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Posts tagged self-image

sparkle

I am feeling alone
until I notice
that today feels magical
the late spring sunset has cast a golden glow on everything around me

if only

Today I attended a holiday boutique with my lovely, talented, oldest daughter, who was showing her hand-made aprons. The show was in a a hair salon. It is more modern I suppose, than when my mother had been their client many years ago, but essentially the same. I recognized it right away.
My mother had thick, [...]

stalemate

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 [...]

i saw the play

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 [...]

brutal honesty

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.

bullet

I parked at a cheap lot several blocks from my office. I would get out of my car and start the walk. Each step was a victory. I figured that if the bullet got me, I would probably never know it, but I was saddened at the thought of my two young daughters having to go on without me.

my mother’s china

Unpacking my mother’s china sends me back into her life so vividly. I wash and dry each piece by hand and put them away very gently.
My mother was a fifties woman. She did what was expected of her. She raised her children. She loved us in the only way that her duty to us [...]

butterfly spin

My body is not who I am.
I am not this ugly, fuzzy worm,
I am a beautiful creature,
with wings
Wait, you will see.

I am a soul,
confined within a body
I am a soul,
struggling to be free of this captivity

dark night

I always recommend Women Who Run With the Wolves, by Clarissa Pincola Estes, Ph.D. (the book is available at Amazon). She really digs into those Dark Man dreams and how paying attention to them can help you with important decisions in your life. This book saved my life. Every woman should read it!

moondust

dreams and wishes are made of moondust
and, if you believe,
little fairies will sprinkle moondust on your eyelids at bedtime
you will have beautiful dreams
and
a beautiful day tomorrow
if
you believe in moondust and fairies
nobody changes, really
we wish they would, but they do not,
we might even pray that they will
but they can not
god will not change him for you
only [...]

be angry, be very angry

I am in favor of the “get out while you can” strategy, rather than that “try again” claptrap that is preached and prodded and counseled by the best of the educated but uninitiated. If you go back, or keep trying to fix the thing, you could end up dead. Or worse. (And yes, I can assure you that there are worse things than being dead.)

the journey of recovery

“. . . I would love to hear more about the journey from the shelter to where you are today. Because the shelter is only temporary, women often go back to their abuser for financial security. What advice do you have that a woman could do to gain financial independence if she has children and [...]

stay, or go?

If you are abused, there are two things left to you: Staying -or- Leaving.
I thought I was keeping the family together. That it was better for my children to have their father with them. I thought that god wanted it this way.
My two little girls needed their mother, but she was gone. She was lost [...]

sleep walking with the Death Angel

Our baby son died in his crib just before he was five months old.
“You must have walked in your sleep and smothered him.”

He was such a happy baby, he had great big belly laugh and he loved to bounce on a knee, anybody’s knee. His sisters adored him. At two and four, [...]

in the beginning: avoiding the abusive relationship

Every woman should educate herself on domestic violence. Whether you think it will ever personally affect you, you owe yourself a little education on the subject. There are a few good books/movies on the Booklist page. There are many, many blogs on the subject. . .
The bottom line is, always, abuse. Whether verbal, physical, mental: Abuse is the killer of happiness. The breaker of hearts. The shovel that buries the cheerful soul in the dust. Abuse runs rampant until somebody stops it.

old woman

The old woman in the mirror greets me with a sleepy scowl. Wrinkles are breaking out like acne. I used to have a neck. Where did my neck go?
I am sixty-two. How did I ever get this old? Half way to one hundred twenty-four.
I guess a few wrinkles are appropriate.
Some days, [...]

Sampat Pal

(Photo courtesy of Pink Saris.)
Sampat Pal speaks volumes with few words in Pink Saris. I can add nothing to her wisdom:

Women have nothing but their tears, what else do they have?

If a woman tries to do anything, its a struggle.

We were starving on the streets, no one cared.

People only love you for money.

nothing will change, until we change it

Perhaps education is the key. Perhaps learning the truth and offering what help we can will make a difference. I believe that Middle School is the best place to address young people about personal violence – before they start dating, before the become just a piece of “property” in the sexual violence world. Help them if you can. Write a check. Offer your services. Teach your children to respect one another. Do something. Do anything you can. Nothing will change until we change it.

a cry for help

In one night, the kindest, most loving man in the world covered her body with bruises and broke her heart into a million pieces. She was confused and terrified and felt utterly alone.

my story

My story is all over this site. My two little girls told me that we had to leave, “before he kills you.” – I could no longer pretend they didn’t know after that. So, we walked out the door one lovely morning, headed for their school, and never went back. A [...]

more on hydration

Now that I really think about it . . . I am pretty sure that I was dehydrated most of my adult life. I do not remember ever drinking water as part of my diet. I had not a drop of water for years and years. I survived on coffee and sugary brown liquids. [...]

the painful truth

. . a woman is battered every nine seconds in the United States.

