As some of you know, the month of May is Domestic Violence Prevention Month. Not that we should only dedicate 1 month to being aware of domestic violence but here we are, and the attention can only grow so we can educate ourselves, family, friends and children.
My name is Leah and I’m here to share a very closed off, private portion of my life. I don’t want to say this is a story of a ’victim’ or ‘survivor,’ because that doesn’t feel like me. I just want to call this something I went through, something that has impacted my life immensely; physically, mentally and emotionally. Now, sadly to say, this is not the only time I have experienced domestic violence, but the story below is the one I’m currently willing to share, as some wounds, well, they need more time to heal. Be happy to know that the entire snippet won’t be so sullen for this is also a story of how Crystals saved my mind, body and soul.
So here it goes, I’m shaking with nervousness…
About 4.5 years ago, I decided life was feeling stagnant. I felt I couldn’t progress, I was stuck doing the same thing getting the same result. In my nature, I feel immense anxiety when I feel confined by literal or figurative walls, and then I do what I did best, RUN. I applied for a visa, quit my job, said goodbye to the people who supported me in my adult life and I packed up what I could, left the rest for my BFF thinking I was going to return after the visa was up, and moved across the world to Australia.
In my 4.5 years in Australia, I can definitely say there has been extreme highs and lows that I thought I would never face. The first 6 months coasted by, with me finding my footing in a new country, with no family, no friends and trying to figure out how to fit in. I began managing a cafe, in a swanky neighbourhood of Melbourne and it was there that my fate was sealed; I met the Worst Decision I’ve ever made in my life…so far (if you don’t have humour your dead inside)! So, for purposes of this excerpt of my life, we will call him Bad Decision.
This Bad Decision, what I can only assume liked what he saw, and started to make himself a regular, coming in about 3-5 times a day for a coffee, stare and try and chat with me; should have been my first warning sign. Anyway, Bad Decision started getting friendly and somehow grew on me, like a cancerous mole, probably due to his sociopathic and narcissistic tendencies. Bad Decision decided since I wouldn’t agree to go on a date with him that he would chummy with my co-workers so they could convince me to go on a date with him. Again, I just didn’t want to go on a date with him as he just wasn’t my “type” at all, smoker, ginger (no offence to you beautifully natural red heads, my disdain is strictly aimed towards BD) and I mean I can literally just end the list there. Always listen to your gut (I didn’t); second warning sign.
Bad decision started hanging out with my friends and I after work, since he luckily was working right across the road. Third warning sign: convenience. Then it progressed into me having the RIDICULOUS notion that I should try dating someone I don’t normally date. So, I let Bad Decision take me out. He picked me up in his “fresh” BMW, and he took me on a pretty wicked date, to be fair, but that’s how he weaved his web. No one had wine/dined me in a very, VERY long time or probably never due to our generational tendencies of “Netflix + Chill.” Bad decision knew about my shitty history with time-wasting boys, who only wanted to text when in was right for them, and my recent breakup with a guy who was cheating on me THE ENTIRE TIME (insert multiple eye rolls). Yes, I DO know how to pick them if you’re ever after some pointers. Anyway, BD took me a pretty fantastic date that left me feeling quite struck with the feels and I wasn’t by any means expecting that to happen. Needless to say, I was impressed that someone could grab my attention in this way and keep me interested, probably due to all the mind games.
Our courtship definitely moved rapidly, and I moved in within 2 months. He was kind and generous at first, took me to nice dinners, pretended to care, was calm and not jealous. It almost felt like I was in a normal adult relationship. No fucking around, no 2am texts saying, “hey come over,” or just a dick pic. So, that’s how it went for the first couple months, then more little signs of danger started to creep in. We began to fight about EVERYTHING and I just didn’t understand WHY. I am not a fighter, I hate confrontation with a passion, but if you push me into a corner I will defend myself. He began attacking my personality, what I wore, how much money I made, that I didn’t clean the house or iron his fucking underwear good enough. Who the fuck irons their underwear anyway, you ask? Psychopaths do.
I tried leaving so many times. The cycle goes like this: get in a fight because Bad Decision was insecure about something, ANYTHING. I pack my bags, he pushes me LITERALLY into a corner, I get free and drive off to a parking lot with all my possessions in the boot of my car. Then he would drive around, call and message incessantly for hours until he found me and begged me to come home. I didn’t want to go home, but at that point in the night, with no friends, no family and no money, since he took it all, I had limited options. Sometimes I would sleep in my car in the carpark sometimes I would go back.
Months go by. Things would be good for a day, and when they were good they were really good. But that good didn’t last long and I didn’t realise that he had already slowly broken me down. I’m a strong woman with a strong will, but I’ve never felt so isolated and fragile in my entire life. He knew how to manipulate my emotions and situations and I knew it was wrong and I knew the situations wouldn’t improve, but I couldn’t move. I was frozen, stuck and I never thought I would be that person who was frozen and stuck.
He began demanding that I give him my pay checks every week and if I didn’t I WOULD NOT sleep that night. A fight would break out so massive, it would result to my parking lot car cycle. He began controlling what I wore. I wasn’t allowed to wear dresses. I couldn’t wear “tight” or “short” skirts. I couldn’t wear tank tops. I couldn’t wear too much makeup without him asking, “Who the fuck are you dressing up for at work.” If my shoe lace was untied and we were in public and I would bend down to tie it, I was a slut and not acting like a lady because I was “bending over” for everyone to stare at me, stare at my ass like I was showing it off to the WORLD. He controlled what I watched on TV, if any man had a shirt off he’d scream at me continue to call me a whore and say that I planned it, that I wanted to see other guys naked.
