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Abuse is Many Things

This blog is still quite new. I still need to make posts about the things this blog is supposed to be about, and I will do that.

However the subject of abuse in its many forms is a subject that’s important to me. I’ve been abused several times over the course of my life. I was verbally abused, never beaten.

Just because they didn't hit you, doesn't mean they didn't hurt you. Words hurt.

Words hurt. More than I want them to. Artwork (c) 17 August 2013, Windy Johansen.

I was called worthless. Homeless. Lazy. Fat. Stupid. Told that my disability wasn’t real and that I should just do whatever was wanted, because I could, but I was just…holding out on them, I guess. Treated as an imbecile. Treated like a liar. Screamed at for breathing too loudly. Belittled. Spoken to condescendingly. Patronized.

I’ve had people act as if I was mud on their shoe.I’ve been treated like I didn’t matter. I’ve been told that it was okay if I died. I’ve had my religion bashed. (I suppose that happens to everyone. It doesn’t get nicer just because billions go through it.)

I’ve had the facts from real doctors ignored by teachers. I’ve had teachers and administrators ignore my lawful 504 plan and do whatever the heck they felt justified in doing. I had people in my school years lie about my abilities just so they didn’t have to provide services that I needed (they said certain test scores were better than they actually were). That 504 plan should have been an IEP. I should have had special education services. I did not.

I wound up dropping out of school one month from the end of sophomore year. I wonder if having my needs met would have helped.

I have been told that it was only words, that I should just take it. That I was weak. That I should move in with one of the people who’d abused me. It was only words, after all. I should just ignore it.

I guess if you’re poor and desperate, abuse is okay. I mean, it keeps you from having to do anything, so I guess it’s okay. Except it isn’t.

There are two someones who would give me a panic attack if I ever saw them. I was still supposed to visit one of them, because someone thought I should.

Abuse is more than fists, and more than someone viciously raping another. Few people know I was sexually abused. Given how they speak when I talk about “just” verbal abuse, I’m not about to share that! I would be told that it wasn’t enough.

And since you are unlikely to know me from Adam, I feel I can share this.

Words hurt. Stealing kisses is only cute if you’re not pressuring anyone into them.

And it takes a superhuman to leave abusive situations. I feel it is because too few care. They’re not the ones who are supposed to care for you. I know it is because abuse makes you feel too worthless to leave, and the carelessness of so many can’t be helping.

I’ve left abusive situations, only to have my intelligence called into question. I left those situations because my sanity was in danger, but apparently I was meant to get a job, set myself up, and then leave. I should have stayed until I had money to leave.

Because it wasn’t really abuse. Except that it was.

Because I was a perfectly fine, perfectly healthy adult who simply didn’t want to work, and shouldn’t be helped because I needed tough love. Except I wasn’t fine. I wasn’t healthy. I wanted to work, but I couldn’t. I was (and still am) too sick to work. I needed someone to care that I was being abused. If I was well, I’d never have fallen into any of those situations.I needed someone to care.

I got a lot of anger, and a lot of people talking over me to tell me what was what. They knew I could work. They knew I had every ability to do everything just the same way they did. They knew I was just being lazy, and asking for handouts…and worse, asking for them when I did not need them.

I don’t trust people anymore. If you ever wonder why, this is why. My inner monologue of “fark you” once someone’s crossed the line is what saves my bacon every single time I fall into some other abusive situation. Is it nice to keep this idea around? I don’t care. I’m the one who has to get away, and on my own steam. I was thirteen when I learned the sad truth that people who should give even one tenth of a rip about you so often don’t.

I can only imagine what people must go through when they have the stubbornness stolen from them. Not only is there precious little support for anyone, but leaving an abuser can be just as deadly as staying in some situations. I was lucky. My abusers were just jerks. Many are far more than that.

This video tells you why so many stay in abusive situations.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1yW5IsnSjo

Did you watch it? It’s important to watch it.

The people who are trying to leave abusive relationships are not the same people they were when they entered that abusive relationship. Their psychological state is not the same. They are afraid. They have likely been told that if they ask for help or report, they or their loved ones will be killed.

Children are abused. Women are abused. Men are abused. Disabled are abused. The elderly are abused. Poor, wealthy, American, Arab, Asian, European, Native American, Australian, African, Pacific Islander? Abused.

Nobody should be abused. No one, No one deserves such treatment. No one.

Musings of a migraine-soaked mind. (episode 1)

Migraines are painful. Light hurts. Smells you’d pay money for leave you cold.

And then….there’s the goofball things you think of, because migraines also mean thoughts that make no sense at all. Some are just..impossible to share. This one though? This was funny.

