I was sitting there watching "The Help" and I could barely contain myself. And I realized that that project for her was the same as this one is for me.
I do not go over having been abused because I want to live in the past. I go over it so that someone living in it now will be encouraged. Not every women who is slapped, raped, beaten or punched will leave; but the point is that some of them should. Some will die if they do not.
The dynamic between men and women can sometimes be a powers struggle. And in that light things can turn violent. And it is not that women are without some measure of guilt in things when they escalate. But people can walk away, agree to disagree...or even come back later and resume things. In an abusive situations one or both parties forget the rules, forget their coping mechanisms...in essence they forget to fight fair.
I do not live in the past. It has been many years since I have been abused. But it can still anger me, emote a response from me...leave me overwhelmed. I am not now, nor was I then a victim; or at least not helpless victim. I can yell for help, I can cry, I can call the police. And I can sit down to write a blog like this. A forum that says that its is not OK to hit, beat , rape or forcibly hurt another person. Words are powerful; and I have the God-given ability to string words together in ways that can help, inspire and rally other people.
I wrote a book about coming up out of more than one abusive situation. Its called "The House that Silence Bought". I joked with someone today that maybe one of the reasons I survived abuse was because God knew that I would one day go back and try to reach back for others who were still in the storm. It was a joke when I first thought to say it; and then as I was saying it, it became reality. That was, in fact, the reason I had lived through anything.
I am here. As I sit to write this I have only 5 followers; but one day that number will grow. Once day not beating the hell out of people will matter to us as culture.
Not all of you who survive abuse will feel led to reach back. That's OK. Sometimes just getting out is all we can muster. Be happy that you got out; that no one still treats you like a dog. Be happy that the choices you make from now on are yours; and not at the whim of an angry, maladjusted person who has no coping skills themselves.
I want to one day coin the phrase "highly functioning, dysfunctional people"...but it has been my experience that I, and most people I know, are exactly that. Much like some families are only 3-6 paychecks away from poverty, I believe that a lot of people are only a couple of emotional hurts away from not being able to cope in life... especially if those hurts happen back to back and without mercy. We act tough. we act like we have it all together. But that cannot be true of most of us; otherwise our lives would not be littered with addictions, like drugs, alcohol, sex, relationships, shopping, gambling...etc..., that we use to help bandage up our faulty coping mechanisms.
I am here. I am happy to be as bold and tenacious as I am; otherwise I would have fade away into the woodwork the very first time I was was slapped, punched or raped.
The single greatest influence in her life was the remarkable time spent with her paternal grandmother; it was under this influence that she thrived. Her grandmother introduced her to not only fine Literature, but also the Arts and the Opera. And it was beloved grandmother who told her that if she wanted to be a great writer she must first learn to be an avid reader.
Early adult life would be peppered with indecision, failings, and the haunting of things not learned in childhood. But as is the case with most sincere artist, out of the angst of life came a great capacity for creativity.
Shelby considers her writing a gift...a joy, a tremendous responsibility, and something that helps to define her life.
She lives in very picturesque Central Oregon with her two children.