Behind the Scenes
Behind the scenes, I have been re-learning life, as a single mom. I’m not gonna lie, it has been a really tough transitional period, for all of us. And even though I know it is just a season, one that has nearly passed, it has been an important time for healing, learning, and growth for myself and my children.
I’m sure you have noticed I have not been posting as consistently as I normally do. That is because I have been struggling to figure it all out. To make sense of not only what happened to us, but of what our new future looks like.
What has been going on
It has been stressful to say the least. Accepting the reality of my marriage and the violence that grew within it, coming home to an empty house with most of my personal things gone, having 24 hours to move my children and myself to a new home, trying to maintain a sense of stability on my own for my children, trying to keep up with Malibu Mama Loves and learning how to run a functioning household alone has been a daunting task. It is overwhelming, it is scary and if one more person tells me to keep being strong, I may spontaneously combust…!! Lol, just kidding, I do appreciate all of the support, but you know what I mean!!
It has taken me some time to adjust. There were days where all I could do was make our beds and get the dishes done wondering how this all happened, feeling like my world was spinning, praying that my littles would be ok. How could I have become a domestic violence survivor? How could any of this be real? The questions and the pain and the confusion just kept swirling around in my head until I realized that I had to make the choice to confront it, to use it to help myself and others and to let it go.
We all have the power to choose to be happy right? So why was I choosing to live in the past in fear?
The day I realized this is the day I got all of my power back… and then some. It is the day that I truly survived. That is the day that I knew it would all be ok and that I was in a unique position to perhaps help a lot of people.
I’ve done my research to learn that domestic violence happens to 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men here in the USA, and yet, nobody talks openly about it. On a normal day, national domestic violence hotlines will receive 20,800 phone calls for help – in 1 day!! And yet, nobody talks openly about it.
With numbers like that, the chances that you know someone who is being abused in some way are very, very high.
Behind The Scenes Now
So I am here to talk about it now. Yes, domestic violence happens. Yes, I am a domestic violence survivor. His anger escalated to where he tried to kill me… but I survived. And now, I am healthy and alive and figuring it out with the help of some amazing family and friends, without whom I wouldn’t be coping at all.
As I continue to open up with what happened to me, I am finding incredible amounts of support and love from even the most unexpected of places. That we really never do know what goes on behind someone else’s closed doors until we extend a helping hand and open up to one another.
I am learning that no matter how painful or humiliating what happened to me is, I am not alone. And maybe, just maybe, I can share that pain and humiliation with others to help change their circumstances for the better.
Because we all deserve to live in peace and happiness. And what I never realized is that you really can. It is possible. If you choose it.
So I am sorry that I have been on the quiet side. I may have been down for a count, but I am definitely not out! In fact, I’m stronger than ever before and leaping head first back into the game.
Several weeks ago, I was contacted by an amazing local photographer. She is a mom who follows along on the Malibu Mama Loves facebook page and knew I was going through a divorce. She reached out to me with a fantastic idea to work together. An idea that was just the solution I had been searching for. An idea that helped me to realize that I am still here and I do still have a voice.
Just in being a mom, it is easy to loose your identity. Add onto that surviving a traumatic experience and suffering years of abuse, you can easily loose your sense of self. I know I did. You get so wrapped up in your littles’ lives and protecting your abuser, making excuses, focusing on the wrong things that suddenly years have gone by without you stopping to check in on yourself.
And we need to do that. We need to take time each day to honor ourselves, keep ourselves healthy, to be true to ourselves.
As I was soon to discover, a great way to do this, to reclaim our identity as moms, as powerful, beautiful women, is to see ourselves through someone else’s eyes for a minute. To see what a professional photographer, and everyone else, sees when they are looking at us.
I met Janet for the first time and I liked her right away. She is a real mom who has a relaxed vibe and instantly made me feel comfortable. She suggested that I create a new image for myself and wanted to sponsor a campaign giving me the ability to share with you how I have gotten back up and on my feet (ok, I may not be completely on my feet yet, but I am getting there… 😉 ). She encouraged me to open up and to start talking. To share about how I survived the domestic violence that had become my life, how I have managed to remain conscious and guide my children and myself through this season of forgiveness and healing and divorce. How I have found a way to be happy on even the darkest of days.
A few days after that, I was contacted by the incredibly talented color specialist Gila at Paris Cut Salon. When I told her about our upcoming campaign to spread awareness on single parenting and domestic violence, she wanted to be a part of it and I knew this was the right time and the right thing to do.
Because the truth is, there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes, for all of us. We like to post our ‘best’ pictures on social media and show only the good stuff, but the fact is, is that life is messy – everyone’s is on some level. Our true friends and real honest people come out in our time of need. They are the ones behind the scenes who give us the inspiration and motivation we need to carry on. To be true to ourselves.
Real honest people like Gila at Paris Cut Salon. Who took the time to make my hair look incredible while making me feel special and cared for.
And Janet at Barnett Lifestyles Photography, who took the time to see me. To help me see myself. To help me see the value in myself.
And my family, who have supported me through this difficult time.
And my friends, who have listened to me, loved on me and been there for every tear, every laugh, every fail and every celebration.
Because behind the scenes, without each other, this would be a very lonely place and not a single one of us would reach our full potential.
Behind the scenes now? I am a conscious mom. I am a conscious daughter. I am a conscious friend. I am a conscious family travel addict. I am a conscious business owner. I have an incredible circle of people around me, supporting me to share with you everything I have learned in this process. And I have lots to share!
In the upcoming weeks, stay tuned for my reviews of some great local businesses run by good, genuine people, my tips on domestic violence and all of the secret resources that I have found, advice on how to keep your divorce conscious, your kids conscious and yourself happy and some super fun, fresh travel posts to get you motivated to get up and get adventuring again!
Summer is here and good things are ahead… for all of us!
Malibu Mama Loves Xxx