Beating Fear with a Stick, courage, Guest Posts, I Have Done Love

I Am A Woman Who Survived.

June 5, 2014

*Update: This post got The Manifest-Station awarded the “Freshly Pressed” Award! Brava, Janine! Jen here. I have a broken foot as many of you know, so I am giving the site all my attention right now. I am over the moon with the posts these days! Pinching myself! Today’s essay is one I hope you will read and share and help me make viral. This is so well-written, so important. Anyone, and I mean anyone, who has known abuse- you are not alone. And you don’t need to stay. Janine Canty, you blew me away with this beautifully nuanced and heartbreaking piece.

I Am A Woman Who Survived. By Janine Canty. Every October I wear a purple ribbon. It represents women who have lost their lives to senseless violence. It represents men and children who have lost their lives to senseless violence. It represents people who died too young, with most of their words still inside them. It represents the empty place at a table. It represents a voice forever silenced by familiar hands. It also represents endurance and survival. It represents the years I endured. The seventeen years I survived inside the basement apartment, and on a floor in my Mother-In-Law’s den, and in a pretty little brown house affordable because it was in a flood zone, and in the blue house with the failing septic system. That little piece of ribbon represents the times I was too afraid to speak. Or move. Or cry. Or breathe. That little piece of ribbon celebrates the me I grew up to be. I earned that ribbon. I love that ribbon, and I hate that ribbon. It reminds me that we live in a world capable of beauty, and brutality. It reminds me of a hunger that can’t be curbed or controlled. It reminds me that I want my granddaughters to grow up believing that hands are gentle, and strong, and wonderful. They are things designed to caress, and to hold. They are designed to build foundations, and to express oneself with chalk, and ink, pencil, and crayon. To immortalize childhood in clay. Hands are not weapons. They are not a punishment. They are not something to be afraid of. They are not something to flinch from .I want them to grow up, and have homes where they never have to be afraid. To speak. Or move. Or cry. Or breathe. I want them to grow up to have partners who make them feel valued, and beautiful. I want them to look in the mirror, and see something besides despair. Or fear. I want them to see, and feel, taste, and experience their own beauty. I want them to believe in that beauty. Every October I stand with strangers, and with friends, and neighbors. I stand with policemen in the dusk, and the rain, and the wind. I walk alongside people with similar stories. I carry a candle in the dark. Sometimes I speak a strangers name. Always I cry for someone I never met. Every October I remember that I’m free and I’m alive, and I am humbled at what a simple gift it is to open my eyes in the morning. I am amazed at the sound of my own laughter. I am in awe at the singular joy found in hot water, and at the bottom of a shampoo bottle. After you’ve lived in the dark, the long lines at WalMart, and a walk through the supermarket, are friggin’ adventures. Like dancing under the rainbow. Every October I am a little older, and hopefully a little wiser. I look in the mirror, and the broken woman that I was, the one who walked down that driveway,in November of 2000, she’s a memory. She’s all about the things that happened to me. The woman in the mirror, the one you see at Wal Mart, and the dairy bar, and laughing over a med cart in the nursing home, she’s who I am. Who I became in spite of all the damage, and because of the damage. She’s all the parts that survived the run through fire, and came out on the other side, with new, unblistered skin. Every October the question inevitably comes up. The question I hate. The question I am beginning to think has no answer. “Why did you stay”? I’ve discussed this. I’ve sat on the nightly news. I’ve talked to the newspaper. I’ve talked to countless women and even a few men on a hotline. I’ve stood at a podium in the State House, and addressed legislature. I am a woman who survived 17 years with an abusive man. I am a woman who loves words. I am told I can be an eloquent speaker/ writer/ person/ whatever. I am not eloquent when it comes to that question. I don’t know why your daughter/sister/ niece/ cousin/ brother/ son, stays. I don’t know why some people grow up with hatred where a heart once was. A rage that overtakes the soul. I don’t know why people hurt people. There’s fear. I know about fear. Everybody who’s ever seen a spider, or a snake, knows fear. Everybody who’s ever stood up to speak in a crowded room, knows fear. Anyone who’s gotten married, given birth, or started a new job, has strapped fear on like an apron. Anyone who’s ever found an unexpected lump in the shower, knows what it is to sit in the shadows, with the icy fingers of fear. Fear of the