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 slightly...it 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. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014


Have you ever hoped for the illusive "something more". I have. I thought it was love; but truly know I've found that and still I've been wanting. I wasn't looking for God- he can't be found, he just is. I wasn't looking for money (though I'd love just a tad more for Christmas presents! But wouldn't we all!) - (And seriously that was NOT a hint Mom, I promise! ) No, I just needed to be reminded of the joy of work. Yup work! I find that peaceful joyous excitement for life when I cook- the aim for the perfect cookie has long been in pursuit! I find that fulfillment and awareness when I write a new song- expression mixed with work is amazing! I find that "something more" when I apply myself. Joy is made. Did you catch that? Joy is made. We've lost our ways of having a craft. We belittle the hobby with our busyness. We tire ourselves with "work" we care little about. We dishonor ourselves daily with nothing to aspire to. What are you working on? What is moving you? What brings you joy? My new hobby might be to free myself and my children from injustice. It might be to free you and yours too. Working for something, applying ourselves feels amazing. We were meant to work. Meant to build something meaningful. It takes a lot to build toward something. Its scary, its time, its...ourselves. Be Brave!

Dark Corner-
My face hit the wall. I knew when I'd started up the stairs I should be careful. The kids were very quiet. I could feel him before he met me at the top of the stairs. He told me to get out. He stood in front of the kids and I knew he was in a very precarious place, a dangerous place. I also knew my back was still purple along my spine. My ankle sore and my head hurt from last night's episode of anger. I'd had a great day, came home in such a good mood...to this. I wanted to make dinner. I wanted to live. But that want wasn't strong enough. He'd somehow taken me from me and I simply turned and walked back downstairs.

When you can't have joy; when you can't just be; when you can't find you- no matter what the cause you need help. You need someone to help you, someone to talk to- some good counsel. If you are also being physically harmed you need to become safe so you can think, so you can see. You can not think clearly or see anything while afraid for your life, well-being or the safety/security of your children. Please get help. There is no shame in this. Joy is out there to be had but you have to get free of harm first. Be brave, be very brave!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Courage. Not a feel good adjective!

All of history has been marked by people; people who are moving forward to change things. We create, we change, we make things different. Whew..well I don't know about you but that makes me exhausted. My life is so full and so filled that I often wonder how I can make things better. Being a zealous person I'm not very easily calmed or squashed into accepting that I've done my job...I think there is more to do. But we need something to change our world.... we need something big.... we need COURAGE! Courage is one of those feel good words that we like to describe others with. And yet it DOESN'T feel good!!!! Generally to be courageous we have to have some sort of trial or tribulation in which to inspire us to courageous actions and holy cow who would seek troubles? Who would seek to have bad things happen to themselves or their families? Not I!!! And yet the last ten years have been one big trial. (Lumping it all together makes me feel better sometimes! ha!) And I am in need of courage!
Here is my problem: 
I am going to fight with everything I can to ensure that my children have the right to remain protected from an individual who is violent (this being their father). He pled guilty to more than three accounts of domestic violence and has never denied any of the abuse. My belief is that he should not be able to see his kids. Solely based on the fact that we don't demand that of adults. 
Let's just say my father hurt me today and hurt my mother in front of me. (I am 32 years old.) No judge would reprimand me for being afraid of my father. No one would try to talk me into visiting with him. And I wouldn't listen to any judge that decided that I should see him. That situation of course was fictional. 
Fighting this today means attorneys, judges and counselors. It involves saying no to people and institutions that we don't say no to. We are a democracy, we have these laws and blah blah blah. Regarding children they are wrong. There just isn't a better way to put that. The laws protecting violent parents are wrong. 
But I am just me.... I'm caught by that is ridiculous. I'm astounded that I have to fight for this. 
I'm also not sure how to do this. How do you fight "the man", the government, a scary ex husband with little resources and a (descriptions kept to myself) attorney? 
It's as if the enemy is so vague and unknown that I can't just reach out and kill it. A foe this large is a bit formidable...maybe my writing will be as David's rocks. I have to do something.  I've started writing two children's books; "The Dragon Inside" which illustrates the danger of secrets, and a workbook about how to re-label emotions after trauma. Much is coming from this...maybe that is why I'm walking it. Regardless I am attempting to build courage, find courage and the umphf to keep on.

If you are being harmed or in a violent or abusive relationship please get help. There isn't an excuse in the world that justifies hurting a woman or child. The manipulation and control exerted to create the atmosphere for abuse is as damaging as the abuse itself. Please get help! You are worth life. If you have children know that they can have better, they will have better! Be Brave!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

My Hair Is A Mess

I have been blessed with a fair amount of zeal. That is an understatement! 
I also, in a fun and carefree moment last spring cut all of my hair off... All of it off. And then the next month I went even shorter.....Holy Toledos, growing it out is awful. 
So back to the zeal, I often get so worked up. There is so much to get worked up about. Our country's imminent demise...or rather potential and probable and profitable and....Ok, this is not a political blog! I am extremely proud to be an American, what this nation was founded for and had the potential for is awesome. What we are today is so very far from that. Anyhow, my political leanings are easily backed with great zeal. As this trial with my ex-husband/former abuser looms I am FULL of zeal concerning the safety of my children and the life I want for them. FULL OF ZEAL. If I thought it would help to march from Texas to Washington DC I would start tonight. (Hmmmm that is a great idea....stay close, you might see me carrying a sign marching across America!) Forced interaction with a violent person just because they are related by blood is the most absurd idiotic and harmful idea anyone ever had. No one can tell me that they would like to be alone with a person they see almost murder someone else and be told its ok because someone will watch through the window at a visitation center. Yeah, that brings about great peace of mind. No one would force an adult to do this and yet everyday children all over the country are subjected to this violation of rights. AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! My war cries are continual these days. Ha, yep I do have zeal. 
Ok, lets jump back to my hair for a moment. You know when you have a bad hair day and you scowl at yourself. Well I also have been doing a fair amount of that. I look like a chicken on a good day and my bad hair days....well they require starting over. The other day though I simply did not have time to start over. Half mohawk, half chicken hair and a whole lot of scowling I had to run for the door with the kids. And then I realized all the zeal I had felt was replaced by this scowling disgruntled chicken head. It had vanished in my scowling at my hair. So I stopped real quick and said, "Embrace it" and I did- even threw on my favorite sweater and Hollywood sunglasses. I might have looked a bit crazy that day but I knew what I was about. I know what I'm headed towards (holy that might be a long walk or fight or whatnot). But my hair is simply not going to get in the way of what I need to do. 

