Category Archives: Inspiration

I Am A Domestic Violence Survivor

****READERS…we had a submission from a domestic violence survivor which I think is an important story to share as I was once in that situation myself with a boyfriend many moons ago…I have edited her submission and obviously we are not sharing her name etc.—- It is my hope as well as hers that this will inspire you and if you are in a situation like this PLEASE seek help from qualified professionals…a website that has resources by state is www.thehotline.org.   This is a bit outside of our normal content, however I feel that it is an issue that needs a voice.  PLEASE any comments positive and supportive, we don’t do judgment here.  Thanks.  – Noelle

When you think about a domestic violence victim, who comes to mind?

Is it an addict that couldn’t get away? Is it a woman with 5 kids who has no resources of her own? Is it the girl with no self-esteem?  Is it a professional woman that somehow believes she deserves it?

Shockingly… Domestic Violence victims have no stereotype. People don’t plan to be a victim. Many of us turn out to be successful survivors of a less than ideal situation.  When children are involved it becomes even more important to have a breakthrough…

Let’s chat a bit about that word – survivor.

I walked into Safe Haven in Tarrant County in June of 2018 as someone experiencing domestic violence. The marks I had were fresh – bruises, scrapes, mental images. I felt ashamed. I hated being seen in public looking like this. To this day I remember what I was wearing – purple sunglasses to hide the facial marks, my nephews t-shirt, and my shorts. I had a giant bruise but had nothing else to wear. I couldn’t go home yet, I couldn’t face my previous life while coming to terms with my new one.

The second I walked through the door at Safe Haven, I began to weep. What had gotten me here? What was I supposed to do? Was I really about to share with complete strangers what had happened happened? Yes. Yes, I was.  I had to…something had to change, and I had been through enough, it was time to take my life back!

I threw my shoulders back, wiped away me tears, and went through the intake process with the counselor. As I filled out the basic paperwork, I felt numb. When we got to the paperwork that talked about my relationship, I cried. Was I crying because I missed us? Partially. More than that, I realized all the abuse I put up with over the last year and 9 months, which was an eye opener for me.

Lots of thoughts ran through my head…such as:

I felt like I was to blame for everything, that’s not abuse is it? Our relationship needed so much work because of my faults, again, that’s on me, right? I didn’t need privacy, what was I hiding? Did my past have to do with why our relationship failed? Is it all my fault?!  Was I really abused?

Yes.  Yes, it was abuse and somehow, I missed the signs, even someone as smart as me…I missed it and got caught up in this crazy mess… If I had seen the early signs, it may not have gotten to the physical abuse part because maybe I would have gotten out sooner. Maybe not.  I don’t know.

What DO I know? I know that I didn’t deserve that, nobody does.  These things in a relationship are NOT ok.  This is dysfunctional and unhealthy.  Time to get help and get healed.

Today I am far, far beyond these moments, how did I do it? I had a tremendous support system. Family, friends, the people at Safe Haven… everyone played their role in my transition.

Going to group counseling allowed me to express what I was processing, feeling, all without judgement. This man physically harmed me… yet I still loved him! WHY? Counseling helped me answer questions like this and so much more.

My sister gave me a safe place to call home for a bit. And while she didn’t fully understand what I was going through, she listened. She let me get a shaky sentence out, cry, talk some more.  Honestly, just verbally processing it, without judgement, is what was happening and that is exactly what I needed.

My sister let me try to go home, and openly accepted me back when I couldn’t stay there. She never made me feel like a burden, nor did her family. When I was ready, she went with me, along with a couple of best friends, and legally cleared, packed, handed over responsibility of his things, to his best friend. They sat with me in what felt like such an empty hole and helped me move forward.

Now, a year and a half later, I am so much stronger. I am a domestic violence survivor, not a victim, living my life day to day. I hold a strong leadership position in a fortune 500 company and am blessed beyond measure.   I am so grateful.

If he would have had his way, I wouldn’t be here. My life would have ended that terrible day when I had enough. I got my second chance, and you can too. It’s hard, but girl, you’ve made it to this point, you can make it to the other side. We will welcome you and help you in ways you don’t know you need yet.  PLEASE get the help that you need if you are in a similar situation, every state has resources that will help you.

