Frustration hits record high for me today


Why is it that women in shelter leave from abuse and people on the outside thinking that we either ask for the abuse and expected to say I’m sorry and when we leave get treated like we are third class citizens.  I am very frustrated today and really dislike some people I can assure you that this will be the last time that I live with anyone ever again. This whole issue has consumed me for I do not know how long and I will be lucky if I don’t lose my job over this whole fiasco.

My blood pressure is up and unable to get an escort without waiting for 6, 8 possibly even 12 hours just to get my clothes I feel sick, emotionally drained and feel like there is no end to this nightmare I am currently living thank god I have my portable DVD player and my $300 camera with me and the kids are in a safe and healthy environment (my cats) Keenie and Weston at this point that’s all I really care about.

I am going to have to go back to the apartment at some point to pick up my things more specifically my clothes and furniture for storage just the thought of going back literally makes me feel quite nauseated and my stomach has been upset all day long.

I am too tired to write anymore today perhaps again tomorrow

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Day two in shelter


Last night after I finished writing in my blog  I took my sleeping pills normally I would be in bed asleep at a decent hour however, last night was not the case  in bed at 9AM this morning and up by 12:30PM. I have been much less stressed out  today than I have in the last five months I was finally able to go out and do what I have wanted to do for months hopped on the west LRT and saw what the fuss was all about took it all the way to 69th street station then I went the opposite direction and went all the way to saddlewood just to pass the time and reflecting what has transpired over the last few months living with Colin.

I have come to realize many things, having lived with Colin these past few months has been exceptionally hard on me as well as my children and because of Colin’s very poor health and unhealthy living conditions by no fault of my own I refuse to blame myself for no longer being there to help him god only knows I really have tried to help him but like the saying goes”you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink” unfortunately for him he has pushed me away so far that I no longer want to be a part of his life anymore unless he straightens up his act which at this point is not in the least bit likely not to mention he probably will not see his next bithday to turn fifty. Sadly and after thinking about this decision bottom line is I am going to do what is best for me and my children now (the cats Keenie and Weston).

I recently told Colin that maybe the reason why people do not want to be around and the fact that he has no friends is because of his attitude and the way he treats others well his response was “I don’t give a sh**” he was very angry with me when I mentioned this which leads me to believe he has some major underlying issues that I am unaware of and seems to me he will not let go of the past now don’t get me wrong I am in no way saying “get over it” but, what I am saying is let it go I explained to him in order to do this you need to be able to let go of ill feelings and to be able to forgive people that have done you wrong I showed him ways in order to do this but, as usual suggestions are ignored and although the fact of letting go is no easy task I will admit he also had the support of friends at one time and at this point  I have pretty much given up helping and his friends no longer want to be around him anymore I mean let’s face it you can only bang your head against a wall so many times.

Anyway onto other stuff, now that I have had my mini vent session here, as mentioned previously I did not get up until 12:30PM due to the fact that I did not get to sleep till 9AM I made some calls today regarding rental units hopefully to book an appointment sometime on Saturday let’ s pray I find a place soon, I feel more at peace now knowing that I have made the right decision to leave I have found peace and quiet here at the shelter and relaxed knowing that my kids are having a nice vacation speaking of kids I think you might find this quite amusing most people think I am out of my mind but that’s okay you have heard of childrens strollers right? Well I have one better how about a pet stroller and yes your eyes are not deciveing what you are reading yes I have my very own pet stroller for the kids cost me $250 but well worth it I thought.

The temperature in Calgary today was minus four I have to tell you what a blessing and welcome change from the cold and no aches and pains like yesterday. I spoke with a couple ladies here in shelter we were exchanging stories and let me tell you some of the ones I have heard are almost mind boggling one girl was telling me that her own mother was abusing her and gave her a black eye  and the other lady I met last night in the kitchen she was telling me her husband had raped their two year old daughter repeatedly I will not go into  more detail. I ask myself why is it that the women are left to fend for themselves and their children and men getting off with a slap on the wrist personally it makes me sick.

