Healing through Social Media? Yes!

Healing through Social MediaI am currently working on my next Washington Times Communities story for my column with a focus on how social media heals. If you are a regular blogger and/or reader of blogs, you know exactly what I’m talking about. You probably won’t even read my story because you don’t need to be convinced of something you already “get” and feel. (I hope you at least share the story with others once it’s published tomorrow. Nudge, nudge.) Part of the focus will include sharing influential and life-changing blogs and Facebook pages that have personally helped me heal and have helped others heal.

In late August, I was approached by the creator of one of those Facebook pages, My Emotional Vampire (MEV), to help her facilitate the MEV community, which reached over 2000 followers almost overnight! I agreed, of course, because MEV was one of the FB pages I followed and commented on religiously, and I believed in the message of MEV wholeheartedly. I asked the creator (a beautiful Canadian) to provide me with a quote for my Washington Times story, and this is what she provided:

“Have you ever been in a relationship with someone who appears to have two personalities? Jekyll and Hyde. You are his princess, and he is holding you on a pedestal. You are the love of his life, and he wants to spend the rest of his life with you. You are spoiled with flowers, love songs, loving notes and promises of forever. Then, in the next breath, he is devaluing you, accusing you of cheating, or doing or saying inappropriate things with other men that you never even met, a figment of his own imagination!! He becomes jealous, controlling and possessive. You cant help but stand in one spot, stumped and scratching your head in confusion. Who behaves this way? Certainly not someone who is of sound mind, right?!”

“I took it upon myself to research his behavior and found Borderline Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Alarm bells went off!! I was in a relationship with a Borderline who was very Narcissistic, and my safety and that of my children were very much at risk of further emotional and mental abuse.”

“I pride myself on being very analytical, and I had a strong need to understand more about these disorders and why I ended up in this type of relationship. I had so many questions within myself that I needed answers to, and I was determined to not end up in this same trap in the future. If I was feeling this way, how many others out there were feeling this way too? I took it upon myself to help educate others about Cluster B Personality Disorders by starting My Emotional Vampire Facebook page as a way for me to vent my own pain and struggles. I also hoped that others would learn from my own experience and in turn this would help them walk away from their abusive relationship and stay away. If I could do it, they could do it!”

“In just a few short months with our help, over 20 women have left their abusive partners, entered safe houses, and/or moved in with friends temporarily. Myself and the other administrators receive messages daily from women thanking us for saving their lives and educating them about these disorders.”

“Although, I am now healing well emotionally and mentally from my abusive relationship, I take it upon myself to continue to educate and empower women and men who suffer abuse at the hands of these Personality Disordered Individuals. I will continue to fight against Domestic Violence, even if it means saving just one woman or man per month. They cannot be changed, save yourself, wish them well and walk away. You will find happiness one day, they never will.” ~MEV

I can’t include the entire message in my story, but I wanted to share it on my blog to encourage others to join the healing conversation and “Like” My Emotional Vampire on Facebook. MEV is administered by six (6) women from across the world, women who have experienced abuse and were able to escape.

We are all on a healing journey together back to peace. Namaste!

NO MORE: My Post, Your Support, and The Healing Process

NoMore.orgI found an amazing organization a few weeks ago: NO MORE. NO MORE’s goal is to bring more awareness to domestic violence and sexual assault in hopes of ending it for good:

“NO MORE is a simple idea with the power to unleash new, major  attention to the people all around us who are hurt – directly or indirectly — by domestic violence and sexual assault every day and every minute.  We all know someone who has been touched by this violence but still, domestic violence and sexual assault remain hidden and misunderstood.” (from nomore.org)

NO MORE’s website site provides a toolkit of images and messages to anyone with a blog, website, Twitter, Facebook, and any social media account or outlet to spread the message. All you need to do is fill out an online form to request the toolkit. I requested my toolkit last week and was asked if I would be willing to write a personal account of why I support the NO MORE campaign. I did. And they posted it on their site.

For me, sharing what happened to me has been empowering and has brought me back to me. Not everyone can share their experiences with domestic violence/intimate partner abuse or sexual violence. I share because it helps me heal and find internal; peace; I have no interest in anyone’s pity. I share and continue to share what happened to me because being silent helps no one, except the tormentor/abuser.

I ask you to support NO MORE by requesting a toolkit. You don’t need to be a victim/survivor. Just someone who is tired of turning a blind eye to suffering that is happening right under our noses every day. Namaste!

Paula’s post on nomore.org

Namaste!

A wish tree, a wish, and renewed hope

Wish Tree in The Sculpture Garden

I was given a chance to make a wish today.

It honestly never fails. Just when I want to give up believing that goodness truly exists in this world, I am sent reminders that I shouldn’t give up. Not yet, anyhow.

Friday evening, I received messages from two women who stumbled upon my blog and were moved enough to purchase my book. They just wanted to thank me and let me know I had given them hope and a reason not to feel alone. One woman described me as someone with “spunk.” I liked that. It sure beats being called crazy or someone who refuses to let go. I am spunky, lively, and spirited. Yes! All of those things I thought had eluded to be.

Saturday evening, I shared my Washington Times article with my mother. She was so happy. She has seen me struggle over the past 18 months with reclaiming my voice and couldn’t wait to share my column link for Living Inside Out Loud with her friends and co-workers. Nothing beats making Mom proud no matter how old we are.

