In Memory of Kay

here is the deepest secret (a story of domestic abuse)


Kay Modeling For Studio

Kay Modeling For Studio

 

An intelligent, energetic, educated woman cannot be kept in four walls — even satin-lined, diamond-studded walls — without discovering sooner or later that they are still a prison cell.” (America’s Medieval Women,Harper’s Magazine, August 1938)” ― Pearl S. Buck

~~~~Once upon a time there was a sweet, little girl in search of her own path. She was only 16 years old, but knew she required more, knew that each heartbeat must have meaning for her. She was strikingly beautiful, but didn’t know it.  That was one of her various charms.

 

A porcelain doll.     Delicate.      Oh-so breakable.

 

One night, she was introduced to an older man, a wildly long haired man from a band called, Wired. He was the drummer and somehow drummed and manipulated his way into her heart.

 

“Isn’t he cute?” she asked.

 

“No,” I responded without hesitation. I perceived something ugly, indescribable, hazardous.

 

The future.

 

That was only the beginning. After the initial meeting, he never left her side— sort of like an insidious odor one can’t get rid of because it slides into every corner, crevice,  gap.

 

He followed her around town like a homeless dog, picked her up after school at 3:30, and hung around our house on 61st. street lounging on our old brown couch like an unwelcome stranger.

 

I never really knew him.

 

The abuse started slowly— like a lobster simmering; the screaming not heard until the water began to boil.

 

She told me he walked up to her once in the first year of their marriage and kicked her in the shin. Why didn’t she tell me this earlier?

 

She told me he called her a cunt, a bitch, a whore.  Why didn’t I comprehend that words killed souls?

 

She told me he crushed her spirit.  Can a spirit refurbish itself?

 

She told me so many things while the water was still simmering.  It simmered for 25 long years.

 

One day—she said, “Kim, he’s changed. He’s accepted Jesus into his life.  Isn’t that grand?”

 

Lies.       Lies.       Lies.

 

To make her stay.   To fence her in.

 

When she asked him for a divorce, he stalked her, broke into her facebook page, and left so many voice messages that she had to change her phone number.

 

“I can’t live without you. We can make it work. We can go for marriage counseling. I’ll go back to church. Please. Please. Please.”

 

He came home early on May 26, 2010. He told his co-workers he had appointments, things to do, people to see.

 

They would never see him again.

 

He waited and planned and perhaps even prayed to whomever murderers pray to.

 

She arrived home from work at 4:30 PM to get ready for her daily walk with our daddy. She put on her tennis shoes and pulled her hair up into a loose pony tail. She made her way to the door.

 

It never opened.

 

I imagine he was pleading with her to stay, to reconsider, to love him like she should. I imagine she was telling him it was too late. I imagine when he placed the gun to her head, he said the same thing— “It’s too late. It’s too late.”

 

I got the call at 5:15 PM. “Did you know the police are surrounding Kay’s house? Did you know Mike killed Kay? Did you know….”

 

I fell to my knees. I couldn’t breath because I was drowning inside the boiling water.

 

They found her unconscious body at the front door.  His arms were wrapped around her waist like a snake, like a parasite, like darkness.  The gun was still in his right hand.

 

He shot her 3 times to make sure she remained inside her cage.

 

They told me I recited ee cummings at her funeral, but I don’t remember through the tears and wine and insanity.

 

 

here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud

and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows

higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart;  i carry it in my heart.

 

They told me my sister was dead at 1:00 AM, that her beautiful brown eyes would never open again… but I still don’t believe it…

 

because she rises from the earth every. single. day.

 

She rises like poetry and wind and a thousand mandarin suns.

 

She rises; her heart beating loudly and powerfully inside my heart.

 

******What you can do TODAY****

  • Tell somebody.  TELL  Everybody. Never keep silent about domestic abuse.
  • Make a safely plan HERE!
  • Call this number (Domestic Abuse Hotline):  1-800-722-7233
  • In Duluth—Call DAIP:  1-218-722-2781

You are worthy, beautiful, amazing, valuable, and God’s greatest accomplishment.

