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The Storms of “Staying-Home-Staying-Safe”

The Storms of “Staying-Home-Staying-Safe”

As we embrace the declaration to “Stay Home, Stay Safe” ‘are we aware that there’re those out there whose homes are ‘Far From Safe? ’emotionally, physically and otherwise? But then, it seems they have no-other-choice. . .

They are stuck in uncontrollable toxic or abusive homes, thanks to the current Covid-19 pandemic!

Is it just a mental-note of outburst at alert? ‘or there’s an obvious spike in the silent-cry out for mercy and help from various families, on the verge of collapse?

Those who are vulnerable and stuck at home where they don’t feel safe or free to be themselves? ‘like being locked in a cage with the very animal that torments them with no way out? 

Sadly, for many people in households across the world, their daily livelihood and busy schedules has been their saving escape zone, secret hiding place from the ever present crisis at home!

‘A reason to get up and away from the madness at home, the liberty to open the front door and get lost for hours in the distraction of business the outside world provides!

‘To get buried under the weight of office politics & multiple school projects! ‘joyfully dress up for team meetings! compile paperwork to sign at long IEP meetings! or watch kids skip happily away to the cafeteria and so much more. . .

‘For some, it’s the energy behind the commute and the power to change the world, the zeal to create something new – always outside their home! a short escape from walking on eggshells at home! ‘a break from the storm of undeniable emotional abuse within the home. . .

While for some families, it’s dropping off kids at daycare/schools so early and usually meeting at dinner table to briefly discuss boring cuts and bruises during gym class or calls from school about upcoming teacher conference as an already overworked Mother tries to maintain balance while a distracted or absent minded Father looks on but lost in the affairs of the events of who-knows-what!

The agitation of the memories that come with the ‘Abuse’ behind closed-doors, as a stressed-out mother and her children drive home in panic.

“What will tonight hold for my Children and I? ‘Another round of beatings? Sexual Abuse? Emotional Torture? Physical Attack? Spousal Intimidation? Disability Disparity? The burden and pain of an empty house, when the other partner walks away… 

“What mood will He be in today? ‘What mood will she and her young kids find her husband today as they walk into their home? Will he be drunk or angry? He’s lost his job again! Will the neighbors hear their cry and call the cops? 

“She’s crying as her 5 kids gather around her to comfort her, ‘I won’t let him hit you again momma’, I got you! He won’t hurt you again Momma, ‘I promise, says the eldest son, He’s only a 14 year old. And He has Down Syndrome.

Well, they must experience it more now! 

They must all walk into the house to keep away from the virus outside and face the virus inside… 

Abuse or being abusive might seem like harsh words. No one wants to have to admit they’re living in an abusive home or being an abusive person. But when there’s negativity, there’s abuse! We could become selfish and manipulate other people to get our way. 

That’s why it’s important that we come together and pray for these homes and the people in them.

Abuse is defined as to “use or treat in such a way as to cause damage or harm; to treat (a person or an animal) with cruelty or violence, especially regularly or repeatedly; speak in an insulting and offensive way to or about (someone).”

No one is immune to the virus of abuse. It’s only through God’s love that we can truly love one another and move forward!

Here’s How to Help Those Stuck in Abusive Homes…

Pray for Calm During this Storm!

The whole world is feeling an overload of anxiety and uncertainty, which causes people to be stressed. When certain people can’t control the world around them, they become angry, full of rage, and say or do things that harm those closest to them. Pray that God calms the hearts of the anxious and angry.

Pray for the Sanity of those in Homes that are not Peaceful or Emotionally Healthy.

For those who live in a home with an easily-angered person, there can be unrest, even when there is not rage. As the rest of the family waits and wonders if this is a calm day or a day they will see the rage.

 Pray for patience and endurance, with no safe place to go when the abuser starts raging. 

We are asking a lot of abuse victims right now to endure the abuse and/or rage, with no way to get out. Some victims at least get a break for work, or while their spouse works, but with most businesses closed, all family members may be home sharing the same space for 24 hours per day without a break.

Pray for those who are being financially abused.

