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June 6th, 2015

I never wanted to bring children into a world where an idiot with a red button could end every living thing in moments, or, where nuclear fallout could make survival worse than death. What a fool I was. I thought the world was too dangerous for children, but my relationship with their father was the real poison in our lives.

hiding place

I was not his victim. I realize that now. I could have walked away a thousand times before I became so stuck in my own mind that escape seemed impossible. In the end, I became my own victim. I decided to believe that the things he said about me were true, his estimation of my worth as a human being, and my abilities as a parent.

He said that I would never leave him because I could never make it on my own, that I would never be able to support our children. And I decided to believe that I needed him. I decided to believe that I was helpless without him. I decided that it was my destiny to have that life, and that I deserved my fate. destiny continued »

stupid, worthless, fat/skinny, ugly bitch

February 1st, 2015

twisted trees

“Nobody will ever love you like I do, you f*ing bitch.”

If you have heard this, you are being abused.

If someone has told you, repeatedly, that you are worthless, stupid, fat/skinny, ugly, and/or completely unlovable . . . will you, in the end, believe this? If you have been continually abused with words, hatred and violence, will you, at some point, begin to believe that you deserve this treatment?

Abusers use repeated verbal attacks to break down your self confidence and strength. If you just hadn’t done that (whatever) . . . It’s your fault that I had to do that. . . Why did you have to go and say/do (whatever) and make me do that . . . ? It’s all your fault!

stupid, worthless, fat/skinny, ugly bitch continued »


October 16th, 2014

pink flowers monterey garden

I had a dear friend once. She was originally from England. She had a uniquely marvelous perspective on the American world. She was one of the few truly honest persons I had ever known. I loved her within minutes of meeting her.

I came to learn that her husband was terribly critical of her. He found fault with everything she did or said. They seemed to love having company, but he would embarrass her mercilessly in front of guests. Having been there, done that I watched her face as he denigrated on her in the company of their friends. She put up a brave face, but I saw the tiny wrinkles in the corners of her eyes, I knew she was crying inside. I also knew that there was trouble brewing.
stalemate continued »

i saw the play

June 18th, 2014

Image 1 It’s been thirty plus years since I left my abuser. Thirty years, and still, the reminder of one moment, all that time ago, can steal my breath.

Not any particular moment. There were a lot of bad moments back then. It can be just a random memory, even a sound, or a smell, but most of the time it happens in conversation.

People say things. People who know, somewhere in the back of their minds, that you had a hard time way back when. After all this time, no one would think that an offhand comment could do any harm. Why would they? It’s not personal to them.
i saw the play continued »

the winds of change

March 10th, 2014

redThe first rose of spring has opened her petals and fairly shouted RED to the universe. We have many rose bushes, red, of course, and peach and yellow and white and pink. They are strong, independent, living creatures with purpose and joy and love to share with one another.

They are beautiful, and I enjoy sharing my life with them. I’ve said before that I don’t trim the bushes down so that they are just so, I love to allow them to be wild. I let them grow tall. The beautiful red rose I saw this morning was over my head. I celebrated that for her. She is reaching for the sun and the wind and the stars. And she is amazingly beautiful. the winds of change continued »

brutal honesty

January 16th, 2014

Image 18your brutal honesty
and painful truth
are no excuse for being just plain mean.

do you think that you are entertaining?
or, did you really mean to say those things?

I think that i will never understand
why some folks have a need to be unkind.
Does it make you feel more powerful?
Or more important,
to have some private laugh at my expense?

and then, about that time,
my emotional museum dregs up some dusty piece of trouble
from a basement closet
that opens inward, but not out. . .

blows off the dust,
shines up the lies, and those many precious good intentions,
so that I have today and yesterday to handle
all at the same time.

No, your mean spirited truth can not destroyed me,
nor will I fall apart while you slice the very air with the
sharpened knives of your unkind words.

I am older and much wiser now,
no longer will your brutal honesty break my heart to pieces.
I can live with ugly truth,
It is the lies that I find difficult to bury,
tossing my shovel full of dirt onto the hollow casket
of your love.

Summer’s Pride

November 3rd, 2013

A number of years ago my family went to a racetrack here in So Cal. I had never been to the races, and was excited to see the horses. We got a spot on a covered patio, with tables and chairs, which was just past the finish line. We could watch the entire race from our nearly private patio on the second floor of the facility.

As the horses paraded out for each race I watched them all. They were so beautiful. I noticed one with sort of a pale coloring. What drew my attention to her? Her coat wasn’t shiny like the others. I thought that there was something wrong with her. I knew it.

She didn’t win the race, but she ran her heart out.
She broke down just below our perch on the rail of the patio. She never made a sound, but her eyes were enormous. It was impossible not to notice how terrified she was. I was unable to move my eyes from hers, as I watched her struggle to get to her feet.

Then, I heard cheering and clapping. The jockey had gotten up and walked away.
They were cheering for the jockey.
He made a choice. The horse did not.
Summer’s Pride continued »


June 8th, 2013


“If you leave me, I will hunt you down and kill you.”

Once we have found a safe place to go, taken the terrifying step to run for our lives and leave everything behind, and rested our bones for a short time, we must then find a way to go on with our lives. That means working to support ourselves, and our children; finding a safe place to live; and trying to make as normal a life as possible for all of us.

In my former life, as a battered wife, I had not been allowed to work out of the house. So here I was, back in the job market. My skills were rusty, my brain was addled, and I jumped at every loud noise. I took whatever I could find for a while. Each new job brought new responsibilities and experiences. Finally, I was confident enough to go after a really good job. To my amazement, I got it. The pay was good, the drive was lousy, but my two little girls and I would be better off.
bullet continued »

dandelions and fireflies

May 18th, 2013


My childhood memories of spring in Chicago are filled with dandelions, fireflies, and early evening stars.

Dandelions and stars were for wish-making. Fireflies were for dreams and imagining what lie beyond the blue sky and the amazing white clouds that became dragons and horses and so many other pictures in our minds.

What child hasn’t taken that deepest of breaths, spoken that private-most wish in their heart, and blown the puffy white cloud of dandelion dust as far as possible?

I don’t remember my wishes. . . but I do remember making those wishes. l remember dreaming of days wrapped in fairy dust, stolen from dragons, and filled with the most dashing of princes on strawberry horses with shields and swords made of paper mache.

I do not wish for my childhood. It is well and truly gone, never to return. However, tomorrow, being another day, allows access to the heavens, and clouds, and secret dreams.

the view from within

December 19th, 2012

bouquetDomestic violence is not limited to gender, social status or level of income. At this time of year, when stress is high, and higher still due to the poor economy, unemployment, and looming holiday obligations, domestic violence increases everywhere.

Many women do not know what to call their secret, little problem. It must be my fault. I must have done something. No. Abuse is a problem within the abuser, not the victim. It is a problem for the victim, but it is not her fault.  At some point the battered woman will ask the question: Am I being abused? What should I do? Should I leave? Where would I go?

Welcome to Domestic Hell.
the view from within continued »