A Domestic Violence Awareness Message to Young Women

As you likely know by now, October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Every domestic violence awareness advocate wants to provide their communities with education and services in desperate hope to one day end domestic violence.

There are many aspects to ending domestic violence, including uplifting and preparing the younger generations. I was inspired to create this video and write this message to the younger generations after spoking to a young mother currently experiencing domestic violence.

A Message to Young Women

To all the young sisters,

Don’t pollute your teens, 20’s, and 30’s with things you will need to heal from in your 40’s and 50’s. Too many of us have walked that road for you.

Treasure yourself now. Treat yourself with respect.

Set your boundaries and maintain them; boundaries are for your own protection.

Expect respect. Expect safety. Expect Love.

You are enough on you own. Never add someone to your life that subtracts from you. Never fear subtracting someone from your life to make yourself whole.

Love, love, love yourself. 

See yourself now. 

When you are in the mirror, look beyond the surface.

Speak words of self-love. Speak words of self-worth. You are worthy of love and that real love needs to come from you.

Talk to yourself with kindness and model what you expect from others.

Be open-minded to learning from the older generations. We don’t want to go through what we did.

Share the Wealth

I recently heard a woman around my age say that we should have friends in age groups outside of our own. Our older friends are expected to have more knowledge and experience and can therefore help guide us.

To the younger generation, you are the more experienced and more knowledgeable friend that guides them. What a beautiful concept of true community and uplifting. So share the wealth of knowledge and experience with the younger people in your life.

Do you have older and younger friends?

What advice do you or would you like to share with the younger generations?

Share in the comments.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month – Green Flags in Relationships

Did you know that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month?

In relationships, red flags are signs that the person probably can’t have a healthy relationship and proceeding down the road together would be emotionally dangerous.

Dr Wendy Walsh in 10 Red Flags in Relationships

It can be fairly easy to recognize red flags. However, many of us ignore or explain those red flags away; especially in our younger years. Many of us want to see the best of people, or explain away someone’s actions because of their past traumas.

Since we usually want to see the good, the ability to observe green flags in an healthy relationship is a very important life skill. Here are seven green flags we can look for in an healthy relationship or partner.

We create boundaries to protect every aspect of our well-being. Having your boundaries honored within any relationship should be expected.
If your relationship/partner encourages you to create and/or pursue your personal goals for self-development, the green flag is waving.
We should feel safe enough to communicate openly within our relationships without the fear of ridicule or abuse.
Self-reflection is an important part of any healthy relationship. Self-reflection increases self-awareness, inspires self-acceptance, challenge thoughts, uncover breakthrough, etc.
Vulnerability between partners nurtures a connection, increases trust, and build courage.
There should be no room for negotiation when it comes down to being valued in a relationship.
Spirituality can mean different things to different people. There should at the very least be a mutual respect.

What green flags would you add? Comment below.

Affirmations after escaping domestic violence abuse: I forgive myself for staying too long

Almost ten years, off and on, mostly on, in an abusive relationship. Within the first three months, I was looking for an out. Why did I stay so long?

I am not sure if I have an answer, but it felt like I had 100 reasons.

Sometimes, I mourn the years lost. Sometimes I wonder what life would look like today had I left earlier. But what good are these thoughts, other than to use as motivation for the future.

Release yourself from the guilt. Now is your time.

Whether you stayed one day or 25 years after realizing you were in an abusive relationship, don’t hold your healing hostage by not forgiving yourself.

Healing is a process.

Give yourself grace.

Blaming yourself for your abuse only keeps you in the state of abuse. Blaming yourself for your abuse will indirectly make you think that somehow you deserved abuse … but you didn’t deserve it.

Stop worrying about how long it took and be thankful that you lived to create a new and improved chapter of your life.

“I forgive myself for staying too long. I was not prepared for such a hardship and needed to gather and develop tools to be successful.“

“I am grateful to have a new chance at life. I have an opportunity to redefine myself. A have the tools that will keep me out of domestic violence abuse in the future, God Willing.”

Not Mad. Motivated. to Affirm the Voice of Women who have Experienced Domestic Violence Abuse

Last year, I decided to evaluate my passions after my son was given a Passion Project assignment for school. The assignment was meant to engage them in something they were interested in after in-person learning was abruptly cancelled.

In my evaluation, I determined that my passion is building connections. As a woman who has experienced domestic violence abuse, the first person to build a connect with is myself.

I decided I wanted to create affirmations cards for other women who have experienced domestic violence abuse. Often we are silenced in these relationships, and our voices are ignored after the relationship ends.

The featured image in the post is one of the cards. I would love your opinion.

Your feedback is appreciated🧡 If you don’t want to leave a comment on the page, please use the contact form.

Affirmations after Escaping Domestic Violence Abuse: My compassion will not be used against me.

Being compassionate is not a weakness. We are supposed to have compassion for one another. The problem is the people who take advantage of our compassion. An abuser loves a compassionate victim. An abuser wants us to care so much about them that we neglect ourselves.

I have this rule about loaning money: I don’t loan money that I am going to need back. This rule protects me from financial hardship if something comes up and the loan can’t be repaid on time. It also protects the relationship with the borrower.