Financial abuse is when one person in a committed relationship controls all the money and doesn’t equally share to provide for basic needs and the necessities of the family. This means, not only are people dealing with cruelty and abuse, they are told they can’t purchase what is needed or anything extra right now at a time when limited trips to the store for more supplies is beneficial to everyone’s health, and money may be tighter than normal.

Pray for the lonely because living with an abuser can be a lonely experience.

Life after separation or divorce is much less lonely, even without a partner, than living with someone you know doesn’t love or care about you. There is no intimacy (being known, loved, and safe) in a relationship with an abuser because of the fear that the victim is always doing something wrong and not worthy of the abuser’s love.

Ways to help an Abuse Victim (now and in the future)

  • Believe the victim.

Usually the abuser is confident and secure looking while the victim is confused, shaky, emotional (sometimes even angry), and uncertain if abuse is what they’re experiencing. Because a victim might fight back, or return evil for evil, expect that it may look like both parties are abusive. Sometimes, it only takes one person to make a relationship toxic. 

  • Listen without judgment or exception of leaving.

Experts say it takes seven times for a victim to attempt to leave before they leave for the final time. Validate their feelings (of course they’re going to feel that way) and allow them to process through what they’re experiencing. They know their abuser better than anyone else, trust them to know when they’ve had enough and are ready to leave for good.

  • Encourage victims to reach out for help.

Pray that someone points them in the right direction towards safety and security.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline:

Reach out for help.

While people are encouraged to stay at home, you may feel isolated from your friends and family. Even if you are isolated, try to maintain social connections online or over the phone, if it is safe to do so, and try to stick to your daily routines as much as possible.

For any victims and survivors who need support, we are here for you, 24/7. Call 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 for TTY, or if you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522. 

Para información en español, visita la página “En Español.”

You are not alone.

Yours in HOPE

Yinka.

 

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What MY HEART needs to know…TWC’17.

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They say “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” I-n-t-e-r-e-s-t-i-n-g! Would that be through food or tummy rub? Hmm. Just thinking-out-loud here!  #TimeToRefresh

I am yet to come across the proverb about the way to a woman’s heart, or is the way INTO her more important? flowers? empty promises? trust?  #TimeToRenew

But a woman’s heartfelt emotions never lie, even though she hides the bruises under her sleeves, her heart never stops beating, even when crushed by mere words. #TimeToRestore

In my Aunt’s house in Port Harcourt, where I spent my young adult life while in the University…’there is a huge kitchen, women around the kitchen table and topics that turns heads.

Young and vibrant as I was then, I couldn’t wait to fall in love and prove to them that their talk was cheap…or so I thought!

In that kitchen, there were always women who came to visit my Aunt from different walks of life for motherly advice: There were the single and high maintenance, married and moody, separated, divorced, recently rejected, frequently abused, hidden scar carrier from youth, runaway bride and complicated relationships.

Some came glamorously dressed in their flashy cars while some had to trek or take public transportation with a cranky crying baby strapped on their back. They were always inside the kitchen talking or standing by the sink wiping away tears.

And in the hearts of those women, there was always CONFUSION, HELPLESSNESS & FEAR.

Fear that this time around that mastered recipe of life won’t work for their current circumstances.

That the man who promises love and life would never propose! Or think they are not good enough!

That the single young adult girl will walk down the aisle only when she’s ready, and not when the society dictates or  calculates her biological clock!

That the man in their life will leave his meal unfinished and their marital bed untouched!

That the man they think they know will soon find pleasure in someone else’s arms or home!

That probably she has served him too much affection or not enough. That he is already too full of life, or hungry for something or someone else, and that it will be their fault.

That the womb that’s been praised so much would begin to alert restless in-laws to raise eyebrows and question the delay of childbirth or the loss of a baby?

That the wide beaded hips that swayed to the beats of the drum he so much-loved to hold would never carry the weight of his off springs?

That her place and destiny to propel would never be supported due to His insecurity or male chauvinism!

That the cold hands of death would ever separate them… so soon!

Matters of the heart of a woman may be hidden or tucked away behind the soft succulent tissues of her bosom; covered with fancy fabric woven with care, but also attacked by the  fingers that created the woolen fabric!

I don’t know about you, but for me, I want my heart to know it is okay to heal and beat again… ‘that just like any woman reading this right now to know that:  Hidden behind my skin so fair, soft and tender, that part which has been cracked once and still healing is finally ready to show the world… ‘I GOT THIS” by God’s grace!

