I’ve let this field go fallow for a long time, but I hope you won’t mind if I lean over the fence to share this with you.
My friend Emily wrote something very personal and important and needful, and I hope that you will go read it. Her essay “I Refuse to Let Child Abuse Define Me” appears in today’s Motherlode column on the New York Times website.
Coincidentally, today is the anniversary of the day my sister and I sat in a courtroom while a judge gave his approval for our stepmother to adopt us, saying “Now she can spank you legally.” He had no idea, of course, what he was saying and what kind of woman she was.
My stepmother and Emily’s stepmother were cut from the same dark cloth, but her essay today is the perfect counterbalance to that memory.
Please read her story and share it far and wide. Stumble it, Tweet it, post it on Facebook. Print it and share it with your schools and teachers. It’s never good when another person can understand what it’s like to grow up in an abusive household, but Emily’s words to those students – especially the message that “Life is long. And life can be wonderful.” - is something that I wish someone had been around to tell me when I was young. It could have changed things for me and my sister. It could have nudged a teacher into taking real action.
It would have, at least, given me some hope.
So share her story, please, and maybe you will do that small, big thing for someone else. Hope is a precious commodity to someone in an abusive household, and seems like a slender thread. But it’s stronger than you know.
Unless, like Emily and so many others, you do know.