Why doesn’t she LEAVE?!

Why doesn’t she LEAVE?!

she is afraid

of him

of being without him

of what he might do to himself

that he might find her (he has promised to hunt her down)

of what he might do to her (he has promised to kill her if she left)

she is afraid

that she can’t do any better

that no one else will love her

that she can’t make it on her own

that she can’t provide for her kids

that this is what she deserves

and anyway you don’t understand…

he isn’t always like this

he doesn’t mean to hurt her

he is a good provider

he is a good father…he hasn’t hit the kids (yet)

he loves her

and anyway you don’t understand…

she doesn’t know anything else

this is just how it is

it has always been like this

she grew up watching her mom live this way

it’s in her DNA to stay

 

Eve Eggers

 

Short Story:Image 18

Eve Eggers was the youngest of five children and the only girl.  Her brothers tormented her in what they thought of as a fun and delightful way.  Eve disagreed and told them that fun was never involved, just the torment.  Her brothers laughed and continued with their nasty ways, leaving Eve bruised, sometimes broken and battered.  As she grew older Eve was less and less inclined to take the constant punishment from her four evil brothers.  Her parents did nothing to protect her and told her that boys were rough and tumble and not to take it personally.  The school eventually called and told  Eve’s parents that they were sending an officer to their house because they believed that Eve was being physically abused, since she was constantly black and blue, cut and swollen.  The Eggers’ told the school it was all good fun.  The school disagreed.

Eve was happy that someone was finally going to look into her beatings.  The officer came, saw the four large and very strong boys and smiled. “Ah,” he said, “I had three older brothers myself,” then he had a cookie and left. Eve saw that she was on her own.

Later that night, after being pushed down the stairs for the thousandth time, Eve took a bat and broke the bones in her brother’s legs.  She laughed and said, “This is all good fun, Michael.  Just your sister, having a lark.  You know how girls are.”

She went into Peter’s room and kicked him in the stomach a couple of times with her pointy shoes.  “You know,” she said, as she took his penknife and cut his arm, “I can see why you like this.  It really is fun, but only on this side of it, believe me.  I’m so glad you all ate the pudding I made tonight. The extra ingredient you tasted was a drug that made you sleep so soundly, brother mine.”

She skipped to the next room and the room after that.  She left her brothers in quite a messy state.  When she was finished, she picked up her packed bag and fled into the night.  She purchased a train ticket with the money she took from her brothers’ rooms and went to the city.

Life was difficult for a while, but Eve was used to difficult, so did what she had to do in order to survive.  She took menial jobs and slept where she could.  One rainy Tuesday morning she saw a sign in the window of a woman’s clothing store asking for a cleaning woman.  She was hired, with reservation, since she looked quite pitiful, after all.  But she told the woman in charge, that if she was not happy with her work, she did not have to pay her and she would leave quietly.

Eve’s work was perfect.  She continued to sleep outdoors until she had enough money to rent a small apartment.  Every night, before she went to bed, Eve looked into the mirror and smiled at herself.  She thought of what she had done to her brothers and rejoiced in the fact that she escaped from their brutality.  Empowered, she went to her twin bed and curled up with Twinkle, a ginger cat she found in the alley and took home.

Once Eve had the shop in tip-top order there was little to do but maintain the job she had already done, but as she walked past the display window she noticed the dresses and models looked rather limp and out of sorts.   Without much thought, she climbed up onto the ledge and went to work.  She moved everything around, took things from the shop and turned the window into a delightful splash of color and beauty.

When the owner, Mrs. Nightingale, came in at nine o’clock she saw a line of women waiting to enter.  They were chatting happily and pointing at the window, nodding in agreement.  Eve was afraid she had done something wrong but Mrs. Nightingale was extremely pleased.

“I didn’t know you had an artistic flair,” she said to Eve.

“I just changed a few things around,” muttered Eve.

“You shall do it again and again, my dear,” said Mrs. Nightingale.  “From now on you are in charge of the window treatment.”

Eve couldn’t believe her luck.  Every week, people came to see what was in the newly decorated window.  Eve was so busy that Mrs. Nightingale had to hire a new cleaning woman, so that Eve had more time to work on her designs.