Snake head - Ai Weiwei Circle of AnimalsSunday morning, my son, husband, and I decided to go into DC to visit the National Air and Space Museum and The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden on the National Mall. My son likes the interactive exhibits at the Space Museum. While he and his dad learned about drag and lift, I relaxed on some benches nursing an aching lower back. (Nothing serious; I think I over did it in yoga the day before.) We walked to the Hirshhorn next and went through the Dark Matters display. The highlight was Ron Mueck’s “Big Man” piece. My son kept pointing to the penis asking why it looked so big. My only answer was that the artist must have been inspired to make it that way.

Next, we walked through the center courtyard where we checked out Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads exhibit. In the year of what animal were you born? (My son wasn’t born in the year of the snake. He just thought it was cool and wanted a picture next to it. That’s Dad in the red cap waaay back there under the rabbit’s head.)

Wish Tree Filled (or fulfilled?)Leaving the Hirshhorn, I suggested we walk through the Sculpture Garden to get to The Mall. Normally, we would walk around the garden. Today it enticed me to enter. So we did.

And there it was. A tree with little item tags hanging all over its branches. What in the world was I looking at? I read the display and realized that this is why I came downtown today. I grabbed a pencil and a tag, wrote my wish, and tied it to a branch. Maybe my wish will come true. I hope so.

About the Wish Tree taken from The Imagine Peace Tower website:

Yoko Ono’s interactive artwork WISH TREE (1996) has been integral to many of her exhibitions around the world in museums and cultural centers where people have been invited to write their personal wishes for peace and tie them to a tree branch.

“As a child in Japan, I used to go to a temple and write out a wish on a piece of thin paper and tie it around the branch of a tree. Trees in temple courtyards were always filled with people’s wish knots, which looked like white flowers blossoming from afar. All My Works Are A Form Of Wishing”. ~Yoko Ono

Yoko has collected all the wishes – currently totaling over a million!

They are to be housed at the site of the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER.

Make your own Wish Tree for you and your family and friends.

Namaste!

Don’t just dress up this Halloween. Dress up for a cause.

My first Washington Times article:

WASHINGTON, August 17, 2012—National Domestic Violence Awareness month is October, less than six weeks away. October is also, of course, the month of Halloween. Neighborhood stores are already displaying bags of candy corn, costumes, and treat bags.

The decision of what to “go as” is quickly approaching.

This Halloween, dress up as Red Riding Hood. Who doesn’t know the story of Red Riding hood?

Read the entire article…

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/living-inside-out-loud/2012/aug/17/domestic-violence-and-red-riding-hood-project/

Why I blog and “The Addictive Blog Award”

addictive-blogAddictions can be bad. But if you’re addicted to reading my blog, that has to be good, right?!?

I was honored with this award by www.SexinMiami.wordpress.com, a blog that I am addicted to and have been ever since the first post I read six months ago. You can read more about why she blogs here.

Award Rules:

  1. Thank the person awarding you.
  2. Share a little about why you blog and how the journey started.
  3. Paste the blog award on your page.
  4. Nominate 10 other bloggers you feel deserve the award.

Why I Blog:
I started blogging in 2005, just after I discovered I was pregnant with my son. We were living in Colorado, but our family was back east in Florida, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. It wasn’t easy to travel and share the joy we were experiencing as expecting new parents, so I started my blog (originally on Blogger. The horror! Hehehe!)

My family enjoyed the images and my postings, but they never commented. (As a blogger, comments and “likes” boost me. They’re important to my writing energy.) So, without these seemingly little (but HUGE in my mind) things, I felt like I was doing a whole lot of writing for nothing. My posts became fewer and fewer, and my motivation had deflated completely by 2008.

Unfortunate events, twists and turns of life, and basic desperation to be heard and understood provided me the necessary motivation to begin blogging again in January 2012. I was full-steam ahead but blinded by so much I had been holding inside and couldn’t decide where to focus. I wrote about yoga and abuse and sociopaths and alcoholism. People and bloggers quickly started following me and commenting and kept me REALLY motivated. I was connecting with others who had experienced similar pain, frustrations, and road blocks in life; and they “got me!” It was empowering and overwhelming.

Fast forward six months. Today. If not for this outlet, I wouldn’t have been able to unburden my mind of so much pain and discomfort. I never would have been able to find the passion and courage to write and publish my book “Escaping the Boy: My Life with a Sociopath” or apply for consideration to become a staff writer with The Washington Times Communities.

My blogging experience has blessed me with life-changing energy and a desire to be a better person. As noted in the About section of this blog, my life is definitely not rainbows and butterflies, but I have learned through writing and sharing that I am not alone in my struggles to find and maintain my happiness. I’ve also learned that it’s okay to fall down as long as I am willing to ask for help getting back up. There’s nothing more powerful than community, and the blogging community has helped lift me higher than I ever thought possible. Thank you, readers and followers. Namaste!

I’m Addicted to these Blogs:

http://katybrandes.wordpress.com/

http://mysociopath.net/

http://itsallaboutmenow2012.wordpress.com/

http://ruthsippelpace.wordpress.com/

http://justiceforraymond.wordpress.com/

http://iwonttakeit.wordpress.com/

http://buckwheatsrisk.com/

http://blametheamygdala.wordpress.com/

http://kimberlyharding.wordpress.com/

http://ladywithatruck.wordpress.com/

Living Inside Out Loud

Living Inside Out LoudIt’s official! My biography and column page for Living Inside Out Loud are live and ready for my first submission to The Washington Times Communities. I’m so excited to write and publish my first story, hopefully, by the end of this week.

I am determined to bring more awareness to the connection between personality disorders, domestic violence/intimate partner abuse, and PTSD to as many people willing to read about it. I’ll be providing many references, resources, and expert testimony in each article. Stories will be more formal than my postings here but will hopefully add credibility to an otherwise overlooked social and family issue.

Namaste!

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/living-inside-out-loud/

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