Beginnings Are Scary – A Story On Domestic Violence

Since this is a new beginning and a new blog, let’s start this adventure with a quote from the movie…”Hope Floats”

“Beginnings are scary, endings are sad, but it’s the middle that counts the most”.

That’s where this blog begins…in the middle.  The middle of a huge change in the middle of my life.  (I’m more than 30 and less than 60 and that’s all I’m sharing on this subject)

I am a “TEMPORARY” victim of domestic violence.  I use the word TEMPORARY because I refuse to stay in that place of isolation and fear caused by another’s actions any longer.   I have gone through the normal reactions of doubling all the locks on the doors, consider moving and changing jobs.  Even getting a dog and wishing I could just be invisible.

I have initiated the legal processes, started therapy and following my doctors advice in my on -going effort to heal physically, emotionally and mentally from this.  All I really wanted was to get my life back…but I found I didn’t remember what that life looked liked.   I was challenged with these questions…What do I enjoy? Where am I going? Will I be alone?

Here are the answers I have found for me:


I love playing my guitar.

I love sculpting, drawing and painting.

I love writing.

Where am I going?

FORWARD!  I don’t have any specific destinations at this point other than to continue to heal and grow each day.


NO!  I have my grown children, a few close friends that I can reach out to if I chose to but I have found that I was continuing to isolate myself. But then…something changed!  I found a new community…a new family.

So, there I was, sitting in my little home (874 sq feet…but I like it) trying to figure out what to try next to make the emotional and physical pain go away which was partially being caused by the stress and tension I carried with me at all times.  I hurt so bad, it was difficult to move in the mornings or walk up the stairs.   I would wind myself up going from window to window watching for threats and jumping at every unexpected sound.

I then made a decision.  I do NOT chose to live this way.  On a whim, I decided to call the martial arts place across the street.  I had recalled meeting a lady awhile back wearing one of their t-shirts who said how wonderful they were.

Ring…ring… Hope answered the call.   Mr. Shields, the chief instructor had answered and he patiently listened as I hesitantly shared my situation.  His response was ” put on some work out clothing and come over”.

If you are finding yourself in this same set of events, you understand how frightening it is to go to a new place with new people to trust.   I recall looking at myself in the mirror in my yoga pants and a T-shirt 5 sizes too big and making the decision that I didn’t want to stay where I was emotionally so I have to push myself to go forward.

I drove the 200 or so yards (yes…I’m that lazy) to the martial arts place and forced myself to put one foot in front of the other and in the door.  Inside, I found welcoming, encouraging people who truly care that I not only survive this but thrive as I continue with my life…yes…MY life.  I’m taking it back!

Mr. Shields and the students have embraced me and through their caring and encouragement I will become stronger, healthy, confident and secure.

This blog will share this journey of self knowledge, re-finding my value and self worth and even possibly successes.   If you are a “TEMPORARY”  victim of domestic violence, I ask you to come along with me on this journey.  I know that with the ATA Family Martial Arts family, we will be GREAT.

I have been practicing Taekwondo for two weeks now.  I have already seen improvements in:

Body aches have lessened greatly.

Muscle tone is getting better.

Anxiety has lessened.

Sleep is better.

I still have fears but I am moving  forward.   And as long as I am moving forward, I win.


9 positions learned in Staff training (5 foot stick that you hit a big bag with…lots of fun and good release of emotions)

10 positions learned in my first form (a form is a series of moves in a specific order that is helping my focus my mind on something other than fears) Attending the pot luck (will be meeting new people)

Biggest lesson learned so far :

– If I quit growing, I lose so I WILL NOT QUIT!


Stan Shields

Stan N. Shields is a 6th Degree Black Belt, three-time world champion, and has been teaching martial arts to kids and adults for over 23 years. You can contact him directly at

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