Please Don't Stay

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uEJi0x-49E] I saw this video on Gala Darling a few weeks ago and knew that at some point I had to share it: that even if somehow, someday the words, please don't stay, it won't be ok, haunt the mind of just one women tolerating something that she doesn't have to, long enough to encourage her to take the first steps on the carpet to freedom, then that would be enough.

Here on BrocanteHome I try to keep life as light-hearted as I can. Even when my own isn't. You see I want BrocanteHome to be a retreat for all us, a place where we can indulge each other with frills and frippery and celebrate what it is to lead a scrumptiously blissful life at home. I want my writing to remind you that extreme self-care is essential, that kindness is important and that you as Mistress of the household matter above all else.

This is the message I want every woman reading Brocantehome to take away with her.

But life isn't all ribbon-wrapped lavender and lace is it? Somewhere, very close to you, there is a woman spritzing her pillows with orange blossom only so that she will be able to fall asleep before he decides to lumber up the stairs to bed. Another woman never baking cupcakes because he has told her, her bum is too big.  Another spilling terrible scenes into the journal she has stuffed between the mattress, because it is the only little bit of herself she has left. Women with all the bells and whistles of a lovely life, nursing hearts that are bloodied and battered and children frightened out of their little wits.

We don't have to pretend life is perfect do we? Mine isn't. Behind the scenes, something casts a long, dark shadow over all that is precious to me.   And while most of you will hopefully never experience something quite as painful, I know that I am not alone- that each and every one of us  tucks our own personal sorrow into bed at night and wears it strapped to our hearts daily. We all do it, we all have things that shame us and hurt us. Things we tolerate or barely abide. Shame makes us human, vulnerable, real. Pain helps us grow into the women we should be desperately proud to be.

But fear is a different thing altogether.

Domestic violence shrouds a women's life in a destructive mess of pain and shame dressed in God-awful fear. Fear compromises our ability to make rational decisions and slowly, but surely erodes any sense of self-worth we may have had.  Women DIE at its hands daily, literally and emotionally, and we don't have to look hard to see the ghosts of women suffering at its hands even in our own circles. Women and babies who flinch at a raised voice and never lift their eyes up from the floor long enough to see the bigger picture.

This then is for all of them on this cold, windy morning: a reminder on the day before we are supposed to celebrate our own true love that we don't have to stay.

All too often, it ISN'T OK.