The Cycle

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When I was 16, my high school boyfriend backhanded me across the face, with a beer bottle in his hand.  We were in his baby blue car, on our way to his house, and his father was the first to look up from watching golf on TV and notice my newly forming bruise, the swelling next to my eye.  His father lost it.  My boyfriend cowered and slunk down to the basement; his dad, apologetic about his son, drove me home.

It was never mentioned again.

But we dated for another year.  Because, of course, I “loved” him.  Awwwww.  And, honestly, I figured my sassy mouth provoked him.

*

One of my biggest regrets is something I said to my mother right before she died.

She was in severe pain and respiratory distress, shaking and sweating, a good hour from her next painkiller.  She said, “I wish you didn’t hate your grandmother. She had a hard life.”

To which I said, “Bullshit, Mom.  Everybody has a hard life.”

‘Round and ’round we went until the nurse came and gave my mother her last morphine shot. I remember my mother’s last meal was meat-stuffed-peppers, in cold tomato sauce, nursing home style.  And my bullshit words ended up being some of the last words I ever said to her while feeding her with a spoon.

*

My mother was right.

Her mother, my grandmother, led a horrific life.  Her husband was older and controlling and mentally and physically abusive.  Within a few months of their marriage, she tried to leave him, tried to go home to her parents.  Her father said, “Go home.  You made your bed, you lay in it.”

My grandmother had 9 children, which included a stepdaughter who was allowed to, and encouraged to, call her a “whore.”

My grandmother was not allowed to work, was not allowed to drive a car, was not even allowed to learn how to drive a car.

When my grandmother was newly married, she was out one day, laughing and having a good time, riding in a car with her girlfriends, when they missed a stop and ran up under a tractor trailer and, while they all survived, they were all seriously injured.  I have the newspaper clipping.

My grandmother was in her early 20’s; her lower lip had been almost completely ripped off; her teeth were shoved violently up into her face; she was unconscious; they did not know if she would survive.

She survived.  However, my grandfather would not allow her to have plastic surgery.  As was his choice.  He was, after all, “the husband.”  He said, I heard, that this would keep her at home, keep her from “running around.”  He allowed the kid-doctors in the emergency room to repair her lower lip, her face.  She got false teeth.  She was not yet 25.

She did not leave.

One time he came home drunk and threw her outside into the yard, in her night gown.  Then he sat inside the door, all through the night while their children (supposedly) slept, with his shotgun and dared her to try and come inside.

She did not leave.

One time he threw her down the basement stairs, while pregnant, and her baby boy came too early.  That boy, my Uncle Jerry, would grow to man-size, but would never speak, never walk, and never leave a crib.  He remained in diapers for all of his 50 years on this earth.

She did not leave.

*

When my mother and her sisters divorced their husbands —- and there were A LOT of divorces — she had a hard time supporting them.  I see, now, how jealous she must have been.  It was the 70’s and 80’s, the height of feminism.  How her daughters, unlike her, were allowed and even encouraged, to leave.

When I left my first young husband after barely one year, my grandmother was so angry.  She called me on the phone, in my new single-bedroom apartment, and said, “What’s wrong with you?!  You’re leaving him, and he has a good job, but he doesn’t beat you, or anything!”

*

I still think about that beer-bottle bruise, my boyfriend’s father, and how I didn’t take it seriously.  At all.  I figured I’d asked for it.  I think about my last, thoughtless, words to my mother:  “Bullshit, Mom. Everybody has a hard life.”

I was wrong.

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175 thoughts on “The Cycle

  1. amyg

    Our lives are shaped in so many ways. Your grandmother’s stories. Their impact on you and your mom. I’m sorry the weight of the conversation with your mother towards the end of her life rests so heavily on you.

    I am thankful her life (and your granmother’s) led to yours. Now you’re here and able to give their stories a voice.

    1. lobita76

      Wow I just want to say how beautiful this is and I understand the last words to ur mother my were don’t leave me by myself to face this world alone I was 29 yes old and in prison for the first and last time. As far as ur grand mother dear in her time they didn’t believe in divorce my grandmother dealt with many similar acts by my grand paw after 45 yrs and 10 children we lits my grandpa and 6 yes later my grandma she lived him clear after he passed away. Any way beautiful story Ms. Lady thank you fie sharing.

