Video

Lauren

A female military officer faced with the choice of whether to expose a sexual assault

Advertisements

Katie – Violence Unsilenced

I haven’t been around lately. I think a part of it has been because again, I’ve been having a hard time calling the relationship with Sam abusive. However, I came across story on Violence Unsilenced that sounds so much like life with Sam.

Following is a link to Katie’s story on Violence Unsilenced
Katie.

Cant Treat Me That Way

LOVE this song today: You Can’t Treat Me That Way – Kate Earl

You’re not the guy I met
And if you are only get
One chance to prove it
Baby make it count

Maybe she let you do that
Maybe some other fool had
Too many problems
To respect herself

You’ve go a woman who knows her worth
And ain’t prepared to compromise it
You better listen you better make it better
But don’t make me say
You’ve go a woman who knows her worth
And ain’t prepared to compromise it
You better listen you better make it better
But don’t make me say
You can’t treat me that way
Ooooh

I hope it’s my mistake
Simple misunderstanding
Trivial bull**** we blew into space
A common lovers rift
Uncommon words thrown like fists
Cause if you meant it
Baby it’s too late

You’ve got a woman who knows her worth
And ain’t prepared to compromise it
You better listen you better make it better
But don’t make me say
You’ve got a woman who knows her worth
And ain’t prepared to compromise it
You better listen you better make it better
But don’t make me say
You can’t treat me that way
Ooooh

You better make it better
You better make it feel right
You better make it feel the way it ought to feel
You better make it better
You better make it feel good
You better do it cause you know that you should

You’ve got a woman who knows her worth
And ain’t prepared to compromise it
You better listen you better make it better
But don’t make me say
You’ve got a woman who knows her worth
And ain’t prepared to compromise it
You better listen you better make it better
But don’t make me say
You can’t treat me that way
Ooooh

No Way Out But One – trailer clip

Link to the No Way Out But One documentary trailer

No Way Out But One – 13 minute trailer

When someone shows you…

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.

– Maya Angelou

I’ve just started reading (and working through) the book But He’ll Change: Ending the Thinking That Keeps You in an Abusive Relationship by Joanna V. Hunter.  And I do mean ‘just’.  As in, at the beginning of my lunch hour today, only pages into the introduction.  The quote from Maya Angelou is there; I’ve heard it before, but it didn’t really click.  You know? Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Sure.  Got it, moving on.  Ms. Hunter pairs it with the following:

Not just the first time he hits you, but the first time he puts you down or makes you feel less than who you are.  The first time he runs over your boundaries, or discounts your feelings.

The 2 together really caught my attention.  Thinking back to when the relationship with Sam first started out.  You know, when it’s supposed to be all rosy and sweet.  A new relationship, so exciting and uplifting.  Only…not so much.  Oh, I know hindsight is 20/20.  I know the later events in the relationship are likely coloring my view of the start…  But…  I so did not believe what he showed me.  Jokes about my ethnicity.  “Oh, but not you.  Not your Mom.  You guys are different.  And of course, your dad is, what, German?”  Oh, okay.  He and his friends think that way about Alaskan Natives, but not about us.  We’re special.

Sure, I’d end up paying for our dates most of the time.  Yeah, I got the last tab, and I’m getting this one; I’m sure he’ll get the next one.  I think it’s sweet how he wants us to be financial equals in the relationship.

Sure, I ALWAYS had to drive through the city to the south side for our dates to pick him up.  The movie theater out here in the outskirts to the north of town is not as nice as the new ones mid-town.  And of course the restaurant I wanted to go to is not nearly as good as the one he wanted to go to.  It’d be so helpless-female-ish to expect him to drive when we go out or expect him to meet me there.  Besides, his car is always breaking down…

Ummm… Okay.  Rosy… rosy… rosy… What was a happy memory?  Him teaching me to roller blade.  That was nice.  That was a nice day.  Him taking me to a hilly, gravelly part of town and leaving me… to try to skate… while he skated with his buddies.  Oh. Hmmm…

Okay…  Christmas Eve that one year!  He actually came out to my house!  Remember?  He was polite to my family and especially to my Mom.  Not a single racial joke.  Plenty of compliments on dinner and the house.

There’s one!  Oh!  And on one other Christmas Eve he actually took me to his family’s celebration / open house…  And the Christmas Eve’s when we were married, well those were for OUR family.  Not to share with my family or his family.  Just the 2 – or later the 3 – of us.  That’s romantic, right?

