Because unlike my sockpuppets, blogging friendships are anything but “imaginary”

image It started with an instant message from a blogger friend about another blogger who is trying to escape an abusive relationship. Her options? Stay where she is in the eye of the hurricane or take to the streets in hopes of finding somewhere to weather the storm.

Fortunately for this young woman, one of her friends is Not a PunkRocker. And by that I don’t mean all her other friends are punkrockers and she’s lucky that one of them isn’t. Because we all know too many punkrockers spoil the broth. Or how many punkrockers it takes to screw in a lightbulb.

Or whatever.

What I DO know is that Jeanette at Not a Punkrocker… well, she rocks. She took it upon herself to not only spread the word about her friend’s need for help, she also opened up about her own experience as a victim— and how the constant mental and physical manipulation slowly destroys you from the inside out. Often to the point that seeing a way out is next to impossible because the light needed to see your way has been extinguished. Continue reading

Even when abuse doesn’t leave a bruise, it still leaves a mark

image As many of you know, I’m a firm believer in the power and importance of humor in our lives. I think of what I do as a columnist as more than just trying to get a laugh or two; it’s contributing what I can to others in the best way I know how. Let’s face it: If my contribution was something like medicine instead of humor, a lot of people would die. But from time to time I get the privilege of sharing a more serious side of myself. Today, I’m joining other men in my community who have been asked to write about Domestic Violence Awareness as part of a special publication by our local shelter for victims of abuse. I join our police chief, chamber of commerce director and others in supporting victims — in my case, particularly those who are too young to understand that love should never go hand-in-hand with any form of violence… Continue reading

Real men are always in control — of themselves, not others

image Anyone who reads my weekly newspaper column or blog posts knows I try to keep life in perspective through humor. In fact, I’d say it’s one of the reasons my children are still alive today. While I joke about that, for many years humor was also part of a coping mechanism from a childhood witnessing both verbal and physical abuse by the men in my family — specifically, my father and older brothers.

The good news is that each of them eventually turned themselves, their lives and the lives of the people they loved, around. It wasn’t until I became a father that I realized the impact that a childhood witnessing abuse had on me, and how some of those wounds — as both a witness and recipient — had never truly healed.

I know this because I occasionally saw reflections of my father and brothers in myself as I fought to avoid making the same mistakes with my own children; I also know this because I came to realize that as much as we want to tell ourselves we can choose not to take any baggage with us on our journey through life, ultimately it’s always somewhere waiting to be claimed. Continue reading

Most men will never have to butcher a cow while wearing high heels

For men like me who will be participating in this year’s Domestic Violence Awareness “Men’s High Heels Walk,” hitting the disco afterwards is strongly discouraged. Really — don’t even think about it.

In preparation for October’s “Walk in My Heels” event, in which men wear high heels to show support for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, my wife talked me into going with her to a fancy shoe store to look for size-12 heels. As I expected, it wasn’t long before women were falling all over me.

That’s because they were all trying on high heeled shoes, some of which were so towering that a special negotiator had to be called in to talk them down. These women apparently loved high heels so much that, once they discovered they couldn’t afford them, chose to end it all by unstrapping their stilettos and leaping headfirst into the bargain table. Continue reading