6 Early Signs of Domestic Abuse


My Soul-Mate,  K.

My Soul-Mate, K.

–She was mine, she was mine, the key was in my fist, my fist was in my pocket, she was mine—Lolita


1.   STALKING   After Kay’s murder,  my friend,  Jane, asked-  “Kim,  when did it all begin?”


I answered,    “At the very beginning.”

Even when Kay wasn’t home,  her murderer sat outside our house for hours with his car running, his head draped over the steering wheel, his Led Zeppelin blasting.

I asked my mother recently,  “why didn’t we run out there,  tell him to get the fuck away from our house,  leave Kay the hell alone.   She had no answer.

Like Kay,  we simply allowed him to stay.



I’ll never forget when Kay told me about one of her earlier dates with him.   I didn’t think much about it back then…but I do now.  Yes,  I do now.

She said they had gone out for dinner to Applebee’s or something and walked a few blocks after parking the car.  Kay had not dressed properly for the freezing December evening,  so she asked if she could wear his jacket until they arrived inside.

“No way,” he laughed. “That’s your problem. Why should I suffer for your stupidity?”



Cunt.    Bitch.   Underachiever.    Useless.   Worthless.   Slut.    Good for nothing stay at home mom.

“He crushes my soul,”  Kay told me a over and over again.    “He crushes my dreams.”

Why then,  I often ask myself,  didn’t I do something.  SOMETHING.  Anyfuckingthing.

For example,  I should’ve broken every finger, so he couldn’t pick up a gun.  I should’ve hidden Kay on a secret island.  I should’ve seen the monster dwelling inside his eyes.



Over lunch recently,  a friend said,  “Kim,  did you know I used to visit Kay in her old apartment in Superior.”

“No, I didn’t know that,”  I replied.

“Yes,  I did.  You were living in the Bahamas at that time.  Anyhow,  one day Kay answered the door with a big black eye.”

“O’ my god,  why didn’t you tell me this before?”  I cried.

“Because she told me she tripped over the vacuume cleaner and I believe her.”


  1.    LIAR

Every time Kay took him back (too many times),  her abuser promised he’d change,  be a better man,  father,  communicator, son,  a Godly man,  a kinder,  gentler man.

A man of substance.  ( he was never a man )

He promised he’d listen to her dreams & goals, spend time w/ his boys instead focusing on his running,  CDs, work, his own interests.

“Look,” he said, opening the pages of the bible, “I’m changing my ways this time for good.”

He lasted one month,  one week,  one minute.

Then,  he stomped on her beautiful, beating heart.



Kay’s abuser controlled her like Humbert controlled Lolita.

He was the beast.   She was the beauty.  Nobody could believe a man like him could be with a girl like her.

But when he said he would save her,  she believed every word.

When he told her she was stupid,  she shrunk low enough to fit inside his hands.

When he told her she couldn’t make it on her own,  she followed him.

In the end,  Kay’s abuser became her killer, her executioner, the devil.

Not only of her soul,  but of her physical, perfectly healthy body.

I asked the director of DAIP, Linda Riddle,  “Why didn’t he just shoot himself? Why did he need to shoot her, too?”

She answered in four simple,  powerful words I shall never forget as long as I live…


“Because.      She.      Was.     His.”


—What you can do now:  Tell somebody TODAY:  a friend,  neighbor,  family member,  co-worker.  Don’t keep your abuse secret.


—Make a Safely Plan HERE NOW


—-Call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline. 1-800-799-7233


Other Articles to Read13 Reasons She Stayed

Why Didn’t She Just Leave /Huff Post

She Was Too Lazy to Leave

  Why Domestic Violence Victims Don’t Leave / Leslie M. Steiner

Subscribe To My Inner Chick

Never miss an update!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Totally Caroline
    November 22, 2014 at 10:58 am

    God bless you Chicky, and your angel sister who I know is watching out for you. It is very brave of you to help other women see the signs so they can get of this sort of situation too. I have never been in abusive relationship, but I have been in toxic ones, and these are good warning signs for everyone.
    Totally Caroline recently posted..Gratitude (Yeah, it really does work)My Profile