unknown. It’s a biggie, right? Fear is a mountain full of mean. Fear freezes, and cripples, and destroys. Fear sucks. Fear is power and heat. If fear could be bottled, cancer would be cured, and there would be no more war. Every October I put on a purple ribbon, and I hope for something better in my world, and in yours. I hope that one person somewhere, just one, will understand. One person will see, that if they are being terrorized within the four walls of their home, it’s as much a crime as a mugging on the street. I hope for more education for teachers, and volunteers, and the police force. For judges, and employers, Parents, and children. Victims and survivors. I hope for someone more eloquent than I, to explain this in a few simple words. I hope for just one person to believe that they don’t deserve to close their eyes beside fear each night. They don’t deserve to wake up afraid of what the sunshine in a new day will bring. Every October it’s 1978 again. I am 13, and in a brand new town. I have eyeglasses, and a haircut that I hate. I have a little sister that could give the breck girl a run for her money. I want thin thighs. I want to be able to jump over the hobby horse in gym. I want to grow up to be a writer. Or an actress. I want to be everything I’m not. Confident and beautiful. I want to live in New York. My first kiss from a boy hurts. My skin turns angry colors underneath his hand. He demands a kiss, and I obey without thinking about it. Because my arm feels like it’s going to snap. Because I am afraid in a way I have never been before. Because I am 13, and I don’t know any better. I don’t see things like respect, and self love as viable options for myself. Afterwards, he laughs. Maybe this is just the way boys are. Maybe this is normal. Maybe I’m as abnormal and weird as I feel at 13. I am addicted to the ABC Afterschool Specials. They talk against drinking, and drugs. They warn about strangers touching you in a private place. Everyone gets a happy ending in 45 minutes. What’s not to love, as the credits roll, and the Bee Gees sing “How do you mend a broken heart”? It’s 1981. I have acne to go with my chubby thighs. I’ve never conquered the hobby horse in gym. Crowded locker rooms, and scratchy towels that smell like other people’s sweat, are never going to be my thing. I’m courting an eating disorder while scarfing down Town Spa pizza. I want to live in Europe. I want to drive a sports car with the top down. I want contact lenses. I want not to be sixteen, with chubby thighs, and acne. The boy next door plays the guitar for me, with deceptively gentle hands. He tells me I’m beautiful. I believe him, as I nurse bruises his teeth have left against my mouth. I have seen my father on his knees. I have seen my parents ready to kill one another over a can of flat beer. I have seen my father in handcuffs, and packing a suitcase. I’ve seen him walking away, and I’ve seen him coming back. I am never getting married. I am never having babies. It’s 1983. I am 18. I put on a borrowed wedding dress. I walk down the aisle, towards the boy next door. I’m carrying a bouquet in shaking hands, and a baby in my belly. My mother has stopped crying long enough to put on a kick ass purple, Mother of the Bride, dress. She looks stunning. She also looks cold and dazed. My sister is crying softly beside me. She tells me how romantic it is, as she holds my bouquet while I’m sick. She asks me if she can have my stereo and posters. She asks me what it feels like. I ask her to shut up. My father puts down the Rosary he’s held for 3 weeks, to walk me down the aisle. He looks like he’s craving that flat beer. I’m just enough of a Catholic girl to understand that I disappointed Jesus by having condomless sex before marriage. I’m just enough of a Daddy’s girl to be devastated at the look on my Father’s face during our shared, silent, march down the aisle. I am 18. I am married. I have never cooked a meal. I have never driven a car. My sister is barely 15. She dances too closely with the 20 year old best man. she catches the bouquet, and finds herself lost in her first pair of brown male eyes. My groom has been drunk since 10 am, when he drove to the church listening to David Bowies “Modern Love”. His arm was dangling out a window. An early December sun was in his eyes. My future was nearly derailed by a rusted out red Chevy running a light. Later, he gave thanks under an altar as he kissed me. He tasted like Listerine, and Michelob, and Copper.   