January 2, 2020

2020

New Hampshire, April 1 2019

2019 was a challenging year, but also a really great one. We started off in a dark, stuck place... and I really pin the turning point to this April 1st 'getaway' in the woods... Just me and my munchkins, music, campfire, safe and cozy... and we all came back stronger and clearer.

There is so much that I want to write, so much to say... but for now what I will say is this: I read back the last post that I wrote, 8 months ago... and while it is all absolutely true, the 'so much left out' was very specifically leaving out the abuse we were enduring, the abuse we had been enduring for a very long time. I wrote that post when I had not yet secured my own safety, or my children's safety. In fact I wrote it days before I would go to the police and do exactly that, and when I read back my words, I can see myself gathering the courage, finding the strength.

While I stand behind most of what I wrote, the one part that makes me cringe is where I lay out a determination to 'make' someone else a parent. I no longer believe it is possible to make anyone else an improved version of themselves, no matter how fierce the effort. I no longer believe that if I do everything just right, if I say the right thing or I wear the right dress or I just find the right words or I get the right help that I can somehow will another person to be decent or safe or honest or stable. And I certainly don't believe that's possible when you are dealing with an abusive man, which is a very specific and dangerous challenge. All I can do is leave space for that transformation, leave hope... but it is neither my responsibility, nor within my power to make those changes in another person. 

I wish I could say that I have total confidence that 2020 will only bring more of the safety and joy that has allowed these kids and I to flourish for the last eight months, but the reality is that the laws are not adequate, and I just don't know. What I do know is that I will now set my determination towards ensuring our safety, towards staying honest, staying strong, staying open, and staying together. 


* I felt pulled to make this clarification because I know how many women are struggling in the silent torture of domestic abuse, and while I can't say as much as I'd like to... I do feel it's vital to say something, to have the conversation, and to stop treating domestic violence as though it's 'dirty laundry' and something shameful. 

6 comments:

  1. Lily, thank you so much for your blog post and for making the decision to talk openly about the topic. Having grown up in a household where verbal and physical abuse were very present, even though not every day or week, I often wonder how it all would have evolved if my mother had had more support. Still, after many years and with three kids between 3 and 12, she made a secret exit, which I think was super brave back in the early nineties. I do think that talking more about it can help making other people feel less alone when in that situation, so thank you again.
    I am so happy that you and your children are at least safer now, and hope 2020 will turn out to be a great year for all of you!
    Fine

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  2. I'm always so inspired by your bravery and beautiful words. Wishing you all the very best 2020.

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  3. Sending love and a neighborly wave from the Boston (north) area too <3

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  4. I started reading your blog when your son (and mine) were itty bitty babies. I loved your photography and simplicity. Then I lost track of the blog. Today, as I am clearing out my computer and bookmarks, getting ready to also embark on a new path, I found this post. And I just want to say I'm so sorry for your heartbreak. I can feel your strength though. You're doing great.

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  5. Such an important part of our lives is to speak up when we are being abused. Thank you for writing this. It may give others the strength to speak up and seek help also. Although i agree that the laws are not adequate i know the police did everything they could to help my loved ones who were trying to leave abusive relationships.

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