Category: Suzannah’s Voice

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.

I’m Allergic to Being Allergic

(c) Suzannah Gilman

Bananas that have even one brown spot? Off limits. Nothing that has started to ferment goes into my mouth. Wine is fermented, I say. “Yeah. You’re not drinking any wine. Or beer. Or any alcohol of any type except for potato vodka,” which was something I had never heard of, and neither have most bartenders in the world, I have since found out. “Also no chocolate, and I might as well tell you right now, no bacon, either.” You have to have a lot of guts to tell a woman she can’t have wine, chocolate, or bacon, all in one breath. Turns out this woman is ex-Navy. That explains it. Good thing she didn’t mention the prohibition of tequila right then, because I am an ex Navy wife and we might have had a throw-down.