Thursday, June 16, 2005

Finding Strength

Although it is hard for me to hear women justify their reasons for staying with abusive men, I have been there and I understand. There are so many of us out here - we have so much in common. But, it is embarrassing and socially unacceptable to talk about the real issues involved with domestic violence.

We dance around the abuse and call our husbands controlling, jealous or say they are penny pinchers. We accept the fact that they read our mail, listen to our voicemail, go through our personal belongings, check our pagers and caller id's, but we would never have accepted that nosiness from our parents when we were teenagers.

We allow them to scream accusations and obscenities at us and call us horrible, filthy names, with their faces inches from ours, feeling the heat of their anger and rage.

And we lie to ourselves. We tell ourselves it's okay, because they love us, it only happens sometimes, he always says he's sorry, my children need their father, I don't want to be alone, I need the money, I don't want to lose my home, what will my parents think, he's a good provider, the good times are so good, he's so handsome, etc.

But, we would never let our children or a stranger on the street talk to us that way.

Yet, we accept those things from the person closest to us, whatever you want to call them, they are our husbands --- our partners --- the fathers of our children --- our best friends --- lover --- confidant --- trusted friend.

And, when it's over they apologize and we forgive them --- tell them we understand --- make them dinner --- share their beds --- love them. And we promise ourselves that we will be more careful, never say "that" again, never ask that question again, never get that look on our faces again, never confront him again, never spend that much money again. And we walk on eggshells, watching how we talk, dress, act, sit, think, and eat.

And they think it's okay. And when we watch them pretend like nothing ever happened, calling us honey, baby and sweetie a little piece of us dies. A little bit of that beautiful flower our mothers and fathers planted inside us long ago wilts, and over the years the beauty fades, the self esteem goes, the smiles turn to frowns, and our hopes and dreams are a distant memory.

What is it in us that we make the unacceptable become acceptable for them? How can we trick ourselves so successfully into believing that they have our best interests in mind? How can we keep smiling, holding down good jobs, raising kids, while all the while we live a lie on the inside?

How? Because we are strong women. Imagine if we focused that strength on OURSELVES instead of on them.

Just imagine...

Saturday, June 04, 2005


I have made a mess of my life.

Every thought that turned to action and every thought that put me at an impasse, causing me to not act at all, has brought me to where I am right at this very moment. It's 6:14pm by my clock, at my desk, in my house, on my street, in my town.

As I move my fingers over the keys on this keyboard in repeated patterns I learned years ago, my thoughts and feeling are recorded. Well, at least a part of them is recorded. Because even as I think and write my most conscious thoughts, there are a multitude of other thoughts racing around behind the scenes, refusing to slow down long enough for me to catch and record them.

I mean, have you ever tried to make your mind go completely blank? Ever consciously tried to not think? I have tried so many times and always, just when I think I've done it, I realize that I am thinking I've done it and I blow the whole thing.

So, anyhow, back to my life... Yes. It's a mess. A carefully crafted tower of cards that appears to be solidly built by anyone on the outside looking in, but one that I am fairly certain is going to cause me to have some serious conversations with God or Buddah or Allah or Darth Vader, or whomever decided up there in The Cosmos that this soul that inhabits my body is capable of enduring the endless thick coating of bullshit that has been slathered on me by my own two hands for most of my sad, miserable, and somehow oddly enjoyable 37 years.

I don't really blame any Higher Power, but it sure would be nice to know was She was thinking when She mapped out a plan for My Life. It must have been Her off day, because from what I can see, She did a pretty good job with the people around me.

Yes, She does have a sense of humor, because just look at me. I mean really. What's up with this? In all honesty, good things DO happen to me. Sometimes. I mean, the laws of probability say so, right??? Maybe today's lesson is that I need to make good things happen and not just sit around waiting.

Okay, so my confession. Lately, I've been catching these fleeting feelings of happiness or peace of mind or security (not sure exactly what I'm catching) but it's just beyond my reach. Sometimes, it's a smile or a sound or something I see that reminds me of a way I felt a long time ago when life was safe and predictable...peaceful, serene...just really okay and alright. Before my life became a mess.

Oh, yeah. Fasten your seatbelt. I'll blog about that next time.