Stop the Abuse

A few disclaimers:

  1. I’ve wanted to keep this blog writing related, and this one will sort of be related: One of the characters in my new novel is an asshole.
  2. I’m not a fan of reality tv – as seen in my previous piece – I’ve never seen any of the Kardashian shows, and certainly don’t appreciate Kim K’s latest words about/to women in business.

Given that – This whole Kanye and Kim that has repeatedly made the news makes me wholly uncomfortable and I’ve figured out why.

Trevor Noah said it:

“What she’s going through is terrifying to watch, and it shines a spotlight on what so many women go through when they choose to leave. You know, people always say that phrase to women. They go, ‘Why didn’t you leave?’ … Yeah. Because a lot of women realize when they do leave, the guy will get even crazier. And when I say ‘crazy,’ I don’t mean ‘mental health crazy,’” he said.

“What we’re seeing … is one of the most powerful, one of the richest women in the world, unable to get her ex to stop texting her, to stop chasing after her, to stop harassing her,” he said. “Just think about that for a moment. Think about how powerful Kim Kardashian is, and she can’t get that to happen.”

YES – THIS IS ABUSE. It is stalking! And the madman is threatening the only person I actually like in this whole fiasco – Pete Davidson.

I dated a man who would not leave me alone. I blocked his phone calls only to have him call me from a private number. I blocked his emails only to have him reach me from new email addresses. When I warned him not to show up at my house, he sent letters. When I wrote “return to sender” on those, he began sending post cards, then packages to my children – all of which went straight into the trash. It took more than two years – two years after I broke up with him – for him to stop. He’d even been seeing someone else while doing this. He’d even proposed to me while he was seeing someone else. As if he believed this was just a hiatus and all would be well again.

While he didn’t threaten me – too smart to put it in writing – the fact that he would not leave me alone was frightening enough.

It happened again, some years later, but this one did threaten me. I went straight to the police. In some ways, I didn’t hear from him again. However, he did damage in other ways through other people.

Because the laws of verbal abuse, threats, and stalking are not strong enough to actually stop perpetrators from continuing to abuse their former partners, we see in the news when it erupts in violence.

As Trevor Noah said – K & K’s drama is playing out in the public eye. We can see what is happening. We may have all dealt with an ex that was an asshole – but this goes beyond that. The woman shares children with guy. She can’t cut him off completely. She seems to be attempting to be civil – kudos to her. He continues to harass and attempt to control her. And he is threatening Davidson’s life.

If it is not stopped, we will see a violent end played out in the media.

Maybe the soon to be attorney can help create new stalking laws – perhaps she can see the seriousness of a problem so many others face and fight for them.

Let’s speak out – add to the #metoo movement with the #stoptheabuse movement and bring attention to all who face this type of harassment.

We can say no. We can walk away. We have the right to do that. And we have the right to not be shamed, harassed, attacked, or threatened when we choose a better life.

(More – or less – about the asshole in my upcoming novel on my next post.)

The Healing Power of Writing

I’m not sure if all people begin to heal from writing, but it does happen. Once a person gives their stories air, light, voice – they begin to heal from whatever was hurting and holding them back.

healing.jpgMany years ago, when I was in school. A woman showed up late to class. She could barely walk, used a cane, struggled to a seat and didn’t speak for half the semester. Then, one day, she spoke.

Maybe it’s important to tell you about the class. It was a women’s studies class. The instructor gave voice through stories, studies, lectures, and guest speakers to women’s issues, including what we call today the #metoo movement.

For most of the semester the beautiful woman, long hair, tight lipped, rarely smiled, spoke even less, barely moved and every little moment seemed to drop into depths of pain.

Then one day, she spoke up. She said, about ten years earlier she had been raped by her husband’s best friend. If you tell, he warned her, I’ll tell your husband that came on to me and it was consensual. Afraid of not being believed, afraid of losing her husband and her son, she remained quiet, believing she could push down the shame and pain.

The class was stunned into silence that the woman could share such a secret with us. The instructor hugged her and thanked her for being brave enough to share with us.

None of us knew the power of her statements.

The following week she moved with much more ease, and by the end of the month she showed up without the cane.

She shared that since she’d let that secret out, she’d been feeling better. Her mysterious mobility issues, the serious pain that had riddled her body for years, was dissipating.

I believe, she told the class, it was the pain of that secret that was locking into my own body.

She felt freed.

Writers often talk about needing to write. Stories need to be told. Secrets need to be shared. There’s a healing power for the teller and the listeners.

I actually began this blog today to talk about my story “The Healer” in How to Throw a Psychic a Surprise Party. But this isn’t that story. There are many times of healing in that book, but this story wasn’t mine. It was hers. But it taught me something about healing and releasing stories which might hurt us or hold us back.