Project: Shades

…even though it is the perception of privacy that sunglasses provide, it is a lot more than only that which makes a good pair of Shades a special part of who I am…

If you know me then you know that there is one thing that I never leave home without, and that is a pair of sunglasses. Before the saga of my life known as “the last 23 years” began, the only reason that I wore shades was because it was something that complemented whatever it was that I was wearing. And I had all kinds of pairs in all kinds of colors.

However, when the abuse began, I found that my sunglasses provided me with more than only UV protection. My shades provided me with privacy, even if it were only a perceived sense of privacy. Sunglasses protected my eyes, yes, but more, they protected me from all the prying eyes, from all the questions, from everything that I felt I needed to be hidden from, and back then I wanted to hide and never be found. The pain was so much at that time that I chose, more than one time, to stay inside of the work truck that was being used as also a part time vehicle and at one time that I can recall, a place to sleep.

Every victim and survivor alike needs a good pair of Shades…

…and every victim and survivor has earned them and the right to be incognito whenever the hell we feel like it.

My Shades sometimes are the only thing that I have that give me a much needed sense of privacy, because abuse survivors know what it is like to feel violated, to feel like everyone is staring at them, are made to feel ashamed of who they are and what it is that is happening to them, made to believe that what they “got” they deserved.

Whenever I wore my shades, I felt like I had a barrier between myself, my abuser and also the rest of the world. My Shades made it seem as though no one could hurt my heart again, like I could at least trust my Self and my eyes, because neither my Self nor my eyes would lie to me about anything.

These days, I am back to wearing my Shades because I like them. I like wearing my Shades. They were there for me all those years ago, and they are there for me now in this time when I am healing and sometimes, when I am taken back to a time when I needed my Shades and I find that tears well up in my eyes, my Shades are there to make sure that I am the only one who knows what is going on behind them.

The Worst Violation of All

Being abused is the worst violation of all, because it breaks down the security that we each have within our selves that we are ok, that life is ok, and that we are just like everyone else.

When you can find a safe place to be you automatically have that feeling of security, and if there is anything that a survivor of DV who has not given themselves time to heal from the hell they have been through is, it is insecure, and you become insecure about everything. I was, and in some ways I still am, but this does not mean that I will stay this way. It simply means that once upon a time, in a land and a time from long ago, there was this little girl who thought and believed herself to be lovable, to be accepted as she was, and then one day the prince in her life became a toad, became the militant ruler of the land of the little girl who, at that point, wasn’t sure of a whole lot, but mostly, was very, very unsure of herself.

Healing is not meant to feel good…

My healing is the most important thing in my life right now, because without it everyone else in my life also suffers from what I have been through, and I cannot put those who I love the most through that. It just is not ok.

Yes, I still bristle when I hear certain noises, and there are words that send shivers up my spine, but this is all part of the process of healing. This is all a process that I have to go through – the process of facing my demons, demons which were not mine to start with but are very much mine now, and it is my job and my duty to tame them and to make them into what they really are – nothing.

Healing is meant as a process, and as we all know very well anything that is a “process” takes time, because during the time that we are meant to heal we are also meant to learn, meant to feel, and most of all, meant to create something out of the rubble that became our lives.

We are meant to learn and to heal and from those things, we are meant to create the beauty which is ours and ours alone, a beauty that we make ours through the time that passes. And yes, it is true – time, love, and people – people who are good to you and who Love you and who will never try to hurt you unless it is with the truth that you need to hear – are what come of the pain. And from them we learn that what we are or were told about who we are to someone else who did not have our best interest at heart is that we are worthy of Love, of unity, of all that we are granted at the time of our birth. Life is not meant as a static thing, but is constant and ever-changing and with it we are supposed to learn from the pain that we are given by and from others, from ourselves…Life is meant for us to Love and meant for us to create through Love, even when that Love is borne of the pain of the thing which invaded our lives.

At this point in time…

At this point in time I am up to something, something big and wonderful and life changing, not only for me, but for everyone who is involved with this thing that I am doing.

If I did not have my shades, and I did not see them as part of my own arsenal of weapons against the anger I held with my Self, the sadness I felt in my Soul, and the aching of my trampled spirit, I would not be here today writing this blog. I would not have made it this far and for sure I would not have had the courage to look my attacker in the eyes and tell him that I am done hurting, which means that I am done with his part in the story of my life.

And yes it does hurt to look at someone who you loved enough to let them hurt you to the very core center of you and tell them that they have done everything within their power to bring about the changes that they will go through because of your own decision to no longer hurt. I am not scared and when the time comes that tears fall, not for the end of one life but for the beautiful start of a new one, I know that there is one place where I can go and stay within the confines of the privacy of my own mind.

My Shades have served me well in more ways than only one…


My life is not the same as it was just a week ago, and with good reason – because I have seen the remnants of the pain that was my own in the faces and the stories of others who have been victimized by the person they placed a whole lot of trust in . It is very hard to trust people who hurt you, very hard to make sense of the reason they had to be so brutal with you, and the last thing that you want to do is to lose that inborn ability to learn to trust people.

“PROJECT:Shades” is all about healing, is all about raising awareness where there is nowhere nearly enough. It is about coming together under the Sun and beneath the ever-loving gaze of God for a common purpose and a common goal. It is about our being able to relate to one another in a way that does not call for us to do more than to simply just be there for one another in a show of support for a populace of people whose lives where turned upside-down by one person who chose to let their smallness become the big ugly monster which changed the lives of many people – this is the reality that is Domestic Violence.

“PROJECT: Shades” is about bringing to the forefront the laws which need to be changed so as to provide better and stricter laws against those who would use the love and the trust in another person to make themselves feed the shrinking feeling they have within them. Being the victim of someone else’s lack of self is what brings about the violence.

It is not your fault that you went through what you have been through. You really need to know and accept this because it is the truth of you. I promise.

THIS, my friends, is what PROJECT: Shades is all about…

I will let you all in on the big fat secret by this time next week, but until then, remember always that…

I Love You All !!


About ReverendRoxie22

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2 responses to “Project: Shades

  • janielaurel

    You, my dear sister, ROCK. I wish you all the joy, love, laughter, understanding and forgiveness that this can afford you; I wish you all the success and knowing that comes from reaching out and working to solve such a major, but silent, issue in so many people's lives. I love you, Roxanne 🙂

  • Roxanne K. Cottell

    Janie, doll, thanks so much for your support, now and always!! I Love You, too, Lady !!! Stay tuned !

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