I’m Sorry I’m Quiet; I’m Depressed


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I don’t like those memes on Facebook that state you make time for those you really care about and if you don’t make time that’s proof you don’t care. 

I genuinely don’t have time. Even when I might, I’m too exhausted to clean up and socialize.  On those rare occasions I do I’m usually even more drained from trying to pretend that I have compassion for what I consider the non problems others drone on about. 

I’m just depressed. 

And, overwhelmed.

But, really depressed.

On Tuesday as I was leaving work my client pulled up.  I smiled and waved, and she turned away.  She then drove right on past and parked at the end of her road, waiting for me to leave.  She’s not the first to ignore me. 

I clean their toilets and scrub their floors and showers.  I wear out my vacuums and have to replace them every six months.  I have holes in the knees of all of my pants and chronic calluses on my hands and knees.  My back always burns.   And, I’m unseen.

It reminds me of growing up.  Of my marriage.  Do the work.  Absorb the costs.  Suffer silently.  We don’t acknowledge you.  We don’t see you.

I should be glad to head home at the end of the day, but I’m not.  The tarped roof, the bitter cold, the filth, the dark…. they fight against the idea of rest and peace.  Of home.

We bathed in a stock tank outside for a month this summer because of plumbing problems.  You haven’t lived until you’ve hauled buckets of water in 100+ degrees at the end of a long work day.  Or, until you’ve stripped naked outside in the chill of the morning and lowered yourself into yesterday’s now cold water. 

A large tree fell across the driveway this week and I’m beyond grateful two of my wonderful, precious adult sons came to my rescue, but I missed work because of it.  I needed the money.  Instead, it cost money.  And, “friends” responded, “Yay!  Free firewood!”  There was nothing free about it.

I’m writing this from my phone because, ten months later, I still haven’t been able to replace my old dead computer.

I rehomed my young male dog after he broke his expensive cable and ate a hole in the bathroom wall.  He’s happy in his new home, but I felt awful.  And, again, Facebook memes reminded me that you don’t “give up on family.”  Three days later my old dog started bleeding profusely from two systems, and I had to make the decision to put her down.   I’ve never done that before.  It was HORRIBLE!

My ex husband’s girlfriend Facestalked me until I blocked her and has harassed my friends in public places, asking questions about me.  And, she argued with my adult daughter on Facebook as to how I took my ex for everything.  I just want to be left alone!  Yet, the lies and creepy behavior continue…..5 1/2 years later.

It just feels like nothing much has changed with the passing of time.  Any hope I had for a brighter future post abuse has died.  I remember sitting in the DV support group way back in the beginning and thinking I did NOT want to be like those women–a year or two out and still stuck.

It’s depressing.

And, people wonder why we don’t just leave abusive situations.  I’m beginning to wonder if there is ever really a way out once it happens.  Or, if the pit is just too deep to ever climb out. 

So, I’m sorry I’m quiet.  I’m sorry I can’t meet for dinner or drinks or a Bible study.  I’m sorry I don’t blog anymore.  I’m just depressed. 

My Brothers’ Friends


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I was raised with my youngest brother and only found out about my other brother around seven years ago.   But, today, I only have a relationship with my newly found brother.

Thirty years ago I met my youngest brother’s best friend.  I’d just given birth and was in the middle of a divorce I did not want.  I’d left a note on my brother’s truck saying I’d had the baby and was heading home.  His best friend wanted to come see the new baby, too, and tagged along.  I was in a bathrobe, looking like a total mess.  But, he seemed to fall head over heels in love with my newborn and me.  I could not have asked for a better friend over the next four years.  He and his family were wonderful to us.

However, my own family, my mother and my brother, did everything to discourage that relationship.  They claimed I’d never ever be happy with him.  They claimed he was beneath me.  And, my brother tried to convince him I was an awful person.