  2. Averil Dean

    Jesus. There’s so much here, beautifully unpacked, that it’s hard to process. But one thing I think is true of us as mothers: we don’t want our daughters to truly comprehend this kind of hell, because that means they are living a better life, free of abuse, and that it wouldn’t cross their minds to tolerate an intolerable situation. That’s the best kind of progress we can make.

  3. Joe Ponepinto

    Wow. If your memoir is anything like this, Teri… There is a beautiful, yet powerful simplicity in this post. I love the way the facts connect to make the point without editorializing.

    I wish I could add that progress has been made to eliminate the abuse of women. But clearly the Rice video indicates otherwise. What doesn’t help is the attitude of the league and the team, which swept the incident under the rug until TMZ got hold of it. I have to admit, with this and the Donald Sterling case, TMZ may deserve a little respect. (I still won’t watch it, though.)

    1. Teri Post author

      Everything you said here, Joe, plus … Reading Janay’s statement, and seeing her in front of the camera, apologizing for her part in all of this and wanting everyone to leave them alone and go away and let them live their lives. Well, just ugh. She’s seeing all of the chaos around her, her husband and their families in panic-mode, and she’s thinking, “I caused all of this. Our lives are being destroyed by the media and it’s my fault.”

      I’m lucky that the beer-bottle thing was really the only physical thing I ever encountered. But I was raised by women without voices, women who cowered, and I remember my boyfriend’s father screaming at him, driving me home and how very small I felt, how guilty I was “causing all this trouble.”

  4. joplingirl

    Beautiful exploration here written with heartbreaking humility. As the mother of sons I know too well the energy and bravery required to push back against the bull dozer of “boys will be boys.” Mothers need to speak up that is the final truth. Not only to their girls but most specifically to their sons.

  5. donnaeve

    What Joe said.

    I have too many of my own memories tumbling around with regards to these words, enough that I can’t write them down, and never have. I can barely talk about back then, much less process it, or distill it into something like this. So instead, I’ll just go back and read this again.

  6. Jan Elfrink

    Brought back a few mmemories Teri. Sad that some abuse is never seen because it’s mental. Everyone needs a voice to say I’m not going to take it anymore. Great job on the writing.

  7. rami ungar the writer

    We still live in a culture where victim-blaming seems to be the norm, even if violence towards women is more and more discouraged. Thankfully talking about it can help to change attitudes and turn the tides. Thank you for your post.

  8. rikbaker

    Each and every time I read a blog on this subject I am further astounded at how this type of behaviour ever existed, let alone how it continues, largely unchecked.
    Brave people like yourself pave the way to bringing an end to abusive behaviour, I hope.
    I am a man and I have a son. When he is old enough he will read stories such as yours, I will see to it, and he will observe the gentle manner in which myself and my mother deal with life, people and th world, and hopefully he’ll do the right thing.

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  10. coffeegrounded

    My mother never left and each of her six children begged repeatedly, but there was this stigma back then, and to some extent, it continues to this day.

    “They must have deserved it.”

    I will never understand how anyone “deserves” to be beaten and tortured, mentally and physically, but once a person is broken down, their soul left in pieces they no longer can find a reason to leave. After all, if they “created” the mess, than shouldn’t they be expected to tidy it up?

    I hope Janay survives and one day escapes. People are fooling themselves if they think this is a one time thing. It’s not. Each wreckage becomes more violent and that broken soul cannot envision a rebuild.

    Thank you for such a moving post. Try not to beat yourself up over your callus words to your mother. You had no way of knowing what all the wreckage was about until you grew and wisdom walked through your door.

  11. Wilson

    I’ve never understood why a man would strike a woman, unless she was threatening his life, but in the ray rice situation its even more confusing, you would think his mother would’ve taught him better.

