“A Black Rose Thrived” is about choices and consequences. It’s about taking ownership and removing the mask. To some this memoir will be a conviction; to others it will bring hope. Through the lens of one life we see how an environment that doesn’t offer a strong foundation leaves us naked in the world. But success is very attainable, one must be able to survive, strive, and thrive to obtain it.
Rochelle Richey provides us with a selfless, honest, and heartfelt book of emotional drama and inspiration. This is her story. This is her truth. She is truly A Black Rose that thrived— and she knows you can thrive, too.
Why is she still with him? Women stay for different reasons.
WRITTEN BY ROCHELLE RICHEY
I am a survivor of domestic abuse. If you’ve never walked in those shoes consider yourself blessed. It is a situation that doesn’t start over night. It is a manipulating tedious process. It usually starts as a child. When a child is exposed to this sort of violence, it is a high probability that he or she will experience some type of violence as an adult. He will be an abuser or she will be a victim or vice versa. If you look into an abuser’s past, I’m sure that you will find some type of abuse or violence and the same for the victim’s past.
The abuser never seeks the strong women. He seeks the broken, low self-esteem, type of female. So it is true when a strong woman says that ” It will never happen to me” because he’s not looking for you, he’s intimidated by you. He can’t break you. He’s looking for the one that is already broken… someone that he can save or rescue. He’s looking for the women that’s seeking love without even knowing what it is… someone who is trying to fill a void…someone who’s just as broken as he is.
There are many reasons that may hinder her from leaving right away. The first is fear because when she leaves, she must be sure that she has a game plan that will be so tight that she will never have to return. It’s not just breaking up with some boyfriend. An Abuser is a controlling master manipulator and the mere thought of losing her is astronomical to him. He would do anything to maintain that control. To sum this up, there are a lot of factors that come into play when leaving. Lifestyle is one of the main reasons. She has given this man all of her. So he is her world. He is the provider. The abuser is very controlling so in most situations he handles everything; meaning all finances. When she realizes that her lover has become her enemy and her home is no longer a safe haven, she knows at some point she must leave. But leaving means that she has to be willing to start a new life, new schools, new friends for the kids, new bank accounts, new job, and if possible a new state. She has to dig deep inside of herself to find the strength and courage to face the fact that she is leaving with nothing and sometimes have no tangible skills to provide for herself. By the time she gets the courage to leave, she may not have any friends or family that will help… because that is the first thing her abuser manipulates from her life…and depending on the level of abuse, most are even threatened to be killed. She’s already emotionally shattered and the thought of relocating is too much to deal with alone . So she stays and tries to make it better. Which never happens. She’s stuck with living with a controlling, stalking, woman beater. The Law doesn’t protect her. She’s broken and on her own.
When a woman finds the courage to leave her abuser, she’s truly a survivor. It’s a very dark world behind closed doors that no woman should ever have to experience.
Abuse is a form of self-hate. He hates himself and he takes it out on the person that loves him because he feels he doesn’t deserve to be loved..and she accepts the abuse because that is the only type of false love that she may have seen in her life. Two broken people. The two need to get help and address the pain in their life. If not, the child who is witnessing these fights is being setup for the same experience.There are some that grow up and vow never to hit a woman or be abused but they are the exceptions to the rule.
So please be careful on your social media timelines and water cooler conversations, when speaking about what you would have done if it were you… because 1 out of every 3 women is in or have experienced domestic abuse. Which means, they are on your timelines, they are in your churches, they are in your workplaces, they are in the supermarket grocery lines and they are in your families. And although you are free to speak your opinion, you don’t want your words to cause someone to not come forward for help because they are feeling ashamed and judged.
NOW ON KINDLE! GET YOUR COPY TODAY!!!
The Birth of Something New is a written testimonial from the Author about her experience and journey from ” Religion to a Personal relationship with God. It is highly recommended to read her Memoir “A Black Rose Thrived” in order to get a full understanding of her Journey from a life of sin to a relationship with the Savoir.
Humiliating or embarrassing you.
- Constant put-downs.
- Refusing to communicate.
- Ignoring or excluding you.
- Extramarital affairs.
- Provocative behavior with opposite sex.
- Use of sarcasm and unpleasant tone of voice.
- Unreasonable jealousy.
- Extreme moodiness.
- Mean jokes or constantly making fun of you.
