Friday, May 29, 2015

Love in a Nightmare


I don't have time or the ability these days to put eloquent words together for the joy of language. I've always loved language. My mother bestowed upon me a great love of reading (library trips are essential to children!!!!). And so as I grew I fell in love with words. Deep infatuated love. They have a feel, a taste, a sound. Words are a sense- a sense for the imagination. But that is difficult these days. This is difficult these days.

As my doctors continue to run tests to be sure my physical and mental limitations that progress are indeed caused by the years of head trauma from domestic abuse I have found I need great focus.

There is much to love yet. Much love to be given and received. And yet my abilities are so limited. My independence dissolved and dissipated as if overnight. Everything I had is falling between my fingertips because I cannot hold my fingers together. I shake.

My head tips back in silent screams, deep cries and aching.

Focus. I must know what is wrong for sure. I must continue to do what I can. I must remember love. Focus.

All the support in the world cannot chose focus for me. I am but alone in the choice to live with focus.

You are but alone in your choice to live with focus. Whether you are choosing love in a nightmare of health problems and difficulties or choosing life and leaving your abuser or simply choosing to make a difference with your life by helping someone....Focus is a choice- a brave choice.

If you are being hurt please know every time you get hurt there can be outcomes you can't foresee. You are not in control, you are not keeping the abuse contained. You are being hurt. If you need help or assistance or a safety plan please click here

much love, abigail

Monday, May 4, 2015

Grace and Gratitude

Grace and gratitude. That is what was written to me. If ever I've seen a daunting challenge there one lies. As of late I've been considering the people I know that have already passed. I'd considered how some seemed to live and then leave in grace while others didn't. Can I choose grace? Can I choose gratitude? What if I become unable to choose those things? What if I can't control.... Oh life is very humbling. 
But as I look at and roll over these words: grace. gratitude. They aren't sharp words. But in kind they are neither soft nor comfortable. They are words that evoke a sense of work; work before the tragic happens. Layers of thought, observation and perspective. These can't be borrowed, no one can share or give these to you. They are the deep and mindful words I sure hope I can hold. 

We have just have today. Be Brave.

Dark Corner
Fear. Fear. Cowering and Pain. 
Still Relief.
Unsure I stepped. 
The hatred dismissed me and it was if it hadn't happened.
Relief slipped.
Fear marked.
Unsure I stayed.

If you are being hurt please get help. Do more than survive. Your life matters, your health matters and both are in danger if you are with someone who doesn't hold you with value. Do more than survive. You will have time for grateful later, you will be grateful you left. You will rely on others grace and then you will learn it for yourself. Your life matters. YOUR life matters. 


Friday, March 13, 2015

Fragile Limits

We like to believe that we are limitless. We can do anything we set our minds to do. "The sky is the limit" and "Oh the places you'll go." For most of my life I've believed that I was more, that I could be more, do more and go "to infinity and beyond". I believed this with great passion. It is an emotional cognition that fuels campaigns, wars, politics, religions and every senior educational class of students on the planet. A force to be reckoned with. 
And then comes along the fragility of life. Life so fragile that the toughest fall, the strongest falter, huge empires crumble and every religion in the world has a Thomas, a doubter, who still hangs on to belief. Every breath you take is not chosen by you. Every day you are awarded is not taken or even "lived" by your choice. Life is. And life is fragile. 

For most of the portion of my life in which I was married I wore fragility in bruises, bumps and fear. Sadly the bumps were mostly on my head. A bump on the head is not very easily seen by others and if you live in colder climates it can most easily be hidden by a warm fuzzy hat. A warm fuzzy hat that cradles what aches, that covers what hurts and carries what grows fragile. I had no idea that successive concussions were something to worry about. In eight years the numbers of blows to the head I took are in the high hundreds, easily estimated by more than 3 a week that caused symptoms of mild concussions- often purposefully in the same place as the last hit. My walls bore the dents and my children tell tales of my head being slammed into the floors. 
And now, the fragility of life has found me. This is years later, three years later as of yesterday since the last and eleven years since the first. 