Any way.  So far, there are a lot of things from the book that I want to copy and paste to my refrigerator, or my mirror, or my computer monitor, and I’m only in the introduction.  I’m kind of amazed.  Just at the fact that a book I’d bought but put off reading because, well, because I’m already gone from the relationship, still seems to be resonating with how I feel.

So here’s the thing.  I’ve been physically gone from living with Sam since April 2008.  That’s nearly 4 years.  4 years.  4 YEARS.  I’ve been in therapy for dealing with PTSD, recovering from the abuse and rapes that Sam put me through for about 1/2 that time.  I’m still finding new insights into how the relationship started out and evolved into one where I stayed with a man who berated me, ridiculed me, intimidated me…. raped me.

4 years.  That seems like a really long time.  Why does it take so long?

2009 Summit on the Intersection of Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic Violence Awareness Month (Photo credit: heraldpost)

I found the following interesting (I started searching after reading Claudine Dombrowski’s blog), mainly because I have felt so… alone, I guess, when trying to get safe visitation arrangements set up for Max and his father.  It didn’t seem like the court really understood what a risk Sam is.  The judge told Sam “This court is afraid you’ll teach your son to treat women like you did,” and then proceeded to laud him for voluntarily giving up legal custody, because “you get you’re not that kind of father.”

The following is from Eric Holder’s address to the National Summit on the Intersection of Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment in June 2009.

I hope you will especially discuss the most difficult issues I know many of you confront in your work:

  • Why are mothers who are the victims of domestic violence losing custody of their children to the courts and to the child protection system?
  • Why are children of color over-represented in the child protection system?
  • Do children need a relationship with their fathers even when their fathers have been abusive to them and their mothers in the past? If so, what does that relationship look like?

I ask that you explore all of these things while always remembering that the needs of children who are exposed to violence are inextricably linked to the needs of mothers who are the victims of domestic violence.

It kind of takes a little pressure off knowing that some one from the Justice system sees the damage that domestic violence does.  At the same time, I’m so sad, because this address was given in 2009, the only strides in change that I’ve seen are TV campaigns against DV…

Project Unbreakable

A story I found via Pandora’s Project Facebook page from the Guardian: Project Unbreakable

Struggling — again

20120117-113737.jpg

I don’t know what it is lately. We’re gaining sunlight… It’s gorgeous outside with the frost and snow covered trees… I’m so, so close to a personal goal… And the depression is weighing me down again.

And what I’ve only told my therapist about: The desire to self-injure is so strong again. My sister, who I’ve told about everything else, the depression, the abuse, the rapes, doesn’t even know that I SI. I haven’t told her because I’m afraid she’ll equate it to suicide, and it’s not about that at all.

I’ve been told to work through how I feel when the urge hits, what I think SI will accomplish… OK…

I feel heavy, faded, hazy, unreal, unworthy, untouchable, disjointed. I’m afraid of myself, for myself, and by proxy then, for Max. Because if something does happen to me, he’s left with Sam. And that thought alone is enough to send me into a panic, because, Max… Max does not deserve to be treated the way Sam treated us.

What do I think SI will do for me?…. I’ll feel something physical. Something else to focus on. A different type of pain, one that I can control. I’ll feel HERE, less faded. Does that make sense? It does to me. It’ll bring at least one thing into very sharp focus.

After it’s done though, I’ll have to hide my arm again. Long sleeves. Vague sense of shame, but at the same time, in a very sad way, a sense of accomplishment. I can do this. Even if this is SI.

What have I done instead? … I’m writing here this time. Is it helping?

Oddly enough. Yes. Slowly. And… I’ve promised myself that I’ll let me get a tattoo where I usually SI when it heals and the scars fade more. A few lines that I love from a poem by Adrienne Rich:

The woman who cherished her suffering is dead. I am her descendant.

I love the scar-tissue she handed on to me,

but I want to go on from here with you

fighting the temptation to make a career of pain.

It’ll be just that much longer to wait if I do SI.

Here’s a link that I’ve been visiting lately that might help any one else struggling with SI (it will open a new window): http://www.palace.net/~llama/psych/fself.html

I’ll be adding a copy to my Support Resources links, and any others that I find.

Rape definition updated by FBI – USATODAY.com

Rape definition updated by FBI – USATODAY.com.

Feeling so alone

I feel so alone. Why would any one want me after Sam has ruined me? I’m damaged and today it feels like it’s beyond repair. My family loves me; I know, but even they don’t touch me. They don’t offer hugs when I’m feeling down. They do not offer their hands when I desperately need something to hold onto.

If my family can’t bear to touch me after Sam has defiled me, how will any one else ever want to?