Beyond the Mirror
Welcome to Beyond the Mirror’s website

If there is to be peace in the world there must be peace in the home.
Violence in the home is everyone’s problem.
Each of us must be part of the solution.
We must do all that we can in the time that we have.

This site provides:
  • A free e-book of poetry on psychological abuse; (click on book cover below)
  • Information on unhealthy/abusive relationships;
  • How we can help as individuals and as communities.
Our mission is to work for peace in homes by distributing information about unhealthy/violent relationships; suggesting ways to help individuals in such relationships; and empowering and affirming victim/survivors.

Victim Perspective: Would you recognize me if you met me?

  When I have been crushed
  And cannot move,
  Been blinded
  And cannot see,
  I’ve been choked
  And cannot feel or breathe,
  I look to the Lord
  And into the faces of sisters
  And there I see hope.

  I look into my child’s eyes
  And there I see hope.
  Hope of freedom from the pain,
  Justice for the crime.
  I have hope for joy
  In my life and in my heart,
  For independence in my choice,
  In my voice and in my ways.
  I have hopes of strength and of courage,
  Of sacrifice and of gain.
  In the end, I have hope.
  Hope for all things
  That could have never been
  Had I stayed.
  --A family violence survivor.

Who Will Talk for Us?

  Somebody has to talk for us kids
  ‘cause we don’t always know
  the words to tell our pain.
  So watch for our signals.

  Are we scared? Are we shy?
  Are we always acting bad?
  Do we hurt inside or out?
  Are our screams coming out in our dreams?

  Can we pay attention to what you are saying
  or are we always spacing out?
  Are we too over active or don’t we play enough?
  Are we always hanging around you
  or do we push you away too much?

  Ask us questions.
  Let us know that we are not alone.
  If you think we are lying just to cover up
  then ask someone else who will know.

  We need your help.
  We need your understanding.
  Just always remember we are kids.
  e are doing the best we can.
  --Kricket, 10, Child Advocacy Bulletin

Please, Mom and Dad

  My hands are small…I don’t mean to spill my milk.
  My legs are short…please slow down so I can keep up with you.
  Don’t slap my hands when I touch something
  right and pretty…I don’t understand.
  lease look at me when I talk to you…it lets me know
  ou are really listening.
  My feelings are tender…don’t nag me all day…
  Let me make mistakes without feeling stupid.
  Don’t expect the bed I make or the picture I draw
  to be perfect…Just love me for trying.
  Remember I am a child, not a small adult…
  Sometimes I don’t understand what you are saying.
  but I’m not ignoring you.
  I love you so much…please love me for just being me,
  not just for the things I do.
  --Author unknown

My Name is Misty

  My name is Misty. I am but three. My eyes are swollen. I cannot see.
  I must be stupid. I must be bad. What else could have made, my daddy so mad? I wish I were better. I wish I weren’t
  ugly, and then maybe mommy would still want to hug me. I can’t speak at all. I can’t do a wrong, or else I’m locked
  up all the day long. When I’m awake I’m all alone. The house is dark. My folks aren’t home. When my mommy does
  come, I’ll try and be nice, so maybe
  I’ll get just one whipping tonight. Don’t make a sound! I just heard a car. My daddy is back from Charlie’s Bar. I hear
  him curse. My name he calls. I press myself against the wall. I try and hide from his evil eyes. I’m so afraid now I’m
  starting to cry. He finds me
  weeping. He shouts ugly words. He says it’s my fault that he suffers at work. He slaps me and hits me and yells at me
  more. I finally get free and I run for the door. He’s already locked it and I start to bawl. He takes me and throws me
  against the hard wall. I fall to the floor with my bones nearly broken, and my daddy continues with more bad works
  spoken. “I’m sorry!” I scream but it’s now much too late. His face has been twisted into unimaginable hate. The hurt
  and the pain, again and again. Oh please God, have mercy! Oh please let it end! And he finally stops, and heads for
  the door, while I lay there motionless sprawled on the floor. My name is Misty, and I am but three. Tonight my daddy,
  murdered me.
  --Author unknown

An e-mail from a victim

  Following is an e-mail a woman sent to her clinic. At a recent clinic visit, she was asked if she was in a relationship
  that was violent. At the time she said no, but later, decided to send the email. Subsequent to that, the woman was
  offered resources and support.

  “My husband has a violent temper and at times I am afraid for my life He has raised both hands towards my neck as a
  choking gesture and says “Do you want to hear a funny sound?” He has also said he’d like to whip me with a garden
  hose in order to beat the meanness out of me. We’ve only been married six months. He is older than me, I am 59, he
  is 82. I am involved in many volunteer activities and this upsets him very much. He blows up, throws a temper
  tantrum, slams doors when I mention another activity. He is adamant that I retire early from my job and spend all of
  my time with him alone. He is an introvert, anti-social, and becomes upset when I do anything without him. I am not
  allowed to go to the store alone. He insists on taking me everywhere I go.