Dark Corner
He hurt me, badly in front of my children. He threatened to kill them, in front of them. He hurt my children emotionally, spiritually, physically and verbally.
No big story today, no details. The basic facts suffice.

It's time folks for us to say no to the violation of children's rights. But no matter what you are about, what you need to stand up for- don't let your Brave get moved out of the way due to your hair. It can't be as bad as my chicken/mohawk hair. Embrace who you are. Wear who you are and be Brave! Be BRAVE!!!!
If you are being hurt please please get help. It will not get better. Do not stay hoping for your fairytale to start. Get help, be smart. If you can plan your escape- do that, but if you can't- just get out. Take pictures. Go to the police. No matter how scary get help. You can live!


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Hope Is The Only Thing More Effective Than Fear

"Hope is the only thing more effective than fear. A little hope is effective. A lot of hope is dangerous."
The Hunger Games

Every child born contains, breaths and exists on hope. The child stays alive in hope and the quality of each child's life is bound to the hope it's parents or caretakers have. A misery loving parent can steal and kill all future hope for a child. But a parent who hopes is a parent that choses life for their child. Of all the things I've learned in the last couple years I most love the lessons in hope I've received. I've danced and argued and resented hope. I've declared hope to be cruel and a liar. I've also found it's what keeps us moving forward. A little hope is very effective. But a lot of hope....whoah now! Am I sure I can even imagine or hope that much? Yes. I can. I can hope for my children. We need hope for our children. They need that. Hope that life is good and will be good. Hope that what is right will prevail. We need the hope to live in our children. Their hope is worth protecting.

Dark Corner
The knife he held to my pregnant belly was sharp, it's touch hurt. On the cool grass where he held me down he snarled out the threat of slicing me from groin to throat. The baby kicked and I could feel the blade bite against my skin, right where she had kicked. He spoke of spilling the baby out and watching us bleed to death. He talked about how he would bury us under the house in the crawl space. No one would look for me. He'd already astraigned me from everyone including my family. I couldn't look at him, my tears poured down my face. I had been "complaining of being tired" instead of cleaning up the living room as he had expected. He had claimed for years that everything I did was a sin. That sin deserved death. He hated me and I knew it. It was my sweet Cora inside my pregnant belly. ..the other kids looked out the window at us. Real quick he pulled the knife back scratching me with the blade and threw it at the fence. Spitting out words of death he went back inside the house. The other kids faces watched in the window, I wiped my eyes.

Where there was once no courage there is courage. Where there was once no hope there is plenty of hope. Where there was once no bravery there is Brave. My children need Brave. 

If you are being harmed, know that you will never feel ready. It will never feel convenient or "right" to leave your partner. People you know and respect may tell you to stay or that marriage is tough or to just get counseling. Please find help. Violence is never acceptable. A person who harms anyone is wrong, not the ones being harmed. Its okay to acknowledge that you are a victim, that you are being hurt. Please find help. 
If you are not being harmed first be thankful. Second find a way to help. Domestic violence occurs in every walk of life, every people group and every place on earth. Help the women and children find hope. As always, be Brave. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Necessity sometimes pushes us. Pulls us. Demands things of us that we wouldn't otherwise consider. A good friend of mine commented on how his life was so different than he ever thought it would be. Another someone commented on a distinct unhappiness they were surprised at. And yet another friend recently spoke of how we are able sometimes to power through what is difficult and when it is over we marvel at how we managed. Necessity....life.....God.....children......money......There are lots of circumstances and winds that move our lives. Some we know and some we don't know. Some we choose and can see coming from far off and others change our lives in a second. Over the last couple of years I've often wondered if my life would stop changing; if I could somehow attain a lull or a peaceful calm where I could experience the joy of sameness. I think my wishing is almost a joke. Everyday seems to create something new. And as I look forward to....well even I'm not sure what I'm looking forward to anymore...but as I look forward regardless, I'm certain that I'm not bored. I'm certain that somehow everything will work out- it always manages too. I'm certain of change happening. I'm certain I'm living. Be brave friends no matter what necessity challenges. 

Dark Corner
He was outside of where I worked. Again. The next day he called to tell me I was being bad and complaining- that I was in trouble. Being tired from his late night anger the day before had not made the day easy. And now somehow from afar I was causing him to be angry at me. This was proving to be an exhausting week. It felt like peering through a pinhole. I couldn't see anything. I couldn't see how to fix the problem, I couldn't even imagine leaving him and his emotional ups and downs. I squinted, hoping to see something but all I saw was that he was angry again.... And again I went home.

Necessity once meant hiding warm clothes outside in the shed just in case we got thrown out of the house. It meant wearing hats at work to hide the places my hair was thin. And it pushed me to lie about how I got hurt. I hated when he lied to me, lied for me. But there were lies and ways of thinking imposed upon me, accepted by me as I wanted to please the one I loved. Accepted by me because I felt I didn't deserve what was given to me and wanted to see if tomorrow I could show him- that maybe then he would see I wasn't so bad. 
I hope you see in my words that this is no way to live. If you are being hurt please get help. If you know someone who is or might be getting hurt find a way to help. We are all people, which means we interact, we are creative, amazing, interesting and full of life. We can help each other. Let necessity push you to life. Let it push you toward change so that you can live BRAVE. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Its been a little while since I've posted anything. A cat has found its way into my house, residing as a true king, not impressed with the antics of the many hands that seek to pet his mane and yet regal in his kind eyes. A song has come out of me as well. So my efforts of late have been devoted to my guitar. Words, happy words have been pouring out. Even last night as I was washing dishes a song was there and I had to stop  and scramble around for a pencil. Is this for real? Can happy be good? Can happy..... and the overthinking of course is there. But I can quiet it, as this happy is just me. This happy is just finally having less emotional binds to what has happened to what is happening. An insightful friend recently looked at me and noted that I seemed healed somehow. When that happened, I'm not sure. Why that happened, I don't know. Maybe the recognition of late to "let it go" or the pursuit of taking care of myself or the enjoyment of what I have....? Maybe its all of that. People have long pursued being happy and I finally seen why. The calm of my cat, the delight of my children, the joy in my songs.... This is good stuff! This is good stuff! Be Brave my friends, be happy!

