I receive a great deal of e-mail in response to the site from a wide variety of people. Frequently, this is in the form of requests for help from women who are being abused or have been abused. Occasionally, it’s from someone who is upset at something I’ve said here or there on the site.
What I got from “Sue”, to begin with, was both. Her story, in her own words, over the few weeks we corresponded, says a great deal about herself and her experience, not only as a battered woman, but as a person restricted to a power-driven wheelchair. Regardless of your interest in abuse, you will find something of value to learn in these messages.
A couple of explanatory notes will be necessary, since this did happen as a dialog and only one side is presented. At the moment, I haven’t yet dug up my sent-mail archives from this time, and so, don’t have my responses where I can find them to use here. However, I think this works better if I just let Sue talk for herself, making comments from time to time to put her words into context so they can be more clearly understood (linked to the *s that appear through the text).
I have exercised a small amount of editorial judgment on these letters. First, Sue was very upset through much of the time she was writing these messages, and made extensive use of upper case for emphasis. For presentation purposes, I have reformatted these sections to be lower case (capitalizing words where they need it), and presenting them, in most browsers, in bold face. I have also left the typographical, spelling, and grammatical mistakes she made in place, since they help establish her state of mind at the time she was writing. I’ve also slightly altered the message headers and her .sig for consistent presentation, removing our e-mail addresses, and other small things.
Sue didn’t send me these messages originally with the intention that I add them to the site. As you will find in the Last Message, I did get her permission to use them as I saw fit under certain conditions which have come to pass. Since she didn’t send them with the original intention that they be posted here, I’ve changed the names she used (other than mine) to protect her anonymity.
Here is her story: