The more it happens, the more I learn, the more I can teach…..

THE MORE IT HAPPENS, THE MORE I LEARN, THE MORE I CAN TEACH… IT’S EXHAUSTING!

In December, 2013, I launched my book. The last five months have been quite the journey. I thought I was prepared, with my “I am determined to change how the world looks at Psychological and Verbal Abuse” resolve. Ha! While my commitment to do this work holds strong, the learning curve emotionally has been profound. Almost all of the feedback has been loving, warm and encouraging. There are those who hate what I have done and I am prepared for that. But it does sting.

My best friend came across a quote that fits my journey out of abuse: “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” ~Anne Lamott , Bird by Bird~ And even though I call no one person out on the carpet, I will hold on to these words because the more I write, the safer I feel. I believe in my ability to help people heal from abuse. I am positive of it’s value and I will not stop no matter how hard it gets.

PART I

It happened again and, as always, I wonder why. Someone came into my life again last weekend. The venom from that person is palpable. As I sat with friends enjoying a glass of wine along with much laughter, there was a pounding on the door which started another cycle of Psychological and Verbal Abuse for me. This time it happened in front of friends that were able to witness the insanity. That’s only the second time in my adult life that others were able to bear witness. My friend answered the door and was privy to the slew of obscenities, accusations and out of control behavior coming from this person. I watched as the women in the room reacted to what they were hearing. I sat there thinking, “Not again!” After a short time, one of the women said, “Shut the door,” and my friend did. The stunned amazement coming from my friends was quick, as I sat there still thinking, “Not again!” When asked why I was so calm, I replied that I had been dealing with this my whole life and this encounter was a mild attack. They couldn’t believe it. In my thinking, I was glad my outside world was seeing what I have lived through and still experiencing along with my insides doing the survival dance. My PTSD reaction up in arms, ready for my fight or flight response to spring in to action. My lifelong quagmire of confusion along with my vomitotus-too-muchas causing me to be rigidly on guard, ready to react.

Pound, pound, pound. The person is back. “Don’t answer it,” came a unanimous response from the women. I sat there again thinking, “Not again!” The door was not answered, but that did not stop the verbal barrage coming from the other end of the door. When it ended, I decided it was time for me to leave. I was angry that these women were frightened by the wrath on the other side of the door. One of the woman started to cry and shake, deeply affected by what was happening. I suspect this triggered her own PTSD reaction from her life.

I asked someone to walk me to my car as I grabbed my dog and put on my knapsack. Turning around, the toughest in the group said, “Come on, I’ll take you to your car.” She was holding a large knife and bear mace. My insides wanted to scream out. The scene unfolding before me was so not okay. The potential for the situation spiraling out of control had reached insanity. I said, “Call the police.” They did. As I sat waiting for the police, the women expressed disbelief over what was happening. Again I explained that this was my story, my life.

After some time of waiting for the police, I decided to leave. I just wanted to go home to my safety. I walked out to my car, my dog in my arms thinking, “There’s no place like home.” When I got to my car I saw the person creating chaos had parked me in so I could not leave. The car was right on my bumper and I was trapped, forced to stay. I went back inside and waited for the police. The woman who was triggered was still crying and shaking. It broke my heart to watch her. It also made me angry.

A police officer finally showed up. He was kind and I was grateful. After explaining the situation to him, he informed me that the person who created the chaos had called the police on me stating that a restraining order had been served to me and I was violating it. That was a lie. The police officer left to talk to this person. He did not return. I decided again to leave. I ran out to see the person car had been removed. Inside, gathering my belongings and my dog, the officer returned. He informed the women that if they were harassed again to call the police and the intruder would be arrested. Then the officer and his partner followed me home to my safe haven. The women had to endure repeated poundings on the door and explosive verbal barrages. They chose not to call the police. I stayed away from my friend’s home for the remainder of the weekend. I received numerous texts and voice-mails telling me what a worthless human being I was. And I say, “Not again!” I, too, chose not to call the police.

PART II

In abuse and in my book I talk about how the body reacts to abuse. The physical reaction that has nothing to do with the brain and thinking. Even though my mental feelings stayed in control and I was able to separate out the abuse from myself, something I am not responsible for, my body reacted. I was thrilled that my emotional journey away from abuse was working, but my physical reaction was not participating. My oxymoron.

