Mary Oliver

A poem from Mary Oliver entitled “Rage”…


– 1986

You are the dark song
of the morning;
serious and slow,
you shave, you dress,
you descend the stairs
in your public clothes
and drive away, you become
the wise and powerful one
who makes all the days
possible in the world.
But you were also the red song
in the night,
stumbling through the house
to the child’s bed,
to the damp rose of her body,
leaving your bitter taste.
And forever those nights snarl
the delicate machinery of the days.
When the child’s mother smiles
you see on her cheekbones
a truth you will never confess;
and you see how the child grows–
timidly, crouching in corners.
Sometimes in the wide night
you hear the most mournful cry,
a ravished and terrible moment.
In your dreams she’s a tree
that will never come to leaf–
in your dreams she’s a watch
you dropped on the dark stones
till no one could gather the fragments–
in your dreams you have sullied and murdered,
and dreams do not lie.


Survival Guide: Abuse – Part 1 Definitions

Within each article I’ll include important links for those who affected by the subjects covered, please use these links if you need help!


 Please review links at the bottom for information about Rape
What is Abuse? (Reposted from Domestic Violence)

Domestic violence and emotional abuse are behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other. Partners may be married or not married; heterosexual, gay, or lesbian; living together, separated or dating.
Examples of abuse include:

  • name-calling or putdowns

  • keeping a partner from contacting their family or friends

  • withholding money

  • stopping a partner from getting or keeping a job

  • actual or threatened physical harm

  • sexual assault

  • stalking

  • intimidation

Violence can be criminal and includes physical assault (hitting, pushing, shoving, etc.), sexual abuse (unwanted or forced sexual activity), and stalking. Although emotional, psychological and financial abuse are not criminal behaviors, they are forms of abuse and can lead to criminal violence.

The violence takes many forms and can happen all the time or once in a while. An important step to help yourself or someone you know in preventing or stopping violence is recognizing the warning signs listed on the “Violence Wheel.”

ANYONE CAN BE A VICTIM!Victims can be of any age, sex, race, culture, religion, education, employment or marital status. Although both men and women can be abused, most victims are women. Children in homes where there is domestic violence are more likely to be abused and/or neglected. Most children in these homes know about the violence. Even if a child is not physically harmed, they may have emotional and behavior problems.

If you are being abused, REMEMBER

  1. You are not alone

  2. It is not your fault

  3. Help is available



Domestic violence is not a problem in my community.

  • Michigan State Police records from 1997 show that a woman is killed by a partner or former partner about once a week in Michigan.
  • In 1998, the Michigan State Police reported more than 5,000 victims of domestic violence in Oakland County.

Domestic violence only happens to poor women and women of color.

  • Domestic violence happens in all kinds of families and relationships. Persons of any class, culture, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, age, and sex can be victims or perpetrators of domestic violence.

Some people deserve to be hit.

  • No one deserves to be abused. Period. The only person responsible for the abuse is the abuser.
  • Physical violence, even among family members, is wrong and against the law.

Alcohol, drug abuse, stress, and mental illness cause domestic violence.

  • Alcohol use, drug use, and stress do not cause domestic violence; they may go along with domestic violence, but they do not cause the violence. Abusers often say they use these excuses for their violence. (Michigan Judicial Institute, Domestic Violence Benchbook, 1998, p. 1.6 – 1.7)
  • Generally, domestic violence happens when an abuser has learned and chooses to abuse. (Michigan Judicial Institute, Domestic Violence Benchbook, 1998, p. 1 – 5)
  • Domestic violence is rarely caused by mental illness, but it is often used as an excuse for domestic violence. (Michigan Judicial Institute, Domestic Violence Benchbook, 1998, p. 1 – 8)

Domestic violence is a personal problem between a husband and a wife.

  • Domestic violence affects everyone.
  • About 1 in 3 American women have been physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives. (Commonwealth Fund, Health Concerns Across a Woman’s Lifespan: the Commonwealth Fund 1998 Survey of Women’s Health, 1999)
  • In 1996, 30% of all female murder victims were killed by their husbands or boyfriends. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1997)
  • 40% to 60% of men who abuse women also abuse children. (American Psychological Association, Violence and the Family, 1996)

If it were that bad, she would just leave.