If you are being harmed in any way please find help. EVERY TIME YOU ARE HARMED MATTERS. Every time. It might just be mild, a blow to the head that makes you see stars and makes you dizzy. But that might just be your life. Please find help


Friday, January 30, 2015


There is a gorgeous fog that touches down around my house most mornings. The morning light filters through it softly, the tall grasses in the fields get touched with moisture and the cows and horses we love as neighbors look as magical as their fairy-tale cousin the unicorn, soft and glowing in the misty fog. The fog leaves by 8:30 or 9, the sun heating it up and demanding the dewy softness of the morning leave for the warmer, more realistic day to begin. The horses keep eating, the cows continue mooing and I sigh every morning as that is my cue to let "real life" start again. And yet, I like the morning moments far more than I like those that follow. I wonder why those magical still quiet moments are vanquished and sent away from my days. I do understand it is hard to feel mystical and special when cleaning toilets, doing laundry or frowning over my financial spreadsheet. Joy lost in the "Hurry Up" moments, lost in the language of "STOP FIGHTING" calmly muttered to my squabbling angels, forgotten in my quandary of financial statements.... Somedays though I pause long enough in the foggy quiet soft spaces of morning to let it seep a little deeper in. I breathe in a little longer, smile a bit farther inside.... Mercies are new every morning. There is nothing like setting aside worries, busyness and efficiency for a little wonder, a little joy and a quiet break from what ails us. I'm pretty sure it's there our brave grows. 

Dark Corner
Guilt. My daily dose of guilt that day was that he picked up the house....cleaned some of it even. Hatred and then a blank stare that is what greeted me. I'd forgotten for a bit while I was at work that everything was my fault. It amazes me now that I let that move me, that I let my motivation be to make him happy. But that day I felt bad, I felt badly that he did "my work". He could see it on my face that afternoon- emotion from me, good or bad wasn't acceptable. Grabbing me by the hair he dragged me down the stairs, along the hall, my hands grasping for something, my knees running into every corner. I did not want to be pulled into our bedroom. Heart racing I pulled back, my hair ripping but he knew I didn't want to follow him. We both knew he was going to suffocate me, his hands already reaching for my neck. Later that evening, I stood in the bathroom- eyes bloodshot, face speckled with broken blood vessels, red scuff marks on my neck....I only looked for a moment. I was as ugly, broken and hurt as he had said I was. 

And yet the truth is that I wasn't ugly. Not ugly due to the bruises, not ugly any day. I have been as beautiful as the morning fog is everyday since I was born. We have the same creator after all. My insides are as fascinating as yours. My outsides can be an amazing mirror to my insides letting out life, beauty or being honest about the turmoil within. Just as I was made to be. That is where our beauty, our worth lies. We are as we were made to be. We don't belittle the lion at the zoo for being captive, we don't think him less because he was injured and rescued, we don't quit feeding and caring for him because he needs us to. Your worth is not dependent on whether you or not you need help. Your worth isn't dependent on whether or not someone else thinks you worthy. You are because you are here. Because you can enjoy the same quiet still foggy morning moments as I. 

You are noteworthy. This morning was noteworthy. Can't wait to see tomorrow.

If you are being hurt as always, I implore you to seek help. Emotional, physical, spiritual- any or all of those signify being hurt and needing help. You are worthy.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Twisted Glass

I have a small whiskey glass. Its footprint is a square, the edges of the glass are pinched just so cradles itself in your hand when you hold it, feeling as smooth as the whiskey I put in it. But it isn't the smoothness that I love so much about my glass. I like to look through it. It changes the picture of what is behind it just ever so slightly. I can still see what is there, it doesn't hide or disguise anything. But most certainly it changes what I see. 
This morning I woke up feeling I might be alive. This winter so far has been difficult, lots of being sick and the flu and this horrible deathly cold I've had the last couple of weeks. To say I've been under the weather would be an understatement. A snowy icy thunderstorm had found me. Today however, I woke, still aching with a sore throat but alive and not quite so sickly. I got up, smiled at my whiskey glass as it distorted and swirled the photograph that sat behind it. Last night the whiskey stopped my throat from hurting and this morning the glass reminded me of my perspective. 
Thankfully we all have a whiskey glass. We all have a perspective. We all have stories. Our lives are lived and seen, sometimes with a whiskey glass and sometimes straight on and sometimes there is beauty in both. I've had a shift in my perspective as of late. The amazing part in that was that those perspectives were never challenged. Being loved, truly loved seems to let us see things differently, without holding quite so tightly onto what we thought we knew. Maybe love is the glass, maybe love turns the glass, maybe love fills the glass or removes it all together. I'm not sure. I don't know. Maybe whether you have a whiskey glass, orange juice glass or a soda glass it's time to turn it a bit, look at it while tilting your head or just with a desire to see what else there is. Brave the twisted glass. Brave the possibilities. Brave today. 

This blog was started with an intent to let people in and give understanding to what it is like to live with abuse. One in four women will experience abuse but that means three in four don't know, don't understand and probably can't imagine how it is possible to allow someone to harm yourself. It happens in a moment, a moment that gets brushed off, ignored and left. But in that moment the door opens for more. Just like a little lie always leads way to a bigger one and a bigger one. Abuse functions the same way. Within eight years time my marriage to my ex husband went from moments of confusion to emotional seclusion and abuse to physical harm. The physical harm escalated to life threatening situations that occurred often, not everyday but certainly every week with the constant possibility of death. Abuse that started with a slap in the car, next occurred at home, then at my in-laws home when they weren't looking, at Costco, at Beluga Point.....and on and on. 
I wish I could gather up all the women that know these truths and give them a new life. Give them perspective to see differently. Perspective to know they can get out. 

