I’m frustrated that I have so much traffic coming to this blog (about 750,000 page views this month) and I have this post about domestic violence at the top spot in my blog. It’s the first thing everyone sees about me. I want the post to go away. I want to post about how to write a resume in five easy steps. People love lists.
If it weren’t that I’ve already blogged about sex abuse, my miscarriage and my divorce, I’d worry that my blog will never get past the topic of domestic violence, and I’ll face blogger doom. But I know from past experience that being genuine with other people helps one’s career get stronger.
Someone wrote in the comments section that there is no domestic violence, there is only violence. But that’s not true. Because domestic violence is the violence that’s hard to walk away from.
I’m not walking away from the Farmer right now. I want to say that I’ll leave if he does it again. I want to say that if he pushes me or shoves me or hits me, that all that stuff counts as abuse. It’s hard for me to believe that it counts; I didn’t believe my dad was abusing me even when the police were taking me away.
But I have hundreds of you telling me in the comments section and in your emails that this is not right.
And I know that even if I’m messed up, I don’t want my sons messed up. If it happens again I think I could hide it from everyone, you, my sons, my brothers–they called me to tell me to leave. I could refuse to tell anyone, and do this whole messed up relationship in private. I know people do that. But I know it would show, on me.
When I was practicing cello with my son a few nights ago, I said, “Don’t look at me. Look at your bow.”
And he said, “I’m looking to see if you’re smiling. You never smile.”
I know I am not hiding anything.
So maybe what is left for me is that I can be the expert on not hiding.
I got offers from all over the world for places to stay. Finland, Pakistan, Brazil. It’s unbelievable, really, how many people offered up their homes and their guest houses to me and my sons. And about fifty people who I have never met in person told me I can call them if I need someone to talk to. I have very few close friends, so the offers meant a lot to me.
I called one person: Amanda Hite. I have met her a couple of times. She is a straight shooter and a little callous, so I knew that if I started being a crazy, crying nutcase on the phone, she’d handle it. Also, she works for herself, so I thought it might be fine to call her with no notice in the middle of the day.
I told Amanda I can’t leave because I don’t want to raise the boys alone, and I know I’ll never put them through another marriage again if this one doesn’t work, and they love the Farmer. They call him dad.
Amanda was adamant that if the Farmer touches me again–in anger–I should leave, with the boys. “Just for 30 days,” is what she finally said.
I can do that. I have a friend in New York City. Lisa. She has an extra bedroom in her apartment. She’ll let us stay. She doesn’t know she’s part of the plan. Until now. Amanda says that during those 30 days, enough people will call me and convince me to leave for good. I think that’s probably true.
Amanda is a recruiter, but she is a consulting recruiter. She spends her time trying to get people to be honest about why their recruiting sucks so that she can help them fix it. Most people who say they need help with recruiting blame the candidate pool, or the jobs they have, or other, external factors. Amanda helps them to take responsibility and be honest about their problem.
I’m drawn to her because that’s my message here on this blog: face your problems with honesty. So I want to tell you that I am terrible at intimacy. I don’t think I’ve ever done it, ever. I’m not even sure what it is. And I don’t think I need to tell you that the Farmer has no idea what it is, either.
So we are in twice-a-week therapy. And maybe we will learn something. Maybe we will save ourselves, and the boys and our family. Or maybe we are just in the middle of a cycle of abuse.
It is my hope that this blog will keep me honest, and that the next time, I will leave.