Monday, October 6, 2014
Tolson 4 TEARS Review of "I Closed My Eyes" Domestic Violence
I Closed My Eyes: Revelations of A Battered Woman (Rebuilding Life After Domestic Violence) by Michele Weldon
The author writes in the preface, “I can pray someday I will understand why he did what he did.” A decade after the publication of her book, Weldon may know that she may never make sense of the insanity that caused her husband to nearly kill her.
Michele Weldon is an award-winning journalist, and her skills as a writer are demonstrated in this true-story about domestic violence. The book is divided into three parts. With each part, Michele inserts private notes and cards her husband wrote to her, each “love letter” meant to be endearing, carefully crafted with all the right words, but somehow lacking in sincerity.
Part One: Getting There, explores an enviable childhood and optimistic young adulthood. In her childhood, she takes the reader to an ice-cream shop. Michele falls in love, and with few warning signs of an abusive personality, she is married to a man who is enraged and disengaged. In a subsequent chapter, she takes the reader to a pawn shop. The reader gets the disconnect, and how denial serves for survival.
Part Two: Getting Out, explains how scary it is to stay in an abusive marriage, and how scary it is to leave. Although Michele has multiple support systems, it appears that these do not make the emotional aspects of divorcing a sabotaging tyrant any easier. He continues to batter her psychologically, often using their children as a weapon. Throughout part two, Michele writes about crying on a continuum; crying is a measure of healing and hope. The thread of tears is worth reading again.
Part Three: Getting Better, offers gem-filled vignettes, such as an exploration of color, hands, growth, grief, sorrow, joy, celebrations. Michele writes about healing, how it feels and how it sounds “I was no longer spending my nights dreading his key turning in the lock.”
This isn’t only a story about domestic violence. It is also a book about an empowered woman, separate from a man who possessed her, as she reclaimed her true self.
Michele Weldon is the author of Everyman News: The Changing American Front Page and Writing to Save Your Life: How to Honor Your Story Through Journaling
Review completed by Lynn C. Tolson, author of Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor’s Story