Eve was suddenly well dressed and saving money.  The customers sought her advice when making purchases and she became a saleswoman as well as a designer.  Eve was happy,  Mrs. Nightingale was happy and the customers were happy as well.

On the night of October 4th, Eve was closing the shop when she heard a woman scream.  She ran to alley behind the shop and saw a man beating a woman with a stick.  She never slowed down, she just threw herself at the man and knocked him to the ground.  She bit him,  kicked him and screamed in his face.  He hit her with his fist and she smiled.  The man blinked.  Eva smiled again and her eyes went a little scary.  She reached for the stick and pressed it against the man’s throat as hard as she could.  “See,” she said softly, “this is supposed to be fun.  It’s just boy stuff, right?”  The man gurgled and tried to push her off.  But Eve had him pinned down, the same way her brothers held her to the ground so that they could torture her.  The man’s face eventually turned a lovely shade of purple and even in the dark, Eve immediately though of how wonderful that color would look if made into a velvet skirt with a matching jacket.  The man finally stopped fighting and lay still.  Eve waited a moment, to make sure he wouldn’t move, and then she removed herself from his body.  She kicked him once then went over to the weeping woman and helped her to her feet.

“I’ll call the police,” she said to the woman.

“Why?”

“I think he needs a hospital,” said Eve, looking at the man. “He might have a broken rib.”

“I think he’s dead,” cried the woman.

“No, you just have to know the pressure points in the neck, that’s all.  I just knocked him out,” laughed Eve.  “He’ll be fine.”

The women went into the shop and called the police who arrested both of them immediately.  They were charged with attempted murder.  The man was taken to the hospital and give the finest care  The women were placed in dark, damp cell.

“There’s something very wrong with this situation,” said Eve.

“I agree,” said the woman, holding her broken arm tenderly.”

The women were held overnight.  During that time they made plans to start a vigilant group that would come to the aid of women who were being attacked by men.   Mrs. Nightingale got the women out of jail and demanded that the beaten woman be given medical attention.  She brought a reporter from The Times with her and the reporter took photographs and the women’s’ statements.   The story was front page news.  Women were outraged, men said that the man was probably just fooling around and having fun.

Eve had the reporter get a copy of her mug shot so that she could frame it.  Now, every night before she goes to bed, she looks into her own eyes and sees the fury there. She sees the thin smile, that may go unnoticed by others.  Most of all, sees her power.  The thing she doesn’t see…is fear.

hitandrun1964

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In her own words…my daughter’s story.

It was a beautiful sunny day in my safe, suburban neighborhood.  I was a freshman in high school.  It was lunch time and I was with a large group of kids, across the street from our high school.  We were hanging out, like we always did, behind the restaurant, next to a busy 7-11.  We were all enjoying the beautiful weather, laughing and talking, when one of the boys whispered to another one and suddenly I was thrown into the air by three boys.   Two of them grabbed my arms and the third one, the instigator, grabbed my legs.  I had known these boys since first grade so I laughed and asked them to put me down, thinking they were playing around.   But I was wrong.  They weren’t playing, they were trying to rape me.

I watched as all the other kids, ten or more, walked quietly away.  The three boys, Danny, Mark and Pete, laid me down on an open old sleeper sofa, with just the springs exposed.  Some of the kids had dragged it back there so they would have something to sit on while they ate lunch.   Danny climbed on top of me and Pete and Mark each held, well actually pulled, on my arms like a rope.  I knew I was in trouble.   I was pulled spread eagle by the two boys and had another boy sitting over my hips.  I didn’t have much to fight with but when I realized what they were doing I was so angry that my fight reflexes kicked in and I began fighting back, bucking over and over again, while swearing, fuck you, you piece of crap,  you god dam mother fuckers and screaming at them.  I told them I was going to kill them.   The whole time Danny was busy removing my top and bra, I never stopped fighting and swearing.  Then he tried to take off my jeans.

I was so furious, that Danny finally tired of all the fighting, as well as his inability to unbutton my jeans, so he climbed off of me saying, “It’s someone else’s turn.”  I was wearing three inch wooden healed clogs at the time and when Danny got up, I whipped my leg over my head and kicked Mark in the head.  He dropped my arm and said, “I think I hear someone coming.”   And they all ran away.

