October is a month of crisp cool air for those of us living in the Northeast. Although autumn involved two of the worst events in my life, the fall remains my favorite season.
October is the month designated for observing and screening for cancer. The color PINK is everywhere you look — ribbons, shirts, pins — hair and food. Boobies are easier to think about and discuss. We get images of nurturing a life of an infant to a sensual adult pleasure. What’s not to like about boobs/breasts? Fundraisers for awareness, screening and survivors receive wholehearted support — emotionally and financially.
The reports of school violence astound us. Random shootings for revenge trouble us. We have become aware of ministers, priests, teachers, coaches, counselors who have crossed the line of comfort to criminal. It takes years for most abuse victims to step forward from the shadow of silence and confront the creeps.
October is also Domestic Violence awareness month. But who wants to hear about Bullies? Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Awareness. The title — just makes us uncomfortable. And, it should.
Most of the criminal acts are not seen on a surveillance camera that caught an NFL player who kicked and punched the person who loved and trusted him. No. Most violence is of a coercive nature. It happens inside the victim’s home – where we are told to keep the offense behind closed lips and doors. Consider the Stockholm Syndrome. One of the multitude of strange lines the abuser said to me was “You talk to your mother too much.” Here is a helpful link to know the signs.
The best decision I ever made in my life was getting out of a long-term abusive relationship. The worst part of my life occurred after making that decision. “Classic Abuse” is what it is called — impossible to know what is happening when you’re in the middle of it.
People asked “Why did you put up with it?” “Why didn’t you leave sooner?” In addition to corrupt court counsel, I experienced over 2 years of blame and bullying from “friends” and family members. I never blamed them for not noticing, asking or mentioning what had ALL the signs of abuse (isolation, overworked, siphoned income, covert physical violence, stalking, and harassment).
The legal system continues today in the ongoing problem with abuse of power and control through delays, discounted facts and archaic language in documentation.
If you ask “How are you?” — try to pry or she (he) could die from the effect of avoiding the topic of bullying – a not yet full blown version of abuse. I was a private person in a public position – operating nearly eight successful businesses by the time I had to evacuate my home/town. We were all in it together — one abuser leading — the rest of us were left in shock from the result.
No More Silence. No More Violence.
Thank you to the people I’ve met in my transitional life’s journey. Those who listened with kindness and no blame. I’m still not completely free, but I’m doing fine and flourishing.