Here We Go Again…

That may well be what some of you think about this post and frankly, my response is, it’s my blog, the subjects about which I write are important to me and I believe some of them are important in the larger scheme of life.  That said, there are three reasons leading up to my choice of topic today.  First of all, another woman in another nearby county is dead and her “boyfriend” is in jail awaiting charges.  Interestingly, a law enforcement officer commented on the “irony” of the situation because the murdered woman was recently publicly lauded for “her tireless advocacy on behalf of victims of domestic violence.”  Ironic?  Really?  That’s reason one.  The second reason is a conversation with a young woman I know, mother of two children under age three, whose significant other was arrested on a DV charge after punching holes in the walls and grabbing the woman by the throat.  Is this true?  I looked it up in the state court records just to be able to answer the doubters; yes the arrest occurred based on evidence.  Third, this issue has become personal.  In discussions this week I received comments like “Get over it,”  (from a woman, no less) and “Well, I didn’t see it,” from a male relative.  Really?  Not seeing an abuser in action means abuse didn’t take place and one should sit down and share a meal with said abuser, basically demeaning the experience of three victimized women, two of them children or at least under age during their experience?    

Do I need more reasons?  Are three enough?  I know this isn’t a pretty post; there’s no humor, nothing funny like chocolate bunnies without heads, but there’s very little humor in me as I write this.  I’m discouraged and disgusted and it’s once again time to stand up and speak out with all its ugliness.  Disregard, disrespect, dismissal, those darned D words that women experience all the time.  It’s even worse when life-altering occurrences have the D words applied.  

If you care enough to help, what can you do?  First of all, do NOT dismiss the experiences or minimize the effects even years later. It’s now known that women who’ve been mistreated – intimidated, called ugly names, had their possessions broken, walls and doors kicked in, pets abused – all these events leave their mark and many women experience symptoms of PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder, triggered by something as simple as a spring breeze causing a door to slam shut, or observing a young couple in a grocery store and he calls her a vile name.  These incidents can bring back the ugliness in a heartbeat and are not easily gotten over; flashbacks are not something over which a person has control.  

Educate yourself so you don’t make hurtful comments or display a dismissive attitude.  And be willing to stand up and be counted; it’s not okay to condone abusive behavior through silence.  And pretending something ugly didn’t occur does not make it disappear.   It’s not a matter of lack of forgiveness or dwelling on past events.  Do you think people who’ve experienced this kind of ugliness really want to relive it?  Not on your life.  There are those of us who’ve chosen to turn ugliness into benefit for others.  Help me do that, please – support your local women’s shelters, donate your old cell phones and printer cartridges, volunteer at shelter events, advocate for victims whenever the opportunity presents itself, open your mouth, take a stand.  Thanks for listening with an open mind and heart…

 

 

 

 

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An Angry Man

I was screamed at, flipped off – with both hands, no less – and called a name I really hate!!  All  by a guy with at least three small children watching him and in front of a store employee!   Mentioned the incident to my ErinLee and sure enough, a similar thing happened to her the same day in a grocery store across the country.  Did I provoke?  No, I motioned for him to move his truck so I could get around him and be on my way and the three vehicles behind me as well.

I haven’t even said that he hopped out of his truck and was moving toward mine while  flipping me off and growling obscenities.   My mind flew back in time and I was ready.  I quickly hit the door lock, checked my window – how far was it open – and calculated, “He’s coming at an angle.”  In those few seconds I figured if he kept coming I could use my truck to back him up and give him a little vehicular hug if he chose not to back off with me moving toward him.

I hurt for those children, knowing the stats on boys raised in abusive homes;  not just the boys, but their future spouses as well.  And his daughter, if one of those children was a girl – what would she look for in a husband someday?

An angry man setting the stage for generations to come.  It’s everywhere;  if you pay attention in your daily encounters you’ll see lots of anger.  Road rage, ErinLee hollered at in the grocery store, name-calling, scowling faces.  It’s all around us.  It is said that  anger flows from hurt. If so, why are we in so much pain?

How are you?


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“It Doesn’t Happen in a Neighborhood Like This”

That’s what the neighbor said on TV.  Another woman is dead, killed this morning in a nearby county by her husband and people are shocked because it doesn’t happen where they live. Sound familiar?  It sure does to me.  I’ve been there and even said those words.  People in my former neighborhood weren’t out brawling in the front yard with their spouses, let alone being  abused or even killed.  But behind closed doors….

When I finally began to deal with my situation, to feel it was perhaps time to speak up and speak out, one of the things that kept circulating through my mind was  “Who would believe me?”  Look at us – we looked pretty good.  We had the house, a great house, a great yard, a great pool.  I had a cleaning service, a lawn service, help with the laundry, help with the cooking.  I had jewelry, clothes, the fur coat, awesome vacations, vehicles, the grand piano.  I gave fabulous parties in my fabulous home.  We were the go-to people in our church to get things done, in the pew every week 20 minutes early.  Who would believe me?  Look at us….


Jesus described us perfectly, though.  He wasn’t addressing a domestic situation.  But He could have been standing on my deck, looking through the  patio doors into my beautiful kitchen when He referred to white-washed graves full of dead men’s bones and all unclean things. (Matthew 23:27)   We did indeed look beautiful on the outside.  Who would believe me?

The neighbor being interviewed on TV today was shocked.  “It doesn’t happen in a neighborhood like this,” and another woman is dead at the hands of her spouse or significant other.

This isn’t the post I had planned for today, but I still struggle.  When I  hear about another abused or murdered woman my heart aches for her.  Did she have children, children in that home?  children who  feared  for their mom’s safety?  I sit here now in tears.  Did she wonder if anyone would believe her?

And though I wondered aloud earlier this week about whether I was on the right path with this big dream of Her Father’s Homestead, I know in my heart that there is a need, greater than most people even want to acknowledge, for this dream of mine. And I believe as firmly as when I first arrived here that this old farm will be the place of healing for others that it has been for me.  There is hope and there is healing and there is wholeness.  I thank the Lord daily for bringing me here.  And now it’s my turn to give back.

If you have a need, reach out, I will listen and I will believe you.   Fill out the Contact form; I will respond.  Together we can find a way.  Blessings……

statistics on domestic abuse/violence

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