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.


Don't Be a Victim

Anger that’s used to control, manipulate, and hold another emotionally hostage is out of control and abusive. It typically starts with name-calling, emotional jabs at a person’s self-worth, painful teasing, public insults. It progresses from there. Eventually the abuser is yelling, grabbing, pushing, slapping, and becoming increasingly aggressive and violent. Remorse follows. So too does more abuse. Even just one of these tactics is abuse, and it won’t stop without serious intervention. If you or your children are being treated in this fashion, please seek help.--Meg Wilson, “Hope After Betrayal”


 "We are talking about everyone's lives are touched by this issue, whether it be our children, or our mothers or our sisters. So many women. The most important thing I can do here today is start this dialogue that we're having ."
— Reese Witherspoon asking people to speak out on Domestic Violence, an issue that affects one in three around the world.


The Sociopathic Partner

He is a sociopath masquerading under a schizophrenia diagnosis, the doctor said.  Actually, today we don't commonly call them sociopaths.  It is more common to say they have an antisocial personality disorder.  Individuals with this disorder cab appear very charming and become involved in relationships, but to them, the relationship is in name only. They so easily end them whenever necessary or when it suits them. They seem to have an innate ability to find the weakness in people, and are ready to use these weaknesses to their own ends through deceit, manipulation, or intimidation, and gain pleasure from doing so. The doctor's words made me think about more than one relationship that I have been in.

DSM-IV Definition

Antisocial personality disorder is characterized by a lack of regard for the moral or legal standards in the local culture. There is a marked inability to get along with others or abide by societal rules. Individuals with this disorder are sometimes called psychopaths or sociopaths.

Diagnostic Criteria (DSM-IV)

1. Since the age of fifteen there has been a disregard for and violation of the right's of others, those right's considered normal by the local culture, as indicated by at least three of the following:
A. Repeated acts that could lead to arrest.
B. Conning for pleasure or profit, repeated lying, or the use of aliases.
C. Failure to plan ahead or being impulsive.
D. Repeated assaults on others.
E. Reckless when it comes to their or others safety.
F. Poor work behavior or failure to honor financial obligations.
G. Rationalizing the pain they inflict on others.

2. At least eighteen years in age.

3. Evidence of a Conduct Disorder, with its onset before the age of fifteen.

4. Symptoms not due to another mental disorder.

The sociopath is manipulative and cunning.  Although they may appear charming, they also possess another side which they hide well.  In fact, they are really rather hostile and domineering seeing their victim as someone to be used; hence, they often dominate and humiliate their victims.(My ex loved to dominate and humiliate me out in public.  He took great joy in calling me names and watching me cringe with embarrassment.  A true sociopath, he never said he was sorry.)

The sociopath has a rather grandiose sense of self.  He/she feels entitled to certain things as their right, and they know how to manipulate to get what they want.  (My ex was an actor; not a big actor, but he had some 'bit' parts, but according to him, he was 'the star'.  He made it impossible to be happy for him.  He also worked as a 'bouncer' in a New York City nightclub.  He made $50 a night.  In those days, that wasn't a bad paycheck.  I worked at the time as a case coordinator for a city run home care agency.  If the ex got an acting call on one of those days he was supposed to work at the club, he told me that 'I' had to give him the $50 to make up the pay he was losing, like I owed him...and like a fool, I always handed it to him.) 

The sociopath is pathological liar.  He has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. He has the ability to create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. He can be very convincing and has even able to pass lie detector tests. (One trait the ex wasn't very good at, but I did have an old boyfriend who could look me in the eye and tell me a tale so huge that I had to wonder how gullible he really thought I was.)

The sociopath lacks feelings of remorse, shame or guilt.  There is a deep-seated rage which is split off and repressed at his core. He does not see others around him as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way. (I have a knot on my leg to this day, a result of being hit with a chair while the ex was having a fit of rage.  I was never a person to him; at first I was a target since I was such a naive country gal and once he had snared me, I became the victim.  No matter what he did to me, how much he ever hurt me both physically and emotionally, I never heard the two words, 'I'm sorry'.  And that's because he NEVER was sorry.)