Eventually he grew tired of waiting and got involved with someone else.  He married her and lived happily ever after.
Five years later I met another friend of my brother.  This time I married the guy.  My brother claimed no one would take better care of my kids and me than this friend would.  He said the friend’s questionable past was only due to the horrible women he’d been involved with.  I drank the Kool aid hard and fast.  But, after sixteen years of abuse that rivaled that of my childhood, the marriage unraveled.

The first Thanksgiving after my second husband left I couldn’t bear to cook.  I couldn’t bear to entertain and wait on my brother who had betrayed me to my abuser.  Thankfully, my other brother, the new found one, invited me to his house to be with his family. 

And, there I met his best friend.

He had a girlfriend, and I was reeling from court, my mother’s death, the loss of everything, and was still trying to recover from the sudden onset of health problems ten months earlier. 

I really didn’t remember him.

This Independence Day my brother once again invited us both to his house.  And, the timing is right now. 

We’ve spent up to five hours at a time on the phone in the evenings this past week.  Yesterday my brother, his wife, the friend, and my kids and I went to a local lake for the afternoon.  When it got crowded late in the day, my brother and his wife headed home.  His friend, my kids, and I moved to a private side of the lake where he continued to teach my children to fish while I napped on the beach.

I don’t know where this is going.  But, I like him.  My kids like him.  I feel relaxed and calm when he talks or when he’s near.  He’s not perfect.  Far from it.  He’s just a nice guy who likes to fish and cook, who loves his kids and his dog, and who looks at me like he thinks I’m funny and pretty. 

I’m scared.  I regret not “going for” my youngest brother’s one friend 30 years ago.  He looked at me like I was funny and pretty.  He was thoughtful and easy going.  He’d have been a good life partner.  I regret marrying my youngest brother’s other friend.  He hurt my children and me.  He not only looked at me like I was stupid and ugly, but he strangled, beat, stole from, lied about, and much, much worse, not only me, but my children also. 

Funny how life repeats itself.  I haven’t really dated at all since the divorce and here I am hanging out with a brother’s friend.  Once again.  What will it be this time?  Will I regret this some day?  If so, will I regret not allowing him into our lives?  Or, will I regret trusting him?

Only time will tell.  Right now only one thing is certain.  I’m looking forward to fishing and napping again next weekend where the wind blows through the trees and the sun bounces off the water, where children laugh, and a quiet, brown eyed man smiles at me.

Survivor Guilt



I’m dealing wth some horrific survivor guilt. 

No, not like I feel bad I survived when so many other women don’t.  It’s a different guilt.

A pastor once told me that I didn’t create the monster, but I certainly fed the beast.  And, during the past two weeks that reality has become so clear it has sickened me and I’ve cried over it several times.

I was my abuser’s fourth wife.  And, I unknowingly helped my abuser ruin his third wife’s life.  I didn’t realize it until now.

Now, that my ex has a girlfriend.  Now, that she buys him stuff because the poor man lost everything to me.  Now, that my she mothers my adult son she’s only known for six months.  The son who was introduced to her when his father brought her home from a bar and had sex with her just feet away from my son. 

She believes every awful lie my ex tells her about me.  My son fails to tell the truth but seems to want to please his father so allows, accepts, and perpetuates the lies. Perhaps he’s still trying to earn his abusive father’s love and acceptance.  And, truth gets you in trouble and rejected.

She coddles my abuser and tells him and the world how wonderful he is.  He responds to it by increasing his aggressive, manipulative, and demanding behavior with the kids and me. 

She is feeding the beast.

I did, too.

I’m mad at her, but I’m also mad at myself.

He convinced me he’d lost everything to his third wife; she was evil, an unfit mother; she deserved to lose her child.  And, I helped him inflict pain on her via her child.  I helped him deny her child support.  I justified his evil actions.

Now, I’m on the receiving end of all of that, and I can see how foolish I was.  I long to apologize to his third wife for supporting him in his continued abuses against her. 

I had no idea.  Just as I’m sure this new woman doesn’t. 