    1. katherinejlegry

      Howdy Wilson. The men who strike women do so because they are emotionally stunted as well as conditioned as they are so often encouraged to express themselves through aggression and suppress what has been perceived or rather mis-labled as weakness. Football is a blood sport and the nation is encouraging violence in work and play. War to Entertainment consists of violence and rape and a long history of post traumatic stress, stockholm syndrome etc. So what women and men are doing by having this dialogue is breaking down where we both tolerate and perpetuate the cycles of violence and abuse. Fathers need to teach their boys not to abuse women. Fathers need to exhibit the self control and respect. So when you say his mother should have taught him better and pass around the tissue box, you are attacking women and furthering the distrust and lack of respect. Boys do require much more sensitivity as they are actually very emotional beings. Tolerating abuse is not the way to be sensitive to their needs however. I hope I’ve helped you understand a little better. 🙂

      1. katherinejlegry

        Was I patronizing you? Oh… I thought you sounded rude by telling people to pass around a tissue box when discussing domestic violence. I found your attitude entirely inappropriate considering the topic. But you sound like you have a lot of road blocks to communication and empathy… and maybe want to take that out on people. Like your mom. But I get it. We’ve all had parents… that fucked up. And grand parents. And even if we love them sometimes we don’t get along at all and they die and we feel terrible. That’s all, Wilson. You don’t have to take this stuff personal when women stop the violence. Or claim their voices and their power. And the ones who didn’t escape, well, we feel for those people… they are sacrifices which deeply effect all of us. That’s why you say I’m a parrot and can not feel my heart beating. That’s why you are dehumanizing me so you can attack me… with some kind of justice… or revenge in mind… because your pain is spiking. Because you are uncomfortable. I understand. Good luck, Wilson.

      2. katherinejlegry

        Parroting and pass around a tissue box is abusive language to the women discussing pain. How can you say you loathe men who abuse women and then call me a patronizing parrot?

      3. katherinejlegry

        Also, “sigh” is also a form of patronizing a person. As if I am boring you. You are minimizing me that way which is a form of dehumanizing me and that’s abusive. Loathe yourself.

      4. katherinejlegry

        Wilson, this isn’t about winning. This is about basic skills in empathy. Something we as humans must embark upon and become better at. It takes both of us wanting to reach the common ground. So what are you saying? What is your problem? What is the point you made that I have missed? What about you am I not recognizing? Seriously? I am not thinking I am less of a human. I’m saying that your contribution to the dialogue is defensive and aggressive. If you care not to attack women, why are you feeling trapped by the language right now? Why can’t you just adjust your approach… and soften your stance? What’s wrong with you?

      5. Wilson

        Well Katherine…may I call you katherine? It all started in the orphanage, you see all I wanted was a second helping of porridge…but I was denied 😦 by the head mistress and ever since then I’ve just hated women, can you help me get over my self loathing?

      6. katherinejlegry

        Well, I adore the story of Oliver Twist by Dickinson as well as the orphan story of that feisty redhead Anne of Green Gables, so yes, I do believe I can be of assistance. However, if you’re into Annie with Daddy Warbucks, I can not sing you any tunes for fear they will get stuck in my head… rest assured Wilson, you reap what you sow… so the best way to begin is to go look at yourself in the mirror. Don’t be mean to yourself. Try very hard to see your beauty. Love your nose. That’s a good place to start. Lemme know if there’s anything else. You got potential.

      7. Wilson

        Well I thank you and I will begin immediately trying hard to see my beauty. I appreciate your assessment that I got potential, I think we’ve really bridged the gap in male/female relations with this “convo”.

      8. katherinejlegry

        By the way, Wilson… Oliver Twist didn’t have mommy issues. He didn’t hate her. She died and people tried to keep him from his rightful inheritance and such… street beggars manipulated him… etc.
        You’re not trying to bridge the gap, kiddo.
        Bill Clinton is on PBS right now… on the News Hour talking about how big and widespread domestic violence is globally…
        So you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. It’s up to you to get along and listen and validate feelings and experiences if you want to convince others you care.

