Reserved Only For a Special Month

Abuse thrives only in silence. You have the power to end domestic violence simply by shining a spotlight on it.”     Leslie Morgan Steiner – Author of book “CRAZY LOVE”

Today I received a TED TALKS video from my son that left me in tears.  These were tears of sad remembrances and they were good tears.  I am so proud that I have a very sensitive, caring and understanding son.  Our family survived a very dysfunctional life, and despite all that we experienced, we managed to create more beautiful lives.

I was a victim of domestic abuse in the presence of my children.  Children should never have to experience watching a parent suffer — in any way, especially being abused by the very one that should set an example of love, respect and caring.  Fortunately, I have strong, resilient and wonderful children who understood the key to overcoming that dysfunction we lived for so long – love, undying love.

Like so many months of the year that are set aside for “awareness”, Domestic Violence Month comes and goes and in and out of so many minds, then forgotten.  Domestic Violence is not something that is ever forgotten in the minds of the abused or those there to watch it happen repeatedly..  We live with it long after the abuser is gone.

When I received this video today from my son it truly moved me.  It moved me to not only share this video that is so very powerful, but also to send a reminder that abuse of any kind is not just a problem for the victims, but for all of us!  That message was so poignantly conveyed in this video. I related to every word this woman spoke, I felt her every emotion — been there and, unfortunately, done far too much of that same story.

October – Domestic Violence Awareness Month is gone, but the abuse continues daily – 1 of every 4 women in this country is experiencing this while others stand by and watch it happen. I implore you – BE AWARE – 365 days a year!  Be the one –  the one to make the call to the police to save your neighbor or your friend, the one to listen when a victim needs an ear, the one to give shelter when there is no where else to go, the one who says to the abuser “It’s never ok to hurt the ones we should love”.  Teach your sons and daughters, your nieces and nephews, your neighbors and friends. Speak it, live it by example, and maybe — just maybe — one day we won’t have to reserve a day or month to bring attention to this awful condition.

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A HORRIBLE DISEASE FAR TOO HARD TO CURE…

TURTLEQUEEN'S WRITEPLACE

dOMESTIC VIOLENCE IMAGE 1

 

disease. A pathological condition of a part, organ, or system of an organism resulting from various causes, such as infection, genetic defect, or environmental stress, and characterized by an identifiable group of signs or symptoms.

Domestic Abuse – A very debilitating condition that often weakens one to the point of suicide if the disease doesn’t kill them first.

As human beings we are all subject to disease of some kind — some as frightening as “The Big C”, Cancer or The Ebola Virus, the world’s most recent epidemic.  But other diseases are more sinister, existing quietly in our midst, right next door, or just in the next room in our very own homes. The sounds and images of Domestic Violence – a truly pathological condition – are often so frightening that we refuse to even speak about it out loud.  We know it’s happening and do nothing to…

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Good Spirits Never Leave Us

Harlem RenaissanceMy mother’s spirit hovered close to me today.  I heard her in a meditation from a friend, in the warmth of another mother’s love, in the music and poetry of a creative genius.  Mom was a prayerful woman who read her Daily Word every day. She loved watching the joy and accomplishments of her children and she was continuously creative and stimulated her mind daily with new things. I listened to the song “On My Way to Harlem” today, written by brilliant musician Gregory Porter. As I listened to this song I could see my mother walking the streets of Harlem with my grandmother – an extraordinary and loving woman.  My grandmother — a true, tough, resilient,  and independent New York woman — believed in exposure for her children and was in the right place to do just that — 125th and Lenox Avenue in the wonderful cradle of artistic and musical genius of the Harlem Renaissance:  Langston Hughes, Duke Ellington, Zora Neal Hurston, and too many others to name on this page. My grandmother made sure that her children were well-bred, well read, and immersed in the ocean of gifts of that period that they were so very fortunate to be surrounded by at the time.  The seed was planted and passed on through me and now through my children.  Harlem has changed now in so many commercial and gentrified ways, but the gifts that were planted there still live on — they will never die.  They hover in spirit all around us daily.  We have only to be still and listen, open our eyes and see remnants of their artistic genius all around us, and  we must continue to educate our children to the fabulous ancestry from whom we have grown.

Thank you living spirits for surrounding me with those things that bring me so much joy.

Listen:   

A Joyful TurtleQueen Speaks Through Spirits Today

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WRITING IS ITS OWN REWARD

Writing is its own reward.MM900303309
– Henry Miller

Nothing brings me as much pleasure as allowing the flow of words moving from the universal soul through me as words on a page. How incredible it is to look down and see an unexpected manifestation like thoughts becoming visible written with invisible ink. That then becomes the reward in writing for me. I may have an idea of what I want to write but the substance comes from a place unknown – deep down in in the well of me – my soul. How awesome is that! This keeps me humble as I give respect to a power far bigger than myself.

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A Well of Hate Far Too Deep to Measure

Images from HellIt’s 2,014 years after Christ and every day we feel levels of hate from those who call themselves by Christ’s holy name.  They spew fountains of hatred like vomit from a place within them that is dark and filled with a powerful stench.  What kind of being supposedly made in HIS image could hate like this?

