Friday, April 22, 2011

There's too many of us

Yesterday I was interviewed by the incredibly lovely Cher over at BrooWaha.com. The article is published online today if you'd like to read it. I talk about my experiences of the past year and what has pulled me through.

I've made no secret of the fact that I've drawn so much strength and encouragement from those who read and comment and offer their support here on Wanderlust. When I first started writing about domestic violence, it was because I had to, to survive. I needed that lifeline that came from honest expression and connection with others.

I found that the more I wrote, the more women contacted me with their own stories. Not just a few women, but many, many women. Too many women. It was eye-opening to say the least. Some of these women had shared their stories openly with others in the past. Some had never told a soul before. Some were still in the thick of it. All were grateful to have someone they could identify with.

With each story I read, my heart broke anew. I wonder sometimes at the amount of injustice and pain in this world. I don't want to spend my energy wallowing in the "whys" of that -- I'd rather focus on the healing. But they told me things like this:

"My father molested both me and my best friend for years. We went to the police when we were 15 but they didn't believe us."

 "I don't know how to relax anymore. I walk on eggshells all day."

"My husband killed my three-year-old daughter."

"The last thing my father told me before he committed suicide was that he did the things he did to me because he loved me."


Pretty hard to take in, isn't it?

Take a deep breath.

So while I still write for my own healing, I also write for all those women who are trying to find a way out, either of their circumstances or the lingering emotional pain. It's why I'm willing to tell my story in public spaces like Broowaha.com. When I fell, you were my lifeline. You still are. If writing about my experiences can offer someone else hope or comfort, then it is worth it.

I've started doing speaking engagements. I've spoken on topics such as Successful Blogging and Healing from Violence. I'm especially interested in encouraging women to find their own voice and embrace their personal power. If you are interested in having me speak at an event or conference, please contact me.

* * * * *

Have you ever had major surgery or banged your body up good? Do you remember the first time you got up, after lying in bed for a long time, and tried to walk across the room? Pure. Torture. I remember trying to swing my legs onto the floor after my emergency c-section. And then stand on them. Agony. But each time I got up after that it was easier. Pretty soon I was going up and down the stairs on my own -- look at me!

Well, making a big life change is a bit like that. Getting out of a damaging relationship or speaking your difficult truth for the first time -- it hurts like hell. But once you get past that first shock of pain, you have some momentum and it gets easier. You just need to find the courage to take that first step.

If you need some incentive, please remember this. In the end, it doesn't matter a whit what the neighbors or your colleagues or the school moms think of your not-so-perfect life.

No. I think you know in your heart who really matters, right?






P.S. Big, warm thanks to Tony, new CEO of Blogcatalog, for this beautiful write-up




28 comments:

  1. As usual a beautiful and thought provoking post K. More power to you, to support others going through similar things, to enlighten those who aren't, to encourage everyone, to be honest about the dark parts, to be human and show your pain, to be a woman of strength and above all a mother of two who can be whatever she needs to be. You are and always will be a survivor. xxx

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  2. I do believe that out of all this mess you will find your true calling - and I think you're on the path towards that. I'll be your biggest champion, Kristin x

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  3. I did actually write a post last week that was quite honest and quite painful for me to write - and I did actually think of you as I pressed publish. And you are so right...thank you
    xxxCate

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  4. I can think of no better voice to champion the cause. And speaking engagements? You will rock all of them! This is an excellent and very 'right' turn of events. Much love to you, my Midwestern friend :) xx

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  5. Exactly how I feel about you and your posts darling. By writing what you do, you give a voice to all of us, particularly those who feel unable to share their own stories just now. You also give a powerful reminder that you CAN get out of these relationships; that while it will be painful, there is a way out and people who will help and support you. Thank you. xo

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  6. You've inspired me to write my own story. In no way does it compare to the things you and your family went through and will continue to go through, but you've given me the kick I need to start my healing. Thank you.
    Kellie x

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  7. Kristin, I'm so very proud of you. Everytime I read your story, I do so with tears in my eyes, so overwhelmed by your courage and spirit.

    Bring on the day when you become an Aussie. XXX

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  8. It is true .. What doesn’t kill you just makes you stronger, it's just that at times I think the difference between the two is rather fine to say the least.

    It has also been documented that domestic violence against men is growing at a staggering rate globally and that the horror of domestic violence is non-discriminatory and effects both sexes, all races & all religions.

    I would be very interested in hearing a male's point of view as a victim or as a reformed aggressor if anyone is strong enough to share.