. . . domestic violence kills ten women every day in this country.

life and death

My life is a skinny silver thread that has been woven into the tapestry of human kind.
I will die, but I will not disappear.

be who you are

My point is: be who you are. If you are gay or lesbian, please, know that understanding and acceptance are part of reality now. Be who you are. Love the person you love. Please don’t love the person you are expected to love. It never works out.

perspective

from: Clarissa Pincola Estes’ amazing book:
Women Who Run With the Wolves

From the introduction: Don’t skip it. Every line of those twenty pages contains amazing insight and truth from deep within the souls of women everywhere. It is a most amazingly beautiful book about the strength of woman-kind. This book is a treasure [...]

my sisters, and other sisters

I have three younger sisters,
they will always be little girls
in my mind
They are in fact,
grown women now
with families and joys and
sorrows of their own.
Tonight,
I was thinking of my other sisters
the women out there,
across this globe,
where ever they might be
whose lives are not in their control
whose husbands are their jailers
their keepers
whose children are hostages to the [...]

the charming man

DON’T LET HIM GET YOU INTO THAT PLACE WHERE YOU BELIEVE HIM . . . DON’T DO IT. He is lying to you. You are not the names he calls you. You are a perfect human being, a beautiful soul who does not deserve this treatment. Run. Get away. Leave. He will NEVER change. He will NEVER stop. It’s all up to you…. I hope you can believe this, and just run away, rather than letting it get to the point where he might actually kill you.

broken trust

What do you do when the trust is broken?

For the battered one, the sweet, fresh trust of love has been violated with the first punch. Nothing the batterer can do will ever bring that back.

into the night sky

Today is the first day of the rest of my forever. I will cherish this day, and this night, and be thankful for the days I have had, both good and not so good, and whatever tomorrows will become part of my history.
I am beginning to believe that we are all just learning to [...]

Women Who Run With the Wolves

This is not a book you read and forget. This is a book that will live in you; for years to come.

surviving survival

When we were at the shelter almost the first thing I heard was that something like eighty percent of the women would go back to their abusers. I think now I finally understand why. They are afraid of making a new life, of all the changes, but they already know how to function in their old lives.

forever, or at least until next week

I was a child of the Cold War years, (you know, The Bomb; dog tags with name, address and religious preference; hiding from nuclear annihilation under our plastic school desks) . . . We were ten years old and the end of the world was our future.
We had no tomorrow. We didn’t even have [...]

cheating as domestic violence

Pray. Okay, pray. But then do something. Don’t wait for the earth to open up and swallow him. This one is on you. You must make the move. If you don’t leave, it just gets worse. There are million women out there who would agree with me. And many others who would, if they could speak from the grave.

paycheck abuse

Being in an abusive work relationship is similar to being in an abusive marriage. Self-esteem erodes. The ability to function independently declines. Fear rules your life. Your health deteriorates.

food for thought

The drama of control extended to every area of my life, every particle of my being. My critical mind was gone, battered into submission. The violence and hatred had taken its toll over the years.

grateful

The old year was a good year for me.

I have loved the moments of this year
my goodness,
what blessings I have in my life I should count them up more often
None of this would be even remotely possible
had the batterer in my life
been allowed to continue to degrade and destroy [...]

common knowledge

Many years ago, when I was finally divorcing the father of my children, I phoned a former neighbor to get a statement corroborating my “story” of abuse for my attorney. My neighbor told me that the abuse was “common knowledge.” I thanked her, and hung up the phone, and broke into a million pieces.
Why hadn’t [...]

the strong woman

So, who is the woman who “draws” violence to her? She is strong. She is tireless. She will not give in, or give up, or go back. What victory is there in overcoming a compliant woman? What joy in besting an adversary who lies down and waits to be overtaken?

friends can help

If you are her friend, and you think that she doesn’t know that you know, maybe you need a check-up. If you are her friend, you know. She has hollow eyes. She has lost (or gained) weight. She winces when you hug her hello or good-bye. She doesn’t look at you when you talk. She seems to have nothing to say.

sticks and stones and broken bones

I wonder, is it something that we share. . . those of us who continually find ourselves in that winding, dark, spider-webbed, unforgiving space that is abuse? Do we all follow the breadcrumbs, hoping to escape? Why do we always seem to end up at the very trouble that we came from?