Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Time's Up

by Diane Fanning

When I was in my first marriage, I did not see my husband as an abuser. I did not see myself as a victim. I was fooling myself. Although he did not hit me, he sometimes left bruises on my arms from holding them too tightly and, on occasion, he shoved me. But for the most part, the mistreatment I experienced was mental and emotional.

I was afraid of him, intimidated by him, cowed into an overwhelming sense of worthlessness. Toward the end, I was actually crossing the street to avoid people I knew, because I had allowed him to convince me that others only spoke to me out of pity. And I didn’t think I was a victim. I’d seen pictures of abuse victims—battered, bleeding, or dead—and that wasn’t me.

I was wrong. Without realizing it, I risked my life and that of my daughter. After a dramatic departure in the middle of an ice storm, I was safe, but it could have turned out so differently. I was lucky. Many women are not. Oftentimes, the first serious incident of domestic violence is a homicide.

I’ve written books about some of these cases and have learned through my research that the most dangerous time of any woman’s life is from the moment she makes the decision to leave to up to two years after she acts upon it. If you are planning on leaving your spouse or know a woman who is, you must have TIME’S UP by Susan Murphy-Milano.

Susan explains abuse simply and clearly in the beginning of the book so thoroughly it left me shaking and in tears, even decades after my escape from that bad relationship.  I was stunned to read so much about my experience and know I was not alone.  Then she takes the reader through everything she needs to do in preparation for departure, including precautions, tips and forms to make the planning and implementation part of a process rather than a helter-skelter act of desperation.

It is all at your fingertips in the pages of this book. If you are a sophisticated, educated, aware woman, you will find things you didn’t know to help yourself and others. If you are a stay-at-home mom who has been controlled since a teenager and doesn't know the first thing about leading an independent life, you’ll find all the details you need to escort you through the risk-filled and often baffling transition ahead.

In addition to the book itself, there is a video on YouTube.com that demonstrates one of the necessary steps: a women presenting a sample Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit. (see video below)

By writing this book, Susan Murphy-Milano has given a great gift to all women and children. I am in awe of the magnificent job she has done, the life experiences she has overcome, and the compassion and common sense that fill every chapter.

I cannot emphasize how important this book is to all the women in your life. Even if you are in a good, stable relationship, buy this book and keep it handy. One day, when you least expect it, someone close to you will need it. It can save a life—many lives.

TIME'S UP by Susan Murphy-Milano: the best companion an abused woman can have.


Anonymous said...

Diane--thank you for this. Too many women think the exact thing...if you don't have a busted lip or a black eye, it isn't abuse. WRONG. Abuse is comes in many forms and all of it is very damaging.

Diana May-Waldman

Anonymous said...

Thank you for giving me a heads up on this book and caring so much for the abused.

Unknown said...

Thank you for you positive input. I can't say enough good things about this book.

Cathy Scott said...

Wonderful review, Kathryn! I'm looking forward to reading Susan's book. I too was a battered wife -- emotionally and physically. I wrote about it for a literary nonfiction quarterly in an article titled "Loves Me, Loves Me Not:

Anny Jacoby said...

Diane thank you so much for your awesome and heartfelt review of Susan's upcoming launch of "Time's Up!".

As a Survivor and then becoming a Certified Advocate for over 25 years this book is a "tool" that so many victims, agencies and independent's in the field absolutely "need", a must have. Over the years Susan has truly poured her heart and soul into her work along with her wealth of knowledge and wisdom and her keen "eye/sense". Susan is a true professional in our field and we all thank her for her unselfish and unconditional love and support that she gives without ever asking anything in return. Susan always has the victim's rights and survival foremost in her Advocacy.

Susan, I wish you much success in your launch of "Time's Up!" and thank you for having the courage and expertise along with foresight of the Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit.

Diane, you are so right - "Time's Up!" is an abused woman's best friend/companion.

Much Love Susan,

Anonymous said...

I can't say enough wonderful things about Susan Murphy Milano and the work she does to foster hope and sanity. The home is intended to be a fortress for well being, not a torture chamber. Be you male, female or undecided, everyone should be safe and loved. Susan will be our guest on True Crimes on Outlaw Radio on Saturday April 10th 2pm Pacific to talk about this new book. (http://outlawcrime.com)

Dena said...

Thank you for this article. I also found myself in an abusive marriage. For 17 years I didn’t know it was an abusive relationship. My husband would put me down every chance he would get. His Mother came for a visit the last year we were married, and told her son, she didn’t like the way he was treating me. One night he threw me against the wall, drew back his fist and had a murderous look in his eye. I told him he had better kill me or I was going to kill him. That was the first and last time I was afraid of physical violence. The next morning I packed up my personal belongings, wrote a note (Dear John letter) and left. I wish this book was available for me. I had struggled, had no plan but I made it through. I guess my parents raised me to be a strong woman, and to know that nobody has the right to hurt me. Thanks Mom and Dad.

Dena said...

Here is something I read after getting out of this relationship. It helped me get through the hard times. I'm sharing this in the hopes it might have the same effect, for someone else.

I'm special. In all the world there is nobody like me.
Since the beginning of time, there has never been another person like me.
Nobody has my smile.
Nobody has my eyes, my nose, my hair, my hands, my voice
I'm special.
No one can be found who has my handwriting.
Nobody anywhere has my tastes for food, or music, or art.
No one sees things just as I do.
In all of time there had been no one who laughs like me.
no one who cries like me.
And what makes me laugh and cry will never provoke identical laughter and tears from anybody else, ever.
No one reacts to any situation just as I would react.
I'm special.
I'm the only one in all of creation who has my set of abilities.
Oh, there will always be someone who is better at one of the things I'm good at, but no one in the universe can reach the quality of my combination of talents, ideas, abilities, and feelings.
Like a room full of musical instruments, some may excel alone, but none can
Match the symphony sound when all are played together.
I'm a symphony!
Through all of eternity, no one will ever look, talk, walk, think, or do like me.
I'm special. I'm rare.
And as in all rarity, there is great value.
Because of my great rare value, I need not attempt to imitate others.
I will accept-yes, celebrate-my differences.
I'm special. And I'm beginning to realize its no accident that I'm special.
I'm beginning to see that I'm special for a very special purpose.
There must be a job for me, no one else can do as well as I.
Out of all the billions of applicants, only one is qualified, only one has the right
combination of what it takes.

Unknown said...

Thank you Dena, Burl, Anny and Cathy.
Susan is one of the most wonderful, giving people I have ever known. It was an honor to review her book.

Norma said...

Diane thanks for sharing your story and writing a review on a book authored by a woman I consider the expert and angel with a mission to save lives.

Susan is the "Mother Therea" when it comes tto saaving lives. Excellent write-up!

Unknown said...

"An angel with a mission" is the most perfect description of Susan Murphy Milano that I have ever heard.
I'm glad you enjoyed my post on her book but even happier to hear your positive opinion of one of America's unsung heroes.

Anonymous said...

You are an amazing woman, with an incredible story, histry and past. Thank you for all that you have done and ARE DOING to shine the spotight on domestic abuse. Thank you, especially for your recent outreach in Oklahoma City where families have been brutally tormented by the incompetence of the Medical Examiner!