Finding Hope In Violence

Thursday, 11th April 2013

Finding Hope In Violence

I just had surgery on my nose. It was broken years ago by my ex-husband and has hindered my ability to breathe for years. I wrestled with the best way to travel through the immense pain, both emotional and physical, as I faced this procedure. My intention and goal was to approach the pain and what would come in a “child like” submissiveness, since I had already decided to have the operation, weighing all the pros and cons the surgery would bring to my health. I wanted to give up the fight of resistance as well as any bubbling up anger so that the experience would go smoothly, and I would heal as much and as soon as possible. I had decided to get the surgery, and no use complaining about it. That was at least the goal. I thought I had forgiven my ex, but often when I thought of the surgery, I cried. Obviously I still had more processing to deal with and more feelings about being hit by someone who was supposed to love me.

After a few days of post-surgery recovery, I learned of the tragic news: 20 school children die in a senseless shooting spree. I have a daughter that exact age. I couldn’t help but think—“What is this world coming to?” Violence and more violence. The stopping of such violence is of course a must and a problem our government will wrestle with for years to come. Those are issues that something can be done about, with many and varied cries for action.

On the personal level, we each have a choice of how we are going to respond to violence. Whether the violence happens on a national level, as in that shooting, or on a more personal level like my situation, the truth is that we live in a diverse society and we will likely confront violence. Naturally, good defense is a must, but after we protect ourselves as much as we can; how are we going to respond? It is not an easy question because the approach you take will affect your business, your personal life, and all those around you, not to mention your state of mind.

For me, I have tried acknowledging it wasn’t right what happened, doing everything I can to ensure it won’t happen again, and then letting go of the anger as it rises. Letting go of “It’s not fair” and trusting that “There’s got to be a higher good” has not been easy, but has been a way to find peace. It’s the only way I can come to terms with the shooting of those beautiful babies. When I let go, I begin to see beauty—like the heartfelt compassion that has poured out from across the United States. The more intense discussion on safety and how to provide it and the call to trust that most humans have a good nature is needed. So is the knowledge that when things are really dark there is always some kind of light. My heart sorrows for the loved ones who suffer so, but I am comforted that I don’t grieve alone. The whole nation mourns. That fact alone suggests there’s plenty of reason to have hope, and sometimes all we can do is trust in goodness and go on.

Returning to their Abusers

Monday, 31st December 2007

sad woman

On average, abused women are returning to their abuser seven times before leaving them for good.  Why is this happening?  Many will say because the victim will not stand up for herself, or on a subconscious level, she likes being a victim.

The truth is that her community is failing her.  Many of these women are ending up homeless on the street, or having their abuser take her children from her, or have extreme religious, social and money pressures to go back and make it work.  These women don’t have a safety net they can rely on, little opportunity to earn enough to support her family, and little or no training on how to stand on her own. 

Until society stops brushing her off to the side, blaming her and becoming a community where she and her family can find redemption, the spiraling social problems that come from this will continue.

O.J. Simpson and Abuse

Tuesday, 16th October 2007

One cannot watch the news reports on O.J. Simpson without seeing similarities between him and the abuser profile.  The biggest blaring characteristic would be his sense of entitlement.  His actions scream that he thinks he can get away with— anything—consequence free.  The reason being, “It’s not his fault.”  If he wants his watch back, don’t worry about getting it legally, bust down a door, bring a gun, yell and threaten with tons of profanity and get what you want.   Another behavior that would be on the lookout list is when a person violates another person’s access to help by trying to take away the phone.  Of course to the abuser the phone snatching is okay because the other person was threatening to call the authorities and that would cause him trouble and that to them is abusive.    It’s okay to indulge in highly emotional outbursts that cause other people heart attacks because, hey, they took the watch so they deserve what they got.  Their behavior is justified, they are after all no matter what they do or the harm they cause others, even murder, because, after all, they are the victim. Abusers, naturally, can’t help being charming and fun, the life of the party the night before the attack.  They can’t help it if people instantly like them and they are good natured—well, at least until you tick them off.  Being Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, switching from nice to menacing, is all part of the job.  It’s all part of the fun not knowing if you are dealing with the fun, talented, good natured person or the angry, threatening one who if you don’t do what he wants ….well.   Entitlement, swearing, weapons, threats of isolation, anger, charm, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, claiming to be a victim, it all just seems to fit too nicely.  When is society going to say enough is enough?  

News And Tribune Response

Wednesday, 10th October 2007

I recently read Greg Haller’s letter to the editor in the Oct. 2 issue of “” Great insight.  As a victim of domestic violence I know that the stress, fear and dread of that experience.  It led to the breakdown of my health. The real insidiousness of abuse can’t be measured.  For example, how did my fear and poor health affect my children despite the fact I made every effort to be present for them?  What are the long-term effects on the rising generation?

To add to the list of things to do during October Domestic Violence month: 

*Become educated on the complexity of abuse.  The more people understand abuse and what it’s like for victims the more prepared to identify, prevent and avoid harm they are.  Read novels like Silent Cries: A Woman’s Journey to Freedom written by a survivor that delves into the psyche of the abused person.  This gives insight into the victim and their obstacles.   

*Teach victims to develop a personal support system.  When a victim has a team behind them they are more likely to succeed.  (Visit for more information.)           

*Become a supportive ally for victims.           

*Send messages to the abuser that they are of worth, but their abusive behaviors are unacceptable.     

The only way I got out of my situation was through community involvement.  There are many others who can be saved.  We must become educated and take steps to prevent more statistics.

Things to do during October Domestic Violence Month

Monday, 8th October 2007

Things to consider to doing during October Domestic Violence month:

 *Become educated on domestic violence and complexity of abuse.  The more people know how abuse works and what it’s like for victims going through it, the more prepared to identify and prevent or avoid harm they are.  Read novels like Silent Cries: A Woman’s Journey to Freedom written by a survivor that delves into the psyche of the abused person.  This will give better insight of what it is like to be the victim and the real obstacles they encounter.

*Teach victims how to develop a personal support system in their community.  When a victim has a team behind them they are more likely to succeed in safely getting out of the abuse.  (For more information on this visit

*Become a supportive ally for victims to go to in time of need.

*Send reinforcing messages to the abuser that they are of worth, but their abusive behaviors are unacceptable.

The only way I got out of my situation alive with six young children was through community involvement and support.  There are many others who can be saved before becoming a statistic.  If we all choose to become educated and do some small steps we can prevent some of the abuse from occuring.

Am I In An Abusive Relationship?

Thursday, 4th October 2007

Many people wonder if they are in an abusive relationship or if the problems they experience are all part of normal marriage discord.  Answer these simple questions to get a better idea as to what kinds of problems you are having in your marriage.

1- Does your stomach tighten when your spouse drives up in the driveway?

2- Do you feel like you have to be careful what you say around your spouse, and that anything could set him/her off?

3- Does your spouse swear at you, throw things, or physically hurt you?

4- Do your friends like your spouse or do they comment that he/she doesn’t treat you well?

5- Is your spouse willing to talk to you openly about finances, or does he/she control what you know and what you spend?

If the answer was yes to any of the questions, serious attention needs to be placed on the dynamics of your relationship.  There is a high probability you could be in an abusive relationship.