Folks, it’s not that complicated. Actually, it’s pretty cut and dried. There’s not a lot of grey area when it comes to abuse but, for some (usually the abuser and the ones who insist on protecting them) there still seems to be some confusion on the subject. I’d love to say that I don’t understand how anyone could misconstrue something so incredibly straightforward but, unfortunately, I get it. I get it completely and all too well. The ego, the pride, the self preservation. It’s all too familiar but, reality and the clarity of hindsight have entered into my perception and I have to say, there’s just no excuse or place for it in my life anymore. I’ll simplify the simple for those who may not understand this subject as intimately as I have come to know it, so, here it is guys and gals. If, at any time or for any reason, your intention was to harm someone, you my friend, are being abusive. Abuse becomes even more clear if, at any time or for any reason, you put your hands on someone in anger or in order to gain control of their movement or the situation. Shall we take this a step further? If, at any time or for any reason, your touch has been aggressive enough to leave a physical marking on the person’s body in any form (a cut, a bruise, a red mark, an indentation, a scrape, whatever it may be) you have been abusive. Every time. Every situation. Every reason. That is abuse. And I’ve only described the physical kind. Lord knows there are so many more types. It makes me a little sick to my stomach to think of it all. So why do so many deny that they’ve been abusive when the signs are oh so obvious? I have a few insights on that matter as well. It’s because they can’t face reality. They can’t take responsibility. Their ego and pride won’t allow them to see that they are at fault and have done anything wrong. Perhaps they feel justified in their anger and actions. Maybe at some point their victim has been their abuser. Guess what. It doesn’t matter. Unless you are acting in defense of yourself or someone else, if you do any of the aforementioned, you are being abusive. I know a little bit too much about this subject, but I can’t really divulge those details yet. I have to say the following, though. Even though I’ve been victimized far too many times in my life, I’m no victim. I shed that mentality long ago. I’ve been knocked down, literally, repeatedly. No one has ever kept me down. You’d have to kill me to accomplish that. You would literally have to kill me, because the fight in this skinny scrapper is far too strong. I always get back up and I always will. Forevermore, I will rise. All that good poetry lives in my head and inspires me but the most powerful word, the one that gives me all of the fortitude and comfort I could ever need is one I applied to my soul a million years before I was born. Indomitable. I hear it whispered in my ear, in my Mother’s sweet voice. She repeats it to me, her baby girl, until I say it out loud and believe it. I am indomitable, dammit. I was born that way and will always be. The only one who can change that is me. Do you know the truly beautiful thing about that word? Anyone can become it. You need only decide to rise after you fall. Rise. Fight as they hold you down. Fight. Get back up when it’s all said and done. Please get up. Anyone can do that if they choose to do so. Anyone. It’s my choice to carry an indomitable spirit inside of this battered body of mine and I implore those who struggle to do the same. You can.