Art, literature, film — the more time that passes, the more I appreciate creative acts that explore complex relationships and shine honesty into the dynamics of intimate partner violence. I find it deeply healing, when I can interrogate patterns from my own marriage but at the safe distance art provides.

Watching abuse play out in real-time and IRL is another matter. Especially when the woman being emotionally brutalized is my mother…and I know there’s not shit I can do about it.

No one heals without the love and support of others, but the first step you always take alone: in that moment when you decide you want more.

When you choose to believe that maybe, just maybe, you deserve more.

If anyone reading this now is in the throes of that decision — if any of you are wondering whether (just maybe) you too deserve to imagine a bigger life than the one your partner permits you — please trust me when I tell you, yes.

Yes. You do. You deserve more.

Please trust me when I tell you that you too deserve to breathe the air in your own home without fear.


Be brave.

Help will find you if only you can reach out and ask.


8 thoughts on “Brave

  1. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

    I wrote somewhere that the inevitability of pain is not better than the scant possibility of even worse pain. I don’t know where, but I do know … I am so, so glad, that my sister believed me the second time I entreated her. I’m not sure she would have gotten a third chance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have just finished reading your post from 2011 about your mother’s strength and courage to leave. I know that when my own mother listens to stories about my marriage, she sometimes thinks “at least my situation is not *that* bad.” It’s a thought she needs, as (once again) she talks herself out of leaving.

      Needless to say, I disagree with her assessment of “not as bad.” Bad is bad. Controlling is controlling.

      Hurt is hurt.

      I am glad your sister found her own strength to hear you, to believe you. Generational patterns make far too many of us so terribly, terribly vulnerable.


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