I am telling you Kay’s story because I want you to LIVE, Thrive, & become who you were meant to become.  xxX


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103 Comments

  • Reply
    Cheryl Lewis
    October 12, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Surely the most beautiful words ever written. In them… every single time you write from your conjoined heart… you free her.

    I love you, sweet Kim. Thus I love her.

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      October 12, 2015 at 6:12 pm

      —thank you, my darling Cheryl.
      Loving you back from MN. xxxx

    • Reply
      Jodi
      October 14, 2015 at 5:14 am

      I feel the same way! Xoxox

  • Reply
    Elephant's Child
    October 12, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    Heartfelt hugs and oceans of caring.

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      October 12, 2015 at 6:41 pm

      I feel your hugs, sweet S.
      Back to you. 000xxx

  • Reply
    Elephant's Child
    October 12, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    Heartfelt hugs and oceans of caring. Always.

  • Reply
    ladyfi
    October 12, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    So moving – brought tears to my eyes.

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      October 13, 2015 at 4:50 am

      Thank you for reading Kay’s story, Lady Fi. xxx

  • Reply
    Vidya Sury
    October 12, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    Heart-wrenching, frustrating, feels like fresh pain.
    Holding your hand as you “talk” Kim…I am proud of you for your strength, for your generosity in wanting to make a difference in the life of others who might be keeping quiet. I love you!

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      October 13, 2015 at 12:35 pm

      It is always fresh pain, darling.
      I have accepted that.
      Luv you all the way to India. xxx

  • Reply
    Debra Reilly
    October 13, 2015 at 6:07 am

    The most horrible day ever! It still doesn’t seem real. I loved her so much! I love you too! Have I told you how very much I love you lately!!!

  • Reply
    lisa thomson-the great escape
    October 13, 2015 at 9:50 am

    “I perceived something ugly, indescribable, hazardous.”

    Isn’t it amazing how our instincts tell us things we can’t quite understand in the moment? This post is incredible, Kim. The power of your words are helping someone like Kay right this moment. You’ve really captured her story and the nature of abusive marriages (relationships) in the subtlety, the increasingly violent tendency. They’re a growth like cancer. They begin naively enough but turn deadly. Always deadly. It’s only a matter of time.

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      October 13, 2015 at 5:15 pm

      Lisa,
      I’ve learned to utilized my instincts MUCH MORE.
      I mean, God gave us those for a reason. xxx

  • Reply
    Sandra
    October 13, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    Kay is so proud of you!

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      October 13, 2015 at 5:16 pm

      And I’m proud and honored to be her VOICE, Sandra. xxx

  • Reply
    marie
    October 13, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    Love and prayers crossing the ocean Kim. You are freeing Kay with every single word. She is alive in our hearts forever.
    Thanksfor raising your voice and helping women to leave before it’s too late. Be blessed.
    xxxxxxxxxxxx

  • Reply
    Kim Gagnon
    October 13, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Love you Kimmy !! Xoxoxo

  • Reply
    Minnesota Prairie Roots
    October 13, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    These are the words that cut to my soul today: “…he’s changed. He’s accepted Jesus into his life.”

    Lie. Lie. Lie. It is what they do best.

    Thank you, my dear darling Kim, for sharing these truths, for your inspiration and courage and for being the voice of so many.

  • Reply
    nan @ lbddiaries
    October 13, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    Sometimes we think, “Can there be any other words, any different words, to express how I feel?” Then you write something like this and I know it is like music – there are always new ways to use notes to create beautiful music, different from all other songs. You do that here, taking simple words, working them together to create what is in your heart for us to see, read and feel – and sometimes it just takes my breath away.

    You make Kay’s story a powerful testimony and I believe it has changed many people’s lives.

  • Reply
    Anna @ shenANNAgans
    October 13, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    F#$KING Hell! I am sitting here at my desk at work, sobbing like a baby. I reckon you are one of the most amazing woman in my world. Thank you for shouting at the top of your lungs the warning signs, for saving other peoples lives & for being the magnificent & wonderful human that you are. BIG hugs across the pond to you.

  • Reply
    Tia
    October 13, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    Speechless 💋

  • Reply
    Hotly Spiced
    October 13, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    Very beautifully written but so very sad. I hate how he came into your lives like the uninvited guest, then slowly ripped your family apart xx

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      October 14, 2015 at 4:52 am

      The uninvited guest was w/ with us for a long time…
      much too long…..
