Weekend Yoga!

“The Longest Journey of any Person is the Journey Inward!”

Come dig deeper on your journey of life with us in classes this weekend. Move, breathe, and experience heated yoga, always $5.00 on Fridays at 5:30 pm. Saturdays, 9:00-10:15 am & Sundays, 9:30-10:45 am. We offer you classes 7 days per week. If you would like to book a private class or a private group class please reach out!

Signs of Domestic Violence

Abuse in regards to domestic violence is a pattern of behavior used by one person to gain and maintain power and control over another. Often when people think of domestic violence, they automatically think of physical abuse. It is important to note that physical force is one means of power and control and it is far from the only one. It is often not the first form of abuse an abuser will use.  

How did it ever come to this? What have I done so wrong to be treated so violently? I have only coins to spend, the money I have made cleaning houses has been stripped out of my wallet by my husband for his personal use. Every time I make a close friend, I am told I cannot be with them. Hanging up the phone immediately if he enters the house, erasing all evidence of who I have called or texted on my phone. I am constantly told it is all my fault. If you wouldn’t act out so emotionally I wouldn’t have to hurt you. I am used as a tool in bed so he can quickly satisfy himself and then move on.

The abuse of neglect: a form of mistreatment by individuals resulting from inadequate attention, especially through carelessness or disregard for the needs of others. Emotional neglect: includes causing emotional pain, distress or anguish by ignoring, belittling or infantilizing the needs of others.

I am told to “Just wait at home, I’ll be back soon…..” only to have hours upon hours pass by, not really wanting him to return home, but scared in my own skin, not sure where he has gone. I am afraid to leave the house, but wishing I could. Longing for somewhere safe to run away to and hide from it all. Never wanting to return to this wretched life, but feeling hopeless and alone in my misery, warned to not talk about my life to anyone! My car tires nearly flat, the vehicle not in mechanical condition to be safe to travel long distances. The clothes I wear, never new, found in a dumpster or from a cheap thrift store, even the bra I am wearing, worn out from use by another woman. I long to escape, to be back home in the USA with my family. But, I am trapped, without the means to escape even if I wanted to. A prisoner in my own home.

Physical abuse can include punching, hitting, slapping, kicking, strangling, suffocating or physically restraining a partner against their will. Use of weapons on another human being to injure or harm. (I have written a number of other stories in blog form regarding physical abuse in greater detail if you want to read more.) It can also include driving recklessly or invading someone’s physical space, and in any other way making someone feel physically unsafe. I remember sobbing through tears of fright, unable to see the road or car in front of me my eyes so filled with tears. I would be driving our car, while being yelled at constantly. Being told how to drive, when to put the blinker on, when to pass a car, when to change lanes, when to run the light, when to turn the windshield wipers off/on, told to turn the heat off/on, turn the air conditioning off/on, you get the picture. Or he, engaging the hand brake abruptly, out of rage, while I am driving us to our destination. Inflicting even more panic and fear in every cell of my being! I would be the driver often because he had lost his license due to reckless driving and driving under the influence.

Verbal/emotional abuse. I had believed his awful lies- how worthless I was, how stupid, how ugly, and how no one would ever want me. I would look in the mirror, not even knowing the woman whose empty gaze was staring back at me, completely insecure, afraid to hold my head up in public, ashamed to be me. Having escaped and now survived domestic violence, while the signs of physical abuse might be noticeable to a friend or family member, the effects of verbal/emotional abuse are harder to spot, and harder to prove. Emotional scars take years to heal.

“While sexual abuse can be a form of physical abuse, we put it in a category by itself because it can include both physical and non-physical components. It can involve rape or other forced sexual acts, or withholding or using sex as a weapon. An abusive partner might also use sex as a means to judge their partner and assign a value – in other words, criticizing or saying that someone isn’t good enough at sex, or that sex is the only thing they’re good for. Because sex can be so loaded with emotional and cultural implications, there are any number of ways that the feelings around it can be uniquely used for power and control. It wasn’t until 1993 that marital rape was illegal in all 50 states, so some people may still assume that sex is something a partner is entitled to, and not recognize it as a larger pattern of power and control.” Research from: Reach, Beyond Domestic Violence.

Mental/Psychological abuse. Mental or psychological abuse happens when one partner, through a series of actions or words, wears away at the other’s sense of mental wellbeing and health. It often involves making the victim doubt their own sanity. The result of this, especially over a sustained period of time – and often with the isolation that abusers also tend to use – is that the victim depends on the abuser more and more because they don’t trust their own judgment. They also hesitate to tell anyone about the abuse they’re experiencing, for fear they won’t be believed.

Social abuse includes cruel treatment such as public humiliation, threats, intimidation, and gossip. It may also include joking at your expense, constant heckling or teasing in public to provoke your anger, and tickling, touching, kissing, or other forms of physical acts that you have asked your partner to refrain from in public. It may also include any behavior designed to upset you in front of others. “Get your hands out of the top of my shirt,” I wanted to scream at him, as he fondled my breasts in public once again, as we headed into the grocery store. I was humiliated. What right has he to use my body in any way that satisfies him?

Signs of Social Abuse

You might be in a socially abusive relationship if your partner:

  • Encourages friends who are abusive
  • Gossips or spread rumors about you
  • Monitors your social activities
  • Treats you disrespectfully in front of others
  • Tells secrets or embarrassing stories about you
  • Refuses to socialize with your family or friends
  • Refuses to let you work outside the home
  • Demands that you account for all your time with social contacts
  • Controls who you can visit and when
  • Alienates you from your family and friends
  • Demands you move away from friends and a supportive environment

Take careful note of all of these signs of social abuse. If you find that several of these indicators are consistently practiced by your partner, then you are likely in a socially abusive relationship. However, if one of these problems occurs as an isolated incident, then that moment does not indicate abuse.