The sociopath has a need for stimulation. He lives on the edge. Promiscuity and gambling are common.  (My ex was a gambler.  While I was at work, he would be hanging out in the neighborhood OTB all day.  Sometimes he would win, but I never saw any of that.  Even though he always had me replenish his losses from my salary, he NEVER shared his winnings.  That was 'his' money, and according to him, "I didn't deserve any of it.')

The sociopath is callous and suffers from a lack of empathy.  He is unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others' feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them. (One night I was very sick.  I had the flu and had bruised my ribs by coughing so much.  Feverish, I was barely able to take care of myself, let alone two young boys.  He was going out, and I begged him to stay home and help.  He just sneered at me and said, 'Too bad.  You're just going to have to take care of them the best you can.' and he left.  Later, a neighbor had to take me to the emergency room.) 

The sociopath has poor behavioral controls.  Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. The sociopath believes that he is all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others. (Everyone here knows my story.  The rage and abuse I was subjected to.  The small expressions of love were generally lacking, but one must realize that women in an abusive relationship over time begin to associate abuse with love.)

Other Related Qualities: 

Does not perceive that anything is wrong with them 
Authoritarian, rules the household
Paranoid  (Had to touch on this one.  When the ex was struck with a cab one night, he literally blamed me for it, stating that 'I wished it on him.')
Conventional appearance 
Goal of enslavement of their victim(s) 
Exercises despotic control over every aspect of the victim's life 
Incapable of real human attachment to another 

Sounds pretty much like an abusive husband, doesn't it? 


Quote of the Day

 "Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent." --Eleanor Roosevelt


Bride Burning

Please light a candle and say a prayer for our sisters.

Did you know that every hour and forty minutes a woman is lit on fire? Neither did I.  The fact is there are many of us may who are not aware of this practice.   Bride Burning is a form of domestic violence practiced in certain countries such as India and Southeast Asia.   In bride burning  the man, or his family, douses his wife with flammable liquid and sets the woman her on fire, leading to death by fire.  The biggest cause of this horrific act is dowry; it usually occurs when her family refuses to pay any additional dowry (material gifts given to the bride by her family at the time of the wedding).  

The following video broke my heart.  I couldn't stop the tears. 

Dowries are as old as India, but in recent years the stakes have risen. The bride's family is expected to hand over cash and gifts such as televisions, cars and refrigerators, and although against the law in India since 1961, it is quite commonplace for a bride to enter into a  marriage with a significant dowry paid by her family, including jewelery, appliances, vehicles, furniture, even a house for the couple.  In many cases, the police are told the victim was killed by an exploding stove, and there is no prosecution. 

Every day a woman lives in fear of the day it will be her. 


Repost: I Got Flowers Today

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



Every woman who thinks she is the only victim of violence has to know that there are many more.
– Salma Hayek

There is a subconscious way of taking violence as a way of expression, as a normality, and it has a lot of effects in the youth in the way they absorb education and what they hope to get out of life.
– Salma Hayek


Iranian Human Rights Lawyer Sentenced

 (Update)  I am a little late with this.  Sorry.

Not to long ago I posted a story on Nasrin Sotoudeh, the  Iranian Human Rights lawyer who was arrested on September 4th and held in solitary confinement until her trial began on November 15th.  She was charged  with (allegedly) acting against state security, assembling, and collusion with intent to disrupt national security. She was also charged for working with the Center for Human Rights Defenders, an organization founded by Nobel Laureate,  Shirin Ebadi.   Recently,  she was sentenced to 11 years in prison; in addition,  she has been prohibited  from practicing law or leaving Iran for the next 20 years.

Before her arrest, Sotoudeh was a member of the One Million Signatures Campaign and on the board of directors of the Society for Defense of Children's Rights.   She has broken no laws, but is being jailed because she has upheld law in a judicial system intent on violating human rights. She 
has  represented several of the more than one hundred activists and political figures who have been tried on charges of fomenting unrest after Iran's disputed presidential election in June, 2009.

Sotoudeh, who has been in Evin Prison since September 4, went on a hunger strike to protest the conditions of her illegal arrest, but because of her children, ended it after a few days.  Afterwards, she began a dry hunger strike when she was deprived of her legal rights, , such as the right to telephone calls and visits from her family members and her two young children along with the gross mishandling of her case. She broke her dry hunger strike on November 11th  and ended her hunger strike, which lasted a total of 50 days, following the trial.


