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To be brave is not always to be a hero as it is put in those superhero movies. It is not always being strong as a soldier or the knight that goes on to save the “princess”. No! Being brave can mean to just SPEAK UP! Being brave can be just to say NO or STOP! Being brave means to LEAVE and “give up”. Being brave is to look for HELP! The bravery I’m talking about is one of the toughest ones. The bravery I’m talking about is to be strong enough to stop the ABUSE!

For some people this might seem obvious, but it is not always that easy. It is not always easy to SPEAK UP, to LEAVE, to SAY NO, to SAY STOP or to "simply" ask for someone's HELP. There are many reasons why we don’t act as we should and based on my own experience, we don’t speak up because of fear. Fear of losing what we thought we had. Fear of what others would think. Fear that others won’t believe you. Fear of being hurt even worse than before. Fear of not being able to continue on your own. Unfortunately, the fear is actually our worst enemy in critical situations.


Can you already tell that I am talking about of Domestic Violence? But what is Domestic Violence? Based on the definition provided by the United Nations it can be defined as “a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power or control over an intimate partner. Abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person” (read more: https://www.un.org/en/coronavirus/what-is-domestic-abuse).


Many people who are abused don’t even realize they are being abused. There are so many ways of abuse inside an intimate relationship that sometimes the red signs can be blurred and hard to recognize. For example, if your partner calls you 20 times in a row, and of course…not due to an emergency, this is an abusive behavior and is giving you a red flag that this person is attempting to control you. If your partner controls your money and the household money, and you don’t know anything about how the finances are being handled and if you ask you are denied access to that information, then you are being financially abused. If your partner forces you into having sex or even touches you when you said you don’t want to have sex (even if you are married), you are being sexually abused. If your partner insults you and calls you names or intimidates you in any way, then you are being abused. People tend to think that while arguing with a partner it is normal that they go ahead and throw out some insults during the argument, “just because we were mad at each other, and he/she was mad. It’s normal in an argument” but it is not OK. It is abuse and abuse starts little by little until it is built up and out of control.


As I was watching the Netflix Series “Maid” I began to remember my own experiences. I have experienced physical, sexual, emotional, and physiological abuse from some of my former partners (various partners, not only 1) and I chose this topic today not to put their dirty laundry out there, because I won’t say names here (or ever), but because I think I have been one of the lucky ones or maybe I was finally brave enough to finally SPEAK UP and said NO MORE! Still, I stayed in those relationships far too long because of fear. Fear of what my family would tell me, you know the “I told you so” phrase. Perhaps I was in love and was afraid to losing that "love", but hey…I lost the person I fell in love with the minute he abused me, so why stay? Fear that I couldn’t afford to live on my own at the time. Afraid of hurting other people. Afraid that others wouldn’t believe me. Afraid of simply being the victim.


When I was physically abused, I was VERY young and in love. I thought that just because he said he was sorry it was not going to happen again, but it did, multiple times. Until I said, NO MORE and finally decided to LEAVE that relationship. When I was even younger, I didn’t even know that I was sexually abused. I thought I was responsible because I exposed myself far too much and I blamed it on the hormones and the immaturity of the age. But I do remember saying “we’re not going all the way yet”, still he did and I was still a virgin. I have also been emotionally and psychologically abused by multiple partners. Controlled, insulted, belittled, isolated from friends and family, exposed to extreme and unjustified jealousy and possessiveness, intimidated, screamed at, manipulated, harassed on social media, and I even had my phone tracked. That last one I figured because this person would tell me things that I only spoke or wrote with a particular friend/person, and he would repeat them exactly and questioned me about the matter. Once I exchanged phone numbers with a male friend and he asked who X person was (with name and last name) without me even mentioning it to him. He wasn't even in the same state I was at the time. It was VERY obvious that he was tracking my phone. Still, I stayed too long in that and all of those abusive relationships.


I am not writing this Blog today to victimize myself. Not at all! I am here to let all of those women and men who are in relationships that are abusive and destructive, that it is possible to LEAVE. Some cases are more extreme than others, I know that I might not even have the capacity to understand those extreme cases, but there is always a solution to a problem, otherwise it wouldn’t be a problem. Go to therapy, look for help, research whatever you need to research in order to free yourself from the abuse. I do know it is scary. You might even fear for your life or your children's well being. If you feel trapped in a relationship, perhaps it is time to realize that you are not supposed to stay there. Love is not abusive. Love is not manipulative. Love is not to be forced.


Most of the people who are or have been in abusive relationships feel “less than” or insecure of their worth. I know, because I have felt like that. Actually, I think that because of my insecurities I was not able to love myself enough to see my worth, and therefore I accepted all that crap! It took me a long time to be able to see at least a glimpse of how much value I’ve always had as a woman and as a person. When you experience abuse from multiple partners or for many years, it becomes “normal” and therefore hard to identify. Besides, the thoughts that comes to mind are: "if he/she is not beating me up, it is not abuse" or "there's people in worse situations than me" or "I cannot not leave and have my children grow without their father". Well darling, some others might be in worse situations than you because they thought the same way and therefore, they stayed, or because they gave one too many chances, or because they justified their partner's actions. But you can break the cycle and change the route of your destination. The sooner the more chances you have to free yourself.


It takes time. It is scary. But being brave is scary. Even writing about this is scary for me, but it is my way to release and hopefully to help others empower themselves and take control of their lives. After being abused you forget to love the most important person in the World...YOURSELF, and therefore you accept others to abuse you. Not because you deserve it! Not because you are weak! Not because you are not worth it! It is because you are scared and the multiple abuses have killed the self-confidence and the self-love from within you. It might take a while to realize your worth and value, but once you do (and it should become your main goal to acquire that self-love and self-confidence), then you will love yourself so much that you won’t take more shit from anyone anymore!