That night, my kidney’s started screaming and my stomach felt like it had a bowling ball in it. I was in pain. The pain proceeded to increase throughout the weekend. By Monday, I was scared. A wonderful doctor, Dave Criste, DC, CVCP, who has taken my body journey with me, met with me that day. I was confused about why my body reacted once again when my mind held firm to my recovery out of abuse. You see, I have had what I call body blows for years after an abusive episode and had come so far in my recovery. Dave explained that I would not be able to stop my bodies reaction to abuse. When an incident occurs, my adrenal response to stress goes off the chart and my body blows. But there are things I can do about it.

I came across an article titled, “Stress and Adrenal Function,” that I found online from the Thornton Natural Healthcare Center, LLC – Alternative Medicine and Diagnostic Clinic in Stockton, MO. It helped me understand what my body goes through after an abusive episode. I share this article with you as it is helping me make sense of my quagmire of confusion.  Note: The parts of the article in italics are things I added and personally understand about my own reaction.

Stress and Adrenal Function

Stress can undermine your health. The connection between stress and high blood pressure, heart disease, and many digestive problems is well established in the medical literature. Stress creates hormonal and blood sugar changes, causes the body to excrete nutrients and adversely affects the immune system.

The adrenal glands are directly affected by stress. They are responsible for the “fight-or-flight” response. Hans Selye, MD, who in 1975  created the International Institute of Stress, conducted some experiments creating stress in rats. The rats were made to tread water with their legs tied until they became exhausted and died.

Dr. Selye took the rats at various stages of their ordeal and dissected out their adrenal glands. He found that the adrenal glands responded to stress in three distinct stages. In the initial stage, the adrenal glands enlarge and the blood supply to them increases. As the stress continues, the glands begin to shrink. Eventually, if the stress continues, the glands reach the third stage, which is adrenal exhaustion. (This is where I was physically after the abusive episode, Exhaustion!)

The adrenal glands produce their hormones in response to stress. They are responsible for the fight or flight response, (PTSD). In a stressful situation, they raise your blood pressure, transfer blood from your intestines to your extremities, increase your heart rate, suppress your immune system and increase your blood’s clotting ability. (I will add here that your vision becomes more focused and your ears shut off in survival mode and the blood leaves your digestive system and goes to your muscles so you can fight or flight. I better understand that I can’t always remember what happened in an abusive episode, but I can always tell you how I physically felt).

This response is meant to be short-lived. When primitive man walked through the forest, he’d see a wild animal. His heart rate would increase, his pupils would dilate, his blood would go out of his digestive system and into his arms and legs, his blood clotting ability would improve, he would become more aware and his blood pressure would rise. At that point he’d either pick up a stick and try to fight the animal or run. The physiological changes brought on by the adrenal glands would make the body more efficient at doing either of those things. It is called the fight or flight response.

If he survived the ordeal, chances are it would be a while before such a strain was put on the adrenal glands and the rest of his body. He would have an opportunity to relax, eat nuts and berries (and a little meat from the wild animal, if he was lucky). His adrenal glands would have a chance to recover.

Many people in modern society do not have the luxury of a recovery period for their overworked adrenal glands. The changes caused by the overproduction of adrenal hormones stay with them. The stimulation of the adrenal glands causes a decrease in the immune system function, so an individual under constant stress will tend to catch colds and have other immune system problems, including allergies. Blood flow to the digestive tract is decreased. Stress causes many digestive problems such as indigestion, colitis and irritable bowel. Adrenal hormones cause an increase in the blood clotting ability, so prolonged stress can lead to formation of arterial plaque and heart disease.

Worrying makes your adrenal glands work. Relaxing and thinking peaceful thoughts enables them to rest and heal. That is why Yoga and meditation are so good for you. You go a long way in preserving your health and energy if you do not fret about things over which you have no control. (You cannot control abuse, you can only leave it). It’s the amount of worry and not necessarily the size of the problem that stresses your adrenal glands. If you worry a lot about little problems, you do as much damage to your adrenal glands as someone who really has a lot of stress. If you can control your worrying when under stress, you minimize the damage stress does to your health. A wise man once said that worry is interest paid in advance on money you haven’t even borrowed yet.

