Dear America

Your law changes reinforced the idea that if I lived in your country, my life does not matter.

The first issue is the changes to gun laws. Have you considered the statistics for domestic violence homicide as to how many perpetrators had a previous record? Domestic violence victims often don’t report their abusers, we are often manipulated that everything will change. Police often aren’t involved until it’s too late. Please stop sending the message that these “gun control” measures will make a big change. Your law changes attempt to protect women but will only protect a small group. Of course, this is better than nothing but your gun control laws remain problematic.

If I was going through my hell with Brent in many American states with the laws as they are today, I’d probably be dead soon. I had never reported him. He had a gun licence approved just after I left him. If I didn’t have access to safe abortion, it’s likely that I would have stayed in that volatile relationship to attempt to raise the child with its father. He would have continued to manipulate and isolate me. Your law changes force many women to live in fear, fear that they may never escape an abusive partner.

The changes to your laws protect men. The overturning of Roe V Wade tells domestic violence victims that their lives do not matter.

The smell on the pillow

It was only a day or so after the dramatic and traumatic night that I left Brent. Dealing with the internal conflict between what I wanted and what I needed. I had no idea that the decisions I would need to make were soon to become a lot more complicated.

What I needed was to be safe. I needed to be with people who loved me. People who would never hurt me and would protect me with their entire being.

What I wanted was to be in Brent’s arms. He had been sending me loving messages of how much he loved and needed me.

I was curled up in a sofa chair, crying my eyes out, looking like I’d been doing so for weeks. My three and a half year old nephew was playing in the same room. He walked over to me and placed his gentle little hand on me and said “Aunty, why are you crying? Is it because you miss Brent?” all I could say was  “Yeah buddy”.

What were these tears specifically about? I was so mad that my sister had washed the last thing I had that smelled like Brent. My pillow from our bed. I had been hysterically crying and yelling at her, so angry that she’d taken a choice away from me.

Reflecting on my life, I truly hope that my family and friends know, that even though I resisted much of their love and support, that I am so grateful and so very thankful that they pushed me to get through those first few months.

More often than I should…

Do you ever find yourself completely stuck in your head, anxious because you’re unable to escape your thoughts? Or worse, having your mind constantly occupied with thoughts of someone you know you should be pushing out?

Recently, I found out that he’s a father, Brent has a child. I can’t help but wonder, is his wife safe? I hope that she has never seen the side of him that I saw. I wonder, was she ready to be a mum or was it simply because he didn’t  “…want to be 40 and not fit enough to play football with” his child? Why am I even giving him time to occupy in my mind?

My last relationship ended four years ago. It was during that time that PTSD symptoms began. Our breakup was amicable, we still speak fairly often as friends.  However, a month or so ago, my head was sending me back to our happy times, wanting him back. I would think, he know’s the worst of me, it’s easier to be with him than have to show my scars to someone new. If something has failed before, it’s bound to fail again, right?

There’s the man I spent two years with, more as companions as neither of us were in love with the other. I occasionally find myself wondering how he’s going. Why do I care? Yes, he was a big support to me through a personally challenging time. He’s moved on, and it’s not as though I’m “hung up” on him, so why do I want to know how he is? Perhaps it’s because I lost another male friend to a woman who felt threatened by our friendship?

Then there’s that one man who somehow, within a very short time last year, made his way in to my heart. It frustrates me so much that even though it’s been well over a year, he still randomly comes in to my head. He made a point of breaking through my wall but as quickly as he entered my life, he exited. He had to move back to the other side of the country, he was gone. He’s out of my heart now but frustratingly, not gone from my mind.

I find myself questioning, why do I think of these men more often than I should? What is wrong with me? Why can’t I just let go of them all completely and move on? Each of them has changed me or helped me grow. None of them was right for me then and they’re not right for me now, so why am I letting them hold me back from letting someone else in? I guess, perhaps I’m keeping my wall up, even though I promised myself I would stop building it.  I tell the world that I don’t suffer PTSD anymore but is that truthful? The truth is, I don’t know, I guess that now I just know how to get through it.


I was speaking to my ex boyfriend recently. He had broken up with his girlfriend, a girl who just a few months ago he told me was the first person he’d had feelings for the way he had me. He and I broke up over three years ago.

He told me that she was aggressive, insulting, needed constant validation and was volatile. I stated to him that he had an ex who had PTSD surface during the relationship but he sounded to me as though this girl was worse and he responded “yep”.

