Words Became Deeds: Threats Become Actions

You know the allegory about the boy with a bad temper who drives the nails into a post & then pulls them out, but realizes they each left a hole? Or the story about the smashed dish never being able to be put together again perfectly (because you can’t say “I’m sorry” and magically make a plate whole again)? Sometimes words leave damage that is unseen, it’s true. But often times it is a precursor to physical violence and emotional/psychological damage that leave marks both literally and figuratively. Be careful with yourself. Don’t push yourself to fix someone like this (that’s their job), and please pay attention to how often it occurs (it’s easy to let hope cloud your memory—make a mark on your calendar for every time you are verbally abused so you can remember more clearly).

The video & audio above is how the verbal abuse sounded—and how the physical abuse looked: The punch through the grey bedroom wall & wreckage of a several hundred pound dining table, the babies’ high chair, the dining chairs, the vases & dishes under it, the drywall-anchored hook of aprons that was ripped out of the wall and left in the middle of the floor — that was after The Heart Ball in 2012. You may remember seeing us there. Perhaps you went as our guests? We had a wonderful time. He said later that he couldn’t remember what set him off, but “you must have done something.”

He thought that was “rock bottom”?

email from cmh

[Click to enlarge.]

Apparently not. Because the assault & battery that damaged my knee, ankle, that gave me the bruises you see in the video above occurred September 30/October 1, 2013. And, outside of a courthouse, that was the very last time I saw him. I have not spoken to him and don’t plan to again. Ever. [Update: I have spoken to him in a courtroom. Afterward, in June 2015, he called and left a voicemail asking me to coffee.]

In legalese, my abuse sounds like this:  “…certainly Ms. Hamelberg is not without some degree of fault so to speak due to the fact that certainly she had decided to confront Mr. [Chris] Hamelberg in probably a manner that could have perhaps done better under cooler — under cooler sense or a cooler head but at the same time it’s clear to the Court that Mr. Hamelberg physically assaulted Ms.  Hamelberg on the night of September 30 or the early morning hours of September [sic] 1. 

I believe certainly that Ms. Hamelberg’s testimony with respect to the injuries that she received at the hands of Mr.  Hamelberg were credible. I believe certainly she suffered numerous injuries including bruises on her wrist, a damaged left knee, a swollen ankle. 

Mr.  Hamelberg apparently has had other incidents which have caused damage to the furniture and holes in the walls at the residence, so I believe certainly there has been a history of domestic violence and anger control issues from Mr.  Hamelberg.”

:The Honorable Judge Holly Clemons (Champaign County, Illinois, December 11, 2013)

Warning signs to look for: Past abuse (in this case, multiple police reports made by Chris Hamelberg’s first wife for Domestic Abuse that I was unaware of, etc), Familial history, drug use, alcohol abuse, verbal abuse that starts gradually and escalates, Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde-like personalities, you feel like you are walking on eggshells, your friends notice you are not the same, and more.

Please ask for help if you are having trouble identifying abuse. It is a common problem. The abuse seems to sneak up on you until you have trouble identifying it as domestic violence. You’re always looking for a reason: He’s tired, he’s stressed, his ex-wife is terrible (maybe it’s her fault), it’s always like this during turnover/inventory/end-of-month, maybe he needs medication?, the kids are too much for him, he wanted you to cook more, you’ve gained some weight, you forgot to shut the sliding glass door… Just stop. It’s not you. It’s not her. It’s not the job. It’s him.

And when you’re ready: An abuser doesn’t change just because you leave them, they simply change their tactics. It is up to you to leave them completely and see to your own peace of mind…don’t ever expect them to participate in you gaining your safety or freedom.

If you sometimes feel like you are a post with nails being driven into it or a smashed plate, you are in the wrong relationship. Prayers may help, but God wants us to help ourselves, too. Be strong. Leaving is one option. There are others. There is help…ask for it. You can do this. The sooner, the better.

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“I’m not going to be silent.”

Via Jezebel, Terry Crews, “On the importance of men supporting the feminist cause:

I kind of relate it to slavery. Or even civil rights. Let’s not even go back to slavery, let’s go to civil rights—the people who were silent at the lunch counters, when it was the black lunch counter and the white one or the schools were segregated…and you were quiet. You were accepting it. Same thing with men right now. If you don’t say anything, you are, by your silence—it’s acceptance. I’m not going to be silent.”

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Tell Your Story, On Your Own Terms

“‘We can also go a long way toward preventing male sexual and domestic violence against women by stopping the pervasive and pernicious victim-blaming,‘ Douglas says. ‘The media, for example, should quit asking the toxic, ‘Why did you go back to your abuser?’ and ‘Why didn’t you leave?’ A reporter could say instead, ‘As you know, there are some who question your credibility because of some of the choices you made. What, if anything, would you want to say to them?’ That is respectful journalism. The [accuser] should never be made to feel like she has to justify the choices she made or makes.

Finally, in his own work with Men Stopping Violence, Douglas sees firsthand the power of healing through sharing. ‘I see survivors who are finding peace through coming forward and telling their stories. One of the most powerful things that survivors can do is tell their own stories, on their own terms,‘ he says.”

:NOMORE.org, Why They Weren’t Believed

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The Only Predictor of Being a Victim of DV: Being Female

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Credit: The Compiler, Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, Winter/Spring 2008

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Your Response to DV Matters

“Men who batter their wives or girlfriends generally are not seen as abusive individuals by those outside the family. Usually, the batterer maintains a public image as a friendly and caring individual who is a devoted family man. Over time, the batterer destroys the victim’s friendships and family ties so that the victim is isolated. Because most people feel uncomfortable around the abuse, those aware of it avoid contact with the victim. Others avoid contact with the victim because they do not want to admit that the violence occurs. This isolation leaves the victim psychologically dependent on the batterer. The victim fears retaliation by the batterer for calling the police, going to court, or leaving. Most battered women are aware that the police are unresponsive to their calls for help. Prior lack of effective intervention by friends, the police, and the courts leads the victim to believe that no one will treat the abuse seriously.”

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8 Ways to ID a Battering Husband

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A concise read on the characteristics of domestic abusers and why and how Domestic Violence is both actively and passively suppressed, this article in the New Hampshire Bar Association Journal lists 8 ways to identify “Assaultive Husbands.”

1 – Discrepency in public versus private behavior

2 – Minimization and denial

3 – Blaming others

4 – Controlling behaviors

5 – Jealousy and possessiveness

6 – Manipulation of children

7 – Substance abuse

8 – Resistance to change



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Will the NFL Go Purple?

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I guess the NFL said “I want to stay out of it” this year. Weird. Wonder what the problem was? :LH

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Fox & Friends: Abusers, Take The Stairs & Avoid Those Cameras, Buddy

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The Sun Will Shine On Those Who Stand

Our elders say that the sun will shine on those who stand before it shines on those who kneel under them.
– Unoko in Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe

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