      9. katherinejlegry

        Maybe you’re lucky you made me laugh, Wilson. However, before we can be accused of showing off… and out of respect to the author and this topic, which I take very seriously, I want to say it was nice meeting you. (Virtually speaking of course) and I hope you really feel strongly opposed to the abuse against women you profess. Refinement/definitions of language and respect/sensitivity is in order… So I stepped up to bat. Giants are in the lead 2-0. That’s my team.

      10. katherinejlegry

        You should definitely “argue” books and their meanings with me sometime on my blog if you want to though… ‘cuz even though I fully accept the role of the beloved othello and all the hatred that, that actually implies, your examples are provocative. 🙂

    2. ellenbest24

      Wilson I am really glad that you can’t understand how or why a man would do these things. But your closing statement horrified me! “You would think His mother would have taught him better” Shame on you.

      1. ellenbest24

        If any man can be honest and admit he has a problem and deal with it. He maybe able to turn his life around and get respect. So if that is in progress then yes he would deserve a chance to prove he can be a decent human being.

      2. katherinejlegry

        Hello Wilson, it’s me “Othello”… um… so a father “should” have taught him better, technically yes, if there was a father available. Obviously where parental skills are lacking, or where addiction or mental illness may stand in the way, or where abuse from his won background may be influencing him, the basic premise is that we hold men responsible and accountable for role modeling and when these role models are defective we study the behavior, not to “hang” them, but to stop the chain of abuse. Boys in general respond to men in a way of looking up to them differently than their mothers in that they are looking for their own identities and social cues as they develop. As transgender and the LGBT community expands on gender roles and definitions, of course this boy-to-man role modeling isn’t in stone and in fact can be better tested for the diversity that is becoming more prevalent. The stand against domestic violence is extended to women and children and MEN. Mothers are not being given a pure record of achievement where child abuse is concerned… so I understand your frustrations of feeling singled out. But the historic pattern of male oppression suggests women deserve more voice, more rights, and more changes to the NFL, Church, Supreme Court, etc.
        Not in order to “hang the men”… but in order to save us all. The whole human family.

      3. Wilson

        Thank you desdemona, and I think your point is valid if youre referring to dealing with our culture, and I agree the roles are not set in stone but they have been inherited through about 1.5 million years of ancestry. And the idea of what you would call male oppression unfortunately is not only a historic pattern but a pre historic pattern.

      4. katherinejlegry

        Uh thanks, Wilson… I guess Desdemona is the better role in the play…
        My name is Katherine it means Pure. My middle name is Jean the french version of John which is “gift of god” so I am a pure gift of god according to baby book name sources. I am the fifth in the line of Johns, as the name was not bestowed to my brother. Legry basically means the grey and is french. I can play many parts and take on character roles as you enjoy casting, but maybe sometime you can just call me Kate. Yes, I was referring to our culture but globally we could discuss far worse “domestic” and “sexual” violence/abuse against women and children (as has been reported widely and recently). Being that we are in a global market place now with lots of outsourcing we are having to face human rights abuses globally. So historically I am speaking of this in dealing with our culture as well as how we want to approach doing business with the rest of the planet. It’s all dominoes… we are all connected… it’s that “No man is an Island” quote. I’d like to state that I’m not a religious person despite the use of “god” in this comment. So no offense or personal agenda meant, by the way. Anyhow, have a good night, Wilson. My best to you, as per usual.

      5. katherinejlegry

        Of course I am a “chick” … why are you asking that? Due to Desdemona being a female a role? because in Shakespeare men played all the parts including females in the original days, so if it’s the casting of the part, it doesn’t have to be played by a woman just as a woman. Btw “chick” offends some feminists as a term for a woman… I’m not offended and use it casually sometimes too, but just so ya know…
        But so why are you asking me about my gender now?

      6. Wilson

        Well as a good male chauvinist pig I want to make sure the gender of the person I’m talking to so I know whether to hit on it or challenge it to a fight.