      Only if we knew then what we know now….

      xx

  • Reply
    Balroop Singh
    October 13, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    “She rises like poetry and wind and a thousand mandarin suns.” Love those lines Kim.
    Very powerful!
    Thanks for sharing. Stay blessed.

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      October 14, 2015 at 6:52 pm

      Balroop,
      as always, thank you for reading, sweets. xx

  • Reply
    Jeri
    October 13, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    Oh the ways we will squash or instincts. I don’t know if I’ll ever get over how much we as people can do that. Such powerful suspenseful writing here.

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      October 14, 2015 at 6:53 pm

      Jeri,
      we were given instincts for a reason…
      I, for one, wish I would have utilized mine earlier. xx

  • Reply
    Mandy
    October 14, 2015 at 1:21 am

    It is frightening how all abusers and stalkers are exactly the same! The patterns, the lies. The only advantage of this is they are easy to identify. I truly feel what you write, I feel it right down the the root of my soul.
    Love and hugs to you my darling Kim.
    I dream of the day we can sit on our garden bench and share and scream and laugh and cry.
    🙂 Mandy xoxoxo

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      October 14, 2015 at 6:54 pm

      Mandy,
      we will~
      We will have much to discuss, won’t we? xxxx

  • Reply
    countingducks
    October 14, 2015 at 1:58 am

    What a heart-wrenching story. I cannot believe that he latched onto her when she was son young. I don’t know how much older he was, but girls of that age are just to young to recognise a predator. The worst things often happen without announcement, and this is one of the saddest stories I’ve read, and fresh each time you recount it. The consolation is you’ve used her passing to warn others in similar situations, and you are, without doubt, a powerful force for good, and have made your sister your ally in that cause. Blessings to you always xx

  • Reply
    Angie@Angie's Recipes
    October 14, 2015 at 4:32 am

    So beautifully written, Kim.

  • Reply
    Jodi
    October 14, 2015 at 5:15 am

    I wish I could *like* each and every comment!

  • Reply
    Chris Carter
    October 14, 2015 at 7:52 am

    I find myself always holding my breath, when I read your words- your passion, your story, Kay’s heart… until I can exhale at the end. In a long winding sigh….. I close my eyes and pray, I take a deep breath and find hope… that your words, your story, Kay’s heart will bring LIFE to many who must must must take in this air you offer for those who are suffocating… in simmering water.

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      October 23, 2015 at 4:55 am

      OOO, I just love your warm, hugged words. xxx

  • Reply
    Little Chickie
    October 14, 2015 at 11:05 am

    Dear Kim,

    The words you use to describe the demons that make abusers are so true. I’m so thankful for having escaped. My mini palace in Gary New Duluth was filled with emotional diamonds.

    The big dark home I left in Esko still carries a parasite that will one day be faced with the demons that created him. The demons love him, but he will NOT love them back.

    I’m so glad I can fly again.

    Thanks Dear Kim for your powerful words. Thank you for helping me cry when I couldn’t, for helping me see a man I thought I loved for what he really is, a life sucking parasite, for repairing my broken wings. For helping others break free.

    You are amazing!

    Little Chickie

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      October 15, 2015 at 7:42 am

      Little Chickie,
      didn’t you know that you had the POWER all the time, darling? xxxxxxxx

  • Reply
    hilary
    October 14, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    your writing is beautiful… Thank you for sharing her story

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      October 15, 2015 at 7:43 am

      Hilary,
      I shall share Kay’s story forever…

      xxx

  • Reply
    Jann
    October 14, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Kim, I’m gasping for air. What power in your words! That a beautiful delicate soul like Kay would have met her exact opposite…so utterly devastating. Thank you for opening so many eyes and saving so many lives. A huge hug to you. xxxx

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      October 15, 2015 at 7:44 am

      Jann,
      yes, this title was initially called Beauty and the Beast.

      xxx KISSS. Love. Hugs to Sicily.

