A Domestic Violence Diorama
I invite a handful of bloggers into my email inbox because they inspire me. Most of them are friends, even if we maintain our friendships mostly via email and text and phone. A couple of them are people I’d like to meet.
Penelope Trunk falls into the latter category. She doesn’t seem to worry a lot about what people will think about her, and since I have tended to worry about that too much, she is one of my (s)heroes.
Last week she posted This is me battling impostor syndrome, in which she writes that her husband, the Farmer, shoved her during an argument.
And then her next post, My plan for going forward. To leave or not to leave?
Between Trunk’s posts and the reader comments, you have a diorama of domestic violence:
It is her fault. She is exaggerating. She should leave right this minute. She should leave next time. She’s a fool to stay. He should leave her–she’s crazy. She’s making this up. What about the children if she stays? What about the children if she goes? Will she ever marry again if this, her second marriage, fails? What has she done wrong? Shouldn’t she have seen this coming? It’s her fault.
And she wonders, in the middle of these complex questions, about the impact of writing about domestic violence on her blog (a blog that received 750,000 page views in September):
“If it weren’t that I’ve already blogged about sex abuse, my miscarriage and my divorce, I’d worry that my blog will never get past the topic of domestic violence, and I’ll face blogger doom. But I know from past experience that being genuine with other people helps one’s career get stronger.”
At the risk of blogger doom, I’ll keep writing about domestic violence–moving toward a world where it doesn’t exist.
Every woman must make her own decision about what feels safe to reveal. It’s still so hard to write about domestic violence because of the blame and shame and judgment that’s heaped on you. It’s not an easy thing to do, and the responses aren’t easy either. There’s no “fairness” in these realms, no formula for how to get through it, how to deal with it, how to process it, how to move on – wherever that is. I love your commitment to write and write and write some more, moving us “toward a world where it doesn’t exist.” Too lofty a goal? Absolutely not. How will we ever get to that world if you and others don’t tenaciously take the risk? So thank you. And may the ink be with you, always.