As we were generally chatting away, I can’t recall the exact words he used but basically, what I heard was that he still wonders why things didn’t work with us. I’ve said to him a few times before, that it was the timing, PTSD began to surface in me just before I met him. He was the one who would hold my hand just a little too tight or say a phrase that triggered something and I’d be hysterically rocking back and forward in the corner of the kitchen, hidden by the cupboards. He’d always ask me just to tell him not to say or do things so that he didn’t upset me again. It clearly tore him apart believing he’d caused me to break down. The thing with PTSD is, you don’t know what’s going to trigger the anxiety attacks until they actually happen.

After that conversation this week I’ve been thinking, ever since Brent, have I actually really given anyone a proper chance? The ex I mentioned in this blog, told me that he bought his recent ex flowers every other week. He bought me flowers a couple of times but I’d practically brushed him off for it. Now I wonder, why? I used to joke that chocolate would stay with me longer (on my hips) but thinking about it, Brent would buy flowers for me frequently in the days he still treated me ‘normally’.

Do I subconsciously expect that a man who showers me with gifts or love is going to turn in to an abusive man somewhere down the track?

I try to insist that any guy I date let’s me pay for things from the start. My go to ‘pick up line’, whilst in a bar, ever since I was in my teens, is “Can I buy you a drink?”. No man has ever refused. However, I’ve also never seriously dated a man that I ‘picked up in a bar’.

It’s been almost seven years since Brent was in my life. It’s time. Time that I realised that my need to control every moment of my life is probably something that’s held me back. Time to actually give people a chance to break through my wall. Time to trust men again.


I was recently seeing a man for a few months. He treated me well. We would have some great conversations as he, contrary to public opinion, has a brain. Yet, aside from the fact that we lead very different lives, something was missing. I stepped back and thought, ‘what am I doing?’. Granted, when I started seeing him it was with the intention of getting over someone else so I was probably never open to the possibility of falling for him in any way. However, I’d possibly have continued along with that as it was if I hadn’t gotten incredibly ill and been forced in to being a hermit for the past two months.

Previous to this, I spent almost two years with someone just as ‘friends’. We basically did all the couple things together without the commitment. I was content just settling in his arms, but I wasn’t in love, content spending time with him and him making me smile but I wasn’t blissfully happy as you should be in a young relationship.

The last time I saw Brent, I met someone later that day and we dated for quite some time. I told myself I loved him. I didn’t, I just loved that he didn’t treat me the way Brent did. Yet, I felt content so I settled for him much longer than I should have.

A good friend of mine and I talk about this contentment thing quite a bit. This friend has been with their partner since they were teens. Yet, finds themselves with a wandering eye and often finds confusion setting in. My advice to this friend has always been centred around the fact that they don’t want to end up resenting their partner and so to be honest with themselves. This advice is based purely on this friends comments about their partners parents, how one of them is unhappy and resents the other.

As I look back at my past I can’t help but wonder, do I know any other way or have I always just settled? Why do I tend to live in a state of contentment until a factor outside my control disrupts me?

A sunny winter’s day

Six years ago today I sat in a park, on a sunny winters day. I was in that park with my eleven year old niece and three year old nephew.

I had watched these children grow up from the day they were born. I was eleven when my niece came into the world. During her first couple of years they lived within a ten minute walk from us. I had watched her waddle around in her nappies with her big cheeky grin, bossing around their boxer and bringing sunshine into our lives. Then as she grew, a couple of times a week I would pick her up on my way home from school, from preschool, then kindergarten, and walk her home with me. Some days we’d have a half an hour or so of Aunty/niece time before mum would get home or my sister would come to pick her up. As an adult I would often babysit my niece and nephew.

This day in the park was the first time I’d been alone with the kids since I’d left Brent. My sister, their mother, was the first person I had began to admit the truth to whilst I was still with him. He had made me go from the aunt who was in so many little moments of these children’s lives to having a home their mother wasn’t comfortable visiting, let alone asking me to babysit. I had missed them so much, Brent had been so successful at making me afraid of talking to and seeing people who loved me.

Today was a gorgeous sunny winter’s day, similar to that day in the park. However, on this day six years ago, as I played in the park with my niece and nephew, I knew that I had the potential to have my own child the following summer. I was still unsure of what decision to make, I was still considering the situation surrounding it.