  • Reply
    Elephant's Child
    November 22, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Hurting for you, hurting with you. Hurting for so many people.
    And thank you for using you pain to reach out and try and ensure that no-one else feels it as you do. And I am very sure you have succeeded.
    Elephant’s Child recently posted..Sunday Selections #199My Profile

  • Reply
    Elisabeth Kinsey
    November 22, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Beautiful post. Those are soooo important. I remember watching an Oprah where the woman was set on fire by her narcissistic husband and told of similar steps. That’s when I started to leave my previous husband. The C. word is a biggie. It was the first on my list when I allowed men to date me again. You cannot call me a cunt, EVER. My heart bleeds for you and your sister. You are helping people by telling her story!

  • Reply
    November 22, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Makes me wonder what make folk so obsessed with another human being. It was prison for them both. Misery really does love company. A sad condition of human behavior that took an ultimate turn…”

    Blessings and Love
    totsymae1011 recently posted..I ConcedeMy Profile

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      November 29, 2014 at 12:06 pm

      So true, tots.
      Kay’s killer was def. obsessed w/ her…

      so much, that he killed her and then killed himself to be together.

      BUT…. They are NOT together. And that’s the truth. xxx
      My Inner Chick recently posted..6 Early Signs of Domestic AbuseMy Profile

  • Reply
    November 22, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    I would say the controlling part that I’ve seen in others is the first red flag I throw up, Kim. Great post and thank you for your continual awareness. It always understated for women and men to be aware 🙂
    Mike recently posted..Happy Thanksgiving To My Daddy And Our Friends! A Love StoryMy Profile

  • Reply
    November 22, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    An ass in every way. Too scared to go into the great unknown alone. Too freaking whimpy to live without her. He is nothing. Nothing’s take. I’m so sorry. I think you’re saving other people’s sisters and moms and daughters. And through al of them Kay lives in the most purposeful way. Love you!
    Jodi recently posted..Don’t should on yourself! Stop negative self-judgmentMy Profile

  • Reply
    November 22, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    I recognized all the early signs, but It was the price to pay to feel some love. Loneliness is a killer too.
    Love you Kim <3

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      November 24, 2014 at 10:16 am

      I would rather be alone than be w/ a man like Kay was with.
      Please remember this::::: ****YOU ARE NOT ALONE*****.
      you are loved, cherished, valued, adored.
      And I love YOU. xxx
      My Inner Chick recently posted..6 Early Signs of Domestic AbuseMy Profile

      • Reply
        November 24, 2014 at 7:27 pm

        I love you too Kim, very much. I know that i’m not alone, but that is how I’m feeling lately. I feel that since the “excitement” of being free is gone, I’m left there alone in the corner. The last months there, I felt loved and supported, same when I reached freedom, Then everything was back to normal, everyone got back to normal life. All this is good, but I’m lost in my freedom. I never learned to be free, I never learned to have full control. I never learned to connect with family, with my friends and even with my children. No one sees that because those are usual things that everyone can do. That is what I mean by being lonely and alone. Love you <3

  • Reply
    November 22, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    I’m sure your words are helping and reaching so many people Kim….What your sister went through almost sounds like a slow suffocation….awful and so sad…
    debbie recently posted..Blueberry Orange Streusel CakeMy Profile

  • Reply
    Kristi Campbell
    November 22, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    Hindsight. We never know until we know and that’s the hardest hardest of all things. Patterns are hard to see when we’re in just a piece of them. It’s easy to believe that things will work out, that it’s not going to end worse than it is at the time. I’m so glad you’re sharing, Kim. Somebody will read this and say “wait. My (sister’s/friend’s/cousin’s/co-worker’s) boyfriend is like this. Somebody will pay more attention than they would have before reading this. So much love, friend.
    Kristi Campbell recently posted..The Time I Thought I Would Probably Die When I Heard These WordsMy Profile