Anyway everyone I’m getting really tired so I am going to call it a night

Sleep with angels everyone

What my qualities say about me as a person


1) My cats Keenie and Weston they are the love of my life and I worship the ground that they walk on I do not own them they own me.
2) My friends, I have more acquaintances than friends, my friends are always there for me they are much like myself compassionate, caring, thoughtful, loyal just to mention a few always remember that if you have one good friend in the world you have more than what others do.
3) I refuse to give up plain and simple even the toughest challenges in life such as having been homeless, survived abuse such as spiritual, physical, emotional, financial and sexual despite what I have had to endure in my life I have the courage to stand my ground, speak up and continue my life.
4) I have faith, although I have had many dark times in my life where I had lost my faith with the result being depression, I was able to overcome with the help of my faith.
5) I was very lucky I had the greatest parents anyone could ever ask for being brought up to respect your elders, take your shoes off when you enter someone elses home, as well as excusing yourself from the table all these that I mentioned I still do to this very day and more god bless my parents.

Trauma and how it has affected my life


I came across an article today about trauma and although it might be obvious to some people what trauma is, for others maybe not so obvious. Other people, like myself, years ago may second guess themselves as to what trauma really is and just plain think like I did and say to themself “oh I’m just over-reacting” it also did not help that people said the same thing to me, I guess if you hear it enough from others you begin to believe it too.

I am taking this article about trauma and writing about it here and to tell my story as well.

One in ten Canadians are living with the impacts of trauma I am one of them.These events cause terror, intense fear, horror, helplessness and physical stress reactions I continue to experience physical stress reactors to this day and when I get upset and stressed out I actually feel very sick.The impact of these events does not simply go away when they are over.Instead traumatic events are profound experiences that change the way children, adolescents and adults see themselves, the traumatic events that I have experienced in my life some of them still haunt me to this very day. I will talk of those at a later date.

A traumatic event involves a single experience, or enduring or repeated events,that completely overwhelm an individual’s ability to cope or integrate the ideas and emotions involved in that experience, traumatic events are beyond a persons control. It is not the event that determines whether something is traumatic to someone but the persons experience of the event.

Events that cause trauma

Homelessness, which I have experienced, when you have experienced this I can assure you it will change the way you look at a homeless person you will not treat them the same.

Sexual abuse, emotional abuse, spiritual abuse, financial abuse and lastly psychological abuse which unfortunately I have also been on the receiving end this one is really hard to deal with.

Rape from a person I did not know and honestly I thought my life was over.

Neglect,In my case I was on the receiving end of this when I became pregnant twenty-six years ago from my now former husband It was like I was just a maid he never cared about me looking back in retrospect.Long story, this subject will be on a different blog.

These are just some events that cause trauma with lingering effects that I, myself, have experienced.

Many people, like myself, have survived these types of events and still feel the impact and sometimes compromising my way of life. Because the traumatic experience was so terrible, it is normal for people to block experiences from memory I have done this, or try to avoid any reminders of the trauma like I have done with my father’s death,and to this day I still do not remember what happened after the church service and with my first newborn baby, to this very day if I hear one cry I get very upset and have to leave the room as this is a reminder of one of the children that I did have but died. Consequences of these survival mechanisms are a lack of integration of the traumatic experience, such that it becomes the experience in a person’s life. The lack of processing of the trauma means that it is ever-present for the survivor, and they feel as if the trauma happened yesterday when it could have been months or many years later in my case twenty-six.

The impact of traumatic events

The impact of traumatic events is felt physically, emotionally, behavioral, cognitively and spiritually I am living proof of that. Tthis is normal, and is the body’s way of coping with very difficult emotions. Talking about traumatic experiences is very hard and takes courage to speak up about.It has taken me years to open up and talk about what has happened to me I am now finally able to open up about things to hopefully help others who may have or are in the same situation remember this:

  • It is not your fault
  • You have survived I am living proof
  • Healing is possible look for resources in your neighborhood talk to friends and family that you can trust go to a counsellor/psychiatrist anything, the help is there to overcome these issues please use them as I have

Experiencing trauma changes people it did me, you may worry that you will never feel normal again that’s what I thought.Healing is the road to feeling normal and grounded. This journey is different for everyone,but the result is still the same being able to feel whole again.

