Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Wednesday's Women No. 36

I lay down and thought of what I was teaching my daughter and I knew that no matter what; I had to get out.

I thought of my past and what brought me to this point in my life. I thought of the childhood home I grew up in and how I knew then that mine would not be like that. I knew that I would never ever live like that. Or at least that is what I thought I knew.

As the unsaid thoughts pummeled my chest I knew that I should never have believed him. I knew deep inside that I was brave enough and that, it in fact did hurt me more than it hurt him.

It is a terrible day, actually it is a terrible life when you know that because of how you were raised and because of what you believed about yourself you became less than who you would have been because of fear. And worse your children have now got that enemy in their heads too.

I have made mistakes but I will not make anymore. I should have done it alone and now I will. I was not strong enough then, but I am strong enough now.

My dear friend Sophia reminded me that October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month and so I wrote the above piece for Wednesday’s Women hoping that maybe it will touch a cord somewhere for someone.

The following signs of abuse have been taken from Sophia’s blog at :

Signs of abuse:

Criticize or put down.

Ignore or put down your opinions and/or accomplishments.


Blames you and everyone else for their abusive behaviour.

Accepts no fault.

Has unrealistic expectations.

Physically harms you and/or your children (hit, punch, kick, slap, etc.)

Calls you names and/or curses your and/or your children.

Extremely moody – Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde.

Please sign up for my giveaway on my October 20th post.


Oops! Desperate Blogger~ said...

because of what you believed about yourself you became less than who you would have been because of fear. And worse your children have now got that enemy in their heads too.

This struck a chord. loudly
Thank you Renee.

Arija said...

Abuse comes in soooo many guises with the lamest of excuses: "Ony beause I love you, its for your own good, I don't know how I could do that...I'm so will never happen again" ha, ha, bloody ha, ha!!!

Abuse is always an expression of insecurity or an inferiority complex. Bullying makes them feel important.

♥ Braja said...

Horrible....I can't imagine....

Sarah said...

Yes..Renee..I know of this..I have been this girl..this woman. I understand the fear and the lack of confidence..the doubt and the feeling of being stuck. I paid a huge price to leave my ex..but I would pay it again in a New York mintue. There is life after abuse..a good life!! Thank you hon for this huge reminder!
Love you bunches hon, Sarah

Karin Bartimole said...

well done renee, and thanks for sharing sophia's blog, too. the message is making it's waves for change and empowerment, helping to break the cycles of abuse and control over another...
may wednesday's women take back their power everywhere, and find safe spaces to begin again.
xox k

Marie S said...

and then sometimes it manifests in abuse of self. AS if the primary abuse is not enough. But instead of giving it to someone else, it is turned on the self.
Bless you beautiful warrior of light.
love and hugs.

Barbara said...

Renee, A powerful statement that is good to speak aloud. That gives it even more power. The demons we chase around inside us really only live with a regular infusion of fear. The constant chatter they make, telling us lies about ourselves, is drowned out by the power we decide to take. Thanks for sharing this. It was very brave. Hugs,xoxo B

Dede said...

Thank you Renee for an excellent post. This is a cycle that needs to be broken for good.


Annie said...

This is one thing I have not had to deal with on any real level, but I feel for the woman who does.
Big hugs Renee. You are such a wise and wonderful woman. xoxo

Deborah said...

Prayers of strength for all of those who suffer abuse. **a million kisses** Deb

Diva Kreszl said...

While the past may have influenced you and how you raised your children you have also shown them that change is possible and that no matter where they find themselves in life they also have the strength to change! You have given them a wonderful gift...the model of a strong woman who despite all odds has survived and grown!

Tessa said...

Although I'm lucky enough to have never had it happen to me, I do know how vitally important it is that we reach out and offer comfort and hope to those to whom it has happened, is happening and who suffer dreadfully because of it. In many cases, abuse leads to illness and, even more terrifying, death. African women suffer this horror mostly in is for them, too, that we must fight for empowerment and justice. Thank you Renee, once again, for your wisdom and strength.

PS. On a lighter note, I've added more artwork to my gallery for people to choose from!

Caio Fernandes said...

this is a wonderful post ( again) Renee .
i have no way to say how or why , but it is very important to me !!

thank you !!

LDWatkins said...

Renee, thanks for reminding us all how much we can help others out there. And, Marie, you are so right. I think the self imposed abuse bred from the initial abuse may be the hardest to overcome.

Lori ann said...