I have shared this hoping that it may help someone else find their way from the dark into the LIGHT.

-SM

Searching For Peace

I have been searching for peace… since March(ish) whether I’ve wanted to or not I have been forced to think about how I have lived my life.

Who I spend my time with. What I want. What I need.

For the longest time I thought I was not a social person. I am still pretty sure I’m not. I have no desire when I’m able, to sit at a bar. That has never been my thing. But I miss my friends. Even though I am usually the friend who cancels or leaves early.

I am shy, but I miss walking into work everyday and saying hello. I miss chatting with people in stores that I went to frequently.

I thought I was confident in my skin… but the more time I spend online those doubts that I was pretty good at batting creep up. Sadly online has become a twisty lifeline. Not my favorite. It wasn’t before, it isn’t now and it won’t be after.

Although, comparing myself to anyone is silly. We all know how easily you can mold yourself literally, to be a completely different person online than you are in person .

I am always taken aback when I meet certain people in person and they look decidedly different IN PERSON than they do online.

I continue to say this. We have some huge opportunities here. As much as I lament about certain things. I am searching out the things that give me peace.

As I like to say. Like it’s my job.

My newest thing is windows wide open listening to the wildlife that live in the marsh across from my house. Really listening. They are a chatty group, but they are also my favorite lullaby.

I try not to look at this time as being alone but time to focus, or at the very least slow down. Although, I am not going to tell you I don’t get incredibly, painfully lonely sometimes.

I’m not going to hide that.

That’s the other thing. I’m learning to be honest with my emotions.

I wear my heart on my sleeve but if I think how I feel may hurt you or cause a burden, I do what I do. I go quiet. I might even run. That helps nobody.

I’ve started taking a step back. For the longest time because of some of the hurt I’ve had, I had a bad habit of assuming the worst. Of everything. Of everyone. I would look for cracks that didn’t exist. It was easier to self sabotage than get hurt.

Now you know that incredibly dirty secret.

I am forcing myself to still be me but be ok with me.

Which is probably the hardest thing for me.

I am not perfect, but as I say that is ok. And ok is a good start, because it leaves room for good and even great.

I am sorry I don’t have the magic elixir Mommas but as I also say…I hope me sharing helps. It helps you know, however you’re feeling… it’s ok and you’re not alone.

Be safe.

Much love Mommas

<3 Caprise

Some Days Are Hard

Some days are really hard…..It doesn’t take a pandemic to struggle.Even after this is over, we will still struggle certain days. I always wonder why some days are a piece of cake and others are just a mess. What sets them apart?

This week has been harder than others, I feel the kids and I were all on each other’s nerves. The other reality was that my job was probably not going to improve anytime soon.

Everything was just piling up. I felt like I was either crabby or sad all the time. I was not sleeping and was starting to feel nervous about things in my life. This is new for me, I am normally a person that feels very in control of my life.

I would wonder why I didn’t get anything additional done during the day. I was exhausted by 4 pm every day. Then I thought about all the things I was trying to accomplish during the day,when in reality I was constantly busy with distance learning, my actual job, conference calls, setting up my kids google hangouts, refereeing fights, making meals, cleaning up from meals, planning the next meal, trying to get 2 teenagers up before noon, getting my kids to do chores, monitoring electronic time, and the list goes on. Honestly, we have been in a good groove before this week. But shit, I can’t take another week like this! It’s funny because i was a stay at home mom for years, but this seems different. Did I lose my touch?

In addition, I miss my friends, my family, and my coworkers. I miss my old routine. I miss the gym. I miss watching a tv show by myself, I miss my drive to work,when I can listen to my own music and it’s quiet. I just miss it all. I even read an article on a mom that turned her backyard trampoline into an isolated retreat and I thought that lady is a genius!!! I might move my room outside.

I know I have so much to be grateful for in my life although sometimes you just need to feel a little selfish. And sometimes everything seems overwhelming. So I needed to change things up.

