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Abuse

Learn the alchemy

true human beings know.

The moment you accept

what troubles you’ve been given,

the door will open.

– Rumi

 

Blooming flower in the desert

A flower blooming in the desert

Helen Rose

Recently I read a book entitled, 53 Grove Rd by Helen Rose. It’s a short memoir written by a woman I know who lives in the Bow Valley. It chronicles her childhood with her adopted parents: a verbally abusive and cold-hearted mother and an alcoholic and disengaged father.

 

The book vividly outlined Helen’s disturbing memories of trying to navigate childhood in a family where the rules just didn’t make sense. It was at times beautifully written and at others shocking and disturbing. As a parent, I can’t imagine telling my child that I wanted a blue-eyed blonde girl but got a dark-eyed brunette instead as Helen’s mother did. I can’t imagine the impact on a child who heard messages like that repeatedly.

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Abusive relationships

Suzanna

Suzanna was swept off her feet by Stanley. He was charismatic, charming, interesting, and really attentive. In the early days they would go out for really long dates and the time would fly.

After 6 months of dating, Stanley asked Suzanna to move in with him and she said yes. A week prior to moving in, she began questioning her decision when they got in their first fight. Stanley tried to make love to Suzanna one day and she turned him down. She was feeling distracted by work and antsy and just wasn’t in the mood. He didn’t like it one bit. Continue reading

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Sad person

There is a lot of information and support for people who are in abusive relationships. Traditional support seems to regard people who have experienced emotional abuse or physical abuse as somehow damaged, dysfunctional, and deficient. There is, however, a growing idea that people respond to abuse in a variety of ways, that they do things to try to stop the abuse, that they may thwart the efforts of the abuser, and may actively do things to protect others from abuse. I want to share some thoughts about both approaches. Continue reading

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