It’s 1989. I have 3 beautiful babies. I have bruises, but they’re in places only I can see. I have a voice growing rusty from lack of use. I answer to names you wouldn’t call an animal. He tells me I’m ugly and fat. I believe him. I don’t have a split lip or a broken bone to show a doctor. This is so clearly not the Farrah Fawcett, “Burning Bed” depiction of abuse. I believe it’s not abuse. My children who’ve never known any other life, believe it. My parents live with it. The few friends I’ve held onto from high school, are driven away by it. My world has diminished to the size of a small bedroom in the back part of my husbands childhood home. I still don’t drive. I don’t yet have a high school diploma. I don’t have friends. I have fear, and 3 beautiful babies, and bruises in places only I can see. It’s 1989, and I’m pregnant again for the fourth time in 5 years. I am 6 months pregnant. I am fat and slow, and I disgust him. I am never fast enough for him. His arm catches me across the chest. Later he’ll say it was an accident, and he never means to get that upset. None of it will matter. All that will matter is the chair I fell over. An ugly green chair, with a rip in the vinyl. Stuffing poking out like cottage cheese. I could be as fat and awkward as the day was long, and maybe, just maybe, that was why my little boy died inside me. None of it mattered after I saw his sweet, silent, face. My little boy died, and he took my belief in happily ever after with him. My baby died, and I hated myself. I hated my husband, and that ugly green chair, and that arm. It’s 1995. We return to the little blue house with the failing septic system. We’d been younger in that house. Calling naivety happiness. How I needed to believe it could be. We ate moose track ice cream out of green Tupperware bowls. We had returned to a familiar place, as different people. Fear lived beside me as unseen as a mosquito in a windstorm. Crippling, freezing, powerful fear . It didn’t show up all of a sudden, it didn’t announce itself with fireworks. It was quiet and insidious. Like mold. It was stale air, and molecules. It wasn’t to be questioned, it just was. I carried fear like a tired child. It was as much a part of me as my arms and legs, and my lazy eye. You can’t play the game if you don’t know what the rules are. You can’t question yourself when you’re constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. When all you’ve known is fear, fear becomes love.. When the body begins dying, the heart turns into a selfish Mofo. It pulls the blood away from the extremities. It hogs all the blood. So that it can continue to beat. So that it can survive. The body becomes colder. It becomes numb. As a medical person, today, I call that mottling. Back then I wouldn’t have known enough to call it survival. My body was amazing, as all bodies are. It allowed itself to become numb. I became numb, I survived. It’s 2000, and something. I’m working in the nursing home. I’ve rediscovered parts of myself I’d forgotten all about. My love of words, and writing. My love of card games, and scrabble, and walks in a warm rain. I am a work in progress. Forgiving myself is still a jigsaw in the making. It’s October. I put on a purple ribbon. I sit on the evening news. People call me brave because of the crap I’ve been through. People called me brave, because I didn’t lay down and die, but at one point I wanted to. I wanted to lay down and die. I wanted to cease existing. I wanted to cease hurting. That’s what strong armed the fear. That’s what numbed me, and then brought me back. My desire to die was where I found my will to live. That’s where I found the capacity to love myself. To forgive myself for things that were beyond my control. That’s where I found the strength to walk down that driveway. Don’t ask me why I stayed. I can’t answer that. Don’t ask me why your sister or neighbor, or friend stays. I can’t answer that. Not in black and white. Not in simple words. It’s individual to the person. Like hair color. Do I suspect fear? The all knowing, all powerful, crippling, freezing, fear? Yeah. I suspect it hides behind the curtains. It keeps company with the shattered dishes. The broken dreams, and the bruises no one else can see. Don’t ask me why I stayed. Ask me why I left. Then put on a purple ribbon, and carry a candle beside me in the dark. 67117_10151138515472569_450235920_n My name is Janine Canty. I have been writing since age 11 when a teacher told me I had “talent.” Writing has always been a tonic for me. Being published is a pretty little dream I keep tucked away in a safe place. I am not a professional writer though the passion for it has stayed with me like a campfire. I make my living as a CNA- Med Technician in a busy nursing facility in a tiny Northern town almost no one has ever heard of. I dabble in blog writing, and all things Facebook. I fail at tweeting.   Jennifer Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Her work has been featured on The Rumpus, The Nervous Breakdown, Jezebel, Salon, among others. Jen’s leading one of her signature writing/yoga retreats to Ojai, Calif over Labor Day in Ojai, Calif and she and bestselling author Emily Rapp will be leading another writing retreat to Vermont in October. Check out for all retreat listings and workshops to attend one in a city near you. Next up:  SeattleLondon, Atlanta, South Dakota, NYC, Dallas, Tucson. She tweets/instagrams at @jenpastiloff. To submit to The Manifest-Station email Next workshop is London July 6. 

