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undergroundpanther Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 10:42 PM
Original message
A vigil
Edited on Mon Oct-23-06 10:43 PM by undergroundpanther
Tonight in my town on the courthouse steps there was a vigil to bring awareness to domestic violence. I went to it.

A few people recounted their stories tonight . One woman's story stood out to me.I'll paraphrase it.. She told of occupying her daughter,as she frantically tried to get dinner ready, for her husband was violent and abusive,and the fear of what he might do to her made her live in oppression and fear. She dreaded when he got home and if there was no dinner ready.. She would pay..So thinking fast she sought for a way to keep her six year old daughter occupied while she cooked for the household tyrant.

She found a magazine ,on the cover was a picture of the Earth taken from space. She ripped the cover off of the magazine,tore up into little pieces and crumpled it all together, and gave it for her daughter as a puzzle for her to solve to keep her busy . So she could cook to placate the demanding dominating monster on his way home. Mom went back to cooking as the daughter got to the puzzle.A few minutes pass..

Much to mom's surprise her daughter was back, she put it together very fast and it was done...The Mother was astonished that a 6 year old could put a picture together that fast. The Mother asked How,How could did do it so fast?

The little girl explained, On the back side of the Earth picture was a picture of a family. If you put the family together(as in a right relationship) you put the world together...

That one choked me up.

Another lady read a beautiful poem, about when they say you have such a beautiful face..why do they go break the bones in that face? Was the first line I think, it was a poignant poem.

And there were a few more heart wrenching stories,all told surrounded by a clothesline of yellow T shirts that were decorated by people who face or survived domestic violence. Some shirts said sad things, others had messages of hope and some cries for justice and liberation. I had a T shirt up on the line too.

Three people in turn read the names of about 60 people, even babies who have killed by batterers in domestic abuse situations, in this "fiscal year". As the names and ways of death were said it hung heavy in my heart. Than I realized my own mom's name could have easily been one of those listed tonight as my father attempted to kill her by putting a shotgun on her forehead and grabbing her throat.. But I intervened and the gun missed it's target.I was 14 at the time..I noticed Candles lit up one by one as they read the names & cause of death,Shot,choked,beaten to death,..On and on.
(my candle kept blowing out and it distracted me from crying.)

It all was so sad,our cluster standing on the courthouse walk in the setting sunlight masked by grey clouds. Today domestic abuse still goes on unabated.As the sun sank deeper into the Darkness on main street the street lamps flickered on, the cold wind whipped the courthouse flagpole rope against the metal pole,and it was an eerie sound in this context.As people cradled their flames to protect them from the wind,I saw a metaphor for what we should do for survivors, we should help,protect and shield them, to keep the flames of the wounded souls from going out..or should I say, being snuffed out forever.

Anyways after wards we went to the SARC Building, which has double doors with dual security buzzers for refreshments after the vigil.It's tragic these gentle people must have that kind of tight security ,but some people(abusers) whom make the world unsafe, make it dangerous,and turn what should be good life,what should be a loving relationship into horror show. Abusers hide their evil deeds in "private" homes, they hide their acts of sadism behind family secrets,behind threats,behind the stifled voices, the lies, excuses and crazymaking..The Abuser hides behind enablers, bystanders and those in denial,Abusers hide behind a society that sympathizes with the charismatic bully, The abused hides the abusers bruises behind pancake makeup,the excuses, and explanations, the rationalizations and mistaken beliefs and internalized toxins the abuser dumps into them,which binds them in a place of pain,alone..

But with places like SARC they are NOT alone.

I talked to a lady tonight at the refreshment party who's daughter's name was listed tonight. I felt so sad for her.She had such strength. I admired her.The bastard who killed her daughter turned himself in to the police. I secretly wished he was dead for what he did to her daughter.I hope he is NEVER freed. No one has the right to humiliate,dominate ,beat,rape, terrorize or kill another person for non-self defense reasons..

Also I have had enough of this myth that claims abused people become abusers because of being traumatized, this myth is a hurtful lie. All the people at the vigil tonight had that million mile stare,eyes that have seen too much pain for a lifetime to bear. In their eyes I saw no desire in them to recreate the traumas they face again in the role of the monsters they lived with..

