Abused Women

This article never fails to inspire me. The words Veronica wrote here touch abused women to the very core…and enable healing to begin. Read it, feel it, make it part of your wardrobe…and please pass it on to other women who need the hope of a better life. Thank you!

~
After a while…you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand
and chaining a soul
and you learn…
that love doesn’t mean leaning
and company doesn’t always mean security.
~
And you begin to learn
that kisses aren’t contracts
and presents aren’t promises
and you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up high and your eyes ahead
with the grace of a woman
not the grief of a child
and you learn…
to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
~
After a while you learn…
that even sunshine burns
if you get too much
so you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting
for someone to bring you flowers.
~
And you learn…
that you really can endure
that you really are strong
and you really do have worth
and you learn…
and you learn…
with every goodbye, you learn.
~by Veronica A. Shoffstall
~
[This is a repeat of an earlier post. It was found in an old Dear Abby column. I believe it warrants reposting now and again for abused women everywhere who need advice.]

A Long Ago Story

 

© Jeanne E Webster. All Rights Reserved

“Jesus loves me this I know…”

Curled up in bed, she finds no escape from Mommy’s piercing cries. Softly tiptoeing to the window sill, she  longingly looks up to the heavens, as if searching for an old friend. She believes her home is out there and a heavenly, loving Papa awaits her return. Since learning the “Jesus Loves Me” song at Vacation Bible School one summer, she drew much comfort and hope. Peering impatiently into the dark, starry expanse, she pleads with her Papa. “I don’t like it here anymore, Papa. Please send an angel to take me back home.”

Only five years old, she knows fear… fear of her stepfather. He’s hurting Mommy now, and she’s afraid she’ll soon be the next victim of his drunken rages. Trembling with dread and hatred, she hears him bellowing her name. The routine is humiliating. He forces her to remove her clothes and stand before him naked, then proceeds to beat her with his army belt. Glaring into his eyes with intense rage, she is most afraid of crying in front of him, not the pain he inflicts. He mustn’t know he has hurt her; she must remain strong. “Please, Papa. I’m so afraid. I want to come home.”

“For the Bible tells me so…”

Stumbling through school with average grades and many sick days, she grew slowly into an angry, stubborn, withdrawn young girl. Teachers comment on her report card, “She will not act like a young lady. She’s always fighting with the boys.”

Home life is chaotic. Constantly on guard when her depraved stepfather is present, she keeps mainly to her bedroom or stays outside until nightfall. His lack of morals is evident as he prowls the house, naked except for a newspaper shielding his privates. “Thank you, Papa, for making me strong and protecting me. I wish Mommy would be strong enough to leave this nasty person.  I asked her once why she puts up with the beatings. She said, ‘Because I love him.’”

“Watch over me, Lord.  I still want to come home but I don’t know how to make that happen.”

“Little ones to Him belong…”

Many years passed.   The young girl mellowed into a happily married mother of four. Life was good for the first few years, but overshadowing this semblance of normalcy was the Viet Nam war. “Papa, watch over my husband and protect him from harm and send him home to us soon. The kids really miss their daddy. Thank you.”

“They are weak but He is strong…”

Daddy returned from war a stranger, dishing out physical and mental abuse on a daily basis to the young wife. Physical battles ensued with resulting scratches and bruises. Before long Mommy had become the villain, according to Daddy. He encouraged the kids to hit her, declaring her an unfit mommy. The Sears & Roebuck catalog was searched routinely for a new mommy. Divorce ensued after Mommy got on a greyhound bus headed for nowhere, leaving her whole world behind and calling it quits to the abuse.

Due to the fierceness and severity of the divorce dynamics, the young mother had only one viable option regarding her children. She had to leave them in the care of their father. There were no safe houses, no support for abused families in those days, and she had no family support or a job. Her husband promised to shoot her if she applied for a divorce, removing the children out of state would result in a kidnapping charge, and both options were not in the best interest of the kids. A dead mom and a lifer-in-prison dad were not good alternatives. So she walked. And inside…died…for a long while.

“Please take care of my children, Papa, and protect them from harm. I know You are stronger than anything life can throw at them, and they are good kids. They are my life. I give them back into Your hands. I know I will see them again someday; that’s all that matters. I love you, Papa!”

Epilogue:
Long ago Anna B. Warner penned the song, “Jesus Loves Me.” A young woman took those words to heart and believed them and staked her life on them. Why? The Bible told her so! The Word of God is far mightier than abuse, fear, threats and even death itself.

MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON YOUR SOULS!

SOLDIERS

 

 

© 2014 Jeanne E Webster. All rights reserved and observed

 

Thousands of our veterans have returned from battle needing treatment for wounds inflicted during their service for our country. There’s no doubt about it; medical care is available and adequate. But . . . our Veteran Affairs Department has thrown up roadblocks in the face of this ever present need of our walking and not-walking wounded troops to the extent they have had to wait months or years for medical treatment. Many of these brave soldiers have died while holding to the great expectation of proper medical care, yet such medical care has been purposely and coldheartedly sidelined by unnecessary bureaucratic red tape and brutal corruption.

I ASK EVERY ELECTED OFFICIAL SERVING IN OUR NATIONAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS AS SERVANTS OF ITS PEOPLE:

WHY HAS THIS DISSERVICE AND DISHONOR TO OUR LOYAL AND DEVOTED VETERANS BEEN PUT UPON THEM?

WHY DIDN’T YOU KNOW THAT THIS EXPLOITATION AND CORRUPTION OF OUR VETERANS DEPARTMENT WAS HAPPENING?

WHY DIDN’T YOU KNOW THAT VETERANS WERE DYING WHILE LYING IN BEDS CRITICALLY ILL AND RECEIVING NO MEDICAL CARE?

WHY WERE YOU NEGLIGENT IN YOUR DUTY TO HOLD THESE VETERANS IN HONOR AND HIGH ESTEEM?

WHY DID YOU ALLOW THE SYSTEM TO BE MANIPULATED TO THE EXTENT THESE BRAVE VETERANS WERE PUSHED ASIDE INTO A VAST CLOUD OF ABUSE?

WHY DID THESE VETERANS HAVE TO HAVE THEIR BODIES FURTHER INSULTED TO THE EXTENT THEY DIED FOR THEIR COUNTRY . . . WHILE LYING IN A BED OF MALTREATMENT IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY?!

WHY? WHY? WHY?

SHAME ON YOU!

MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON YOUR SOULS!

Saturday Ponderings

flatiron

© 2011 Jeanne E Webster.  All rights reserved

.

A Saturday has crept up on us again. Where’d the week go? It’s snowing here in Illinois, got about 3 inches out there. It’s so white outside, you could hang out your white linens and never find them again… till spring anyway.

Speaking of hanging clothes outside, remember the old ways of doing laundry… summer, fall, winter and spring? Some of us had wringer washers while others cooked their clothes in a huge pot. Nevertheless, winter was the biggest challenge. The clothes would be hung out on the line till frozen stiff, sometimes with icicles, and then we’ve drag them into the kitchen near the old wood stove and hang them over chairs or racks or stood them in the corner till they dried, which sometimes took days. We’d put newspapers down to sop up the moisture and protect the hardwood floors.

When the laundry had finally dried, we began the grueling task of ironing. Generally, everything was ironed, from sheets and pillowcases to bib overalls and underwear.  Most labor intensive were the starched items. You had to fire up the stove and boil water, put it into a bowl and mix in some starch and stir it up real good. Then you gathered the items to be starched and sprinkled them with water, sprayed some starch on them then fired up the heavy old flat-iron and went to work. If you had no time to starch, you dampened the items, rolled them up in a wad and stuffed them in the icebox or fridge till you were ready for them. No wonder people stayed slimmer back then; ironing would work up a good sweat on most anyone. Wow, the old times were a challenge!

We’ve gotten the chores done already and don’t you know, it’s almost noon already. Half the day is gone, used up, spent, out the window. I tackled the laundry and got the bedding washed and put back on the beds, made a lemon meringue pie, put my face on and said good morning to the world. Seems like it’s taking longer to do that every day. If I rose earlier in the day, it perhaps wouldn’t be almost noon by the time I got chores done. However, if I did that, I would be tired from not having enough sleep. Guess it’s basically a wash. (Get it…a wash!)

Oh well, back to Saturday. For lunch we finished the fish chowder from last night’s supper, ate our little cups of yogurt, and had weight watcher fudge bars for dessert. We’ll starve until supper at five. Plan to have baked codfish with a large tossed salad and coleslaw on the side, lemon pie for dessert. Then it’s off to bed after some thrilling TV show about some women being ripped apart from the monster man, her body disemboweled, buried in a foil wrapper and stuffed into some charcoal burner in some national park somewhere in the United States of America. Makes me want to sleep really well, huh?

