Please Don't Stay

By Alison February 13, 2012 11 Comments 2 Min Read

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.


  1. Helen Hume says:

    Brave and beautiful Alison
    Helen x

  2. Wise words indeed and never a truer word spoken,great post Alison.

  3. Ali says:

    I was a volunteer worker at a women's shelter some years ago. The pattern I saw most often was "a history of violence". Abuse, like prejudice, is more often than not a learned behaviour. It victimizes everyone involved, hence the cycle repeats. As your video demonstrated.
    My recent post Happy Weekend

  4. Lynn says:

    Thanks Alison this really touched me x

  5. Stine says:

    The decision to walk away was heartbreaking, but seeing the effect it was having on my young sons convinced me that even after 20 years of marriage it was the right decision. My ex learned his behaviour from his father and I didn't want it to continue down the generations. I wish I'd had the courage to leave as soon as it started.

  6. pioneercynthia says:

    Oh, Allison, this is both a lovely AND a heartstopping post… What's maybe even sadder is that it happens to men, too… I have a lovely friend who takes care of a wife with a mental illness. He won't leave…
    What's nice is that there are so many more options for women now. It's no longer such a stigma.
    But this makes me think of a lovely idea. I'm wondering how many shelters and respite care centers have those homey touches that might make staying there not such a shock.
    Maybe this is something we "Brocante" ladies could do! Maybe if we don't have time to really volunteer in some of the more traditional ways at a shelter (though I'm not sure what that would involve in this context, I'm ashamed to admit…), we could ask if there's something we could do to make the place a little more cheery, a little more inviting.
    I'm getting ready to move to another location, and I''m thinking maybe some of the things I was thinking of packing could be taken to a local shelter and used to brighten up a room where some poor dear is staying. I can always get more, but she might not be able to for a while!

  7. Heather F says:


  8. Jen says:

    Beautifully written, as always, Alison.

  9. Heidi says:

    On this subject, and something that was also well written:

  10. @RetroMother says:

    Thank you for blogging on such a sensitive issue – the more we recognise it happens and talk about it, the more that can be done about it

  11. Terrie says:

    Walking away can be harder than enduring the abuse. It's hard for a woman to see that she will survive when she's had all the strength and confidence sucked out of her. But jumping that hurdle was the best thing I ever did.
    My recent post A Ripple Update

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