If you are being harmed by another know that they do not have the right to harm you. You can tell them that either verbally or by getting away from them. There is lots of help there but you will have to ask for it, you will have to seek out help. Please please get help if you are being harmed. There is a happy life possible for you, a truly happy life- a life that doesn't have fear, a life that can enjoy and delight in small and big things, a life not controlled or dictated. You are worth that. 
Many blessings, abigail

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Kittens and Echos- and a goofy mood! lol

I am smitten by a kitten. Just blown away at the tremendous amount of cuteness that is that little ball of fur? They mew, they have tiny little scratchy tongues and the most adorable little feet in the world. Needless to say I have, not baby fever!!! No more babies for me!!! Haha. No, I am fully afflicted by cat fever. I want a kitty cat to sit in my lap! I want to hold one, and scratch their ears and pet them all the while getting happily covered in cat hair. Oh geeze, yes it really is that bad. My neighbor's cat will simply not do any longer. My client's cat won't do either. I must get a cat! While this cat fever has been going on I've been noticing where it started. And I have decided- our lives echo. Our choices and thoughts and ..... all of it becomes an echo. The irritating loneliness echoes to the need for a cat. My desire to be whole and healthy and independently sound echo into my liking the idea of a cat. And my need to be reminded that relaxing is good for me, well that thought gets echoed in my desire for a cat. It reminds me of my mother, and it reminds me of my cat Punky from my high school years, and it reminds me of the cats on my uncle's farm and all of that makes for sentimental and emotional happy. So.... smitten by a kitten. Oh yes! (Please oh please don't quit reading due to my ridiculous phrasing today!!!) I'm proud to follow my echoes. They are some of the most interesting time occupying trails to follow. My echoes make me feel complete, satisfied and knowing. And that knowing is so powerful. It's me after all that I'm knowing. Be Brave, know you and all your echoes too! :-)

Dark Corner
He said no. He said no. He said no. He hit me. He hit me. He hit me. 
I cried. I cried. I cried. He lied. He lied. He lied.
I listened. I listened. I listened. Inside I died. Inside I died. Inside I died. 

With no patience today to tell a story- the above is that past relationship in a nutshell. Repeated by threes because in repetition anything can become normal- even really bad things. Domestic violence can become normal, can become just what happens. As long as I was not dead I felt I was ok, that things would change, that I could influence things enough to make it change. But that was myself believing the lie that it was all my fault, that I had caused his behavior, that this was ok and normal. If this is you, please please get help. Try to see you, try to hear your echoes, try to hear the last time you felt the anger feel chaotic and scary- that is not normal. That is not safe or healthy. Better is out there, I promise; a safe life is possible, it can be had. 
If you are reading this as one not affected by domestic violence- make a difference. Tell every young woman you know that they are worth love, they are worth being cared for, they are worth their own care. Support those trying to break free. And don't ever be afraid to throw your voice out there and offer help. 
Take care, abigail

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Summer and Shadows

In the summer we see the sunshine, we see the bright sky and flowers. We see the fun and beaches and vacations. Tanned feet, flip flops and swim suits. Bike riding and time at the pool. Endless days of summer. But I pause here. My endless days have.... shadows. When I step into the sun I see my shadow. When I do all the summer things I see other shadows. Summer contains shadows. Somedays mine are dark and appear to be dark holes shaped just like myself in which I could fall into. And somedays they are cheerful flitting Peter Pan type shadows, full of memories and wistful wanting emotions. Today I look into a deep shadow. I hold onto my own hands and sit on its edge. I left worry out of the equation, I left the fear and the discontent. I wanted to see in, down the darkness, down the hole. As if sitting on the edge of a swimming hole from days long ago, I let my toes play along the top of the dark water, not willing to jump in, not wanting though to go. Maybe this is part of saying goodbye to the past, sitting with it. Maybe this is just settling into what is. I don't love this, my heart is sore but some things are best taken as they are. Acceptance and peace found at that shadow? A deep breath and the ability to sit with a shadow? I'm not sure, but I'm there. Be Brave, shadows and all. 

Dark Corner
He said I wasn't good enough and so I slept on the floor next to the bed. On nights when I was evil I slept in the hallway or back porch. On weeks that I was hurting I didn't sleep, afraid of what would happen when I slept. It took years for his behaviors to creep into the daytime. But they did....
My belly ached, so very heavy and large with another baby. I hurt everywhere, my right leg with deep brown marks, my back with the same. My eyes were so tired. I looked to him, hopeful for an easy day, a day that we could be distracted. A day with something planned, a day with his family maybe so at least it would be tempered a bit, for awhile. But.... no luck. He teased me about how slow I was. I wasn't feeling it. And that was enough. He grabbed an exercise roller stick, the wooden kind. It struck the back of my head before I even realized he had it. I stumbled forwards, and felt it again...

Domestic violence has a charming way of being brushed aside. What an uncomfortable thing to think about, talk about and consider. But we need to- if one in four women in the US is harmed at some point in their lives, we need to. 
Every nine seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten. Everyday in the US, three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends. 
Please help end this by seeking help if you are being hurt! You are worth a calm, peaceful summer day, a life with care. Whatever kind of love you feel from the person who also harms you is but a shadow, it is not the real thing. Let it be the past. I ask you, knowing the hurt, knowing the confusion, pain and fear- please seek help if you are being hurt! You have my prayers as always, abigail