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  • Reply bonnie June 5, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    powerful. thank you for sharing your story.

  • Reply Danielle June 5, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    Very talented. Congratulations, on the writing and on the leaving. <3

  • Reply Vicki Mayk June 5, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Janine, you ARE a writer. Wonderful words, powerfully and beautifully written.

  • Reply carol June 5, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    beautifully written…the question is always “how do you keep going?”, not “how do you stay put?” …that’s what we teach each other, that’s the lessons we can learn from each other. Thank you for reminding me of that.

  • Reply Naomi June 5, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story, so eloquently written x

  • Reply mamavalveeta03 June 5, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    I second, Vicki, and obviously, Jen, in saying, “You ARE a writer, Janine!” Keep writing. And thanks for sharing your story.

  • Reply bornagainbrazilian June 5, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    I would buy and read your book if you wrote it!!

  • Reply kylie June 5, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    youre so amazing janine and a true survivor! <3

  • Reply DebB June 6, 2014 at 9:33 am

    Thank you for putting into words things that I have never been able to say.

  • Reply pamelala95 June 6, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    This piece is magnificent. There were so many spots where I held my breath and choked in understanding. I am circulating my own piece about this topic right now, so the art, beauty, and honesty of this piece emerge with particular familiarity.

  • Reply Marisa June 6, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Thank you for telling your story so honestly. I spent 22 years with someone who in the last 10 years of our marriage became extremely emotionally abusive, and continues to try to manipulate me and question my parenting skills on a regular basis. I too get asked regularly “why did you stay?” I wonder if he ever gets asked why he is so cruel, selfish, and disrespectful?

    • Reply ruthykay June 12, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      That is exactly the question that should be asked “Why is he so cruel, selfish, and disrespectful?” Asking why someone stayed sounds like they are to blame, when it is the other way around.

  • Reply A Little Girl Help for Adult Victims Of Child Abuse - HAVOCA June 9, 2014 at 4:27 am

    […] I Am A Woman Who Survived. […]

  • Reply ashjkc96 June 9, 2014 at 11:16 am

    absolutely inspirational. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Reply Soul Walker June 9, 2014 at 11:26 am

    This is amazingly well-written and very powerful.

  • Reply mommys lil sociopath June 9, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Reblogged this on this is why she can't have nice things.

  • Reply beautyscoopblog June 9, 2014 at 11:40 am

    I’m Speechless. And tearful. This is so beautifully written and moving. I’m so glad you eventually found peace. Thankyou so much for sharing.

  • Reply tenderlytina June 9, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Brilliantly written

  • Reply ashokbhatia June 9, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    It takes great courage to open up on such things in life. Bravo!
    Here is a post you may like:

  • Reply Juliette Kings June 9, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Every teenage girl should read this.

  • Reply theromancechapter June 9, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Loved this. I have a blog as well where I read romance novels and review them. Please follow me and my Twitter account @theromancechptr

  • Reply Love, Life & Whatever June 9, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    Wow…words could n’t have been manifested better….I am just following you….if you get time do visit my blog… I will be glad if you do as I loved your writing…simple yet I depth….

  • Reply Denise [But First, Live!] June 9, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    very touching! thank you for sharing such a powerful story. your story does not go in vain as i’m sure so many women ‘in your shoes’ will be inspired to move fwd with their lives.

  • Reply cguerrero993 June 9, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Reblogged this on Con-Con Speaks.

  • Reply Fighting BED June 9, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Thank you for sharing this.x

  • Reply abuziyaad June 9, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Reblogged this on abuziyaad's Blog.

  • Reply thevirginmummy June 9, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Beautifully and eloquently written though it somehow seems to minimalize the subject to say so. You’re an inspiration to so many people though you’re right the ‘why did you stay’ is such a personal, individual thing it’s impossible to describe. Here’s to your future. Xxx

  • Reply priyaspeakshermind June 9, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Reblogged this on priyaspeakshermind and commented:
    What a beautiful Blog!

  • Reply lmaheshchowdary June 9, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Reblogged this on Illuminating thoughts&feelings.

  • Reply nasramjad June 9, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Reblogged this on Nasramjad's Blog.

  • Reply wakingofthebear June 9, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.

  • Reply dizzywithfeetplanted June 9, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Reblogged this on Dizzy With Feet Planted.

  • Reply awax1217 June 9, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    I understand your pain but I relish in your recovery. A really tough road filled with rocks and you had no shoes. The fact you survived and conquered shows an inner strength that I am glad you found.

  • Reply nicciattfield June 9, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Beautiful article. And an important alternative question. “Why did you leave?” courage, I would imagine.

  • Reply eezna June 9, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Omg. …it’s such a touching read. Mental abuse can be as devastating as physical. Women we ware strong do never give up..thanks for sharing

  • Reply The World According To Miss Thing June 9, 2014 at 4:05 pm


  • Reply naya360 June 9, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Reblogged this on naya360's Blog.

  • Reply Jamie K. June 9, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Just curious, but is this the original post for this essay? I’d love t reblog it but would much rather do it for the original author? I am currently on my Kindle so may be just not able to tell as easily.

  • Reply ivaswithin June 9, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    This is the truth Ivas 9:6:2014

  • Reply communikatze June 9, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    thank you so much for sharing your story and thank you for getting up and leaving.

  • Reply kikimariexo June 9, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Reblogged this on kikimarie's Blog and commented:
    Loved reading this..

  • Reply Shandra June 9, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    Beautiful. Truly. Beautiful.

  • Reply John Carter June 9, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    Reblogged this on insuraati and commented:
    The words that whisper ‘ shout and then breeze past your conscious

  • Reply John Carter June 9, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    The words that whisper ..scream …and yet breeze through the soul ! One wonders after reading the whole piece if the eloquence of the words was more pleasurable or the pain they were drenched in …… Bravo Lady

  • Reply candzbuena June 9, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    Reblogged this on candybuena.

  • Reply obzervashunal June 9, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    Fantastic tale, wonderfully told…

  • Reply lovely0104 June 9, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    A read I enjoyed.