  • Reply
    Debbie
    October 14, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Stunningly beautiful, dear Kim. Exquisitely heart-breaking as well. To think of your dear sister stalked by this man and captured like a bug in his web makes my tears flow. More power to you, my friend, for getting the word out, for the hope you bring others, for offering your support and encouragement! xoxo

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      October 15, 2015 at 7:44 am

      Debbie,
      the sharing
      words
      and hope
      is part of my healing. xxx

  • Reply
    Valentine Logar
    October 15, 2015 at 4:20 am

    When I read, I cry. For you, for her. I cry. Then I rage and cry again. Then I am grateful I ran when I did. Then I cry some more furious tears.

    Thank you for what you do, for what you write, for your beautiful words. Thank you, I love you.

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      October 15, 2015 at 7:45 am

      Val,
      you left! I praise Jesus!
      because your VOICE is needed, my sweet girl. xxxxx LUV U

  • Reply
    Monica
    October 15, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    I love your candor and your style. No scare tactics, no melodrama, just you reaching out to help others. You are remarkable. Hugs, my friend.

  • Reply
    Michelle
    October 15, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Dear Kim,
    I hesitate to call this beautiful, because the outcome was so tragic. But, the love for your sister shines through the horrible, and beauty rises.
    I think about you often and just can’t fathom what this must be like. I’ll never pretend to know.
    Sending you love and hugs and from Kansas.
    Michelle

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      October 16, 2015 at 8:05 am

      Michele,
      thank you for reading Kay’s story.
      I want other women to KNOW this does NOT need to be their STORY!

      xx

  • Reply
    solidgoldcreativity
    October 16, 2015 at 2:26 am

    Kimmy, your courage is immense, to look again and again, more closely each time. To be your sister’s infallible witness. You are special, my dear xxx

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      October 16, 2015 at 8:06 am

      Narelle,
      every single time I write about Kay, I release more darkness and gain more light.

      xxxx

  • Reply
    My Inner Chick
    October 16, 2015 at 8:03 am

    -Testing–

  • Reply
    Britton Swingler
    October 16, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    Every time I read your soul, Kim—and even though I know the ending—I hope for a different one, the one where she rises and you never have to pen such words again. The vibrance of her life and spirit, which you so loving share with us, is a gift I cherish. There are many arms wrapped around you now, and I add mine to the dog-pile of them, trusting that you will feel surrounded—pressed in upon—until your whole body resonates with the tender yet powerful vibrations of love—ours and hers—invading your ragged heart.

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      October 17, 2015 at 7:55 am

      Britton,
      you words are arms that touch the raw part of my soul. Thank you. xxx

  • Reply
    Marcia @ Menopausal Mother
    October 16, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    This breaks my heart. I cannot even imagine. I hope this post reaches the right people–the silent ones who are quietly dying inside their abusive relationships.

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      October 17, 2015 at 7:55 am

      –Yes, dear Marcia,
      this is what I pray every single time I press publish)) x

  • Reply
    Sandra
    October 17, 2015 at 3:44 am

    As I type this I’m sharing Kay’s story with a co-worker. It needs to be told. Your efforts to empower your readers is making a difference Kim.

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      October 17, 2015 at 7:56 am

      Sandra,
      I’m wondering how you are, darling? xxx

  • Reply
    Dad
    October 17, 2015 at 8:58 am

    I never knew him, he didn’t mean anything to me. I don’t think any of us
    knew him, not even Kay. But he made a big impact on our lives in a very
    bad way. we finally got to know him,. but it was to late.
    Love You
    Dad

  • Reply
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    October 17, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    My goodness Kim you must have felt so helpless knowing how despicable he was but still unable to do anything about it. It makes me angry to think that someone thinks that they can possess another like that and control someone like that and take advantage of and twist someone’s love for them. Keep writing Kim xxx

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      October 19, 2015 at 4:49 am

      Lorraine,
      yet, one does not believe that another human being could actually
      hurt another human being. This…is quite hard to swallow.

      xx

  • Reply
    Liz
    October 17, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    Such a powerful message, Kim. I hope it reaches many who need to hear it. xoxo

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      October 19, 2015 at 4:49 am

      Liz,
      that is my prayer each time I press publish. xx

  • Reply
    Shamitri
    October 17, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    Oh Kim, 25 years, a stranger amidst you all. The one who took away a beautiful bright light. Your dad’s words pierce me. Your strength and words are powerful to many. As you celebrate your sister, you open the door of freedom for another.
    hugs xxx

  • Reply
    TheKitchenLioness
    October 17, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    Dearest Kim, your words are so powerful and almost too painful to read on this quiet Sunday morning – so much pain, yet so much hope…
    I will carry your words in my heart, dearest friend.