I started my dishwasher. This is wondrous event, because I often forget I have one and ignore my dishes, and then think about how nice it would be to have a machine that washes my dishes for me — oh yeah. That’s called a dishwasher. And I have one in my kitchen. I’m not in the Stone Age. Yay!

So, as I said before my ADD tangent, I started the dishwasher.

A few minutes later it burped. I don’t know why it burped. I don’t recall feeding it root beer. I fed it soap and dishes.

Maybe soap and dishes are a dishwasher’s burp fuel. I wouldn’t know; I’m not a dishwasher.

What does my brain make of this? Emergent intelligence.

“If the dishwasher burps, it’s an emergent intelligence.” — My brain

Yeah. Sure. It’s a dishwasher, you goofball.

I learned about emergent intelligences from Star Trek. I’m so full of Star Trek, I half expect Spock to stumble out of one of my ears.

I guess this (mentally turning my dishwasher into an AI) was the happy medium between saying nothing, and giving birth to full grown Vulcans from my ear.

Maybe I can now explain that it’s the massive amount of Star Trek inside of my head that’s causing my migraines. I’ve got several entire starship crews in my head, Doc. Of course it hurts.

Migraines are awesome, like I said. My thoughts make no sense at all. O_o

Spent the day melting down.

This is not particularly inspirational, but it does show something of what I go through. I like being inspiring, but I want you to know that I’m not just someone who speaks of happiness without knowing pain.

And so, this post is about my day.

I spent the day melting down entirely. My psychologist’s report cannot get here soon enough. I want to know what’s happening to me. :( Is it anxiety? Obsessive-compulsive disorder? Nuclear strength depression? Borderline personality disorder? What is it?

I wasn’t entirely unproductive today. I did start (restart?) my online store, and put two photos in it. Each photo has 3 sizes available, so that was 6 listings.

Sunday is my day of rest, so Monday will bring more photos to my store.

I know, it seems weird to have a day of rest. Maybe it doesn’t. I know it keeps me sane, though, so that’s why I make sure to not work on Sunday.

I may occasionally write a Sunday/religious themed post, but I’m trying not to. This blog is becoming my job, and I have to have a day of rest, or I’ll wind up taking it when I don’t want to.

And I don’t want another day like today. That was not fun at all.

Daily Quote #2 -The Value of Learning

This is the second in daily series of posts collecting wisdom from others on different subjects. Today’s theme is the value of learning. What can we learn, just by our own research? Learning happens in the classroom, but I almost wonder if more learning doesn’t happen in the midst of everyday things.

What do you think? Here’s what other people have said about the value of learning.


“The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.” — Albert Einstein (source: zenhabits)


“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi (source: Goodreads)


“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” — Socrates (source: Goodreads)


“Education is the power to think clearly, the power to act well in the world’s work, and the power to appreciate life.” — Brigham Young (source: Goodreads)


“He who asks a question is a fool for a minute; he who does not remains a fool forever.” — Chinese Proverb (source: About.com Quotations)


“Learning never exhausts the mind.” — Leonardo da Vinci (source: Goodreads)


“The beautiful thing about learning is that nobody can take it away from you.” — B.B. King (source: Goodreads)


“I don’t love studying. I hate studying. I like learning. Learning is beautiful.” — Natalie Portman (source: Goodreads)


“Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.” — Albert Einstein (source: Goodreads)


What is the value of learning for you? What environments help you to learn things easily? Tell me in the comments.

Garnets and freshwater pearls in silver colored wire.

Photo and jewelry design, (c) 3 January 2012, Windy Johansen.

Daily Quote #1 – Strength and Courage

I’m going to try something new here. I intend to have several daily post series, but this one came to mind first.

Why a quote post? There’s so many smart people out there. I want to gather some of their wisdom and share it with you.

For this inaugural post, I’ve chosen the theme of strength and courage.

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
— Mahatma Gandhi, An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth (source: Goodreads)


“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure…than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” — Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President Of The United States (source: Inspiration Peak)


“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” — Harriet Beecher Stowe (source: Beliefnet)


“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” — Lao Tzu (source: Goodreads)


“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” — Albert Camus (source: Goodreads)


“There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’
No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.”
― Dalai Lama XIV (source: Goodreads)


“In the end, some of your greatest pains become your greatest strengths.”
― Drew Barrymore (source: Goodreads)


Both strength and courage give us so many opportunities to live a full, vibrant life. What have these qualities brought to you?

Green Rainbow

Green Rainbow (c) Windy Johansen.