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V is for Vanessa


A to Z Theme - Circle of Hope:
A serial story (written in six-sentence segments) involving twenty-six women living in the small Midwest town of Cottonwood Creek, their lives connected by the Women's Circle of the town's protestant church, Hope Christian Fellowship, to which they all belong.

Vanessa:
Vanessa, 43, divorced her husband after thirteen long years of abuse that had began as emotional badgering and belittling, closing her off from her family and friends, threatening and intimidating her, and eroding away at her self-confidence by finding fault with everything she did.  When his behavior escalated to physical violence, Vanessa knew she had to leave before he killed her.  Thankfully she had the strength to go to the church pastor and seek help, but she remembered how hard that was to do in a small town where everybody soon knows everything.

As she sat down to visit with Uriel, who she knew was experiencing the same nightmare, Vanessa engaged in a bit of friendly chit-chat and then told Uriel that she had a story about her life she wanted to share with her. When she had finished describing the nightmare her life had been then, and how afraid and alone she had felt, she looked up to see tears forming at the corners of Uriel's eyes and sliding down her cheeks.

"Uriel, would you like to leave?" Vanessa asked gently, "I know a safe place where you can go."

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Read the stories of all the Circle of Hope women here.
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An list of links for the A-Z Challenge blogs
I'm following can be found on my sidebar. :-) 

19 comments:

  1. And the tears are welling up inside me right now. You have done an incredible job bringing the characters to life and intertwining their stories and interactions. I'll be sad to see this challenge end.

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    1. Thank you so much Val! I've tried to bring just a few of the issues these women deal with to light during this short series. They are brief introductions to be sure, and the story could go on and on, because this is life in a small town.

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  2. wow! i love how Vanessa turns out to be a messenger of hope for Uriel, having gone through the same ordeal, herself.
    much love,
    Moon
    https://aslifehappens60.wordpress.com

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    1. People who have lived through very difficult times in their lives can used those experiences as an excuse to become bitter and withdrawn, or as an education which enables them to reach out to others and help them find their way through similar things. Vanessa has chosen to care, if more people did that it would be a better world!

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  3. Let's just hope that Uriel is ready for the help. There is no helping anyone who is not ready to receive it.
    Perspectives at Life & Faith in Caneyhead

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    1. That's sadly very true, Barbara, people can see what's happening and offer help or advice, or even a way out, but if you aren't emotionally ready to make that break, it won't do any good. For many it takes a long time of living in this kind of hell before they find the courage to say enough.

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    1. Uriel was probably surprised by Vanessa's visit, Kristin, and won't likely be ready to respond immediately, but hopefully she will remember that help is out there when the time comes.

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  5. Sanctuary - hopefully. What a fascinating and diverse group you have gathered together.

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    1. The offer of sanctuary is an amazing gift to someone who sees no answers and no way out of their situation, Keith. I've tried to share just a few of the things happening in Cottonwood Creek, both good and bad, because we know life is a mixture of both. Thank you for your kind words!

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  6. She needs safety and recovery, and i hope she finds both.

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    1. You are right, Mimi, breaking free is just the first step. It takes a long, long time to heal from that kind of abuse, and the scars (visible or invisible) last forever. But hope is essential, and Vanessa has given her hope, a precious gift!

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    1. Thank you, Jo-Anne! It's a very difficult situation for an outsider to address, there is so much pain and secrecy involved.

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  8. I'm continually amazed at how you're able to tell such a great story and messages in six sentence segments. This must have taken quite a lot of thought and planning!

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    1. I'd like to claim that as true, but the reality is that the only advance planning I did was to assign random ages to the women, since I wanted a good mixture, and to give them names. The rest is made up as I go along. :-)

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  9. Goodness! For a moment it went though my head ... but I never told you ... it's almost like you wrote that first sentence about me. And I did briefly volunteer at a shelter.

    Certainly TMI and more than you ever wanted to know about me, but perhaps proof that your stories do hit very close to home in a very real way. :)

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing that, Vanessa! I am a survivor too, and that is why I work hard to encourage others through my writing. I have put pieces of my own life throughout my stories, keeping it real. I think we write best what we know best, and I am smiling that a "V-name" I chose before the A-Z turned out to be just the right one! :-) Blessings to you!

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    2. <3 *hugs* :) Blessings back!

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)