Delving deep into the dark corners of the past isn't something I do very often. Not that I don't think it's important to reflect the pain and past experiences to appreciate how blessed my life is, but the fact that some really are so bad they paralyze me and impact my ability function for a brief time.
I feel like there are things my therapist worked through with me, and unless it's in the name of helping someone else or sharing something with Jacob, I avoid thinking about and talking about certain aspects of the abuse I experienced at the hand of my ex-husband as much as possible.
A few months ago I wrote a post about owning a lifestyle blogger label, and mentioned I wanted to share more thoughts on abuse, addiction, divorce, and experiences. I care so much about those experiencing any form of abuse in marriage, and if I don't talk about some of these issues that make me who I am I feel like a bit of a fraud only posting the very happy moments I experience in my current life that is a direct contrast to a decade ago.
I'm getting there with sharing, and I'm ready to write some posts and share some more personal experiences. It's a bit strange to share one of these as sponsored content, but partnering with this brand and this cause seemed like such a natural fit to open up about a small piece of my former life that I've been intending to draft for a while.
The first time I was ever physically intimidated, threatened, and abused is a day I'll never forget. It was a moment where I went into shock. You love someone and you think they will never harm you, and then within moments things turn from fine to scary. You worry if this is going to be a new norm. You wonder if it was a dream, but the physical pain and emotional fear remind you it was very real. For the first time I was in my right mind with his abuse and thought, "Am I going to get divorced? Should I be packing up my things and leaving?" I'd love to tell you I was strong enough to leave him, but that's not how my story goes. Unfortunately I stayed out of fear- where would I go? My family was in another state. I felt like I had no where to go, and I would become homeless for a time. This fear kept me in my first marriage for far too long.
But the closeness to women who have to uproot their life essentially overnight to escape domestic violence are ones I always pause and reflect on. How different my life is now, but oh my I could have so easily been in these women's shoes!
Consequently, women's safe havens and homeless shelters are very near and dear to my heart. Most sites dedicated to these causes cite a study that 63% of women in shelters were victims of domestic violence. They are fearful for their lives or left without means to live, and then they have to deal with all the physical discomforts in addition to their emotional turmoil. Any time I hear of drives and service opportunities to help this population I can't help but support and think of the individuals experiencing these hardships in their life.
Along these lines, I think there are many passionate who care about these poor women, but aren't aware of ways they can help this population. Today I'm happy to team up and share one cause that's so easy to support, and so beneficial! I've heard so many friends complain about having to buy feminine hygiene products each month and joke they should be free. I'm sure I've joined in, but after my experiences I've come to see that sometimes these very items are what homeless women need most and are never quite readily accessible due to shortages of donations.
Queue the cause Power the Period; the first-ever national period products drive. Holly Sanchez inspired Power to the Period with a Twitter post calling for everyone to buy an extra box of pads or tampons when shopping for feminine care to donate to a homeless shelter. Kotex® brand picked up this project and helped team up with Holly to for Power to the Period. It's grown throughout the nation and is proof that, together, we can change the way we think about, talk about and support the period needs of the homeless in our communities.
Want to get involved? There's lots of ways!
1. Execute a partnership with DoSomething.org and Period Project Captain Holly Sanchez.
DoSomething.org has 5.3 million members in 131 countries who tackle volunteer programs that impact every cause. You can get involved there, or you can learn how and where to donate products.
Just note unopened packages of period products are recommended for hygiene and to help people se instructions on the package.
2. Start a Power to the Period donation drive or donate new boxes of period products to a drive in your area from Thursday, July 14 through Friday, September 30.
3. Visit UbyKotex.com, DoSomething.org/Period or text PERIOD to 38383 to learn how to get involved.
* The U by Kotex® brand will also make product donations on behalf of DoSomething.org contest winners and participants can sign up for a chance to win a $5,000 scholarship*.
4. Visit UbyKotex.com to learn more about other Period Projects and to request a U by Kotex® product sample. Join the online conversation with #PeriodProjects.
It's amazing how a small donation made by several make such a difference in the lives of women! In a world where we're seeing the reports of so much discrimination against women of the world, this is one way to help combat that discrimination and support women who truly need it! I thank God every day I didn't end up in this situation, and I'm so blessed to be on the end that has the opportunity to easily give back for such a great cause!