Thank you for bringing up this Renee. I hope it will touch a cord in someone that needs it.
I know about this too. For 19 years. I'm glad I got smart but not as early as I should have.
I don't know that it was getting smart though, i think it was more not being able to take anymore.
I just got sad thinking about it. Thinking about this subject always makes me sad for all our sisters too.

Artistic Accents by Darla said...

So wonderful!
I have a family member right now who is staying in an unhealthy marriage 'for the kids' and I worry so much what they're going to grow up to believe as NORMAL.
There is no physical abuse, but there is no communication or love shown either. Both unhappy and just surviving. So sad.
bless you Renee!
Love, Darla

Elizabeth said...

This is a powerful, important post. Thank you for posting it. May blessings come to all who read it.

Diana Evans said...

Hi Renee!!! what a message and a wake up call for anyone that is going through the same always help people with your messages and this is truly a gift....I am so sad to hear that people go through these horrible things...and wish that they always know that they can be and do whatever they dream of....I also hope they still believe!!!

Bless your heart Renee!!!


pRiyA said...

well renee, you have spoken on my behalf and probably said it better than i ever would.

since emotional abuse has the same repercussions that sexual abuse has. it is so unfortunate that emotional abusers cannot be put behind bars too.

this sentence resonates with me -'because of what you believed about yourself you became less than who you would have been because of fear'.
it was a belief i once embraced.

that illustration is chillingly appropriate.

thank you for writing this.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

The illustration you chose for today's post says it all, and so heartbreakingly eloquently.

Momo Luna said...

Yes, this struck a chord dear Renee and thank you for posting this. I've been there as a child and it took years to turn dark thoughts into bright ones.

@ Darla: from my own experiences i think that mental abuse is far more damaging and painful than physical abuse. I wish you strength for worriyng, hoping that you can bring some light there somehow. Take care!

And for you a huge hug Renee!

Christina said...

i can't tell you how reading this, has made me feel. when my children were born, it explained to me, why i went through what i did as a child. to break free from my childhood and love them unconditionally, is the most beautiful thing i did for us all.
i send you love, my brave, brave friend.

Lori ann said...

thank you sweet sister of mine, we are free. never again. i love your dear heart.

Sophia said...

Renee...I am really touched and tears filling my eyes right now. To have someone care so much that they would write a post about me and then to see comments just flowing in...touching and incredible. It blesses me to know that there are people out there that don't judge as to why one has not left yet or took so long to leave, but celebrates getting out and the one life that was not taken by the hands of an abuser.


TheChicGeek said...

Oh, Renee, once again you pull my heartstrings. You have the most beautiful posts about such important issues and I thank you for that. You are a lover of life and you definitely make the world a better place!

I love the photo, by the way...absolutely beautiful.

There are many types of domestic violence...both physical and verbal. No woman, child or even man should ever have to deal with it! It is heartbreaking to watch someone you love in an abusive relationship. I have experienced that in my life and trying to help them get out. It is only through the great work of many dedicated people running support groups and sharing their time and love that my friend was able to "see the light" and leave.

Thank you for this. You know, we all make mistakes but that is our past. We CAN make our future better. By letting go of the should-haves we can become present and make today the best day of our life. It's hard to let go of the regrets, but, I firmly believe that by doing so we become free and better able to help those around us!

I adore you, Renee. You know, I did receive the Renee Award and once I came to meet you and got to know you my award means so much more to me. I am so proud to be categorized in your league.

Thank you for being who you absolute treasure!

TheChicGeek said...

Oh, PS: I went to your lovely artist friend's blog. She is amazing! I can't figure out how to enter though? I would love to have one of her works. Maybe others are having the same problem????? Or, maybe I am just a dummy! LOL


Ces said...

OMG! I have to come back.

turquoise cro said...

NO-ONE should be abused in any way! God Bless those who are and I pray they get away from it in any way they can! My best friend did and yes, she is happy now! Happy Wednesday dear one!

Snowbrush said...

When Peggy or I go to the doctor and are asked--as one sometimes is nowadays--if we feel safe in our home, we are tempted to mention that we have an abusive blue heeler who has a bad temper. Ah, but she's getting old now and has gone blind, so we only have to tiptoe to the other side of her when she's mad and try to stifle our laughter at her attempts to find us. Even with it all, she's still as good a dog as anyone ever had.

Inner Toddler said...

thank you renee, for living fearlessly. love to you, susie

Anonymous said...

Renee, your our teacher, thank you for these words of wisdom.
You are such the brightest star!

staceyjwarner said...

