Oasis

At Peace.1 pic

Oasis A Safe Haven

 

As you may or may not know, I am the host of Signing in the South, an author-reader book event in Lake Charles, LA. Our next event is June 13, 2020, at the beautiful Isle of Capri Casino Hotel. For this next event, I wanted to give back to one of our local charities. It did not take long to make the decision to donate a portion of our proceeds to Oasis A Safe Haven.

Why Oasis?

Domestic and Sexual Violence are topics that are near and dear to many people, myself included. There are many skeptical people who will always use reasoning like – she/he asked for it, she/he brought it on themselves, she/he can always leave, and no one is forcing her/him to stay. The truth of the matter is that this is not always the case. Things are not always clear-cut with a definitive way out. One of the saddest things is that sometimes it is years before anyone knows the truth about what happened, or why a person would stay and tolerate such abuse.

Just one example.

Disclaimer

Have you ever sat in a bedroom with your siblings and contemplated how you could eliminate a stepparent? Seriously though. As a middle school child, my brothers and I (I’ll call them EJ and WK) would sit in the bedroom and think of ways to get rid of our stepdad. We would take ideas we’d seen on t.v. shows or movies and imagine doing those things to him - Sudden vehicle accidents due to cut brake lines; poison in food; oh, and of course hired hitmen. We even thought we had a connection for that last one. Yes, we were young and dumb. Lol.

For lack of a better word, we will call this beast Brute. He was an abusive man not only to us but to our mother. I do remember talking to social workers at some point in my childhood, but nothing ever changed. Mom had friends who she could talk to and oftentimes we would stay at those friend’s houses for a few days. Then she would go back to Brute. Again, nothing ever changed. There were good times together as a family. Until that sick, shaky feeling hit the bottom of my stomach, a sign that things were turning sour. Then it was raised voices, slamming doors, something hitting the walls, and even more than your imagination can handle.

Life went on. I, EJ, and WK grew up and started our own lives. Mom finally left this beast of a man when I was in my early twenties. Yes, she escaped the physical abuse, but not the emotional and mental. (Another story, another day.) Through all the years, Mom and I remained close to each other. We shared a lot together. Only there were those deep, dark secrets she would not reveal even to me. I never knew why she stayed with Brute for as long as she did. I couldn’t understand why she put up with the abuse, why she allowed him to abuse her children.

There is a better ending.

Later in life, Mom met a wonderful couple. There was an instant bond between Grace (not her real name) and Mom. Grace and her husband were there through the end days. When Mom had her stroke and eventually went into the nursing home, Grace and I would talk and pray on the phone together. I knew that Mom had finally found that best friend she never had as an adult. (You guessed it, another story, another day.) After Mom passed from this Earth, Grace revealed some things to me that Mom had confided in her. She wasn’t betraying her confidence by telling me these things. Quite the opposite. She was helping me heal as well as giving me information to know that Mom had also been healed.

She did it for her children.

You never know the reasons a person stays in an abusive relationship. There are many. It was healing for me to find out that Mom stayed for our protection. Sounds crazy, right? All those years, Brute had threatened that if Mom left him, he would kill her kids. Knowing the depth of his physical power and anger, she believed him. And so do I. As bad as it was for us, she was convinced she would lose us if she ever left Brute. What could be worse for a mother than losing her children?

To this day, I still wish Mom had reached out to some type of organization for help when we were growing up. I’m not even sure if there was one available back then. However, today there are wonderful people who stick their necks out to help women and men in abusive situations. I commend these organizations for their efforts.

If you or someone you know needs assistance, don’t hesitate, contact an organization near you. You can support Oasis by attending Signing in the South 2020. A portion of our proceeds will be donated to this local charity.

Peace,

Taylor

Oasis A Safe Haven for Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence

The below is copied straight from their website.

It is our mission to create social change through empowerment and support for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, safe shelter for men, women, and children, and community education.