- Saying “I love you but…”
- Saying things like “If you don’t _____, I will_____.”
- Domination and control.
- Withdrawal of affection.
- Guilt trips.
- Making everything your fault.
- Isolating you from friends and family.
- Using money to control.
- Constant calling or texting when you are not with him/her.
- Threatening to commit suicide if you leave.
It is important to remember is that it is absolutely not your fault. Abusers are expert manipulators with a knack for getting you to believe that the way you are being treated is your fault. These people know that everyone has insecurities, and they use those insecurities against you.
Abusers can convince you that you do not deserve better treatment or that they are treating you this way to “help” you. Some abusers even act quite charming and nice in public so that others have a good impression of them. In private is a different story, which is also quite baffling.
If you see yourself in these words, know that there is little hope for your relationship to improve. It would take a monumental amount of insight and motivation for the abuser to change and unfortunately, this is rarely the case. If you are in an abusive relationship, I urge you to get out and with professional help if needed. Often the first step in leaving the abuser is obtaining counseling just to rebuild your esteem so that you can leave. I particularly want you to know that you may “love” this person, but that they do not “love” you or respect you. I assure you that in time you will get over this person if you break it off. You will be making the right decision … no looking back.
This guest article originally appeared on YourTango.com: 21 Signs You’re In An Emotionally Abuse
If he (or she) does ANY of these things, you need to get out and get help.
Women don’t plan to enter into abusive relationships. In fact, many women who’ve escaped abusive relationships swear to themselves that they will never get into another one, only to find themselves becoming victims of abuse once again.
Sadly, it takes an average of five to seven acts of violence before a woman leaves her abuser. So, why not plan to avoid entering into an abusive relationship in the first place?
It’s easier to avoid an abusive relationship if you’re able to detect the early signs. The Women’s Center distributed the following list for women seeking domestic violence counseling. A path to a safer, healthier and happier life often starts with a bit of knowledge. If your partner displays the following behaviors, it’s possible you’re in an abusive relationship.
1. He pushes for quick involvement. He comes on strong, claiming, “I’ve never felt loved like this before by anyone.” You get pressured for an exclusive commitment almost immediately.
2. There’s constant jealousy. Your partner is excessively possessive, calls constantly, or visits unexpectedly.
3. He’s controlling. He interrogates you intensely about who you talked to and where you were, checks mileage on the car, keeps all the money or asks for receipts, and insists you ask for permission to go anywhere or do anything.
4. He has very unrealistic expectations. He expects perfection from you and for you to meet their every need.
5. There’s isolation. He tries to cut you off from family and friends, deprives you of a phone or car, or tries to prevent you from holding a job.
6. He blames others for his own mistakes. The boss, family, you — it’s always someone else’s fault if anything goes wrong.
7. He makes everyone else responsible for their feelings. The abuser says, “You make me angry” instead of “I’m angry.” “I wouldn’t get so pissed off if you wouldn’t…
8. He’s hypersensitive. He’s easily insulted and will often rant and rave about injustices that are just part of life.
9. He’s cruel to animals and children. He kills or punishes animals brutally. He also may expect children to do things beyond their ability or tease them until they cry.
10. His uses “playful” force during sex. He enjoys throwing you down or holding you down against your will; he finds the idea of rape exciting. He intimidates, manipulates or forces you to engage in unwanted sex acts.
11. There’s verbal abuse. He constantly criticizes you or says cruel things. He degrades, curses and calls you ugly names. He will use vulnerable points about your past or current life against you.
12. There are rigid gender roles in the relationship. He expects you to serve, obey and remain at home.
13. He has sudden mood swings. He switches from loving to angry in a matter of minutes.
14. He has a past of battering. He admits to hitting women in the past, but states that they or the situation brought it on.
15. He threatens violence. He makes statements such as, “I’ll break your neck,” but then dismisses it with “I really didn’t mean it.”
If you’ve experienced domestic violence in the past, you may benefit from this article, Healing From Trauma With EFT. If you need help, or protection, to get out or stay out of an abusive relationship, get in touch with your local (The) Women’s Center, or search their main site at The Woman’s Center.
NOTE: Though females are the primary victims in Domestic Violence, it is not always the case; males can also be victims (over 25 percent). Some resources to check into for both male and female victims are: safehorizon.org, ncdva.org, and nomore.org.
