here's the truth about Domestic Violence

hey there, tee kaa here,

Did you know that October is Domestic violence awareness month? (and yes, I am aware we are in the month of November now.) Did you know that domestic violence tragedies happen every month, everyday? Did you know that sibling abuse is domestic violence?

So, here we are in November with the truth I whole-heartily need to share about domestic violence.

Here’s the truth:

Family is not supposed to be the cause of your pain, they're supposed to make it go away. They're supposed to hold you and tell you everything is going to be alright.

Moms are supposed to tell you that thunder is angels bowling, that it's okay to be afraid of the dark, and it isn't silly to think there might be monsters in your closet. They are supposed to tell you that it's okay if you want to climb into bed with them just this once because it's scary in the room all alone...

Big brothers are supposed to say it is okay to be afraid, tell you that they will protect you, and not be the thing you're afraid of.

Most importantly, family is supposed to love you no matter what.

What happened to me it isn't fair, it isn't right, and the pain I was inflicting onto myself isn’t fair either.

I have learned that I cannot take away my pain by hurting myself, that it doesn't make all the painful nights I had to hide afraid and in pain any better if I hurt, abuse, and degrade myself in ways similar to how I have been by others.

I want you all to know that whatever it is that brought you to this place: what has happened to you... it isn't fair, it’s not right, and it’s not okay. And continuing to suffer and punish yourself through destructive behaviors and impulse isn’t fair either. If anyone should understand what it feels like to be treated in an unwarranted, unfair manner - it's you; and therefore, why would you want to continue that suffering? You have the power, you can do what you want to do, you can chose to use that power to forgive yourself and care for yourself the way others should have done for you. You can chose let go of the past, to let yourself free.

Yes, there are monsters, and it's okay to be afraid of them. But it's not okay to let them win, and it's not okay to be one.

Other truth I have learned:

What these people, the people who hurt me have done to me is terrible, and there are not words strong enough to describe how wicked they were, how evil they are.

They have stolen parts of my life, my heart that I will never get back. I have learned through processing the abuse and my journey of recovery that the best punishment I can give them is to not punish myself, to be happy, and to move forward, not move on, move forward with my life and do all the things that I want to do. By holding onto the past, reliving the pain, feeling sorry for myself and continuing to suffer through self-destructive, self-punishing behaviors I was only allowing them to steal more of my life away from me. They do not deserve that. They do not deserve a single second more of my life. Most importantly during my time at TK and in recovery I have learned that I did not deserve their abuse, and I do not deserve to have any more of my life stolen from me.

At TK, I learned I have a choice to move forward with my life, begin healing, and learn true happiness.

And for those who are here to heal from abuse - whether it has been at the hands of others, or self-inflicted, I need you to know:

What was done to you is terrible, and there are not words strong enough to describe how wicked and evil people can be, how wicked and evil your abusers are. They have stolen parts of your life: your heart that you will never get back. You can heal, grow, and rise high. The best punishment that you can ever give them is to not punish yourself a moment longer: be happy, move forward (not move on, move forward) with your life, and to do all the things that you want to do because by holding onto the past, by reliving the pain, by feeling sorry for yourself, by punishing yourself through destructive behaviors is only allowing them to steal more of your life away from you. They do not deserve that. They do not deserve a single second more.


You do not need to be scared of how they or the memories will make you feel because they have no power over you anymore. I remember how empowering that felt to me, and I want you to feel the power in knowing this truth too: You do not need to be scared of how they or the memories will make you feel because they have no power over you anymore.

Standing up and saying that they have no further hold on me, that they never would again, and that I was going to live a meaningful life.

My first time at TK, Continuing Care (Partial Hospital Program) is where my magic happened. My second bit at TK's Continuing Care laid the foundation of my recovery down, and, that foundation was made of forgiveness. Staff knew me my second time in Continuing Care, knew my eating disorder, my impulses and trauma symptoms: because of this I was challenged more than I ever had been.