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Mail and Running Off Fear

So I had a conversation, a little chat and visit with myself..... "Abigail, "I said, "you should sleep more. You should work less as your work schedule right now is not anywhere near a healthy one. You should keep pursuing ways to make things easier for yourself because you are doing a big task. You need people and they need you so no hiding in a treehouse just yet, plus seriously can you imagine keeping up with an outhouse with all the kids.... Gross. And I'm pretty sure the friendly neighbors you have aren't going to move to tree houses around you so they can help you when a branch breaks or birds build a nest in your kitchen.... There is no way to tell what is going to happen tomorrow or in the fall or next year. Be brave, even with the mail.
I hold so much fear- it is astounding the many things that I wish I could just pass off to someone else. Would you come open my mail for me? Oh yes, you have to actually go check the mail as well..... I laugh but seriously it is a very good example of another thing I am afraid of, fearful of those wretched bills, fearful of what unknown horrible news might come wrapped up in an envelope. 
Along the course of things I have often wondered about how bravery comes about. What changes us from sniveling, scared and hesitant beings to bold, confident and sure? I've seen so much of my life be marked by the tendencies to both. A blog named Brave, and yet far overworked because I'm scared of a possible lack in the future; a commitment to speaking truth and having conversations even if difficult, and yet a shy introvert that would love to hide; confident in who I am and yet I wonder if my loneliness says something about me.....
My conversation with myself was a commitment to be kind to me. Fear is never kind, fear is always harsh and uncaring, full of worry, full of injustice. And so, I do believe my battle with fear will continue in a kind hearted loving way. I will love me. Be Brave with me friends, be good to yourself and see how far fear runs. 

Dark Corner
He told me to get a knife. My head was swirling, my eyes already puffy and swollen from tears. I was hungry, I was really sleepy, I was.... I went and got the knife. He yelled that I didn't trust him. He lowered his voice and snarled that I was a disgrace, a woman who refused to submit to her husband, a woman that didn't trust her husband with her life. Knife in hand I kept my head lowered; I was unsure of how to proceed as this was a new behavior from him. I felt so often that I could manage or keep him from doing permanent damage, that I could make him accept my attempts to be what he wanted. But this day it was new and knives were... scary. Cut your palm, he said. If you trust me cut your palm. My eyes found his, questions and fear were in mine, I saw nothing in his. I pointed the knife at my palm but couldn't. Not knowing the extent of what he would do if I said no, I really wanted to be able to cut my hand. But... I shook my head no, I told him no. Mad, he filled the room with descriptions of myself.  Reaching over he cut my palms with the knife, both of them.... shallow, long cuts. He was disgusted with me, he was angry, he wanted dinner...... The cuts I could bandage, a butterfly bandage and some gauze and I was ok. I made dinner, and in those actions a new behavior was added to the list of scary scenarios that were normal. But that day, that was the day the last shred of trust in him died. 

Dear friends, my hope here is that you be encouraged. If you are being harmed please get help. Domestic violence is complex; emotions are manipulated, truth is twisted and fear conquers even those with great intentions. Strong, confident and sure women are bent by fear, by what looks to be love of their partners. But your love of someone that hurts you cannot change their behavior. Your love or care must start with you and letting yourself be harmed is not right or good for you no matter what lies are being told. 
Run off fear, be loving to yourself. Be Brave. - abigail

Monday, May 26, 2014

Something is going on......

The sense that something is going on..... Mmmmmmm. Some people are enamored by this in the form of great smells. Yeast in a bowl with warm water.... then with some flour and a little heat and .... I can smell something going on. Some people are captivated by the seasons, the earth changing her clothing and the animals in movement. Change happening right in front of us, having nothing to do with us and yet it is something going on. Change is magical, it's huge and fills us with hope. Seeing people change is amazing, amazing in a way almost greater than seeing new flowers open, leaves changing colors and bread rise. The story of my life thus far holds a moment that was an epiphany. And that epiphany caused a movement of bravery. And that movement changed the course of my life, the course of my children's lives and is amazing. However my days are not always spent being amazed at this great change. It is tempting as I see problems and issues that still lurk around the corners of my life to focus on those dark spots. At times they are all I can see. After years of demanded unattainable perfection I see little but what needs to be fixed. I utterly fail at relaxing, at acceptance and at being ok with myself. I've had little uplifting to say recently as I've been caught up in my own failures, my own humanity, the great need to change. And then I thought- I have changed. Change continues to happen in my life and it is because I desire it, and because it just does. I do not need to be the catalyst creating great change. I can breathe. There was little leading up to my epiphany that hinted at change. I see now the indications but at the time it was a decision made over the course of a few hours. So, my big Brave right now is to applaud myself and sing in the face of my dark spots. To breathe and let all that is going on happen. Be Brave!

Dark Corner
His problems were my problems. His inadequacies were mine. His emotions were upon me. I was the focus, I was the problem, I was supposed to be the helper, the solution. But all I did was cause him pain, anger and distraction. He would have me live as he saw fit, as he thought God saw fit. Or else. The hyper focus and intensity of being watched exhausted me. His attentions made me weary, his actions confused me. His happy terrified me. How could he be happy? How could he act so right? The first time I knew that bitter tasting emotion of resentment I remember returning his stare with it in my eyes. I knew what would happen, I knew he would remove the look from my eyes. His eyes met mine and I held his. My heart aches with this memory, I just.... I just wanted to be more than his property, his emotional toy. He threatened to remove my eyes. Pressing them into my head until I was sure they would pop. It hurt. And it was scary. I hadn't wanted that, I hadn't intended to cause that. 

Today I am thankful to live without fear of being harmed. Today I am thankful that I can play in the rain with my kids, laugh, kick balls around, write, work and cook without fear. Today I am thrilled I have seen change in my life. Today is a great day. 
You are precious. You are worth more than being someone's emotional and physical property. If you are being harmed, please find help. Domestic violence shelters are a great place to start looking for help as they have lots of resources. If you are unable to find one that is helpful, keep looking. Seek help out from anywhere that will hear you, a church, friends, co-workers. But be safe, be careful. Change can be scary- leaving my situation was the scariest thing I have ever done, but you are worth it. You are worth saving. 
You have my daily prayers, abigail