His third wife was always nice to me in spite of what she had to realize I was doing to aid and abet her abuser.  My face is flushed with anger over a lie of a Facebook post I just read on my son’s wall…….the new woman told my son his dad lost everything to me in our divorce.  I don’t think I could be nice to her right now.  But, I have to be.  She says it in ignorance.  Just like I did.  She’s clueless.  It’s taken me 20 years to realize my participation in his “game.”  I certainly can’t expect her to see clearly after six months, in the throws of being love bombed, what took me two decades to understand.

There are enough people in this town who know the truth about our relationship.   The truth will prevail.  Outside of my son’s lostness, what bothers me most is wondering what ever happened to that woman who was left with nothing.  That woman who’s relationship with her children was fractured.  That woman who lost her kids, her job, her home, her car, her family, her reputation.   I ache for her.

I’ve become her.  And, the new one has become me. 

His cycle continues.  He’ll eventually consume all he can from the new one.  I wonder if she’ll wake up and realize what she did to my children and to me by feeding that narcissistic beast. 

While it would be great for her personal growth, in a way I hope she doesn’t.  This kind of survivor guilt is horrible.  It’s eating me alive. 

I don’t know where #3 is, so the best I can do is throw it out to the universe and hope she catches it……..I am so deeply, deeply sorry for hurting you, for believing his lies and encouraging and enabling him to take your child from you.  I’m so sorry I supported him in destroying you in other people’s eyes.  I’m so sorry I didn’t treat you with the kindness you deserved and needed.

I Am Strong


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I was dreading my son’s wedding in April.  The last time I’d seen him he told me off and left my house, saying he’d never return.  I had no idea how I’d be treated, how the younger children would be treated.  I feared what I may be setting us up for by going.

The third week of April isn’t a good time for me anyway.  My maternal grandpa died the third week of April 1985. That week I miscarried my first pregnancy after collapsing at Grandpa’s funeral.  My dad died the third week of April 2012.  In my heart it’s just a time of loss.  Significant my first born son would choose that week to get married to a woman who had torn him from his family. 

But, this wasn’t about me.  And, I am strong.  I could go and be graceful and congenial for my son’s sake.

I am strong.

That has become my mantra. 

When my eye is burning from fatigue and I don’t think I can clean one more house….I tell myself I am strong.

When I have no one to lean into with the burdens of my life….I tell myself I am strong.

When a log is heavy and I strain to lift it….I tell myself I am strong.

When my children are behaving badly, and I’m unsure how best to deal with their confused emotions….I tell myself I am strong.

When I just want to lie in bed and not face the bills, people’s rudeness, being ostracized, my physical pain, and the unreal amount of work to be done….I tell myself I am strong.

And, it’s working!  I am strong!   And, I’m getting stronger!

I’m building muscle and am getting in wood for next winter.  I can clean eight houses in a week and then come home and clean my own.  I can walk into that community center with a smile and face those gossips.  I can parent these hurting children and watch them blossom.  And, I went to the wedding feeling nothing but joy for my son’s happiness.

Turned out, it was a great weekend.  There was nothing but joy.  Everyone was kind and loving.  It was all good.  I think some healing took place. 

And, I might have missed it if I hadn’t convinced myself I was strong enough to deal with rejection one more time.  I’d have missed the sweet words, warm hugs, and dancing with my son.  By not going, I’d have probably solidified the end of our once close relationship.   By trusting I had the strength to go, I opened the door for forgiveness and grace.

I am strong.  I’ve been through A LOT.  And, God and life aren’t done with me.  But, I can make it.  God will continue to strengthen me.  So, I am able to pick up my sword with confidence and set my face with determination as I prepare myself for today’s battle.

Trying To Keep My Perspective


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Yesterday was vistation.  We knew it would be tense.

The last few vistations have been rough, and the kids have seen increased agitation in their father.  In March he sat and glared at them and watched them as they walked out to go to the bathroom.  My 16 year old was afraid.  He is afraid.

