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Taking A Look Back and Moving Forward…

As I say goodbye to another year and welcome 2012, I have taken some time to reflect on my past, understand that the experiences I’ve been through have made molded me into the person I am today. I’ve accepted that even though I can’t change the past, I do have the power to change my future so that the past does not continue to haunt me. It is a process that begins with accepting that the past is one that should not be repeated, having the will, then finding the strength to follow through and truly change the future.

When my life was turned upside down inside out, I was overwhelmed with emotions…fear, doubt, anger, love. The most difficult was losing my pets because they were my everything, my link to reality, my “kiddos”. Even afterwards dealing with continued health problems ranging from post traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, insomnia, migraines to now discovering the stress has affected my blood sugar and thyroid. I did not know if I would ever find my way through the mess of frustration, the loss of my life as I once knew, and find may way to begin again.

Fortunately, I have a strong support system. Family and friends came to visit me from out of town when they could. While I did not have much family in town, I did have friends. At first I did not want anyone to see me in the condition I was in nor did I want anyone’s help because I felt I needed to be able to do for myself. I tried so hard to hide the pain and bleeding internal wounds. I felt weak to have to lean on others, but I also did not want to deal with those stares, gossip and crude jokes from all around. I was embarrassed of another failed marriage and blamed myself for allowing myself to get into yet another abusive and unhealthy relationship. I wasn’t answering anyone’s calls not even from the insurance or my attorneys. My bills were stacking up and was behind on all payments. My weight had dropped to literally skin and bones. I honestly did not see the toll this was taking on me. My dear friends stepped in and literally camped out with me for days. They helped me see that I could not longer continue the path I was on because it was one of self-destruction.

There are many things I have learned through all of this madness. A strong support system, holding on to my faith, understanding it was not my fault, and asking for help are the most important things that have guided me to find my way back to “life”. I was able to let go of the worry what others thought of me. Accept my past as part of who I am. Keep my chin up with one foot in front of the other. While a very difficult transition, I was finally able to return to work and prove to myself that I was a much stronger person and in a better place.

Finding a strong support system is not as easy as it sounds. While family is always there to be supportive, friends, true friends…well you just never know until something like this happens to you. I believe a true friend is someone who sticks by you when you are down and celebrates with you when you are up. It’s someone with mutual trust, who understands you, knows the real you and appreciates the person you are and, most of all, doesn’t judge you.

Sure, there are many types of friendships. There are situational friends that see each other regularly, have fun together, even share occasional disappointments, but when you move or something changes, you don’t stay in touch. Then there are casual friends that meet each other once in a while, go out for lunch and dinner, catch up on the news/gossip. You like each other, appreciate the company, but are are not best friends. Of course, there are close friends who understand the real you, help when you’re in trouble and are people you can rely on in good times and bad. They will not judge you, they let you in their lives, and care about you deeply. You see these friends more like family. Such people don’t come along often and are the friendships to be cherished.

Sometimes friendships disintegrate or people grow out of them when you don’t spend time together, have fun together and talk (I mean really talk about your lives, decisions, whatever is going on). It really depends on the person. Myself, I value loyalty above all others. I would never let my friends down, I stick by them and they by me. We understand we are human and make mistakes that with the occasional misunderstanding, we know there is forgiveness and love because the relationship is more important. Yes, we always have family, but at some point, everybody needs a friend too.

Happy New Year everyone! May your faith be strengthened, life be humbled, and your journey filled with with more joy than sorrow…and if not, maybe it’s time to take a look back so you can move forward. Take some time to evaluate your past and understand what you want for your future. Ask yourself if you have the support system to help you. If you find that you have been too busy to reach out and be a friend, make the time. Make the time to cherish the family and friends who are important to you. You just never know if someone you love and cherish is afraid to ask or even realize they need help.

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Time Heals All


It’s 3 am and I can’t sleep. Gosh, have not had a sleepless night like this in a long time. Almost forgotten about them, but then something like tonight happens and it all comes crashing back. “Time heals all”…hmmmm, it’s not that simple.

Time. What exactly does time do? This is a good one because the countless “time heals all” phrase has most certainly popped up with the “just focus on the positive” and “you should be lucky to be alive”…“give it time”. Honestly, I’m not trying to sound negative. Those who truly know me, know that I do my very best to stay positive and make good choices and lead a life that I can be proud of. I’m ambitious, yet love my couch potato days. I’m a hard worker, yet I have let the laundry or dishes pile up. I’m a perfectionist, yet I make mistakes every day.