I was left there alone and shocked.  I buttoned my blouse and went out to face the kids who had knowingly left me there to be raped.  I saw one “friend”  and just looked at him and said, “thanks a lot!”   Then I walked back to my school, afraid, humiliated and shocked that the world was so awful.  I played the scene over and over in my head and couldn’t believe what had just happened to me, in broad daylight, with all those people around.

I called my mom to pick me up after school because I wouldn’t get on the bus.  I didn’t tell her why until I got home.

That night my dad and my brother went to each boy’s house and told them individually, in front of their sobbing mothers, that if they ever touched me again they would kill them.

What I learned that day:   I learned that I could NEVER EVER count on anyone to help or save me.  EVER!!!!!   That I was not safe, and never would be!  That no female/woman was safe. That I was on my own and would always be the only one I could count on.

I was happy that I fought back.  Women never know how they will respond to the awful things men do to them.  I was relieved to know I fought and I felt stronger because I did. I had not been raped by those fucking bastards. I had saved myself.  But I know that each horrifying circumstance is different.

And it is NEVER the woman’s fault, NOT EVER, no matter how many morons tell you it is.  And friends and strangers will try to put the blame on you,  just like they did with me.

I did absolutely nothing to encourage them to do that to me.

What a messed up world this is.  Many of my friends kid themselves and believe that they are safe, but I never do.  Any man can turn on you at any time, no matter who they are, no matter how long you’ve know them, at work, in a hall, at night or in broad daylight.  It could be your boss, your uncle, your best friend’s dad, a boyfriend or a stranger.  And everyone will blame the girl or woman, no matter what her age.

Males in our country take away girls and woman’s sense of safety and security every minute of every day.  But males write, interpret and enforce the laws and they like to abuse women and children, so little to nothing is done about the atrocities that take place. And until OTHER MALES hold the rapists, wife beaters and child abusers  accountable for what they do,  nothing will ever change.  So I implore the men out there to stand up for the girls and women they know and love.  And to stand up for the millions of other females you don’t know.  Take a stand, talk about it, with your friends and sons, work to get the laws changed so that RAPE and  the ABUSE of WOMEN and CHILDREN BECOME CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY,  because that’s exactly what they are.

The boys who did that to me are adults now.  Some of them have daughters.  I wonder how they would feel if someone did that to their girls.

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but they love each other- a series of haiku

she is wearing a

turtleneck in the summer

to hide fresh bruises

fingerprint necklace

one of many abuses

that she covers up

she can’t tell her friends

not that she has many left

he made sure of that

she doesn’t know why

she keeps making him so mad

she must do better

if he is so bad

why doesn’t she leave, you ask

you don’t understand

he loves her so much

he feels terrible after

says it’s the last time

and she loves him too

so she lives this way

in spite of herself

Melanie Thomason

war is hell but…

what some people never think about is that females live in a war zone for their entire lives and the war NEVER ends.  There is no place for females to “return to,” no going “home.”  Home is sometimes the worst hell of all.   It doesn’t matter who you are, where you live or what you have, it only matters that you are female.

I was talking to a vet at the WALL in DC.  I said that if they made a WALL for women who had been killed by men, or women and children who had been tortured, raped  and abused by men, or women and children who had been beaten by men, the wall would never end and you would need artists working 24/7/365  in order to keep adding new names, because the names to be added would never end.

Culture is set up to keep women poor, in charge of and responsible for children, parents, and others.  Women across the world are taught to be polite, to make others feel better and to not fight back, sometimes under threat of legal action.  Women have had their feet bound, their bodies mutilated,  their spirits broken.  We dress in tight clothing and high heels so we can’t run, which makes us easier prey.  We are hobbled in the work place and are not allowed or able to make as much money as we are worth and that leads to dependency, especially when children are involved.

Females, no matter what their age, are blamed for the violence that is done to them, even if they are children because the laws were written to protect men.  Women often feel safer when they are with a man because HE is a warning to other MEN to stay away.

Men can never understand what it’s like to live your life wondering if you should go out, if you should get into the elevator with the man who is already in there, to go to a movie alone…to do anything alone.  Most women don’t even realize that they automatically think of the things around them, as they go through their day, because it’s something they do naturally.

