Kickass Women

So I have found in reconciling with abuse in a past relationship, my self-worth has been struggling. Lately, I have been remembering things he’d yell or say. My spirit has really been hurting. Even when you know the irrationality of things that happened or ways he’d demean me—I am still hurt and confused. I loved him so had put value in his words and opinions. So tonight, I turned to ladies who have inspired me. Ones I can look to and draw strength from their character. Perhaps you can add your own strong female characters be it from novels or real life.

Eowyn_with_sword

Eowyn, shieldmaiden of Rohan

Eowyn—she is a shieldmaiden of Rohan in Lord of the Rings. And she was inspiring to me in her strength as well as her vulnerability. Even when left behind from battle, and thwarted in love with Aragorn—she still amazes by not giving up and fighting for what she believes in. Protecting her uncle Theoden, the king, she hacks of the head of the Nazgul. When the witch-king of Angmar tells her no man can defeat him. She takes off her helmet, revealing her long blonde hair. “No living man am I! You look upon a woman! Éowyn I am, Éomund’s daughter. Begone if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him!”

When she was practicing her swordsmanship in the castle, Aragorn asked her. “What do you fear, lady?”

Lagertha_c1

Lagertha from Vikings

“A cage,” [Éowyn] said. “To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.”

Lagertha—another shieldmaiden (what’s up with that?) from the show Vikings. She is tough and beautiful. She also loves her husband Ragnar Lodbrok more than anything. They grew up together and seem like a perfect match. Yet when he gets another woman pregnant and designs to bring her into their home—Lagertha is strong enough to leave. She leaves everything behind: her friends, the place where she grew up, the love of her life, and takes with her a broken heart and dignity I can only hope to have a sliver of someday. But it’s not the end of the story. She eventually becomes an earl, fights side by side in battle with her husband again, and… we know he still loves her. So for all the women where the husband cheats or abuses—remember Lagertha. Draw strength from her.

Amelia Peabody—nope this one isn’t a shieldmaiden, but an archaeologist in the late 1800s. It’s a book series by Elizabeth Peters, and in these books—Amelia is always doing what’s right, standing up for women, helping the poor, solving mysteries, and making great archaeological discoveries…all the while maintaining her colorful relationship with her fellow archaeologist husband Emerson. Strength of character and personality radiate from her presence in the books, and I adore her.

0a83a47b8c78467e8c1a2b1c9ccc6a13

Claire from Outlander

Claire—in the Outlander series. I have loved these books for a while, and I’m even more thrilled with the series. Claire has always been inspiring in her stubbornness, her medical abilities (you should see how she can set a bone), brilliant mind, and in her love for her husband (whether in England or Scotland).

Danae—she’s one of my best friends, and both her and her husband are doctors in Tchad, Africa. They have three children (which is tough in itself in a country filled with malaria and corruption), and Nae reminds me of everything a woman should be: strong enough to stand up for the bribery, fraud, and abuse she sees, gentle enough to give compassion when there’s death and heartbreak. And a kickass mom and surgeon.1900484_10152601334021331_1889197454944409830_o

Okay your turn. Share your inspirations.    

All or None

If only abusive exes were 100% evil. But they’re not. I doubt even Lucifer was 100% evil or he wouldn’t have had (theoretically speaking) almost half of heaven’s angels’ follow him.

Sam Drevo and Mojo under the observatory in the gorge

It is okay to remember the good times. The times when he was gentle or loving. The times where he treated you like you were of some value and important to him. But now that you know him and know how he can be—you probably understand that it is not okay even if 10% of him is abusive. I would tell you to run even if he were 0.01% abusive. Abuse is not okay in any of its forms: emotional, verbal, or physical, and you are worthy of respect. No amount of abuse is okay, no matter the excuse.

I know I would have better closure myself if the ex were completely evil. I would somehow be able to categorize his treatment, make sense of it, but with narcissistic and abusive personalities—you will never have closure. They are a blackhole, and they will only suck the essence of who you are out. Maybe you see it already – your energy, your love, your beauty being pulled out – into his blackhole– by his treatment of you.

Do what you need to do to do to move past him and see there are still good people in the world. Find support in a group or Domestic Violence Center. Talk to your close friends or family. Travel or pick up a new hobby. Pamper yourself. Don’t get bummed if you can’t seem to get the same amount of things done as you used to, or if you need to just hide from the world. You are healing. You experienced a trauma. Do whatever it takes to feel good about yourself again. Stay safe and if you feel threatened don’t hesitate to report him or get a restraining order. Your life will never be able to move on unless you go No Contact as much as possible. Little by little you will get yourself back, and you will see that life without him is worth living after all.

Domestic Violence Center/He Won’t Change

Abuse happens more often than you think. It may feel like you won’t be able to recover or make it through, but you can. You are strong enough and worthy to be loved. Do not let his treatment of you reflect your worth. (I am guilty there and still struggling with this.)

I know what it feels like to be betrayed with cheating and emotional, verbal, and physical abuse. It’s hard when you still care about and love the person. You value their opinion. You remember when they were gentle or the times they put you first. You grasp on to any kindness leaking out from them. You are human after all.

They are clever, and they’ll never show the world their true colors or nature. But you know. You’ve seen it. You’ve experienced their apologies, the way it feels to be loved by them, but you’ve also experienced their abuse: their devaluing, their yelling, their disrespect with other women. And I know you realize deep inside that they will not change. Not for good. The book “Why Does He Do That” helped me realize this.

They are a blackhole. Please get out before they destroy your spirit completely. And because I need to hear it again myself—I will tell you that He Will Not Change.

For me—I didn’t want to be a silent woman or leave his next victim without any backup. There is more than just an option of filing charges. (Though I think pressing charges is appropriate for some women-I had no idea there was any other option than that.) You have the option of placing an information report. I did, as it seemed the best way to wipe my hands and still feel like I did something. I went through a Women’s Domestic Violence organization. (Big cities usually have a DV center.) There I worked with a detective in the Sheriff’s department. Usually DV centers have a detective who is supportive and can tell you your options. This was the case for me. I never felt support until I went here. Finally, what I was going through was understood. I wasn’t judged or told I was an idiot for staying with an abuser for so long. They just wanted to help.

The police have on file the photos of my bruises (time stamped if you can), the texts and emails talking of abuse. Even the emails his Dad sent me speaking of when the ex was violent against his own Dad two years prior. Give the detective/police anything that will build a case. Even if you’re not the one bringing the case against him, and it’s years down the road by his next victim—your filing will help her case. The positive about an information report is the abuser has no idea it is there. He will not be contacted. He will not get revenge because he doesn’t know about it. He will be listed as a suspect only, and his name will be tagged if he abuses again the future.

I am sorry this has happened to you, but there are people who understand and can help.

Women don’t have to live in fear:

Male victims of abuse can call: