Thursday, July 19, 2007

Cloud 9

Anyone who knows me for more than 2.5 seconds knows that domestic violence is my soapbox.  It's the one topic that I can talk about for hours, the one topic that i feel needs to be addressed in every town, every city, every state. 

Anyway, I don't want to go into all that I feel about the actual issue.  Rather, I'm still on cloud 9 from Tuesday night. 

Most know that I went to court in May.  It was a sense of closure for me, a way to put behind me everything that happened two years ago and move forward, knowing that in some small way, I might have protected another woman from going through what I did.  Anyway, that background was needed, because Tuesday afternoon, I got a call asking me to present at a local city council meeting in regards to their upcoming vote on domestic violence-related issues. 
Needless to say, I would have flown to the end of the earth in order to make this presentation. 

All I did was tell my story.  And, in light of other victims, mine doesn't even begin to compare to the tragedy that they've faced.  I still have my life, my heart, and an unquenchable desire to live, love, laugh and fully experience everything life has to offer. 

After my presentation, as I was walking to my car, a man stopped me in the parking lot.  I could tell by the red rings around his eyes that he had been fighting tears, and he asked if he could shake my hand.  He then told me, in a somwhat shaky voice, that he had almost lost his daughter to the hands of the man that she married, and he had lost his granddaughter.  His two-year-old granddaughter had been the most innocent victims to a man who could not control his own rage.  We spoke for a minute, and he asked if he could give me a hug. 
I have never, in all of my life, been hugged like that.  The pain radiated from him and I could feel his grief.  It hurt my heart to feel that much heartache.
When he pulled away, he said, "Caitlin, thank you.  Thank you for being able to tell your story and for fighting for the women who can't or won't.  I want you to know that I'm fighting for you. I'm fighting for you and will do whatever I can to see the new legisltation pass."  I cried.  He cried.  And somewhere, I realized that this is my calling.  This feeling, the feeling of knowing that I made a difference--I don't want to let that go.

His name is Steven, and he's on the city council.  If one person is in my corner because of what I have said, then I have done what I came to do.

Fight for change.  Fight for those that don't have the strength or willpower to fight for themselves.  Six months in jail and a $500 fine for someone that tried to kill another person is not sufficient.  It is not acceptable.  A relationship bred out of fear is not a relationship at all.  It is a death trap.  Help stop those that are repeat offenders by challenging your local legislation to pass harsher penalities for assailants.  Most importantly, push for more resources for crisis teams and centers.  The Lighthouse in Baldwin County is in dire need of more resources, more manpower, and more volunteers.  Make a difference.

If anyone wants more information, I have a myriad of resources that I can send your way.  Just send me a message, and I'll hook you up.

Much love...
...The Fruitcake

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I remember the day they told me...'re going to be a big sister!!

21 years later, my little sister is about to be a mom.

And now I have to ask myself...


Why do I have to watch my sister do the same things that I did, knowing that she's setting herself up for heartbreak, disappointment, and a broken heart?  Why do I have to watch my sister, who, by all admissions, is near-genius in intellect, belittle herself and lower her standards?  Why do I have to watch my sister, my beautiful, smart, caring, huge-hearted, funny, gorgeous, strong-willed sister throw her life away on people not worth her time?

I want to shake her, to make her see that her life isn't just about her anymore, but about the little girl that she's bringing into the world in just over 2.5 months.  I want to protect her, to help her see that she IS all of the things that I said before, plus a gazillion and one other things on top of those. 

I want her to see how good she has it, how much better it could be, and how much she has going for her.  My mother has bent over backwards for that child, and she doesn't see any of it.

I want to protect my as-yet-unborn niece from the unhappiness that surrounds Amber and Jesse.  


And yet, after 21 years, i KNOW that there's nothing that can get through to her stubborn head, that she's the only one that can figure things out, and that nothing in this world will change her mind once it's made up.

Blech.  Being a big sister sucks some times :-)