So, as we begin to countdown to the upcoming TWC’17 on April 27th to April 29th 2017, permit me to indulge you in some surprises in store: IMG-20170330-WA0012

What should YOUR HEART expect at TWC’17 ?

  • That its time to put the past behind you and…’REFRESH, RENEW & RESTORE

  • Relax in a luxurious 2 night stay at a beautiful golf resort/conference center

  • Get served Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner…’just as you like it!

  • Participate in a One-on-One counselling to discuss those topics we keep locked up

  • Engage in Me-Healing sessions: Will I be heard? Who gets what I am going through?

  • Listen to inspiring ministration from speakers and worship team

  • Indulge in Girls night!! Shhhhhhhh. It’s a surprise! #WeGotGameNight

  • Comedy night.., ’maybe laughter and good jokes is really all a girl needs to warm up her heart! #GuessWho’sComingTonight #FemiObama

  • Workshops & Breakout sessions

  • Support group building and bonding for challenging workplace issues

  • Morning power-walk and Zumba session

  • Share your story and inspire others… #ShareYourStoryInPhilly

As you read this, ask yourself…  ‘What is a valued centerpiece in my heart? Is my heart an arbitrary harbor of commotion? A solitary confinement for hope…ONLY I bear the burden deep inside as I suffer and smile to portray a perfection that is nonexistent? Does anyone care?

Have you ever considered that perhaps God isn’t longing for you to come to Him with perfect, polished prayers, with fifty-cent words and flowery language? Have you thought about the pleasure God experiences when you simply approach him just as you are, fragments, bruises, warts and all, because He loves you? He delights in your attention. He takes pleasure when you come to Him simply because you are His.

Total Woman Movement has a spot waiting for you. Join the movement today! www.totalwomanmovement.com

Yours in HOPE

Yinka.

 

 

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Are we comfortably numb in our denial? ‘Time to speak up on ABUSE!

Connecting with “The Total Woman Movement” – A Refuge of Comfort in Brokenness.

I once attended a sorority party about 2000 miles away from my college in 1992. Our Destination: University of Calabar! Excitement mode activated! Trust me, I had carefully packed away my popular orange halter-neck dress, with matching brown lace up mules, and my hairstyle? Aha! I’d travelled all the way to Onne villa (outside Port Harcourt) just to patronize the best hair braider in the whole of Rivers state! Phew! Such youthful exuberance! Silly painful vanity!abuse 7

Halfway through the journey, I began to feel feverish and tired! Oh no! It can’t be happening to me… I was aching all over, ah!  It must be M-a-l-a-r-i-a! Oh great! How can this be happening to me? I had so prepared for this day! This wasn’t in the plan!

My temperature was spiking, this fever has no respect for my opinion! In fact, ‘it has come to stay like a desperate housewife! My travelling team was terrified! “How can it be (I was getting helpless).

Anyway, without much ado, as if that fever was a red flag, the party was cancelled due to serious vigilante watch as opposing rival confraternities were in the midst of a serious war. We all spent the night off campus, in a rented hostel.abuse 3

Six other girls and I shared 2 adjacent rooms. It was a night I will never forget. Amongst being confined inside our rooms, noises of gunshots blasting throughout the night, as we became more frightened we looked to each other for support.

In the middle of nowhere, we became each other’s trusted companion, well, we had no choice but to wait and see what the morning brings forth.abuse 4

The fear and helplessness we felt that night brought back horrific memories of abusive pasts, stories of years of abusive upbringing, relationships and stolen childhood. Storylines that 7 beautiful, intelligent and oh-so-cool girls have never dared to talk about!

Tales that have been buried for years with those clicking fancy bangles, baggy Pepe jeans, colorful trendy t-shirts, shining pink lip gloss and fake make-believe smiles! oh boy! Did we vent!

