Stress-less and learning to value me!

I’ve been absent for a while. I’ve needed to pull back and reevaluate some life situations. This season we all seem to find ourselves in unwillingly has taken a toll on many, including myself. I have been reevaluating the need for self-care. Personally, I feel in our society we rarely speak on this issue and how vitally important it is. Especially now with all these lockdowns and the spreading of fear! We are not called to fear but to faith!

This season we’re now in, at least here in the United States of America, is fall. I can look out my window at the beautiful leaves of various colors and be in awe at the greatness around me! Reds and oranges and yellows and yet, still some greens that are seemingly hanging on in a stubborn fashion. Such beauty!

Are you stubborn?

I am though I’m not sure if that’s a strength or weakness. I suppose it would determine how or where that stubbornness is used. I’ve been told most of my adult life I’m like a bulldog with a bone when I’m after something. I don’t want to let go. And this is truth! So yes, I do have the stubborn streak in me.

I believe I learned to be stubborn as a result of horrific child abuse. I believe I had to develop that stubborn streak in order to survive. Any form of abuse is horrible! I firmly believe and feel to the core of my being that ‘It shouldn’t have to hurt to live in a family!’

We use this phrase often in our ministry, Broken Pieces No More Inc.

Love isn’t supposed to hurt!

Families should be safe places to live!

Moms and dads shouldn’t want to hurt their children!

Spouses shouldn’t wanta hurt each other!

Yet, we do….daily…..and yes, sometimes in one family there is daily abuse!

So, I factor in my stubborn streak and yes, I’ve learned how to cope well living within abusive relationships. However, I’m also now realizing that is not healthy at all even though I thought so. Maybe there was a bit of arrogant pride involved! As in, ‘ha, I made it! I did it by myself! Look at me go!’ All the while I’m limping over to the corner to sit down and lick my wounds, so to speak.

When what I wanta be able to do is learn from those false beliefs, those lies, that were heaped on my little girl’s head as a child and grow into the Godly woman I’ve been destined to be! Well, shoot! I don’t know if I’m up for that or not! It takes a lot more work to change my perspective and focus on the positive.

I’ve lived in dysfunctional relationships, well, let’s just call it what it was: An abusive marriage! I felt I was strong to have endured for as long as I did without any major battle wounds! Ha! Maybe I was stupid!

How did my remaining in a cruel, abusive, demeaning relationship build me up as a woman?

How did any of that negative, toxic stuff help me grow and develop into the woman God wanted me to become?

It did not!!

If anything, choosing to remain in a toxic relationship only served to delay my growth and damage my soul!

How?

By remaining in a toxic, dysfunctional relationship I ended up damaging my health by an increase of the stress hormone, cortisol. This stress hormone increases our sugar level and also messes with our flight-or-flight responses. Because of the high stress homes, I’ve lived in most of my life, I’ve been on a constant alert state. That is not good for anyone.

I am now working to decrease my stress levels.

Photo by Pedro Figueras on Pexels.com

How? Here are some ways.

  1. Be mindful of my surroundings.

I take inventory of where I am, what I’m thankful for, items around me, and listen to my breathing.

It might go something like this:

                Take a deep cleansing breath and let it out slowly.

                I thank God for keeping me safe all my life and blessing me with my beloved husband.

                I look around and count the various objects near me that are a soft aqua blue.

2. In being mindful, I remind myself that I am now safe.

Knowing I was unsafe for so many years, beginning in my early childhood, I doubted that I’d ever have a safe place to live. Years ago, when I managed to escape an abusive marriage, I was able to live with my son and his family for a season. That time and now, being with my beloved are the two safest times in my entire life! I do not take for granted the time I now have to live my life in peace!

It might look something like this:

Oh no! My husband will be home in twenty minutes!
I no longer have the fearful compulsion of rushing through the house making sure every item is in its proper place and turned just so! There is no need to turn all the cans in the pantry facing outward nor line up the towels perfectly! That was my old life.
I can breathe deeply now because I am not afraid! I am safe!