Watching how happy the children were, remembering all the moments I’d been there for when they were babies was toying with my mind so much. Yet, whether it was later that day or over the following days, I knew what was meant, or not meant, to be in my life.

Six years of sunny winter days have passed and throughout each one I have wondered about the child that could have been. I won’t deny that I have had a lot of ‘What if?’ moments. For all this time, even though I don’t doubt that I made the right decision, I’ve felt an empty space in my heart, particularly this time of year. The different thing this year was, that recently, not all on my own and not without some heartbreak, I began to open up my heart and soul. Now that I realise that I have been closed and protected for so long, perhaps there won’t be many more empty hearted winters like the last six.

The walls we build

When life has thrown so many challenges at you, you construct an emotional wall. I recently told someone that I have the Great Wall of China. I always thought this wall came up after my tumultuous relationship with Brent. It’s been six years since I left the most volatile relationship of my life. One would think that it was then that the last time my wall was down. However, someone walked in to my life recently and I’ve realised that my wall has been up since my high school boyfriend and I broke up. That’s ten years of never truly letting anyone in.

Yes, I’ve had a mostly healthy relationship since then but he got the damaged me, the me when the PTSD really reared its head. It wasn’t easy for either of us, but we at least had some happiness. It was hard, he was seeing a psychologist for emotional detachment disorder so I guess that’s what kept me placing bricks in to my wall instead of slowly taking it down piece by piece.

Since then, I dated a man for almost two years. It was probably a situation-ship but people seemed to think we acted like a relationship. We’d laugh together, spend a lot of time together, tease each other and generally vent about our lives. Occasionally we’d do family things together but never a big event. We’d buy each other gifts with cute cards, but never an I love you. We never opened to truly committing to each other, I guess we just knew it wasn’t meant to be. He was a great support through all of my emotional times and when I let go of him, I seem to have also let go of my past traumas. Still I wonder if that relationship put more bricks in to my wall.

They say that things happen when you least expect them. It wasn’t part of the plan for me to let someone in recently. I know it wasn’t part of their plan either. But I’ve stopped building my wall. I’ve gone from having this Great Wall of China as strong as it could be to completely letting it crumble. As my wall has come down, I’ve seen another try to rebuild. I know that I’m strong enough to at least let the light shine through the cracks. No more building walls.

What’s in a name?

‘What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.’ – Shakespeare

It’s been more than four years since I left him, yet only recently can I hear or read his name and not feel as though I’m being strangled. Now, I take a deep breath and pause to remind myself that I’m safe, that just because someone shares his name does not mean they share the same personality traits.

I’ve spent quite some time deliberating over whether to use his name in my writing. If I use it, writing about him and his impact upon me would be so much more simple. I want to write it right now, yet in this moment, as I consider this my heart rate is accelerating.

I cannot let him have control over my thoughts, he held that power for far too long. For that reason here it is:

Brent, it truly is just a name.

Where to begin?

So I wanted to begin a blog, the diary of the twenty first century, but how to approach it? I thought about many names to describe this journey but why did I choose Teal Beyond Purple? A colour theme may lead some to believe this could be the blog of an artist, it is not. Here you will find the journey, the highs and the lows of living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), represented by Teal, beyond Domestic Violence, represented by purple . My journey began in 2011, but PTSD began to show its true colours in 2014.

I recall one night a couple of years ago I was out with friends, a couple of nice, polite gentlemen sat down for a chat. They weren’t rude, obnoxious or sleazy, but these men changed my ability to be open about my condition for a very long time. One of the guys had been talking about why he started his health business, his sister had died of cancer, I felt he was being open and honest, so I was safe to do the same. I don’t recall why but the conversation around PTSD was raised. I knew both of men were either part of, or formally military. I did not expect them to be adamant that PTSD only happens to military personnel and there’s no way that Domestic Violence could cause PTSD like that a soldier would suffer. This happened at the beginning of 2014, after that I began to hide my PTSD symptoms the best I could and it’s taken me almost two years to be ready to talk about it again.

You will always find honesty and raw emotions in my posts. This disease does not consume my every day, I live a normal, seemingly happy life. What would I like you to take from this post? Please, never shut down someone when they open up to you, whether it be health related or otherwise. Few people in the world will talk about a serious topic for their own self enjoyment. Be supportive, be caring and be kind to one another.