Selye described the progression of stress on the adrenal glands as the general adaptation syndrome. The first stage is called the alarm reaction. This is when someone (with healthy adrenal glands) can perform amazingly well when the need arises. The primitive man, seeing the saber-tooth tiger, was able to run faster than he ever dreamed possible during the alarm reaction. If the stress continues, the body moves into the resistance stage, during which the adrenal glands become enlarged. The individual is responding to the stress and handling it. He or she may feel keyed up. The person may have cold, clammy hands, a rapid pulse or reduced appetite, but hasn’t begun to feel any of the more serious symptoms of the next stage. During the exhaustion stage the adrenal glands begin to fail to meet the demands placed upon them. During this stage, the individual begins to have a variety of symptoms including fatigue, digestive problems, obesity, depression, dizziness, fainting, allergies and many other problems. (For me, my lower back went out, my kidney area on both sides where in pain and the feeling of the bowling ball in my stomach increased as my stomach popped out. I felt like I had an inner-tube around that region that was inflamed and painful. I stay in a hyper fight or flight reaction and become very focused on everything around me).

People with weak adrenal glands frequently crave coffee and sugar, as well as salt. Sugar and caffeine stimulate the adrenal glands. It’s as if your adrenal glands are two horses towing a wagon load of bricks up a mountain. Sugar or caffeine is the whip you use to get the horses to keep trying. What they need to get to the top of the mountain is nourishment and a rest period. (As I read this, I sit here with my cup of coffee thinking about what kind of chocolate I want to eat tonight).

To effectively treat the adrenal glands, you must eliminate as much stress from your life as possible. Emotional stress is the kind of stress most people think of when stress is mentioned, but there are many different kinds of stress. Thermal stress results from being exposed to extremes of temperature; physical stress from heavy physical work, poor posture, structural misalignment’s, lack of sleep and being overweight; and chemical stress from ingestion of food additives, exposure to pollutants and consumption of sugar and alcohol. Changes in blood sugar are also a form of chemical stress. Eating frequent, small meals is often very helpful, since people suffering from hypoadrenia are often hypoglycemic (having low blood sugar).

Situations are not always controllable, (Abuse is not controllable), but stress is. Stress is cumulative. Emotional, structural, and chemical stress all affect the body the same way. Your adrenal glands do not know the difference between an IRS audit, treading water, or excessive sugar consumption; excess sugar consumption will add to the stress of the IRS audit.

If you reduce the stress that you can control, stressful situations will not have as much of a physical effect on you. For instance, eating frequent meals and avoiding sugar will reduce stress on the adrenal glands. So even if you can’t do anything about Aunt Millie and Uncle Edgar coming to spend the summer, you can reduce your stress by controlling your diet. Also, how you think of the stress will make a difference in the health of your adrenal glands. Aunt Millie’s handy tips on how you should raise your kids or clean your house, or Uncle Edgar’s penchant for eating everything that isn’t nailed down (without offering to pay for groceries) won’t stress your adrenal glands if you don’t focus on it.

If you can’t change your work situation, then improve your diet and get plenty of rest. Change how you think about your job situation. Focus on the positive: You do have a job, you do eat regular meals. (Much of the world doesn’t). Just do the best you can and think of the things you can’t control in positive terms. To quote the great teacher and spiritual advisor, Yogi Babaganoush, “Chill out man.” Think to yourself, “What could be good about this situation?” Then take a minute to really look for positive answers.

Hanging on to anxiety over past situations is stressful. Thought has power. Worry gives you all of the physiologic responses of Selye’s rats or the caveman facing the wild animal. It’s a waste of energy and it undermines your health.

Your adrenal glands simply don’t know the difference between imagined danger and real danger. (As I say in my book, my real or imagined fear. To me it was all the same). Think about it; if you hear a noise at night and think it’s the wind, you can go back to sleep. If you think it’s an intruder you can’t get back to sleep even after you get up to investigate. The thought of facing an intruder made the adrenal glands start producing their hormones.

Meditation and biofeedback have been of such value in controlling stress. They don’t help with the situation, just how you perceive it and your body’s response to the stress. Doctors are beginning to find that laughter helps the prognosis of cancer patients.