3. As I feel safe, I am free to explore my emerging inner self.

I firmly believe as we begin to realize we are indeed safe; our mind will slow down allowing us to process daily activities in a healthier manner. Once you land in a safe place, whether it’s with someone or on your own, you will begin to hear your own thoughts, your own desires, your own beliefs. For me, I’ve learned to weight my thoughts, desires and beliefs against the Word of God! It’s His book I find wisdom and guidance as I take each step. Oh, that doesn’t mean I don’t fall from time to time but the getting back up means more now that the guilt and condemnation is falling off!

It might look something like this:

I’m having a really hard day. One where the stinkin’ thinkin’ begins to get louder and I hear the negative words echoing around in my brain. When that happens, I find myself beginning to feel depressed, maybe wanting to emotional eat a bunch of chocolate cookies or go back to bed.

What I can do instead is remind myself I’ve come a long way and I am His redeemed daughter! I can put some praise and worship music on and I can find scriptures I’ve marked in my Bible that remind me in Him I am worthy!

These are just three areas I have been dealing with. For me, there are more but progress is very possible. One step at a time! One issue at a time!

What is one area where you are growing into a more healed individual?

What is one healthy coping skill you have for overcoming stress?

I’d love to hear from you!

I pray you have a most wonderfully blessed day!

More next time!

Stay safe and take care of you!

Mystery Woman & #mentalhealth

I met a woman this week…some might say a cowinkidink but I think not for I don’t believe in those. She has haunted my thoughts daily ever since.

She and her friend were looking around and popped in my office wanting to know what Broken Pieces No More was!

So I quickly spout out my elevator speech in who we are and our purpose.

I saw a shadow flicker across her face when I mentioned we advocate awareness of various abuses…including domestic violence!

She shared she’d been out of a horribly abusive relationship for bout 5 years.

Before I could stop myself I asked her, “So what have you been doing for your healing in these 5 years?”

She stared me blankly and said, “Why, I don’t know!”

I love honesty!

I invited her to just come hang out if she wanted to, that we always welcome volunteers into our program. She was very interested!

That unexpected question has been hoovering at the peripheral edges of my thoughts every since then.

So my friend, I ask you this same question, “What are you doing to help in your own healing?”

Doesn’t matter who you are or what part of the journey you are on. Doesn’t even matter if your man or woman, boy or girl!

Each of us have been hurt in some way by some one!

And each and every one of us have an individual responsibility to heal from that hurt!

What are some healthy ways you are seeking more healing?

I journal;

listen to worship music;

greatly enjoy being out in nature;

do lots of reading and check in with a few close friends to make sure I’m on the right track.

I also go for a mental health checkup on a regular basis.

#mentalhealth is just as important as any other aspect of our being!

I so wish I could convey to others how vitally important it is to heal from past wounds. If not, then that injured place will become infected and could endanger that individual to growing very ill or even death!

There is medical and scientific proof that our mental health effects every part of our being.

I know I personally have connected the dots in my own healing journey between stomach issues and my state of nervousness/anxiety with past traumatic abuse. Also my back pain with sexual abuse for many years.

As I’ve become more deeply involved in my own healing, I’m now taking back my power by acknowledging that abuse and dealing with it.

One powerful thing I’ve learned to do is to apologize to the little girl within me!

No child ever wakes up one day and declares, “I do believe today is the day I want to be yelled at, beaten, raped and more”!

It was not my fault I was abused!

And I am most certainly NOT my abuse!!

I am healed and being healed!

If it weren’t for my personal relationship with Jesus I seriously doubt I’d even be alive! But I am!

So, I ask you again, “What are you doing to bring about your own personal healing?”

I’m praying for you this day!

You can read more about my childhood in my first book in the Secret series, Secrets in the Holler.

No one deserves to be abused!

I’d be honored to share with your group, organization, church, etc my amazing journey and transformation!

There is hope for healing!

You can check out the faith based nonprofit my husband I formed on face book, Instagram and Twitter at Broken Pieces No More.

