Wednesday, March 26, 2008
"Reflections: The Night Before Out-Patient Surgery"
There are so many things flooding my mind right now. The emails that I've received from many of you, have caused weeping again. Each time I'm reminded of the isolation, pain, humiliation and indignity that abuse brings...it causes me to "go back" again into the hell that I was once living. This time, however, my reasons for "going back" are not for me, but for those I desire to be of some comfort.
Underneath the differences of 'outward' appearance, we are all sisters. The exact circumstances of our lives may be different, but being a victim of abuse...brings a deep level of "sisterhood". Just learning that I was not alone (as I definitely believed) was a weight off my shoulders. Once I was in the "safe house", I learned a lot.
The women that I shared this home with, were all victims of domestic assault. Many of them had small children. The fear and uncertainty on the faces of those children, I'll never forget. The "safe house" was set up for children. Much play area, both inside and outside. Of course, the outside area was completely surrounded by a large wood privacy fence. The kids also had a huge variety of toys, games, puzzles and there was also a computer room for them. This was a real place of safety!
When I first step foot in this house, the thing that I was immediately made aware of was that I was SAFE! I remember thinking it'd be easier to get into Ft. Knox. Yet, in spite of the safety, the stories of each woman were as different as night is from day. The one common factor was that we were all there for the same reason. We were all victims of abuse. This was a house of "healing"
Tomorrow I go to the hospital for an out-patient procedure. Hopefully, it really will be "out-patient"...as this has not always been the case with me. Many of the medical issues I deal with now are a result of the years of physical abuse.
There is a bit of critical information I'd like to share with you. I learned this from one of my sisters...who learned it the hard way. When a husband/significant other...knows your personal information: social security number, mother's maiden name, father's middle name, etc., etc., etc....it is often easy for them to get information about you that could further compromise your safety.
My sister gave me some information concerning my cell phone number. She told me to get it "pass code protected". I contacted the cell phone provider and said I wanted the number (the one I was using) to be "pass code protected". This means you come up with a combination of a couple numbers &/or letters. Something no one would know but you. This way, no one can get a copy of your phone records.
Doing this prevents anyone from getting your phone records. Like I said earlier, it was one of precious sister's that gave me the information I'm now passing on to you. Her husband was able to get a copy of her phone records for the previous two years!
I've also known women whose abuser had 'planted' a GPS (global positioning system) on their vehicles. They wondered "how" every move they made was known to their abuser. One lady found it by accident...she was looking under her car, as it appeared she had an oil leak. Other than noticing the leak she found something quite unexpected...what she found was a small disc shaped object placed under her bumper. Not knowing what it was, she pulled it off. the next day she went to an auto parts store. She showed the employee what she'd found and asked what it was. He explained to her that it was a GPS...giving information to every place she took her vehicle.
Oh my, the more information I share, the more I realize I need yet to pass on. I'm committed to your safety. Please, tell someone. No one deserves to be abused. Today, I added some national hot line information links. They are there to help.
Hopefully, my next post will include some specifics you'll need to prepare for...in case of an immediate need for safety. Due to the fact I had asked a few questions before that "one particular" night...I felt a bit empowered. Looking back, I can see clearly, had I known the right questions to ask, I could have been better prepared.
Be Safe My Sisters,