I called the ex to see if we could switch weeks, so the kids could go to their oldest brother’s wedding.  He never returned my call.  When he called the kids a week later, they asked him.  He told them he was moving but didn’t give them the address and didn’t call again at his regular call time. 

The night before visitation, Friday, at almost 9 o’clock, my 16 year old called his dad to see if visitation was still on.  I suspected their dad had no intention of giving us the new address but would then file contempt charges against me for denying his vistation.

He angrily told E it had not been two weeks since he’d called.  He snapped out that he had called Sunday before last.  His call time is Sundays at 6. He had not called in 12 days and three hours when our son had to call him to get his new address, but we’re not going to call that two weeks.

There’s been no child support again. 

I dropped the kids off at the lovely older cottage with the new truck and the Harley Davidson parked in the carport.  I could see all of the weight equipment he claimed he had to sell in desperate poverty post divorce.  It was arranged in the garage in a way that was obvious it is being used.  And, I headed to work……my sixth day in a row. 

The kids usually ask to be picked up anywhere between 1:30 and 3:30.  The last two times they did stay until 5:30.  When I left work at 3 I texted the kids to see if they were ready.  E was obviously PANICKED.  They wanted to leave, but their dad was riled.  They were afraid.  He didn’t want them to go yet and was acting hostile.

E begged, “What do I do???”

I told him to explain to his dad that they had appointments to get haircuts for the wedding.  That only infuriated him more!  “Why does your mom do that?  Why does she schedule stuff during MY time?  I could take you more!  You do realize that, don’t you?  I have the RIGHT to take you more!  Why does your mother do this?”

I’ve never done that before. 

However, it was a legitimate reason.  I work six days a week.  It’s what you have to do when their deadbeat dad refuses to pay child support consistently.  And, they needed haircuts for the wedding.  They hadn’t had haircuts in months.  But, bottom line is, they were afraid of their father and wanted out of there.

When I got there I was cool and acted like everything was fine.  I’m really good at that. He and my family trained me well.  Let’s play pretend this is normal and no one sees you’re a monster.

I handed him mail that had come to my house for our 19 year old.  He grabbed it and acted like he was going to throw it on the ground.  He stood in the doorway of my car as though he might get in, blocking the kids from getting in, and went into a tirade about how they hadn’t eaten and he didn’t realize I was going to get them soooo early. 

I calmly explained that it was about the same time I always pick them up and that with my work schedule it was the only time I could get the kids to the barber without taking time off work.  His eyes were sharp and his jaw was flexing.

He then offered me a smart TV.  He has three and only needs two.  He thought the kids could use it in their room.  I said no thank you to which his glare sharpened and his mouth pulled tight.  He leaned further into my car and snapped, “Fine!  I just thought they could use it upstairs.  It was given to me, and I don’t need it so I thought I’d give it to the kids!” 

I remained calm and smiled and explained that the kids have tablets; we have a TV; and (as he knows full well) I think too much technology isn’t good for their study habits or their behavior.  And, if we watch TV, it’s all together.

He argued that the boys could use it for their video games in their room.  I stood firm.  They play in the living room. No thank you. 

I thought he might lunge at me.  I could clearly see what E was texting about.

He went back to arguing about losing his time, and I offered to bring them back to him to have dinner with him AFTER the haircuts.  He backed off and let the kids in the car wth that.

After the haircuts, from the barber shop, I called him.  He answered but wasn’t home.  We waited an hour for him to come back before I left the kids with him to eat pizza.

Another hour passed, and I retrieved my emotional children.  They started in on how he has all of our old furniture in his new place.  The expensive furniture he claimed he had to burn because I had allowed it to ruin.  They told how there is a shotgun hidden in the top of the entertainment armoire and a pistol in his bedroom.

His boss, the one who is not garnishing his wages as he’s supposed to, is the one who is renting him this cute little house.  His boss is well connected, a big wig in this town.  His boss is good friends with my cousin who fired my teenager without reason or notice.  His boss is enabling him and further victimizing us, all in the name of being a good Christian. 

