The Hurricane Forces of Abuse

Dark room dark places

Dark room dark places (Photo credit: bryanpearson)

Many women live in verbal and physical abuse, feeling hopeless that there is a way out. Are they in another country than where you live? No. Are you they in another city? No, and they may even be in your own neighborhood. One woman may be you.

I remember I used to think It will get better, when he verbally put me down.

I tried so hard to act in ways I thought he would like so that he would speak to me kindly instead of using an emotionless voice to say hate-filled words to me.

Today, I choose to heal emotionally. I choose to surround myself with people who look at me and speak to me in a positive light. If you are getting hurt, whether physically, verbally, or another form, please reach out to a family member, friend, or counselor. You are not alone. christyb? Yes, an ex-partner treated christyb badly and christyb spoke out to people who could help her. She is alive and healthy today. You can be too. I tell you that you can be too.

Here is a poem that gives insight into what some women do face. It is a fictional woman that I write about, but sadly, I fear there is a woman curling up in a corner right now somewhere just like the woman does in the poem.

Hurricane Forces

Your silence blows toward me with the
Force of a hurricane, while
I shake without stirring and take
The position of a curling bug
In the corner of the dark room.

Your words from yesterday still
Linger on my flesh, in the
Form of shivers, and my mind
Fixates on how to fix our joint parts
When you refuse a redesign of your
Angry hands and empty beer cans.

Your body moves slightly in the bed, and
I wonder how the sheets feel against your
Skin of steel that matches your
Stiff vocal tone that you often use to
Blow words of inadequacies toward me.

My mind turns to a sheltered layer of my mind,
A cellar of quiet, and my eyes
Focus on a small spider that moves
Decisively across the wood floor, while
I wait for more wind damage when you awaken.

©2013 Christy Birmingham

Please use the social media sharing buttons below this post to raise awareness of domestic abuse. If you kindly share it, tag the post #enddomesticviolence and #poetry. Thank-you, christyb.

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55 thoughts on “The Hurricane Forces of Abuse

  1. Janine Huldie

    Really so powerful Christy and I was never abused physically or mentally, but dated a few guys who definitely less then stellar, so I do recall feeling less then worth it as times with a few of them. Your poetry and how you rose above this treatment still amazes me and seriously humbles me, too. Keep shining my friend and you are seriously amazing to me!! 🙂

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  2. Vincent Moore

    This sad poem brings back chilling memories for me remembering my dear mother who took the brunt of beatings and mental abuse from the demon who resided with us when I was a boy and young teen. Its a cry for help, I pray that every woman finds the strength and courage to get up and walk away from such brutality. Your message is clear and I am happy to share your voice. Bravo, I applaud you for speaking out against abuse towards woman.

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    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Vincent, your share here spotlights how domestic violence really does affect everyone in the home. That you are able to transform your experiences into beautiful poetry today is a blessing to readers. I will continue my work for women’s rights and join you in the hope that more women will break free from the abusers’ chains.

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  3. Aleshia Clarke

    My sister went through this for 17 years of her marriage. She has been stalked for 4 years next month. As I type this, I am trying to assess her danger as she travels home from vacation. Her ex-husband put a threat on facebook to kill her and hide the evidence. Police. Do. Nothing. I am so frustrated about it!

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    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Aleshia, your sister is lucky to have you and while you feel you have limited resources you are able to be there for her emotionally. As for the police actions, they may not be visible to you but I do hope there are actions being taken that you are unaware of on purpose so that the police can conduct an objective investigation. I send love to your sister and you, with hopes that she can break free from the cycle.

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  4. rollyachabot

    Hi Christy… over the years I have been witness to this happening three times to dear friends. In one case I took the initiative to step in and set things straight and within days the abuser moved on. Needless to say I think I made my point. Things have changed and it blesses me that the abused are willing to step out and openly speak the truth of what takes place behind closed doors.
    You Christy are a shining example of survivor who has developed a strong voice and have become a leader to many. We are all so blessed to be able to call you friend…

    Hugs from next door…

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    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Thank-you Rolly for taking time to not only acknowledge the depth of the issue but also the way it affects outside relationships. Your ability to step in for your friend no doubt changed the course of her life. I join her in hugging you for your kind spirit.

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  5. Sean Michael Kelly (@TheLdrshipGeek)

    Sweet hugs to you again, dear friend. You are a beacon, you are a victor, you are beautiful.
    Keep up the incredible work that you do not only through your poems and writings, but through your carefully measured responses of love and kindness to those that contact you. You have an impact that few of us, perhaps even yourself, will ever realize! YOU make a difference. Χαρις και Ειρηνη

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    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Thank-you, Sean, for such a tender response to the post and to my actions in general. You are quite right that the efforts do not limit to the blog posts alone – each person has the ability to positively impact others and so we each must live up to that potential, in my opinion.

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  6. mywithershins

    Your words are powerful, describing the lives of too many women who experience this type of abuse. Just to know the pain they go through every day breaks my heart. I often wish my arms were long enough to hug all the women who need shelter from their personal storms. 🙂

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    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Those hugs are warmth that many women crave and are not getting, unfortunately. Let’s reduce the number of breaking hearts with each person we help understand the devastating effects of domestic violence.

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  7. Tricia Drammeh

    Christy, I’ve been in this dark place. You’ve captured the emotions perfectly, and I hope that by giving abused women a voice through your poetry, you’ll help someone break away from the cycle. Thank you so much for sharing this.

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  8. Susan Joyner-StumpfJ

    Oh I have been there. Abuse started in my childhood and didn’t let go until I was 37 years old and met my second husband, who broke the chain of abuse. I was abused by my entire family and then that moved on to boyfriends and my first husband, so Christy, I too write of my abuse to help others heal. I feel an obligation as a Survivor to bring awareness of Domestic Violence to the front podium. I don’t hide from what happened to me. I’ve accepted it and it has made me the Writer I am today. Thank you for your words, for I know they heal someone in this world who is being treated less than human.

