There are millions of survivors keeping secrets!!!

SPOTLIGHT: Ill. woman shares her story of abuse

This article was written by the wonderful journalist, Jennifer Bowen, who writes for the Belleville News Democrat. She has done a true justice to give my story such amazing impact. Thanks to her great work this story is being spread everywhere on the web. Truly honored Jennifer; this is a blessing to all victims & survivors.

http://www.bnd.com/2011/12/31/1997851/spotlight-ill-woman-shares-her.html#storylink=

BREESE, Ill. — Tricia McKnight is no stranger to domestic abuse and her mission is to share her story in the hopes it will encourage and help other women get out of violent, abusive situations.”A lot of them are like me,” said McKnight, 48, of Breese. “They were ‘trained’ to behave in a certain way and accept certain things and not think anything about it. It becomes a pattern of abuse. I spent 32 years afraid to breathe, literally afraid to breathe.”McKnight has written about her lifetime of abuse, from being abused by her stepfather as a child to physical and emotional abuse from husbands. It is all documented in her book “My Justice,” which chronicles her heartbreaking and often shocking cycle of abuse. 

She started a Facebook support group, Survivor’s World, and has helped women from around the world get connected with the help they need to get out of a violent home life. The support group is a private group and accessible by request only.”I know how hard it is to come forward with your secrets,” she said. “A lot of them are sharing their secrets for the very first time and that’s a very difficult process.”According to the Violence Prevention Center of Southwestern Illinois, domestic violence is a pattern, a reign of force and terror. It is not defined by only physical attacks but includes intimidation, threats, economic deprivation, psychological and sexual abuse. Experts have compared methods used by batterers to those used by terrorists to brainwash hostages.The last beating McKnight endured left her with a spinal cord injury.”He woke me up at 4 a.m. choking me, then proceeded to beat me with a chair,” she said. “He had been out drinking and was angry that I was in bed sleeping. The cops came and told us that one of us had to leave or both of us were going to jail.”I was furious. I was 37 years old and all I had ever experienced was violence and degradation and abuse and now I was being told I was going to jail if I didn’t leave. I made a decision that night that I was never going to tolerate this again.”She and her children moved out of the abusive household and McKnight started seeing a therapist. The therapist is the one who suggested she start writing.”I wrote to apologize to my kids for what they had to witness in their lives and how it affected their lives,” she said. “I wrote to bring about awareness about how horrible this can be for everyone involved. It’s a trained pattern of violence acceptance and my kids were learning that pattern.”In her own children, all now adults, she has seen them experiencing problems with maintaining healthy relationships and difficulties with self-confidence.”So many things have affected them,” she said. “When the abuse would start, my children would hide. My kids and I walked on eggshells for a very, very long time.”McKnight has recently been working with Susan Murphy Milano, a domestic violence survivor, radio host, lecturer, first responder trainer and author of several books addressing domestic violence, including “Defending Our Lives,” “Moving Out, Moving On,” and “Time’s Up.” The books help people in abusive situations move away from the abuse and deal with confusing situations surrounding violence prevention, stalking, breakup or divorce.”We are working on some of the legislation for documenting abuse to get these abusers convicted on these evidentiary abuse documents,” McKnight said. “You want to have proof that the violence is happening. Take pictures of the bruises and keep them on a flash drive. You have to reach out to one friend that you trust and let them know what’s going on because it is a life or death situation – it really is. I don’t know how I am sitting here alive today because I’ve been choked, almost drowned and had loaded weapons pointed at my face.”

McKnight applauded the efforts of St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly to improve the way his office has encouraged metro-east police departments to document domestic violence calls with video evidence to increase the ability of his office to successfully prosecute domestic violence cases, even when the victim isn’t a willing party to the prosecution.”I like the strength they are putting behind the laws,” she said. “It’s no longer just a slap on the wrist. They’ve taken it out of the hands of the victims and you know if you call the cops they are coming and they will take him and you’ll have time to get help and get support.”It’s going in the right direction, but, nationwide, domestic violence is still not getting the attention it needs. The laws are good and strong. It’s the community perception of domestic violence that needs to change. People have to remember we didn’t commit these crimes, they were committed against us. It’s nothing that we did.”McKnight said she hopes her support group and her speaking out about her own abuse and journey out of an abusive life will give others the courage to get out.”I’m not the only survivor out there. There are millions of us and a lot of them still keep their secrets,” McKnight said. “Most of them keep those secrets even from their families because they are afraid of being shunned and blamed for it.”