I’m fighting to keep my perspective. 

This man who had nothing but a sleeping bag, a small mat, a stereo, some plastic bowls, and A LOT of debt when I married him, walked away with A LOT of very nice material goods.

When I married him I had so much, so very much, but no debt.  And, all I walked away with, for all of my years of hard work, was his debt, the full responsibility for my wounded children, and a broken down body.

It’s hard not to be angry.

The youngest two crawled in my bed and asked to sleep with me.  My little girl was sobbing.  In between gasps she expressed her fear that her dad would take her away from me.  With two kids in my bed tossing and turning and moaning all night, needless to say, I didn’t sleep.

As I lay there in the dark listening to their fitfulness, random thoughts seemed to come from outside myself.  The Son of God had no place to lay His head.  Elijah thought he was alone and was fed by the birds.  Jeremiah was lowered into the pit.  David was hunted by Saul and later by his own son.  Job lost everything, including his children.  Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, lied about, falsely accused, wrongly imprisoned, and then forgotten. Lazarus was covered in sores and ate with the dogs.  Jesus was hunted and eventually murdered by His own people.

Each case was unfair.  Unjust.  They suffered things they did not deserve as a direct result of the wickedness of others. 

My Sister Survivors, on days like yesterday we need to keep an eternal perspective….. we’re in good company.  We’re on the right side.  And, in the end, our team wins.  Stay strong.  Fight the good fight.  Our redeemer is coming back but next time it’s with a double edged sword, riding his horse into battle.  Do not grow weary in doing good, or what is right.  Your reward will be great.  Possess the spirit of Jael but maintain a soft heart.  And, look up, our redemption draws near. 

I’m Still Here


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I’m sorry I’ve been away.  I miss you all.  My computer died.  I can’t afford to replace it.  And, it’s really difficult blogging from my phone. 

And, I’ve been dealing with a lot.  Physically.  Emotionally.  Financially.  Relationally. 

I’m working six days a week and am also trying to get wood in for next winter while battling the last few pieces of wet wood we have left this winter.  We’re cold all the time.  The breaker for the dryer finally went, so I’m hanging wet laundry in the cold living room and also driving into town late at night to a laundromat.

I’m tired all the time.

My ex bought a really nice truck, a TV, sound bar, a Harley, a tablet, and two pistols…..he has a girlfriend and hangs out in the bars a lot.  I shake my head at the unfairness of it all. 

He glares at the kids during visitation.  He lays on them.  Puts his head in their crotches.  He talks incessantly about taking them places and teaching our teenager to drive. ……. the kid he tried to kill in his car.  Yeah, the teen is really excited about getting in a motor vehicle again with him.  Not.  They HATE visitation.  They develop headaches and stomachaches the day before they have to go, and, a month ago, my youngest suddenly developed an obsession with hand washing upon returning from vistation.  She can’t get clean enough to satisfy “whatever” is bothering her.   Where is their justice?

One of my closest friends rarely has anything to do with me anymore and only makes snotty remarks when I do see her.  She has money and social position.  Her friends have money and social position.  And, the ex has wormed his way into their circle.  They look past the long, unkempt hair and beard, the dirty clothes, the lecherous expressions, and self-indulgence.  They feel sorry for him.  I’ve become a “story teller” in their eyes.  Where is my validation?

There seems to be no rest.  No peace.  No end to this nightmare of a life he forced upon us.

But, in the middle of it all…… my second son, the one who suffered the worst and most severe abuse, asked me to do the flowers for his wedding.  He and his fiancé trusted me and gave me creative license to create something with no direction from them. 

Their wedding was sweet, tender, and beautiful.

Then, the time drew near for their baby to be born, and my son let me know I was to be there with them as they welcomed Little Man into the world. 