Here are some myths and truths about Trauma which you may have already heard

Myth one

It happened a long time ago, time heals all wounds, you need to get over it.

The truth is I have had this said to me so many times and quite honestly so sick and tired of hearing it. It’s not that easy to do and I never exaggerate. The fact is trauma survivors rarely exaggerate their feelings and experiences. Just finding the courage to talk  about it can take years like it has taken me.I was afraid of being disbelieved and blamed  for the terrible experiences that we are powerless to prevent like I have.

Myth two 

You are exaggerating how bad it was to get attention and blame other people for your problems.

The truth is I don’t exaggerate and blame others for my problems many times people told me “you bring it on yourself” that is garbage plain and simple I have since realized that people I have before reached out to that said that well I no longer associate with any of them to me they are “toxic people” to my mental health. The fact is the impacts of traumatic events are often delayed  because people banish the memories from their consciousness like I have as this is a way to survive. By the time  people actually feel the full impact it could be many years since the trauma occurred which happened here in my case.

Myth three

You will never really be normal again.

The truth is If you hear  that very thing you may start to belive it I was starting to wonder what normal really was I could not see the forest for the trees meaning when you are in the moment  you don’t see things from an outsiders point of view. The fact is  trauma survivors may become stronger  and more resilient as a result of surviving and healing from their experiences. For me, this is the case, many years ago I never thought I would be writing like this not to mention trying to get through a day I am now so glad that I am able to write about these issues, not cry anymore and be able to reach out to others who might be going through this type of thing now or have before perhaps even saving ones life.

 Myth four

Once you get on the right medication you will be fine.

The truth is at least in my case, medication was not the only thing that I needed. I needed the counselling which is what I received when I finally arrived at Alpha House in Winnipeg four days a week intense counselling for almost an entire year along with medication to help me sleep at night which I still have to take to this very day otherwise I will not sleep and not be able to work the next day. The fact is medication is only one option for people in healing from the impacts of trauma. Healing is the process that involves time, and happens in partnership with supportive and understanding friends, family, community and helping professionals which luckily after years of searching and moving to a different province I was able to find through Alpha House and Nova House in Selkirk Manitoba. I will be forever grateful to them.

There are options available to begin the healing process please use them

  • Your nearest mental health association they can give you many resources
  • Talk about it like I have here, Trauma must be talked about  and brought out into the open. This is one of the most important steps  on the road to healing. It is also one of the hardest things to do belive me I know. Talking to someone you trust and feel comfortable with is a way to let some of the difficult  feelings out. Talking to someone who has experienced trauma  is a great way to get support and will give you a safe place to learn that you are not alone like I was. Other people are living with the same difficulties and its normal.
  • Get counselling find yourself a good counsellor check online for reviews. Counsellors are there to give you a safe place to begin or continue  your healing process. You deserve a space where you will be heard, not judged and accepted for who you are  despite what you’ve been through. Counselling is a place  where you can start to work on issues that are keeping you stuck.

How to recognize self-sabotage are you doing it?


Sabotage is:

Conscious or unconscious damage done to self by self.

Self-defeating behaviors.

Hampering ones own progress or recovery.

Refusing to grow and change.

I am glad that when I was in Alpha House I was given this article it made me think.

  • “Yes, but” using one excuse after another about why others suggestions won’t work for you.
  • “I’m different” seeing yourself as different, worse, or more complicated than others and because of that, strategies that work for others just wont work for you.
  • “Making the rounds” going from one person, helper or treatment to another, discounting what each says, looking for the answer you want to hear.
  • “Stacking the evidence” Only looking for evidence of how a treatment or suggestion may not work, while ignoring any evidence of how it does help.
  • “Negative comparisons” Comparing yourself to others in a negative way.
  • “No way” Refusing to consider new evidence, try new ideas or take any risks.