  • Reply lovely0104 June 9, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    A read I enjoyed.

  • Reply lovingthemomlife June 9, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    A beautiful ending to a painful story. Thank you for sharing.

    My bruising was always on the inside. The looks, the double entendres, the insidious ways in which he took a strong veteran, played upon her father’s abandonment and fed his narcissism…

    I am now free, but still struggling. Thank you for the encouragement through your beautiful writing.

  • Reply myobt June 9, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    Very powerful stuff. Beautiful job.

  • Reply Godless Cranium June 9, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    Very powerful story. It must be hard to share but thank you so much for doing so.

  • Reply heartabandoned915 June 9, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    This was amazing! Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply Janine Canty June 9, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    Sorry guys, I’ve got to to do this as a group thing. Earlier today, I said: “Thank You will never be enough”…. and it’s not. Thank You, times infinity for reading my story. But more importantly, Thank You for sharing my story. I don’t expect it to change the world. I’ll settle for it saving a life.

    • Reply Angel willow June 22, 2014 at 6:20 am

      Your words leapt off the page, choked me with their insight, such tears of joy to discover someone who survived for as long as I (16 years) tears of pain- to remember what we left behind – my fear is still there, only different now- fear of whether I can keep the strength to keep going, fear of whether I can and will make it to the other side, fear of shame/humiliation/further rejection from society- he took everything I thought I was, used me all up/broke me mentally/emotionally/physically/financially and then tossed us out – when he still sends threatening letters/emails I find myself withdrawing- literally holing myself up in the house trying to shut everything out in the hope that it will just go away … Like the bad dreams – when and how do you get a life back? It was an absolute pleasure to read your story – to see “a window into your soul”-a mirror reflection for me and a chance to say Thankyou for the hope you provide – that everyone gets the right to another chance of life!

  • Reply clarepursch June 9, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    Reblogged this on Through These Eyes.

  • Reply sophistijaded June 9, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    Reblogged this on sophistijaded and commented:
    I love hearing inspiring stories of self-discovery and healing. That’s what it’s all about …

  • Reply jennykrafter June 9, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    Reblogged this on Blissful Pages.

  • Reply jackamatya June 9, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    Reblogged this on jackatheaven.

  • Reply amazonleopardprintcess4 June 9, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    The most beautiful thing about this piece, in my eyes, it the raw conviction in which you express your story. You are right in so many ways in regards to the duality of our hands, destruction or healing, nurturing or batteling, but you are a warrior these days armed with the poetic truth that will enable others to walk that purple path with support, including your loved ones, and that is a gift. Thank you for sharing your strength and your story

  • Reply A regular Indian girl! June 10, 2014 at 12:43 am

    I went numb when I read this. Thanks for writing. Someone somewhere might get courage out of it. I love your purple ribbon 🙂

  • Reply altermie June 10, 2014 at 2:05 am

    I know fear too… I could have been your daughter! My mom survived to but had not found the strength to rise from her ashes… Yet! I think you are an inspiration! You are strong!!! Thanks for dabbling!

  • Reply chrisboma June 10, 2014 at 2:06 am

    Reblogged this on The Salonist and commented:
    An inspirational experience to put you in the shoes of the survivor.

  • Reply masetsomi June 10, 2014 at 2:18 am

    Reblogged this on Art. Music. Love..

  • Reply Therese Lu June 10, 2014 at 2:40 am

    Thank you for sharing a part of you. This was beautiful.

  • Reply samdyljor June 10, 2014 at 3:03 am

    Finally I read my story and do not have someone trying to explain why I stayed as long as I did thank you

  • Reply silverrosesc June 10, 2014 at 4:15 am

    Thank you.

  • Reply stane72 June 10, 2014 at 4:47 am

    Reblogged this on Providing Solutions: Making life easier.

  • Reply Carl June 10, 2014 at 4:55 am

    Reblogged this on Asking, Exploring, Seeking and commented:
    I’m humbled and awed.

  • Reply thelmajam01 June 10, 2014 at 5:12 am

    very nice story

  • Reply Constance Torhalt June 10, 2014 at 5:13 am

    Reblogged this on Reflections.

  • Reply thelmajam01 June 10, 2014 at 5:15 am

    Reblogged this on thelmajam and commented:
    being a woman this story was so touchable to everyone

  • Reply mfbedenli June 10, 2014 at 5:36 am

    Reblogged this on mfatihbedenli.

  • Reply followechoes June 10, 2014 at 5:41 am

    A beautifully written powerful blog. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Jamie K. June 10, 2014 at 5:58 am

    Reblogged this on j* of all trades and commented:
    An amazing story by Janine Canty. I would never be able to understand going through something like this, as I was blessed with a very good life, but I hope that this woman can inspire and help others out there like herself. Please keep the story going.