When the day arrived I got off work, showered, and hurried to the hospital.  It was a long night of terrible suffering for my tiny daughter in law.  My son, too.  He threw up.  He nearly passed out.  He left the room to go to the chapel and pray.

In the final moments I watched as my son stood at his wife’s head, wringing a cool cloth onto her forehead, and as her angry mother stepped back into a corner, hurt that her laboring daughter snapped at her.  I recognized those dynamics so well!  This was supposed to be all about her mother, but the young wife forgot that in her pain.

I lifted my daughter in law’s upper body with each push, encouraging her as she worked to birth her firstborn son.  I could feel the power and strength of every muscle in her body. I could see my grandson making funny faces before his body was out.  And, I was in awe of her. 

Until that moment I cared for her.  But, suddenly, I loved her fiercely and respected her immensely.  I bonded with her.

She gave me the most beautiful gift.

She let me witness the amazing strength and beauty of femininity at its fullest.  She loves my son.  She brought him to his knees before his Lord.  She let’s me love her son.

I stopped by their house after work yesterday just as she was leaving for urgent care.  In her exhaustion, she fell asleep with a contact in and her eye is full of blood.  So, I sat with my son and held my grandson.  My son and I visited, though it was obvious I was disrupting his TV show on Bible history.  We just relaxed and talked while the baby slept cuddled to my chest. 

The beer bottles have been replaced by the Bible on the coffee table.  My son’s pained and angry expression has been replaced with a mix of worry and contentment.

And, I was content.

In the home they’re making together, healing brokenness and looking ahead, I found an hour of rest, fairness, justice, and validation.  And, hope.

My ex devastated our lives, but We’re Still Here.

Everything’s Gonna Be Alright


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Today is Valentine’s Day.  Not a single card, flower, or piece of chocolate.  No sweet messages of love for me.  I’m alone.  Sitting in my old bathrobe, sipping the coffee I just made, in front of the fire I started.  Alone.

I went to a Jonny Lang concert Friday night.  Alone.  I bought a single ticket before Christmas.  And, I walked in there Friday night all by my lonesome.  While couples and groups chatted and laughed and hugged, waiting for the show to start, I sat and worked on my book.

My seat was dead center, six rows back in the intimate little venue.  I actually made eye contact with Jonny twice.  Squeal!  Once was while we were all singing in unison, “Everything’s Gonna be alright.”  Now, concerts can be almost spiritual–it’s a strange thing–but he had us sing that over and over and over again until I think every soul in there believed it.  Perhaps that was his purpose.  But, when he looked at me and sang those words as I was singing them, they penetrated my spirit.

The couple next to me included me in their conversation and kept offering to buy me drinks.  We hugged when I left, and the woman told me we’ll all get the same seats next year so that I’ll never have to be alone at one of Jonny’s shows.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon and evening buying and delivering Valentine’s for my kids and grandkids.  As I walked into one store, a darling toddler with a crop of dark, wavy hair caught my eye.  He’d gotten away from his mother and was reaching for the sliding door.  I gasped.  That cute little guy was going to get his fingers caught!
His mama was quicker than he was though and grabbed him away just in time.  As she stood up I realized that’s my grandson’s mother!  It was then that I noticed my 4 year old grandson had kept walking out the door as his mother struggled with his brother.  I froze and beamed, waiting for him to notice me. 

He did.  He yelled my name and came running, arms out.  He hugged me over and over again, telling strangers that walked past, “That’s MY grandma!”

After they left, his mama sent me a video text of him telling me he loves me.

My final stop was my daughter’s house.  She breaks my heart on a weekly basis, but she has valiantly birthed two little girls who don’t see me through her eyes.  The loose afro bounced as my granddaughter came to me.  That bear hug must have taken every once of strength a 2 year old could muster!  She rubbed my hair. 

We’d been exchanging texts earlier in the day.  My daughter would read mine to my granddaughter, and she would record voice messages to me…….”I love you, Nammy.”  These hugs were the culmination of our verbal love fest that morning.  We’d both been looking forward to seeing each other all day. 