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      November 24, 2014 at 10:18 am

      I know. Isn’t it sad that I see this stuff now, the behaviours…. but not when it was happening in front of my eyes?
      BUT NOW, we can tell other women, save lives! xxx
      My Inner Chick recently posted..6 Early Signs of Domestic AbuseMy Profile

  • Reply
    Lisa thomson
    November 22, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    Kim, this is such an important piece! EARLY sigs are so essential for women to notice. Also our intuition will tell us something is ‘wrong’ in thebeginning. We must listen to our inner voice. I think when we’re young we mistake stalking for extreme love but it’s the exact opposite. Xoxo
    Lisa thomson recently posted..Are Our Fashion Mistakes Like Our Men?My Profile

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      November 24, 2014 at 10:20 am



      Intuition is something we all have for a reason, but most of us are not listening to that VOICE). We must listen.) xx
      My Inner Chick recently posted..6 Early Signs of Domestic AbuseMy Profile

  • Reply
    November 22, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    This is an excellent, well written and compelling piece. I hope every woman who is experiencing any of the signs you list, takes heed. We have to stop giving these criminals the power over us. Thank you for sounding the alarm about domestic violence.
    Monica recently posted..Coconut is Missing! (Or, Things I Don’t Find on My Walk)My Profile

  • Reply
    November 22, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    I hope you don’t blame yourself!!!
    Last year we became involved with our local YWCAs big fundraiser for battered women (we own an event venue) – at the time I really didn’t know a lot about what they were doing or raising money for. After attending the event my husband and I both knew that this was a cause we felt passionate about and wanted to be part of going forward. Anything that can be done to help women who live with this and are ready to get away from it!!!
    Kim recently posted..Something Is Better than NothingMy Profile

  • Reply
    Valentine Logar
    November 22, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    You know I love you my friend. Your words strike my soul, pierce my heart.
    Valentine Logar recently posted..FlightMy Profile

  • Reply
    Balroop Singh
    November 22, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    Hi Kim,

    You are an awesome person! Keep spreading the awareness, I hope all those women out there, suffering quietly get the help before it is too late. Love you, dear!
    Balroop Singh recently posted..Feel the GratitudeMy Profile

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      November 24, 2014 at 8:38 pm

      I wish Kay would have left him much earlier…I wish…I wish….
      It does not good now…But Kay’s story may save others. O’ God, I hope so.
      Luv U too.
      My Inner Chick recently posted..6 Early Signs of Domestic AbuseMy Profile

  • Reply
    Chris Carter
    November 22, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    I always hold my breath when I read your words… and then at the end, I gasp the air out. I hate this story so very much… I hate that a human being can take control and slowly suffocate another soul- another life. I hate that evil power one can have.

    You didn’t know all of it…or the power of him….or the destruction of him…you didn’t know it could be lethal. Most don’t. And now? Because you know, and you are now aware of it all- all the hidden snarls and black eyes and you have pieced all the broken shattered parts together-and shared these hideous hints of TRUTH in what can be easily missed… I pray many will now have the gift of knowledge and foresight and will take those courageous steps long before evil wins.
    Chris Carter recently posted..Heaven Can Wait…My Profile

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      November 24, 2014 at 8:40 pm

      Hi, Sweets.

      As you know, Evil NEVER wins. NEVER. EVER.
      Even though Kay is not on earth, she is still being utilized by God.
      Of course, you already know this! xxx THANK YOU for all of your support.
      My Inner Chick recently posted..6 Early Signs of Domestic AbuseMy Profile

  • Reply
    nan @ lbddiaries
    November 22, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    Powerful words. Powerful advice. Powerful love. Powerful woman. You are.. I love you even more than the Ocean view i’m looking at right now from the balcony I am sitting on. That’s powerful love, from me to you.
    nan @ lbddiaries recently posted..Joined At the HipsMy Profile

  • Reply
    November 22, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    Powerful advice that I hope will help someone else in the same situation. Hurting with you.
    ladyfi recently posted..Flambéed skiesMy Profile