  • Reply simaroseblossom June 10, 2014 at 6:21 am

    Wonderful piece Thank you for being vulberable

  • Reply meeinal June 10, 2014 at 6:25 am

    Very well written…..I admire your strengths!

  • Reply drtsneuromojo June 10, 2014 at 6:39 am

    Your teacher was tuned in! I can’t stop looking at my hands, thank you for a new and sobering perspective. I will now shut off my phone, run home and hug my young daughters tight.

  • Reply drtsneuromojo June 10, 2014 at 6:39 am

    Reblogged this on Dr T's NeuroMojo.

  • Reply asteria June 10, 2014 at 6:42 am

    Reblogged this on iSurvived and commented:

  • Reply Ishita June 10, 2014 at 7:48 am

    brilliant an compelling!!
    So many times we mistake fear for our own shortcomings and then go on putting up with behaviour which is unacceptable….

  • Reply abhiseverusjackson June 10, 2014 at 7:58 am

    Now that’s what is called as an awesome work of talent.. Great job

  • Reply Carole Parkes June 10, 2014 at 8:45 am

    So eloquently written. I am fortunate to have never experienced anything anything like this, but I believe everyone should know your story so they are on their guard; that’s why I’m reblogging.

  • Reply Carole Parkes June 10, 2014 at 8:48 am

    Reblogged this on New Author -Carole Parkes and commented:
    Everyone should read this as a warning. It doesn’t only apply to females, males can be abused as well.

  • Reply VeryLoudYouth June 10, 2014 at 9:08 am

    Wow. This is a wonderful story.

  • Reply Lucy Locket June 10, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Powerful and eloquent

  • Reply rikkilynn June 10, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Thank you for being so brave,

  • Reply kbilliej June 10, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Reblogged this on inspireaffirmspirit.

  • Reply kbilliej June 10, 2014 at 12:39 pm


  • Reply appslotus June 10, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Reblogged this on Apps Lotus's Blog.

  • Reply Justine Froelker June 10, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    This is unbelievably powerful and hauntingly beautiful. Thank you so much in sharing your story with the world, what courage that took. Through your brave ownership you will only help change the world. Thank you, Justine

  • Reply The Modern Day Fairy Godmother June 10, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Reblogged this on The Modern Day Fairy Godmother and commented:
    This is so moving! A must read

  • Reply kpage0125 June 10, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Reblogged this on kpage0125's Blog and commented:
    An absolutely beautifully written piece on survival.

  • Reply creationbymp June 10, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    I Am A Women Who Overcomes…

  • Reply talksofawanderer June 10, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    So touching!

  • Reply stoneeden June 10, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Reblogged this on Stone of Eden and commented:
    This is definitely an inspiration. #freshlypressed

  • Reply kmount333 June 10, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    Amazing, and powerful. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply marilynmendoza June 10, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    I am also a woman who survived. I stayed in abusive relationships and I also survived a brutal rape and stabbing from a stranger on my 19th birthday. Most of all I survived fear, agoraphobia, and panic attacks. I am not ashamed. I am more than a survivor as people like to call m, I am victorious!

  • Reply marilynmendoza June 10, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    Thank you for your story, my sister. Aloha,

  • Reply justmefromthere June 10, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Reblogged this on justmefromthere.

  • Reply ashonae June 10, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    Reblogged this on ashonae.

  • Reply Laurène June 10, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    Beautiful. Powerful. And yet so awful. Thank you Janine for sharing your story of resilience with us. I can totally relate….no one can understand why someone stays in an abusive relationship because it’s a trap, indeed, and because the person staying isn’t able to think anymore, just to fight and survive each day….All my thoughts to you and people suffering…light will come one day;-)

  • Reply Mon Ange June 10, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    Bravo! Brave woman! Stand up tall. Walk away from abuse!

  • Reply kartiksamant June 10, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    Reblogged this on kartiksamant.

  • Reply mackandzack June 10, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    Wow. This was so powerful & beautiful. Thank you so much for this honesty… for sincerely pouring your heart out to us like this. It’s empowering. 🙂

  • Reply TheLightWithinYou June 11, 2014 at 6:16 am


  • Reply Kay June 11, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Reblogged this on Just Call Me Kay and commented:
    Very nice piece…thanks for sharing

  • Reply lonnietalouise June 11, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Reblogged this on lonnietalouise and commented:
    Beautiful story,thank you for writing it.I am a survivor as well.Feels good to be free.

  • Reply You'll Soon Be Flying June 11, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Bravo Janine. Beautiful way you have shaped your life, your story, from something that could have remained twisted and contorted in pain forever, into a stunning piece of art. So well done. As an abuse survivor myself- this piece sat right on my heart, pressed in, and reminded me while it still beats. All the Best~ Julie

  • Reply nevabrown612 June 11, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    Such a strong woman.

