A Tribute to Womanhood

Welcome to "I Am Woman"...a tribute to all those women who had the courage and perseverance to stand up and fight for their rights. Thanks to those who came before us we enjoy a freedom unknown to women not too long ago. But, sadly, in many parts of the world, women continue to be repressed. In fact, even in this country there are women living today under the threat of violence...completely controlled by a violent spouse. Some may make it; others won't. Hopefully, one day ALL women will be free. May that day come soon.

6/21/2018

The $20 Bill



A well known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill.

In the room of 200, he asked, "Who would like this $20 bill?" Hands started going up.

He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this." He proceeded to crumple the dollar bill up. He then asked, "Who still wants it?" Still the hands were up in the air.

"Well," he replied, "What if I do this?" And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. "Now who still wants it?" Still the hands went into the air.

"My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20."

"Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value in God's eyes. To Him, dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to Him."

THOUGHT: The worth of our lives come not in what we do or who we are but by WHOSE WE ARE! You are special - Don't ever forget it! 


Author Unknown

6/17/2018

A Strong Woman



A strong woman works out every day to keep her body in shape...
but a woman of strength kneels in prayer to keep her soul in shape.

A strong woman isn't afraid of anything...
but a woman of strength shows courage in the midst of fear.

A strong woman won't let anyone get the best of her...
but a woman of strength gives the best of her to everyone.

A strong woman makes mistakes and avoids the same in the future...
but a woman of strength realizes life's mistakes can also be God's blessing
and capitalizes on them.

A strong woman walks sure footedly...
but a woman of strength knows God will catch her when she falls.

A strong woman wears the look of confidence on her face...
but a woman of strength wears grace.

A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey...
but a woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey that
she will become strong.

--Anonymous--

6/13/2018

As you travel through life there are always those times
When decisions just have to be made,
When the choices are hard, and solutions seem scarce,
And the rain seems to soak your parade.

There are some situations where all you can do
Is simply let go and move on,
Gather your courage and choose a direction
That carries you toward a new dawn.

So pack up your troubles and take a step forward -
The process of change can be tough,
But think about all the excitement ahead
If you can be stalwart enough!

There might be adventures you never imagined
Just waiting around the next bend,
And wishes and dreams just about to come true
In ways you can’t yet comprehend!

Perhaps you’ll find friendships that spring from new things
As you challenge your status quo,
And learn there are so many options in life,
And so many ways you can grow!

Perhaps you’ll go places you never expected
And see things that you’ve never seen,
Or travel to fabulous, faraway worlds
And wonderful spots in between!

Perhaps you’ll find warmth and affection and caring
And somebody special who’s there
To help you stays centered and listen with interest
To stories and feelings you share.

Perhaps you’ll find comfort in knowing your friends
Are supportive of all that you do,
And believe that whatever decisions you make,
They’ll be the right choices for you.

So keep putting one foot in front of the other,
And taking your life day by day…
There’s a brighter tomorrow that’s just down the road -
Don’t look back! You’re not going that way!

Anonymous

6/12/2018

My Journey to Recovery



The language we use to communicate with one another is like a knife. In the hands of a careful and skilled surgeon, a knife can work to do great good. But in the hands of a careless or ignorant person, a knife can cause great harm.

Exactly as it is with our words. 

Source Unknown

We'd been married for 15 years when it happened.  It's something I never talk about, but I feel safe here.  I also feel that maybe by telling my story I can stop someone else before it is too late.  As I sit here now, 27 years later, I shudder when I think of what might have been had my friend not found me.  I might not be sitting here writing this.  I recall the feelings of hopelessness that drove me to such a desperate act to escape.

I met him shortly after moving to the city.  He was a part time actor/part time bouncer.  I tended bar.  We married about six months later.  The sick part of it is I KNEW beforehand that this man was violent, yet I was so desperate for love that I headed off to city hall with him despite the fact that he had broken my jaw only a month before.   I was a fool, I know that now, but at that time, I had already been beaten down by a verbally abusive mom, a father who made incestuous overtures towards me, an alcoholic husband, and a sex addict husband who slept around with any woman willing to spread their legs...and some of them were pretty filthy.  So you might as well say I was ripe for the picking.

Marriage to this man was hell.  The physical abuse ended when I struck him in the head with the phone when he tried to stop me from calling the police.  He was worried that I might ruin his face for his little acting career so he stopped being physical, but the verbal continued on and on and on, until I was nothing but a shell of a woman.  For 15 years I took it. 

Then one day I went to a psychic with a friend.  He was very accurate and told me things I didn't want to hear.  The entire session was taped, but the one part I still can't get out of my head:  "You have to accept the fact that there is no way out".  I walked out of there devastated.  He had taken my hope away, but I had wanted an honest reading and that I got.  He was right.  There WAS NO WAY OUT.  I couldn't afford to live on my own with my children, and besides, his uncle was mob connected, and my ex threatened to have me killed if I left him with the children.  

So one day when the kids were in school and my ex was out, I climbed up on the stool, got the bottle of rum down from atop the cupboards, and as I sat there sipping my drink, the tears began to flow.  Then, I put the cassette of the psychic on and kept playing that one part over and over again.  I was a mess when I went to the medicine cabinet and got my muscle relaxers out, brought them to the kitchen table and sat sipping my rum as I took one pill after another....all the while hearing the psychics voice.     