I struggle daily not to become the hate that I hate so much; but it’s hard. If I succumb I will then become the enemy.  I cringe still at the painful images of so many over hundreds of years hanging from trees and even worse, lying charred and burned at the foot of a burning Cross, no less.  What kind of creature is this that would inflict such levels of cruelty – certainly not one of Christ.

Fast forwarding to present times, there are no nooses hanging from trees or burning crosses. Instead there are far too many of unsuspecting people, especially our young sons, shot down randomly in the name of the Law. Sanctioned by script designed to continue filling this well of hate that is far too deep to measure, and always disguised as truth and justice from the powers that be who continue to divide in order to conquer as they have always done.

What defense have we and to whom do we turn?  It’s a struggle within and outside ourselves.  I’m reminded of the pull and tug between militants and non-violent advocates at the height of the Civil Rights era.  At that time I was very sure of my position, even as a very young teen. My parents were very gentle and faithful Christians who truly believed that one must stand firm in their beliefs like Daniel (Daniel 3:23-24) despite the consequence, feeling that this would please God. I doubt that God is pleased with the cruelties that continue to exist in what He designed to be our paradise.

My spirit and soul now need much work.  It’s not easy to sit back and watch those whose behavior is demonic literally get away with murder.  I have always taught my children as my parents taught me — measure a man by his own soul, so I must not make sweeping generalizations as the enemy tends to do. But I must be vigilant of wolves in sheep clothing, demons masked as angels, and smiling faces deceitfully disguising their true feelings.

I still pray, I still listen, and hold tight to the tenets of my ancestors — trusting that my level of discernment serves me and my loved ones well.  We will probably always live in a world of ‘smoke and mirrors’ and there will always be a battle of good and evil. I pray that we don’t lose a generation of our babies in the fray. Let us not be irresponsible in our actions nor make excuses for bad behavior.

“I see that the path of progress has never taken a straight line, but has always been a zigzag course amid the conflicting forces of right and wrong, truth and error, justice and injustice, cruelty and mercy.” Kelly Miller

The TurtleQueen Speaks With A Sad Heart

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RIDING THROUGH THE STORM…

storm

In recognition of Domestic Awareness Month (October) I share this wonderfully moving video by Yolanda Adams which captures for me the pain that so many of our sisters are experiencing right now in abusive relationships. 

It took me a very long time to break free from a relationship that took away my self-esteem, my ability to think independently, my freedom to just be. 

It took prayer, support from real friends, and the belief that I deserved to be treated with love, respect and affection, not with violence and control. The numbers of women experiencing abuse from intimate partners is staggering. Over a million women each year are added to the statistics of those who are abused by their partners. Some of those women end up in death. We just cannot stand by and continue to let that happen.

Keep praying, keep supporting your abused friends, call the police when you must, volunteer with an organization that supports this cause. And for those going through the storm… Just hold on, knowing that there is someone greater than your storm. Help could be just a phone call away: 1-800-799-7233 | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
Click to Chat With an Online Representative http://www.thehotline.org/ (click on this link to find ways to lend your support to this cause)

Share this with as many women today as you can. This may be the very day that your help is needed.

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DO YOUR PART TO STOP DOMESTIC ABUSE

Human rights issues tend to be thought of as problems for others to deal with from a distance — like human trafficking, foreign imprisonment, extreme starvation in foreign countries and poverty worldwide. These issues are all so important.  But right next door in almost every country in our modern world lives a dark and painful secret — a secret that raises its ugly head occasionally in news feed as an interesting  but oh so painful story. Domestic abuse – one of the most privately violent Human Rights issues is often not next door, but right inside our homes.

In America more and more efforts are being made to pass laws to protect women, children, and men who are victims of domestic abuse but it still does not seem to be enough. My heart aches each time I hear a story of a life lost at the hands of an abuser because the victim was not aware of resources for protection or who was just afraid or too embarrassed to tell somebody.  According to an ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) 2011 Woman’s Right Forum 1.3 million women are victims of assault by intimate partners each year; and 1 in 4 American women are abused by their partners.  The world statistics then must be staggering.     

https://www.aclu.org/blog/womens-rights/domestic-violence-human-rights-violation

All issues of human rights are important — In the Bible Jesus says: ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’  We must all be concerned — deeply concerned — about the least of these. My personal commitment is to do all I can to educate women & men about domestic abuse and how each of us can do our part to help end this terrible dis – ease. I call this a dis-ease because first, it makes everyone uncomfortable. Second, it is exacting what the dictionary describes the word to mean :

  a condition that prevents the body or mind from working normally

  a problem that a person, group, organization, or society has and cannot stop

Having been a victim of this dis- ease myself I speak from experience and know the ravages of this condition.  I, however, was one of the lucky ones who survived and feel it my duty to help others survive.   I can start with my neighbors and friends. I am just one person;  but as the Butterfly Affect Quote states :  “The flutter of a butterfly’s wings can create a typhoon half way across the world” .   We, as caring human being towards the least of these, must do our part to help our neighbors, our friends, our co-workers, our sisters, our brothers, our daughters and sons.  This is not a gender specific issue, it is a human rights issue. We must start shaking the waters and create a typhoon that will wipe this issue from the face of the earth. And we must get busy right now  because as the world becomes sicker and sicker far too many lives are lost because one person failed to do their part.  What do you plan to do?  Just do it now!

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