I ask ,how many more people have to die at the hands of a controlling abuser, the bully coward traumatizing family members behind closed doors, how many vindictive vicious soul crushing comments must be 'excused'',how many self serving sadistic rapists destroying minds and bodies in the most secluded rooms of the home will get away with it? When will true justice come for all those who are trapped, battered,crushed,who need emotional and safety support to make the trance of the abuser's game to break? When will people fleeing abuse be supplied with the supports and the money to make it, and leave the terrors behind,for real.. When will the horror show so carefully hidden behind the facade of "family" STOP?

How many people will be torn apart with verbal abuse,those wounds can kill,from the inside out, but leave no physical scars..Verbal abuse is abuse and it is as vicious as a fist in the face, and no less painful.

When will it STOP?

To anyone I say,facing domestic abuse or verbal abuse on DU,You are not"too sensitive" and it is NOT your fault, it never was. No one can negotiate with psychopaths,or abusers..Do not think for a minute that changing yourself or the appeasement will end the abuse.. Please get out,find your voice, learn about abuse and the dynamics, trust yourself, and you will remember how to live again.
For those facing abuse in Maryland, a link.. /

These are great people,over at SARC,they do help.My counselor she rocks!

There is no typical abuser. In public, they may appear to be caring to their partner and family and may be abusive only when others are not there to witness the abuse.
Abusive behavior is a choice.
Abuse is not an accident.

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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 10:59 PM
Response to Original message
1. k&r (nt)
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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 11:01 PM
Response to Original message
2. K & R
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 11:31 PM
Response to Original message
3. this is the terror
that nobody wants to talk about.

Dealing with terrorists in our homes makes us tolerate violence in general, even violence perpetrated by the govt. If abusive behavior is tolerated at any level of family or society, it undermines the whole. It's all connected.

Thank you for your work in this critical area, ugp. Everyone needs to understand the dynamics of abuse and how prevalent it is. It's all connected.
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undergroundpanther Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 11:52 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. That's why on DU
I bring it up, I don't tolerate abusive posts, and I try my best to make people aware of how they speak and behave so they may choose to change the culture of abuse.Into one that respects all.
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renate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 01:07 AM
Response to Original message
5. one of my high school friends had a sister who was killed by her husband
I was so lucky to have grown up in a happy, healthy home that I just couldn't fathom it. I was so sheltered....

My friend must have felt so lonely. Not that domestic violence is rare, but because of her young age she must have been fairly unique in our class in having actually had a sibling murdered by a spouse. I wish I'd been emotionally equipped to have been able to provide her with some support; her parents were just as devastated as she was and nobody else could have possibly understood the rage she must have felt. All these years later I can begin to imagine how much pain was behind her words... at the time we didn't know how to deal with what she was telling us so we said nothing. I'm so embarrassed to remember how, at the time, I'd thought it must have been some comfort to that at least she wasn't murdered by a stranger, but I also realize I was just naive.

Looking back, I have a much much better understanding of how domestic violence affects so many more people than just the victim and the children involved. I hope my friend has had more sympathetic friends since her sister's death.
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 06:13 AM
Response to Original message
6. Actually, I can explain the thing about the abused becoming abusers
But, first, I've got to caveat that I also believe that we each have the responsibility not to go there. I was an abused child and I have never abused another but I did have to learn how to control my temper.

See, when you see the adults in your life not controlling their tempers you learn that that is how you deal with frustration. When my father or stepmother would get angry they would turn into 3 year olds having tantrums and we were the ragdolls they hit. I was luckier than my step siblings because I was raised by my mother until I was eight so I knew it could be another way, I don't think they ever did. Now, I had to have about seven years of therapy and continue to deal with some of the sequelae from my battered childhood but I've done and will continue to do what I need to do to move beyond it because while I didn't cause the damage, I am responsible for healing the damage.

It is so hard not to hate the abusers, isn't it?
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undergroundpanther Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Hate does not make a person an abuser
Oh, I hate them,yes and I will say so, but unlike them I will not torture them or anyone.Or become like them simply because I despise them. I control my own anger like you do and don't unleash it on undeserving people.Because that would be wrong,but if I see a person hitting a child bullying or beating an animal,I let them have it,in whatever force it takes them to leave the target alone.. I have no problem giving the habitual abusers the death penalty .Because once you rape or torture you do not deserve your life because you cannot be trusted by living beings to be safe with freedom and being around others anymore.
Alot of people want to believe humans are innately good I say some are some are not.What they are shows in their choices,actions observed over time.
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