Sunday, February 12, 2012

Tributes to Miss Whitney Houston...

(Also being marketed in Internationally in countries like Japan, Sweden, Finland, Germany...!!!)

A portion of the proceeds from novel help support local women's shelters

The queen of Pop...and domestic abuse...

I am angry as an abuse over-comer about Whitney Houston's needless death. Its things like this that we want to lessen. It why we speak out! It is truly by God's grace that every woman who has ever been abused (physically, emotionally or sexually)...every woman ever introduced to street drugs by some loser guy...could have turned out the very same...Miss Houston was many things in life; but empowered was not one of them. That is why so many of us who have been hit could relate. 

"...imagine we are sitting in a auditorium...and I am standing on the stage, and I say..."raise your hand if, as grown woman, you have ever been slapped, shoved, punched, verbally abused, raped, coerced, intimidated with fear..." how many can raise their hands? how many would be too fearful to raise their hands? how many would be be right in the middle of such a situation? ...if situations like Whitney Houston's teaches us anything, is that it can truly affect anyone. Not everyone will "get out"...and even the bright, the wealthy and the powerful can be made weak by living with domestic violence...her marriage lasted 15 was marred by violence, drugs, fear, lies, and infidelity...and for all intents an purposes, she did not seek help...she did not get therapy...there was no evidence of follow up to her stays in re-hab...she did not feel empowered...even after her divorce, she lived a damaged life...when, will it be okay to talk about this???"

"...none of us start out as cautionary sad that Bobby Brown influenced her to his path of destruction...instead of her influencing him to the good..."
"...he is only responsible for the introduction...after that it was her...its like the work I do with 
women and abuse...she, could have asserted herself...insisted that he get his act together and follow her back to church, back to her roots...she bent...she compromised...and she lost...and none of it made him faithful, or her happy..."

I can relate to singer Whitney Houston...doing something that I know is bad for me anyway. And I have no more idea how quickly my choices will lead to death than she did. She was only a year older than I am. Strong, healthy once vibrant females are not supposed to die in our 40's. What is that would make a bright, talented, beautiful woman not know how to conduct her life? Did the drugs chip away at her? Or was there something flawed in her make up that made her compromise? One woman can take a chance on love and do all sorts of silly, stupid things in the name of love and come out relatively unscathed. Yet another can think she is taking the same kinds of risks and end up no where near where she was aiming to go. 

 "...but here's a what point are we responsible for how we influence others? i mean if we influence to the good, then it can be said that we inspired or motivated...and we can feel great...if we influence to the bad, aren't there strings left there that tie us to the situation? i think there are...Bobby Brown not only introduced her to drugs and that lifestyle, her also attempted to control and manipulate her, even to the point of domestic abuse...and unfaithfulness. no one will ever know for sure why her self-esteem allowed that...except that love was her motivation...what was his motivation? what kind of motivation must a person have to introduce destruction of that magnitude to a person's have made her feeling like she was "lacking" because she wasn't playing the game his way? her story is not like the story of millions of women who have gone before...not unlike mine. no matter our past, our upbringing, our flaws, most times when we marry a man we are looking to be loved, respected and admired...when he treats us with something other than that we are floored, stymied and even in, belief and faith in things turning out well make us stay...and go back...we see it as a mission almost to try to influence them to the good...all the while falling deeper into their pit...Whitney's story is the rule, not the exception...a lot of women don't make it out...some make it out, but severely damaged...some make it out only to repeat the cycle with someone else...I hope Bobby does feel badly...he treated her poorly...he lessened her by being a part of her life...those things should inspire change, repentance, his life..."

"..and sadder still we are if we don't think it could have been us, the same as it was her...there are hundreds of thousands of 'whitneys' in the similar situations, women shelters and in the gutter all over of this country...and part of what keeps them there is being judged, not feeling like they can talk about it...and shame...shame that is inflicted upon them by well-meaning people who have never walked in their shoes...the difference between 'whitney' and 'rihanna' is a well-meaning friend that was willing to put their money where their mouths can happen to anyone...that should keep us humble and compassionate..." 

" the stats on domestic abuse rarely change...because we need to be getting the press out on as many of these stories as we can...before someone dies...there has to come a time when no men feel the need to control and manipulate through drugs, through fear or through any means...who is raising these men? that they grow up feeling they can skirt around decency, loyalty and commitment...why was he a bad-ass in the first place? never mind why did he impose that on others? Whitney owed herself more than this...Whitney could have rallied and come up out of this? but she didn't...and a lot more don't..."

 "...the only scary thing about empowerment, is when it is not realized...a person has to believe they are empowered, to actually act, position, celebrity status cannot by themselves empower...empowerment comes from realizing internally that we have value, deserve respect and can ask for help...Whitney, despite her positives did not internally believe that she was empowered...she would have had to in order to have wanted out...empowerment is about self-esteem, confidence and healthy assertion...if those things are damaged or lacking, then the person cycles...usually without seeing it...or being able to stop it by themselves...if Jane Doe who was abused, cheated on and introduced to the world of drug addiction needs compassion, then so too does someone like Whitney..."

I have to repent frequently...for the anger I have at the people who, even in death, are judging Whitney for her is judgement and shame that keep good women in bondage to situations they should be breaking free is a shame people can be so heartless...especially not having walked in those shoes. 

Born to unusual, but nice, parents, Michelle/Shelby grew up rather uneventfully, living mainly in the deep south (Alabama). Later she would learn that it was her parents' love for her that not only brought them together, but had kept them together. And so life was ideal in many respects and distressing in others. Eventually though the family did scatter like leaves on an autumn morning. Fortunately she was able to extract a sincere appreciation for love, beauty, and an abiding respect for those who at least try.

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.
Ms. Anderson is a graduate of Oregon State University; and is also currently working on a master's degree.

She lives in very picturesque Central Oregon with her two children. 

If you need immediate assistance, dial 911. 
The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

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