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Beautiful Motherhood

Every new mom is born just as their first child enters into the world. It is beautiful- the perfect picture of beauty. However, almost immediately a new mom is captured by an inability or the fear of the inevitable let down. The precious new baby, held so carefully, loved more absolutely than ever imagined creates in us the ability to fail. And to fail this new baby, our child- well it would be an epic fail. Welcome to motherhood. In my line of work I do a lot of reassuring to new moms. They are worried about breast feeding verses bottle feeding, worried they are "bad" moms for wanting sleep, worried for all the unknowns and possibilities good and bad. To be a mom is to be handed a task that appears to be a pass or fail. It appears to be a life long test of how "good" we are. 
The past two weeks I've watched myself fail epically in another area of my life. A fail that took a lot of my attention, a lot of my emotion and a lot of my logical thinking to step out of. And in the big scheme of my life it probably isn't epic though it has altered my opinions and thoughts and compassions.... Eh, enough on that though- sometimes too much introspection is just... too much. BUT, my point is that no other "fail" or "flop" or "flounder" holds as much weight for a woman as the fear of failing her children. My big fail this past week, I finally just breathed and thought- well it isn't the end of the world. It's ok. I have failed in far greater ways. I have failed my children in the past. That is my epic fail. And while I can remember years of failure I also know that now my children are in a way my greatest work. More time, effort and thought is put into my children than anything else I do. With research I plan balanced meals, provide exercise, play and learning. I hold them, I rock them, I listen to hours of Lego and Minecraft monolog. I play dress up and bake. I am a mother. My children have my best and my worst but above all they have me. They are totally and completely stuck with me. So regardless of whether you have failed or whether you will- you are a mother. This is not a pass or fail, it is an all-in life. Let's be moms, let's excel, let's fail- not because we don't mean to but because we care. Because we give our children everything we have. That kind of mothering is as beautiful as the day they were born. If you are anything like me all this "fail" talk might terrify you, bother you or make you that you need to tell me I haven't failed. But a failure is just an attempt at our best that wasn't best. Life is our attempt, we cannot even hope to get out of this life unaffected by failure. And there is my cue to tell you to Be Brave. Be beautiful. Be a mother. 
Happy Mother's Day

If your Mother's Day involves fear, pain and any form of abuse please get help. There could be no better day to reach out and honor yourself. Honor your mother, she wouldn't want this for you. Honor your children if you have them, they hurt seeing you hurt. Honor yourself- you are worth more than you can imagine right now. Get help

Many blessings- abigail

And Mom, you've given your all for 32 years to me and I'm deeply honored. Happy Mother's Day!
Oh and that lovely baby is my youngest...She is just too cute to not claim! 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Tuna and the girls

Everyone and their puppy dog generally will have an opinion regarding your activities. Are you happy? Are you sad? Here is what they would do, here is what you should do. Add a past that includes domestic violence in the mix and it's amazing the advice you'll get handed. Some is well meaning, some is full of love and some is actually quite useful (though generally the most useful of advice comes when the other person doesn't realize they are giving advice, just words spoken that somehow finagle with something inside us and spur us on to a greater action or conclusion that we couldn't have arrived at ourselves...). Today I've been looking at the advice to appreciate and value where we have come from. Not necessarily digging up the past, just appreciating how far we've come. Blah blah blah blah. Sounds a bit like another platitude. But.... I made tuna last night for dinner. Tuna for dinner, on sourdough bread with barbecue chips. I made tuna fish sandwiches. And I wasn't afraid, I wasn't in trouble and no one accused me of not caring for my children. I gave them what I had, what I wanted, what they wanted and everyone was happy. Three years ago on a summer evening I had seen what was the consequences for thinking that tuna was ok for dinner- it wasn't pretty and I wore a turtleneck with long sleeves for a few days afterwards. So maybe there is something to seeing how far we've come. I wasn't triggered by remembering, I wasn't caught up in fear- I just smiled as I ate my sandwich. Thoughts like that bring a smile to my face. Thoughts like that make me remember I need to be grateful for today. Thoughts like that tell me it is worth hard moments to be Brave. 

Dark Corner
There are over 200 Nigerian girls that have been kidnapped. Taken from their school at gunpoint. Can you imagine their dark corner? Can you imagine what is happening to them right now as you read this? 

Everyone knows someone affected by violence. Just in the US alone one in four women are affected by domestic violence. Over 18% of women in the US have been through a completed or attempted rape. In 2006 78,000 cases of child sexual abuse were reported in the US.... reported numbers are thought to be 1/8th of what actually occurs. 
We may share platitudes, we may love on each other and care for each other- but there is so much violence in our world. Generally my Dark Corner is just what has happened to me, awful yes- but I'm alive. I've come so far. I eat tuna for dinner. The Nigerian girls, the children in the US, the women being hurt or raped right now.... they have a future. They need a future. They need our help.

If you are being hurt please find help. -abigail

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Great Long Bucket List

Mountains to climb, countries to visit, degrees and money to acquire, inventions to invent.... oh the bucket lists go on and on. But what will happen to us when tomorrow is all we have? The last few months for me have been laced with thoughts of death. No- don't get scared, I'm fine. But as I watched what I've come to call, my "death date" come and go this year seems to hold for me a heightened sense of mortality. Now mind you I'm very aware of how fragile life is, all one needs to do is watch the news or in my case remember what strangulation feels like to realize that life is precious. (Please know I wrote that last sentence with a smile on my face. It almost makes me, well I take that back- it does make me giggle a little bit to think of the things I could write. Can you imagine  if I actually wrote all of what happened? I do fear that I would scare everyone off! And with my odd sense of humor that tonight is funny.... ah hum, ok... pulling myself together again...) Tonight after dinner I chased my children around with a light saber. Five giggly squirrely children running like crazy as their mom pretended to know how to wield a light saber.... It was awesome. I am so thankful for my children. They complete my bucket list everyday. My bucket list is kinda short- live bravely. There isn't a day that goes by that they don't inspire or require me to make a choice to be brave. Confronting the past must be done so we can live. Playing in the present must be done so we can live. Planning for bigger and better futures must be done so we can live. Death is so close but a brave life is here and somehow it takes both to keep us living. Be Brave my friends!

Dark Corner
We were at his family's home. Extra people around, laughter and talking. But I knew better. Every time he heard me or saw me his eyes would become hard. My heart was racing. I looked around and kept looking around but no one would have believed me. I am not sure why I was so sure he would kill me if I spoke but I was SURE. Well beyond my feeling- he had said he would and his eyes.... and I was so afraid.... The fear of being harmed is crippling- even the memory of it makes me shrink in my chair. A bit later he found me in the kitchen. No one was there. He slammed my head into the fridge. My eyes were begging him to stop. Someone walked in and he turned and smiled, making a joke as he walked out of the kitchen. I looked down, afraid of my tears, afraid of what the person thought and terrified someone might say something to me that would evoke a response. All of those things would bring an outcome I might not be able to manage or control, an outcome that would involve some form of hurt, some form of pain and crying.... always I had crying. 

