Advice/Tips, Opinion, Relationships

ο»ΏPost-traumatic stress disorder from Abuse

In honor of PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) Awareness Month, I am writing from my own personal experience of abuse and the affects. This post does contain graphic content that may disturb readers. 


I was in a relationship in 2007 that, at the time, was an abusive relationship but I was not aware of it. He was abusive in multiple ways and I was so young that I didn’t see it as abuse.

He was emotionally/verbally abusive by isolating me from friends and family, blaming me, accusing me, threatening me and/or himself. 

I was financially abused by him controlling my money and when I could use it. 

He used social media and texting to cause digital abuse. He would degrade or threaten me and harass me when I wasn’t with him. Demanded access to all my social media and would go through my phone. 

He stalked me at work, and any time I would be without him, he had a friend watch me. 


When I finally got the courage to leave him, I knew it could go bad and warned coworkers. Once I got home and told him I didn’t want to be with him anymore, I saw the anger rise. This was the first time I had ever been physically abused in my life. He pinned me to the ground and I tried to deflect his punches but many made it past my arms. He knocked me out and he waited til I became conscious to tell me it’s my fault for him doing this. He asked if I was still going to leave and I said yes, the beating continued for about another 10 minutes with him screaming at me. He would yell things like “why would you leave me when I love you?”, “nobody will love you after me because you’re damaged”, “I’ll kill you before I see you with someone else”, and “you are making me do this.”

Coming up with a plan, I finally said I wouldn’t leave, knowing he had work that night. He left and said we would talk later. Once I saw him drive away I called a coworker who picked me up and all my belongings and took me to their home to stay. 

We filed a police report, took photos and visited a doctor. 

The results:

He never was caught. Found out he was an illegal and was hiding. 

I ended up with bruises covering my entire body, busted lip, bone bruises along my jaw, swollen esophagus, a fractured supraorbital arch (eyebrow bone), and PTSD. 


I’m not going to go into detail of my symptoms but I have complied a list of PTSD symptoms I developed. 

  1. Flashbacks and nightmares
  2. Insomnia 
  3. Anxiety 
  4. Numb to emotions 
  5. No self esteem 
  6. Constant headaches
  7. Negative self image 
  8. Hypervigilance


Today, I have moved so far from the struggles I faced then and have become a stronger person. 

What I struggle with today include momentary anxiety and moments of low self esteem. 

I am happy with the person I have become and took a negative and turned it into a positive. I rarely ever have this experience come up and have moved past it. It take determination and courage to push through. Putting my faith in the Lord is what really got me out of such a dark place. My husband and kids really have brought that chapter to a close and I am so thankful I get to enjoy every day with them!

Feel free to share your thoughts or share your story by commenting below. If you would like to share privately, my email is cloe.pottorff@gmail.com πŸ˜ŠπŸ’œ

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Advice/Tips, Opinion

Motivation Monday #2 – Turn a Negative into a Positive

Everyone has had a bad day before. Whether the cause was someone else’s or our own, we have all had something happen that makes us mad, sad, frustrated or defeated. That’s ok, we are all human and that’s part of a human experience. However, it’s not ok to stop and settle into that feeling or mood. There is always a positive that can come from a negative, always. 


Most situations that put us in a bad mood can easily be deflected if we just change our mindset. They way we think really does affect our daily lives. Positive thinking and acting attracts other positive behaviors and actions. 


I made a short list of some things to incorporate into your daily life to gain more positivity. 

  1. Express gratitude-showing gratitude increases the value of what you do have
  2. Be optimistic-optimism grows endless opportunities
  3. Avoid social comparison-everyone is different, everyone has different strengths. Focus on you, what you think of yourself is all that matters
  4. Learn to forgive-It will set you free from resentment and you can move forward
  5. Practice kindness-Being selfless creates such a strong feel good feeling and makes you happy to have made a difference
  6. Enjoy the small things-You can’t truly enjoy life unless you take time to relish in the small things. Sunsets, stars, laughter, snow falling. 
  7. Take care of your body-When you feel your best, you become the best version of you. 