TOO OFTEN WE HEAR: “HE MAY PUT HIS HANDS ON ME BUT HE IS A REALLY GOOD FATHER, I DON’T WANT TO TAKE THEIR FATHER AWAY FROM THEM”
HE’S GIVING THEM A FALSE PERCEPTION OF WHAT A MAN IS AND HOW A MAN LOVES…HOW HE HANDLES CONFLICT AND EMOTIONS. SEEING THIS AS A CHILD BECOMES THE NORM AS AN ADULT.
Written by Real Talk Kim:
PREPARING FOR MARRIAGE….
Saying “I do” is the decision with perhaps the most chance of either incredible happiness or incredible danger in this life. How do you prepare for marriage so that “I do” is the beginning of bliss, rather than regret?
Marriage will always be, at least in part, a leap of faith. There will be surprises. You’ll never avoid them all. But I think, if you follow these steps, you can avoid the most difficult ones.
The most important thing when you’re marrying is character. If someone is of good character and loves God, you can work through pretty much anything. They’ll be able to hear from God, they’ll want to please God, and even if you have a big roadblock, they’ll likely try to solve it well. If someone has a weak character, though, no matter how much you love them, you’re going to run into some major problems.
Preparing for marriage, then, is largely about two things: making sure his character is good, and making sure you work together in the day-to-day.
Here are some suggestions on how to do that:
DO LIFE TOGETHER!
Don’t do “dating” things. Do “life” things.
Here’s the difference. Dating says, “let’s get together every Tuesday and Saturday and go out to a movie and dinner, or catch a concert in a park, or go for ice cream.”
It’s all very lovely, but it tells you virtually nothing about how you will actually work on a day-to-day basis once you’re married.
Once you’re starting to get serious about someone, then, stop making “romantic” things the basis of your relationship, and start just living life. Go grocery shopping together. Cook dinner together. If you’re in school, hang out together for a few hours and just study together. Go to church together. Go to Bible study together. Do errands together.
Spend as much time as possible together that is unplanned. This lets you see what your boyfriend/fiance does when they have nothing particular planned. Since most of your life when you’re married will be like that, you want to see what it’s like now.
Playing video games all the time
Not wanting to spend “hang out” time with you, because he only wants to “hang out” with the guys
Downtime being the equivalent of “let’s get drunk” time. If he needs alcohol every time he’s relaxing, that’s a bad sign.
Never having a hobby he wants to do with you. If you can’t take a dance class together, or exercise together, or collect something together, then chances are you’ll have nothing to do together once you’re married, either.
Never doing “normal” things. If, in all the time you spend together, he never has the initiative to fix a leaky faucet, to clean a bathroom, to repaint a pealing deck, then it’s unlikely he’s going to want to devote his Saturdays to that once he’s married, either. If he likes you hanging out so that you can clean his place while he relaxes, that’s likely what your weekends will look like, too.
Pursue God Together:
God needs to be the center of your marriage. All of us run into issues when we’re married, and if someone is a Christian, then you have a common basis so that you can solve it. You can talk about what God wants. You can talk about what’s wrong and what’s right. You can pray together and get other people to pray with you.
The saddest emails I get are from women whose husbands are involved in something really bad–like gambling or pornography–but their husbands aren’t really Christians. The women think it’s wrong, but the husbands say it’s no big deal. When you don’t have a common faith, you can’t deal with these things.
And when you don’t have a common strong faith, it’s very, very hard to pass on that faith to your children.
So while you’re getting to know each other, don’t just go to church together. Go to a small group Bible study together, whether it’s through church, through a campus ministry, or whatever. Pray together. Read a chapter of the Bible every time you’re together. You don’t have to do an in-depth study, but if you bring God into your life now, then it shows that your fiance actually wants God there.
I talk to so many women who say, “I thought he was a Christian because he went to my church, but he never prays and I never see him reading the Bible, and I feel so distant from him.” Don’t take church-going as a sign about whether or not he’s close to God. Look for more.
And pray with him! Many people don’t like praying out loud, but even if it’s just sentence prayers, show that you need it to be part of your relationship. If you can’t do it now, you won’t do it when you’re married.
He never talks about God outside of church
If you bring up God, he doesn’t really have an opinion
You never see him reading his Bible
He has no interest in prayer
Get out of the house and do something together! This helps you run from temptation (because it will get harder to wait until you’re married to make love the closer to the wedding you get) and it helps you to see if he is motivated to help others.
