November 20, 2011
There should be a law (oh wait…there is one)
OK, it is not everyday that I willingly write a note on my own page but today I decided that because I am still healing from it all that I would start yet another blog and this time it is all me, all teeth, claws and attitude, and seeing as how I have become the unofficial champion, not only of womens’ rights but also the voice of those whose voices have been hushed, I believe that it is high time that I pitch a major bitch about domestic violence and the damage that it causes.
Today someone who is especially close to me had to call the cops on her nutcase of a spouse. I will not venture to tell you all who the close friend is, but I will tell you that this is not the first time that she has called the police and the police blamed the issues on her. I cannot tell any further details, but I can say that I get it. I understand her frustration and I understand feeling like salt has just been added to the wound that was already open and festering. I will not, however, say who it is. Her old man already stripped her of just about everything he thinks he can. I will not be yet another open sore that does not heal. No way. You see, when you are abused, the one who abuses you wants you to keep quiet about it even though, right now, as I write this, according to her, he is already texting away and talking shit as though he is the one victimized. No, he is not.
He, by my own thoughts about the dude, is a large and runny dump, a piece of crap who is not good enough to be a whole crap. I have been right where she is. I have told her many times that I do not envy her, that I am lucky that I will be widowed and that I will not have to go through the divorce process because I know that my old man would make it really ugly and well, he will die long before the too much money that I would have to spend on a divorce would get spent. When this part of my life is over with – and let me tell you something, the end of this part is fast approaching – I will not have to look over my shoulder to find him there stalking me like he had in the past. And yes, it was the fear that caused me to take him back, over and over again, because when you have been threatened, beaten, called names, after you have been told that those are the things that would happen to you, you tend to believe what you are told. I did.
I was told a lot of things, by the way, things that were not true back then, were not true throughout the years, are no where near true now. There is nothing more demeaning than being told who you are that is not the truth by the one person on the planet in whom your trust should be secure and always there. Yet, it isn’t. My trust is not in this man but in me, where it should be. The truth is that I cannot recall a time when I was able to fully trust him, and that, my friends, is just plain sad, don’t you think?
Abuse is abuse, no matter if there are bruises to prove it or not- it still is abuse
My own story is not one that I am too thrilled to tell but is one that leads me to who and where I am today. Though I do not feel that my own old man is any way at all totally responsible for the way that I turned out, I must say that I have been made stronger in a lot of ways that had he not been part of my life, I would not be the me that I am today. I know that the reason he was brought to me is because somewhere in the big nothingness called the Universe I was chosen to champion women and children.
Yet, I never imagined that one day the reason I would be that one person is because I am a survivor of domestic abuse, emotional, mental and yes, physical. These are not things or events that I much care to think about or talk about but they are things and events that I lived through. They are things and events that I lived through that not even I could have imagined the Me who I turned out to be, and I tell you what – I Like the Me who I turned out to be, but this does not mean that there are not others out there who never recover from the heartache, from the feelings of no self worth, from feeling like you will never be good enough for anyone, that no one will want you if you leave…I know how this all feels, and now, in this time of his life where he is dying and getting closer to that point in his Path I sit here, peering through tears with my jaw steeled from the anger which still bubbles inside of me.
Being abused makes you want to hurt someone because you yourself hurt so badly. It makes you doubt yourself as a woman. It makes you think that you really are ugly and it makes you think and believe that no man will ever have you because you believe what you are told. This was my reality. This is now my memory. It hurts. It sucks. It makes me want to throw up. It makes me look at who I am now.
Who I am now makes me happy. Who I am now makes me see that there is another part of the story and makes me see that there is a sunny side to everything we go through that is marred with the grey clouds of domestic abuse.