So again, what exactly does time do for you? It gives you the opportunity to reflect. Reflect on your past, while living in the present, then try to figure out how to make a different future. But does time actually heal the past? Is it supposed to disappear? When I imagine something healed…I imagine it being gone. What time does is help you cope with your past. It helps you find a way to make yourself whole again…unfortunately you need these parts of your life to keep “you” whole. Yes, it’s after 3 am and I’m wide awake, feeling like I have a ton of bricks on my shoulders, tears just slowly creeping out with an overall general feeling of blah…but if it weren’t for these pieces of me from my past that have caused sooo much pain, I wouldn’t know how to help others who feel alone and helpless because the ones they love have abused and abandoned them. So without these otherwise painful pieces of my life, I wouldn’t be me!

It’s hard to go through the challenges in life and then it makes it harder when you have the glares or avoidance from people you thought were part of your support system. To hear from those that you love the harsh and insincere words like, “you’re not taking advantage of being alive” or “you should be lucky to be alive…there are many other women that weren’t so lucky”. The worst has been, “I hope you’ve learned your lesson”. So I’m not just dealing with the tragedy of losing that which was most precious, I have to deal with the fact that people just truly don’t understand and say, well, the stupidest things and well…keep “time from healing”. Just when you thought your wounds were healing, BAM they’ve been cut open again and again and again.

So here we go again, “time”. Exactly what has time has given me? It has given me the strength to step outside of my shoes so that I can begin to understand why people do or say these, well, stupid things. I’ve learned so far that they have yet to live their lives and allow time to help them understand their past in order to change their future. They end up saying the stupidest things because they have yet found a way to let “time” help them move forward and deal with their past. Yes it hurts and is upsetting, that despite needing the strength to deal with my past, I must muster up the strength to deal with my present and also my future. Focusing on positive things in my life, living every moment better than the last, making better decisions, reach out to the people that bring out the best in me are just some of the things that have helped me keep pushing forward and brush off the not so nice things people say and do, calm my otherwise over worked mind, allow me to blog and share my life experiences in hopes of making someone else feel like they are human…but most of all, let those suffering understand that they are not alone.

After 545 days, tonight is one of those nights when it feels like yesterday. Missing my babies and well, the sick feeling inside of thinking how I could let all this happen. What triggered these feelings…just waking up in the middle of the night, wide awake. Yep, something so simple, yet so powerful. How can that be? By all means, I am grateful for this second chance to live, but at this moment, it’s…well, about “being human”.

I continue to pray that the Lord helps those find the strength to cope with their past and soften their otherwise harden hearts. So they too can in turn help others in need of some “time to heal”…after all, whether we want to accept or not, we need each other. We need compassion, we need to know that when times are tough and we are weak…we can turn to those, especially the ones we hold close to our hearts, and lean on them.

Growing A Thick Skin


Over the years, I’ve met so many people with very different personalities. Many who have become role models for me and have molded the person I am today. All along providing me with the strength to see through the many challenges in my life from childhood bullying, adoption, infertility, divorce, and yes…domestic violence. However, the hardest challenge I have faced time and again has been in the work place dealing with conflict, but the type of conflict that on the surface appears to be rewarded rather than frowned upon. Bullying.

Unfortunately, I’ve dealt with bullies in my life. After all, there are many types; childhood bully, teenage bully, best friend bully, life-partner bully and there’s the workplace bully. My experience has been to just mind my own business, treat these bullies with kindness in hopes of softening their hearts in that one day they will change. But the later, unfortunately, rarely happened partly because I, like many others, just sat back and said nothing. After all, I was an expert at walking on eggshells. I knew how to avoid conflict. My kindness was instead taken advantage of because the bully was nice to me in return only when they needed something. All the while, all I was doing was increasing my stress and frustration. For what? To avoid conflict for fear of retaliation. After all, we are taught as children that you let the adults, “the ones in charge”, handle the bad behavior. We are taught early on that nobody likes a “tattle-tail”. The only problem is that rarely does a bully act out in front of the ones in charge. So what do you do? Kinda stuck between a rock and a hard place, eh?

***Needless to say, the phrase “grow a thick skin” popped up over and over!***

I guess I never really thought about it. I don’t know, maybe I just didn’t understand the true meaning of this phrase. After all my career, not my personal life, has been by far more successful. So obviously I was doing something right! However, after the realization of my failed personal life, it came to light that, without knowing, I, in fact, had grown a thick skin. Yes, it wasn’t until I had to go to weekly counseling for the living nightmare of a near-death experience I so gratefully survived, that I became aware of exactly how thick my skin had become. It’s almost like an onion…you don’t truly know that it has layers, or how many layers, until you start peeling it. Then comes the challenging part of dissecting each layer just so in that you carefully and cleanly peel away each layer. You find yourself in tears at times, fighting hard to not let the onion’s strong layers get to you, but ultimately, to get to the center of the onion…you will have been forced to shed more than just a few tears, but a ton of weight you’ve been carrying because of the thick skin you were forced to grow.

