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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A homestead, domestic violence, and hope

I don't talk a lot about my past, but this evening I am going to reveal some things in the hope to help a friend.

If you have been reading for a long while, or one of those fascinating people that reads 7 years of posts in a week, you know I left home at age 15. But I have never told the reason why. Just that I had to make a decision, and that one was the best one for me. I have my secrets and only those that I feel need to hear them, know. 

My parents divorced when I was 14. Suddenly a new man was in the house, my stepfather. He was a coke head and an alcoholic. And a raging criminal. It started with things being broken, and progressed to him hurting himself. I remember being woken late one night because he punched a window and cut his arm open so badly that the tendon hung out. Instead of seeking medical attention, he pulled on the tendon, laughing as his thumb moved as he tugged. 

The violence escalated. Soon he was hitting my mother. One night it was so bad that I hid behind the couch and called 911. I couldn't say anything to the operator in fear he would hear me and come for me. I had the cordless, and he happened to pick up the other line. My luck kept him from checking the line, my mother's luck was different. While the operator kept asking if someone needed assistance, he began pummeling her with the receiver. The operator heard it all, and he went to jail, for a while. My intelligent beautiful loving mother allowed him back in her home. My safety was now on the line. So I left. Homelessness was better than this. 

After a time, my mother left him. She lost everything. But now she has a wonderful husband, and my ex stepfather will spend the rest of his life in prison for a different crime. 

I know another intelligent, beautiful, loving woman that is now stepping away from the violence in her life. The other night was the last straw for her. He took a baseball bat to her shelves, 





threw her against a wall, and stalked the goats with threats of murder. The goats are her livelihood. He was determined to take everything from her, just as my ex stepfather did to my mother. I told my friend that she was welcome to stay with me, with all her critters, but she declined. She has resolved to stay in her home, without him, and continue her life. He was only in jail for a brief moment, but restraining orders are in place as is an expedited divorce. She has chosen the best thing for her. 

Yet she has come to discover that he wasn't working. He had been lying to her. And now her farm might be lost. 

She is a lot like I am. A proud woman that would never ask for help. However she has come to the conclusion that something must happen. And in a matter of less than 24 hours, she has come up with a business plan to save her home and allow her to prosper. She wishes to build a commercial kitchen, and has started a crowd funding page to help her do so.

I vouch for this woman.

Please take a look and decide if it is something you would like to help with. Share her story as well.

Some of you may already know her, mmpaints from self sustained living. She is a genius with goat cheese. 

Domestic violence in rural America is more common than you may know. It's still acceptable in some places, and there is no safe place. If you need help, tell someone you trust. You deserve to be free and happy men and women. 

19 comments:

Maureen O'Danu said...

Posted this to my Twitter feed, Facebook page and personal Facebook. (It's auto-scheduled, so it will show up in a couple of hours). I just lost my day job, so no money to help, but I hope that my signal boosting helps.

Many years ago I also experienced domestic violence, and when I find an opportunity to help, I do what I can.

Phelan said...

Thank you Maureen.

Bob from Athens said...

I hope she is sleeping with at least a shotgun and a pistol and knows how to use them. More important is that she is ready and willing to use them, no matter what the out come. All too often, restraining orders don't do anything to deter or restrain anyone. They are in my opinion like trying to hold a bull with spider webs.

Phelan said...

She's a smart gal Bob.

kymber said...

Phelan - great post! and i am so proud of you for offering her a place to stay...but i also know that you are smart enough to find a new "field hand" right when you are moving to a new farm - bahahahah!

i did a post, too. we all gotta stick together!

your friend,
kymber

(p.s. - i compared her to our "driveway chive" - go check it out when you have time!)

Phelan said...

I have always pushed community.

She would make an awesome farmhand! :)

kymber said...

you HAVE always pushed community! i am just giving you props for being the first one out of the gate for getting the new farmhand - bahahahahah! i would take her in a second, too - i just think that going to your place, with all of her animals, would be cheaper!

you're a good friend Phelan! i can't wait for more updates on your new land, creek, cabin and caves. wow are you in for an adventure!

your friend,
kymber
(so glad that you thoroughly understood the driveway chive reference. thanks for commenting.)

Linda said...