I remember going into the bathroom because I was feeling sick and falling into the tub.  I remember falling back down every time I tried to get up....and laughing hysterical about it.  I remember being on a stretcher and carried to the ambulance and the shocked faces of all my neighbors. I remember the doctor on the psyche ward.  "Call downstairs and see if they have room.  She needs a detox, not psyche."  And I remember being escorted downstairs. 

The seven days I spent in the detox were the first days of my new life.  I learned that I had been using alcohol to numb the pain, but to heal and become whole, I had to face the pain...and I learned that that would take time.  I was referred to a 6 month rehab program, but there were no beds available so I was sent home to wait until there was room for me.  Eventually the call came, and my ex tried begging and then ordering me not to go.  But I suddenly had found the strength in myself and knew if I was to survive and be any kind of mom to my children I had to go.  Then he came home with a quart of rum and tried to get me to drink it.  He knew they wouldn't take me if I wasn't 'clean'. 

He didn't win that night.  He wouldn't even take me to the hospital.  His uncle did and do you know what?  This uncle that I had been threatened with told me that I shouldn't go back to him, that he crazy, that it was time for me to start a new life.  And that's exactly what I did.  I moved on.  For awhile, I was always looking over my shoulder, fearful that he had found me, but as time went on I was doing that less and less.  And then in 1996 he passed away from cancer.  I wanted to feel sympathy, but instead what I felt was 'free'. 

Am I cured?  I don't think so, but I do know I am much stronger now.  I've gone through years of therapy and groups, and my self-esteem is high, but I remain overly sensitive and easily hurt. Oh, and before I forget, they psychic did tell me something else that stuck with me.  He told me he didn't know who, when, or how, but a Leo was going to come into my life and be a source of strength for me.  My current hubby is a Leo and from day one he has been supportive and loving. He changed my life.  

Was I trying to commit suicide that day?  I don't remember.  All I know is that I was blessed and saved for a reason...and that reason was to help others.  That's why I went on to become a substance abuse counselor, victim's advocate, and Interfaith minister....and that's why I am here now.  If any of the information I share on this blog helps even one person, it is well worth it.  Remember:  YOU DO NOT HAVE TO TAKE THE ABUSE.  NO ONE DESERVES TO BE HIT OR VERBALLY PUT DOWN.  THERE ARE OPTIONS.  BE STRONG. 

6/11/2018

Quote of the Day



"The day will come when men will recognize woman as his peer, not only at the fireside, but in councils of the nation. Then, and not until then, will there be the perfect comradeship, the ideal union between the sexes that shall result in the highest development of the race.”  

Susan B. Anthony

6/08/2018

Is He a Batterer? Early Signs to Watch Out For



Please note: I use the pronoun he because it is easier on me than writing he/she or the individual over and over again,  but women can be batterers as well as men. 


Is he very jealous? At first you think it is flattering to have someone care so much about you. You tell yourself how much they must love you. But then it becomes annoying. And it only keeps getting worse. He's jealous of your family. Of your friends. And forget about having male friends. He will accuse you of infidelities, and you will never convince him that you are innocent. He will be constantly at you, beating you down emotionally and, at times, physically.

Does he have a violent temper? If you feel fear them when they get angry, get yourself away from right away....and stay away before you become a statistic.

Is he easily frustrated and not handle it very well? This goes hand in hand with the above. He becomes enraged over the smallest things--the driver in front is too slow, the line in the store is too long because the 'stupid' clerk doesn't know what she is doing, he thinks someone is looking at him wrong and confronts the individual. Not good.

Does he talk to you in a way that degrades you, makes fun of you, or belittles your accomplishments? Verbal abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse, and maybe even more so because bruises heal, but painful words can last forever. My ex was verbally abusive. Despite my having a city job while he was a bouncer, he always berated my 'stupid little job'.

Has there been abuse during the courtship period? Don't think you can change him. Break it off right away.

Does he blame others for everything that is wrong in his life? Is he always the victim? One major sigh that a person might be an abuser is them not assuming any responsibility for their behaviors by making themselves out to be the one who is always wronged. Eventually he will start blaming you for everything, and when he does? Abuse will definitely follow.

Have there been any subtle behaviors in the early stage of your relationship? For example, maybe he is a bit too concerned about your safety or questions the decisions you make. Does he know best how you should dress, comb your hair, etc. These type of controlling behaviors only get worse in time.

Does he exhibit times of cruelty and abuse towards children and animals? If they are cruel to them, ask yourself the question. How will they treat me and my children in the future?

What about his childhood? Not everyone, but most people who were raised in an abusive household have a greater chance of exhibiting the same behavior towards their family.

6/07/2018

He Sent Me Flowers Today

    This is such a powerful poem I repost it often.  

I got flowers today.
It wasn’t my birthday
or any special day.
We had our first argument last night,
and he said a lot of cruel things
that really hurt me.
I know he is sorry
and didn’t mean the things he said
because he sent me flowers today.
 
I got flowers today.
It wasn’t our anniversary
or any other special day.
Last night, he threw me into a wall
and started to choke me.
It seemed like a nightmare.
I couldn’t believe it was real.
I know he must be sorry
because he sent me flowers today.
 
I got flowers today,
and it wasn’t Mother’s Day
or any other special day.
Last night, he beat me up again.
If I leave him, what will I do?
How will I take care of my kids?
What about money?
I’m afraid of him and scared to leave.
But I know he must be sorry
because he sent me flowers today.
 
I got flowers today.
Today was a very special day.
It was the day of my funeral.
Last night, he finally killed me.
If only I had gathered enough courage
and strength to leave him,
I would not have gotten flowers today.

© 1992 by Paulette Kelly