Boobies or Bullies

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.

BreastCancer      Breast Cancer   Breast Cancer

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.

circle-of-violence  Power-control-wheel-9-Clare-Murphy-PhD

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.

NO more

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.

Persistence, Practice, Perseverance

Last month I moved into “middle age” (55). Or is that 40 — 30 — 20?   Who knows what middle age really is?   Doesn’t it depend on the total length of your life?   And who knows what age it is while we’re living it?

I owned and operated several businesses from age 21 – 52. The reactions and questions were not gender or age-blind.   Now that I’m an official “senior citizen”, I have a bit more stigma with my age and experience in the workplace.

I survived the standard social pressures of youth, but decided to make the most of my time to study and pursue a subsequent career by working days/evenings/weekends — my choice.  My dominant career mother and nurturing career father encouraged me. They provided what was necessary for me to learn the skills for my own career.   I had persistence. I practiced. I persevered.

At 55, I am about to embark on a new career.  Some folks lose jobs due to “downsizing”, “economy”, death of an owner, environmental disasters.   I’m starting over, not by choice, but by control and conduct perpetrated by one person and an antiquated legal system.

X vs XY Chromones

X vs XY Chromones

Men Mimic the Muse

Men Mimic the Muse

As a woman with incredible drive, I have more knowledge, stamina, experience than most youth.  I’m anticipating my new career to be an extension of  life experiences from many years developing concepts through creativity and consistent character.

Senior citizen means I’m at the top of my “game” without having to jump through hoops to get results.  Well, that’s what I’m counting on from this month on.

Solace in Sweets

Solace in Sweets

“Becoming a senior citizen should not be a time for sulking or melancholia. You are a survivor otherwise you wouldn’t be celebrating today. Survivors have lots of things to do and full lives in front of them yet. So take a weekend, a day or a few hours and just reflect on the good things that have filled your life to date and then start planning to enjoy tomorrow with joy and gratitude for the chance to be the best senior citizen ever” (source: My Thinking)

Pets and Peace

Carmel, the Comfort Cat

For anyone who has a pet, we know the joy and comfort our pets provide us in our every day lives.

Research reveals that the power of a pet can reward us with a sense of peace throughout the time we have them living in our homes.   An artical by NPR gives a broad range of ways that hosting a pet (I’m not fond of the term “owning” a pet)

I wrote briefly about my cat, Carmel a few posts back in “Comfort Chimes.”

When I finally made my decision to end a long-term, ever on-going abusive relationship, I was unfortunately NOT left alone or abandoned.   That would have made my life more manageable.  Instead I endured an extended level of absurd events through LOCKS, LIES and LAWYERS.   The end of April 2011, I filed a PFA, but since “AA” (abusive adulterer) didn’t beat me, stab me, throw me down the no-railing attic staircase, the lady at the courthouse just typed in my account of events and handed me information for the DV center in the city.  You wouldn’t want to see all the scars from the mental/emotional wounds — they’re really ugly.

I can cover that in another blog — so back to Carmel . . . sorry, some of the scabs from my emotional wounds aren’t healed, yet.

“Your mother-in-law” as she was referred to in 3rd person, died Nov 2007.  In 2007, my furry friend Leo was showing signs of sickness for a year, but the “AAA” (abusive assaulting adversary) wouldn’t take him to the Vet. He just purchased over-the-internet meds to shove down the Talented Tabby’s throat.   When that didn’t work, no surprise, the 14 year old companion was driven to a vet for the first time in 14 years.  I called an employee to cover the coffeeshop and prepared for the appoinment with spouse (?) and veterinarian.  Leo, artist model, took his last breath in my arms!  That was 2008.

Oct 2009 — my kind, thoughtful, generous father died unexpectedly in the hospital.  Though I rushed to the hospital every time “your mother-in-law” was hospitalized, not ONCE did the conX visit my mother while hospitalized in mid 2007 and not ONCE while my dear dad was housed in a hospital.   Nope, he just showed up for any holiday where he could get hospitality and cash or check in his pocket.   2010 — off the charts E, M, S abuse including the unbelieveable “get a job” remark.  Those that know me understood I was working about 6 “jobs.”  2011 — psychotic episodes, cruel comments about my father, family and me — all  to bash down my spirits during a vulnerable time — for his premeditated hostile takeover of my home, businesses.

It was the beginning of May when I decided I NEEDED a new companion — one that would’t bark at me or potentially bite me.


Carmel was a scaredy cat when I brought him “home” in a box and was released into the basement pottery studio.   He needed a place to hide.  I needed a place to hide.  There were enough boxes and cubby holes for him to hide.  There were NOT enough doors with locks for me to be safe, but he was my new buddy, the comfort cat — his designated role in our new life together.   We had plans:  a cat cave, cat cove — but our “castle” was overtaken by Bully Boys.

People oddly voiced more concern about my 3 year-old cat being locked out of access to his litter box than about my 82 year old mother being locked out of a household bathroom.   “That’s animal cruelty”, a student showed concern.   I had to haul and install a portopot for my mother, and no one said “That’s elder abuse.”   Not customers, employees, lawyers, police.  Carmel had to be shoved and swooshed out in a tiny bag for his safety.

Now that we are 100 miles away from any direct impact, Carmel and I are learning to trust — all over again.   Carmel has such an incredible purr, a gentle touch of paw.   His eyes do not show anger or evil.   He waits for me longingly at the back door to enter.   He follows me from room to room.  He rests for hours in my father’s chair in the dining room.  We play, we sleep, we comfort each other.

I’m not sure, but he may be a soul from my past — I’m thinking perhaps it’s that of Curtis whose life was shortened at 28 from a car accident.  Whatever the reason Carmel (original name Amarillo)  out of all the tabby cats at the humane society came home with me, he has been an amazing comfort for my mom and me.

Carmel the Comfort Cat has an important place in my life.

If any of my blogger fans have some stories or photos to share of your comfort critter, send them my way.