Why do movie or television writers frequently portray women as victims? Horrendous crimes are repetitively sprung upon them; must be a mental deficit and/or have hatred towards the opposite sex. Many times the plot is about a marriage gone badly; so the husband chooses death by strangling, poison, shooting, or stabbing versus a quickie divorce in Arizona! Hmmm. Why does the woman always have to be killed, tortured, maligned, or butchered? Are we that obnoxious to society?

Anyway, I have had my fill of watching programs that glorify, promote, or focus on cruelty towards women. You see advertisements against animal cruelty projecting sad-looking faces of dogs and cats peering through the bars of cage after cage, all looking for a forever home. They’ve been through the mill, beaten, starved, bred out, gamed, or thoroughly stomped on. Yes, it gets to my heart but not as much as knowing that there are women out there getting nearly the same treatment. Maybe we could advertise; have women’s faces behind living room windows, looking disheveled, beaten, black-eyed, thoroughly stomped on, with pleading eyes staring blankly at the camera, begging for love, compassion, or kindness of some kind, looking for a forever home. Would that help? Hmmm.

Well, gotta go. The sun has come out, the snowy scenery looks bright, and the plow truck went by. How’s that for a good Saturday? Have a great day. See you tomorrow…

(reblog)

Little Boy Lost

danny

 

Little Boy Lost

© Jeanne E Webster.  All rights reserved

Reminiscing and wondering…

Years ago I worked as a nurse’s aide in a major hospital.  My first job caring for patients on a general medical floor was interesting and educational. My inexperience soon evolved into sound knowledge of a broad-spectrum of diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, congestive heart disease, heart attacks, arthritis, and many infectious ailments.  A few months under one’s belt and the work became practically repetitive and ordinary.  The only excitement would come when a restrained patient loosened his moorings and attempted to get into another’s bed.

A few times a year, our staff was required to send personnel to other floors to cover a shortage.   These “floats” not only brought relief to the short-handed floors but also educated the employees in different environments and duties.   The following incident occurred one week when I was floated to pediatrics, my long desired work location.  I had waited months to switch floors but no openings had been available.  Little did I know what experience lay in wait that would quickly dampen my elated spirit.   I walked through the door of the pediatric ward that day with high hopes of caring for my heart’s desire…children, babies, little ones!  My rounds began, and I was in my glory.

Like a dazed clump of flesh behind bars, he sat hunched over in the voluminous hospital crib. Scrutinizing this anemic two-year-old hurled my heart into hyper-gear followed by a clot-busting free-fall. This baby was the most forlorn-looking toddler ever admitted to our pediatric ward. As he slowly became aware of my presence, his doleful blue eyes unveiled fear and pain as his lower lip trembled.

During the shift-change report, Danny’s history was presented to our staff. His parents had taken him to the E.R. because of a sore throat.  A thorough examination by the doctors prompted his admittance for treatment and observation. The E.R. doctor noted numerous scars on his little arms and legs with festering sores inside his mouth and throat. The parents brushed off the physician’s questioning by stating that the toddler liked to play with cigarette lighters.

“What about his sore mouth and throat?” the physician asked.

“Oh, the kid got into some drain cleaner yesterday and now he don’t want to eat.”

The parents vanished from the hospital scene before the police arrived. We learned later that the police located the parents and were questioning them about Danny’s condition. After exhaustive interrogation, his mother blurted out a confession. Her husband had burned Danny numerous times with cigarette butts for crying too much. The drain cleaner, she stated, was the last training tool used to quiet the disobedient child.

A few days of medical care under his belt, Danny’s mouth and throat were well on the way to healing. Ever so slowly, he began to trust us.  Smiles appeared now and again as he played with toys the staff brought him. A week passed with nary a visitor and Danny repeatedly asking for Mommy and Daddy. It tore our hearts asunder knowing that this beautiful little boy had suffered such horrific abuse from them, yet was pining away for the sight of them.   His father now awaited arraignment in the county jail for child abuse; his mother’s negligence charge drew probation with weekly visits from social services personnel upon Danny’s return home.