As always, you’re not alone!

I’d love to hear from you!

Domestic Violence and winter months

 

As we enter into the winter and holiday season it is reasonable we’ll also begin to see the rise of more abuse cases become a reality. There are numerous reasons for this. Some may be due to the fact more people are cooped up inside during colder months. We also see some families struggling with Christmas whether it’s getting the whole family together with high unmet expectations or the lack of funds to provide those gifts everyone wants. Also, there are those jobs that fall off during the colder months. And as is often the case, there can be more get-togethers around the Christmas season where booze can be free-flowing which contributes to an increase in violent tendencies.

christmas christmas house cold fir
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

As said well by a woman in a private message: I was a young mother with small children to raise. My husband was an alcoholic and often used his drinking to control and manipulate the family. If he started drinking then everyone walked on eggshells knowing that they had to watch their actions and what they said or he would go off! We were poor though I tried as hard as I could to make great memories for our two children. Winter was always so very hard for us. He’d hold up watching tv and drinking and I’d be so afraid of him exploding. When we had Christmas it was usually so scary for I did not know if any little thing would set him off and we’d end up being punished. Warmer weather meant he was out of the house more and I could breathe easier!

 

I too have experienced domestic violence and can relate to what she had to say. I remember those days when I was afraid to say the wrong thing or there would be an explosion. It is very hard to live in the lifestyle of abuse for it is cyclical. You go around trying to be ever so careful to not say or do the wrong thing then ….BAM! That evil person is back and your fear level just increased exponentially!  Stress is your constant companion. Your guts are all twisted up and you hurt all over!

So now, not only do you have to protect your children and yourself, you gotta make sure every item in the house is in its proper place, every can is turned just so, every towel is even, every speck of dust is gone and more or else! You also have to put your mask on and pretend all is well. And when he drags you off to your bedroom you try real hard to go to that safe place in your mind before he begins to rape you once again so hopefully, you won’t feel so much of the pain! As a parent, you try to absorb as much of the pain as possible to protect the children and you make yourself pretend to enjoy what’s happening to your body in your own home just to be able to survive another day!

And no matter what….you don’t resist, you don’t laugh inappropriately, you don’t bargain. You are compliant! You are a ‘good girl’! You are a pleasing wife! Or else! And you really don’t wanta find what the ‘or else’ could be, now do you?

Then the sweet phase of the cycle returns and all is calm for a bit but only on the surface. Because you know from experience that sooner rather than later the monster will awaken and you will once again be on guard for whatever is dealt to you. 

close up photo of woman with black and purple eye shadow
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

Abuse sucks! No one deserves to be abused! NO One!! Yet, it happens daily, in our country, in our state, in our county, in our city and very possibly, in our own home! 

It’s very hard to reach out for help but I encourage you to do so! You do not have to suffer alone. Neither should your children! 

I pushed through it instead of leaving. Mainly I believe because I didn’t exactly know how to go about doing so. And also because I was scared to leave for I’d been told if I did, “I’ll hunt you down. I’ll make sure the kids are safe then I’ll kill you very slowly!”  How does one plan to leave an abusive relationship? Is there a ‘Leave Your Abusive Relationship for Dummies’ book? I don’t think so! 

I so wish I had of left!!!fb_img_1570499967371

How are you coping with an abusive relationship? Have you reached a point where you’re ready to consider leaving? Do you know what to do to prepare?

We are here to help guide you to those who are equipped to escape. You deserve better!

We are here to listen!

 We at Broken Pieces No More Inc would love to hear from you. You can find us on social media…Instagram, Twitter or facebook or you can drop a message at brokenpiecesnomore@gmail.com or send a letter to PO Box 1373 Somerset, Ky 42502

 

 

#domesticviolenceawareness n mental health

20191025_104801

Have you ever sat out in the woods? I try to as often as I can for it brings my soul great relief and peace. I’ve had the wonderful opportunity of sitting there, pondering this or that, when suddenly I hear the plonk-plonk-plink-thud as an acorn has let go and falls to the waiting ground hitting first one branch then another. Or you hear a sound thinking it’s rain and turn to look behind you and your senses are flooded with the visual of a shower of falling leaves of various colors. What a sight to behold!