Domestic abuse must not be allowed to continue to happen in the lives of anyone. It has to stop. And there are those of you reading this who can ask “Why didn’t you leave?” and “Why is she still there?” and “Why do you bother to take care of him, Roxanne?” I bother because that is my lot in life – I am a born healer, was blessed with a depth of compassion that is unmatched by most who grace the crust of the earth, was born with the gift of being able to hone into the energies of other people, so much so that when I tell someone that I know what they are thinking, I really mean that I know what they are thinking. This is not to say that I am (ahem) “psychic,” and I don’t care to be. I am very in tune with the Universal vibration, and I am in tune with the people who mean the most to me and I am in tune with people, period. I stay out of a duty to those who have no one, and though he has a brother and an uncle, I know that I am safe to say that he could not go to live with either of them. They both have their reasons and I am sure that their reasons are as good as any. I do not blame them at all. I know the monster that he can become, that he was with me until he got sick, that any man with a small sense of self will turn into if said any man feels the slightest bit like the woman he portends to ‘love’ is somehow seen as beautiful by the rest of the breathing men on the planet. This was my life and this was the thing that I was taught about men – at least for a little while, until I started making friends with a lot of decent men who would never raise their voice, let alone their hand, to any woman.
I am not here, though, to say anything about Spiritual gifts, not here to toot my own horn, not here to do much else than to say that enough is enough – something must be done to make the laws broader and make them cover things, things such as cops not wanting to fill out paperwork, not wanting to do their job, cops wanting to place their own feelings of hatred for women squarely above the thing that they were employed to do, which is to protect and to serve. She called them, my friend did, and when they showed up, they behaved as though she was somehow making up all the things that she plead their help for. The ones that showed up let their true colors show. They let it be known that when a woman calls them for their help they are going to not do anything at all for her and may even tell her that she will go to jail. Often I have referred to the high desert as being the Bible belt of Southern California, and no, it is not meant as a compliment, not at all.
It is meant as my saying that there are some men who are also cops who need to stop the idea that women are just belly aching about being abused, men who need badly and to think about the reason that a woman would call them for their assistance in the first place, and who need to rethink their position on the job they hold if their own personal feelings happen to get in the way of them getting their job done. This is the travesty which is not only typical in that area but is also a reality elsewhere in the country..hell, in the world. Everyday a woman is ignored is another day that a woman is being beaten, is another day that a woman has to live in fear of a person they’d entrusted their lives with. Every day that a woman is ignored when she calls for help is another day that yet another woman has a 50-50 chance of being hit, maybe even killed. I know this because I was this. For years. Not anymore!
What the hell is wrong with a society that allows this to continue?
The Ugly Black Eye of Domestic Abuse
It never dawned on me until recently that the reason I am such a warrior spirit, the reason that I see not but the injustice served to women everywhere is because of my own past. I won’t lie- I was in that mode of thinking that I could change him, that I could make him see that the way that he did things in regards to me was not the best way, was not the way to make me love him, because the truth is that I am sure I was talked into that as well. (It isn’t hard to talk a 19 year old whose life is filled with dreams and her own version of what a guy with a Corvette and a Credit card can do for her…whaddaya want? I was 19) By the time I’d figured out that I’d been played by this person, it was too late – I was already the mother of this person’s children, already in debt up to my ass from a house that was ours together…I was already the Mrs. who I didn’t realize that I no longer cared to be.
I’d suffered through so much that what seemed like a travesty to me was the idea, not that I had been victimized, but that to some people I had deserved what I’d gotten because I stayed. Well, let me tell you something about what happens when you have been beaten, when you have been belittled, when you have suffered through something that came from the pit of hell that is the other person’s thoughts, not only about you, but also about every other woman on the planet.
Men and even women who abuse their partners beat them, belittle them and it is not because of the victim (turned survivor, thank you very much) but because of their very own damned foolish selves. I know this. I thought about it for years, the possibility that what I had gotten from him, my now dying husband, I somehow deserved. I have scars that all have stories, pictures from a time in my life where fear reigned, places in me where there lives a raging voilet of a woman, one who is wild and primitive and a woman that not too many men will be able to say they know…for real “know,” because that is what happens when a woman is abused. First she doubts herself, and then as time passes she doubts herself more and she doubts the words “I’m sorry,” and “I won’t do it again, I promise,” and “I love you can we just forgive and forget?” Well, forgive is one thing. Forgetting is not something that this Pisces is good at. I did not deserve the words which were meant to break me down, and I did not deserve to be accused of having sex with strangers and friends of both genders. I did not deserve the bruises. I did not deserve the bite marks. I did not deserve a whole lot of stuff I went through.