It may be teaching Sunday school or youth group, it may be belonging to a music team at church, it may be something in your community. But find something to do.
If he has no interest in helping others, he likely is very self-focused and won’t want to help others in your married life, either. If it’s important to you that he’s involved in your children’s lives and activities, then make sure that he’s willing to sacrifice his own free time now, too.
Blend Your Families:
When we’re dating, all that seems to matter is just the two of you. Once you’re married, his family becomes your family, and you’ll never be alone in the same way again.
Take the initiative to get to know his family. If they don’t live near you, suggest Skype dates. Have him get to know your family as well. See how he fits. If your family is important to you, then make sure that he actually enjoys being with them and makes an effort, rather than making you feel guilty for wanting to spend time with siblings.
If he takes no interest in getting to know your family, or constantly criticizes them, he will not want to spend time with them once you’re married, and will likely resent the time you spend with them.
If he does errands for his parents, but refuses to do any for you, he could be too attached to his own family. Again, that’s unlikely to change once you’re married.
If he spends significant amounts of time with his family, but refuses to spend time with yours, makes excuses, or resents you for wanting to be with your family, then this will become a constant source of stress later, too. As much as possible, you should be able to spend equal times with each family without this being a source of conflict now. If it is, that’s a problem.
Blend Your Money:
Obviously you can’t completely blend your money before you’re married, but you can create a budget, a debt repayment schedule, and a savings schedule. In fact, you should.
Watch how he spends money. Is he careful with money, or does he not care about debt? Does he work hard for his money? Is he motivated to provide?
If he won’t talk about whether or not he has debt, be careful. You both should fully disclose your financial situation before you marry.
If he spends money he doesn’t seem to have, and doesn’t like budgeting, this will likely continue into your marriage.
Identify a Mentor Couple:
Notice that I didn’t say “take pre-marital counseling”. I actually do agree with counseling; it’s just that I’ve rarely known it to make a huge difference. Usually people go to counseling and hear all the warnings, but they go in one ear and out the other because people think, “that’s not about us. We’re actually IN LOVE. We won’t experience that.”
And then they get married and they do.
So I like the idea of pre-marital counseling, but I actually think it’s more important to have things in place so that when problems come after you get married, you have a way of dealing with them.
Identify a mentor couple that you can talk with periodically for your first two years together.
If he refuses to do counseling or find a couple because “we don’t need that”, that’s likely a sign he’s unwilling to talk about deep issues
Wait for Sex:
Having sex before you’re married does nothing to make sure you’re sexually compatible, because we change once we’re married. And couples who wait to have sex until they’re married have better sex afterwards. Please, wait until the wedding.
If he insists on sex now, or pushes your boundaries, he’s unlikely to be able to wait for important things afterwards, too.
If you spend all of your time now “making out”, and very little doing important things, then your relationship may be built more on physical intimacy than spiritual and emotional intimacy. And that doesn’t bode well for the long run.
Falling in love is a heady time. It’s easy for our emotions to get the better of us. But choosing whom to marry is such a crucial decision. Don’t base it on feelings. Really get to know the other person, and take time to assess his character in a number of situations. You don’t get another chance at this, so do it right now, so that when you walk down that aisle, you’re confident that this is truly the man that God has for you.
A Poem Written by Rochelle Richey
Yesterday I was a little girl.
Yesterday I was rejected.
Yesterday I was a teenager.
Yesterday my mind was influenced and infected.
Yesterday I got married.
Yesterday I was abused.
Yesterday I finally understood what it was like to be in my mother’s shoes.
Yesterday I tried to end my yesterdays.
Yesterday I was about to lose.
Yesterday I met a Savior.
A new love …living a new way of life… yesterday.
I’m presently walking into my future, and thanking my yesterdays
for making me the woman I am today.
NOTE TO SELF
I’m writing you to let you know how much I love you and I forgive you. I forgive you for everything you’ve ever done to me and everything you allowed others to do to me. The choices you made for me weren’t always the best and because of that, I have a few scars…but the scars are now old wounds that are filled with knowledge and sealed with wisdom. I embrace the scars and I embrace you. You once were a stranger to me, but no more. I believe in you, I honor you, I celebrate you. I am you and we are one.
From your BFF with love,
©Rochelle Richey 2016