      7. katherinejlegry

        Aw shucks Wilson, you’d probably do both things with me either way… since you’re confused about me anyhow… and I’d be a pretty boy if I was one… But I’m married, my friend. So instead of remaining a chauvinist pig, how about learning how to talk to me as a person? Flirting and attraction are normal human traits, so you’re off the hook for your stupid comment. I’m engaging with you for the seriousness of the topic, and because you’ve made me laugh a few times which I see as a hopeful sign in your nature… but maybe it speaks more to mine. Anyhow… I’m a real person and capable of friendships with all manner of peoples… how about you?

      8. katherinejlegry

        It’s Kate. I do not and never have gone by Kathy.
        In answer to your question, it’s up to you. The very manner of casting me as an “it” and objectifying me is abusive and so whatever stand you claim to have against domestic violence is a weak one. You could adjust. I’m not mad at you. I view this as a good opportunity to discuss exactly what is wrong on subtle levels men do not feel matters. To minimize or invalidate my human feelings in order to gain some kind of power over me with essentially the symbol of your cock, as you convince yourself I am a sex object and nothing to care about, chips away at our relationship instantly. It is what begins and compounds what we now understand as Rape culture if I allow you to continue to speak to me this way. Now if I knew you better, we might have found a space to be playful but we are strangers and can’t trust the emotional safety. You don’t need to stoop to this. You’re smarter than this… but you do want a fight… so you’re fighting. I’m not sure why.

      9. katherinejlegry

        Wilson, you phrased a question about my gender in which you said you needed to know whether to fight with “it” or flirt with “it”. “It” is an object. Language matters and women are sensitive to it lately…
        True love… is a different subject.
        I am a painter. People will tell you painting is dead.
        I like the post office to mail my actual letters and send real packages… people will tell you the post office is dead.
        Your theories are not further supported. They are slanted. And you are fickle when you don’t like how things are turning you on or off.
        I do not need to “chill” because I feel fully relaxed. I am obligated to discuss your use of language as an advocate against domestic violence, sexual assault, and so forth. I was called out on my language not too long ago by rape survivors, not to fight me, but to make me aware, and as a rape survivor myself, I found it helpful when approaching other survivors. We all have different levels of tolerance and thresholds. We are trying to refine the language to create better laws and we are asking you to be on board with that. I’m not pinning you down as a “rapist” just to be clear. But you yourself said you are a chauvinist pig, as if that’s ok in this forum. You seem to think the opinions of a chauvinist pig would matter here. They do not, unless you are working to understand how you are effecting people.
        You first made a statement about a mother who should have done a better job teaching her son… well Wilson, I am a teacher. I want to do right by you. I don’t want to be your mommy… so don’t go there. I’m just saying I am good for the work.

  12. girlforgetful

    Yes, you were, and it was a privilege to be so because you never had to know such cruelty and helplessness. I can relate. I had a boyfriend in my teens who was controlling yet, ironically, had no control of his anger and it took my stepdad to forbid me from seeing him anymore to bring it to an end. I resented my mother’s weakness for being unable or unwilling to remove my siblings and I from an abusive situation at home and vowed to do everything I could to not be like her, dependant on a man. It still affects me, but I see now how that fear can keep you stuck in a bad situation; it takes a lot of courage and support to get out – she had neither. We can’t all be so empathetic of things we don’t understand, but hopefully we live and learn before it’s too late. Thanks for sharing your story.

    1. Teri Post author

      You’re right. It takes courage and support, and we’ve both seen the impossibility of leaving when neither exists. Thanks so much for sharing your story, too.

      1. dayspringacres

        There it’s that sense of hopelessness and helplessness. Those feelings are like a blockade that the victim just can’t get around or over. They (because sometimes the victim is male) cannot envision life without the perpetrator, the one who has so much control over body and mind.

        It is akin to brainwashing. It takes an intervention to remove the bands around the mind. Statistically, the victim will make on average seven attempts to leave before she is successful – if she lives that long.

        As an ER nurse, I am always disappointed and dismayed when the victim chooses to return to her old life … yet she cannot see herself in a life, in any other life, our she does not deserve a better life. Our, she has no job, NO way to feed her self nor her kids, and has no place else to live. Do she returns yet again. I cannot force her to make what I believe ids the right choice. All I can do is provide her with information.

