Category Archives: Abuse/Bullying

Ending the Cycle… This Time…

I know the last few pieces have been more dark and somber. I do thank you for sticking with me through it. Yet I think it was time to lance that roiling mess in my heart. I’m hoping not to write on it again… ever… But it’s like most things in life… it’s cyclical, and the next time will be better.

I would like to share some final related thoughts as Christmas nears and I prepare to celebrate the birth of the Light of the World. Even as I write these, Zippy is scratching at his doggy bed waiting to take over my keyboard, and I have a new poem for my hubby just in time for Christmas.

First, you would think after my experience I would support gun control. I do not. No law will ever stop those hellbent on destruction and chaos from creating it. Rather I support teaching all of us–gun owners and the gun-shy alike– what responsible gun ownership and responsible gun handling look like. When you know what should be, it’s easier to recognize what isn’t. Also, I support having game plans for those in the presence of irresponsible gun owners and handlers, as well as means for reporting those irresponsible with gun ownership and handling.

Second, I encourage you to do some research on Della Reese. Ignore her days on Touched by an Angel; ignore her years as a minister of God’s grace. Find information on her abuse and survival. I found a good summary on YouTube. While my abuse was a little different (I was blessed to leave before I had marks on my body), her openness to discuss her situation and how much experience she had before picking her abuser as her partner helped me to recognize that nothing was my fault and gave me the courage to face the darker parts of my abuse history.

Third, some abusers can change. It takes Christ and a lot of hard work. If they change, they do deserve a second chance…with appropriate supports and supervision. However, the victims and survivors will have feelings that should be considered as well.

Finally, this is a hard time of year for some. I’m including some related hotline numbers and web sites. Please don’t become a statistic if you’re in a bad situation; choose life and hope and get help.

Telephone Numbers

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
  • Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-422-4453
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
  • National Runaway Safeline: 1-800-RUNAWAY

Web Sites

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Letting Go

Author’s Note: Hoping against all hope this is the last on this topic for this year. Late fall was never my time of year; I always seemed to face tough decisions with the wrong outcome or received bad news. (Yes, I am publishing way after authoring. 🙂 )

Always different, never fitting in,
Meandering, orbiting, never connecting,
Yet somehow I found brothers and friends.

But the shackle on my finger
Locked the blinders on my eyes.
A weapon invisible in the distant mists
Barred me from taking the shackle and blinders off.

My heart was frozen…
My mind was a rock…
My tongue was a sword…

I wanted to push you away,
To protect you,
I couldn’t, wouldn’t cradle bloody, cold corpses.

I just wanted to hide in the open for a while
So your lives could shine.

I called “Olly-Olly-Oxen-Free,”
But you were all gone,
Like sand flowing over my fingers
Digging at the shore.

Some are lost, some are found,
And nothing’s coming back,
Nothing’s back for me now.

And though I’ve seen light and life and joy,
The prison door’s still open.
I crawl in,
Covered in my briny tears,
Wallowing in guilt and loss, shame and remorse.
Then push out,
Becoming a joy filled robot again.

Someday…
I want to tear the prison down;
I want to let it all go;
I want to really live free with joy.

For now…
It’s only words–
Too few at the time,
Too many too late.

Rock, Paper, Scissors… Gun!

Author’s Note: In case you haven’t figured it out by now, I’ve been some very dark places. But I am in a good place now. So with the help of appropriate supports I am going back to the dark places and giving myself the voice I didn’t have then. This is dedicated to all victims and survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, and relationship abuse.

Rock, Paper, Scissors…
Simple child’s play.
Nerds ramped it up
Based on dark places.
Gun scares dog.
Gun burns paper.
Gun shoots lizard.
Spock disarms gun.
Rock smashes gun.
Scissors jam gun.
But that’s child’s play,
And the little girl in the woman can’t play.
She can’t come out to play.
The gun not held to her head
Jams her heart and mind.
She cries and shakes and begs:
What kills gun in real life,
What kills gun in real life?!?
Gun scares girl.
Gun burns friends.
Gun doesn’t shoot yet…
Why didn’t Jesus disarm the gun?
Why couldn’t love smash the gun?
Angels did jam the gun.
The gun blast never heard
Set off sparks in a powder keg.
Ring around the girl
Burns it all to ash
We all fall and never shine as we were meant to.
And still the ghost gun makes the little girl ask,
“What hurts gun?”