  • Reply
    Angie@Angie's Recipes
    November 23, 2014 at 2:55 am

    This is a beautifully written post, Kim. RT and SHARED!
    Angie@Angie’s Recipes recently posted..Pear and Walnut TartMy Profile

  • Reply
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    November 23, 2014 at 3:28 am

    My goodness Kim I got shivers reading this. Such a powerful post and helps flesh out all of the feelings around Domestic Violence xxx
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella recently posted..Jean Georges Kauai Grill, St Regis, Princeville, HawaiiMy Profile

  • Reply
    November 23, 2014 at 6:57 am

    Kay needed that man if you can call him that like she needed a hole in the head, some said
    that she stayed with him because he provided for her. That was not true, she only stayed
    with him for two reasons, because she felt sorry him and because of her belief in God.
    Never never be silent if you are being abused, there are many safe places to go.

    Love You

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      November 24, 2014 at 8:43 pm

      I know, daddy.
      Don’t you miss her terribly?
      I thank GOD every single day for YOU)) LOVE you more than Siamese cats in snow. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
      My Inner Chick recently posted..6 Early Signs of Domestic AbuseMy Profile

  • Reply
    Gary Sidley
    November 23, 2014 at 10:15 am

    As Kristi pointed out in her comment, hindsight is a wonderfully informative thing. A retrospective around any tragedy can often make us question why we didn’t respond differently, but it ignores the complexity of forward-moving time. After saying that, the points you highlight should helpfully raise awareness of the sort of men who abuse.

    Take care.
    Gary Sidley recently posted..Toilet cleaners and curiosity: a toxic combinationMy Profile

  • Reply
    Lady E
    November 23, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Don’t beat yourself up with whys that can never be answered, Kim… The fact is that you couldn’t know. Even if he was an abuser, no-one could have predicted the tragic outcome.
    On a different note, over the last few years, your blog has raised my awareness of the potential for domestic abuse, and helped me take a stronger stance against it. You are changing the world, in small chunks… And that’s what matters xxxx
    Lady E recently posted..Penelope and meMy Profile

  • Reply
    November 23, 2014 at 11:00 am

    It breaks my heart to read your words. I love you, my dear friend. Xx

  • Reply
    November 23, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Kim, the more I read about Kay’s situation, the sadder I find it. She’s not unusual, you know. From what I’ve heard, most abusers start and continue very similarly, making their victim feel worthless and dependent on them for everything. Your poor dear sis! Don’t feel bad about failing to pick up on the signs — I’m sure they were cleverly hidden — or to do anything to prevent this — I doubt you could have. She must have had such a big heart, thinking he would change when he only got worse. RIP, dear soul — and prayers for all of you left behind.
    Debbie recently posted..Big-Time ShoppingMy Profile

  • Reply
    November 23, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    Because. She. Was. His.


    I’m so sorry for your dear sister, Kim, and for you and your family. Loving flowing to you from MLB xxxx
    solidgoldcreativity recently posted..Anatomy of an experienceMy Profile

  • Reply
    November 23, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    This is truly so important to know, Kim.
    Thank you for posting it here.
    I wish you a most beautiful Thanksgiving. xo.

  • Reply
    November 23, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    What a terrific post. I’m hoping someone who really needs some guidance finds your post. Your words can truly save. This I believe!!! Bless you.
    Liz recently posted..Cranberry Cream Cheese Bars #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      November 27, 2014 at 10:18 am

      I truly believe I was left here w/out my sister to become the VOICE she never had.
      I pray people will HEAR it.
      Love! Happy Thanksgiving. xxx
      My Inner Chick recently posted..6 Early Signs of Domestic AbuseMy Profile

  • Reply
    November 23, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    I’m so sorry that you are sharing these things now and your Kay is gone. 🙁 But I’m very glad that you are able to share because people need to know! This post actually made me pretty mad and I didn’t even know Kay. He was seriously the worst of the worst!
    Brittnei recently posted..Life Is GoodMy Profile

