On Wednesday April 10th at 1:30 pm Nicole Baptist, creator of the Ms. Nix in the Mix blog, will debut her first documentary Trapped By My Own Tears. The confessional style documentary details her journey through an abusive relationship over the course of several years and her new start as a survivor. The documentary will be featured on her blog and the following websites Breath of Life Daily and Peace Be Still Massage and Wellness as part of their abuse awareness day. The documentary was filmed by Nicole Baptist and directed, edited, written by C.B. Fletcher. Nicole was interviewed by Ms. Nix guest writer Carmen Fletcher where she happily explained her reasons why revealing this part of her painful past has been therapeutic and is a beacon of hope for other victims and survivors.
Carmen: How do you feel now that you have publicly opened up about your abusive past?
Nicole: Honestly, I am very grateful to have been given an opportunity to share what happened to me. There are so many women who suffer in silence, they are scared to tell people the truth about what goes on behind closed doors – even though their body may show obvious signs of physical abuse; the way they carry themselves cannot mask the pain of the emotional and mental erosion from day to day attacks from their abuser. I survived but there are many women who are in jail or the grave because they were unable to find the strength to make the changes needed to escape the cycle of abuse in their life.
Carmen: Do you regret going through the experience of an abusive relationship or talking about it?
Nicole: While I do have some regrets – the time lost with my family and friends, the years I spent allow me to be mentally, physically and emotionally broken, the lack of self-love and self-worth which aided me in staying stuck in a continuous cycle of destructive behavior in my destructive lifestyle. However, I learned a lot of lessons –about myself and about my partner. I know, going forward, to listen to what a potential mate says and watch their actions. I will never again disregard one of God’s most beautiful gifts to women –our intuition, this natural, hard-wired present from the Father provides instinctive warning signs of danger and I will always pay attention to my inner voice.
Carmen: What was biggest hesitation, if any, in doing this?
Nicole: The impact this revelation would have on my sons. I did not mention some specific information for their protection. My sons are my world and I do not want society to ostracize them in anyway because of my experiences. They are young and have gone through enough. When I spoke to my oldest son, he told me he was proud of me and I need to tell my story. He said, “Mom, you might save the life of another woman. No one should have to go through what you have been through other women need to know how to survive. You’re a survivor mom.” I struggled with my decision but his words made me push forward with exposing my story.
Carmen: Have there been any further aspirations now that you have talked about your abuse, like counseling others or becoming an inspirational speaker?
Nicole: All my life I have been counseling others – family, friends, associates, and people that I meet during my day-to-day activities. Initially, I used them to help me heal my own pain. I had to share some things I had gone through to allow them to see how to make changes in their lives, how to move forward and work through their own pain. I didn’t realize, at the time, my healing was also their strength, my pain gave them passion and drive to pick up the broken pieces of their own lives – the conversations were exchanges of encouragement and support for me and those who requested my advice.
Carmen: Do you have any fears about your life moving forward?
Nicole: No, at this point in my life I have taken a stance – I refuse to be a victim and allow myself to go through any abuse by anyone. I love myself enough to know I deserve better than to succumb to the destructive cycle of abuse ever again. Not only do I take this position with my current partner but with anyone. I love myself to guard my mind, body and soul from the harm any person wants to inflict on me and I do not and will not stand for any emotional, physical, mental, spiritual or financial abuse others my try to impose on me – my self-esteem and self-worth just will not allow it.
Carmen: What do you hope for men and women to take away from this?
Nicole: For the women, I do not want you to think abuse is normal; you do not have to suffer in silence. Stop allowing a fist to constrict you or words to define you. You are beautiful and deserving, you are worthy and loved. You are better than the circumstances you are allowing in your life. Abuse is something learned and accepted – you do not have to do accept this in your life. You have a purpose and your destiny is not to be in jail for killing your abuser nor is it to be held in a constant state of depression or perpetual violence. Your life is worth living without waking up with a fist and going to bed nursing a bruise or black eye.
For the men, know you are not always the abuser and I understand women can be abusive too. Do not allow your pride, the macho bravado drive you to making a poor choice that will change your life and the life of your mate forever.
For both men and women – if you are in an abusive relationship, get out. Stop going through the honeymoon phases and physical moments; you do not have to damage yourselves or your children. You do not have to live like this. Do some real soul searching; figure out why you are the abuser or the victim. I know a lot of people witness abuse at some point in life. Witnessing this behavior makes a deeper impact than many care to admit. Often you will act upon what you have been taught and we replicate what we have learned. Abuse is a learned trait, being a victim is a learned trait – when you find yourself in either position know there are much deeper issues you need to deal and make every effort to take care of those underlying problems; if you don’t you will continue to remain abused.
Carmen: Do you have any final statements before your documentary debuts?
Nicole: When you see me understand you have seen a woman who was beaten down, literally and figuratively. I want to especially thank my friends ‘T’ and ‘KC’ who truly carried me through this and inspired me. When the closest people to me discovered the truth- you never said those irritatingly painful words, “Why don’t you just leave?” You understood the complexity of the situation, the emotions behind the my decision, the vulnerability, the weakness, the emptiness and how to transform all those negatives into the positives needed to make the choice to live instead of slowly dying. God brought you in when I needed you most and you both had the right ammunition. I will never forget you or what you did for me and how you stayed with me through it all. God, thank you, for life – thank you for never turning your back on me and being there in many darkest hours. I am a survivor of abuse – I died, shedding the negativity and destructive behavior and now I am reborn and by the grace of God– I can now live.
Nicole Baptist has chosen not to be a victim and stands before God and the world as a stronger friend, mother, and survivor.
Be sure to tune into Ms. Nix In the Mix on April 4th for the premier of Trapped By My Own Tears.