Today marks 1 year to the day since I left my abusive husband

Today also marks 1 year that my children and I have been living in shelters. Every day (aside from the single day I got a hotel for us for the night) we have been living in domestic violence shelters.  The first two we stayed about 60 fays each.  Which means this long term domestic violence shelter has been our home for the past 8 months. 
It has been an incredible journey to say the least.  I am very thankful to the people and organizations that have helped us get this far.
I have had no contact with my abuser (husband) since September when I was granted a full order of protection.  I have my custody/divorce hearing on the 12th of this month and I should be granted what I requested since he did not respond or object to me having full custody.  I also asked that he be not granted any visitation.  I choose to not request child support to help ensure our safety and to cut all ties as clean as possible.  So…in less than 2 weeks…I should be single (divorced) for the first time in over 10 years.  Strange to think about…but very liberating and freeing.
I enrolled in online college with an accredited university to get my associates in Criminal Justice.  I have applied for the Women’s Independence Scholarship Program (WISP).  The scholarship is for women who have left an abusive relationship and need schooling to better provide for their families.  I am waiting to see if I get it *fingers crossed*.  The average award is 2k paid to the school you are enrolled in.
I also applied for a scholarship through my church for Women in Transition (divorce, leaving abusive relationship, widows etc).  I thought if I got the scholarship it would be $100, but I received a letter saying I was granted a $1000 award paid to my school!!  So thankful!!  Classes start on August 18th…and I am taking a full load of 12 credits a semester.
Soooo…with the online school thing..I will be needing to purchase a laptop!!  Yay!!  So besides school I will be able to focus on my blog more, pretty it up, make it more user friendly, complete with hyperlinks, helpful information and more about recovering from abusive relationships.  So excited!!

So…stay tuned for an improved blog from me, Brandi.

I love you guys…you have supported me through this all and finally I will have the resources to give back in a more produ

ctive way


Lol selfie with paper towels in the bathroom floor


Today I cried for my children

I did not cry because they will br raised in a “broken” home.
I did not cry because of the things the witnessed snd have gone through.
I did not cry because (hopefully) their dad will not be in their life.
I did not cry because they are disadvantaged, or because it will be hard for us.

I cried out of happiness.  Today, all four of us were cuddling on the house and it just hit me how much they are thriving, how much they have grown, how they are such great kids, and how happy they really are. 

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, leaving was the correct choice.  My children are safe, healthy and happy.  They are no longer abused, they are not stressed, they do not see mommy and daddy arguing or daddy hurting mom.  It has almost been a year since we left and they are totally different kids. 
I am thankful I was able to leave while they are still young and that I have not brought them into another unhealthy relationship.
These children are beautiful human beings.  They are our future.  No relationship is worth what these kids have been through.

Positve feedback and sharing my story

Within the past 2 weeks I have had 4 staff members at the shelter tell me that they want to remain friends and in contact with me amd my kids after we leave.  Policy states that contact can resume if both parties wish to do so after a resident leaves the shelter and has been out of shelter for a year.  It makes me happy that they see how hard I am trying and that they believe I will continue on a good path when I leave.
I was also asked to write two articles.  The first was for the quarterly shelter newsleter and it was basically my thoughts about being in shelter (I will get a copy and post it in another blog).  The second article was my “success story and how being in the shelter has helped me end the cycle of abuse”
Just a few minutes ago I had a meeting for a news radio show and shared my domestic violence story and what life is like being in a shelter. 
It is crazy how all these oportunities are coming up for me to share my story and help othera.  God is good.

Finally made the call

The county that I live in has nobody to pay for supervised visits with children.
My lawyer advised that termination of parental rights is not possible, so I need to find someone willing to supervise.

The only people I know and trust in Missouri are 5 hours away.  They are my husbands dad and stepmom.
I dropped two bombshells on them today.  One that I filed for divorce and two that I wanted them to supervise once a month for the next 18 years…

My husband has not spoken to them since the day after I got the restraining order.  So 6 months with no contact at all.  They believe he was on drugs and stole from them.
Well, I asked his stepmom and she said her first reaction is yes…but she is concerned because of the lack of relationship but mainly the fact that they do not trust him and think it will not be long before police are called.  I think they are the perfect people to supervise and possibly move away to no visits at all.
The kids are not safe with him, I am not safe around him even his dad and stepmom do not feel safe.  They are glad he has decided he wants nothing to do with them.
His stepmom will be calling my lawyer and hopefully they can come to an agreement.

I hate being forced into visits when he has not asked a soul about the kids in 6 months and he is hella dangerous.  Honestly visits are not worth my childrens lives or my life. He is not above homicide and it scares me shitless.

I wish there were an easy solution.  But there is none.

I need to relax and give it to God.  I can not control anything but myself…not my husband, not my father or mother in law, not my lawyer or the judge.  I am sick with worry and I cant get rid of it.  I am throwing up and sick to my stomache…I cant concentrate on what I need and I cant stop thinking.

Just gotta keep giving it away.  Stop stressing.  Ask God to handle it and give me peace.  I can not enjoy today worrying about tomorrow or dwelling on the past.

On a side note….I finally simply let go of my fixation on other peoples issues.  I have enough in my own life and everyone must walk their own path.  I have lost my jealousy of others being sinful (vengeful, sexually, managing money, lying, stealing etc).
I am at peace with following Christ and not lusting after sinful actions.  I am not perfect…i still have issues…but going from being jealous of other peoples sinning to focusing on living right is a big step for me.