  • Reply
    November 24, 2014 at 1:29 am

    Dear Kim, what a powerful post – you absolutely cannot stress the “early signs” often enough, ever – we all need to recognize them and feel empowered to take action!
    Thinking of you and your sister – lots of love and hugs and kisses from afar,

  • Reply
    Hotly Spiced
    November 24, 2014 at 1:46 am

    The signs are always there but too often we gloss over them or don’t take them seriously or just cannot believe the worst is ever going to happen – not to our family. I think I’ve told you the story of my husband’s cousin who was abused by her husband from the day he told her to move in with him from the age of 14. She never made it out alive. He’s still at large. xx
    Hotly Spiced recently posted..Castle Rock, Middle HarbourMy Profile

  • Reply
    November 24, 2014 at 7:23 am

    Awareness. This is it Kim. It’s what people need to hear. There are signs, thought we might not want to see them or even think that we are living through them. When we reach out to somebody, we are half saved.
    Every time I read you, it feels like I would like to hold you close and tell you that Kay saved my life, that you, you, saved my life by writing those words.
    I keep you and your loved ones in my prayers. Today. Always
    Marie recently posted..Next time, I’ll chose loveMy Profile

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      November 24, 2014 at 10:13 am

      I am holding you this very moment……..so is Kay.
      Can you feel us?
      One correction: YOU SAVED YOURSELF.
      You had the POWER all along, didn’t you?
      You RISE every. single. day.
      Because you had to…for YOURSELF and Your beautiful baby.
      Love, Hugs, & so much more from Minnesota to France. xxxxx

  • Reply
    November 24, 2014 at 10:08 am

    You replied to another comment that we have to see the red flags. Each time you post, you wave that flag high, so that maybe someone else will see it, and do something to prevent another beautiful woman from being hurt.
    Dana recently posted..Tequila and testiclesMy Profile

  • Reply
    November 24, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Kim, this is so very powerful.. I got goosebumps reading about the narcissist episode. What kind of a guy wouldn’t give his coat to the woman he loves when she’s freezing? Decades ago I don’t think we knew much about stalking & that kind of behavior was often just interpreted as “love-sickness.” Please don’t blame yourself!! xxxxxxxxxx sending kisses from sicilyxxxxxxx
    Jann recently posted..Comment on Summer’s End by BellaMy Profile

  • Reply
    Beverly Diehl
    November 24, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Yes, the abuse does make you shrink to fit inside of it. When the person who says he loves you tells you you are worthless, or, at least, damaged, over and over again, you begin to believe it.

    Thank you for continuing your fight for women who are in these relationships.
    Beverly Diehl recently posted..Rape Culture: Courtroom EditionMy Profile

  • Reply
    November 24, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    So important to watch for warning signs, but the things is we’re not taught to do so. We forgive and overlook and hope until we are blue in the face. And for what? I’m sure your posts have helped more than a few people and will continue to as you keep working on getting word out.
    Jeri recently posted..#WriteTip: Nurturing Artistic Talent by Rick PipitoMy Profile

  • Reply
    Meditating Mummy
    November 25, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Oh Kim reading those words “he crushes my soul.” made me feel something in the depths of my being – I don’t know how to describe it but I do know what you are doing for every woman out there. This post is so powerful and mind altering. I do hope by bringing awareness the way you do, in memory of Kay, will help everyone who needs that support and love to find a way out.
    Meditating Mummy recently posted..What’s in your flu shot?My Profile

  • Reply
    November 26, 2014 at 4:05 am

    I have such a mix of emotions when I read your posts. I cry for your sister, you and your family. But I am so happy you are so active sharing her story so others don’t have to endure what you all did.
    Hilary recently posted..What’s cooking good looking?My Profile

  • Reply
    November 26, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    All women that are going through abusive relationships should read this and your blog.
    Phil recently posted..It’s Thanksgiving in NYC. Turkey time! Come at me bro!My Profile