Brave is not easy. Brave is not easy and Brave is not easy. This life does not seem to be made for us to embrace easy but rather the hard, the difficult and the great. If you are being hurt you are not living, you are just responding to someone else's misplaced bad behavior. And you, whoever you are, whatever you have done with your life DO NOT DESERVE SOMEONE ELSE'S BAD BEHAVIOR. Get help. There are lots of services out there, the best most conclusive seems to be domestic violence shelters- as they will assist you with information, counseling and all forms of advice for how to make your freedom permanent. There are also lots of amazing people that are out there that will help you on your journey- sometimes you just have to start looking for them and be honest in your need for help. Be Brave, it's the best way to be. - abigail

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Great Spill

Everyone knows what pain is, everyone hurts, everyone falls, everyone is spoken to harshly or unjustly. But not everyone knows what it is like to be physically harmed by another. It happens far too much, far too often and is disgusting but my point is not how few or how many know it. But rather that someone recently spoke of physical hurt. They had no personal knowledge or experience and that felt offensive. In that moment I was reminded of how I know, how I've had to know and how horrible it is. And I got angry. I don't tend to let anyone know when I get upset. I tend to be an internal processor, an over thinker, a muller. But this time I HAD to, I had to say something. I was so upset my words came out in such a jumbled mess- because something else- a deeper and much much more sensitive hurt came spilling out instead. I stood there irritated that I wasn't telling that person of my knowledge of pain, I didn't tell them much of anything I had intended to. I just opened my mouth and heard myself, heard myself exposed, real and hurting. Days later I am still mulling over what spilled out. Have you ever seen those practical joke cups? The ones that have a plastic puddle of coffee or soda under a glass? That is what this feels like. It is so thick, so solid of an issue that I'm sitting on top of my cup, looking down at the plastic puddle of fear, hurt and intensity of emotion. I cannot clean it up. No paper towel, no small words, no self medication of any kind is going to clean up this mess. Distraction therapy just won't work. And so, I sent a thank you out today. For the words that spilled this cup, the words that left me unable to even hear more- I'm thankful for them. I'm thankful for the patient and caring response my purely emotional response received. Thankful that my anger wasn't put down but merely heard. So..... I think I'm going to chose to be brave and maybe... do something about my spill. I'm not sure what it will be but I'm going to watch it until I know. I'm going to know there are answers, peace and a presence that cares. I have to choose this. My plastic cup with its plastic spill demands it. Be Brave, be kind, be what today requires. 

And if you are being hurt please please get help. There are lots of kind people that can and will help you, so many resources- you can live. You can be safe. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


"Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip toe if you must, but take the step." author unknown
I read this little "phrase of the day" and thought- I tip toe. I may write about being brave. I may talk about having courage and what we can do. I may challenge the silence that we so often live in.... but I tip toe. I tip toe through my memories, they scare me. I tip toe with my kids, they kinda scare me too or maybe just overwhelm me with the enormous amount of parenting I need to learn. I tip toe when I'm thinking and questioning what I'm doing. And I tip toe when I'm sad. Ok well, probably not the last one- I tend to sit down and have a little cry when I'm sad and then I tip toe. But you know what I've learned from all my tip toeing? That it is possible to keep moving forward even if the steps are so tiny you wonder if they are steps. That tip toeing can teach you to trust and teach you to be wise. And that there are lots of wonderful things that surround us. In the slow movement of a tip toe it is easy to see the care being offered, given and shared. After a moment standing/hiding on my front porch I get to see the mama bird that has built a nest right above the porch. Being overwhelmed with a lack of sleep at work I tip toed to a place where I could just breathe, breathe and know where I am. And today as I was consoling my tearful six year old I tip toed closer to her and there was a second that was unexplainable, perfect and ..... I don't know exactly even what it was but I do know if I hadn't been slow I would have missed that little second. I will always love running. I will always prefer to jump first and ask questions later but.... this tip toe thing might just be worth keeping. Be Brave!

Dark Corner
He spoke and told me he would rather die than live and that was my fault. So he wouldn't eat, he would just work "for me" and slowly die. For two days he didn't eat, didn't drink- just cleaned and remained emotionless. He acted as he expected me to act and yet he was .... well I never did figure out what the intention was. But my reaction was sympathy, guilt and a desire to do whatever I needed so as to not be the "cause". Somehow this hurt just as badly as any bruise ever did. I was just as afraid. The second night I sat alone, so scared of when he would stop and return to being angry, when he would not be able to go on and then kill me instead. I was right that he would stop but he chose not to kill me. "It isn't time yet." he said as he let me breathe again. He decided that my punishments would continue and that everything was still my fault. My mind couldn't follow his and yet that was the demand. I could not understand. I could not see my sin as he saw it. I could not see myself as he saw me. But I knew his hand was heavy, his feet were quick and he was coming for me again. 

Ignorance. It isn't a quality or word that we like to have. But to some extent there is so much we are ignorant about. It doesn't have to be negative but it does speak to so much that we need to learn. We need to know what domestic violence is. One in four women in the US will know domestic violence during her life. One in four. That is a staggering statistic. We can't continue to live in ignorance. Domestic violence does not adhere to laws, rules, social classes, economics, education or religious backgrounds. Dear friends lets help. Lets find ways to offer hope, to speak against abuse and assist those that need help. If you are being hurt please get help. You are not alone. Abuse doesn't end unless something is done about it. Even a tip toe is forward movement. - abigail

Saturday, April 19, 2014


Solace is such an awkward word. It is sister to solitude and brother to peace. And it can be found. It is a way, a place and an inward outlook. Solace is quiet and loud, present and unattainable but always, always seems to be just there when things break. When things get hairy. When there is not a reason, a correct action or behavior or thing that you can possibly do- there will be solace. 
April 11th marked the date my ex husband had set for when I should die- or rather within this year. But regardless that date held a lot of chaotic emotions for me. Emotions that were surprising, unyielding and that I was truly unready for. Leading up to that date, which was also my birthday, my days were unsettled and frantic, my nights were distraught and fearful. I didn't sleep much. And then the week happened. My children and I all got sick, so very sick that there was a lot of distraction in the form of puking- so I did a lot of cleaning, mindless but careful cleaning. It was merciful, it was solace. My ever wonderful church kept close watch and was careful to remind me that they were there. My ever helpful neighbor was there to listen and never far. The day passed, the week passed and here we are. 
As this is Easter weekend I wonder how God felt when it was over. Had he found solace in the water? Solace in the midst of the trial? Solace just that it was over. Or maybe none of that, I don't know. Bad doesn't last forever. Eight years ended. These past few weeks were endured as will be this year. And we have a risen Savior. Be Brave my friends. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Figuring Out the Chaos

