domestic violence photo: domestic violence dv1.jpg
 If your goal is to shame or otherwise cause more damage to a woman in a domestic battery situation, all you have to do is say she must like it. I have no idea how this kind of stupidity develops, but it pretty much has to be born of ignorance.

Ignorance of how it starts, of where she's at when the first blows come. Ignorance concerning how trapped she feels and how she knows better than to not just smile and make excuses. Ignorance of the kind of humiliating and soul wrenching words that work like hot pokers, cauterizing any decent feeling she may have ever had about herself.

Don't be a dumbass. Of course she doesn't like it. She's trying to simply survive it, trying to figure out how she ever got here and what the hell she might "do wrong" next to bring on that wrath. Oh, she knows what that might be.

It might be an admiring glance some man throws her way without her knowledge. Better hide that cleavage and throw on some baggy pants just in case.

It might be the fact that she had to work late and her cell phone is dead because she was busy getting her ass kicked last night so she forgot to put it on the charger.

It might be that he had a bad day at work and her mind reading powers were on the fritz so she didn't know that some coddling and adoration were necessary before dinner.

It might even be that he drank too much that night so he couldn't get it up. Surely she is to blame.

At the end of the day, it might just be that she exists. That looking at her is somehow is a reminder to him of all of his failings, of the fact that he failed her, and knows he will again.

The one thing it isn' because she likes it. Where do you go when your very self-worth is based on whether or not you are capable of making it through the day without being verbally strung up or waking up to some monster hovering over you, the same monster who sometimes treats you with  adoration even as you watch for the tells that let you know violence isn't far away?

domestic violence photo: Marriage Does Not Include img9r-1.jpg
She doesn't like it. She doesn't even know how it got here. She just knows that if she wants to change it, there are going to be serious repercussions. And she most certainly takes enough shit at home without being judged by someone who was never in that position.

If you would like to do something to help support someone who tried to leave, who made it known she didn't like it and wasn't going to live like that, join us at a Benefit for Melanie Greer. You can find more information on the Facebook event page. If you can't go, you can always donate something or contact a domestic battery shelter in your area to see how you can help. The one thing you need to do is eliminate the phrase "she must like it" from your vocabulary.

If you live in or around the Michiana (Michigan/Indiana/Illinois) area, you might be looking for some things for the family to do. I know I want to take my son to some festivals and other events this year, but I always have trouble keeping up with what is going on when it is going on.

I found some decent resources that list events in Indiana as well as Michigan and Chicago. I thought I would share them here so you can bookmark and return to find them all in one place. These should be helpful in planning your summer of 2015.

chicago photo: Cities AfterDarkinChicagoIllinois.jpg Chicago Events for Summer 2015
Chicago summers are basically just one long collection of parades, events, and festivals. There's always something to do in the Windy City even when it isn't summer time, but this schedule of Chicago summer events for 2015 should help you may your summer plans. Add to that the list of free things to do in Chicago and you are good to go.

indiana photo: Indiana Indiana1_map.jpg Indiana Festivals for Summer 2015
Okay, believe it or not, there really are some fun things to do in Indiana. Many of the festivals are based on the planting or harvest season, but there are also historical reenactments and other fun things to do. Check out all the Indiana festivals in 2015. (I know the link says Ohio Festivals, but the owner was kind enough to collect a list of festivals in Indiana as well. However, don't be afraid to look and see what's going on in Ohio this summer either.)

michigan photo: Welcome to Pure Michigan IMG_0866.jpg Michigan Events Summer 2015
Michigan is amazing in the summer. It's colorful and not quite as hot as some of the areas to the south of it. They also put on some fabulous festivals. Take a look at some of the festivals in Michigan for summer 2015. You can look them up by the date to make your summer planning a bit easier.

As for us, we'll be going to LARP, canoeing, and attending various festivals. It's going to be a busy summer!

When I was a small child, I always wanted to hide so the bad things couldn't happen.

As a pre-teen, I did my writing and sketches hiding under a bridge, storing my notebook in the bricks, the pages covered in beautiful drawings and haunting eloquence.

The teen years brought limited, always limited safety and awareness. I saw the colors of a spectrum I hadn't known existed, but they didn't see me.

A young woman, with barbed wire inside, emerged. They saw me with their hungry eyes and deliberate needs. Dusky walls withheld their embraces and nothing broke the fall.

His eyes had their own light behind them and they looked to me for everything. And he saw me and loved me anyhow.

I hid as many bad things as I could, so he could be a small child.

I collected the notebooks he filled in the open air and we walked on top of the bridges. I imagined a home and I put blinders on to narrow my focus on the career that kept him sheltered and limited my risk.

I pulled the barbed wire out and burnt it until it was soft to the touch. I tore the walls down with crimson streaks from my hands.

The light of this new world is blinding, but I don't cover my eyes. The ground feels soft and warm, but the waves draw me in, hiding the jagged edges of the rocks beneath.

Now, I would throw this tiara if I could. I would sit by the fire and make it always night, though there is nothing to cover my shoulders. I would do this, but for the light behind his eyes that see me and the dream that he can swim past the rocks.

Unseen, with a painted on smile in a pretty dress, inside I'm just looking for a log to add to that fire.