To those that might be being hurt or harmed: 
One of my favorite women offered perspective when she wrote, "I don't trust people who don't love themselves and tell me, 'I love you'. There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt." Maya Angelou. People that are abusive do not love themselves. Don't believe that they have a shirt for you, love for you, care for you... Their words are lies. Let that shatter their lie and get help

To those that aren't in a harmful situation:
Love. Love yourself. Love others, fully and completely. Look to be Brave because you can.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Different Colored Rain Clouds

The week of Thanksgiving. My kids and I have been talking every night at dinner about what we are thankful for. And there is so much. Our lists are always interesting and at times comical... vacation days, stuffed tigers, Minecraft, Minecraft, Minecraft, playdough, cousins, dolls, Minnie the cat and smelly blankets. My children bring such joy. This life however is full of much more than thankfulness. Coming from the infamous City of Destruction we shuffle forward. I think the holidays are wonderful reminders to be thankful and joyous. But they are also stressful reminders that there is much we haven't attained, much we carry sorrows for and much we cannot throw off on our own. Walking out of the city takes time, lots of effort and more bravery than we often attribute to it. The phrase of "When it rains it pours" is comical to me. I wonder sometimes if it quit raining? Doesn't it just shift to different colored clouds? It's certainly always something. And sometimes it just requires a cry, a pout and a horrible awful ugly mood. I know, I've been in one all morning long. I do believe though that while sufferings can last our whole lives, those horrible awful ugly moods don't have to. At some point today I will choose to be thankful again. I will choose to breathe and remember that these troubles are just in par with where I am and the many hills of difficulty. They are but a momentary discomfort. When I gave birth to my babies I was always so surprised at how quickly the exact details of how bad the birthing was faded. I hope someday that the troubles I've seen, the struggles I have now are but as faded. So if you are in the same Thanksgiving week slump that I am, have a momentary cry with me and then we'll keep on our journey. 

Dark Corner
His hands round my neck. Being strangled was always terrifying. It brought out animal like clawing and squirming, sweating and gasping. My eyes would get hard like rocks and unable to see. My mouth would feel like a hundred cotton balls were crammed in. And at some point I would give up and sink into the dark. 

If you are being harmed please get help. It is not easy. But life isn't easy. you can do this. The holiday seasons exemplify suffering. And most likely your abuser hurts you out of his/her own suffering. This puts you at great risk during the holidays. I know. Please take a moment, have a cry if you need but find help. 

*I made reference above to John Bunyan's "The Pilgrim's Progress". My favorite reminder to keep on. 

Monday, October 27, 2014


Every story comes from the echo of a trouble in our soul. 

My echo is dark. I'm quite accomplished at keeping it tidy in wraps for myself and you. I keep those stories in the Dark Corners. Because I can see twinkles and lights and sunshine and fog sitting beside beautiful old oak trees. I can see my children, their eyes and their amazing bravery. I can see a life without this burdensome story. I can hear music, love songs and childish ditties. I can draw monkeys that swing from the ceiling near humongous palm trees that I've stapled to my ceiling. 

I hate, HATE, that my children have seen with such young eyes violence. I hate that my sons have seen their father attempt to take my life, stopping short for who knows what reason. I hate that my daughters have been called ugly names; that they heard me being referred to in undeserved and disrespectful ways. I will forever hate the day my oldest daughter cleaned up my hair off the floor after her father had pulled it out, handfuls and handfuls of hair up off the bloodied floor. 

How do my two perspectives live? How can we hold both? Like a trapeze performer swinging back and forth. Like a glorious sunshiny day that also has a forecast for a storm. My heart is full but I'm afraid forever heavy.

Sun and rain equally bring life. I chose to make joy. I chose to live in the glory of a life without harm. Its simply beautiful. I breathe without my back hurting. I walk without feeling the raised bruises on my legs. My head never aches anymore from being hit or slammed into whatever was near. My life is beautiful. 

I have for the last year implored everyone who reads this to get help if you are being harmed. I will forever continue doing so. I also beg everyone who reads this to see the stars, feel the wind and enjoy everyday we have. Life is beautiful. My hands though empty hold my children and I need your help to keep them safe. Please share my story. Please help not only my children but all the other children who find the terror of a family member's anger to be normal. Recovery from abuse is not easy, be brave with me.