Illustrated Poems and Quotes from Dead Wrong Copyright 2002 Angela Hayden
Be yourself

be alive
chase the wind
kiss the sun
look inside
be kind
love yourself
precious soul
you are pure
you are loved
waters flow
light is subtle
show the world
your views


Pavlov's Response

domestic violence
it starts out subtle
starve little by little
until you don't
realize your starving
slowly conditioned
to accept a morsel
for a meal
and then feel grateful
and undeserving



over, concluded, totally demolished
anger, betrayal, utterly acknowledged
shame, denial, personally embraced
pain, injustice, starring you in the face
detached, clinical, simply isolated
power, control, secretly perpetrated
hunger, starvation, numb reduction
impact, terror, subtle destruction


i tried
to hide
in you there
wasn't room
for two



in the mere existence
of persistence
marking the meter
with time
in rhyme
with reason



pour your heart out to me
let me hear what you have to say
let me love away your tears
let me dispel your fears
let me run my fingers through your hair
let me rub you with tender, loving care
let me hold you in your darkest hour
let me share in your truth and in your power



freedom is contagious
it will tickle every bone
in your body
and when you
don't realize it
you're laughing




melt my heart
i fall apart
down on my knees
looking for
lost in thought
only i fought
to let love
live in me

do i deserve this
have i chosen
this lifeless motion
to sit and wait
for my fate
for self-hate

instead of love
instead of peace
this push and shove
has shown me
how to hide
from everything

why can't i change?
why can't i be
the things
i want to be?
doesn't god know that
i'm a horrible me?

this heavy weight
i've learn to carry
defines me

who was it?
who first convinced me
i was horrible
i was unlovable
i was not normal?
who taught me to be
so afraid
so still
and quiet




happy is the face
she wore near him
even though
she'd like to kill him
who would ever figure
another mutt thrown in the river
no one to deliver
but she could be undone
take a ride just for fun
pull a trigger on a gun


walk through the pain
walk through the grief
walk through the fear
walk through the tears

walk through it all
until the day comes
when you can turn and look
at the trail you have left
for others who are suffering

turn and reach out your hand
and tell them they can
walk the journey too

tell them there is a treasure
that they will find
within their journey

tell them of the strength
you see deep within them
tell them how much you respect
their bravery for starting such a long walk

tell them to look around them at all
the tracks left by others
and see that they are not alone

tell them that once they walk through
the forest of healing
there is a valley of peace
to rest and dwell in

there is a deep well of love
they can drink from
it springs from their journey
the journey the began
with one small step

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.

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