Monday, 31 August 2009

Woo Hoo!!!

The purple demon is back on the road. Yes, after three car free years, I am again mobile. Yay!!!

Back in the days when I first bought my beautiful, shiny, purple baby it was love at first sight. After years and years of old bangers I now was to be the proud owner of a gorgeous, metallic purple, sporty number. She had alloy wheels, a body kit, an aerofoil and lowered suspension and a larger than average exhaust pipe which gave her a deep fruity voice. She shone, she growled, she attracted many an envious glance and I fell deeply, truly in love with her. Then I fell on financially hard times and my, previously envious, youngest son bought her from me. It broke my heart to lose her but at least I knew she was going to a good and loving home.

Now she is returned, she rattles, she groans, she stumbles on occasions and her paintwork is a little shabby, but oh the joy to have her back is just delicious.

It is strange because I was suddenly reminded of a poem that I adored as a child.

We had a set of encyclopaedias and inside each was a poem or a short story and being short of reading matter I used to hunt them out on winters evenings and read these little gems. The much loved poem was 'The Little Doll' by Charles Kingsley and it sums up pretty well how it feels to have my car back.

I once had a sweet little doll, dears,
The prettiest doll in the world;
Her cheeks were so red and so white, dears,
And her hair was so charmingly curled.
But I lost my poor little doll, dears,
As I played in the heath one day;
And I cried for more than a week, dears,
But I never could find where she lay.

I found my poor little doll, dears,
As I played in the heath one day:
Folks say she is terribly changed, dears,
For her paint is all washed away,
And her arms trodden off by the cows, dears
And her hair not the least bit curled:
Yet for old sakes' sake she is still, dears,
The prettiest doll in the world

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

male domestic violence part 2

This might be of interest to anyone interested in male domestic violence.

Starting anew

I have been mulling over the idea of leaving this blog behind me and starting up a new one. After all I am no longer, in theory, on the run. However, my story of the last few years is still a big part of who I am. Besides which I am still haunted.

I have not had a relationship since the whole ghastly mess, and it is something I would dearly love to have. If for no other reason than it might help to wash the nasty taste from my mouth of having slept with a 'Sex Offender'. It is not a nice thought is it? I thought so.

When I read about women who have lived with, sometimes been married to, this kind of offender for many years and they say they knew nothing about that side of his character, I now see it as perfectly possible. Often they are blamed, they can be hounded, spat upon, have abuse hurled at them, have their home defiled (if it wasn't already) yet they have done nothing, in fact they too are victims. They have been lied to, deceived, duped and had everything they believed to be good turned into something shameful and degrading.

To find out that someone you care about is a monster, a defiler of women, a calculated predator and who has all the time slept in your bed, can only make one feel dirty, ashamed, disgusted and also culpable.

Oh yes, afterwards all those little warning signs that you rationalised to yourself, make sense. But at the time there was always an explanation and because of that you blame yourself. You tell yourself that an intelligent woman should have known, should have recognised those signs for what they were. Well an intelligent woman is what I am and as such I must have known, somewhere deep inside of me I must have been lying to myself as much as he was lying to me.

So now I am still haunted, by my own culpability as much as at night in my dreams, of him touching me, of him kissing me and it makes me sick to my stomach. So maybe it is worth keeping this blog going. Maybe if you have had similar experiences you might be able to help me find a way through this. If you have come through it perhaps you can tell me how you did it.

I have been seeing a Cognitive Behaviour Counsellor who tells me there was no way I could have known. Of course it doesn't help that he looks like Crista Berg and so far it hasn't helped.

Which is why I would like a lovely man in my life to help me see that people can be what they appear to be. It will help me to regain my trust in men and give me something to look forward to, something to help me to see that I am not just a vulnerable woman to be taken advantage of.

I have come through living in a refuge, I have come through losing my home, I am strong and a woman worthy of loving a man.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Men who suffer Domestic Violence.

I was listening to 'Woman's Hour' on Radio four this morning. On the show there was a man talking about his experience of terrible domestic violence at the hands of his wife. His suffering was absolutely appalling and sadly there is very little funding in place to help men to escape to a place of safety.

For those of you who are new to my blog, I spent nine months in a ‘Women's Refuge’ and for myself and the other women I shared this time with; it was a place that offered safety and huge amounts of support and advice. (Please see my early blogs to read my story). Thanks to the help that I received from 'Refuge' I am safe, I have a roof over my head and have discovered an ability to paint that I had no idea I possessed. Because of my key worker’s encouragement I now have sold three paintings and have two others hanging on display at my local ‘Art Cafe'.’

I feel very sad that there is so little help in place for men who suffer such terrible cruelty. The argument is that it would take away some of the funding that is available for women's refuges. I understand the concerns and certainly would not like to see women suffer as a result but surely men should be allowed the same support as women. One of the problems is that men rarely speak out about their suffering. They feel ashamed and emasculated.

As you probably know the first women's refuge were started by Erin Pizzey back in 1971 in a little house in Chiswick. It was, and still is I believe, funded solely by charities.

Maybe it is time for a man to stand up for his brothers and start a 'Man's Refuge. A man will understand men's fears and encourage them to voice the terrible abuse that they are suffering without prejudice or judgement. Also if his children are suffering from violence they too should be allowed to escape to a place of safety with their father.

Perhaps this is already happening? Please feel free to comment and to put me right if I am making incorrect assumptions.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

A mixed bag...

'Revels' at the week end. First the orange cream (which I, and most other people I know, hate) coming back from a lovely break with my sister and family down in Hardy country. Then the malteaser, a few hours of sunshine, delicious but over far too quickly. Then the chocolate toffee, chewing over problems with a friend, hard work and some of it difficult to resolve. Then a chocolate treat, lunch out with friends, sweet and unexpected. Lastly the peanut. an exotic morsel in scrumptious surroundings. A Flamenco evening at my local 'Art Cafe'. The final piece of candy delight was to see two of my paintings hanging in that same 'Art Cafe'.