The chaos. Do you know it? It blows in like an afternoon storm. It thunders as if the clouds were breaking the sky. Chaos cannot be measured, it is not given value or respect though we all fear it. We all attest to wanting to have drama free lives. We make claims to seeking peace, we use words that tame and lame what actually is happening. We survive chaos, we hang on through chaos, we wait for it to pass or sometimes we get caught up in it and become part of the chaos. And while the chaos is occurring we wish for the still calm of our soul at rest. We wish for a life of stillness. I've often in the last two years wondered when the chaos would end. It has ebbed here and there, it has moved away but continues to return. I thought for a long time that it was due to the five children that cry out "mommy" with chirpy little voices. And they do create a level of chaos in my life. But the chaos, the crazy, the swirl of events and people and struggle and worries.... they are just part of life. I've been fighting to find a still life. I've been striving to create a life that is measured, calm, describable even. But that is not what is here, what is real or what can be, at least for now. The still and the calm- it is inside. And knowing that, I think I might just be able to embrace and possibly enjoy the chaos. I missed a retreat with my church this week. I was beyond disappointed. I had looked forward to the night away, to the quiet, to adult conversations and to the early morning walk. Instead I had five chirpy kids that needed me here. But, I found, in the midst of a screaming match between my daughters over who had a fever (seriously as if we all didn't know that they both did ....ahhhh)- I found that the calm inside of me was somewhere I could reach. It is a place I can live out of. So chaos, you tire me but I'm so thrilled you live here- you certainly make my life interesting. And future, you scare me as I have no idea where you will lead me and oh I wish I did so I could be better prepared, but I will take you as you come as well. Take on the chaos, Be Brave!

Dark Corner
When he smiled he shared the sun. Have you ever met someone like that, that had the ability to make you forget everything bad with just their smile? It's amazing. It's amazing and dangerous. When he was happy my world was perfect. I wasn't deluded into thinking he would never hurt me again, I just was happy because he was. His happy made me hope. 
And then, he looked at me, his eyes lost the shine and seemed to become hard as if they weren't real. We were in the car. Two of the children were crying. Wailing actually. He yelled at them to stop and then turned and accused me of making them cry. To him they were upset because I was not happy, because I was irritated. I was irritated but trying so so very hard to be emotionless. His fist slammed into my left temple. My head hit the car window. And again. And again. My mouth was open, I looked down and saw the drool on my shirt. My head hurt. His eyes were small. He wasn't done. His fist hit me in the chest over my heart. I couldn't breathe. I doubled over and wondered if I just stayed looking at my feet it would stop. I felt myself breathe. We arrived where we were going. His eyes were small for me. He smiled at everyone else. 

If your chaos involves violence and being hurt please get help. Every nine seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten. And that is the estimate. If you are being harmed please get help. An abusers chaos is not the chaos of life, it is not something you can or should embrace. An abuser creates danger and fear. You are worth a life that can be embraced, that can be lived and rejoiced in! You are worth a life that is whole and without secrets. Be Brave! abigail 

Friday, March 28, 2014

If I lay here.

There is no easy way to write your feelings regarding yourself. Especially when they look less like a Nike ad and more like a sad song. Here are mine: I have no value. I am here for everyone. I'm an empty vessel, not important just useful. I am well used. My first request is that you don't comment on how unique, smart or valuable I am. The reason why I'm writing this is not to incite you to tell me how incredible I am. I know those things. (I am gorgeous and cheeky after all... hehee) This isn't body image, self esteem, qualities or character that I have a problem with. This is the math student who asks why- why does 2 plus 2 equal 4. How do we know that? And why are you sure? (I was not a favored math student because nothing is so simple.) I write what I know of myself because that is simply what I know of myself. Beliefs are built, shown and are learned. There are times when truth comes along and lights up something and what we believe shifts as if our gps kindly tells us to take a right at the next street and we do, changing our course. This week I saw my beliefs, I actually heard myself say them. If anyone else was saying them, I would be just as you are now- taking up arms to shoot down the lies. Bow and arrow, gun or hatchet raised- ready to slay the demons of darkness that spew lies. I asked you to not do that though. I am making my way to truth. This isn't a new lie, these were lies built long before I ever got married, long before I allowed myself to be hurt. But just because something is built, just because it looks to be true and even looks like it can be proven- maybe its not. Truth is revealed in moments. In amazing, creative, sunshine and stormy moments. We don't choose that, we don't always get to even be ready.  I lie down. I lie down and find someone to hold my hand these days when truth is hard. Because it is hard. Because change is hard. Because truth is hard. But truth is also awesome and fearful, quiet and real, brave and beautiful. Be Brave. 

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Will you lie with me and just forget the world?
Snow Patrol "Chasing Cars"

Dark Corner
I stood in the bathroom. In the mirror in front of me there was a woman, her face was puffy from crying, her eyes looked like she had a thousand freckles surrounding them- though I knew she only had a few. Her neck was red as if she had a carpet burn all the way around it. She turned and I could see the bruises on her back. As she faced me again I cried for her. I knew I couldn't do anything. I had to go. I had things to do and I didn't want to stand in front of the sad woman any more. 

