To Blog, or Not To Blog?

by Annie Kaszina on October 6, 2013

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, and I’ve spent the past few days wondering whether or not to blog for 30 days about the topic.  A special woman I met a few days ago made that decision for me.  Here’s what happened: 

I was sitting in a favorite restaurant of mine, enjoying a sublime meal with my lovely partner.  What made the food outstanding was not just the superb quality of the raw ingredients, or the consummate skill of the cooking.  There was another more exceptional ingredient, as well: the spirit of love and generosity with which that food was cooked.  As an ex-cook myself (once upon a time I had my own catering business and, for me, also, it was all about the love) I could really taste the specialness of the heart had made that food. 

It was a quiet night in the restaurant, and when I mentioned to the owner how exceptional the food was , the chef swiftly appeared from the kitchen…  to thank me.  

This is where the story gets really interesting – and, I believe,  relevant to you, also. 

The woman who appeared was beautiful – not that she was aware of it – softly spoken, and terminally modest.  (Humble doesn’t come close to describing how unassuming she is.)  She thanked me because she didn’t know if she was good enough to do the job she was doing, and she was grateful for any positive feedback.  

Although I doubt she truly heard it, or took it on board, anyway.  

It was a social event, so I wasn’t trying to ‘join up the dots’ in any way but, still, I said to her what I say to a LOT of my clients: 

“I don’t think you have any idea how good you truly are.” 

That’s when the conversation shifted into a different dimension. 

She told me she didn’t have much self-belief because she’d been a victim of Domestic Violence throughout her marriage.  She told me she still couldn’t believe she’d been through what she’d been through.  She told me that nobody she knew could understand it.  She also told me that she had tried confiding in a family member and that family member had advised her to stay put because “Love would find a way”.  She told me that six years after the marriage had ended she was still traumatized, despite having a wonderful new partner.

Before she met The Brute (my words, not hers) Life had looked promising.  Academically, she was doing well, and she was starting to make a career for herself as a model.  But she traded all of that for Love. 

(Note to you, me, and every woman: Love does not ask you to ‘trade’. Ever.) 

Of course, this lady fits the profile of an emotionally abused woman – perfectly.  Attractive, talented, loving, generous-hearted… and yielding.  

That’s who you are, too.  And it’s who I was. 

Not that either of us would ever have believed it – because we, too, had NO IDEA how good we truly were. 

And one thing is for sure: when you marry an emotionally abusive man he’s never going to help you discover how good you are.  

What an abusive man will do is hothouse your self-worth issue.  Correctly speaking, he will ‘force’ it, in the way that rhubarb is ‘forced’. 

Even this lady’s cooking was a great big indicator of what she’d been through.  I’m not saying that you have to be a great cook to have been an emotionally abused woman, or that all emotionally abused women are great cooks.   That would be simplistic, and nonsensical.  

You may not cook at all, that doesn’t prove – or disprove – anything.  All I am saying is that I’ve encountered a fair few emotionally – and physically – abused women along the way who have used cooking as a means of reaching out and expressing the love they felt, when they  were so brutalized they couldn’t find another way to express it. 

If you haven’t done that through cooking my guess is that, at some level – consciously or unconsciously – you have been doing that, also, in your own way.  There will be something that you have been doing, with all the passion you are capable of, both for the thing itself, and because – at some level – you hope that people will experience it and understand who you truly are.  

So, for the next 30 days, I’ll be blogging for all the special women out there who have no idea of how special they are. 

That includes you.  

A special thank you to the wonderful lady chef who had no idea of the gift she brings to other people.  She’s been responsible for this decision.  This lovely lady who has felt so isolated until now, will be joining this community.  

What would you like to say to her – and all the other women like her?

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