We all need some time to get away and recharge, renew; to examine those things that are stored up in our soul. But it seems to me in this day and age in which we live folks are so busy, yes even right here in our own little community.  When I sit and people watch I am amazed at how fast everyone seems to be rushing from point A to point B. I can’t help but wonder when, if ever, do they make time to slow down and unwind, recharge, renew?

When you are repeatedly beaten, raped, abused at will by a narcissist, whether as a child or an adult it will mess with your head….massively! Fear, anxiety, depression and more will try to haunt your everyday walk! That’s why it’s so important to find a good counselor and determine to do the work in order to heal.

When you have suffered any form of trauma it rewires your brain. It takes time, healthy counseling (and no, I do not believe all counseling is healthy), for me lots and lots of prayer and hard work to overcome that trauma twisted brain. Those of us who have been affected by various forms of abuse must realize that this is our reality. However, we do not have to remain in this state of mind! We can gain necessary healing by getting to the root of the problem then dealing with it by doing the work to heal.

We must start working towards that as stated in Matthew 15:13, any thing planted within us that is not of God must be yanked up to wither and die!

God did not plant that trauma/abuse in any of us so; we therefore, must allow Him to do His mighty work within us to help us pull those roots out! Expose the lies! Reveal the secrets! Declaw the monsters!

An example from Lisa (not her real name): He called me horrible names and raped me for years until one day I looked in the bathroom mirror, believing his lies, and decided there was no point in my living any longer. My kids would be better off in a foster home. As the tub was filling with hot water, I went and took ever pill I could find. Didn’t matter to me what it was. Then I found the sharpest knife I had and stripped my clothes off and climbed into the hot water. I guess the hot water and pills knocked me out pretty quick so I didn’t get the chance to slit my wrists. My sister found me and called 911. With her help I escaped and moved into a shelter. Now I know better. Now I know I am worthy! Now I am helping others find their worth!

photo of head bust print artwork
Photo by meo on Pexels.com

It takes time to rewire your brain from years of trauma. You can do it! Don’t give up! And don’t give in! You are so very worth the effort!

 

On Nov 8th Broken Pieces No More Inc will have a Family Fundraiser Chili Supper & Silent Auction at Rocky Hollow Athletic Club from 5:00-8:30. National Impressionist/Singer Kevin Adams will provide us with some incredible entertainment. Our board members will be on hand to share more about the vision and purpose of BPNM. There will be unique items to bid on while doing some early Christmas shopping. And great tasting food to enjoy!

You may contact us at brokenpiecesnomore@gmail.com or follow us on face book for updates at Broken Pieces No More Inc. You can also catch us on the twitter at BPNM Inc. You can also drop us a line at PO Box 1373 Somerset, Ky 42502.

We’d so love to have you on our team.  Together we can ‘Spark the Change’!

 

#mentalhealthmatters & domestic violence

My husband and I along with a few friends have formed a nonprofit, Broken Pieces No More, Inc. This faith-based ministry was formed to help raise awareness of various forms of abuse and to provide healthy solutions for healing. When we were planning our 2nd child abuse awareness event back in April 2019 and I found a report stating Kentucky ranks #1 in our nation for substantiated child abuse cases I knew then I had to do something!

Growing up I experienced pretty much every form of abuse you can imagine, although I was never burnt with anything and for that I praise God! I was locked in a cold, dark celler for hours at a time! I was tied to my own bed, (why my bed I have not yet figured out!), where men and women took their pleasure from my little girl’s body. I was whipped with switches till blood ran down my legs or beaten with a belt however never leaving harsh marks because my perpetrator knew where to hit me!

I was pimped out by my mother and grandmother to men in the community for money to ‘help pay the light bill’. I was dedicated to satan at age 3; I was supposed to have been sacrificed at age 30. But God!