His discharge day arrived, filling the ward with a melancholy spirit. Expecting his mother’s arrival any moment, we spruced him up with tons of hugs and goodbye kisses and many hidden heart-braking tears. We bagged his new toys and waited…, and waited. Noon passed but no mommy showed. Her contact number was called …no answer.   After repeated attempts, we contacted the police department for assistance. It soon became evident she was not going to appear.

“Mommy” was located in a downtown bar. When asked why she had not picked up her son, she replied, “Oh, yeah, I forgot about the kid.” Needless to say, the kid did not go home with mommy; he was enrolled into a foster care home.

We had only known him a short while, yet Danny had stolen the heart of every staff member on that pediatric floor. As he was carried out the door with his toy bag in hand, he waved a prompted “good-bye.” We never saw him again.

I often wonder how Danny managed over the years. Did the foster care home benefit him? Did his parents ever become parents for him? Did his world become kinder and gentler?   I will never know.  However, with 30 years of anonymous prayer support, that young lad has been in good hands.

Danny, wherever you are…God bless you!

.

Fighting Fear

 

Fighting Fear

© 2010 Jeanne E. Webster

~

“Jesus loves me, this I know…”

Curled up in bed she found no escape from Mommy’s piercing cries. Softly she tiptoed to the windowsill and looked longingly out into the heavens, as if searching for an old friend. She knew her home was out there and a heavenly, loving Papa awaited her return. Since learning “Jesus Loves Me” at Vacation Bible School one summer, she drew much comfort and hope. Peering impatiently into the dark, star filled expanse, she pleaded with her “Papa.” “I don’t like it here anymore, Papa. Please send an angel to take me back home.”

 

Only five years old, she knew fear… fear of her stepfather. He’s hurting Mommy now, and she’s afraid she’ll soon be the next victim of his drunken rage. Trembling with dread and hatred, she heard him bellowing for her. The routine was humiliating. He forced her to remove her clothes and stand before him naked, then proceeded to beat her with his army belt. Glaring into his eyes with intense rage, she was most afraid of crying, not the pain he inflicted. He must not know he has hurt her; she must remain strong. “Please, Papa. I’m so afraid. I want to come home.”

~

“For the Bible tells me so…”

Stumbling through school with average grades and many sick days, she grew slowly into an angry, stubborn, withdrawn girl. Teachers commented on her report card, “She will not act like a young lady. She’s always fighting with the boys.” Home life was chaotic. Constantly on guard when her depraved stepfather was present, she kept mainly to her bedroom or stayed outside until nightfall. His lack of morals was evident as he prowled the house, naked except for a newspaper shielding his privates. “Thank you, Papa, for making me strong and protecting me. I wish Mommy would be robust enough to leave this nasty person. I asked her one day why she puts up with the abuse and she said, ‘Because I love him.’ Watch over me, Lord, and I still want to come home but I don’t know how to make that happen.”

~

“Little ones to Him belong…”

Many years passed and the girl was a happily married mother of four. Life was good for the first few years, but overshadowing this semblance of normalcy was the Viet Nam war. “Papa, watch over my husband and protect him from harm and send him home to us soon. The kids really miss their daddy. Thank you.”

~

“They are weak but He is strong…”

Daddy returned from war a stranger, dishing out physical and mental abuse on a daily basis to the young wife. Physical battles occurred with resulting scratches and bruises. Before long Mommy had become the villain, according to Daddy. He encouraged the kids to hit her, declaring her an unfit mommy. The Sears & Roebuck catalog was searched routinely for a new mommy.

Divorce ensued after Mommy got on a greyhound bus headed for nowhere, left her whole world behind and called it quits to the abuse. Due to the fierceness and severity of the divorce dynamics, the young mother had only one viable option regarding her children. She had to leave them in the care of their father. There were no safe houses, no support for abused families in those days, and she had no family support or a job. Her husband promised to shoot her if she applied for a divorce, removing the children out-of-state would result in a kidnapping charge, and both options were not in the best interest of the kids. A dead mom and a lifer-in-prison dad were not good alternatives.

So she walked. And inside…died…for a long while. “Please take care of my children, Papa, and protect them from harm. I know You are stronger than anything life can throw at them, and they are good kids. They are my life. I give them back into Your hands. I know I will see them again someday; that’s all that matters. I love you, Papa!”

~

Epilogue: Long ago Anna B. Warner penned the song, “Jesus Loves Me.” A young woman took those words to heart and believed them and staked her life on them. Why? The Bible told her so! The Word of God is far mightier than abuse, fear, threats and even death itself.