I started walking later in the afternoon rather than the morning. It was a good end to my day. Plus just changing up my routine gave me something to look forward to also.

I started praying more. I made time to pray when I woke up and then again later in the day. I really was looking for more peace and contentment in my life. I was starting to feel a little lost and didn’t know the right direction I should be going at times. I had to take the time to add this into my daily routine and stick to it. I could tell I needed this.

I started reaching out to more friends to check on them. Helping people or giving encouragement to others has always helped me feel like I have more of a purpose or contentment in my life. It’s also so reassuring to hear that your friends are going through the same thing.

I picked my battles with my kids. I could obviously tell they were having just as hard of a week as I was… I relaxed on the electronic time. And honestly I was as guilty, some nights we all sat on the couch playing our own devices.

I started posting old pictures of my kids on social media. Mostly because it makes me smile and I know my family misses seeing them. And it reminds me of great memories and fun times.

I would stop myself from worrying about things I could not control. I would just tell myself many times that if I can’t control it, then I can’t worry about it. This is hard and it didn’t always work.. but I’m determined to not worry as much. I had to let things go that I did not accomplish during a day. I had to start reminding myself that I should be proud of everything I did in the day and honestly who cares if I didn’t get everything done.

It doesn’t have to take a pandemic for us to feel the pressure of things building up in life,it happens to all of us. It can happen on any normal day. I think it just helps when you are aware it’s happening, try to let it go, and start again tomorrow.

-Snarky

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/blog

Creating An Inner Peace

On last Sunday’s Coffee Chat FB Live, I talked about keeping your peace…let’s talk about what that means, how you find your ‘peace’ and how you can protect it. With everything that is happening both in our homes and in the world right now, it is extremely important that you figure out how to get yourself into a place of peace and be able to stay there. This is easier said than done and I am relearning it right along with you. These last few months have been a real lesson for me in how much I try to fix and solve everything for everyone often at my own expense.

I have been learning that it is no longer my job to solve all my son’s problems (he just turned 19 last week) and that it isn’t my job to fix or save my family members or my clients—people have to be able to learn their own lessons…by continually trying to solve everything for everyone around me I have literally exhausted myself to the point where I feel like a dish rag that has been thoroughly rung out on the daily right now.

Peace comes from being able to keep your inner equilibrium no matter what is going on around you…it means understanding what is yours to handle and what isn’t and it means being able to ‘listen’ without feeling responsible to act. Those of you fellow ‘fixers and savers’ know exactly what I mean. We are only responsible to handle our own crap. We don’t have to take on the issues all around us because when we do we lose our own inner peace, become more reactive and exhaust ourselves.

If you are a God person I would tell you to practice letting go and letting God— for those of you that have trouble with the God stuff I would say learn to let go and trust that Life itself will take care of you and the circumstances around you. Remember that what we focus on we will create, so taking time to focus on positive outcomes goes a long way in creating inner peace.

As the days pass and I continue to be stuck here I become more and more aware of how I tend to take on everyone else’s “stuff” as if it were my job to solve it— I ‘kind of’ knew this about myself, yet over the last two months I have become VERY much more aware of it and it is not something that I want to continue.

I realize that I need to be protective of my peace— that the cost of not paying attention to that is exhaustion and the inability to create anything new— I have found myself unmotivated to work on the new body of work for entrepreneurs that I want to bring out as well as unmotivated to make videos for the small coaching group that I invited a few people to participate in— when I started looking to see WHY I couldn’t seem to get out of my own way, I realized that I was using all my energy to try and make everybody else OK and happy etc. during these crazy times—— NOT MY JOB. I get it. I am working on letting GO and being responsible for MY OWN SHIT.

I started playing the effectiveness game again on Monday, so far I am a 10/10 on the daily— working really hard to stay focused on what works for me. Inviting you to do the same— see you on Sunday morning for Coffee Chat— take care of YOU.

XO, Noelle

Mother’s Day Redo

It is Mother’s Day as I type this and I woke up angry and exhausted.

I am ashamed to admit that.  But I am tired of this.

Everywhere I turn. AND everyone has an opinion and it’s crushing lately.

