in mind, helping others to recover from abuse. Sadly this is a real problem out there for so many people; the abuse may differ, but the horrendous fallout is always so shocking. Some of our kids live daily with fear dread and terror. How can we help? We can raise the level of awareness, so that falling through the system is no longer an issue. These kids live on the streets from such a very young age, running from their abusers to escape an intolerable situation. Within my own situation, it seems to fall away into the background, and I am humbled and appalled. This will follow them always. Personally I intend to work with whomever necessary; to change the horror story that has been their life. There is a need for somewhere to run and a safe ear. This will be a difficult task for them while trying to adjust. For so very long the only person they have been able to trust, is the person looking back at them each morning in the mirror. Sitting here in front of my computer the words running through my mind are that we have to try, but no, we need to do far more than that; we need to make it happen.
For so many years I walked around with an enormous Psychological and Sociological residue, firmly believed that there was no way back for me. I sit here today typing, in the knowledge that the battle within myself is almost over. This is by far the hardest battle you struggle with; it’s so hard to make headway. You can’t hide from your thoughts; equally you are unable to lie to yourself. For the world around us, it’s so easy to think that we are over the worst. People ask how you are; you say fine but are we conditioned to answer that way? Would they really what to hear the truth? Or are they conditioned to ask? This is unintentional on their part, they can’t see what we are unhappy to reveal. So here is the big question. Do we love ourselves? Do we feel we command respect? This is the place we have to start by putting one foot in front of the other, once done; the battle within you will have been won . . .
Is it not easier to leave all those painful memories behind? The truth is that we don’t, they are just one step behind us lurking. Just waiting for an opportunity to drag us back into the recess of our mind, where we have neatly stored those painful subjects under the heading of delete. The only real way to remove those memories and place them firmly in the trash is by shredding the file . . .
It is my privilege to be asked by Survivors Speak to write a piece for their blog, another avenue in which I may be able to make a difference. It’s so easy to convince yourself that you’re the only person in the world that something like this could ever have happened to. That somehow you’re the bad person only getting what you deserve. I know I did for many years. To dispel that reasoning will be my lifelong journey. There’s little point in looking back you can’t change the past, so leave it where it belongs. But you can make a bright future for yourself because you are stronger than you think. Become that person who looks at the glass as being half full and not half empty . . .
Wonderful interview with Monica, I would like to think that between us, we may have helped someone out there to find the strength to take back their lifes. Link to the show http://www.blogtalkradio.com/monicabrinkmanandoana/2011/07/08/two-unsynchronized-soulsemotionalmental-illness-teresa-joyce
Teresa You are a miracle of hope, an inspirational survivor!
Judy Krings, Ph.D., PCC
Personal and Professional Coach
So why am I sharing these words with you? Some may think that I am trying to over inflate my ego! That is not my reasoning. It’s a message to all of you out there, whom may be thinking that you will never survive what you are going through, that you can see no end to the torment. These words speak for themselves. If someone had told me two and a half years ago that I would write a book. Stare into the face of hell and walk through that door to the other side. Make headway into healing the child within me. That I would find some peace within myself and a reason to get up every morning, I would never have believed it possible. My greatest wish is that somewhere not too far into the future, these words will be spoken to you. We are not so very different. On the 10th of August at 4pm Eastern Standard Time I will be returning to GH radio for a second interview, please come join us. I am happy to hear stories from all those that wish to call in and share, and if I can help in any way possible it would be any honour.
This review was emailed to me with the expressed request to be posting on my web page.
There’s a Fine Line is a book that describes pain, blackmail, sexual harassment, depression, and anxiety. Teresa Joyce does a wonderful job writing about her experiences around the age of 35. She takes on a seemingly innocent job at her Stepfather’s business because he told her he desperately needed her assistance or the company would fold. She was not immediately aware of her Stepfather’s intentions and the pain that would follow his intentions. It must have taken much courage for Teresa to write about such painful experiences and she shares it with honesty. I highly recommend her memoir of a painful past and the willingness to confront it.
I am very happy to say that I am returning to Tami’s show, Empowerment Through Healing LA Talk Radio on Wednesday 3rd August at 2pm Pacific Standard Time, where I will be reading an excerpt from my book and taking calls.
This review was emailed to me with the expressed request to be posting on my web page.
There’s A Fine Line is a wonderful read, giving strength to anyone who has suffered abuse. Teresa Joyce shows a true sign of bravery by empowering herself to overcome the clutches of shame and rejection that had followed her many years of her life. I’m grateful for my audience with her on The Empowerment Place, Blog Talk Radio – many people were moved and compelled from the openness and candour of the interview. Unless you’ve been where she’s been or others, it’s important that we not judge because statistics reveal that abuse is too common and kept undercover for too long. Teresa Joyce, thank you for sharing your story, I know that my life was impacted and I will definitely encourage others to pick up your book
Link to show