Oh honey, I love you. reading your post today gave me is all healing in your life. You and your children are going to be ok, everything is going to be ok.

much love

kj said...

you are an amazingly talented writer, renee. this is so powerful. it reminds me of the story of the frog in a pot of water. I often tell that story to my clients:

a frog is dumped into a pot of boiling water and saves her life by jumping right out.

but another frog is dumped into tepid water which heats up slowly, very slowly, until over some time it reaches a boiling point. by then the frog has been lulled into not noticing the slow and steady increase in temperature, and she dies.

you are a gem for the subjects you so skillfully cover here. renee, jesus renee: YOU CAN WRITE!!!

Baino said...

Sounds like my boss except for the 'physical harm' bit. On a serious note, I never understand why women who are in that situation stay, perhaps a case of the devil you know or simply an inability to support themselves on their own. Tragic.

drollgirl said...

i am so sorry. and i would encourage anyone to get out of a domestic violence scene immediately. no relationship is worth enduring violence.

Barbara said...

Renee, :p) Whew. See? I told you you were a writer! hugs, B


Gentle. Gentle. Gentle.

Keep on Forgiving but, never forget.
Our mis-takes are all we have to learn from. Make them count.

Be well Renee.

Manon Doyle said...

Terrific post Renee! I'm sure reading this will be beneficial to many!

sending you my best vibes!!


Diva Kreszl said...

So happy to hear you were not a victim of domestic violence. The post was beautifully written and I'm sure it will toug=ch someone that needs to hear those words!

Arija said...

Take it, its all yours and welcome.

XOX Love Arija

Marion said...

This is an amazing post, Renee, and I'm glad you are able to talk about it. I've been a victim of verbal abuse in the past, but my husband and I were able to work though it with counseling. It wasn't easy, but worth it. I firmly believe that the breakdown of communiation is the #1 cause of many problems in marriage. If one party can't communicate his/her feelings without fear, then there is no partnership. But it does take two people to want to get help and change. (I can cuss like a sailor and gave as good as I got...which didn't help matters any!! LOL!) I love you, dearest Renee, and admire your courage, strength and determination. You, dear girlie, ROCK! Love, Hugs & Blessings, my warrior friend!!!!

Sue said...

Oh My, Renee the photograph that heads this post is so poignantly perfect!

Abuse in any form has to be broken and stopped and awareness and postings such as this help toward that end.


yoborobo said...

Renee - you help so many people every day of your life, I hope you know that. I wish I could have known you when I was a teenager. xoxoxoxoxox Pam

lakeviewer said...

Great reminder, my dear. Let's stop the pattern.

Ribbon said...

everyone needs hugs...
the abused and the abusers

love ya renee :)

x ribbon

Nevine said...

Leave it to you, Renee, to always be on top of things. Thank you for sharing this. We all need some awareness... always!


Silke said...

Renee, what an amazing post to shed light on such an important topic! I was lucky to never have known physical abuse, but the emotional abuse in my teen years in a family with addiction had me believing I was not worth much for a long time. Now, after years of healing and forgiving, I know differently! Thank you for being such a shining light! Much love, Silke

secret agent woman said...

What synchronicity - I was just answering the email of a friend who had run into a mutual friend. I was saying that I worried about her because she is in an abuisve man who is incredibly controlling, won't let her have a private email account, and has isolated her from her friends. It just makes me so sad.

Daria said...

Thanks Renee ... you're a real inspiration!

Maggie's garden said... amaze me. Your blog always has something to give. Thank you.

Pattee said...

Renee... I've sat on this post all day. Abuse. Physical, emotional, mental... Abuse is Abuse... It hurts and demeans us as human beings.

As a child of abuse I knew when my son was born I did not want to do unto him as I had been done to me. It's not easy to erase those years of abuse.

I know that by my son knowing my abuser was a chance... he knows now what kind of person he was. He still I don't think can fully appreciate it, as my son was not abused... at least I would hope not. All tho we always carry forth some of that unfounded hate towards the abuse...

I think we break the legacy of abuse little by little as we have our children and they theirs... and so on and so forth... that gives me hope.

If any woman, man or child can be freed of abuse because of your post and the comments left, I say Amen

Much love to you and yours Renee~

Vera said...

Been there too. The punches used to roll at me from out of the blue. I got out when those fists started heading towards my daughter. This post recalled those memories, made me feel lumpy for a while, and then glad that I survived and moved on. Nevertheless, still in a tiny corner of my heart is a bruised and wounded bit. And I am glad it is there, because it helps me empathisize with others who are still in the same plight. Blessings to you for this post.