I am trying so hard not to be that person. You know her… Debbie Downer. I am grateful but I am full of regret and hurt.

I am angry.

Like really angry.

And the thing is… that’s ok.

I am gonna say this for those of you in the back. If you haven’t showered for five days. If you are letting the kids eat chips and salsa for breakfast. While not the best choice. It’s ok.

There is no manual for this.

I know we have had this talk a few times but we are still here. It’s still happening.

People are showing their true colors and I’m gonna say it, some people ooh dang. Suddenly I seem very bright in comparison even though I feel very gray, lol.

I will say as much as I try not to be in my head I have begun to learn what matters to me. Really matters. 

I’ve said this before but I am going to type it LOUDLY. Remember who people were to you during this. That’s them. 

I know look who’s giving you advice? Ms. Crabby pants. 

When you are finally able. Love on your people. Remind them all the time. Who they are to you. The biggest lesson I have learned is how I am in friendships and … relationships.

It’s a different world when you can’t meet your friends for coffee. When you can’t have dinner with your favorite person.

Words suddenly matter.

I text and call people like it’s my job now.

There’s a meme about taking this time to get in touch with ourselves but we are baking banana bread.I’m taking it to strengthen my friendships. To make sure the people I love and care about, always know I do.

I am a guarded person who is working really hard to put my guard down. Time is precious. People are precious. I didn’t realize what I took for granted, until it all changed.  Until it’s not there.

I have been fed a yummy breakfast. Hopped up on several cups of coffee. I am much less grumpy than I was this morning. But I have to keep telling myself it’s ok. It’s alright. 

Remember ok is good because it can be great. 

It’s ironic isn’t it I don’t want any more advice, but my hope in sharing this with you, is that you find some comfort in knowing if you are feeling any sort of way-you’re not alone.

Much love Mommas

Be safe 

<3 Caprise

Farewell Nancy

Farewell Nancy..

A chameleon is a small lizard as we know it,  whose skin changes to adapt to its surroundings. Do you ever feel like a chameleon adapting and changing yourself just to try to fit in with those around you?  Many of us do this, subconsciously,  due to the fact that we put ourselves in a personal survival space.  Whether it be childhood trauma, poor life choices, or even unhealthy friendships or relationships, every single one of us has experienced this uncomfortable feeling of not feeling good about ourselves or fitting in.  It can be called anxiety, insecurity, low self-esteem or even fear. These feelings have taken up space far too long in MY head, how about yours?  

The most difficult challenge to overcoming or combating these critters is BELIEVING IN YOURSELF!   I know, easier said than done, right?  It can be done…but just like anything in life, it takes work. HARD WORK. Daily, weekly, hourly and every second of the day kind of work. 

Many times in life I’ve found that chick negative Nancy dancing around in my head. Telling me things I didn’t want to hear or believe. “You’re not pretty, You’re too fat,You’re not qualified enough,You don’t make enough money”.  Having this song and dance constantly rehearsing in my head eventually lead me to BELIEVE  these crazy thoughts. Thus, causing daily anxiety, unnecessary fears and most definitely low-self esteem. 

A dear friend of mine introduced me to the power of positivity and positive affirmations by sending me a surprise bundle of books in the mail. 

(This friend of mine and I had lost touch over the years and had recently reconnected).

In order to combat these never ending worn out recordings in my head, I took that care package as a hint, and decided to combat those lyrics replaying in my head by using affirmations. Yes, you know ~ those words strung together to make you feel good.  THEY work!   Although I was unfamiliar with the practice of using affirmations and changing my internal self-talk, I decided I would try. 

Part of this rewiring of my brain involved journalizing and also doing daily readings. In the beginning of my self-help endeavor, I started reading anything and everything that shouted positivity. Some of the materials included spiritual and religious books and daily spiritual readings. 

As with anything else,  it takes a while for something to become a habit, but I found myself craving that little bit of “me” time and started restructuring my day to fit this in. I was waking up earlier in the morning and retreating to my bedroom earlier in the evenings. I even bought daily meditation books!  And guess what? 

I STARTED FEELING BETTER ABOUT MYSELF. 

