over, concluded, totally demolished
pour your heart out to me
freedom is contagious
melt my heart
do i deserve this
instead of love
why can't i change?
this heavy weight
who was it?
happy is the face
walk through the pain
walk through it all
turn and reach out your hand
tell them there is a treasure
tell them of the strength
tell them to look around them at all
tell them that once they walk through
there is a deep well of love
Dead Wrong The Truth Domestic Violence, Incest and Child
Abuse, by Angela Hayden.
The premise of this book is that domestic violence, child abuse and incest are still prevalent in our society after 20 years of proactive work by organizations. The goals of this book are to educate people about domestic violence, incest and child abuse and to inspire them to make a difference in their lives, the lives of their children and the lives of others.
The book details my journey through isolation and torment.The credentials that I bring to this project are that I have served on the Board of Directors for The Family Place, one of the largest family violence agencies in the country, as well as having served on the boards of The Dallas Homeless Consortium and The Dallas Women's Center.
I am a public speaker and have addressed audiences of over 500 regarding domestic violence, incest and child abuse. I've given a multi-media presentation at The Women's Museum, Dallas City Hall including Mayor Laura Miller and spoken to law students at SMU. I've appeared on Good Morning Texas and have been interviewed by media outlets in Austin, Texas where I testified before the Texas Senate regarding domestic violence.
The book consists of several short essays followed by poetry. I designed the cover and back (excluding misguided typography) and included my artwork.
I grew up with domestic violence and witnessed my mothers escape. As an adult, I lived with an abusive husband, leaving with my two children in 1996, our ninth departure. We first went to my sisters and slept on her floor. Through the assistance of a social service agency, I learned of a shelter but didn't think I would qualify because I wasn't visibly bruised like Mom, although I did feel her shame and worthlessness.
I remember my father kicking my mother in the stomach when she was six months pregnant. He gave her black eyes and broke her nose twice. He would beat my brother and me in front of each other and told us if we cried he would beat us more. Mom left Dad for the final time, taking her five children to Aunt Rene's where we joined a cousin and her children fleeing an abuser. Mom borrowed Aunt Rene's pistol, afraid of what Dad would do to us after his release from jail. When he came, Mom confronted him with the gun. He left, but I always wondered how our lives would have turned out if Mom had killed Dad that night.
At the time, my mothers only recourse was to live in the projects in Houston: her two sisters were married to abusive men and we couldn't stay with our grandparents because Grandpa had raped Mom as a child and she was afraid he would molest us, although he eventually did.
Without a diploma, Mom worked full-time at night and attended school full-time during the day. While my mother never sought any counseling, I had access to a shelter and its services: a court advocate to escort me to court, help in obtaining a protective order, an apartment with the anonymity required to prevent our abuser from stalking us as he always had, daycare for my children, and most importantly, help in locating psychiatric services to manage my depression and post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), as well as much-needed counseling for my daughters and myself. I'd left my abuser so many times before and always returned because of money and fear.
After eight consecutive departures and returns, I felt my daughters didn't deserve such a pathetic mother. I wasn't there for them emotionally of financially. I felt like such a failure. I was ready to end my life.
It took years to fully recognize my abuse. I didn't know that besides physical
abuse, domestic violence includes emotional abuse, sexual abuse, isolation,
using the children, economic abuse, male privilege, coercion and threats. The
shelter helped me gain control over my life. With their help I went back to
school and I am now a graphic designer. For the first time I feel more
important than my abusers and that I have a real chance to make it.
My mothers journey from domestic violence ended with my journey. My daughters won't repeat the cycle of abuse. That is the most precious gift anyone has ever given me.