        For those who may be in An abusive relationship, here are some tips for survival. 1. Do NOT let him know of your plans. Quietly squirrel away some money, some clothes, and copies of your birth certificates and other ID, sending them to a friend or family. 2. Memorize the phone numbers of your local domestic violence agencies. Do NOT write them down, and do NOT use your cell phone to call. If he finds this information, the abuse will get worse, and YOU may not survive the next attack. 3. Enlist the help of a friendly person. When you make the break, plan to go for some counselling … not because you are crazy, but because you will probably experience some panic or other PTSD symptoms.

        Okay. I’ve said a lot. This is a passionate response to a passionate subject. You wrote very eloquently. Writing is an excellent form of therapy. Keep it up.

    2. ellenbest24

      Wilson, I am a rational human being. Man or woman, neither should hurt, torture, terrify or taunt another person. If the abuser “can” reform he/ she should be helped to do so. That in no way ever, relieves him of the responsibility. The people on the receiving end will never, I repeat, never forget. They will become different people and would have lost who they were before. Most only recover on the outside. I do not wish to offend any one with my views. They are mine and I abhor violence emotional physical or psychological.

  13. Intergalacticbattlegirl

    Heartbreaking blog. You write so matter of fact-ly, it’s commendable, I can’t write that way.
    I wrote a funny post about slapping recently, and it attracted the attention of bona fide woman beaters a couple of them emailed me thinking i’d be sympathetic to their plight for beating rights, one posted in the comment section just last night about the Gray area in domestic violence. Gray? The spectrum of contemptibility in mankind is really incredible, and these kinds of public incidences really unveil reality for us, domestic violence, and misogynistic attitudes towards women are thriving even in this here equal U.s.a….all we can do is make sure the sacrifices of our mothers and grandmothers are not in vain by speaking about it, and never staying.

    1. Wilson

      No one advocates “beating rights” thats the problem no one wants to entertain any criticism of their viewpoints they just want to pass the tissues around their circle jerk like this post.

      1. Intergalacticbattlegirl

        For someone who “hopes his mother taught him better” you sure do well insulting this blog. There are no beating rights to advocate for, there is only a long history of abuse and violation to illuminate & learn from. Not everything needs a healthy debate and a counter view point, not racism, not nazism, not pedophilia, not homophobia and NOT misogyny.

      2. Intergalacticbattlegirl

        I didn’t get mad at all, i pointed out that the analogy was immaterial. By your logic Martin luther king and Dalai Lama are fascists and i dont mind being lumped in with the likes of them. Some things are simply wrong, hoisting them up as debatable might feed the delusions of every dickless wonder out there of the contrary, but it won’t give them Leverage.

  14. writenlive

    I think it is important for society to acknowledge domestic abuse. It is important that we talk about it in a family setting, with our daughters and sons. It is important that we support the victims openly.

  15. danellecass

    Thank you sharing your powerful story. The cycle of violence must be ended. We still have a long ways to go. The outrage of the Rice incident is a step in the right direction.

  16. wordwithmindy

    Your Grandmother’s story touched me deeply. I too, have a grandmother who was not allowed to drive, go out, fix her self up, etc. by her controlling, abusive husband. She passed this behavior down to some of her children. But thank God we have broken the cycle in my generation! I pray you have too! Thank you for sharing.

    1. Teri Post author

      And in our family, we never discussed it. It was just something we lived with, and knew to keep quiet about, both inside the family and out.

  17. jamilouise

    It isn’t impossible to leave… I did it. Unfortunatley, I left and walked right back into the same type of relationship because I was broken by a horrific experience that I hadn’t healed from and hadn’t gotten the help I needed to get for it. I don’t even know Mrs Rice’s first name because I don’t care to pay attention to the media… or to how football has decided to handle football’s business – at the end of the day it is a business just like any other. And, I watch football. I’m sicly sorry, obviously, that yet another person has been abused. But Teri’s post says it so well. This isn’t new. We know it. All of us. Football isn’t going to change it. And, it isn’t their responsibility to change it. They aren’t going to help Ray or his wife anymore than they are going to help the Colt’s owner stay sober behind the wheel. Ray Rice will help himself if he wants help. She will help herself if she wants help. Should he play? I don’t personally think he should be out of jail but, I’m probably a little biased and hardened to say the least. It is a business’s decision how to handle someone who has broken the law. But please don’t for a minute think that what they decide to do will stop another man – or woman – from violently attacking their significant other. It’s sadly just not at all that simple.