People would tell me I don’t know how you do it, but you are the strongest person I know. Even though on the inside I felt like a fragile piece of crystal that could break into a million pieces in an instant. Was it strength? Weakness? Denial? No, it was the thick skin I had grown. I learned to block out the things that made me feel like I wasn’t good enough or weaker than others. This only worked for short periods of time though and got harder and harder instead of easier. Why? Well, I never dealt with the real issue. The bully! You see, it takes more effort to shield yourself of the bad stuff so as to avoid being hurt by the bully. Instead, you end up hurting yourself by carrying more weight than you need to.

So now when I hear, “Oh that’s just the way that person is, you just need to learn to grow a thick skin and shrug it off,” I just cringe! I’ve worked so hard at peeling back the layers that I say NO! Why should I have to grow a thick skin when the bully is the problem? I’ve realized that I can’t ignore them anymore. I can’t sit back and pretend that everything is all fine and dandy. I can’t continue to treat the bully with kindness when I know their behavior is wrong. It shouldn’t stop there either…if I see others being treated this way, I feel obligated to step in. Why? Because I know what it’s like to live in fear and frustration…and not speaking up only empowers the bully’s behavior and gives them permission to act as they do.

Next time you see someone being bullied, whether at work or not, stop and think how you would feel if this were happening to you. Would you want someone to tell you, “Oh just grow a thick skin” or would you prefer they stand by your side and defend against the bully? Strength in numbers, right?…so are we going to let the bully population grow or are we going to stand up and speak out?

http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/2011/03/dateline-on-bullying-my-kids-w.html

A New Day…


Remember like yesterday the horror and pain. Standing powerless and praying, “Oh Lord if there was ever a time for rain!”

Depressed and angry the easier path. Rather, moving on and forgiving…helping others detour this very same wrath.

Tender moments I miss, many memories to cherish. My babies gone from my arms, but from my heart, they will never perish.

Pray for the day when human kindness returns…sharing today some compassion with those whose faith has seen no more.

Blessed by the Lord with a new day today. With faith and His guidance, safe passage it may.

~ Vero

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A year ago my life changed forever…but the Lord has blessed me with “A New Day”…

Sometimes God sees the need to put us through some things for the purpose of making us stronger. There may not seem to be any logical reason for the trouble that we often face, but God always has a reason. Sometimes He’s just trying to make us tougher or to teach us patience. Some people suffer so that they will be better equipped to comfort others in their suffering. It’s always comforting to know that you are not alone, that someone else understands because they have gone through the same troubles that you are going through and will try to share helpful words of wisdom in hopes of lessing the burden. He knows that you are strong enough to help those who are less fortunate and without great strength to overcome and find their way through the challenges.

Are you going through some pretty tough times? Find your faith and hold onto it. The Lord is probably giving you the experience that you’ll need to help someone else later…

Veronica Galaviz To Speak To Dallas County Probation Officers Thursday

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVOR TO SPEAK TO DALLAS COUNTY PROBATION OFFICERS THURSDAY
Veronica Galaviz To Speak 1st Time Before Court Officers Since April 2010 Attack

DALLAS:  Veronica Galaviz, who has launched her own organization to raise awareness about the effects of domestic violence, Thursday will speak to members of the Dallas County Community Supervision and Corrections Department, during a noon luncheon. Dallas County Juvenile Probation Officers and officers from other surrounding counties will also be in attendance.

This will mark the first time she has spoken before court officers since nearly being murdered by her late-estranged husband who violated the terms of a protective order and broke into her house on April 21, 2010 and tried to kill her before setting the house on fire and killing himself.  While under the court’s protective order, Ms. Galaviz reported multiple violations to Rowlett Police, but they never would make an arrest.

The event will begin at 12 p.m. in the Great Room of Highland Park United Methodist Church, located at 3300 Mockingbird Lane in Dallas.

Ms. Galaviz has created her own organization, LivingToShare.org, and has become active in seeking changes in Texas laws, including support for San Antonio State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer’s House Bill 100 designed to create a domestic violence computer database in Texas, much like the one used to track sex offenders proposed legislation to create a Domestic Violence Registry.

