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I wait for a phone call as I write this. A woman has asked me to speak with her sister who has been in an abusive marriage for many years and is unable to leave him, for whatever reason.

There isn’t an excuse a battered woman can give me that I haven’t heard and have a rebuttal for. After all, a victim lives on excuses because the truth is too frightening. The largest fear is the unknown. Sometimes, the devil she knows is better than the devil she doesn’t know so she decides to live with the devil.

I gave excuses...my best was “But, I love him.” Not that I really did after the first beating but I knew my girlfriends, being women, would decide that love would conquer all and they would stop asking me questions.

It’s impossible to love someone who scares you and who might punch you if something isn’t done to his specifications. It isn’t about us loving him or him loving us—it’s that we don’t love ourselves. That, in a nutshell, is the essence of allowing abuse.

When I’m asked to speak at domestic violence conferences, they always want me to share some of my story and honestly, I’m bored with it! No, it doesn’t bother me to talk about it, I wrote a book about it so why would talking bother me? It’s just that I’ve moved on, I hate the word survivor, I don’t care what happened to him or if he’s dead or alive. I’m over it! Read my book if you want the ugly details because you never know, you might see a glimmer of the old me in yourself and stop repeating destructive patterns.

That’s what makes lessons more valuable...using them to help others in the same situation...becoming what we needed during an awful time in our lives, being that helping hand that makes a difference.

Some negative people has said, “Your work must be depressing—dealing with those type of women.” Okay, I bite my tongue and don’t say what I really want to say but I do reply...“Yeah, you‘re right. Saving lives gets old after a while.”



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