Author Archives

Suzannah Gilman

I'm a Gloria Siren, a licensed attorney, and a mother of four adults. I own my own tools, drive a stick shift, am quite fond of my Old Country Roses china, can do the NY Times Crossword every day of the week, and am told I'm "high-maintenance." Whatever. I'm an experienced traveler who can navigate through airport security faster than George Clooney's character in "Up in the Air" (2009).

When Another School Shooting is Another Domestic Violence Shooting

School shootings and domestic violence shootings are two separate, complex problems—even when they become intertwined, as they have today. Crucial in the development of this tragedy is that the victim, Karen Elaine Smith, had recently left her abuser—the most dangerous time and circumstance for a battered woman. In our righteous grief and anger because this shooting took place at a school and included child victims, we must not forget the women like Ms. Smith who need us to address this story as a domestic violence issue.

Confessions of a Christmas Letter Writer

My last Christmas letter was written a few years ago. My daughter, a freshman in high school then, read my letter and then wrote a spoof letter. When she read hers to her big brothers they laughed and laughed. I realized that my own children, who once thought the letters were special, had matured enough to know the letters were ridiculous while I, who should have long since outgrown the need to write them as a way of making myself feel better about my life, was still taking them seriously.

Why Won’t She Leave Him?

Don’t tell her what to do; talk to her and listen. Offer your help, but understand that to leave or not to leave is her decision. Respect it. And tell her you respect her.

Acknowledge the pain and turmoil she is in, most especially the emotional turmoil. If she doesn’t leave him, don’t give up on her leaving him. Give her love, respect, support, and time. It’s going to take all of that.

Growing up With a Mentally Ill Mother and the Stigma It Should Not Entail

As I listen to the commentary and interviews in broadcast media and read op-ed pieces about the recent stabbings and shootings, I struggle to accept the truth: there but for some sort of grace goes my family. We could have been chasing after my mother on a paranoid spree of violence. We could any day be the victims of someone else’s unstable loved one. So could you. How do we face such a threat? How do we diffuse the ill, who are so often victims themselves.