Taking the Weekend Off

"The biggest challenge is to convince a woman that it's not her fault. My daughter is 25; my stepdaughter is 22. As a mother, I want them to know that if a boyfriend is abusive, you cannot ignore it ‑- 'Oh, he's been drinking,' or 'He had a bad day.' There is no excuse for a man hitting a woman. Ever."
--Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Michigan

Taking the weekend off from blogging.  Have to food shop, cook, and take all the Christmas stuff down.  Going to be a busy weekend.  Hoping everyone has a blessed weekend, and I will see you on Monday.


The Obsessive Ex

Many years ago I had an alcoholic boyfriend who just didn't want to 'let go' after I broke up with him.  If it wasn't a barrage of telephone calls threatening suicide if I didn't go back with him, it was the stalking.  It was like wherever I went, there he was.  I was quite the risk-taker back then, young and fool-hearted, and he didn't scare me.  I thought nothing of approaching his car and ordering him to leave me alone.  Today, I know better.  Today I know that an obsessive ex can be more than just annoying; today I realize that he can be downright dangerous.  Some people are totally unable to  let go of a partner after a break, and their stalking, calling, harassing, and sometimes even threatening can take quite an emotional toll on the victim. 

A balanced person will eventually realize that the  relationship is indeed over and move on.    An obsessive ex does not see a break-up the same way and will not accept that the relationship is over.   In his view, that is not her decision to make.  He may just think the argument is a little more serious than others, after it is over,  the partner will take them back. One word stalkers cannot seem to comprehend is the word No.  After all, it is totally unthinkable that their partner may not want them. Rejection is not even in their vocabulary.  To them it is maybe and no matter what you do to get rid of them they will see things differently. They often believe their ex loves them even when they do not. This delusional thinking makes it so hard for a victim to get the point across.

They will work as hard as they can to get back the person of their dreams...you.  Next comes the pleading and the romantic gestures which are often looked upon with pity, and it is not uncommon for family and friends to encourage the person who has ended the relationship to take the ex back.  Stalkers have a knack for bending the truth.  My mom thought my ex was the greatest and that I was making a big mistake letting him go.  Of course, I also heard that I would never attract anything better. 

If you think your ex has turned stalker, stop all communication with  If others try to persuade you to see them,  tell them it is your decision to make, not theirs. Do not respond any of their texts emails or letters.  If you have been communicating on the Internet with them, stop  immediately.  Change your email address and any nickname you may have used. Set yourself up with a brand new identity.

If they do not stop hassling you go to the police or your local law enforcement agency.  Remember, there have been any number of tragic
cases where obsessive behaviour/stalking by ex-partners has led to violence – even rape or murder.  By taking your situation seriously and getting help, now you are taking steps to protect yourself and your family.


Quote of the Day

“One in three women may suffer from abuse and violence in her lifetime. This is an appalling human rights violation, yet it remains one of the invisible and under-recognized pandemics of our time.”  Violence against women is an appalling human rights violation. But it is not inevitable. We can put a stop to this.” – Nicole Kidman


Attracting What We Know

Dear readers, have you ever had something in mind that you wanted to write about; in fact, already have it written, and then something starts gnawing away at you, and you know it is something important that has to be written and shared....and as you begin to type, the words just start flowing?  This, my friends, is what happened to me this morning.  This is a post that HAD to be written.

The other day I read a comment where someone wondered if we attracted what we know, and my response would be an indisputable yes.  We are emotionally drawn to those people who feel familiar on our energetic level; i.e., those people who are on the same emotional vibrational level as we are.  We find ourselves drawn to them and they to us, and it feels as if we have a strong connection to them.  In other words, we are attracted to people whose emotional dynamic is similar to our early experiences of intimacy and love...and this is usually our parents.

“The healthy man does not torture others. Generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers.” – Carl Jung

Males grow up seeing Dad physically or emotionally abuse Mom and feel that this is all right; this is the way relationships are supposed to be.   Yes, they are wrong, and I am not making excuses for them, but this is all they know.  This is what they equate with love, and the cycle continues until one day, one brave little boy decides he doesn't want to be like Daddy, or the abuser confronts and takes responsibility for the verbal and physical abusive patterns of behavior and seeks outside help....and, sadly, that is rare.  All of the men who I have worked with all find a way to blame the wife.