So ask yourself these questions

  • In which ways do I sabotage?
  • Why do I sabotage?
  • If you sabotage  then how will I go about making the following changes?

Anger Management


For many years I was very bitter and angry had no idea on how to deal with it then I moved into Alpha House in Winnipeg which is a second stage shelter and soon to realize that what I had longed for which was to let go of my anger and finally find some peace and tranquility in my life would eventually take place.

When we had women’s group once per week we would talk about various things one of which was anger we were all given a hand out to read which I would like to share with all of you:

Overview of a healthy approach to dealing with anger :

1) Recognize and allow yourself to believe that anger is a natural, normal, healthy non-evil healthy feeling. Everyone feels it we just don’t all express it. You do not need to fear your anger.

2) Remember that you are responsible  for your own feelings. You got angry at what happened, the other person did not make your cry.

3) Remember that anger and aggression are not the same thing. Anger is expressed assertively.

4) Get to know yourself, so you recognize those events and behaviors, which trigger your anger . “Find your own buttons, so you know when they are pushed”

5) Learn to relax, if you have developed the skill of relaxing yourself, learn to apply this response  when your anger is triggered.

6) Develop assertive methods for expressing your anger.

7) Keep your life clear. Deal with issues as they arise, when you feel the feelings not hours, days or weeks afterwards.

Check yourself with these statements:

1)  I no longer feel like unloading my feelings of anger and hurt.

2) I have stopped hoping that my ex partner is feeling as much emotional pain as I am.

3) I no longer feel so angry at my ex partner.

4) It is no longer important that my family and friends be on my side and not on my ex partners side.

5) I have outgrown the need to get even at my ex partner  for hurting me.

6) I  no longer blame my ex partner  for the failure of the relationship.

7) I have stopped trying to hurt my ex partner  by letting he/she know how much I hurt emotionally.

8) I have overcome my anger and have begun to accept the things my ex partner has done.

9) I am expressing my anger in a positive way that is not destructive to me  or to those around me.

10) I am able to admit it when I feel angry and not denying my angry feelings.

11) I understand the emotional blocks that have kept me from expressing my anger  in a positive way.

12) I am able to express my anger constructively instead of venting it inappropriately.

13) I am reaching a stage of forgiveness and not remaining angry.

 

The Self-Esteem Checklist


Hi Everyone:

I came across something very interesting today, when I was in the one of many women’s shelters the last one having been Alpha House in Winnipeg, Manitoba every Monday we would have what they called women’s group.

During our three hours every Monday we were to do an assignment for the following week here is one of them about self-esteem, after doing this assignment I took a hard look at myself and have to tell you was my self-esteem ever low.

(A) Rate how much you believe each statement  from 0-10

0 means you completely disbelieve it  and 10 means you think it is completely true

(1) I am a worthwhile person

(2) I am as valuable as a person as anyone else.

(3) I have the qualities I need to live well.

(4)When I look into my eyes in the mirror I have a pleasant feeling.

(5) I don’t feel like a failure overall.

(6) I can laugh at myself.

(7) I am happy to be me.

(8) I like myself, even when others reject me.

(9) I love and support myself, regardless of what happens.

(10) I am generally satisfied with the way I am developing as a person.

(11) I respect myself.

(12) I’d rather be me than someone else.

  • Then go ahead and total them

(B) Rate your self-esteem on a percentage scale between zero to one hundred percent where 0 is total lack of self-esteem and 100 means total fullness of self-esteem

  • Your response

(C) How often do you feel restricted  in your daily activities because of difficulties with self-esteem

1 always

2 often

3 sometimes

4 rarely

5 never

  • Your response

(D) How serious is your problem with self-esteem

1 no problem

2 mild

3 moderate

4 severe

5 extremely severely

6 incapacitating

  • Your response

I hope for all of you who did take the self-esteem checklist found it interesting as I did and gave you some insight as to where your self-esteem lies.