I am working on a similar rule for compassion: I don’t give compassion to others that compromises the compassion I need to have for myself.

We must care for ourselves first. If we allow our compassion to be used against us, we may find ourselves right back in the situation we Prayed to get of in the first place… and most likely a worst situation to make sure we think two, three, four times before we try to end it next time.

Being compassionate is a wonderful Blessing but know that everyone one doesn’t deserve it in a direct way. Sometimes you have to limit your compassion to saying a Prayer for them – from a distance. Prayer is a powerful tool, and if you are Praying for the wellness for your abuser, you have done more than enough. Give yourself compassion first.

Not Mad. Motivated. to Affirm the Voice of Women who have Experienced Domestic Violence Abuse

Last year, I decided to evaluate my passions after my son was given a Passion Project assignment for school. The assignment was meant to engage them in something they were interested in after in-person learning was abruptly cancelled.

In my evaluation, I determined that my passion is building connections. As a woman who has experienced domestic violence abuse, the first person to build a connect with is myself.

I decided I wanted to create affirmations cards for other women who have experienced domestic violence abuse. Often we are silenced in these relationships, and our voices are ignored after the relationship ends.

The featured image in the post is one of the cards. I would love your opinion.

Is the design too busy?

Would you change the colors?

Would you like a solid background instead?

Your feedback is appreciated🧡 If you don’t want to leave a comment on the page, please use the contact form.

Not Mad. Motivated. to Share – Carrie, the Photographer

I was once very thin and it took a random shopping trip for me to figure that out. As a graduate student, I worked in a research laboratory within my department. Somehow, I ended up going shopping with a undergraduate student with whom I worked. She suggested a size 2 pair of jeans for me. I doubtfully tried them on and, surprisingly, I could “fit” them. After reading Carrie, the Photographer, the latest book from author Kira Parris-Moore, I remembered just how difficult it can be to see an honest, unbiased image of one’s self.

Book cover of Carrie, the Photographer

About Carrie, the Photographer

Carrie is a young woman who is forging a successful career as a photographer. Although Carrie takes beautiful pictures of others, she struggles with how she sees herself and develops an eating disorder. This book, for children age 9 and older, follows Carrie’s journey from self-doubt and self-harm to self-love.

Carrie, the Photographer is not just a story, it is a great way to start a conversation with children about body image. Please do not underestimate how important it is to help children develop a healthy image of themselves. A negative body image can lead to many self-destructive behaviors; conversations and modeling healthy behaviors can make a big difference.

After the Book: Let’s talk!

The lack of body confidence as a child or young adult can follow a person for a lifetime. Imagine the negative health impact caused by the mental angst over food and exercise. This is not only an “invitation” for the development of eating disorders, but can also

  • lead to other mental health disorders (including depression and anxiety)
  • affect one’s ability to be an integral part of the community leading to isolation and feeling unaccepted
  • become a building block for toxic relationships with harmful people.

There are direct and indirect messages telling children and young adults that they are not good enough. Play an active role to enforce that they are! Here are a few ways to help:

  • Let them know that every BODY is different and make being different normal – because it is!
  • Help them find beauty everywhere and they will learn to find beauty in themselves.
  • Compliment them often; not just about their looks but on their skills and intelligence, too.
  • Don’t insult anybody’s body – not even as a joke. Children can internalize your words even if your words are not aimed toward them.
  • Love your own body. Be the model that they need!
  • Listen to them. Make their voices matter and help build their self-worth.

Lessons From Carrie, the Photographer

There are many great lessons that you can take away from Carrie, the Photographer. This book is about a young adult named Carrie, but the story is actually told by a younger cousin. This help us remember the need to model healthy behaviors.

Carrie finds strength to get better with support. This lets us know that good support is the key to our success. No matter what your goal is, having support makes it easier to attain that goal. Children need to know that they are never expected to go through any difficulty alone.

We also learn to accept our differences and to focus on what makes us special. Let us make a point to show our children just how special they are to us and to the world.

The final lesson that I want to share is one that I did not expect from a children’s book. Remember: your benchmark for success will change as your self-worth and self-awareness improves! I love this. Too often, we gauge success on the money we make and the things we can buy. However, often, when we value ourselves more, the positive impact we have on others defines our success better than our bank accounts.

I’m Not Mad. I’m Motivated.

I was very active as a teen and a young adult. Running track and participating in marching band, along with many other activities, kept me moving throughout high school. I walked SO MUCH in college and graduated school because I did not start driving until I was 24. And with the diverse group of students I interacted with in graduate school, I also danced a great bit! I stayed active. My body weight was healthy. Yet I found myself worried about how I looked physically many times during those years.

Did my lack of confidence in my appearance leave me vulnerable to a toxic relationship as an adult? Probably likely. But I am Not Mad. I am Motivated. Motivated to share stories like Carrie, the Photographer in the hopes to remind you that you are Beautiful – so that you can remind the children in your life that they are too!

Go tell someone that they are beautiful! This card I made will go to my 16 year old niece.