  18. dinablack39

    Wow, I have no idea what to tell you. I’m so sorry but you shouldn’t blam yourself alot for what you said to your mother. I mean she loved you and if she was still with you, she wouldn’t have wanted you to feel so guilty.

      1. Teri Post author

        Yes. And in a maybe-strange way, I know that both my mother and grandmother are relieved to finally have their voices heard.

    1. Teri Post author

      And when someone says “I’d never stay in a situation like that,” it breaks my heart — because there are so many reasons for staying and leaving, both. Here’s to compassion and understanding, and to *not* celebrating the abusers.

  19. vernon

    I love the brevity and power of this. The emotion is clear, and razor-sharp. This story is a great example of why I believe that nobody should have a right to make decisions for anyone else (who is mentally fit) – we don’t know what is going on in their life, let alone their heart. People from all walks of life need to be less judgmental and more tolerant. We all have our own bears to cross.

    1. Teri Post author

      On being less judgmental and more tolerant, and understanding and forgiving. I know I’m a work in progress, but I am trying!

      1. vernon

        For the most part, there are only 2 types of people in this world – those who are a work in progress and those who aren’t even trying. I’ve never met anyone who was a completed project. So, rejoice that you know your edges are a bit rough, and have the awareness to work on them! You’re in good company.

  20. thefirstdark

    This is THE most powerful blogpost I’ve ever read. Powerful as in it just rocked me to the core. I say this because just yesterday, my mom and i were arguing viewpoints with each other (like we always do)…mainly about my father, who she’s been divorced from since about 1999. Anyway, I finally admitted to her about how I knew all along, and remembered him abusing her, and how it formed my blackouts in my 20s–ie. I can’t tolerate seeing abuse against women, so much so that when I do I become blackout angry. Unfortunately this has happened more often than not, in regards to my girlfriend’s ignoramus bfs when they’d put hands on them–it put me in a LOT of perilous places way back then. They

  21. thefirstdark

    –caused me to remember situations that my father put my mother through, which made me want to cause THEM pain. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I see from both sides, and am while I don’t appreciate the abuser OR the abuse; I appreciate that they made me the Powerhouse I am today. No man is worth my face, my body, my health or my sanity. As I write this I’m about to start life as a single mother of my 8yrold autistic son. My fiance of 8yrs decided impregnating a 21yrold was the way to get his youth back, vs. Marrying me with my mitochondrial disease and medical bills. But I’m ok with that. I’m one of the lucky ones. And I am not afraid! 😉

      1. thefirstdark

        That made my afternoon, Hon, thank you! 🙂 He is the reason that I’ve decided, after a year of hell and a year off from writing- -to return to it. Though we believe he has Aspergers (we find out next month after a last round of tests) — -it doesn’t mean he’s short of wit, words or wonder! Reason I say this? I caught him writing his own, VERY Amusing short story the other day. My son isn’t wasting the family gift-So neither will I. Thank u for your wonderful words, Hon, I appreciate them and am ecstatic that I came across your blog today! 🙂

  22. Uncle Guacamole

    I don’t believe that your remarks to your dying mother were “callous,” as one commenter put it. I believe that you expressed how you felt at the time and that this was appropriate. Regardless of how you feel now, it was how you felt then. You did just fine.

    1. Teri Post author

      Thank you.

      It’s been 12 years now, and was a strange and horrible time. Like it is for everyone, I’d imagine. My mother was only 56 when she died and it was, to say the least, shocking.

  23. Sayjal

    We may be suffering from similar heartaches, yet we rarely believe that anyone has been in that exact same position. Victims of domestic violence are a prime example of this. They, like yourself, don’t always see themselves as the victim. They minimise their partner’s (or whoever else’s) violent behaviour and blame themselves. It’s a vicious circle. Your story is very thought-provoking.