She also is supporting HB 825, that seeks to add stalking provisions to the awarding of a protective order.  The bill was introduced Monday by Dallas Rep. Rafael Anchia.

Veronica Galaviz

After surviving an attack in her Rowlett, Texas home on April 21, 2010 by her estranged husband, Veronica Galaviz now seeks to raise awareness about the dangers of domestic violence, increase victims’ rights, implement tougher enforcement of protective orders and sensitivity training for police officers who respond to domestic violence complaints, and offer educational grants to victims allowing them to obtain financial independence and freedom from their abusers.

Claxton Creative, LLC

Claxton Creative is a Dallas public relations firm focused on social impact, innovation and invention.  Owned by former political advisor and Dallas ISD spokesman Donald Claxton, the company specializes in social media and traditional mediums to market and brand products domestically and internationally.  The company provides PR services for brands, bloggers, businesses and school districts.

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Veronica Galaviz Interviewing With Univision 23 in Dallas


Veronica Galaviz interviewing with Univision 23 reporter in Dallas about the proposed legislation to create a Domestic Violence Offenders Registry in Texas.

The bill has been proposed by San Antonio State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer to create a domestic violence computer database in Texas, much like the one used to track sex offenders, is an idea she supports

“Well obviously, I haven’t seen the bill but I think it’s a great idea.  I agree that it’s a good tool that someone can use to research a potential suitor,” Galaviz said. “I agree that it’s a great tool, especially for someone who doesn’t have the means to do a criminal background check on a potential suitor.  It would be an easy tool to use.”

Galaviz, a survivor of a domestic violence attack by her estranged husband in April 2010 in Rowlett, Texas, said those in one abusive relationship need all the reassurances they can get about before getting into another relationship with someone.

“Once you’re in an abusive relationship, you have some trust issues and you always have some doubts and this would be one way to relieve some of those doubts,” Galaviz said.    “This would be something that you would have at your fingertips, just like Google; you can research something there. It’d have a list of names of all the offenders.  The only drawback is if they could find someway to eliminate the victims’ names from these lists and just have the abusers’ names on the list.”

Galaviz has created her own non-profit organization designed to raise awareness about domestic violence and to seek tougher enforcement of laws pertaining to domestic violence situations.  Her website is LivingToShare.org.

Next week in Dallas, Galaviz is slated to speak to a group of law enforcement officers about her experiences and her mission to raise awareness.

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NORTH TEXAS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVOR: OFFENDERS’ LIST A GOOD IDEA

NORTH TEXAS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVOR: OFFENDERS’ LIST A GOOD IDEA

Veronica Galaviz’s Statement To CBS 11 KTVT Dallas

DALLAS:  North Texas Domestic Violence Survivor Veronica Galaviz Thursday said in an interview with CBS 11 KTVT in Dallas Reporter Jay Gormley that legislation proposed by San Antonio State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer to create a domestic violence computer database in Texas, much like the one used to track sex offenders, is an idea she supports

“Well obviously, I haven’t seen the bill but I think it’s a great idea.  I agree that it’s a good tool that someone can use to research a potential suitor,” Galaviz said. “I agree that it’s a great tool, especially for someone who doesn’t have the means to do a criminal background check on a potential suitor.  It would be an easy tool to use.”

Galaviz, a survivor of a domestic violence attack by her estranged husband in April 2010 in Rowlett, Texas, said those in one abusive relationship need all the reassurances they can get about before getting into another relationship with someone.

“Once you’re in an abusive relationship, you have some trust issues and you always have some doubts and this would be one way to relieve some of those doubts,” Galaviz said.    “This would be something that you would have at your fingertips, just like Google; you can research something there. It’d have a list of names of all the offenders.  The only drawback is if they could find someway to eliminate the victims’ names from these lists and just have the abusers’ names on the list.”

Galaviz has created her own non-profit organization designed to raise awareness about domestic violence and to seek tougher enforcement of laws pertaining to domestic violence situations.  Her website is LivingToShare.org.

Next week in Dallas, Galaviz is slated to speak to a group of law enforcement officers about her experiences and her mission to raise awareness.

Veronica Galaviz

After surviving an attack in her home on April 21, 2010 by her estranged husband, Veronica Galaviz now seeks to raise awareness about the dangers of domestic violence, increase victims’ rights, implement tougher enforcement of protective orders and sensitivity training for police officers who respond to domestic violence complaints, and offer educational grants to victims allowing them to obtain financial independence and freedom from their abusers.

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