Babies,  toddlers, girls and women are raped on a daily basis by their fathers, step-fathers, their mother’s boyfriends, their brothers and his friends, the neighbors, their teachers, religious leaders, strangers and relatives.  THERE IS NO SAFE PLACE FOR FEMALES!

I was called for jury duty.  A woman had been raped in the bathroom of a building in downtown Chicago.  The female judge asked the prospective jurors if they, or anyone they knew, had been raped.  Every single person raised their hand.  She went through the crowd and asked who had been raped.  After she was finished, she started talking again and, even now my heart is pounding and I’m furious because she NEVER ASKED IF ANY OF THE PEOPLE IN THE CROWD HAD RAPED ANYONE.  Women are raped in stairwells and bathrooms.  Those are two places you never want to get caught alone…ever.   Women are rapped and killed everywhere. There are so many things I could say, so many horror stories to tell.

Females live in a war zone and never forget that.  Never.  And the enemy is everywhere.  And if any men are reading this and saying to themselves, “I would never do that,” well just remember this:  we can’t tell the difference between the good guys and the bad guys and the good guys don’t seem to be doing anything about the bad guys, so everyone is suspect.   The bad guy could turn out to be someone a woman has known for a long time and just decided to attack her.  Because that’s really what it’s all about…a decision.  A man has to decide to be evil…to destroy a child’s innocence, a life.  And that’s what rape and abuse is…the TAKING OF A LIFE.  So next time you see the Viet Nam wall think of the women and children who live in the war zone that you guys call everyday life.

hitandrun1964

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Artists4Peace for October – Stop Domestic Violence

Games

by Heartafire

I like to sit in her lap 

her warm fingers in my fur.

Sometimes I tease her and pull away and lick myself

and pretend  I’m too busy.

When the master comes home he too likes to  play.

His rough paws toss me into the flower bed.

I feel my bones may break but she pleas to him

“come here”  while  I hide in the garden

chasing lizards and winged things.

I can see her kneel down and he yanks her hair and

slaps the dewdrops streaming from her eyes.

I don’t understand the games my people play.

When it’s done he washes his rusty nailbeds

and says he’s sorry, he had a bad day.

Photo by Heart

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Women Who Think Too Much is FREE in October in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month

 

Review by Michelle Marie
Wonderful book! I recommend Women Who Think Too Much, I am a woman who thinks too much. I love this author and her style of writing. I think she has so many wonderful insights and also I found myself laughing because I identify with this book so much. I know you will love it too!

Review by Jenn on Aug. 08, 2014 FIVE STARS
This book should be required reading as part of the high school curriculum. I made a couple of these “slips” early on, but thankfully avoided the worst of it thanks to some very strong and frank women in my life. However, I’ve had many friends who have had to learn the hard way–or never learned, and it’s heartbreaking to watch and so unnecessary.
Thank you, Jeanne, for the very straightforward advice and important reminder for all of us. Speaking of that, I think I need to go pad my “ILFU” fund…. 😉

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Jeanne Marie

He swore he never hurt his child…

He swore he never hurt his child

though his wife did drive him to drink

to cope with her inadequacies

and lying ways

He swore he never hurt his child

when he threw the dinner dishes in her face

after another ruined meal

he made sure the kid wasn’t hit

He swore he never hurt his child

he was too young to understand

couldn’t know the meaning

when he called his mom a lying whore

He swore he never hurt his child

it wasn’t his fault his wife was no good

and couldn’t be trusted

she brought it on herself

He swore he never hurt his child

he never saw the things he forced her to do at night

though he may of heard

his mother’s cries and screams

He swore he never hurt his child

the bruises, broken bones and cigarette burns

were what she had coming to her

she forced his hand

He swore he never hurt his child

he only made frequent ER visits

with his good for nothing mother

she wasn’t hurt that bad anyway

He swore he never hurt his child

though he confessed

to teaching his wife a lesson, a time or two

he never meant to kill her

He swore he never hurt his child

and while he never laid a hand on him

scars were left, just the same

and his child’s life is forever changed

~Melanie Thomason

*October is National Domestic Abuse Awareness Month.   While the above is not based on my life it is most assuredly not fiction.   Women are not the only victims of their abusers, their children also suffer.

Wordifull Melanie

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