Minimizing chemical stress is also important. We have plenty of chemical stress today. Environmental pollution, food additives, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine contribute stress to your adrenal glands. You must remove chemical stresses from your diet—effortlessly and without putting yourself under pressure. Gradually improve your diet by removing chemical additives. Move toward a more organic way of eating. Enjoy the change without fretting over how your diet isn’t perfect yet.

Ironically, stress often makes you crave the foods that are bad for you. While under stress, it is hard to be diligent in keeping additives and refined sugar out of the diet. Clients often complain that they have no time and can’t eat properly. Lack of time really isn’t the problem because raw nuts, fruits, and vegetables take no time to prepare. Lack of time is usually used as an excuse to give in to craving the wrong foods. Once you understand that, you can eat healthily with little effort.

Eating sugar and skipping meals are two things that are especially stressful to the adrenal glands, which work to maintain your blood sugar level. Eating sugar causes a temporary increase in blood sugar, which soon drops. Skipping meals also causes the blood sugar to drop. The adrenal glands then have to work to increase the blood sugar. Hypoadrenia and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) usually exist together.  Disclaimer: © 2014 Thornton Natural Healthcare Centre, LLC. All rights reserved.© 2014 Thornton Natural Healthcare Centre. All Rights Reserved. 205 South St., Stockton, MO 65785 | Phone: 417.276.6306.

PART III
The physical fallout from my recent episode was: Lower spine – L region – disc’s popped out which Dr. Dave realigned. My stomach literally felt like it exploded and expanded with what felt like a bowling ball in the middle and had to be put back in place. Right thigh muscle showed an injury and I was asked if I fell. And most of all, my heart hurt, literally hurt. Dr. Dave put me back together. Good news is that each time he realigns my body, my recovery from the trauma happens faster with each trauma. My body is healing and I will continue to work on it until I get it right.
As I have consistently said in speaking engagements and in my book, I am on a journey to move away and beyond Psychological and Verbal Abuse. I don’t have all the answers, but I do have my journey that I share with you as well as many questions that come up for me. Unfortunately, many of my questions have no answers, especially, “Why?” I still work on letting those questions go. Recovery is a process that requires continuous growth along with grit and determination. I will not let abuse run my life anymore and I will continue to nurture my child, who ignites in her PTSD response to abuse. And as I go, I will find the tools to help me in my forward movement, stick them in my pocket and take them with me on my journey toward freedom. My learning after this episode is that I have to pay attention to my psychical body and its reaction to abuse. I exercise often and now will incorporate meditation to quiet my spirit and my little girls, and pay attention to my breathing.

Letter to my Mom

Letter to my Mom

Dear Mom,

As I sit here writing this book, talking with your many friends about the impact you had on them, and healing to a settled place over your death, I felt compelled to write you this letter…to my Mom.

I’ve been overwhelmed by the circumstances of your death. I’ve been overwhelmed coming to terms with the history we shared. I’ve been saddened by how to encompass our relationship of mother and daughter and to bring closure to its existence. It was a hell of a ride. At times wonderful, magical, and exhilarating. At others: bumpy, chaotic, and heart-wrenching. I want to remember you with grace, acceptance, love, compassion, and kindness. I want to carry your memory with me always. And I feel I can do that since I am letting go of the pain and heartache. I can do that, for we were all “at the effect” of heartache. We were all “at the effect” of pain. We were all trying to survive circumstances out of our control for so long. And I am letting go “one step at a time.”

I find comfort in knowing you are finally at peace. I believe your fears and anxieties have been laid to rest. I’m finding comfort having your ashes with me as I heal from the pain of your loss. I talk to you, stroke your urn with love and rage as I learn to let go of my anger and what was. At first your presence was everywhere and at times Bo saw your spirit flying around. I’d tell him it’s Baba and he would wag his little tail in excitement as he ran around the house looking for you. But most of all, I am working very hard to move forward.

I think what I will miss the most is the thing I’ve always hated the most, your energy. It was that energy that kept you away from home, kept you away from mothering, and kept you away from me. But as an adult, I have come to understand your need to run. And run you did, always with vigor and excitement. I know why you ran when we were children, so overwhelmed with our need for you and your inability to handle the pain of what the divorce did to you and us kids. Dad left you alone. He abandoned us all. You were left with small children and he never looked back. His indifferent interference, our need for him in our lives and the anger you must have felt probably made for many sleepless nights in your life. Your fear of how you would raise young children, how you would pay for us and how you would survive I know overwhelmed. I didn’t know then, but I know now.