This generational cycle also holds true for the victim.  A woman who has spent her life watching Dad abuse Mom develops unrealistic beliefs of what constitutes love.  Many women equate abuse with love...if he doesn't hit me, he doesn't love me.  In my case, I was never witness to abuse of any kind.  My parents HAD no relationship, each choosing to live together for the sake of the child, but living separate lives.  Mom was never around; she worked all day, came home, ate dinner and freshened up, and then she leave and spend the rest of the evening with her boyfriend.  My dad was an alcoholic, and all he cared about was having a six-pack in the refrigerator waiting for him when he got home....what you would call a dysfunctional family...

...and as a result, I grew up to become a dysfunctional adult.  I attracted what I knew...men who had problems--alcoholics, drug addicts, a sex addict, a gambling addict--and, when one is in the throes of addiction they can become quite violent.  It took me far too many years to realize that I may not have been abused as a child, but I had been wounded and focusing on men with issues kept me from looking into myself...so, in order to avoid going within, I kept drawing men on the same vibrational level into my life.  One relationship would no sooner break up than I would find myself in another.  I literally was drawing men into my life with a sickness like my father...

...and no matter how much I  was making a conscious  effort not pick anyone like my parents, my energy was attracting those  people into my life whose inner emotional dynamic is similar to my first experience of love.  Many of us spend our lives searching for our soul mates, but those of us who grew up with dysfunctional families,  had better watch out, for these may be exactly the people who will fit your patterns  and recreate your wounding...

...We get involved with people who are unavailable because WE are unavailable.  We continue to be attracted to people who feel familiar because on some level,  we are still trying to prove our worth by earning the love and respect of our unavailable parents.  We throw our lives into  rescuing the other person  because that will prove our worthwhen the truth is, we need them to rescue us because of our lack of self-worth.  It can become an endless cycle because the more we rely on dysfunctional people to prove our worth, the less worth we have for they drain it from us. 

Sadly, until we realize that it is not  possible to love someone enough to make someone to stop hating or being unavailable, we need to let go of the delusion that we can be someone's savior, and we need to take the focus off others and place it on healing our self...on understanding and healing the emotional wounds that have driven us to choose those who can never provide us what we want and need emotionally.  Taking time to develop develop some healthy emotional intimacy with ourselves is imperative before we will ever be capable of being available for a healthy relationships.

Every woman who thinks she is the only victim of violence has to know that there are many more. Salma Hayek


Domestic Violence Quote

“Domestic violence does not only happen to adults. Forty percent of girls age 14 to 17 report knowing someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend, and approximately one in five female high school students reports being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner.”
– Dianne Feinstein


First Woman President Sworn Into Office in Brazil

From torture in a dictatorship-era jail cell to the helm of Latin America's largest nation, Dilma Roussett was sworn into office and became Brazil's first woman president.  She took her oat of office alongside Vice-President Michel Temer...becoming the country's 36th president, a nearly unthinkable feat a year ago.  In a country where women have typically played a limited  role in politics, the election of a woman to Brazil's highest office signals a major break from the past.

Following her historic win, Rousseff spoke passionately about her goals to eliminate poverty, improve education and public healthcare,  reduce homelessness, and promote gender equality, "I hope the fathers and mothers of little girls will look at them and say yes, women can."  "Equal opportunity between men and women is an essential principle of democracy."

Rousseff of the Worker's Party defeated Jose Serra of the Social Democratic Party by a wide margin. Although she has never held elective office before, Rousseff, an economist, was strongly backed by former president, da Silva. She formerly served as da Silva's Chief of Staff and a member of his cabinet as Energy Minister.

In 1967, Rousseff, then a 19 year old economics student, joint a militant group opposing the dictatorship of the country, and for the next three years, she helped lead guerrilla organizations while writing for an underground newspaper.  During the 1970s, Rousseff was captured and jailed by Brazil's military police and was labeled the  "Joan of Arc" of the gorilla movement.  She was tossed into the notorious Tiradentes prison and brutually tortured for her membership in the left-wing guerrilla group. 

I congratulate Ms. Rousseff on her ascendancy to the Brazilian presidency­. She has the task and the responsibi­lity to build on the great legacy of her predecesso­r, and having worked closely with him, I am sure she will continue to lead her country towards even greater prosperity for all Brazilians­.