My life in shelters


Please note this entry was originally done on April 3/2009
I’m kind of feeling a bit depressed today just about stuff, honestly I’m not sure I want to go into counselling and social work anymore so undecided about so many things.
I wonder sometimes why I even bother doing a journal I’m thinking no one ever reads it anyway. Have come to realize that I have turned my feelings off as of late so,  what I’m thinking is perhaps it’s because I do not want to show the vulnerable side of me,  having been hurt so much like there are some people who I miss a lot and care about and just afraid to tell them so.
People that have no family and the lack of friendships l now have a better understanding of where they are coming from been there and done that already ended up being homeless because of a previous partner I left lived in women’s abuse shelters for the good part of at least three months going from one place to another I did not feel like I could handle life anymore.
Before I had left my partner I made a phone call to a shelter in New Westminster BC and when they called me to say there was an opening I took the greyhound and went to shelter in New Westminster BC It was a long trip I stayed at that shelter for 3 weeks then I wanted to make my permanent home in Victoria BC so I called that shelter and eventually arrived there I was so happy to see the ocean right outside the front door,  the ocean was right across the street.
Such friendly people and very slow-paced and relaxing place.  I stayed at that shelter for 1 month hoping that during the course of my stay I could find a permanent home, as it turned out I had no problem finding a job but there was an even bigger problem trying to find housing in Victoria I was able to find a job in a grocery store called Thriftys  it was just up the street sadly, however, my one month was up and was unable to find any housing available in Victoria so could not start that job if I had nowhere to live, so,  I spoke with one of the counsellors at shelter and I decided that it might be better to go up the island and find housing up there.
In the end  I was  in Courtney, Comox with 3 totes in tow they were very heavy and almost put my back out bringing them into shelter the counsellor did not even offer to help me and she was just plain nasty to me for example when I got there I did not have a welcome greeting and instead I felt like a complete outcast and more of an inconvenience  than anything else I was feeling like I did not belong there she never asked how my bus ride in was, how I am, or nothing, not so much as hi, how are you?  the intake worker there was not nice to me at all and did a poor job of doing my intake like she did not care and not that my emotional well-being mattered to her that was pretty obvious to me the intake worker said to me  “well, there’s no housing up here why did you even come?”  like how in god’s name was I supposed to know that I’m thinking, I was then told to take my three very heavy totes upstairs with no help or an offer to make me more comfortable two flights of stairs having just finished telling her I had a bad back and could use the help, I remember having goe to the room I was staying in I’m thinking oh god what a mistake I made coming here and trying to make a new life the intake worker being the cold-hearted person that I felt she was and how she was treating me I thought to myself I should just take the bus right back to Victoria. I cried myself to sleep and woke up in the early part of the afternoon the next day and remember going downstairs and none of the workers said a word to me did I ever feel out-of-place.
During my stay there from the moment I arrived I was starting to look for a place of my own so I could get out of this terrible shelter that I had found myself in but to no avail it seemed everywhere I looked the apartments were always just taken or there was already a deposit put on the place I remember having felt so very frustrated and tried talking to some of the workers and always feeling like an inconvenience so I thought just leave them alone and stay to myself  obviously if I’m getting ignored it’s not worth the aggravation and never bothered with them anymore,  I only spoke to them when I had to get my medication and sometimes that was even a hassle.  I remember one time when there was a shift change and needed to take my medication at a certain time that, however, did not seem to matter their response was “doing shift change come back later” with an attitude.
During my stay at shelter here I had wanted to move back to Alberta because there was just no housing here on the island so decided on Banff, Alberta sent out my resumes and finally got a phone call from a nice hotel that was going to offer me accommodation It was the Banff Springs Hotel as well as a job so decided that maybe that is where I need work now but the job was not available until January 2008 and since being in the Courtney/Comox shelter I had been in constant contact with the person who had offered me the job,  I still had  6 weeks to go before I could leave the island. I had asked the staff about an extension after my 4 weeks was up they said no problem because of my current circumstances  I was happy with that,  I, of course, had also explained the situation I was in so I had felt a sense of relief when they extended my stay for a bit longer, eventually a week into my last extension of my extra 2 weeks the counsellors had said that they wanted to speak with me and to come into their office so of course I’m nervous thinking the other shoe Is about to fall since  that seemed to happen to me all the time there I was found myself sitting in a chair with two workers looking at me I was nervous then I heard the words “We want you gone by tomorrow” I’m thinking what is going on here!!!!!
Nothing was ever explained to me about why the change and the unfortunate part for me was I had to practically beg on my knees to stay there talk about humiliation at its best so I had to leave  to leave the room and went to mine cried endlessly and praying like there was no tomorrow  and at this point I had no where else to go they eventually brought me back in the room and said you can stay till the end of the week instead of the original agreement that we had it was Tuesday and said I need to leave by friday so at this point I was extremely upset it was one week before christmas too I thought you bunch of useless people and more choice words which I wont mention here.
I started calling motels and came up with one in Victoria that was available right away and was speaking with the workers at the welfare office explaining my situation they said they would get back to me they never did so come friday I had packed all my things as best I could and had called the motel back in Victoria they had room, however, yet another hurdle to deal with…. the room was 600/month and welfare refused to give me anymore than $300 for the month which includes groceries,  bus pass etc got the runaround and finally said “If you don’t help me I will be talking to the press” within minutes there was a Case worker on the phone with me and  the result was I did not get $300 but rather I think it was $1100 although I did not need that much and not that I am complaining. I think it was given to me to shut me up so I would not go to the press  and the day finally arrived when I had to leave  and  I told the staff at shelter what I thought of them you can only imagine what I said and let me tell you I gave it to them with both barrels at that point I really didn’t care.
Some other things that happened to me while being in that shelter I have some digestive problems and sometimes unable to eat they had some ensure which is something that I sometimes use as a nutritional supplement and upon arriving in shelter had explained that I needed some due to my stomach problems and sometimes unable to eat counsellors told me  that they keep it in a separate cupboard for people who need it I had asked for one and they refused me after just explaining why I had to have it.
This is the shelter that I stayed at back in 2008 things may have changed in the women’s shelter since then but then again some things are not always what they seem either.
 Here is the link to the shelter that I stayed at