Phelan,
I have her plea on my blog, too. I am about to lose all I have, so I can only help to spread the word. It was nice of you to offer her a place to thrive, away from violence. She and her animals would have been happy there. Domestic violence was part of my life. Then, I married a peaceable preacher who turned violent on the honeymoon.

Phelan said...

I am so sorry to hear that Linda. Feel free to email me if you need to talk.

Could I have the link to your blog? Your name won't allow me to go to your profile page.

Phelan said...

Never mind Linda, I feel silly now. I know who you are! :) it's been a long day.

Moonwaves said...

Have made a small pledge (exchange rate helped with that, too) and blogged about it. I hope this story goes on to have a wonderfully happy ending.

edifice rex said...

I'll post her link on my blog tomorrow; I hate to say I forgot about it today. I grew up seeing such violence in friend's homes so I feel for her and wish her the best.

Linda said...

Phelan,
Thanks for telling me my blog link does not work.

www.practical-parsimony.blogspot.com is my blog. I don't know what happened to my profile page. I have lots of problems with my blog. Sometimes I get it fixed, sometimes not.

Linda said...

It's okay. Today, I am so tired I cannot think straight. Got any idea what the problem or solutions could be?

Phelan said...

Only thing I could think would be to check your blog settings. Make sure you have your profile set to public. When I click on your name it tells me I don't have permission to see it.

Linda said...

Can you see it now?

Phelan said...

I can see it now Linda.

Rashell Jeannet said...

In 1989, I married a man that I knew I didn't love but thought that I would grow to love. I didn't believe that I could find anyone that I would be worthy of. So I just married the first man that showed me affection. During the first 6 years of my marriage, I gave birth to three GORGEOUS children. They are what kept me sane. They are my light in the distance that I knew that I had to keep walking towards. They would become my reason to live.
The dark side was that my marriage was one of abuse. The things that he did to me were things that only happen in nightmares but they didn't. They were my reality. I stayed out of fear and when I finally realized that I was either going to end my own life or he was, I made him leave. I filed for divorce, found a job for the first time and became a single parent.
Life has a way of forcing your hand sometimes to point you in the direction that you should go. I knew that I was in danger but was too scared to change.
He is now married again and is soon getting divorced for the same reasons.
There is more but suffice it to say, he is not the person he portrays himself to be. We have had no contact with him since 2000 and are completely happy that way.
My life has changed completely and I am so in awe of how dramatic the change. I am getting married in April of 2014 to an AMAZING man, my children are all healthy phenomenal people, I have a beautiful grandson and a wonderful little homestead plot that I am raising my chickens, ducks and soon to get geese! LIFE IS GOOD!!!
I am proud of you, Phelan, for sharing both your story with us and hers so that we can be a community of people who share each others joys and sorrows. YOU truly help to make a difference and I am proud that you are YOU! You are a treasure!

Rashell Jeannet said...

In 1989, I married a man that I knew I didn't love but thought that I would grow to love. I didn't believe that I could find anyone that I would be worthy of. So I just married the first man that showed me affection. During the first 6 years of my marriage, I gave birth to three GORGEOUS children. They are what kept me sane. They are my light in the distance that I knew that I had to keep walking towards. They would become my reason to live.
The dark side was that my marriage was one of abuse. The things that he did to me were things that only happen in nightmares but they didn't. They were my reality. I stayed out of fear and when I finally realized that I was either going to end my own life or he was, I made him leave. I filed for divorce, found a job for the first time and became a single parent.
Life has a way of forcing your hand sometimes to point you in the direction that you should go. I knew that I was in danger but was too scared to change.
He is now married again and is soon getting divorced for the same reasons.
There is more but suffice it to say, he is not the person he portrays himself to be. We have had no contact with him since 2000 and are completely happy that way.
My life has changed completely and I am so in awe of how dramatic the change. I am getting married in April of 2014 to an AMAZING man, my children are all healthy phenomenal people, I have a beautiful grandson and a wonderful little homestead plot that I am raising my chickens, ducks and soon to get geese! LIFE IS GOOD!!!
I am proud of you, Phelan, for sharing both your story with us and hers so that we can be a community of people who share each others joys and sorrows. YOU truly help to make a difference and I am proud that you are YOU! You are a treasure! Thank you for doing what you are doing!

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