By David F. Rooney
One in three women will be the victim of domestic violence says a Calgary author in Revelstoke to talk about psychological abuse and codependency.
“What makes it even worse is that the courts seem to overlook domestic abuse,” Mckenzie Brown said in an interview on Wednesday.
Brown is the author of Walking on Eggshells, an account about her own experience with a man who initially seemed, giving, vulnerable and in need of rescue but whom she later began describing as The Monster because of his rage-aholic temper tantrums,threatening behaviour and fear he engendered in her, her children and others.
“I was lucky it was a dating situation,” she said. But it could have become a worse. She could have become locked into a marriage with her abuser, who eventually frightened her so badly that she called police who sent her to the Calgary Emergency Women’s Shelter.
It took her months to get over the experience but along the way she learned a great deal about herself. Like many women, she has an urge to rescue the weak and vulnerable and, even when things changed, she kept making excuses for him. That is the curse of codependency.
“My four children, one stepdaughter, and my incredible husband would agree that I have a great capacity for love,” she said in her book. “I cherish my family more than anything. The joys and challenges that have come from loving my family has prepared me for my role as a personal trainer; I get to journey daily with others in discovering their potential, and I count myself blessed in doing so. My adventures through life have not always been such blessings, however. A dark shadow has followed me on many journeys, and I’ve only recently learned the name of that shadow: codependency.”
Codependency is defined as a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (as in an addiction to alcohol or heroin); and in broader terms, it refers to being dependent on the needs of or control of another person.
Many people profess not to understand who many women find it extremely difficult to escape from an abusive relationship. They find it hard because they are unwitting codependent, said Brown who is touring communities in British Columbia to talk about the issue.
“A lot of women keep thinking they can make a difference (and change the nature of the relationship) when in fact they can’t,” she said. “Even so they find it easier to stay in the relationship than to escape it. But there is hope. There really is… if you can break out.”
Breaking free did not come easy. I almost ruined her life. But Brown found the help she needed. Along the emotional and psychological roller-coaster of her experience with the man she never names except as “The Monster” and “The Evil One” Brown says learned some valuable lessons:
- It’s okay to let someone rescue you;
- It’s okay to ask for help;
- People will actually show up and help;
- You’re worthy of someone helping;
- You’re never really alone unless you choose to be; and
- Most of all, no matter how bad it is as long as you still have air in your lungs you will be okay.
Brown will be here for two weeks and plans to meet with women at the local shelter. She said she would like to hold a fundraiser for it. She is also willing to meet with anyone who current lives, or has lived, in fear
Mckenzie Brown is staying at the KoA and can be reached by phone at 403-880-5489. Her e-mail address is email@example.com.
“Ill talk to anyone who wants to talk.”
Walking on Eggshells: Living with Psychological Abuse and Codependency, by Mckenzie Brown, published by Trafford Publishing, 125 pages, $14.95 in print, $3.99 as an e-book.