When a coworker once joked that the marks on my face looked like my husband had smacked me, I laughed lightly and dismissed the idea with a fake smile. She must have assumed I couldn’t possibly be a target of domestic violence and felt free to joke about it. Terrified that she’d guessed the truth, … Continue reading Security, privacy, and shame
Most of us left and returned to our abuser several times. When I left, my friends and family gathered in support, but when I returned to the abuser, their support sometimes turned to anger. I would wonder about their strong reaction to my perceived act of love. I was going to work extra hard to … Continue reading Anger
Within the last ten years, the news covered several stories about young girls kidnapped and held in horrific physical captivity who eventually escaped. We heard about Elizabeth Smart, Jaycee Dugard, Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus and their kidnappings and the ensuing ordeals of being imprisoned, chained, starved, raped, beaten, and isolated from the … Continue reading Captivity
Some of us remember watching in disbelief when the young kidnapped heiress, Patty Hearst, later joined her kidnappers in threatening hostages during a bank robbery. A bank robbery in Switzerland introduced Stockholm’s Syndrome into everyday conversation. We named it mind control or brain washing and assumed we’re immune because we are opinionated. But, that’s not … Continue reading Mind Control
If you've been in an abusive relationship, you know the shame. While in the relationship, our shame avoids eye contact and minimizes harm. When someone questions why we stay with someone who hurts us, we scoff at the question and promise ourselves to double down on our secrecy. Once we've left the abuser, we finally … Continue reading What about shame?