I used to believe the only reason I was born was to give men and women sexual pleasure! I believed a lie!

My mother, grandmother and an uncle were my three main abusers!

fb_img_1570499967371

On Oct. 17th we had our first annual domestic violence awareness event. Again eye-opening when I discovered in my research that Kentucky is ranked #9 in the nation for deaths among women in domestic violence!

We at Broken Pieces No More Inc want to thank Rocky Hollow Athletic Club so much for believing in what we are doing and helping with our event. They provided a warm and safe place for us to hold our 1st annual domestic violence awareness event. Thank you County Executive Judge Kelley for your heartfelt words of encouragement to all of us that it takes the love of Jesus to make a change!

A big thank you to National Impressionist/Singer Kevin Adams who entertained us with his special talent! When Elvis entered the building it was amazing! A special thank you to all the vendors, both craft and informational, who came out to stand with us in helping to make a difference. The various speakers in our program, the survivors who were brave enough to stand up and share their truth we thank you! Thank you to Somerset Community Mission for believing in our ministry and serving with us! To all who joined us…thank you so much! Together we can make a difference!

 

This still being October, which is National Domestic Violence Awareness month, it’s important we continue to get the word out that no one deserves to be abused! And please don’t forget, men are abused as well. There’s no excuse for that! We must all begin to ‘Spark the Change’ in our homes, our communities, our counties if we want to see lasting change spread across this great state! One person, man or woman, boy or girl, is one too many being abused!

I know from my own experience with d.v. that so many turned the other way. Maybe they didn’t believe me. Maybe they just couldn’t handle the truth. Maybe they too were experiencing their own form of d.v. There are many forms! I was never hit which still amazes me but I believe that was a God thing for I fear I might have shot someone!

I was, however, raped repeatedly! Money was a major issue often used as a bribe for me to perform better, do better or was simply withheld from me because ‘you don’t deserve anything’. Stalking was a major problem for me in d.v as my former husband had me followed, checked my odometer and often told me, “you don’t need to go anywhere cuz you’re just putting more wear and tear on the car”. The unspoken demand that everything be in its place and if not, there would be severe consequences! I gained personal insight into narcissism too. Years of wondering if ‘today would be the day’! Living with fear until it began to eat my insides up with constant worrying and concern and trying to gain enough courage to kill myself! I’m so thankful I did not do that! No, I wouldn’t wish any form of abuse on anyone!

There are many wonderful organizations in our area and beyond who work tirelessly to make a difference in the lives of those they work with and I applaud them. Even so, I believe that we can do more because the numbers beg to differ in that we have a problem of widespread abuse in our area. We can work together to help ‘Spark the Change’ in how we view our neighbors, our fellow citizens no matter what!

In all this I have learned to say ‘But God!’ Not just as a flippant statement but without Him I would not be who I am today! I am so very grateful He has helped me learn how to forgive those who abused my body, my soul! I am letting go and learning how to live a life of freedom and great peace! #dramanomore

BPNM will be having our first women’s group meeting on Tue, Nov 5th at 7:00-8:30 at Somerset Community Mission next to Big Lots. This group is open to all women who are searching for her own path, her purpose and to discover her passion. We hope you will come on out and join us! We believe there will be something for every woman! You can also look up our women’s group on facebook at Women Warriors Rising Up. Join us no matter where you live! We’re here to support one another!

grayscale photo of man woman and child
Photo by Kristin De Soto on Pexels.com

 

BPNM will be hosting our first fundraiser at Rocky Hollow Athletic Club, Somerset, Ky on Friday, Nov 8th from 5:00-8:30. We’ll be having a chili supper and silent auction. We are raising start-up funds to enable us to be more active both here and across our great state! ‘Come go with us as we take it to the streets’ and help ‘Spark the Change’! Please consider donating to our auction!

You may contact us at brokenpiecesnomore@gmail.com or follow us on face book at Broken Pieces No More Inc.  Or you may drop a line or a donation to BPNM PO Box 1373, Somerset, Ky 42502.

