TALK TO THE DADDY

Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Happy Homemaker from Edina

"When I am asked why a woman doesn’t leave abuser I say: Women stay because the fear of leaving is greater than the fear of staying. They will leave when the fear of staying is greater than the fear of leaving. (At least this was true for me)."
--Rebecca J. Burns

"To be a survivor–first you must bleed. You bleed all that was inside of you: the pain, the memories, the fear, the wounds fusing together, the ties to what was in, all its forms. You bleed not once but several times... And when you are empty, you either fade into a shadow or find the strength, and courage to live...you fill yourself up with the new, you recreate yourself–you reform. You don’t have the same heart or mind. The way you see the world is forever changed."
--Lynn Mari (The Last Straw).

Listen up. The Daddy worked in the anti-violence field for some time: As a violence prevention coordinator and, later, president of a violence prevention firm, he wrote grants for anti-violence programs for non-profit agencies in Minneapolis. He then helped them to set up the program, train staff and evaluate the programs. He also took on special cases.

One such special case was Jennell, the wife of a well-known professional football player. Her friend, another woman with whom I had worked, asked me to talk with her. As it turned out, she was fully aware of spousal abuse issues but stayed with him primarily due to the lifestyle she was able to live through him. She knew that he was seeing other women. She could smell their perfume on him but decided to stay with him anyway. After three sessions, I recommended a woman therapist and wrote this poem about her. Let me know what you think.

Happy Homemaker from Edina*

1

i never felt so far away
pouring fresh-brewed coffee to
a dead sports page and the scent of
last night’s “business” you could not delay.

2

i never felt more like stone
pinched nipples like hard plums as
you bet Wolves by the bedside telephone.

3

i never felt such numb despair
imaging your untimely death
while gluing down my nails
blonding up my hair.
--------------------
*from the book The Sixties? Yes, I Remember
by Mac Walton, aka MacDaddy

18 comments:

rainywalker said...

While living in North Carolina I worked as a volunteer at an abuse center with a lady who was my partner. The judge would give the men [mostly men] a choice, go to the 8 week program [then I will review your case] or go right to jail. The youngest in the classes I remember was 16, the oldest 81. White, black, rich and poor. Some had to do with drugs, some alcohol but most with control and humiliation. You did good daddyBstrong.

Anonymous said...

Your imagery is gripping . . . it makes me want to read the whole poem.
Verna

Anonymous said...

Rainywalker: Control and humiliation are favorites of the abuser. You're so right about this being an "equal opportunity" disease, as well -- but I remain a little shocked when I hear about women abusing their partners, either same-sex or men. I think it has to do with the myth of women being more virtuous than men. Verna

rainywalker said...

Verna,
Some are bigger so they rule the roost. It sometimes works out that way, but in the few cases it is still wrong.

patti t said...

Thanks for this wonderful, yet short poem. It seems to capture what you learned about her and her reasons for sticking around. The reality for many women, in particular poorer immigrant women with children, is that it isn't about the lifestyle they can't give up...cause that ain't there. It may be about survival, fear, isolation, lack of support, etc., and these are not just issues with their abusers, but of the systems or other resources (or lack of) that surround her and can't or won't assist... Many times domestic violence advocates/professionals only see a woman as a victim and that the abuse should be the most important thing she addresses--but women are more than just dv victims and some see other critical issues/barriers as more overwhelming than the abuse. But there are many success stories, both for women who leave their abusers, but also for many women who stay...it all depends on who is definining success and if we are truly recognizing that 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence at some point...that means that many of our mothers, sisters, friends, neighbors and colleagues have or are experiencing dv and the majority will not leave or want to leave their partners...

Somebodies Friend said...

It is just so unbelievable how some people find itg necessary to abuse and intimidate others, and it is especially troubling that most of the time it is done by people that are close to the victim.

It would be nice if the system would listen to the victims more, and address their concerns better. I think it would help everyone involved.

MacDaddy said...

Verna: Thanks for what you said about the imagery. I did my best to write the poem from her point of view, using the imagery she used in the three sessions we had.

Rainywalker: Your work in North Carolina sounds like a truly eye-opening experience. The two words you used-- control and humiliation-- were the operative words with the men I worked with. But another was stressed. They didn't seem to know how to deal with stress.

Patti: Good to hear from you. And thanks for giving the perspective of immigrant and poor women. I certainly like the you presenting the notion that spousal abuse may be one of many priorities in their lives. I know you know what you're talking about. You worked in this field probably longer than I. Thanks again.

"It would be nice if the system would listen to the victims more, and address their concerns better."
Somebody: That's the truth. People inside systems to set up to help people often don't respect those people enough to really hear them. They get all kinds of training, but some still don't get it. But we have to keep working with them.

XO said...

Patti, You are wise and in tune. I appreciate your comments and, given your experience, it would be great if you could elaborate in a GUEST COMMENTARY on this blog. Clearly you have much to say to MacDaddy's readers. Blessings.

A Free Spirit Butterfly said...

I was once a victim. After 4 years, I got out. You leave when you leave. There are no prearranged plans, it just hits you one day that this is it. Today is the day I make my exit and pray with all that you have that it will be a successful one and that He doesn't come after you! In my case he did and his actions to try to attact me again, put him in jail!

I am finally the woman I was meant to be and part of that growth came from my past abuse!

Great Post!
Free Spirit

CareyCarey said...

The most gripping part of this post to me was the opening ...."You bleed not once but several times... And when you are empty, you either fade into a shadow or find the strength, and courage to live...you fill yourself up with the new"

There are several dynamics involved in domestic abuse. Each case has it's own story. I have a relative that is an advocate for the survivors of domestic violence. She's a survivor and the director of a stage prodution that highlights the journey of women that have gone through the struggle. All the performers tell their own stories in gripping heart wrenching details. They don't even spare themselves. They shine the light where the light should shine. Powerful stuff!

when I hear others say why women (or men) stay in abusive relationships, I simply shake my head because only they really know.

Through it all, Mac Daddy, I think the words of Lynn Mari is champion. We've all been somewhere and "you fill yourself up with the new, you recreate yourself-you reform" ..... Been there!

CareyCarey said...

Good post! Even though I write a little poetry much of it goes over my head. I need the author to break it down for me.

MacDaddy said...

FreeSpiritButterfly: Your first time here? Welcome. Hey, click on follower at the top of the sidebar, become a follower and continue to come back. And thanks for sharing your story. Proud of you.

XO: I would welcome a guest blog from Patti anytime. She and I have worked in this field in Minneapolis and St. Paul. She's the head of a domestic violence organizations for latinos. She knows what she's talking about.She's also a friend; so i'll mention it to her.

CareyCarey: Thank you for taking the time to provide your most worthy insights. Blessings.

nicki nicki tembo said...

I got out - so this resonates with me.

Simply touching.

MacDaddy said...

Nicki: Thanks for coming back. Miss your insightful comments...

As a survivor, I hope you get the opportunity to share your story with other women. They need to have it affirmed that they don't have to put up with abuse from anyone.

nicki nicki tembo said...

Sorry for the absence. I took the children on a 5 wk road trip through the southeast. Of course coming home meant coming by your spot, something that I missed while traveling.

I'm thankful for individuals like yourself that put up such forums. And yes sir, every opportuity that I get to share my story I jump at it.

SjP said...

Powerful!

Anonymous said...

MacDaddy,

I am in awe....your poem as well as the other writings are so insightful.

Thank you.

Corey said...

The Sixties: I Remember.
BOOK? WHERE? WHEN?