Jane Eaton Hamilton

"At the bottom of the box is hope." – Ellis Avery.

Tag: Kelly Sundberg

“The Also Best American Anthology,” said Kerry Neville. The Notables:

Here are just a few of the 2018 Notable Essays from Best American Essays, with mine stuck on the end, by people I know. It’s an honour to be listed with them; these essayists are skilled and talented. Have a look at Best American Notable lists … you’ll be in good hands if you seek out any of the work. It’s a trustworthy source of recommended literature.

The Grammar of Untold Stories, Lois Ruskai Melina, Colorado Review

(…), Lia Woodall, Literal Latte

How Deep is Your Love? Alison Kinney, Lapham’s Quarterly

Beyond the Primordial Ooze, Dinty Moore, Issues in Science and Technology

Mates, Kelly Sundberg, Gulf Coast

Swan, Late, Irina Dumitrescu | Longreads

The Human Cost of the Ghost Economy, Melissa Chadburn, Longreads

Things I Never Told Her, Marion Ryan, Granta

Finding El Saez, Alia Voltz, Travel Stories

Rain Like Cotton, Jennifer Kabot, Bomb Magazine

Manifestus, Kerry Neville, Juxtaprose

A Life Story, Ashley P Taylor, Entropy

What We Aren’t, Or the Ongoing Divide, Jennifer N Baker, Kweli Journal

Skinning the Rabbit, Jane Eaton Hamilton, The Sun

 

 

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) BELIEVE THE VICTIM

This is a literary blog and exactly the place literary essays about domestic violence belong.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month in the US. November is Domestic Violence Awareness month in Canada.

S/he/they don’t have to be hitting you for you to be a victim; abuse happens with gaslighting, lying, cheating, yelling, sexual abuse, dehumanizing you, demeaning you, threatening you, throwing things, frightening you/the children. This month and next, I ask everyone to remember that this is not just a heterosexual, able-bodied crime. The disabled are victims of violence at home at a much higher rate than are the able-bodied. Queers and trans people are frequent victims of violence both outside the household perpetrated by strangers, and inside it perpetrated by their intimate partners. If you want to read more about queer violence, I started a website to collect the pieces I could find about it at www.queerviolence.com.

Thank you, readers, for having the interests of victims at heart this month and next. It is your understanding that will make a difference. Thank you for educating yourselves.

All a household needs for domestic violence to occur is one partner who feels entitled and willing to batter. It’s not about the victim. It’s entirely caused by, about and the fault of the offender.

Why doesn’t she leave? S/he/they have told her that she’s crazy, she’s imagining things, it’s not that bad, s/he/they love her. Periodically, the violence ends and the loving relationship begins anew, refreshed and revitalized This pattern of violence broken by love broken by violence broken by love eventually twists a victim’s mind. She believes in the love. She hungers for it. She needs it. It’s the “real” relationship, after that. The violence is just something to be borne. This creates a psychological condition called trauma bonding. (In a hostage situation the same dynamic would be called Stockholm Syndrome.) When there’s violence, she would give anything, do anything, be anybody just to have the pendulum swing back to where her partner loves and approves of her again.

Kids are often caught in the crossfire and this is particularly grievous because they are observing behaviour that will make them feel “at home” as adults. They won’t know how to form healthy relationships with healthy people. If you can’t make yourself leave for yourself, make yourself leave on behalf of your children.

Call your local transition house because, there, you will have breathing room to think through your circumstances and to begin the process of healing and figuring out the next steps to your free future.

What can you do? Support resources helping battered women. Educate yourself on feminism and why it’s critical to everyone’s future. BELIEVE THE VICTIMS. If you like the offender, and you don’t like the victim, nevertheless, BELIEVE THE VICTIM.

Read Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft.

Below, I’ll link to literary essays on abuse. Please feel free to add the ones that have been important to you in the comments.

It Will Look Like a Sunset by Kelly Sundberg, Guernica, Best American Essays

Apology Not Accepted, a blog by Kelly Sundberg with guest essayists on the topic of IPV

(Stay tuned for a book on the topic by Kelly Sundberg in 2018.)

Using CNF to Teach the Realities of Intimate Partner Violence to First Responders: An Annotated Bibliography, by Christian Exoo, Assay Journal

The Story of My Fear Over Time, by Kelly Thompson, The Rumpus

Underwater, by Kelly Thompson, Manifest Station

I Understand Why Some Women Stay, by Virginia Mátir, xojane

The Mule Deer, by Debbie Weingarten, Vela

On Car Accidents and Second Wives, by Mandy Rose, Apology Not Accepted

Never Say I Didn’t Bring You Flowers, by Jane Eaton Hamilton, Apology Not Accepted, Full Grown People, notable in Best American Essays

 

 

Writing About Trauma While Female…

…is slipping on banana peels.

Kelly Sundberg: Can Confessional Writing Be Literary?

Kelly Sundberg has a way with words

One the the best things about my 2014 was a group on FB for women writers called Binders, and, in particular, its offshoot group of essayists.  There, I’ve discovered the extraordinary talents of Karrie Higgins, Sonya Huber, Jen Pastiloff and Amy Gigi Alexander, among others.  Colour me grateful.

But this is really a blog post about my discovery of Kelly Sundberg, a writer whose wisdom has the deep purple of new bruise, but also enriches, educates, heals.  She’s literary, sophisticated, and smart as tacks.  Plus, you can warm your hands on her style.

Here she is at her finest:

It Will Look Like a Sunset

And here she is today, on her blog, answering a woman who wrote to her about battering:

On Telling Our Stories

“In divorces, the common mantra is It takes two. This is generally true, but I see people saying the same thing about abuse, and no, it does not take two. Abuse takes only one. And because of that, there are sides in abusive situations, and anyone who truly supports the victim will be willing to take a side, will be willing to eliminate contact with the abusive person, and anyone who thinks that it is “immature” or “petty” of me to say that does not understand abusers. Anyone who thinks that it is okay to remain in contact with an abuser does not understand that the abuser takes silence as permission, that their silence empowers the abuser, and that the person who remains in contact with the abuser (assuming they have not taken a stand directly to the abuser, and let’s face it, if they have taken that stand, then the abuser would have dropped them already) becomes complicit in the abuse. I wholly believe this. It is a controversial view. Our culture thrives on neutrality, glorifies neutrality…”

 

 

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