  This does not seem to be a healthy relationship, nor a very safe environment for me to live in. I’m concerned and
  want to have this on my medical history in case anything happens to me.”

Anonymous thoughts of a victim of emotional/psychological abuse

  If he had hit me, I wouldn’t think it was my fault. Instead, he told me “everything” was my fault, and I kept quiet to
  keep peace. Eventually, I guess I believed him.

  If he had tried to kill me, everyone would agree I needed to leave him to preserve my life, and support me when I
  did. Instead, he tried to kill my spirit, and I struggle alone with a sense of failure and inadequacy, questioning what
  have I done wrong, and why did I have to leave.

  If he had been a thief, I would have been afraid of him and stayed away. Instead, he was a smooth-talking charmer
  whose heart was willing to take from my soul, and then tell me what I owed him.

  I continually search my soul and seek the Lord and His wholeness. I wonder why I allowed him to hurt me so many
  times before I finally realized he didn’t love me, instead of wondering why he had no conscience in doing what he
  did to me.

  If he had used fists or weapons, I would have thought it was his action and his decision. But since he used words, I
  blame myself. I should have known. I shouldn’t have allowed it.

  If he had been willing to listen when I tried to talk, maybe that twisted relationship could have been healed as we
  allowed the truth to enter. Instead, he would get angry and turn my concern into what was wrong with me, twisting
  it further.

  At first I innocently believed him. Later I got angry. Then I doubted myself. Then I was broken. When I gave up trying
  to have a voice, I knew I had to leave.

  Of course I want to forgive him, but it’s scary to even acknowledge that a person can treat someone the way he
  treated me. So even though I found the strength to leave, even though I’ve been gone for two years, I continue to
  struggle to get free.

  When will I be free of all the wounds received at the hand of someone who claimed to love me, free of the self-
  doubt and self-rejection, no longer blaming myself? When will I see the sins as belonging to him instead of me?

Victim Perspective: Would you recognize me if you met me?

  Would you recognize me? I could be your sister, your daughter, your mother, or your wife.

  I grew up in a loving, supportive, caring family. My parents have been married for over 55 years. They taught us to
  care for and about one another. I became a nurse. In my professional experiences, I saw the effects of abuse on
  patients and their families. Now, after thirty years, I carry my own diagnoses of dysthymia which led to depression,
  post traumatic stress disorder, hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia, and am currently undergoing a cardiac workup. My
  psychotherapist and I agree that my diagnoses are the result of the myriad of abusive experiences I endured over
  the past thirty years. My family and I have undergone marital and family counseling, school counseling, physical
  therapy and hospitalizations. My ex-husband(s) have undergone domestic abuse counseling and anger management.
  My ex-husband got part of my retirement (I got none of his) and has access to health care at my employer's expense
  (though he never contributed). I still work full time as a health professional. Most people who meet me have no idea
  what my life has been like. I now have a life free of abuse, but my diagnoses will be with me and my family until we

  Would you recognize me if you met me? I could be and others like me could be, your sister, your daughter, your
  mother, or your wife. - S.S.

Batterer Rules:
  Following is a partial list from a four page list of rules written by the batterer—an attorney, for the victim—his wife,
  a dentist.
  - Don’t bite your lip.
  - Don’t open the window or door if I tell you not to.
  - When we dance, look in my eyes or at me, do not appear in another world.
  - If I ask you what’s wrong and your answer would break one of these rules, smile and say nothing. If I say “are you
    sure?” you say, “Yes, dear.”
  - Don’t ever call the police.
  - Don’t go for a walk without first asking me if you can go. If I say no, you will not go.
  - Don’t ever scream or wake the neighbors.
  - Answer all questions that I ask you immediately. If you do not answer within 30 seconds, be prepared to pay for it.
  - Don’t air any of your unhappiness in front of me.
  - If I decide we sleep together, you will humbly comply without a fight.
  - You will not go anywhere with or without me if I tell you.
  - Do not ever physically resist me.

  When asked in court why he made these rules, he explained:
  “She was so stupid, she could not remember what it takes to be a good wife.”

I’m Free

  I’m free from the man
  who once battered my face.
  Free from the fear
  that quickened its pace.
  Free from the pain
  that was burning inside.
  Free from the hurt
  I thought would never subside.
  Free from his anger,
  his fist that was strong.
  Free from the wondering
  of where I went wrong.
  Free from his power, his control
  night and day.
  Free from me thinking,
  he’ll change, so I’ll stay.
  Free everlasting, free evermore.
  I’m free from the man
  when I walked out the door.