My heart sobs for your sadness during those times. My heart sobs for the fear and loneliness you must have felt and carried with you. My heart screams that you were forced to make the choices you did. And I was left shattered in the aftermath. I know you suffered because of this. It has taken me a long time not to blame you for what I felt was your indifference. It is taking me a long time to heal from the pain of loneliness and feeling worthless in a chaotic and dramatic world. It’s interesting to me how the parent that stays gets all the anger and rage. Maybe it’s because even though you were not there, I always knew you would never completely abandon. That in itself was always confusing: there, but not there. It has taken me a long time to let go of the anger and move towards complete forgiveness. I am still working on this.

But I am. I am getting through the pain and growing up. It has allowed me to separate out and find the goodness and magic that was you.  I’ve always been amazed by your thirst for all that is life. I’ve always been amazed at your power to touch the masses. I’ve loved and am proud of how you cared and worked tirelessly to causes that touched your heart. And you have left so many behind who are devastated by your death and miss you on a daily basis. You were loved by so many even though you didn’t know it. It’s what made you so special to all, your unassuming nature and down to earth sensibilities. I’ve never met anyone with more mothers, sisters, brothers and friends. Not bad for an only child.

I know some will feel like I betrayed you by writing this book. Most have given me loving support and words of empowerment as I walk through the journey of letting go. I am certain of how proud you are of me and my wish to help and make a difference for others living a life of pain and abuse, because that is what you were all about, making a difference in people’s lives. If this book does what I hope it does, many will leave their abusive situation and move to a life that has purpose, hope, health and peace. My hope is that your death will save many lives. No matter what anyone thinks, I know you are looking down and are proud of this book because secrets don’t matter to you anymore.

I am grateful you are finally at peace. I know you did your best. I know you loved and cared. I know you were the best mother you could be, even though I still struggle to understand it. I am devastated by your loss and I will grow and learn from our relationship.

Despite everything, in the end, I loved you very much. My sadness at your loss is insurmountable. My forgiveness to myself and you for not being able to stop the abuse is complete. My gratitude for the good is intact, and the knowledge that I couldn’t fix or change anything other than myself is understood.

   You rocked my world: the good, the bad, and the ugly. May you rest in peace.

Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th. Thirteen has always been a lucky number for me. The intrigue was probably because that number seemed to freak everyone else out so I felt the number needed a friend. The thirteenth will be one day shy of five years since my mother was killed. It is the day I will be burying my Mother’s ashes next to her Mother. One day shy of five years that it took me to lay my Mother to rest. It has been a long journey. Coming home to Chicago has allowed me to finally go through the mourning process.

Last weekend I went to Michigan, a place my Mother loved. Bo and I took a long walk along the beach, something my Mom and I did often, as I proceed the last five years and the sadness I have felt. As I walked, I collected rocks. It is a Jewish tradition to place a stone on the grave of a loved one to show that we have been there, a connection of sorts that the individual lives on through us and in us. “Flowers, though beautiful, will eventually die. A stone will not die, and can symbolize the permanence of memory and legacy.” Gathering stones for her grave gave me an opportunity to create my own ritual, something that feels meaningful to me. I collected many stones to give to each member who attends her burial to leave behind. My friend gave me a beautiful heart shaped stone as my own to place in the box. I also collected soft sand to place in the box. The sand that was forgiving and cool under my toes, the sand that my Mom and I walked on too many times to count.

I have found a spot deep within that I can keep my Mother. It is a place I can visit whenever I need to, it is a place that brings comfort. I cherish this place for it is filled with all that is her: the good, the bad and the ugly. I get to nourish it, love it, forgive it and cry in it. It is my Mom and today I miss her.