“Ah, I was molested by my neighbor when I was 10!“I couldn’t tell anyone”

I was raped by my uncle when I was 12, I’d wanted to commit suicide”

“ I was never touched, but told constantly that I was ugly and a weakling”  

“ My mother’s boyfriend was very aggressive, he would beat me up and rape me, I couldn’t tell anyone, I was too frightened

I was betrayed by a senior in school, she raped me, I can’t trust anyone anymore”

 “I watched my father beat up my mother for years”He told us he loved us, but couldn’t stop hurting us” “His anger was uncontrollable”

I was raped inside my house” “I was ganged raped and molested at a party on campus” 

and on and on and on…we all talked into the early hours of the next day…sleep eluding our consciousness…and we were never the same after that day…forsaking the beauty that material things have managed to conceal, our hearts were on fire!abuse 6

Party forgotten and ignored, we had released everything no one had ever inquired of us… or the story our culture forbids by acceptance or utterance! we released the dark secrets that harbors lingering pain! ‘the substance of our current day frustrations and rejections…’stories we could not confess to priests during penance…or even during deliverance…’stories that family traditions sweeps under the carpet as generation to come wallow in confusion…’these were stories hidden in misery and denial…but, we had to travel all the way out of town, be confided into a hostel with bullets flying outside our windows….just for those stories to surface. We all had closure after confiding and crying out about it and promised to seek help after. The burden is now shared, not to be chastised or reprimanded, but to begin healing and moving forward.

Ok…that was 24 years ago! I have lived past those stories, but currently still living amongst those who are unable to talk about their story…’Abuse stories or even use their experiences to help raise awareness and help someone going through it.

What’s your Abuse story? Broken dreams or failed relationship? Or what’s that Abusive storyline you played a part in? years ago, that is still lingering and haunting you presently? You know why it’s still trailing after you. But to get closure to it, someone else somewhere right now is going through the same ABUSE you encountered…and the circle is continual UNTIL you Seek help, Campaign against it! Create a platform for awareness!abuse 1

Let’s celebrate a season of closure and recovery…’like when a heavy burden has just been off-loaded from our shoulders. A sense of commitment and togetherness…like ‘Wow! I am not alone! I thought I was the only one!

Since that day, I have learned to respect and look at those ladies differently with respect and courage, for speaking up about their abusive past. And today, I am hoping our stories could save a life or two!  Or is it still happening?

So, if you are reading this, ask yourself…’Does my fragrance (that beautiful perfect-picture image, I carry with me effortlessly) have fragments (stains, shame, sorrow, abusive stories)? Am I really truthful to myself? Am I still hiding behind the veil of pretense and still hoping that one day I would wake up and say “It never happened”Ah! If you are reading this and have ever encountered any form of abuse (sexual, verbal, physical or emotional) – don’t let it define you. When we talk about some of our stories, it helps someone else going through it or someone who’s gone through it and still struggling with acceptance of the shame of the aftermath.abuse 5

Our fragrance did have fragments! And it was time to break it open, not to ridicule each other or laugh at each other but a time of total submission, after all, we were all skeptical we’ll make it out of that place, alive. But we did, and now, there’s a story to be told to help uplift someone going through something similar…our Alabaster Jar just got cracked, and the spill is totally healing and comforting, what do you think?

Are we even aware of the comfort in our brokenness? Do we know that refuge from our circumstances and contentment in the midst of mishaps is found in the center of our surrender. Or is it in our brokenness?

If that is true, then why are so many women still living lives with little or no joy based on their past? I’m afraid that we have bought the lies of the enemy (the abuser), allowing him/her to steal our joy. Discouragement, weariness, disillusionment, shattered dreams, and unrealized goals are some of his/her favorite weapons, but the truth is that the enemy can only use what we allow him/her to use, “Our destructive abused past”

It is time for us to reclaim surrendered ground. Do you sometimes think you are fighting the same old battles you have been fighting for so many years? I do. Clinging to familiar pain because we find our identity there. Consumed with our own agenda, while  our joy is buried under a mountain of self loathing.abuse 2

Today, there’s HOPE! There’s a better tomorrow and it can be brighter than the past, the abusive past! Join the movement that comforts the abused today. The Total Woman Movement. Come as you are (BROKEN) learn how to release your inner fragrance (STORY) and let the scents relieve your life’s dents. (HEALING).

For more information about this movement, please visit www.totalwomanmovement.com

Yours in HOPE as I share Gloria Estefan’s “Coming Out Of The Dark”

Yinka.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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