  • Reply Janni Styles June 11, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    So Powerful.

  • Reply latasun June 12, 2014 at 4:04 am

    Heart-breaking..but well-written. Should show a beam of hope.

  • Reply thereceptivityproject June 12, 2014 at 6:14 am

    I love the way you write! Thanks for sharing your powerful story.

  • Reply leyshar June 12, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Reblogged this on leyshar and commented:

  • Reply antilad June 12, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Incredibly brave writing. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply angelywisdom June 12, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Reblogged this on Dear Diary,.

  • Reply coruscantbookshelf June 12, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Oh. My. God. This is such a good post.

  • Reply jasmineshei June 12, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    this is so powerful. Thanks you for writing this! I am touched and inspired.

  • Reply itscarly June 12, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    Reblogged this on Womanism. .

  • Reply lovin_this_life_xoxo June 13, 2014 at 8:53 am

    This is great… you are a great writer!

  • Reply settingtheworld June 13, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Incredibly powerful stuff. Wow, most of the time I was right there with you. Amazing!

  • Reply falllikeleaves2010 June 13, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    It doesn’t matter if you couldn’t answer why you didn’t leave. What matters most is that you found the courage to leave. Your story has the power to heal others, Janine Canty. Thank God for giving you the gift of writing and the courage to tell your own story.

  • Reply Mytwosentences June 14, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Love your perspective

  • Reply miablanchard14 June 14, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Very touching story….

  • Reply aishakhan0208 June 14, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    God it was a painful read.But since I am a similar victim I can relate to every single word written here. I feel that after a point , pain leaves you. Though dread lives in the small corners. And guilt is always there alongside the shame about other people finding out.Living in a traditional Muslim setup, where the daughter is told to leave the husband’s house only on a funeral bed.
    But your style is great !

  • Reply aishakhan0208 June 14, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    Sorry didn’t complete in one go.We perpetuate unacceptable behaviour by remaining silent. I call it sinning by silence! Such stories as your and mine should come out so that a pressure group gradually forms.All thr best .We are around the same age, mother of three.Healthcare professionals, me bring a practicing psychiatrist.Now I take solace from the friends who stand by me always.

  • Reply aishakhan0208 June 14, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    Reblogged this on The Pursuit of Happiness.

  • Reply pavanneh June 14, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    What a great story. Thank you for sharing. It has inspired me, truly.

  • Reply alysonfaith June 14, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Reblogged this on Jehovah-Jireh and commented:
    This gave me chills…

  • Reply thebeautifuladventureoflife June 15, 2014 at 7:35 am

    It is only fittimg, I suppose, that the first blog I comment on is one that moved me to a tear. I think it was “Forgiving myself is still a jigsaw in the making.” that did it for me but the entire peice is truely so beautifully written.

    I hope too, that someday very soon ‘Why did you leave’ is a more common question that why did you stay. x

  • Reply Erika with a K June 15, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing. What a beautifully written story of pain, one I can relate to. In the beginning I thought you were writing about me. I am just now divorcing my abusive husband of 10 years. I wish many of the same things you do, especially that women with stories of abuse will come out and tell them, eloquently or not!

  • Reply hamiltonju June 15, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    Inspirational..thank you

  • Reply Proshun Dey June 15, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Cool said

  • Reply shebegan June 15, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    You are strong. You are beautiful. You are giving a voice to the voiceless and I thank you for your vulnerability.

  • Reply Nikki's Traveling Fashion June 16, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Reblogged this on Nikkis Traveling Fashion and commented:
    Love this inspiring story! A great read leaving you with a feeling of hope, strength and overwhelming courage. Enjoy! 🙂

  • Reply threepeasconsignments June 16, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Very true!

  • Reply TKMom June 16, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I think that having this type of story available to women who are experiencing abuse will let them see that they/we are not alone.

  • Reply samysamya091811 June 17, 2014 at 1:54 am

    Allyssia milano

  • Reply all things messy June 17, 2014 at 7:43 am

    I have a very similair story, and I too am a survivor, loving the life I now have every day, and never asking “why I stayed”. Thanks for sharing and giving others strength to speak out too and not be ashamed.

  • Reply Five Posts to Write Right Now | The Daily Post June 17, 2014 at 9:01 am

    […] Janine Canty recently shared a devastatingly beautiful post about her decision to leave an abusive marriage. But you could write about things both big and […]

  • Reply Matthew Plotner June 17, 2014 at 9:46 am

    This is a wonderful and sad story. It is because of this kind of story that I work to end domestic violence. It is this kind of person who gives me hope that one day I will no longer be needed. I work with my community to teach abusive men a better way to find security with in their relationships. But I would love nothing more than to have to close my doors because there is no more need for me to help and teach. God bless you and anyone who has left the hell and nightmare of domestic abuse.

