Category: Personal Essay

Co-Parenting Judgment

A woman who leaves abuse and then still has to share custody of her children with that abuser has a hard road. So hard. She is expected by society to play nice, be amicable, put her “ego” aside, and unite with her dangerous ex… Continue Reading “Co-Parenting Judgment”

Selfies as Self-Worth

Let’s talk about self-image. How comfortable are you taking pictures of yourself? What do you think when you look at you? Does your abuser’s voice still narrate your perception of self? This is me in 2014. I had been divorced a few years already,… Continue Reading “Selfies as Self-Worth”

You Have More Worth in the Underside of Your Little Toe Than Your Abuser Does in Their Whole Body

Why? Because you’re the real one. You’re the one who cares about others. You’re the one with emotional intelligence. You’re the one with legitimate goals and ambitions. You’re the one willing to reflect and self-assess. You’re the one who strives to be better. You’re… Continue Reading “You Have More Worth in the Underside of Your Little Toe Than Your Abuser Does in Their Whole Body”

I Don’t Give Away Permission for Others to Make Me Feel Small

It gets easier. It gets easier to recognize what it was about your abuser’s behavior that made you feel small, then understand that it was never your fault, then repair the hurt that came from the degradation and condescension. From there it gets easier… Continue Reading “I Don’t Give Away Permission for Others to Make Me Feel Small”

Reclaim the Places of Hurting

Revisit the places where you cried, fought, or felt tiny, and reclaim them in your strength Last year I drove by myself to Des Moines from the Kansas City area. It was a Saturday in May, nice weather. An impulsive decision. I decided to… Continue Reading “Reclaim the Places of Hurting”

Impression Management is the Game

Sometimes it’s as simple as wearing a smile on your face, and being so, so careful about how much you say and to whom, so that no one knows how bad it really is. Sometimes it’s more grandiose, a kind of overcompensation meant to… Continue Reading “Impression Management is the Game”

Sunday Spirituality

People assume it’s the hard wood of a church pew that makes it so uncomfortable for long periods. But a woman who’s had to listen to a sermon about love and kindness and humility and doing for others and forgiveness, etc., etc., while sitting… Continue Reading “Sunday Spirituality”

Lessons for an Advocate

Show me a woman who uses her voice to speak for others, and I’ll show you a woman who gets attacked by misguided bullies and internet trolls. When you decide to take a path in advocacy, you’ve got to have thick skin. You have… Continue Reading “Lessons for an Advocate”

Summer Anniversary

Ten years ago I moved out, filed for divorce, and started over. In those ten years I have: criedfought for myselfcelebratedbeen challengedfailedralliedfound my real selfbeen consumed by doubthelped other womenset boundariesloveddone a lot of things by myself for the first time everheld onto hopenetworked… Continue Reading “Summer Anniversary”

What to Do When Your Friend or Loved One Confides About Abuse

MY FRIEND NEEDS TO LEAVE HER ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP | Landen G. recently reached out to ask how to support a good friend who admits that her partner is abusive. [Statements edited slightly for flow.] “How do I encourage her to seek help?” LG asks.… Continue Reading “What to Do When Your Friend or Loved One Confides About Abuse”