Now, here are some of my own personal experiences that started out as negatives but I turned them into positives. 

  1. A family members death-I can comfort others in similar situations.  Also, I now strive to make a difference and make the deceased proud of me. 
  2. Parents divorce-I can relate and help others going through parents divorce. I learned what not to do in a marriage. 
  3. Struggle financially-I learned that not all outing and adventures need to be bought(i.e. Disneyland, movies)
  4. Assaulted-Learned to stand up for myself and that abuse is not deserved. I can relate and help others in similar situations as well. 
  5. Anxiety-Learned what makes me happy and I do more things like journaling, painting and reading to de-stress

I hope that now when you are having just one of those days, you take a minute to be grateful for what you have and to change that negative into a positive! πŸ˜‰

If you have any comments or questions, feel free to comment below and I will respond πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘

Opinion

Sunday School β›ͺ️

I don’t usually post on Sunday but I felt I should start since my faith is such an important part of my life. I realize that many others don’t share the same views and I have nothing against that. This post is just meant for people to see more of what makes me who I am and an insight to what I believe. 

Let me start off by stating that I am a Christian. That doesn’t mean I’m perfect by any standards but I am continuously working towards being a better Christian. I have grown up in a Christian family, my great grandfather was a pastor in Tulsa, Oklahoma for a few decades. 


Now with my own little family, it really has become more important to know the bible, Christ and God since I will be teaching my children. Some things really come to light. God has a plan for all of us, we may not understand it now but we will one day when we meet our final judgement. Giving your life for Him is an amazing thing. 


All I am trying to say is I’m very thankful for what Christ has given me and that is His undeniable Grace from sin. With Christ, we would all be destined to damnation. Today was one of those days where the sermon really made you think and made you want to be a better Christian. 


I hope all y’all enjoyed learning a bit about my faith and if you have a comment or would like me to write on a specific biblical/religious topic, comment below. You are welcome to share your thoughts and opinions πŸ˜ŠπŸ’œ

Family, Opinion

Flashback Friday #3 – Family Resemblance

As we get older we start to notice resemblances we share with certain family members, whether or not we like it. Scrolling through photos on my phone, I realized how much Leo and I look like my mom and me when I was younger. 

Here is a photo of my mom and me. She is about 23 and I am about 3 years old. 


Now here is a photo of Leo and I today. I’m 25 and he is 2 1/2. 


It’s crazy seeing how much I have become to look like my mom and how I can look at my own son and see so much of me as a child. He is my mini twin. It is crazy to think, this little man is my baby and looks so much like but is his own person. 


Above is a photo of me on the left and Leo on the right. 

Leo may look like me but his personality it completely different from mine. We only share small characteristics. I love my family and wouldn’t want it any other way. I think it’s amazing to see genetics at work in a families resemblance to each other. 

Let me know if you or another family member share some major resemblances. And let me know what you think of the above photos πŸ˜‰

Advice/Tips, Family, Opinion, Relationships

Marriage Tip #2 – Keep Dating

Some people fall into a rut once they get married and the one thing I’ve learned to remember is, when you get married that doesn’t mean you stop dating. Before you get the wrong idea, just take a moment to think about it. 

By continuing to date your spouse, that means you don’t stop going on date nights, or doing the small cute things for one another like writing notes or doing small surprises. I’ve made a short list of a few keys to dating your spouse and what that means exactly. 

  1. Don’t forget the small things – All that means is to remember it’s the small daily things that show each and every day that you choose them as your love and appreciate them. That even means holding hands, just some small physical contact creates a strong bond. 
  2. Don’t forget to laugh – Getting to share moments of laughter really strengthen the bond in a relationship. It’s crucial to be able to laugh with someone and enjoy each other’s company. 
  3. Don’t forget to celebrate your love – Even if you aren’t into Valentine’s Day, it means so much to give a gift to your partner just to show you care and go out of your way for the other. 
  4. Try new things together – Whether that means new food or learning how to dance, it is always fun to feel the sense of adventure and brings you closer together as you learn something. 

All I’m saying is don’t lose your spontaneous, playful, meaningful and child-at-heart relationship with your spouse.