 

OUR HISTORY:

Formerly the Calcasieu Women’s Shelter and Rape Crisis Outreach, Oasis A Safe Haven for Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence is a non-profit 501C3 organization. Calcasieu Women’s Shelter was founded in 1979 for the purpose of assisting abused women and their children. The organization became a United Way agency in 1983. In 1994, we added a Rape Crisis Outreach program to the agency to help victims of sexual assault. We changed our name from Calcasieu Women’s Shelter and Rape Crisis Outreach to Oasis A Safe Haven for Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence in 2011.

The Domestic Violence program provides services to residents of Calcasieu, Cameron, and Allen parishes.

The Sexual Violence program provides services to residents of Calcasieu, Cameron, Allen, Jeff Davis, and Beauregard parishes.

At Peace – A Life Series

At Peace

 

Welcome to the At Peace series. This series emerged for several reasons. One, to give myself healing from my past. Two, to help someone out there who relates to some of the instances in one way or another. Three, to enjoy my mind, which is now at peace. The writings in this series come from the heart.

Who Am I

I am an average woman in her fifties (wow – that number looks daunting on the screen. Lol) I am happily married to my best friend. Together we have four kids and the family is growing with grandkids. Two of the four are my own and I could not be more thankful and blessed for these two. I am so proud of the adults they have become. They are my life! I value deeply the friendships in my life. Some are as close as soul-mates, and others are social media-driven. All of them are treasured dearly. Oh, and I am a romance author who has taken a turn into this new blog series.

My childhood was a little out of the ordinary, like many other people in this world. I’ve not shared a whole lot about it simply because there was a lot of hurt growing up and I just didn’t talk about it. When I say I haven’t shared, I mean even with my kids, husband, and best friends. Sure, they know things were different for me growing up, but we never discussed it. Until recently. This series references events and instances that occurred to me mostly in relation to my “growing up” family. You know – parents and siblings. Dealing with those particular days of my life have certainly influenced my life as an adult, wife, and mother.

Some of the issues that I’ve dealt with both as a child and an adult are physical and mental abuse, alcoholism, addiction, enabling, homelessness, and much more. Don’t misunderstand, there were also times of joy and happiness growing up with family members and friends. Happiness is one of the most prominent emotions in my personal immediate family - me, hubby, my kids and their families, and friends.

My “growing up” family started coming to an end in November 2014. Mom came to live with me and my husband because her husband (not my dad) couldn’t find enough work to support their living. They were being evicted. Both of my siblings have passed away due to different circumstances in their lives. During these past years is when my emotional state hit its all-time high, or low.

My Why

So why do I want to write this series now? Because after the fall of events that basically came to a final end this year, 2019, I have found myself in a new place. I am now able to talk about my childhood openly, even though I may still shed a few tears. Sharing my stories is a way to show the world that no matter what is thrown my way, I am a survivor. I know the full love and acceptance of my husband and my kids. I am At Peace.

There are people out in this world who can relate in some way or another to what I will be writing about. Some stories may be written anonymously as they will be someone else’s life. My goal is to let people know they are not alone. YOU are not alone. Maybe you just need someone to listen to you. Maybe reading about these experiences will somehow help you deal with your own life struggles. Maybe you will reach out to an organization that is available to assist. Maybe you will find your own strength. Maybe you will finally be At Peace with some things in your life.

What's Next

Join me on this journey. SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG in the sidebar, or click on Comments below and check to NOTIFY ME OF NEW POSTS BY EMAIL. You will then receive an email when a new blog is posted. Leave a comment. Share what you can and are comfortable with. And feel free to reach out to me via the Contact Page.

 

Disclaimer

It is my goal to post in this series once a month, the third Friday of every month. If life gets in the way, the post may be pushed back, but I will try to keep you updated. Yes, I am a procrastinator. Lol. Some posts will be on the lighter side and others will be a little deep, but the overall theme will be peaceful.

Peace,

Taylor

Below are some national links you may find helpful. Keep in mind that there are always local organizations near you. These, and any links I post, are not affiliate links, I am not paid by these companies. They are chosen by internet search.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Sexual Assault Hotline

National Alcohol Hotline