I went to the body image group every week, because, well because I hated my body so it just seemed fit. What I shared about my relationship with my body had always been surface leveled: I did not like my size, constantly pointed out my body’s flaws, and just never felt anything really other than hate and disgust and this constant overwhelming idea that my body wasn’t mine, wasn’t me.

One week in group we did the activity where you pick five parts of your body that you liked and three body parts that you do not like. I’ve done this activity several times before, and I always just went surface deep: I liked my hair, my eyes, my tiny little feet, and my right arm that hyperextends and freaks people out when I show them. When asked about body parts that I didn’t like I only ever gave one answer: my whole body because it’s disgusting: damaged and disgusting. My body had always been something I occupied, not lived in. I knew I hated my body because of the pain it caused me - the pain that other inflicted onto it and I blamed my body for.

This time doing this activity, I remember staring at the paper, I wrote an answer for a body part I hated and then witnessed myself scratching out that answer followed by writing three body parts that I absolutely hated with my whole being.

As others shared their answers out loud, I sat there, staring at my answers with this feeling that I cannot even describe. Next thing I knew the group was over and everyone was getting up and walking out.

I stopped the therapist who ran the group, Maria, who was a care counselor during my first stay and asked if I could share my list with her. We sat together, she looked at the list that was just the body parts and no explanation next to anyone. She said “okay tell me why these parts.” and I did. I gave her a briefing as to why I didn’t like them. She sent me out of group with an assignment to write about why I hate them in detail that night and to bring the writing to her the next day. I did.

The next day we sat together in the mileu and she read the explanations that included details beyond my own knowledge. When she was done reading, Maria looked at me and responded to my writing by sharing “Tee do you see this, do you see why you hate these body parts so much… because of the way others hurt these parts, how others abused you. Your body was used, abused and taken from you. It’s not theirs. It never was and it will never be there’s: it’s your body, and it’s time that you take your body back.”

I thought about it the rest of the day. I made a commitment to my body that day to do better: to not be so mean to my body, and to learn to accept all parts of my body.

The following Sunday was Mother’s day. The first mother’s day that anyone besides myself knew about a miscarriage I endured after a pregnancy from a rape.

Instead of suffering in the memories of my past alone that day, I made the choice to celebrate the baby I never met, with the women I’ll never forget. Together we honored the women and children in our lives. We all wrote letters to someone, attached them to pink balloons and sent them into the universe.

In that moment, I only felt every level of love I think is humanly possible. That night I called my therapist from home and told her what I did, shared what the letter to the baby said, and told her I was ready to heal.

She told me it sounded like I had begun to forgive myself and I needed to document this day. On the last page of my TK goodbye book I wrote “Sunday, May 8th, 2016 (mother’s day): Today, I am forgiven. I forgive myself. Today, I am free. With love always and forever, Threasa Kluever."

Forgiveness is not for the other person. It’s for yourself. Life is so worthwhile, and no matter what has happened to you, no matter what your background is, no matter what your past is, each of us deserves to be happy. Bad things do happen, but that does not mean that they need to define us or destroy our life. And yes, we may always be known as the ones who were hurt, and that is okay, because that is not all that we are.

What has happened to me has happened to me, and I do not have to let that stop me from going forward, for becoming an advocate for change, becoming an advocate for women and children, for all victims.

We have things that happen to us, and yes, they shape us, they mold us; however, they do not need to define us. What defines us is not what happened to us, rather how we respond: the decisions that you make from this moment on.

I am here today to share that there is hope all around you, and inside of you wanting to burst out and wrap you in all its beauty, all that you truly are worthy of and beyond deserve.

I hope that with whatever you are faced with, whatever you deal with, you can remember that you are who you decide to be.

You are captain of your destiny.

Decide who you are.

Take your next right step.

You are the author of your story.

Write the story you want to read.

You are the teller of your truth.

Get vulnerable and be authentically you.

Reclaim your power.

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