Her baby sister cooed and “talked” back to me, smiling, and opening her mouth, asking for kisses.

So, I’m alone on Valentine’s Day.  In a cold house.  With nothing but what I make for myself.  Yet, I’m bathed in a sense that “Everything’s gonna be alright.” 

Everything’s gonna be alright. 

Thank you, Jonny.  Thank you, strangers I sat next to.  Thank you, my sweet grand babies.  Thank you, Lord.

Everything’s gonna be alright.  Everything’s gonna be alright.  Everything’s gonna be alright……

Happy Valentine’s Day

Losing Hope


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It’s like the tide.  It ebbs and flows.  Recedes and swells.  As with the natural cycle of life, hopelessness seems to have a regular place in the time and space of a survivor’s life. 

High tides wash in, slamming the shore with blessings and sweet friendship. All you can do is stand on a high point and take in the majesty of God’s goodness.

But, then, almost as suddenly as the waters rose, they shrink back out into that cold, dark depth of seeming nothingness.  And, that’s how you feel.  Like nothing. You stand on the low point with the ground beneath you being pulled out.  You stare at the debris now revealed and realize it had still been there all along. It had just been temporarily hidden by the fleeting high tide. 

With trembling, weak hands you cling to the wet, slimy stones and fight to climb back up. “Look how far you’ve come!”  “Yes, but, you had so much to overcome.”  “At least you’re not living with him!”  “Are you sure that’s really how it was?  I only hear these stories from you.”  Empty words of bullshit ‘comfort’ echo off the rocks.  Easy for the ones to say who live in the glass houses perched upon the highest rocks.  There they are and perhaps always have been protected from the raging seas below. 

If I let the water pull me out with the sand and floating seaweed, would they blame me for my lack of strength? 

I stoop to pick up the garbage scattered along the barren shoreline and place it in my bag.  A broken piece of glass pierces my flesh.  As I watch the blood trickle down my finger it dawns on me….. they want me to stay down here.  They can’t be above if there’s no one below.



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This is an EXCELLENT read and explains my silence the last few months.  I cannot bring myself to say the words I want to scream out.  From my adult children to one of my dearest friends to acquaintences I’ve known for years to those who read this blog and make PTSD inducing comments……..I have silenced myself because I just can’t bear up under the secondary abuse.

Women Hating Women; The Sisterhood of Self Loathing


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I remember the evening I really began to love other women.  It was in a group counseling meeting at the women’s shelter the spring of 2011.

There they were.  About twelve of them.  All broken.  All crying.  Lives a mess.

As they cried and shared openly their pain and struggles, I saw the raw beauty of femininity for the first time in my life.  It was as though someone wiped a window clean and where I’d once seen distorted, ugly hags, I now saw delicate and lovely maidens.

In that moment I suddenly noticed the elegance of one’s posturing, the cuteness of another’s painted toes, the smoothness of an older women’s long legs in shorts.  Each one possessed some quality of unique and outstanding beauty that I had not noticed until I saw them through the new lens.  The lens of Sisterhood.

I was raised in an extremely misogynistic world, so I fully understand the jealousy and fear that haunts so many women.  But, it still disturbs me.  It angers me.  Now that I’m no longer wallowing in it.

Growing up, I was constantly compared to my friends.  I wasn’t as pretty, athletic, hard-working, sweet, curvy, smart, etc, etc, as my friends.  My parents began so many sentences with, “Why can’t you be more like…….” or, “It’s too bad you aren’t built more like……”  I was mocked for things I couldn’t help, such as my big nose and my flat chest while my friends were admired and flattered for seemingly everything, and that set them up, in my mind, as my competition.

I saw other women as a threat.  ALL women were my competitors, and I paled in comparison to them all.

I was taught and told that women can’t be trusted.  All women are whores.  All women are gold diggers.  All women are backstabbers.  All women are liars.  So, I didn’t trust women with the jewel of friendship.  It was difficult for me to feel close to girls, and I certainly didn’t trust them with my secrets or around my boyfriends.

