Monday, January 6, 2014

The Race of the Rabbit and the Comfort of My Hat

Hello. Welcome to Brave. I write to help remember how important it is to have courage and to share courage. I write to put a voice to domestic violence. Domestic violence is ugly, there is no part of it that is attractive or that can withstand the scrutiny of truth. And so this is my attempt to help break the silence that holds so many. 

There is so much to do! I often feel like the rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. Thankfully bedtime for my children comes everyday. Lullabies. The sweetness of cuddling, the softness of kisses for my children, singing them to sleep.... Fostering the sweetness and joy of getting snuggly and comfortable. Comfort. We crave this. Thus chocolate, puffy sweatshirts, down pillows, leg warmers, coffee (with lots of cream and sugar), soft blankets, warm food, holding hands, loving smiles all exist to comfort our soul. Where is your comfort? In a beatuful chapel, or just a folding chair before a good God? Sitting outside on a beach, feet half buried in the sand, hair wild and carefree, skin warm with sunshine? Thick sweaters, wool socks, hot cocoa and a plate of cookies, a fire in the fireplace and a shoulder to lean into? Mine rests with the little hands that pull my head closer so they can kiss my cheeks every night. And then breakfast burritos, my purple hat, flip flops and trees! Oh yes, I hold to finding comfort. There is so much that is harsh; our emotions are so wild, our circumstances and futures unsure, our relationships complicated. Breathe. Take comfort and then stand up to do and be Brave again!

Dark Corner
I saw my sillouete in the snow just feet away from where I was headed. The snow crushed into my face again. It was dry out, the snow was not new, it was neither light nor fluffy; but cutting and sharp. My face burned, my shoulders would shake but I could not move them being fully weighed down. My hands flailed.... the hole where my hands moved snow did me no good but I struggled anyway, unable to breathe as the snow crowded into my nose and mouth. I let my body stop fighting. I half wondered if that would make him stop. I had no air and I saw lights in the snow though I knew they weren't real. He moved off of me. I raised my head up an inch, drawing in a measured breath. It was not as measured and silent as I attempted. My gasp caused him to turn at the door. He growled at me not to move, went inside locking the door. I had little care for his threat- my body had to get up. The snow had started to cut into my skin. My arms and legs burned. I stood. Later he went to bed, unlocking the door as he went past. Entering I let my body adjust and slowly quit shaking. I stood there hoping he would be asleep when I reached the bedroom, knowing if I didn't go in he would likely come looking for me considering that to be disrespectful. I took a blanket from the hallway closet and curled up on the floor in the bedroom. He wasn't asleep. 

I see the sharp contrast in my thoughts on comfort and the fear and control in the Dark Corner. Two drastically different lives. One full of life and love, the other was death. Having lived both I am passionate about two things (well actually lots of things but....) One is that people are people and have the right to make choices. Our choices do not have to be right they just have to be our own. Secondly is that life is meant to be full of joy. My life is not easy now- but it is overflowing with joy, comfort and love. I look for these things, I seek them out- I find new parks and places to enjoy with my children, I snuggle before bed with my children, I find solace in my place of worship and wear my purple hat as often as temperatures allow. 

There are so many people that live without fundamental human rights. I don't think I will ever say it enough to myself and everyone that will listen: Be Brave! Your life is worth living. Find a way to get help if you are being hurt or controlled. No one has the right to take away who you are. Be Brave!

-Abby