No, I did not. NO one does. No person deserves to have to deal with the smallness that is another’s feelings of their not being good enough, and I am sorry, but the idea that the reason anyone beats on another person is because the beater was beaten is no longer a good enough reason for me and is more akin to an excuse – a f*cking sorry ass excuse, none the less and is an excuse that no longer holds anything in it for me. I have been told the truth by other people, and my best friends – the ones to whom I tell everything and anything – know well that I am not the person who I was told by my husband I was or am, not by any measure. I am not weak. I am strong. I am not stupid. I am wise. I am not ugly. I am beautiful.
I am not afraid anymore, either. The one thing a beaten woman fears is truly not just her attacker, but the idea that somewhere inside of her is this magnificently gorgeous, sexy, awesome creature just waiting to Be, and when I get there, the world is going to know. It won’t be me roaring but more like me shining like platinum and diamonds. We should all be so lucky. We should all be able to heal as well as I have and am. Yet, we are not, not by a long shot, and it sucks to know that this me is the me who was born from all of this crap. This me is the me who danced her way back to who I really am. This me loves life. I would hang out with this me. I would sit and drink many beers with this me, would smoke many a joint with this me, would hold this me’s hair as she hugged the forgiving bowl of the famed porcelain queen we have some sort of affinity for its coolness.
I am not afraid to be who I am, yes, even in the face of what could become a dangerous situation. I am not worried that it will get that far anymore, because it has come full cirlce, back to that point in time when all that happened bears the fruit of it all and now, for the first time in my life, or at least the last 23 years of it, I see clearly the thing that has made me this way. I do not like the way that I got here, but I tell you what…I like who I have become. This is the part of the madness that no beater wants to know about, that no beater wants to believe can or will or does happen. Those of us who are abuse survivors end up this way because we finally get tired of the bullshit, get tired of being told who we are and we end up fighting back, quietly, but surely, and when we come back we come back as a stronger, more able person who turns into the fighter that no one thought we would grow to become.
Again, I like this me, the one who is kind to those who deserve my kindness, fierce to those who have earned my being fierce (and sometimes that can be a good thing depending on who it is I am fierce with) and most of all, a devious force to be reckoned with should you have been the one to hurt me in any way at all on purpose. I don’t like bullies. Bullies are the reason there are people like me, people who will fight for what it is that they are so passionate about, and I am passionate with a great big smile on my face (like the one the cat wore after he’d eaten the canary) when it comes to this me being able to stand on her own with just the help of those closest to me, no matter what their contribution to the becoming of Ms Roxanne as you know and love her happens to be.
You oughtta know
I wrestled with myself about writing these things, but writing these things was prompted by my being scooped up by a new website which is dedicated to everything woman, and I, by my own observation, have become one hell of a good woman, and there ain’t a man alive or soon to be dead on the planet who can tell me otherwise.
This is my fight, my heart, my love – to help other women who are unsure of who they are, be it by their own thinking or because of the way that they were treated by a person who told them they were loved when instead what they were being told without the words being said is that they were no longer loved but owned.
I am the only one who owns me – not my old man. He may have thought he did for a while, but once it was that his own limited humanity kicked in and he found himself to be very much at my mercy, that changed.
The other thing that an abuser loathes is having to depend on someone else, namely the one person they victimized the most.
Yep…it sure is good bein’ me….sure the hell is…
I Love You All !!
*Rev. Roxanne Cottell is a Freelance Writer, Speaker and Spiritual Counselor residing in Southern California. For inquires regarding the Ka Wahine ‘Ui dance program for survivors of domestic abuse,or any other inquiries. please contact her by clicking here. Her latest book, “Goddesses, Priestesses and Queens” can be purchased at lulu.com and amazon.com