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  9. "In the end, it doesn't matter a whit what the neighbors or your colleagues or the school mom's think of your not-so-perfect life."

    Thank you for the reminder. I was literally just sitting here trying to convince myself that I don't care what the maintenance guy thought today as he crawled over a ratty mattress that doesn't even have a bed sheet on it, to fix a broken screen in my bedroom which is still littered with moving boxes.

    It really doesn't matter. The pieces will come together when they come together - and anyone with the time and energy to judge someone else's life without knowing a drat about it is clearly lacking something in their own. So there. *Raspberry.*

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  10. Ooh. Sorry for the double-comment, but just saw Andrew's post.

    Andrew, timely point. A male friend of mine is moving in with me this weekend from another state until he can find his feet again: he has been beaten, choked, locked out of his home, had his phone taken, and had his life threatened in his current relationship. I guess some would laugh and ask, "What kind of a man takes that?" I ask what kind of *person* INFLICTS that? Violence definitely does not discriminate.

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  11. You are a beautiful wonderful woman, the world needs people like you.
    Congratulations on every step you took and hopefully you will continue to inspire us.

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  12. I've read so many stories about domestic violence over on Violence Unsilenced. Heartbreaking. Proud of these people for standing up and telling their stories.

    I hope that it helps those of you who have had to deal with this, heal. You can't undo what's already done, so I just hope for healing for you all.

    xoxo

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  13. Because of your bravery, others might now be brave. Please know that you are fucking AWESOME!

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  14. Onto bigger and better things, Kristin. I'm glad you're out there speaking for us all. Maybe I should take a leaf from your book.... even though I just want it all to go away, fade into the past and never be seen again....

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  15. Kristin-Thanks for the thanks on your blog...now get to work ^_^! Your book will be GREAT! Keep your focus.

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  16. Kakka, Nikki, Bronnie, Kirrily, Toni - Love you all so much. Thank you for your support and beautiful words!

    Cate - I'm glad you wrote that post. I could tell it was hard for you but your readers seemed to really appreciate the honesty. Much love to you. xx

    Kellie - I'm glad you are sharing your story and finding some healing from that, and honored that you credit me with the inspiration, though I bet you would have come to that on your own. Sometimes our stories just need out. xx

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  17. Andrew - One of the first readers to share his story with me was a man. He wasn't someone I knew, just a man who had read my first post on DV. He had a harrowing and violent marriage that he was still healing from.

    I wasn't aware that DV against men was "growing at a staggering rate". I haven't seen those statistics. Where did you read that?

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  18. Inkpuddle - In my opinion, all that matters, in the end, is that we're on a path of healing. Sometimes the most difficult task is to offer ourselves the same compassion we would anyone else.

    Simoney, Draft Queen, Misfit Mommy - Thank you! xx

    Dorothy - I think you should follow your own heart and your own path, wherever it leads you. This is what feels right for me, but it may not be for everyone. x

    Katherine - Yes ma'am! x

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  19. It's a wonderful thing to provide a lifeline for women who don't have a voice. I'm so glad you're finding your feet again, and speaking out for others who can't. xox

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  20. Just brilliant. The post, you, your courage, your kids. Just brilliant.

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  21. Be their voice. You are giving these women a voice. So proud of you even if I barely know you. I am glad something good has come out of all of this horrible things.

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  22. I'm glad you've found a way to get your message across and help others. I hope when they listen at your speeches, they take it in and peak up and stand up for themselves and for those who they too can help. (^_^)

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  23. You are such a great person...although I have not met you personally....but I can feel it ...hugs to you xxx

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  24. I think writing about your experience is very cathartic for you, and if it helps other women too, that is wonderful. If you get a book deal out of this - there is the silver lining. Not only would that help you out financially, but it would reach out to a wider audience and possibly help out many, many women who have experienced abuse in their lives.

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  25. I think i, and many others have said this so many times it feels diluted somehow - but you really are an inspiration Kristin. Out of something so tragic, hard, painful, you are dragging out the very best that can come from it. Determined, courageous, proud. What a force you are.

    M2Mx

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  26. You have reached so many. You are amazing!

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  27. There are too many of us .

    There should be none of us.

    :(

    Jo

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  28. I so admire and respect your strength and your courage. You have become the voice for so many and what an amazing voice you have. You have blown the lid off the culture of silence that surrounds DV! This may sound silly, and it is not meant to sound trite, but I am proud of you. I am proud of how much strength and grace you have shown.
    Jenn xx

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