I encourage all victims and survivors of abuse to talk with just one person you trust to keep your secrets. If you wish, you can friend me @facebook.com/triciagirl62 and I will connect you with a wonderful group of women survivors. You may also like to talk with me on the air. Dreamcatchers Blog Talk Radio; Survivors Speak Out – Every Friday at 7pm e.s.t. – The link to the program is always posted on my facebook profile page and the number is listed to call in. Survivors our voices are growing so very strong and together I believe we can make a difference. Please join with us. Bless you all in 2012

Published by @ButterflyTrish

I am a survivor of over thirty years trapped inside the silence and brutality of Family Crimes, Child Sex Trafficking, and a life lived pattern of tolerance for over 30 years in almost murderous relationships. In Feb. 2011 I chose to publish the truth about what happened in our home, the community around me, and the learned patterns of self-hatred and tolerance which became such a huge factor in my life. My life today was built through publishing 'My Justice'. I never would felt worthy of life, breathing, love & respect with first healing myself. There were many things the traits and tragedies that influenced my life seemed to control everything inside me and it was nothing but sadness and fake emotions. Only by facing the horrors I went through, the choices I made as a woman & mother, then relating to the greatest guilt I have; how the trauma behavior has affected my children's lives. It's my hope to help others get through their battles, regardless of the type of trauma because when we hurt our lives are forever changed. This graphic, violent memoir is NOT SUGGESTED FOR ANYONE UNDER 14 years of age. It discusses the permanently wounding life and the cycle of destruction that held me in expecting/tolerating ridicule and violence in my adult relationships. This truth was published to inspire others to take an in-depth look at their life and behaviors as a result of their past. Connect the dots of your rebuilding in understanding the pattern of adult choices in coping addictions, parenting, and partners; even affecting our careers and self-sustainable life. I'm so honored to have 'My Justice' used at the collegiate level for psychology classes, upcoming therapists and educators. Today my life is very blessed. I'm finally safe, finally truly loved, finally feeling the magic of what life is supposed to be like. My greatest power only began to show when I first made the choice to end the violent relationships and behaviors around my children; to give them something better, something SAFE!! In choosing to share my own story, I've also gone that serious extra step to educate myself through years of research, attending training opportunity, and collaborating with other advocate resources, abuse, sexual harm, and the experts digging deep to recreate help and healing. I've chosen to use my past as a way to inspire a greater good; hopefully somehow change the cycle of tragedy in our homes so that we empower our kids to live a more positive path. The best education we can give, is a survivor of traumatic experiences who can use what they felt then and what they wish they would have had available; those who could have and should have said something. We can change things for our life today, but best of all in healing our wounds, we give communities a supportive working strategy in assisting the people in our lives. One step at a time, one caring soul at a time, we can give them a path to changing our human society as a whole. This is a tell all, which was written in the midst of my third nervous breakdown as I struggled to put all my distorted pieces back together, help my children understand how the violence I tolerated against me invaded their emotional well-being. My children have always been my world, but my behaviors, lack of healthy parenting and life skills, and an inability to remain stable has caused another generation of suffering for my grandchildren. This is a very difficult thing to watch and the continued tragedies that seem to keep affecting the choices in my family. Writing this book was only the beginning of trying to release all that has haunted me for so many years. I have finally removed his thick, cruel, coal stained hand which trapped me in fear for decades. Those hands and his evil, her housemaid and caregiver; they created a slave and that slave submitted to horrific and brutal attacks but always felt it was her burden to bare. I lived with that hand holding me down to terrorize and steal away my voice, holding me captive in the dysfunction of the aftermath and casting a shadow of darkness on everything good in my life. Living in the true spirit of freedom, I have now become a strong advocate against the life cycle of human destruction. We cannot live stuck in the tragedy of hardships and pain. Life is meant to be lived, to be enjoyed, to see what you can do and what you can achieve, to find out what is important to you. We all become adults. We all have a burden to bare. Stand up and keep moving, keep living, keep dreaming. You have two choices in recreating and rebuilding yourself. Do you stay stuck in the dark shadows of your past? Do you dig deep and find that spirit that kept you alive so that you could become the proud, strong, capable, resilient, kind human being ? Which do you choose and how will that choice affect your children and theirs? We can be supportive, provide resources and suggestions for help so that families suffering with addiction or past trauma themselves can find a recovery balance to rebuild their family in a more positive life pattern. We will recover, we will rebuild, we will conquer the pains of yesterday to live in the true sense of life, freedom and safety today. Patricia 'Trish' McKnight Author: 'My Justice' Fndr/CEO: Butterfly Dreams Alliance, NFP Mentor/Advocate/Speaker/Survivor

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