If you are being abused in any way or suspect that a friend or family member is, PLEASE call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or go online: https://www.thehotline.org/ and ask for help, for information or guidance.




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We always have a long list of things “To Do” that is basically endless. However, the best way to handle all those things “To Do“ is by establishing priorities. Priorities within the list and priorities in our lives. But how can we determine which things should be considered priorities? The answer is simple… If it affects your stability (mentally, emotionally, and/or financially), it should be treated as a priority.


To me, anything that has to do with my FAMILY (children, spouse/partner, and extended family memebers) it is considered a FIRST priority. It will come before work and before anything that could be in my never ending To Do List. For instance, if my children get sick, their well being will be my priority. I won’t do anything else, until I know they are healthy again. Another thing that can affect the stability of my household is the lack of organization. You see, my daughter and I have ADD and if we don’t have things in their place, we will go crazy! I recently moved (that's why I skipped my last Monday Blog) and organizing everything was a priority to me because not having things in their place would affect the functioning of us as a family. Therefore, it became a priority to finish with the move as soon as possible.


Another TOP priority is MYSELF! Sometimes I need to take time to speak or hang out with my friends, and some other times I need to just be with myself. If I am not feeling emotionally stable and need to work on stabilizing myself as soon as possible, I'll do it! Because feeling sad or down could jeopardize my role as a mom and/or as a manager at work. One thing I learned to do in order to recharge myself and find my stability is to meditate. It is the best way to quiet the mind and any worries I have. It is the best way to connect with God and I really find myself at peace. The best thing about meditation is that I can do it anywhere, and it doesn’t have to take a long time…I just need 5-10 minutes and I’m back on track.


In fact, anything that could affect our HEALTH should also be considered a priority. Taking care of ourselves by watching the kind of food we consume, the exercises we do, and of course, by visiting regularly the doctor to ensure our body is in good state. I don’t mean that we should all go into a strict diet or an exercise regime that is not sustainable, but being more conscious of what we consume and trying to exercise at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes is something we all can do. Our body is our motor. We need to make sure it is in good condition for it to take us to the places we need to go. Watching our health also includes the aspect of stress and mental health. We need to work on the areas that affect us particularly and prioritize our health, because without it, we cannot work or take care of our loved ones.


The FINANCIAL area is also another important aspect in life that should be part of our priorities. Having your finances in order is what will give you the “needs” and the “wants” for you and your family. Planning your expenses by following a Budget every month is key to a successful and stable financial life. I know what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck and end up with less than $10 (or even with a negative balance) in my bank account the day after I got paid. I spent too many years like that and I promised myself that I never wanted to experience that kind of stress again, and ever since I had planned all my financial moves by following a budget. It took time, compromise, and dedicatrion, but it is something anyone can achieve. I can write more in depth about this subject in another blog.


Lastly, I will include the PROFESSIONAL area. In order to be able to provide stability to our family, we need to have a job. I placed the job last in the list because even though it is important and it should be prioritized, it shouldn't go above the other areas I mentioned. Perhaps it can go together with the financial aspect. But your job should never be there to control your life. Remember that you are employed today and tomorrow they can simply let you go without caring about your loyalty or your excellent performance. Like money, a job comes and goes. It is good to give it your best but never to prioritize it over your family, yourself, and your health.


As you have noticed, I have covered all of the important areas of life: Family, Yourself (your mental health, emotional stability, your spirituality, and your much needed time with friends), Health (physically and mentally), Finances, and lastly your Profession (or job). It is very important to have your priorities in order because if one day you need to choose from one of them, you’ll know exactly which one will come on the top of your list.



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Would you trust a business partner who is not transparent with his business negotiations or seems to hide information from you with regards to the business? What about trusting someone who you have caught hiding his cell phone just because you passed behind him/her? Transparency is a very important quality that can be applied in business as well as in the personal aspect of life. As I say in my Quote, if you have nothing to hide, you shouldn’t have anything to fear.


Wikipedia says that “Transparency, as used in science, engineering, business, the humanities, and in other social contexts, is operating in such a way that it is easy to see what actions are performed. Transparency implies openness, communication, and accountability”. Therefore, if you as a colleague, business partner, friend or romantic partner, hide information or certain knowledge that might affect directly that relationship; then you are not being transparent.


I think that these days transparency is a behavior that is becoming scarce. People hide too many things. They portray a false image of themselves in social media, but the reality is different. And this happens in every area, whether it is personally or professionally. I have seen many professionals portraying an image of themselves and then find out that they were sexually harassing their employees or turned out to be corrupted. We all have seen them on the News! Business executives accused of fraud or sexual harassment. We have also seen celebrities caught cheating or turning out to be abusive partners or having addictions, but we never thought of them as being that way because they portray a false image to the public.


I think that life could be so much better and easier if people could just be real and honest. I am still going through a process of growth, but it is hard for me to understand how there can be so many people out there pretending to be someone they are not. Isn’t that more difficult? Why pretend? Why hide? It is the same as lying. If you think that your business partner won’t agree with acquiring a certain account, it is better to communicate and come clean than it is to do things behind his/her back. If you are in a relationship and speaking with other people, why even be in a relationship? I just don’t get it. I understand that sometimes there are difficult things to communicate, but I believe that being truthful and transparent is better than being a liar or a hoax. If we all follow the “Golden Rule”, as John Maxwell calls it, life would be so much better for everyone. And what’s the Golden Rule? “It is the principle of treating others as you would want to be treated”. So, unless you don’t mind being tricked or lied to, you should always be transparent.



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