Please reach out to someone you trust if you are experiencing any of the forms of domestic violence as described in this blog. If you need a friend to go with you for support as you speak to a counselor, or a trusted physician, reach out. You are worth it! If you want to reach out to me for support, please send me a message and I will support you in any way that I can. If you have not tried yoga or would like to learn more about how yoga can help you heal, build confidence in your life, and set your mind free, don’t hesitate to join me at Hummingbird Yoga Studio. Know that there is local support wherever you live. Maybe your Family Safety Network, or a hotline number that you can call. With an understanding heart and respect for who you are, Ruth Graupner.

The Art of Healing the Mind

In Honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. May you reach out to a loved one in need before it is too late. Listen deeper than the surface and be sure those you love are truly safe in their own home.

I stand in fear, gazing out the window, watching a man, who once was my husband for nearly 10 years. He is continuously bashing a dark green, heavy, flower pot over the head of his brother’s dog. The large pot finally smashes in pieces from the last powerful blow to the dog’s head. We are meant to be taking care of my brother-in-law’s dog for a few days. If this is how it is going to start out, I can’t bare to live another day. My stomach is tight with knots, my nerves I think completely shot, but oh, not over yet, he then proceeds to tie the dog up on an extremely short leash with no water in the melting Australia summer sun. I can’t witness this any more, I quickly slip away before he knows I have been watching.

Absolutely sick to near confusion of all possible right thinking, but for the one and only thought that does come to my head, “What if our one year old son gets reprimanded in similar ways when his dad chooses not to be happy with something he does one day? What will he do to him? I am shaking all over, my thoughts all jumbled up, wishing to just run away with my baby, to escape this grotesque vision that is now plastered in my memory bank. I quickly walk to my son’s room, to check on him, to gently place a kiss on his tender baby skin. He is down for an afternoon nap, fast asleep, lucky to not have witnessed what brutality just took place in our backyard.

I do not even dare to ask about the situation when my husband enters the house, afraid that he would know I was observing from the window. He instead storms in and tells me that the dog chased and killed one of our chickens. The dog is to remain tied up with no food or water for a couple of days. I clench my jaw, knowing that whatever this man says goes. I do offer the suggestion that it is extremely hot out, the heat too much, let alone no food or water. Wondering, “How could anyone could be so cruel?”

The mind is so powerful, at any moment bringing up memories of the past, haunting self with horrid images. Post traumatic stress disorder. Crying suddenly in a quiet room, or a room full of people. Walking along the street and a memory comes flooding back from just one look in a shop window, the sound of certain birds chirping happily in the the trees, the smell of a certain fragrance, the taste of specific food, the touch of another on a specific location of the body, the heavy weight of the soul when in a deep moment of silence or meditation.

Often times, the nervous system reacts even before the mind knows why. Thus dispelling shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, the rapid beat of the heart, the palms begin to sweat, the mind taking charge and replaying the same nightmare over and over, burning frightful images deeper into the mind, making what once was…..at times even more horrific. The body begins to go into a state of shock, of nervous fear, with the inability to think clearly, the body now in fight or flight. Not trusting self or others, afraid to go out in public, locking self away in a room, hiding under the covers in the bed out of a desperate need to comfort self, but completely lacking the capacity to do so. Worried that there will never be any rest in the mind, afraid of saying the wrong thing, feeling ashamed of all reactions that just took place in a matter of seconds, wanting to hide away and not open up to speak out for fear of hurting others in the process.

Post traumatic stress disorder, (PTSD) I have lived with this for nearly 17 years. The wonderful news is, I have discovered the art of healing the mind through the practice of many forms of yoga, through the wisdom of time, with insight and understanding to courageously reach out to help others on their healing journey as well. I have discovered on this journey of life to stand strong in who I am, to be grateful for the paths I have been on. Knowing that my experiences are not in vain as they are meant to bring a healing balm to the lives of others who too have suffered from traumatic life experiences.

I have written numerous blogs on my journey of holistic self-healing and all the amazing people involved in the process along the way. A missing puzzle piece, a most amazing discovery I have made, is the use of CBD oil derived from hemp, with zero THC. I started out with a 10 mg capsule each night for 2 weeks, then switched to 10 mg capsule in the morning for 2 weeks. I did not really notice any change until I switched to a 25 mg capsule taken each morning before the day begins.

I have lived incredibly in-tune to my body and the needs thereof, on this journey of self-care and healing. Thus, I am absolutely pleased to say that having suffered a life of chronic anxiety, I have not had thoughts of suicide, depression, horrid nightmares associated with PTSD or PTSD episodes. I will continue to take this capsule each day and continue my research of different products. I have also used CBD rapid cooling cream topically applied to bring about relief from pain that is stored in the body, on sore muscles, aches, and areas of tension. I have discovered great relief.

I have continued to do extensive research over the past 3 years in regards to CBD and other methods of relief from PTSD, anxiety, and depression. I have tested out many different products on myself making sure the products truly work. If you suffer from any trauma that is then carried and maintained in the body, I look forward to supporting you on your healing journey not only through a healthy yoga practice, but also through distribution of CBD products coming soon to Hummingbird Yoga Studio.

I am passionate about changing lives for the better so that each individual can truly live their best life, reach their highest potential, discover their destiny, and stay clear of self-limiting beliefs! Begin the rest of your life at this moment, in honor of your past, now free to step out into all the possibilities of your future. Join us at Hummingbird Yoga Studio today for a wonderful yoga class! Coming up, our Sunday Spa Day, October 27, 2:00-4:30 pm.

Sunday Spa Day

Fall Schedule

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