Important Disclaimer

Since I currently have several employers/supervisors/churches/etc., please know that none of the words on my blog represent them or their beliefs. This blog is my own creation.

It also does not represent my children's perspective, nor my mother's; they think I am funny, but misguided.
(Quick update: only my mother thinks I'm funny now.)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Lost in the Mundane


Huisvrouw met schoonmaakattributen

I'm finally getting around to this last post on intimate violence for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I had intended to blog daily, and I did pretty well the first half of the month. But then a few things happened.

1) I got stuck on a post that was too personal. I was considering posting some paintings I've done, but they were too much for this part of the internet. Eventually I will display that art, because it is powerful, but not here and not at this time. I vacillated on that for a week or so.


2) I was busy--busy as all get out. This last half of the month I've pulled off two birthday parties and a day trip to DC to test out accessibility on public transit. And that's in addition to the rest of the stuff I do most days. My November schedule is packed full of good, amazing things, but it is packed full, and I have been getting ready for that.

3) It was a fascinating experience blogging the first half of the month. Many people came through the blog and read it, but very few people passed on the link through facebook or twitter. I asked about that, and folks said it seemed too personal, and they didn't want to violate my privacy. Since this is a public blog, accessible to the world, and with my name firmly attached to it, I was surprised that anyone would think I thought this was private space. So I interpret this (and forgive me my presumption) as a sideways message that what I was sharing was too explicit, too difficult, too uncomfortable, and that folks felt like perhaps I should be more private. That indeed might not be the message people were trying to convey, but this is a difficult subject, and I feel shame in and around this topic easily. This gave me pause, and so I paused. One friend reached out twice to say that she noticed I had not been blogging (and thank you, dearest). 

These things were enough to truncate my posts for this month. This won't be my last post on intimate violence--I have plenty to say and the fortitude to continue speaking. But first I have to get through November, which is already making me dizzy and it's only the 6th.

This seems to me one of the complexities of intimate violence--it is deeply intertwined with daily, mundane life. This is one of the reasons it is so difficult to leave situations where intimate violence is present--it is not as simple as walking away from the bad guy/gal. The perpetrator of intimate violence is often the father of one's children, the provider in the family, a person who loves deeply and passionately, the same person who cares for you in intimate, vital ways. Sometimes the perpetrator is yourself--how do you walk away from that? Intimate violence twists all up into our business so that it becomes lost in the mundane. It seems at times that our situations are typical, normal, usual, everyday, and therefore the way things are supposed to be. It is often only in moments of extreme distress that we notice our situations are sucking the life from us. 

At any rate, be blessed. May you find light in whatever circumstances you are in. May we all, victims and perpetrators alike, find healing and a path toward wholeness. May we learn to make reparations where we have caused harm, and may we find strength and courage in the most difficult of circumstances.

A quick nod to Mick Bradley who twitters at @MickBradley and blogs at http://mickbradley.net/. His public words of encouragement were living water.

5 comments:

  1. I didn't respond to any of your intimate violence posts because I really didn't know what to say. I grieved with you from afar. And when you stopped in the middle of the month, I didn't push you, because I know from experience that sometimes life interfers with our blogging. But I kept you in my heart and in my prayers whether you were writing, or not.

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  2. I do understand that. It is interesting though, because I wasn't asking about interaction or grieving--which I understand. What was odd was the reticence about reposting, retweeting and otherwise passing on the links. If people don't know what to say, why not just pass on my words?

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  3. Now you're just making me cry and blush at the same time. Thanks, Katie!

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  4. Thank you for all of your posts, Katie. I look forward to more in the future. I suspect the reasons people choose to re-post or not (or to comment or not) are nearly as complex as the topic of intimate violence itself.

    Particularly with anything this sensitive, I think it's important not to try to measure the impact of what you have put forth by the visible reaction to it.

    Also, while I can only speak for myself, I would definitely NOT assume that a comment from someone to you that your blog seemed too personal to re-post was any sort of message that what you are sharing is too explicit, too difficult, too uncomfortable, or that folks feel you should be more private.

    I suggest this because I, too, felt conflicted about sharing your blog widely. Somehow, even knowing you had posted these thoughts willingly and publicly, it still didn't feel like mine to share. And yet there is no hint in my consciousness of wishing you had not shared your thoughts and experiences freely. Far from it.

    I can also relate to what Abbie said above, even though, as you know, I did a fair amount of commenting on your blog last month. Sometimes posting a link to a post seems to call for some kind of comment or suggestion of context when you post it, yet it can be hard to decide what or how much to say.

    Simply listening and absorbing can be remarkably powerful. In fact, one of the things I'm working on (as someone who can be reactive and dramatic) is sometimes just being with pain or discomfort without trying to reflexively solve it or react to it. Mindfulness.

    It also occurs to me that one of the nice things about a blog is that in most cases the posts remain available, so the decision not to further share them right now doesn't have to be a decision to *never* share them.

    I decided to share the link to your blog once (or maybe twice?) early in October, hoping those who were interested would continue to go back on their own. I considered re-posting more often but ultimately, for a number of reasons, decided not to. Your observation that you feel shame in and around this topic easily is, I believe, very widely true for others of us, as well--and not only for survivors of intimate violence. There are strong feelings of: How could I have let this happen [to others]? How could I have not known this was happening? Why couldn't I stop it? Why does it even exist? which tend to trigger shame, regardless of history. Many of us just don't know what to do with all of that, and so--for better or worse--we err on the side of caution and say very little.

    The more thoughtful things that are written and appropriately shared (whatever that means?) on the topic of intimate violence--such as your excellent blog--the better... and the more it will help those of us who have not spent as much time with this topic to wade in a little deeper and shine more light on it with, I pray, due sensitivity.

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  5. Thanks, Mick :-)

    Lenora--very much appreciate your insight. It has been a very interesting dynamic. Hope that these posts will continue to be shared. Hope people will think deeply about their reticence to speak and pass along information. I've been treading lightly on this topic most of my life and am probably done with that. (With a wry smile to those who didn't think I was treading lightly.)

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