To recover from an abusive relationship, I had to release my innocence. What might sound like releasing white doves to the wild has turned out to be like scraping and rinsing owl droppings from the concrete walk below our barn peak – stubborn icky stuff. While the process has been unpleasant, it’s turning out well. … Continue reading Innocence
Is our culture grooming our young people to be abused? I’d like to believe not, but a sinking feeling tells me we are. The internet hadn’t been invented when as an impressionable teenager I was lured into a relationship with an older man. He isolated me from friends and family and brutally abused me in … Continue reading Are we grooming our youth to be abused?
Recovery is often defined as a path, like Dorothy and her friends seeking the Wizard of Oz along the yellow brick road. My recovery from an abusive relationship felt less like a path, and more like a meander through dense woods. No consistent signs, pavement, or guides defined the way. Sometimes a vantage point let … Continue reading Meandering to recovery
At a recent writing workshop, a visiting professor told the group she was as good as any lawyer at verbally backing someone into a corner. She admitted that she often stifled her critical thinking skills because it made others feel bad. To loud applause she concluded, We need less critical thinking and more creative thinking! … Continue reading Critical thinking
I woodenly scanned the words on the page. When I told the counselor that I felt numb after recently leaving a brutal abuser, she gave me a handout listing an array of possible feelings. The only familiar word was fear; fear at the abuser finding and killing me or my family. Her handout reassured me, … Continue reading From fear to contentment
We’re conditioned to speak well of the dead. When a California university professor criticized a former first lady upon her death, an outraged nation struck back. Exceptions to the rule are allowed for dictators, drug-addled rock stars, or exploitive mothers – people so obviously broken, their dysfunction becomes their legacy. But for the most part, … Continue reading Speaking ill of the dead
Longing is a unique feeling. For me it includes aching in my stomach, tingling in my upper sinuses, a catch in my heart, and high shallow breathing. Longing shows up in grief after loss, homesickness, and regret. I grieved after the abuser killed himself. Despite his brutal abuse, I still longed for the person I … Continue reading Lessons from longing