    Many hugs from afar,
    Andrea

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      October 19, 2015 at 4:50 am

      Andrea,
      and I send hugs back to you, sweets. xxoo

  • Reply
    Barbara @ Barbara Bakes
    October 18, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    So beautifully written. I hope someone struggling finds your post and it gives them the courage they need to make a change. Hugs!!!

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      October 19, 2015 at 4:51 am

      –this is my prayer, Barbara. YES, this is my deepest prayer. xx

  • Reply
    sherill
    October 18, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    Hi, Thanks for sharing your story, it was beautifully written, sometimes people are really abusive and so obsessed. I admire your courage.

  • Reply
    Dana
    October 19, 2015 at 9:36 am

    Keep sharing, Kim. Kay lives on in you and your words. xoxo

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      October 21, 2015 at 3:10 pm

      I shall…
      as long as I have breath, Dana. xx

  • Reply
    Deborah Batterman
    October 20, 2015 at 9:17 am

    The emotional devastation is visceral — to recite those achingly beautiful lines from e.e. cummings at her funeral and not remember. Britton’s comment I think sums up what so many of your followers feel.

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      October 21, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      Thank you for reading my mourning/morning pages, Deborah. xxx

  • Reply
    Kimberly
    October 22, 2015 at 10:04 am

    She rises like poetry and wind and a thousand mandarin suns.
    She rises; her heart beating loudly and powerfully inside my heart.

    So so so incredibly beautiful Kim.
    She is alive every time you write about her and every single time someone reaches out for help because her story lives on. Thank you for that xoxoxox you are amazing.

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      October 23, 2015 at 4:54 am

      Thank you for reading my mourning/morning pages, darling Kim. xxxxx

  • Reply
    Dawn
    October 23, 2015 at 7:13 am

    You are saving lives. And your words are keeping your sister alive in all of our minds. I know from personal experience that talking about it, making sure others are not similarly harmed makes us stronger. Hugs.

  • Reply
    Gary
    October 23, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    Your beloved sister lives on in your heart and your heart transcends to the rest of us with this heart wrenching and vitally important message.

    Bless you and here’s a peaceful hug (( )) x

    Gary

  • Reply
    julie gardner
    October 24, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    Every word, every breath.
    You carry her still.

  • Reply
    Charlotte
    October 26, 2015 at 7:53 am

    This make me shiver to think that there is such evil among us. I’m so sorry that you have had to have such incredible ugliness in your family and that your beautiful, sweet sister lost her life to such an evil monster. 🙁 I think sometimes we just get a sense or a feeling from some people and I’m so sorry that your sister didn’t heed the warnings.

    Wishing you always so much peace and sending much love your way. XOXO

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      October 27, 2015 at 8:04 pm

      Thank you, Charlotte.
      I appreciate you words. xxx

  • Reply
    Gary Sidley
    November 1, 2015 at 3:24 am

    Your words convey the raw horror of your sister’s murder so powerfully. It helps us all to get a bit closer to imagining the experiences of victims of domestic abuse.

    Your mission to highlight this blight on our communities is such a worthy one and I admire your persistence and openness to alert the world to this ubiquitous problem. In particular, I believe it is important to educate people about the early signs that a relationship may be heading towards an abusive conclusion: an initial, overprotective approach to the partner; making all the decisions; possessiveness and jealousy; controlling the partner’s behaviour and lifestyle; undermining, critical comments; etc. If a young woman is aware of these warning signs they would, I think, be more able to escape from these toxic, sometimes catastrophic, relationships.
    Wishing you strength from the UK to carry on with your mission. XX

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      November 1, 2015 at 7:03 am

      Thank you for your important words, Gary from the UK. xx

  • Reply
    Renee Johnson
    November 1, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Oh, dearest, you carry her heart, and you share it with us, and then we too carry it, and yours. Your words break us open, but hopefully, we share something back with you which lifts you up for a moment…at least. Hugs!!

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