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    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      That’s wonderful Susan that you have found acceptance and strength in the past, rather than choosing to sit in regret and sadness. Your share here is a powerful one that I hope many women will read. I am so thankful to know you.

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  9. Julie Catherine

    Wow. Powerful piece, my friend. I was there too, for most of my life – it takes courage to end the cycle and step out on our own; kudos to you, me, and every woman who has been able to do that. To so many women who are still in a place of suffering, I reach out my hand and my heart …. thank you for this wonderful share, dear Christy! Love and gentle hugs xoxox

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    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Julie, I am so proud of you for all of your accomplishments. We stand tall today and I join you in offering the hand to women who want to get out but can’t seem to find the way out… There can be a light out there xo

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  10. Charlene Woodley

    Very powerful indeed! I loved the poem, but one line in the beginning of your post said it all – when you stated that you had spoken out for help, are alive and healthy today, and that other women in this situation can do the same. You are living proof that it can be done as opposed to being too afraid to act. I will definitely help spread this truth. You go Christy B! ❤

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  11. dontchawannadream

    Powerful, I agree with everyone here!
    Thanks for sharing your experience, Christy. I already told you how brave I think you are.
    I really think this can help other women living such a nightmare. And every woman in this world in the future… Unfortunately we never know… it can happen to ANYONE.
    Thank you!

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    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Bobbi, I’m very thankful your friend is now in a safe place. The healing process can be a lengthy one and the time is takes differs from person to person… Let’s hope more women are able to break free too.

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  12. Aquileana

    >>> HELLO CHRISTY>>>

    I have noticed that in this poem you are talking about a type of violence against women that is not necessarily related to physical violence, but also with psychological or verbal violence and even with symbolic violence …

    I can see that you show us here that words can hit like a punch and cause the same damage (if not more)

    This is exemplified in the following verses:

    >”Your words from yesterday still/ Linger on my flesh, in the/ Form of shivers”.

    And:

    > “I wonder how the sheets feel against your/ Skin of steel that matches your/ Stiff vocal tone that you often use to/ Blow words of inadequacies toward me”.

    I take a legal definition of the national law Nº 26485 (currently in force in Argentina) to illustrate the breadth of the term “gender violence” or “violence against women”:

    SECTION 4 – Definition. The term violence against women any conduct, act or omission which directly or indirectly, both in public and private, based on an unequal power relationship, affecting life, liberty, dignity, physical integrity, psychological, sexual, economic or heritage, as well as their personal safety.

    Therefore, we can say that violence is a term not only wide but elusive.

    I think your poem helps to shed light on this issue, given that violent acts may occur in different areas…

    So I do really appreciate your post Christy, and I’m sure that he make a huge contribution to
    #enddomesticviolence and to stop violence against women in many other different areas

    …Thanks CB!…

    Sending you love, my dear friend,

    Aquileana 😉

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    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Hi Amalia,
      How very perceptive you are to pick up on the point that the poem refers to many different types of violence. I did not want to limit the discussion to a certain type of violence against women. Yes, the Argentine definition supports this notion well…

      So pleased you came by to read the post, take in the poem and offer me support. Taking your love now and sending more back your way ❤

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  13. filbio

    As others said here very powerful words Christy. So sorry to hear you had to put up with that kind of abuse. Good to know this person is an ex-partner.

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  14. Kavita Joshi

    sad but true and love the poem on this topic as its hard to write those emotions that are deep down so painful in you…I salute you girl for such a poweful and helpful blog here Christy

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  15. Sue Dreamwalker

    Christy, this is such a moving poem, Supporting people as I do, many have been through horrors of abuse of one kind or another, and many forget how deeply words wound also as they can cut deeper than any knife…..
    Sending you my thoughts as your courage of standing up and speaking out against such crimes….. Love to you
    Sue xox

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    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Love to you too, Sue. I agree that words really do cut deep and the effects last so long… I want to help others and also reduce the incidence of these types of events… Thank-you for all of the work that you do as well.

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  16. Pingback: A Meeting of Minds: Author Interview of… Me! | Catching up with Christy Birmingham | Hey Sweetheart, Get Me Rewrite!

  17. marvaseaton

    You poem serves to highlight the point that emotional abuse can be just as destructive as physical abuse. The saying sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me does not always ring true. A partner’s inconsiderate and cruel words does hurt. It hurts when someone try to put you down and try to make you feel worthless. It hurts when you are ignore and made to feel like you are not relevant.

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    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Thank-you Marva for taking time to come here and see the post – I knew you would find it relevant to your site. Do you know of any online links to organizations I could contact to share my writing, in hopes of helping women?

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  18. Francina

    Powerful and heartfelt poem, dear Christy. Mental abuse goes often unnoticed for there are no physical scars to show. and the abuser is often a charmer in the outside world, but not behind closed doors. It’s not easy to get out , it’s a long road for many. Lots of love and hugs from across the creek, dear Christy! xoxo

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    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Hi Francina, you are so right that the motions are invisible… and the effects run deep through the body, unfortunately… Thanks for stopping by with love and hugs – I send you love right back! xo

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  19. Pingback: The Hurricane Forces of Abuse | meatdoesntgrowinmygarden

  20. davidprosser

    No-one should be forced to suffer this kind of abuse. Physical or emotional are both demeaning. Reach out to someone who can counter these effects and offer comfort and support instead. Hostels are not the nicest places but they are a refuge and make sure you involve the police as abuse is never a one time only event.
    When involving he police, make sure their report does not include your address as the report goes to court and a copy may go to the opposition solicitors.
    xxx Hugs xxx

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