My Judas Lament

I fell into a dark chasm that year.
Decades ago you watched but didn’t know…

Where I was
Why I was there
What I needed

I shouted in the deep and dazzling darkness,
But I was lying and denying the truth.

The flames exploded from my lips
Into your broken, frozen heart.
As I traded deception and reality,
I sold you out,
Thinking I was buying you safety from destruction.

How great is the damage I’ve done!
What have I cost you, my friend?
How can I repay this staggering debt?

Have I destroyed your chance at eternity?
Have I devoured the calling on your heart?
Have I stolen soul upon soul from salvation and shepherding?
Have I killed the grand babies your mamma want,
All blue-eyed, sweet, and innocent?

Your friend became the Enemy that night,
And you turned from our true Master
Whom I never really served well.

Forgive me.
Come home.
Make it right.

I can’t, you can’t, we can’t, they can’t.

I’ve fallen and I can’t get up;
We’ve fallen, and the King hasn’t helped put us back together again.

Maybe letting go then was wrong.
And holding on now is wrong.
It’s all wrong.

Prison Walls Changing

I stare at my hands–empty, dry, calloused.
I look into my heart–empty, broken, icy.

Decades ago there was a soul I thought the world of.
I grabbed that soul
And let go of all others.

One soul for dozens…

The trade was no good.
The resulting brokenness can’t be undone.
Season after season,
The same heart-wrenching guilt
Strangles me but begs for voice of release.

Forgiveness was granted,
But reconciliation and restoration never materialized.
They hang in the vapors
Distant and uncrystallized
Like unfulfilled longing and dreams never pursued.

I want what I used to have
And can never have again.
I want to press on and begin anew
But cannot let go of the empty past.

I don’t walk on water,
So I can’t fix what I’ve broken.

The sorrow hangs about my neck
Like the mariner’s albatross,
Strangling my hope for the future.

Release me, oh God, release me.
Set my world right in Your eyes.
Restore the damage my swarm of locusts devoured to create.

I have no right to know how my lost souls are,
But they’re Yours and You know.

Oh, if never looking into their eyes in this life
Could guarantee the joy of seeing their eyes in the next.

My loss is more than I dreamed possible;
My pain is greater than childbirth.

But life goes on.

I must live.
I must love.
I must choose.
I must feel.

Katy’s Farewell

Bridget sat on the park bench, her shoulders hunched and shaking. Her green eyes brimming with tears were covered by auburn and silver swirled curls. Shaking hands uncrumpled her only daughter’s letter; she had crumpled it, uncrumpled it, and read it so many times the words should be permanently emblazoned in her memory.

Mom,

I love you. You know I do. But I can’t stay.

You don’t want the truth; you don’t want to hear me. I’ve gotta go.

Burt’s not my dad, and I don’t have to take it. If you don’t want me to mention the “a” word, let’s just say Burt has anger management issues and I don’t want to end up like Moses’ Egyptian.

I want to stay to protect my baby brothers. I definitely don’t want them to turn into Burt. But I’m afraid one of us will take the other out; you don’t need that.

I don’t know where I’m going. Miriam’s offered me her winter place in Phoenix, and John offered his place in Orlando.

Please follow my lead. Without me, you’ll be Burt’s target.

Thanks for the womb without a view! All my love always,

Katy

Tears still falling, Bridget smiled as she remembered Katy tall and loud. She crumpled the letter again, knowing the welt on Katy’s cheek would fade. For herself, there was truth, and there were truths she couldn’t handle. She continued to sit, stunned by fear, shock, and awe.

It’s All Wrong

Author’s Note: Guess I’ve just watched “Mean Girls” clips one too many times…

She’s falling, flailing, failing.
She doesn’t understand the rules.
She doesn’t know the game.
She’s asking all the right questions,
But no one gives an anwer.
It’s better to watch the smart, pretty girl screw up,
And then laugh and snigger behind her back to her face.