Little by little, I  WAS changing, I felt it, and it felt GOOD.  I was smiling more, not worrying as much, and learning how to let go of the little things that liked to ride the roller coaster in my head.  I also learned the fine art of forgiveness~that was HUGE.  I felt happier and not as weighed down by the worry, negativity or trauma of the past. I’m not saying any of this was easy, mind you, but with a daily routine, anything is possible!  

My daily routine, now five years later … consists of morning meditation reading and reflection time and also time in the evening before bed either journalizing, reading, or doing some adult art therapy coloring to unwind from the day. “ME time.” Doing THIS has changed my life, changed my attitude to gratitude and also inspires me to help others around me. 

Adios negative Nancy.

~Capemom2

I Am Not A Perfect Mom

I am not a perfect mom…I have two young children, I am a working single mother.  None of my family lives close to me.  My boyfriend doesn’t live with me.  It’s just me – always outnumbered by the kids.
I’d love to say that I’m this always perfect, cool, calm, collected mom. You know, the one you imagine in your head.  The one that has a perfect work-life balance.  That has little stress, and what stress she does have – well she never lets it get to her.  The one who sings and reads to the children every single day.  The one who homecooks all of their meals and of course everything is organic and perfectly nutritiously balanced.  No fast food for us!  The one who never loses her cool.  The one who delights in all aspects of her children at all times.  The one who is able to make it to every single school and life event (on time of course).  The one who has a perfect co-parent relationship with her ex and his fiance.  The one who is the perfect balance of compassionate, loving mother and gentle teacher/disciplinarian.
But I am not her.
The truth is, I don’t know ANYONE who is her.  We all have good days and bad days.  Days where we feel like mom of the year and days where we hang our heads in shame because we lost our cool when the kids pulled down the towel rack, pulled furniture across the floor and left a big scratch, colored on the walls with those cheap crayons that are so so hard to get out, had a VERY hard time listening and following instructions, couldn’t have “nice hands” with each other, and sooooo much more all in the same day.  When did we start comparing ourseslves to this imaginary version of SUPER MOM (I imagine she wears a cape) in our heads? Or the perfect moms we imagine based on those social media posts we see all day?  No one posts the BAD PARTS of their day.  Only the highlighting moments.  But we all have the bad parts, ya know?  All of us.  And that’s ok.  That’s normal.  We are not alone.  We love our kids and try to be the best mom we know how.  But sometimes we fail, we get frustrated, we get tired.  And you know what?  That’s ok too, that’s normal too
So why don’t we all give ourselves a little grace, patience and compassion?  We deserve it.
~H

Noelle’s Groundhog Day Diary

Noelle’s Groundhog Day diary submission:

Day 10,093

May 7th, 2020 3:25pm

May 7th…really?  A snowstorm predicted for the weekend here in Northern VT…WTF, REALLY??? 

My BFF was in a car accident this morning while we were doing our morning check-in….really????? (she is OK, not her fault) 

One of my mentors isn’t feeling well today….OKAY, REALLY??????

I am sitting at my desk in the middle of an unorganized mess and I don’t even really care, the kitchen is a disaster and there is laundry that seems to multiply every time I turn around….and I am SO SICK OF FEEDING PEOPLE AND DOING DISHES.  I need a nail salon and my hairdresser and mostly, today– I want to stomp my feet and throw things…LOL…  Fairly sure that most of you reading this know what I mean when I say “enough already” with all this…

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO…how do we transform ourselves from all of that into positive, happy humans so that we can keep going?  We recognize that circumstances do not dictate our moods—we do.

Our attitude is our choice and we can simply decide to be happy or grateful or enthusiastic etc—just because we SAID SO.  I know, I know…some days it is easier to do this than others.  Believe me—right now, every single morning I have to talk to myself for about 10 minutes to convince myself to be in a good mood and to get up and get going and make the best of what is happening.

What you resists—persists.  We must learn to accept and be okay with what is so that we can keep going — keep doing the next thing in front of us.  It is OK to be angry, frustrated, pissed off, sad, annoyed, lazy, unproductive etc.

