I Closed My Eyes: Revelations of a Battered Woman

Michele Weldon, Author
Michele Weldon, Author Hazelden Publishing & Educational Services $15 (288p) ISBN 978-1-56838-341-5
Reviewed on: 08/16/1999
Release date: 00/00/0000
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In a memoir that powerfully discredits the stereotype that spousal battering is limited to a particular economic or social class and is drug- or alcohol-related, Weldon, a successful journalist, also belies the notion that someone who has had a happy childhood cannot be brutalized. Weldon's unnamed husband grew up, as did she, in an Irish-Catholic middle-class environment. He became an attractive, charming and well-paid Chicago attorney, a catch who elicited the envy of Weldon's female friends. In part because the marriage looked so good from the outside, and because she loved her husband and did not want to deprive her three sons of their father, Weldon could not accept that he would not stop beating her, despite years of joint counseling and his eloquent apologies. She finally broke her silence nine years into their marriage by screaming aloud one night when her husband attacked her at her in-laws' house. Her account of how she obtained an emergency order of protection, sought therapy for her sons and underwent the expensive and lengthy process of obtaining a divorce conveys how difficult it is for a woman to leave an abusive relationship, even when she has a supportive family and significant economic resources. Unable to truly forgive her ex-husband for his abuse and the legal battles that he subsequently instigated, Weldon has finally forgiven herself for staying in a terrible marriage. This gripping personal story will be helpful to anyone who wishes to understand domestic abuse; Weldon's most important message to battered women is to bring the violence out of the closet. (Oct.)
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