And, many of them proved me (my parents) right.  They stole my clothes, slept with my boyfriends and first husband, tore apart other relationships with their lies.  They were the mean girls.

My own mother was the vilest creature of all and naturally was the first and foremost representation of womanhood in my young eyes.  Can you imagine what she taught me about trusting other women?!

So, I get it.  Still, I feel anger well within me when I see women attacking women.

I’ve noticed when male friends on Facebook post bitter memes about how awful women are, it is mostly women who like them or comment, “LOL!”  When a woman makes the news, it is mostly women in the strand of hateful “fry her!” comments at the bottom of the report.  Yet, when a father was recently arrested for kidnapping his child, it was mostly women who came to his defense because, they said, the poor man probably had a mean ex who would have kept his child from him.

Last night someone posted a picture of a beautiful black woman who is an outspoken advocate for girls’ protection from female circumcision, a survivor of it herself.   Some company or organization was offering money to the individual or group who had the most likes.  I immediately liked it and then, out of, I guess, a sick and morbid curiosity, began to read the horrible comments made by other women.  They hijacked the entire post and began nastily arguing that women need to “get off of it” and quit being hypocrites because, in their minds, it’s no different from male circumcision and “no one says a thing.”

Women were telling other women to stop talking about the horrors of holding down a little girl and, without anesthetic, scraping off her clitoris and inner labia, then stitching her outer labia closed, leaving her in shock and at HIGH risk of infection and denying her the possibility of sexual pleasure as an adult.  I’ve read accounts of physicians who were horrified the first time they saw the results of this, when they were called in to deliver babies through the mess these women’s mothers, aunts, and grandmothers–other women–left them with.  I’ve read stories of girls dying and nearly dying from infection, not at the time of the “procedure,” but later…..when they began menstruating and the blood was not able to escape completely, or from urinary tract infections caused by not being able to clean themselves or even relieve themselves thoroughly.

I’m not advocating male circumcision, but that’s not the same thing.

Last night someone else posted a picture of dirty work boots and a loooonnnnng rant about women needing to appreciate their husbands and how hard their men work.  Awhile back someone posted a video rant by a large breasted blonde telling women to “quit bitching at [their] men and just let them go hunting”…..”they need that man time after how hard they work for us.”

A few men, of course, liked these posts.  But, again, it was mostly women who responded positively and glowingly, cutting down other women with the assumption that women in general just don’t appreciate men the way they should….the way men deserve to be appreciated, admired, honored.

I’m not a bitter man hater.  I like men.  I love men.  I miss the scent of a man, the feel of a nice bicep, the sound of a deep voice.  I think wives should appreciate their husbands.  But, men are not superior, Ladies!  They do not have more value or worth than we do.  Our work and labor should also be appreciated.  The same judgment or mercy should be equally applied across the board.  If you are of the inclination to believe a man is innocent until proven guilty, then that gentle approach should also apply to women.  If you are apt to judge a woman quickly, you’d better judge men quickly then, too.

The bottom line is….we are all sinful, fallen human beings.  We all do wrong: men and women.  And, we are all human beings created in the image of God.  We all are of great worth: male and female.

That evening, back at the women’s shelter, in 2011, I alternately cried and laughed hysterically as I shared the history of abuse in my marriage and released all of that stifled emotion.  And, those beautiful women sat and listened with compassion, as I had sat and listened with compassion to their similar stories.  As I saw that they did not hate me, distrust me, judge me, or desire to compete with me, I relaxed into a Sisterhood of support.  I began to finally put down the heavy rod of self-hatred that I’d been carrying on my back my entire life.  I was free to love other women and allow them to love me back.

We need other women.  We need deep, real friendships with women.  I think the devil scored big when he convinced us to hate each other, when he convinced us to hate that core part of ourselves…..femininity.  He robbed us of an incredible gift…the sisterhood of support.