Along with the emotionally and verbal warfare, fights were daily occurrence now and they became quite physical. He would pull my hair, slam my face against the dashboard of that “fresh” BMW from our first date, push my face against the floor tiles, throw me and pin me against the wall, corner and lock me in the spare bedroom so I couldn’t leave because he was sooooo sorry that he had pulled my hair, that he had slammed my face against the dashboard, that he would hold me down with his legs heavily on my back so I couldn’t get up or breathe. He would choke me from behind until I could barely fight back, until I couldn’t breathe and finally he’d let me go. He’d say “Why’d you make me do this, why do you make me hurt you.”
The the car cycle repeats. I pack my things and leave, he finds me and I stupidly go back.
He drained my bank account.
We fought some more.
He drained my life force.
We fought some more.
I can’t remember the last time I laughed or smiled, I had zero personality.
We fought some more.
We got engaged. You’re cringing, I know, I don’t know either. That’s when you know you’re with a master manipulator.
We. Fought. Some. More.
We got married…I still DON’T KNOW WHY, we even fought on our wedding day.
2 weeks after “marriage,” things got even worse, even more physical and I couldn’t take it anymore. I had lost myself. I was mentally broken and I had no one and nothing other than this BAD DECISION I had to see everyday and that I know hated more than anything.
I finally made a decision and broke down to my mom and bought a flight out of Melbourne for that day. I left work in the middle of the day so he couldn’t stop me or find me, but I knew he would find out because he would watch me on his security cameras. I left Australia and flew home to Chicago.
He tried contacting me, tried contacting my mom or anyone I knew. I didn’t want anything to do with it. I hadn’t told my mom the extent of the abuse, basically I left out the entire physical part of it and just kept it to the emotional mind games and such. I wish I had told her what he was doing to me, and all of it. The Bad Decision followed me to Chicago and we attempted to mediate the situation. I flew back to Australia with the intention that we could work things out, and look I still don’t know.
What I found out was how much I resented him, how much I HATED him, how much I didn’t want to try or care anymore. I wasn’t me anymore. I was stuck with this person who took every last piece of me and when there was nothing left to take, he fed off the crumbs. The last straw was another physical altercation. We fought because I didn’t tell him I “loved” him for the 45th time that day and he was stressed at work, and I WISH I was exaggerating this. What does BD do when he can’t handle his job? Well, I’ll give you a hint, he comes home and takes it out on me. He started a fight with me that evening because after I made him dinner I pressed play on the DVR and I DIDN’T ASK HIS PERMISSION. So, he decided I needed to be punished. Needless to say, I didn’t get to eat dinner, again, that night, but I wound up with a lovely back injury that I will have for the rest of my life. I wasn’t able to walk for 3 weeks for he had pushed me onto a metal bed frame, after choking me out in his fit of rage.
Another month or so goes by and he is still physical with me despite the fact I’m already severely injured. I decided enough was enough, again, and if I didn’t get out then, one of us would end up dead, and I had a sneaking suspicion it wouldn’t be my Bad Decision.
I planned another coup with my mother to get me out of the house and away from him for good this time. I finally got away and DIDN’T go back, but he began to stalk me outside of my work trying to find out where I was staying. The phone calls, texts and emails kept flooding in trying to get me back with the in even though I had warned I would call the cops if he didn’t leave me alone. I lawyered up, got a restraining order and made sure if he ever came near me again, he would be leaving in handcuffs.
Finding yourself after you’ve had someone break you down to the deepest, darkest places you never knew you could go isn’t easy. He made me into a person I never intended to be, didn’t think I could be and I am grateful I will never see that person come out in me again.
To restore my spiritual essence, intuition and overall life source, I turned to crystals and tarot. I stayed in to be with myself, practiced my craft, researched and fell in love again but this time with something that was good for my heart and soul. I knew what my calling was from that moment that he released me from his grips. I used crystals and tarot for healing, for guidance in mediation, for guidance to where my future and soul path was headed and for my overall health and mental well being.
Then began the dreams of Dark Moon Crystals and The Dreamweaver Tarot. I want DMC and DWT to help inspire others, who may or may not be in a similar situation, to be a beacon of hope. A beacon of hope to know that you CAN reclaim back what was once yours, you CAN move past the anger, you CAN move past pain both physically and mentally, you CAN move past the thoughts of where you think you can’t come back from this. You CAN because I did and I’m here to help.
I have created Crystal Healing Sessions that allows you realign your chakras. We do this by using sacred geometry to harness the power of crystals by creating grids on and around the body. This is accompanied by anointing the the 7 chakras with targeted essential oils, along with soothing meditative music and chakra chimes. Your body will then be open and align with your higher self and be attuned with the same vibrational frequencies as your intuitively selected crystals. Every healing is a personal, safe and unique experience, designed to allow you to heal, grow and feel the emotions you need to feel. I also offer Distance Tarot Readings to ask for guidance and sort out life’s complicated questions.
If anything, I hope this article helps someone else who may be in a similar position and just hasn’t a clue of how to break the cycle. If anything, it was cathartic to let the weight of this go out into the universe and let that part of me say that it’s ok that this happened and that I don’t have to be ashamed. If anything, you learned a little more about me and about why I created the businesses I did. If anything, we can all go stronger together and be bound by a commenality that needs to become uncommon. If anything, I hope it brings further awareness to Domestic Violence.