  24. Pingback: The Cycle | wondermummie

  25. Tijgerlelie Wijnhard

    Though the process you’ve went through writing this might have been rather painful, it ended up being a piece of very well written, raw and honest work, which is what people need to, and should read. Thank you for this, very well.

  26. April

    Wow. Just wow! We all carry burdens. Some loads are much heavier than others, obviously. This is why I try not to judge people without knowing their story. You never know just how much they keep to themselves.

  27. apollosmuse37

    Not always easy to share, as you did. Bravo on the accounts given, and spreading the word. Abuse is all wrong; laughter and living is the best medicine and the perfect remedy for a hard life!

  28. AModernUkrainian

    Beautiful. I think about the life my grandmother must have had to live to become the woman she was when I was a child. I’ve never had it put in such perspective.

    Thank you for sharing

  29. truthhurts717

    Well I see it like this number one neither of us have the right to hit a person unless you’re expecting to get hit back dont hit talking better if you have to beat on one another then why be with one another’im 57year old and have never been struck by any men ive been in a relationship with but my family background there was lots of cussing and fighting it is a cycle that has too be broken at some point thank god I have sisters daughters cousins and grand daughters that dont go for that BS so to the Mr Rice out there we boil Rice lol

  30. Amrita Shenoy

    Hi ! I loved this article 🙂 I am 18 and I get really scared to talk to any boy, what if he turns out to be a psychopath ? What if he beats me ? What if I don’t have anyone like your ex boyfriend’s father around to help me? Domestic violence and shitty patriarchal norms still exist..especially in my country India–where women are judged really harshly. And I must say that this has made me very cynical about love and life 😥
    Also , I am often talk to my mother like how you did..I have learnt that harsh words without compassion to loved ones hurt ourselves the most.
    Thanks for such a beautiful writeup 🙂
    Also if you have time, plz read up my article too : http://www.amrita18.wordpress.com ! You see , I am a wannabe blogger and hope thaty blogs will be as good as yours someday 😀

  31. kaelyncher

    And just as we thought we had the most miserable day on Earth, coupled with a few resentments for Life, that we then realised actually there are so many people out there who had it worst, and had it much more painful and hard to go through. Thank you for penning this down, I needed it. but i still leave your page with a heavy heart about your mom. x

  32. armenia4ever

    At least these are stories of actual domestic violence – stories that should be heard so we see the difference between real domestic violence and the SJW version of it.

    Keep it up.

  33. mountainess

    Wow, what an amazingly sad yet inspirational tale. Your grandmother was so strong yet so trapped. We should enjoy our freedom and make the most of it. Thank you for this post x

  34. ccline1116

    What a touching piece. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. My mother recently passed and I focus on those last days and what I should have said and wish I could bring those days back. Thanks for sharing

  35. V

    Wow, this was rough to read. I wish I had heard less stories of parents turning away their children when they flee from abusive relationships

  36. selapstik

    Reblogged this on [selapstik] and commented:
    People tend to see their lives are the most difficult ones to live. Everybody has their own hard times. Backgrounds and past lives shaped who they are right now. Nobody told us how to live our lives, even when you have someone telling you how to live your life, the final decision lies in your own hands.

  37. TheCobblersDaughter

    Your story about your grandmother is similar to mine. She’s never been with another man since my grandfather died–22 years ago. She’s so proud of that. And I’ve gotten the finger waving for leaving men. If she had it to do all over again, I know she would NOT.

  38. Habib

    mother my were don’t leave me by myself to face this world alone…… The Mother is always mother. I am Happy That GOD give me a mother

  39. londongirlexposed

    Sometimes it takes time to see things for the way they really are.
    It takes true strength to admit when you are wrong.
    I know your mother would be happy & proud that you can now see your grandmother in a different light x

  40. Dave Dave

    I feel sympathetic towards you and your grandmothers situation. In my opinion, men who put their hands on women should be stoned. That is not allowed in America. Unfortunately, the criminal justice system in America is reluctant to teach abusers anything. If it was up to me this man would have lost a finger.

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