Saturday, May 09, 2009

Spring Cleaning..... and other thoughts

I have put it off as long as I can. So after getting home tomorrow from taking Mom out for dinner, I am simply going to HAVE to start somewhere, and my somewhere will be putting up the winter clothing at last. I have a bunch of sweaters especially that I want to keep, because I intend to wear that size come next winter. I love this idea more than you can ever imagine.

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Speaking of Mother's Day, I picked my mom's gift up today. She wanted a gift card from a local chain of clothing stores. I swear, I must have been the only under-40 person in there .... no, I take it back, I saw a child following her mom, and they must have been gift-hunting too. I have shopped in there before -- heck, in my early teens they carried some really good clothes for all ages. But now, it's like the domain of the 65-plus woman. And the front of this store has a sitting area --- usually occupied by elderly men who are awaiting their honeys to hurry up and finish so they can just get out of the feminine haze. Poor fellas; spending countless hours of their golden years waiting on the Mrs. to get her favorite pretty polyester pants.

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I posted this over on my weight-loss blog, but....... I did a 5K this morning, a fundraiser/benefit for a local domestic violence shelter. It was a wonderful race, and I got to see several friends from various areas of my world: a longtime friend, some coworkers, one of my WW compadres, and met someone (a friend of my friend) who works at the same employer as my best friend.

Better still, I got the chance to learn more about domestic violence, and I saw this exhibit that just tugged at me. It is called The Clothesline Project, and it was t-shirts with messages from people who have survived (and continue to survive) domestic violence whether at the hands of a spouse, their parents, or both .... which probably happens far more than we can know. If a child is beaten and told they're worthless, it's easy to see why they'd be attracted to a mate who tells them the same thing. They have no reference to learn they're worth so very much!!!! But what really got me were the alternating tees..... in between the ones made by survivors & their kids and friends were the ones with a name and the phrase "killed by domestic violence" and their death date. There were names I recognized from the 6:00 newscasts.

Having known people who were victims when I was younger, I found it hard to understand why they just didn't leave. I never realized that my own sense of self-worth had been hammered in from my childhood. Not that my parents were 100% perfect all the time, because no parent is. But if they said hurtful words, they apologized and things were eventually restored. And somewhere deep within, I had a pretty resilient spirit anyway. So it was very hard for me to fathom why a woman (especially) would knowingly stay with someone who told her she was useless and worthless and ugly and no good and then proceed to beat her to show her this. I did not get it at all......

What I've come to know is that it can happen to anyone, of any social strata, in any location, at any time, and that if it happens often enough, even the strongest woman can have her self-worth eroded to nothing..... and she feels she has no worth and maybe he's right.

This makes me want to learn more about the subject and to do something to help educate others about the warning signs, about the dangers. But most importantly, to love my sisters who can't seem to love themselves, who don't think themselves worthy of care and love. What I need to do is show them they are. And hopefully my actions and words will plant a seed that will sprout into something strong and hardy.

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