I Closed My Eyes: Revelations of a Battered Womanby Michele Weldon
Award-winning journalist and author Michele Weldon offers a distinctly honest and articulate portrayal of the domestic violence she experienced in a nine-year marriage to a man many considered to be the perfect husband. As an assistant professor of journalism at the Medill School, Northwestern University since 1996, public speaker, journalist for magazines and newspapers and seminar leader for The OpEd Project, Weldon defies the mythology about abuse victims. She conveys a poignant portrayal of a woman caught in abuse and her victorious escape to raise her three children alone. Working to understand and explain why and how this would happen, she offers hope to all women with similar stories, modeling the courage to break free, move forward and live a joyful life full of love.
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Meet the Author
An award-winning journalist for more than two decades, Michele Weldon writes regularly for the Chicago Tribune and her work has appeared in hundreds of major newspapers and national magazines. Her first book, I Closed My Eyes, has been translated into French, Spanish, and Dutch. In 2000, Weldon earned the International Women's Peacepower Media Award for nonfiction as well as the Individual Courage Award from Rainbow House in Chicago.Her work has appeared in two anthologies, Joyce Carol Oates: Conversations with Joyce Carol Oates in 1989 and Belly Laughs and Babies in 1997. Weldon has appeared as a guest on TV shows on NBC, ABC, and BBC as well as on several local network and national cable stations. She has been a featured guest on more than ninety radio stations across the country and in Canada.She is a lecturer at her alma mater, the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, where she has taught at the graduate and under-graduate levels since 1996. Weldon gives Writing to Save Your Life workshops in Chicago and around the country and is a frequent keynote speaker to local and national groups.Living in the Chicago area with her three sons, Weldon serves on the board of directors of Sarah's Inn, a domestic violence services agency in Oak Park, Illinois, and is a member of Children's Memorial Guild, a fund-raising arm of the medical center. She is a member of the Journalism and Women Symposium as well as the Association for Women Journalists.
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The author writes in the preface, "I can pray someday I will understand why he did what he did." A decade after the publication of her book, Ms. Weldon may know that she may never make sense of the insanity that caused her husband to nearly kill her. Michele Weldon is an award-winning journalist, and her skills as a writer are demonstrated in this true-story about domestic violence. The book is divided into three parts. With each part, Michele inserts private notes and cards her husband wrote to her, each "love letter" meant to be endearing, carefully crafted with all the right words, but somehow lacking in sincerity. Part One: Getting There, explores an enviable childhood and optimistic young adulthood. In her childhood, she takes us to an ice-cream shop. Michele falls in love, and with few warning signs of an abusive personality, she is married to a man who is enraged and disengaged. In a subsequent chapter, she takes the reader to a pawn shop. The reader gets the disconnect, and how denial serves for survival. Part Two: Getting Out, explains how scary it is to stay in an abusive marriage, and how scary it is to leave. Although Michele has multiple support systems, it appears that these do not make the emotional aspects of divorcing a sabotaging tyrant any easier. He continues to batter her psychologically, often using their children as a weapon. Throughout part two, Michele writes about crying on a continuum; crying is a measure of healing and hope. The thread of tears is worth reading again. Part Three: Getting Better, offers gem-filled vignettes, such as an exploration of color, hands, growth, grief, sorrow, joy, celebrations. Michele writes about healing, how it feels and how it sounds "I was no longer spending my nights dreading his key turning in the lock." This isn't only a story about domestic violence. It is also a book about an empowered woman, separate from a man who possessed her, as she reclaimed her true self. Michele Weldon is the author of Everyman News: The Changing American Front Page and Writing to Save Your Life: How to Honor Your Story Through Journaling
Seeking stories of battered women, because I am trying to understand why mother stayed with such an abusive man, this book helped. I wrote my story Secrets in the Night, and writing it, and reading this book helped me understand, getting away from the abuse is the only way to stop it, and the only way the abuser can be helped.
I actually read this book as part of my ongoing research. The author was very brave to write such an intimate account of her marraige and she does give insight into the thought processes of victims in situations such as these. However, she seemed to go over the same points again and again. Just when she gives you enough to get the point of what she's saying, she keeps beating you to death with it. That made the book a tough read. It was kind of like 'Okay, get on with the story.' Other than that I would definently recommend this book to those seeking insight into domestic violence.
A beautifully written book. An amazing story. It shattered a lot of what I thought was true about abusive relationships: that the guy himself was abused and that's why he's an abuser; the woman has low self-esteem and that's why she stays. Ms. Weldon helped open my eyes to the fact that it truly can happen to anyone. Even a woman as successful,attractive, educated and talented as she. Worthwhile and interesting reading.