Marriage can be a blessing or a nighmare


Abuse: power & control behaviours

If there was a time in my life that I would re-live and do things differently it would have to be when I was between age 19 to age 21.

I never would have gotten married honestly it was a nightmare, for the duration of my marriage which all but lasted just under two years thats when I first learned about sexual abuse.

And then around the age of thirty or so my mom passed away I wish I had done more for my mom by being there everyday.

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My thinking tank is the bathtub


Well, It Is Saturday today and as the title says yes indeed I do have many thoughts going through my head when I relax in the bathtub, and today I came up with some startling revelations it’s almost like a lightbulb when on in my head let your mind be free anyways, someone once told me that my life was not a book but rather, a dictionary so i have now come up with the idea of writing a book named “Life’s trials and tribulations a true life story” I now feel that because of my life’s experiences I will be able to help others in similar situations and perhaps be an inspiration to others as well which I have been told several times in my life.
There will be many chapters and some of the chapters that I will touch on and talk about are:
1 Marriage.. and yes it can be a blessing however it can also be a nightmare
2 Life in low-income housing
3 I was a miracle child
4 In laws..my mother once told me “when you get married you don’t just marry that person you marry “the entire family”
5 Abuse.. yes the subject that women don’t like to talk about because they feel ashamed to and the effects as well as the types of abuse
6.The struggle to be accepted by others
7. The struggle for survival living from shelter to shelter
11 Inspirational quotes and some of the ways to keep yourself sane
12 My 2 sets of twins.. yes was pregnant 2x with 4 children
13 Homelessness and being judged
14 My passion for animals and their impact on me
As I will be remembering traumatic events in my life which will entail emotional turmoil and becoming very tired which really is nothing new to me but all the same emotional as I progress through my big project I am sure I will be adding new chapters.

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