It is not ok to quit or give up or make other people suffer from your nasty mood when you have one— everybody is having a hard time with some aspect of what is going on in the world right now—we can have space for how we are feeling in the moment and still move on up and out of that moment.  We can have unproductive days—it is all OK.  Don’t stress out over trying to do this the “right way” –there is no blueprint for how to navigate these times.

Just do the best you can every day, have Grace for yourself on the days that are tough and give yourself and other people space when needed.  I will see you Sunday morning on FB Coffee Chat at 10am.

XOXO, N.

You Be The Judge….Or Not

Do you find yourself judging others?  Do you stare down with jealous eyes, snarl up the side of your mouth, or furrow in your eyebrows at other women?  Or better yet…. push your shoulders back and walk somewhat arrogantly a little taller?  Those are NOT good habits to have. Especially toward other women.  Who are we to judge?

Do you judge their hair, clothing selection, life style, food choices?  Do you judge outwardly and say things you should probably keep to yourself?  Or DO you keep it to yourself?  Grumbling & mumbling the whole time with “you would NEVER” ?

What if you STOP?  No more judging?  Ever.  Not them.  Not yourself.  Noone.  Ever.

Could you?  Could you just accept everything about all the girls and smile at them just the way they are?  Without adding your two cents about what you think, how you feel, believing they should do it differently, how you know better, yadda yadda yadda.

Could you just humble yourself, knowing that you are no better?   They are no better?  There is no challenge here.  There is no competition here.  There is no real reason here EXCEPT…. Your own Self-judgment, Self-loathing, Self-concern.  Yes, you heard me.  SELF.  That means me, you, us.  Over here.  Not them over there.

You see, the reason why some of us are so busy looking ‘out there’, is because some times we don’t want to look ‘in here’.  We talk about fixing them because we don’t want to look at what needs fixing right here. AND, if we keep the focus on them long enough, we won’t have time to look at ourselves.  

But at the end of the day, who’s the one who’s left to live in the space of judgment and ridicule of others.  You. Me. Us.  Do you really want to wear that attitude to bed?  Better yet, do you want to wake up and do it all over again?

Start your morning with Self-love, Self-worth and Self-Adoration and there will be no desire but to be a beacon of happy happy joy joy.         ….Try it.

xoxo

Your God Girl

Tracy

I Feel Stuck

For the first time since all of this went. I feel stuck. I have been pretty good about getting up and having a bit of a routine. I am lucky in that I’m working, so I have to, to some extent.

But the last few days are the first in a long while, where I have no motivation. None. Even getting up and out of bed was hard. I have some rituals that I have held onto. Like doing my makeup in the morning. I know it seems silly. I am facing people I barely know in a ZOOM meeting. When I  shared that with one of my friends, she said maybe that’s my form of mediation.

I think so, I put in my AirPods, listen to music, do my makeup, and clear my head. After, I feel a bit ready for whatever the world is dishing out that particular day.

But I still am lacking in motivation. Except for cleaning and organizing. That has almost become obsessive lately. I have quickly ticked off my list most of the big projects that were going to eat up some time.

I usually like to read and have some craft projects I like to do. None of it is appealing. Even some of my favorite shows aren’t causing me to change anything.

The two things that seem to be able to unstick me are my daughter and don’t laugh- my dog. 

I have spent more time in the morning and evening flopped on my daughter’s bed talking with our big teddy bear of a dog at our feet than I ever did before.

The other day I looked at her and said aren’t you supposed to be in school? (She’s doing distance learning). She laughed, jumped up and said “oh yeah!”

My dog has become my new office mate. He happily interrupts meetings and naps at my feet. 

I talk to him when I can’t figure something out. When I’m stuck.

Like everyone I’m trying to figure this out.

Like everyone I wish I wasn’t.

I continue to be thankful for what I do have in the midst of what I don’t. My hope is with warmer weather and sunshine a few more cuddles with my big old dog and deep talks with my favorite twelve year old… it won’t feel like stuck. It will feel ok and ok has potential to be good, even great.

I hope you are safe. 

Much love Mommas

<3 Caprise