Even after five years, I find myself weepy and sad. I feel as though I have held my breath all these years over her killing. I was not given time to grieve or mourn her loss. For the first two years, my Mother’s ashes sat on my mantel surrounded by pictures of her family and cherished friends. I talked to her, stroked her urn, yelled at her and healed as her presence remained all around me. I was able to find my journey towards peace. So today, I am letting go of the sadness and pain. On Friday the 13th I will complete the circle. Mom, may you finally rest in peace. <3

 

STANDS WITH FISTS ~ MOVING BEYOND PSYCHOLOGICAL AND VERBAL ABUSE ~ A TRUE STORY AND PROFESSIONAL GUIDE TO HEALING

Author:

STANDS WITH FISTS

     ~ MOVING BEYOND PSYCHOLOGICAL AND VERBAL ABUSE ~

       A TRUE STORY AND PROFESSIONAL GUIDE TO HEALING

                      AUTHOR SEES HER NEW BOOK AS RISKY, REVEALING AND A RELIEF

Debbie Zoub, MSW, Hopes that Her Book will Become a Welcomed Guide to Those Still Living in Abuse as well as a Source for Clinical Professions Seeking Fresh Insights into How to Help Clients Move Beyond Psychological and Verbal Abuse.

Debbie has spent much of her life searching for answers. She spent many years writing a unique, entertaining and educational manuscript detailing some troublesome aspects of her life. She has creatively documented the process by which she has successfully managed to free herself from a life of psychological and verbal abuse. Debbie skillfully provides people living in or recovering from abuse who want to heal and live a life free of abuse an insightful and valuable guide. Using her personal journey and professional knowledge, the reader will understand that they are not alone. Her book gives a voice and language to abuse and provides a guide for the reader to move out of and away from abuse. It also helps those that stay understand the reasons why.

For clinical professionals, she provides a unique and powerful source for them to help their clients move beyond psychological and verbal abuse. In her words, “It is with the utmost respect for anyone working in the field of abuse and neglect, like myself, that I offer Stands With Fists. Let us continue the journey together to make the changes necessary so that we have a better ability to understand and help those living in abuse.”

The book is available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com. The book will also be distributed internationally to over 71,000 retail website, bookstore and library locations that are a part of the RICHER Press distribution channel.

You can contact Debbie via email at Standswithfists333@yahoo.com.less

Stands with Fists ~ Healing from Verbal and Emotional Abuse ~

debbie looking out window... what abuse looks like

Author:

STANDS WITH FISTS

~ MOVING BEYOND PSYCHOLOGICAL AND VERBAL ABUSE ~

A TRUE STORY AND PROFESSIONAL GUIDE TO HEALING

Debbie often wondered why she was born into the family she was. Her lifetime questions to self were always, “Why me?” and “What did I do that was so bad to deserve this life?” After her mother died those questions began to change to, “What am I suppose to learn from this ?” and “What am I suppose to do with my experience?”

“When I realized the landscape of my life was dominated by abuse, I decided to do something about it. There came a point in my life when I knew that I could no longer blame my adult situation on my childhood abuse and the abusive situation I was still in. I had to come to terms with it and figure out how to deal with my child’s stance emotionally, find my awareness and grow up.”

Debbie wrote a compelling book on how to leave the abuse in your life behind, find your voice and take back your power. Her words are powerful, raw, honest and she digs deep to come to terms with her past. Her hope is that her experience will lead you on your own journey out and away from abuse.  It is with Debbie’s journey that she extends her voice to all of you on your own journey out and away from abuse.

“Debbie has written a rare combination of personal trauma and growth with an ability to explain the power of verbal and emotional abuse That is so often disregarded. Her wisdom, humor and passion for the reader is remarkable.”

~ Diane Moore, Executive Director, Advocates Building Peaceful Communities

Stands with Fists ~ Healing from Verbal and Emotional Abuse ~

                                                  

STANDS WITH FISTS

~Healing from Verbal and Emotional Abuse~

       “When I realized the landscape of my life was dominated by abuse, I decided to do something about it.  There came a point when I realized I could no longer blame my adult situation on my childhood abuse and the abusive situation I was still in.  I began to come to terms with it and figure out how to deal with my child’s stance emotionally, find my awareness and grow up.”       These are the words of the author who wrote a compelling book on how to leave the abuse in your life behind and become the amazing and authentic adult you were always meant to be.  It is with Debbie’s journey towards peace and living a life without abuse, that she extends to all of you on your own journey out and away from abuse.  Her words are powerful, raw, honest, and she digs deep to come to terms with her past