Truth makes no apologies. It arrives to us as it does. I know God has a plan, I know He orchestrates our lives. But God is not always a 2 plus 2 kind of God. Help those around you, you most likely do not know the darkness they live in. If you are getting hurt please get help. My story is just my story. But yours belongs to you. If you can't get help, if you are too afraid or if that struggle is too much maybe its just time to know truth, to find it and see it. Maybe you just need someone to lie with you and understand- that is ok too. My hope and prayer is that you are safe today, abigail

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Maria, Elsa and Cinderella

Have you ever felt free? Uninhibited, fully alive and ready to dance on a hilltop? I see Maria dancing on the top of the mountain, Elsa creating frozen icicles that are swirly and Cinderella dancing with her prince. Free. Ice castles, sparkles, green grass and unicorns- that is what the picture of freedom looks like. Delight that is astounding, that is beyond imaginable and intensely fulfilling or maybe just being safe and happy. It's what we want. I want to ride on a unicorn under a starry sky. The truth is though that freedom also means you can know, feel and touch pain. It means that everything you avoided, that you coped with, that you shut out and set aside because it was too much- it means that those things are free too. Free. Darkness, death, nightmares and hate. Freedom means that everything must be dealt with- because the unicorn ride only will last if you also look at the darkness. The dancing ends at midnight and what was is still real.  The bravest moment of my life is when I left the man that hurt me for far too long. But this learning to be free, this letting go, this being- this is being brave. I don't say this to pat myself on the back. I say this to acknowledge that I can't have happy until I'm free. I am in the darkest place I have ever been. I am looking and feeling what I couldn't and wouldn't and I am overwhelmed by its volume. Be Brave, on the unicorn ride or in the dark- you can.

Dark Corner
I couldn't breathe again. But this time I didn't want to fight. This time I wished he would finish it. Tortured, that is what I had become.

"Domestic Violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another. It is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background. Violence against women is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior, and thus is part of a systematic pattern of dominance and control. Domestic violence results in physical injury, psychological trauma, and sometimes death. The consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and truly last a lifetime." National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

If you are being hurt get help. It is not easy. Recovery is not easy- more than anything I wouldn't sugar coat that. But- even my worst and darkest day is better faced while being loved rather than hated and hurt. You can be free and you can heal.
If you are safe and have a unicorn- share your joy. Help those that don't have and haven't had the safety and care you have. Alone is the most common feeling of those abused and yet one in four women in the US knows abuse. That means they aren't alone in the situation and they don't have to be alone because you can care. Be Brave. abigail

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

How do I come up with a title that says that my heart is sore, tired and doesn't want to carry this? There isn't a title that can capture how heavy and dead this is, and that this admission is so very difficult?

Resentment. I carry it. 

Dark Corner
I had always believed that God loved me, that he doted on me- my name meant Father's delight after all. He told me God hated me. That God despised me so much I was going to be killed. There isn't a darker place than that. Not only was I alone, not only was I not loved- God didn't love me. I fought the battle of truth for 3 years in my head and then I gave up. I remember that day. I think that is why I'm so sure I know God is real- because there wasn't a darker moment. Alone is an understatement. Hurt is an understatement. An ache that cried out for God and got no answer- that was my darkest moment. 

If you are being hurt please get help. Please know that there are so many people out there that will help you. Please know that sometimes we just have to ask and speak. Domestic violence continues because of silence. Silence and lies. That means we can fight domestic violence. It means there is hope. We can speak.  We can speak truth. 

My post today is where I am. I had a long post about something rather.... but it was just- not where I am at. I think where I am is at the very center of what keeps people from healing. And so, though I would much rather post my lighter, funnier and happier post, this is real. Be Brave. Be real and honest and messy and who you are. I hope you don't lose the battle I lost. I hope you don't carry resentment. I hope you know that to which you are called and are unshakeable. But even if you've lost, that was then. Thankfully hope never dies and every day is new. Be Brave. I hope you are safe. -abigail

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Tomorrow is a Mystery

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a present that is why we call it a gift. - Bil Keane

My history haunts me, it lives in today, it lives in tomorrow. Today I went to see a very wise woman who told me to let go. I laughed or rather kind of snorted (in a graceful feminine way) at the absurd and nonsensical suggestion. Let go. Let go of what? Let go of my problems, of my hurt, of my overwhelming situation? Well that is just ridiculous. They are fast and deep, long and here, aging and rooted, heart breaking and perpetually before me. But then... I'm the one that is a mess. I'm the one that went seeking help. You know what I have wanted? I've wanted to pull these pieces, the pieces of who I was together and glue them on. It would feel so much better. It would lessen that feeling of chaos, it would be rewarding, it would make me feel strong and prove I could do this... Except none of that is really true, none of that would happen. Pulling the pieces and gluing them on does not make things better. Like a vase that has been put together with hot glue- it shows little gaps, it will be evident that someone worked really hard to recreate what had been. And I don't actually want that. I've been quiet here lately because I couldn't glue anymore pieces on. Not that my work or efforts to heal is futile- its just not been very effective. Lately that ineffective work that I've done has been as clear as glass. As my children mourn and grieve and act out their pain I have been thrown back into a world of hurt. I get to see me. I have seen the gaps, seen the holes, seen the form I was trying to recreate. From that place of watching my kids hurt, of wrestling with my memories and own hurts all the pieces I've hot glued on have almost all fallen off. I weep for my kids, I cry for myself, I tear at my hair at the injustice of this pain and I hide- because a teary face is messy. I'm messy. My kids and I are getting amazing help. We are the safest, most cared for and supported that I have ever known. And here- we are a mess... But I'm going to let go. I'm going to let go of this attempt to get my life back, of my attempts at being everything for five small people, and of my attempts to do this myself. I am exhausted  If the present is a gift I want to learn to be in it. If letting go is the key to being healed I want to be in that too. Be warned, I don't know what will happen here, I don't know what turns my life will take and I don't know what will happen with this lack of holding my broken pieces. I guess tomorrow is a mystery. Be Brave.

I don't know how the Dark Corner stories fit in with letting go. I know that letting go does not mean ignoring or forgetting the past. But I am unsure of the direction this place will have yet. So for today they are set aside. If you need to be reminded of how bad and ugly domestic violence is read my previous posts. Or just take my word for it- domestic violence is terrifying, ugly, demeaning and.... life shattering. (If you haven't noticed I tend to almost overuse that word. But I can't find a better description than shattered. It captures somehow to me the jagged brokenness of watching someone else destroy you, of holding the glass pieces of yourself and watching those pieces too hurt you.... Shattering.)

Get help. If you are being hurt get help. If you aren't being hurt but struggle with whatever it is you struggle with- get help. We are all in life together, kinda makes us a human team. Look up, look around- I'm very sure help will come. abigail