  • Reply Home Truths June 17, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Very touching. Hope your past hardships in life are replaced by easier and happier times. Stay strong and please keep writing for yourself and for others out there… Its very kind of you to share your memories and hopefully many will benefit from it.

  • Reply mdscoggins June 17, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Janine thank you for sharing your story that took a lot of courage. I am a mental health clinician and you are absolutely right, there is no reason of asking “why” as that is most of the time an unanswerable question. I commend you for passing on the Domestic Violence Awareness in October. I wear purple 🙂

  • Reply littleblindgirl June 17, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    I have fought for you, and people in your position, for a decade now. I will always fight for you, always, always, always.

  • Reply susipet June 18, 2014 at 12:58 am

    What an amazing piece of writing – searing honesty . How brave you were to leave… And I wish you all the good things you deserve from hereon in. What an impressive woman you are!

  • Reply FlorenceT June 18, 2014 at 4:26 am

    You left and that took courage. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Reply kristinakonrad June 18, 2014 at 7:56 am

    This is so raw, it’s so overwhelmingly powerful; that’s what makes a great writer in my opinion. Bless you for sharing your story, for surviving, and for choosing to see the success within your struggle.

  • Reply perarlzic June 18, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Love this. It made me not feel so alone

  • Reply ammbassett June 18, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Powerful and devastating. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply zareenn3 June 20, 2014 at 10:08 am

    You’re truly amazing and such an inspiration!

  • Reply funwithhimandher June 22, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Reblogged this on My Blog.

  • Reply minnealaskan June 23, 2014 at 6:30 am

    You are Awesome.

  • Reply nomadicberyl June 24, 2014 at 1:54 am

    Reblogged this on nomadicberyl and commented:
    Reminds me how a world capable of so much beauty can have alot of brutality

  • Reply judygurfein June 24, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Thanks for sharing your amazing story of overcoming.

  • Reply persephoniep June 29, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Very amazing story. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply claudettejones2014 June 30, 2014 at 10:20 am

    From one survivor to another thank you for writing out loud from your heart!

  • Reply soulbeams July 1, 2014 at 8:09 am

    Janine, your words are beautiful, as are you! Keep stoking that campfire… the words will only continue to heal!!!

  • Reply hylinmclaren July 1, 2014 at 11:07 am

    I understand you, Janine. My own experience is something that I have not yet managed to put into words that are believable even to my own ears. Thank you for expressing it so precisely. Please keep sharing! It helps us all!

  • Reply Adele Green July 1, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Hi Janine, If you could give him advice what would it be? I wrote a book for men so they can know what women want in relationships. Diane from the UN said of it that a relationship like this is ‘heaven on earth’. Thing is – I wrote it for men and I was wondering … what would you say to men about relationships. PS my blog is

  • Reply gjoelfranco July 1, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Thank you for sharing! You ARE a strong woman.

  • Reply mlsnead July 2, 2014 at 7:26 am

    Your blog touched me. I grew up in an alcoholic, violent, abusive home. I can relate to your experiences. Melissa

  • Reply TheEternalAdvocate July 3, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Thanks for sharing your words and your story with us. The words were eloquent but the topic is sad. No one deserves to live in fear and endure the loss you have. Please know your words will help heal others.

  • Reply Andrea! July 7, 2014 at 12:49 am

    You started with Rumi and he is simply simple 🙂 Thanks for introducing the thorough concept of purple ribbon during Octobers. I never knew that it resembles a loss so deep! But I have always believed that a deep loss helps conscience to grow more profound and pure. This is clearly reflected in your story.. your soul is magical!

  • Reply M&M July 8, 2014 at 3:55 am

    What you have written is very moving. Thank you for sharing yourself in your story. I admire you for surviving, thriving and emerging as an inspiration for others.

  • Reply albparker2014 July 8, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    I will reblog this on Angela’s Corner. I am a survivor as well. I thank God that you had the courage and the strength to get out. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Reply albparker2014 July 8, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Reblogged this on Angela's Corner.

  • Reply galeweithers July 8, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    Thanks for sharing such an amazing story. I have never been physically abused … more like mentally/emotionally and I stayed until I couldn’t stay any more. I didn’t have bruises on my body … because my mind and emotions had been bludgeoned over and over and over. 17 years is a long time and I am glad you survived; because you rock 🙂

  • Reply nanashirl July 12, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    I can so relate to your 17 years-I lived 17 years pretty similar to yours.

  • Reply nanashirl July 12, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Reblogged this on nanashirl and commented:
    For anyone who has been in an abusive relationship

  • Reply barbarapotter October 5, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    I think I missed this as I was in Europe. So glad I saw it today. Thank you for writing this great piece.

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