We’d so love to have you on our team.

silhouette photography of group of people jumping during golden time
Photo by Belle Co on Pexels.com

#mentalhealth and my mother’s death

20190914_123108_hdr

 

In June we placed my mom under Hospice care. She’d developed two large blood clots, one in each lung. There was medicine she could have taken to help reduce those and extend her life but after talking with her, she was adamant that she did not want medicine. Her words, “I’m ready to go see Jesus and Tommy!” He was her husband who’d passed years ago. So I told them to leave her be!

When you’re the POA (Power of Attorney) for someone it’s a huge responsibility. Even though I’d rather have her around for years to come, I had to consider her wishes and quality of life. Not only was mom dealing with the effects of these blood clots but she also had dementia. She had good days and bad days.

However, in the beginning, when my husband and I would go visit her she had some really good ones. Days I will forever cherish! Visits I will be forever thankful for!

On one of those good days, she apologized to me for every bad thing that had ever happened in my life. She also apologized to my beloved for when she’d worked with an attorney to split us up in 1980. She often looked me with such love in her eyes and told me, “You sure are beautiful!” Words I’d never heard growing up.

We also talked about the books I’m writing. She’d read the first one, Secrets in the Hollers. Book two, Secrets Exposed, is soon to be released. Several times she told me, “You know, don’t you, that your books are going to help many people heal from what they had to live through!

 

 

img_20171204_210416_6201973658242.jpg

secrets exposed front for advertising171607360..jpg

 

 

 

Again, wow! Those words were like a soothing balm to my wounded soul because all I’d heard growing up and into adulthood from my mother was how worthless and sorry I was. How I’d never amount to anything. Now I know those were lies spoken by the enemy through my mother!

When she apologized to my husband, she looked at him sincerely and told him how sorry she was for interfering in our marriage and causing so much pain but she couldn’t stand the thought of him ‘taking my baby away’. It was so good and so healing to hear her say those words. I am thankful that God has helped me walk this path finding that I am able, with His help, of forgiving others!

During her last week on earth, I found out that she had a number of documented different personalities. I’ve prayed about whether or not to share this information but if it can help one person, one family, to overcome mental illness then it’s worth it. Many years ago when I first began my own healing journey I was documented to having at least 16. It’s not prideful that I share that but truth!

And why did both my mother and I have multiple personalities?

close up photo of woman with her hands tied with rope
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

Because of the horrific trauma, we both suffered in childhood from terrible ongoing child abuse! I have traced abuse back on my mother’s and father’s side at least for four/five generations! Abuse is a generational curse! But it can be broken! I have and you can too!

It angers me when I hear others say things like, well, we just didn’t want anyone to know; or, you know, it just is how we are; or other hogwash! Well, go on! Live life in an abusive state. Don’t step up and step out to make healthier decisions. Wait! I guess that sounds a bit harsh! Well, shoot! Truly we’re either part of the problem or the solution. I’ve decided I want to be part of the solution which means shining a spotlight on the horrors of abuse! Even if I have to do so alone! One of those ways I do so is in my writings and through the non-profit, we have formed!

On Oct 17th Broken Pieces No More, Inc, a faith-based, not for profit will be hosting our first annual event to help raise awareness of domestic violence, Hope for All, at Rocky Hollow in Somerset, Ky. No one deserves to be abused.

selective focus photography of tiger swallowtail butterfly perched on lavender flower
Photo by Marian Florinel Condruz on Pexels.com

We are helping to raise awareness on various forms of abuse and provide direction for healthy choices of healing. We will have vendors who will be selling items as well as providing information. National Impressionist/Singer Kevin Adams will provide entertainment from 5:30-7:00. Our program will be held from 7:00-8:30. Mayor Keck and County Judge Kelley will be sharing encouraging words and we’ll have a demonstration from East West Karata for women’s safety! And more!

Feel free to contact us: brokenpiecesnomore@gmail.com or follow us on facebook: Broken Pieces No More Inc where we post regular updates. You can also follow my blog: pamelarichardswoodall.com