HOW MY JOURNEY STARTED:

 In 2009, my mother was killed by her male partner of over twenty years. I’ll never know what he was thinking when he ran her over with a golf cart crushing her to death because he never talked and died a year-and-a-half later, taking all the secrets of that day with him.
I have lived with abuse my whole life. I didn’t always know what I was living was abusive because I had nothing to compare it to. As I grew, I knew. I knew that being yelled at, put down, invalidated and made to feel worthless was not right.  I knew that my spirit was being crushed and my ability to grow beaten down.  I was in trouble, but I didn’t have a clue what to do about it.  So I fell apart and lived that way through most of my life.  That is until I screamed, “I’ve had enough.”  I’d had enough of others defining who I was, enough of giving my power away to abuse and those who abused.  I was finished.  That was when my journey out of the darkness and away from abuse began.
Being a clinical social worker for over twenty years, having the intellectual understanding of abuse and it’s affects on the spirit, mind, and body, I knew after my mother’s killing, it was time to go through my own journey out of abuse and share that experience with others. So this book was born.

      It is with Debbie’s journey towards peace and living a life without abuse that she extends to all of you on your own journey out and away from abuse. Her words are powerful, raw, honest, and she digs deep to come to terms with her past. Take this emotional journey with Debbie. Her metaphors and coping strategies are fantastic on how to walk through all the drama and take responsibility for your own life, choices, and direction.

“Debbie understands the depth of pain caused by verbal and emotional abuse. I lived it but didn’t see it as abuse, because to me, abuse was physical. Today I understand it, but still struggle to cope with it. When I try to give words to the feelings, Debbie “gets it.”    ~ Marilyn ~

STANDS WITH FISTS ~ Healing from Verbal and Emotional Abuse

Stands with Fists

STANDS WITH FISTS

~Healing from Verbal and Emotional Abuse~

Debbie often wondered why she was born into the family she was. Her lifetime questions to self were always, “Why me?” and “What did I do that was so bad to deserve this life?” After her mother died those questions began to change to, “What am I suppose to learn from this ?” and “What am I suppose to do with my experience?”

“When I realized the landscape of my life was dominated by abuse, I decided to do something about it. There came a point in my life when I knew that I could no longer blame my adult situation on my childhood abuse and the abusive situation I was still in. I had to come to terms with it and figure out how to deal with my child’s stance emotionally, find my awareness and grow up.”

Debbie wrote a compelling book on how to leave the abuse in your life behind, find your voice and take back your power. Her words are powerful, raw, honest and she digs deep to come to terms with her past. Her hope is that her experience will lead you on your own journey out and away from abuse.  It is with Debbie’s journey that she extends her voice to all of you on your own journey out and away from abuse.

“Debbie has written a rare combination of personal trauma and growth with an ability to explain the power of verbal and emotional abuse that is so often disregarded. Her wisdom, humor, and passion for the reader is remarkable.”   Diane Moore, Executive Director ~ Advocates Building Peaceful Communities.

Stands with Fists – Healing from Abuse

I have written a book called “Stands with Fists – Healing From Abuse” to give those living in or recovering from abuse a voice.  This book has been a lifetime coming.  It is something I have wanted to do forever; write a book about the impact of all abuses with the main focus around emotional and verbal abuse – even though all types of abuse are included – and in doing so, give it a language and a voice.  Growing up in abuse made that so.  It is my belief that verbal and emotional abuse are the least understood because of the invisible nature and therefore needs to have a voice.  It was the main type of abuse I have experienced throughout my life and my difficulty in being able to leave it was because it was not understood and always minimized by others when I attempted to tell.  For me, it was never given the validity it deserves

Today I start a conversation with my personal story, my knowledge as a clinical social worker and the care and compassion that I extend to all of you through the lessons I’ve learned and am still learning.  Having been a clinical social worker for over twenty years, I have worked with all types of abuse and neglect.  I will share both my professional knowledge and personal life events to connect with those of you living or recovering from a life of abuse.  Through my words, my hope is that you will find your own words and voice.

THE EYE’S SAY IT ALL…

THE POWER OF ABUSE

THE POWER OF ABUSE ON A YOUNG SPIRIT…

Stands with Fists

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