  • There are many reasons why women may not leave. Not leaving does not mean that the situation is okay or that the victim want to be abused.
  • Leaving can be dangerous. The most dangerous time for a woman who is being abused is when she tries to leave. (United States Department of Justice, National Crime Victim Survey, 1995)MANY VICTIMS DO LEAVE AND LEAD SUCCESSFUL, VIOLENCE FREE LIVES.
    For further Information click here: Child Welfare Information Gateway


I understand that this is a very basic layman’s definition of abuse and during the next segments I’ll explore this subject with greater detail and personal reflection.


“She knocked and waited, because when the door was opened from within, it had the potential to lead someplace quite different.” 


Who can discover the secrets that lurk
 behind the smiles and hugs
 the ends and beginnings
 of long crumpled dreams
 desperately pressed out
The doors hide unpleasant things
that we wish weren’t us
which we know are
and can never change
the blood on the floor
All the houses made of crystal pain
revealing the nakedness
of pretty things
now left ugly by
the makeup of reality

Survival Guide: Rape Part 5 – How I make it: Day to day living with the effects

Within each article I’ll include important links for those who affected by the subjects covered, please use these links if you need help!



“Behind every flinch is a fear or an anxiety – sometimes rational, sometimes not. Without the fear, there is no flinch. But wiping out the fear isn’t what’s important – facing it is.” ― Julien Smith, The Flinch

Everyday starts with prayer, or some spiritual exercise. This helps me to believe that someone is watching out for me, that this will never happen again. My only sense of safety comes from this activity. I’m constantly on guard, so sometimes I’ll put myself in a dangerous situation just to say “Fuck you” to the attackers and assaults. Inside I’m scared as hell, but I won’t let fear hold me back. I really don’t care if die now, they took everything they could take, and I live my life like I have nothing to lose. I have to sleep with the light on, and make sure all the doors and windows are locked, sometimes checking them a few times. I don’t like big homes, I’ve got to see most of the house at a glance. I prefer living on the second story (or higher), so the window can’t be easily crawled through. I like being in block or brick apartments so I can’t be shot through the walls. I watch every face to see signs of aggression. When I see it, or sense it, I get violent inside. I don’t want to run, I want to fight. If you scare me, on purpose or otherwise, I’ll probably hit you and ask questions later. I don’t know what perversion of nature has occurred to my sexuality, but those things which happened to me, I seem to find a liking to, with the exception of hurting someone. Then, there is the crying. I cry at the drop of a hat, on commercials, songs, movies, sometimes for no reason. I’m perpetually fighting negative thoughts of my body and personality. 

All these things I live with daily. I’ve gone to counseling, God knows how many hours I’ve spilled my guts to some stranger, looking for answers that never come. To summarize, I’ve changed from the experience. I will never be the same. I accept these symptoms and behaviors as normal. I try to understand that most of the feelings of paranoia and danger are in my head. People are good and not all evil, though I struggle with that thought, I see evil in most intentions. I try to believe that I have a future, that I’m important and worthy of a good life. Most of all I enjoy my life. I take chances I’m scared to take, and I have the best revenge, that of a life well lived.

 If you need help or need to talk to click these links: Pandora’s Project, RAINN
Survival Guide: Rape Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 , Part 4, Part 5 

Survival Guide: Rape Part 4 – Dealing with Effects: Anger, Vengence

Within each article I’ll include important links for those who affected by the subjects covered, please use these links if you need help!
It took a long time to surface, but soon an anger broke through with a ferocious appetite for vengeance. I didn’t know who raped me, so I focused my anger on everyone that was a abusive to women or violent to innocents.  I didn’t feel so protective of the boys and men that were abused, I don’t understand why. This anger makes me impatient and short tempered and I really struggle to keep it under control.
The Violation Of…



… you don’t have to wait for someone to treat you bad repeatedly. All it takes is once, and if they get away with it that once, if they know they can treat you like that, then it sets the pattern for the future.” Jane Green, Bookends 


You shout at me, I try to ignore what you do
Your always there, I try to behave
You won’t let me be alone, I don’t want a shadow
You don’t let me talk, I’m too loud
You will never give up, I try to run
You make me afraid, I make excuses
You intimidate my friends, I try to explain
You hide and peek at me, I can’t know where you are
You intrude on my privacy, I just want to be alone
You threaten my existence, I just want to be safe
You make me do things, I’m embarrassed to say
You sink lower in your life, I watch you fall
You struggle to bring me down, I struggle to breathe
You will not win, I’ll survive
You will not change me, I’ll be hard
You will not violate me again, I will kill
 If you need help or need to talk to click these links: Pandora’s Project, RAINN
Survival Guide: Rape Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 , Part 4, Part 5
Also Published in Broowaha