  • Reply
    November 28, 2014 at 5:05 am

    I spoke to someone about an Abuser I know, and they tried to excuse them by saying they were only young etc. We both know there is never any excuse for bullying or striking terror into the soul of another. There should never be a tolerance of such behaviour, and compassion should start with the person they injure as you sadly understand too well.
    countingducks recently posted..A New ThanksgivingMy Profile

  • Reply
    Carolyn Hughes
    November 29, 2014 at 3:52 am

    Thank you Kim for sharing what you have learned from Kay’s tragedy. Your words will save lives.
    Love you. xx
    Carolyn Hughes recently posted..The gift of giving.My Profile

  • Reply
    Coffee and Crumpets
    November 29, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Such a powerful post. It’s so hard to look back and look at what you should have or could have done. We have become used to not interfering or “it’s none of our business” attitude but it’s wrong. This is wrong and we need to interfere in times like this.
    Stay strong, my friend. Your sister is in a happy place now and at peace.

    Coffee and Crumpets recently posted..Mushroom Yorkshire PuddingsMy Profile

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      November 30, 2014 at 2:08 pm

      If you would have told me 4 years ago that my sister was happy and in a better place,
      I would have been PISSED off…
      But now, well, I know that is completely & utterly true. Xxx KISS.
      My Inner Chick recently posted..6 Early Signs of Domestic AbuseMy Profile

  • Reply
    November 30, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    Hi, this is such a wake up call for all women who are going through the same ordeal. Don’t let things get even worst. Be aware of the signs. Thanks for sharing . Great post.
    lynne recently posted..Why Thanksgiving Is My Favorite HolidayMy Profile

  • Reply
    November 30, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    “she shrunk low enough to fit inside his hands”, gripping and chilling words. Kay is so proud of you.
    Sandra recently posted..Comment on Baby Cakes by Samara by My Inner ChickMy Profile

  • Reply
    December 1, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    The work you do here is so important. Thank you, as always, for sharing this.
    Emily recently posted..And You Could Always Get Implants, I Guess.My Profile

  • Reply
    Charlene Ross
    December 3, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    “When he told her she was stupid, she shrunk low enough to fit inside his hands.”… what a powerful image, Kim. My heart continues to break for you.

    Keep spreading the word and raising awareness. You are doing great things.

    Charlene Ross recently posted..Christmas Came Early This YearMy Profile

  • Reply
    December 4, 2014 at 11:23 am

    God. I am so so so sorry (though I know all the sorrys in the world will ever mend a fraction of your heart). Not only that this happened… but that YOU live with this pain. How f*cking unfair that you have to pay such a heavy price 🙁 I hope you are comforted by the fact that by telling Kay’s story you are keeping her memory alive and alerting everyone to the ugly that can reside beneath the surface. You are doing such a powerful thing with your moving words, my sweet.
    Charlotte recently posted..a pink slip for the holidaysMy Profile

  • Reply
    December 6, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Hi Kim, I have always loved your voice and the strength you give to countless women out there, especially those who don’t have a voice to be heard anymore. May it always reach those who need you most! I had a wonderful chat with Anna from ShenANNAgans last time I was in her home city, we spoke about all our blogging friends and of your incredible purpose and convictions to write. Big wishes that one day all our paths will cross in person and I can give you a huge hug too!!!
    Alice recently posted..Cranberry & Pecan stuffing for a festive season.My Profile

  • Reply
    December 11, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    I’m parying for you and your family. Your story will touch thousands of lives and will help see the signs of abuse so that those who inflict this on others can be stopped.
    Sherill recently posted..What Does a Fitness Coach Do?My Profile

  • Reply
    Minnesota Prairie Roots
    January 1, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    Your words are powerful because they are written from tragedy, from deep within your soul, from love, from compassion and care.

    Thank you for all you are doing here to educate. You are making a difference.
    Minnesota Prairie Roots recently posted..Hope, my word for 2015My Profile

  • Leave a Reply to Debbie Cancel Reply

    CommentLuv badge