Marie said...

REnee, you have put into words exactly how I felt when I left my ex husband. Great post!

Bella Sinclair said...

A very important post. If not for yourself, then gather strength for your children.

Renee and Sophia, thank you for raising awareness.

Val Zdero said...

That photo speaks a thousand words!!! Wow, my gut hurts reading your post and looking at the picture - you are so powerful when you write Renee, when you put your thoughts on paper - hugz and the best wishes from me to you, Val xo

Isabel said...

May heart goes out to those who go through abuse and especially the children. The sharing of experiences is one of the most important tools to brake the cycle of isolation of those being abused. It tells them they are not alone and hopefully it builds up their strength to walk towards light.

Caroline said...

Another meaningful post Renee - thank you. It is such a distressing subject. And how very brave of Sophia to speak so openly about her own experience - hopefully it will reach many in similar situations who will be encouraged to seek help and yet others who will be prompted to offer support.

Sonia ;) said...

I know those words from truth and experience...twice....And I hopefully have showed my children that it is something you dont stand for and walk away from....

Love you Lovey xoxoxoxox

Angela Recada said...

This strikes a familiar chord in my heart, dear Renee. Thank you for posting this so others can see their reality before it is too late. Mothers who are aware can change who their children will be. Cycles can be broken.

Love and hugs,

Miss Becky said...

yes! yes! yes! What you have done here, posting about this is a testament to what a magnificent person you are Renee. Your light shines so very brightly and beckons drifting ships into a safe harbor. you touch more lives than you can possibly know. thank you

rochambeau said...

Thank you Renee, for this.
Love you!!

karen gerstenberger said...

Thank you for posting this. Perhaps it will save someone's life! God bless you, Renee. You are such a light-bringer. XO

studio lolo said...

I always wondered why my mother didn't run away. Back then they didn't have the options we have.
I remember the police coming to the house after we (frantic kids) ran barefoot to the station in our pj's. They'd come to the apartment and jokingly tell my dad that perhaps he ought to come to the station and 'sleep it off.' (wink, wink. Boy's club)
They'd always leave telling my mother that perhaps she shouldn't have incited him.
I'm trying to tell her story but I've put the manuscript away for 2 years now.
I can still see the blood on the walls and on her small face.

Prayers and srength to the women and children who need it. It has to end.

btw, I love you.

Draffin Bears said...

Thank you dear Renee, for raising this awareness.
You are always such a wise and beautiful Woman.


A Cuban In London said...

I think this is one of those posts that hits the nail on the head so well. A few years ago I organised a screening of 'Until Violence Stops' at my previous workplace, an arts centres near where I live. After watching the film, one of the women in the audience slipped a piece of paper into my hand. It read: 'I need help now, otherwise he will kill me'. Her words still my knees go wobbly. I passed her message onto one of the panellists we had that night. She worked in the local Refuge.

Your post is also a reminder that domestic violence is not just about Mr Hyde, there's always a Jekyll somewhere.

Greetings from London.

Lisa said...

Isn't it wonderful to know that we are wiser and stronger and can recognize it! Sometimes it's hard to see that someone's a bully until you don't have to live with them anymore.

Nina P. said...

A post that way too many need to read and learn from. How did it ever become acceptable in the minds of the abuser that it's OK to treat any human being the way they do? What miss-fired inside them to make them so?

Strength comes from knowledge and hope. Abuse can be so "subtle" it builds up over time and all the sudden you're in the middle of a catastrophic storm. In a storm we know how to take shelter and protect ourselves. With abuse, it's much harder. Find the strength of spirit that lives deep inside, nurture it and believe. We are worth being treated well, we are worth protecting ourselves, we are worth running for our lives if the storm is too great. Survive at all cost. Peace, Hope, Love and Compassion be yours today and always. Love and Light, Nina P

Julie said...

What a powerful voice you are. To speak the words that so many people cannot let escape their lips. And, to provide healing through commonality and were meant for

~* The Beldame on Peach Street *~ said...

This was my mother's life. Fortunately, I did not repeat it but 'because of what you believed about yourself you became less than who you would have been because of fear' that, I have yet to fully escape. I was the child 'who got that enemy in their heads too'. I am thankful everyday, however, that MY child will not.

Thank you for always thinking of others Renee. You truly are a phenomenal person and I love you with all my heart!


BT said...

Gosh, so many of us. I was abused and beaten by my first husband. Luckily, after 11 years, I escaped with the children. 'Why did you stay' is the question everyone asks.