Thank you

What a year, equal parts good and evil, which is an improvement over 2012 which was pretty much hell.

In 2013, Donkey didn’t get away with being an asshole about what time the kids and I have together, he hasn’t gotten away with closing this blog, and a woman’s life was saved. In 2013, I was Freshly Pressed three times, wrote six guest posts for five great blogs, and, tops on my 2013 list, Deliberate Donkey has become something all together wonderful. And I hope to continue to grow it (while keeping space for myself here too). 

This was a great year for Deliberate Donkey, and you made that happen – the writers and the readers. Every voice matters. The greater the collection of voices, the stronger it gets. Our experiences are all unique, but for the pattern we experienced – that pattern of hope and despair. Some of us have escaped it, some are still in it. We all have something to offer each other.

I hope the next year brings a great mix of new and returning writers. This stuff isn’t easy to write, or to read, but it’s important. It’s important for so many people–victims, survivors, advocates, friends and family, those who get it and those who don’t–and for so many reasons–to feel less alone, to educate society, to understand how to help, to get it. The more we talk about it, the easier it will get for us to talk. And the more we talk to each other, the more our strength will grow, as individuals and as a community.

Thank you to everyone, each one of you. We did this together, and we’ll keep doing this together. This is our community.


During the holiday weeks, stop by as I highlight some of what 2013 had to offer. For more, browse the links in Opening The Closed Door.

If you can be among the writers of 2014, send me an email to


  1. Thanks so much for giving us a voice!!!! I am so blessed to have found you and I am so happy to let you know that I have shared your blog with the women in my DV group and they are finding strength in it as well!!!! Merry Christmas and once again-THANK YOU!

    1. You made my day. I am so happy to hear you share this and people find strength in the stories here. Thank you! I wish you the best in the next year, and the worst to your donkey.

  2. Melanie, wishing you all the best in 2014, have a wonderful holiday season. Thanks for all you have shared on DD.

    1. Thank you Becki. The season is coming to an end, and you have such a great next year to look forward to. I hope you close the year in style.

  3. God bless you, Merry Christmas

    1. Thank you. May peace be with you this Christmas and New Year.

  4. Wow! 2013 has been a big year for you. Your hard work here shows, and it has obviously paid off. Here’s to an even better 2014!

    1. Thank you Jen! It was a big year, a year of growth, and the joy and pains that come with it. I hope 2014 is better. I hope for more voices and a stronger community. I hope for more awareness and understanding, and fewer victims.

  5. Melanie,
    Glad to have you as a partner, a friend, and to know you as a blogger and a human being.
    Much love,
    Le Clown

    1. Right back at you Le Clown. It was a pleasure to work with you this year. It’s been an adventure getting to know you. You’ve been good to me and for me this year, and for that I am more grateful than I have words to express it.

  6. Merry Christmas to you Melanie, I hope 2014 manifests you much peace of mind and soul and thing continue on an upward climb throughout the year.
    Slow and steady growth, it seems our lives are taking a similar course. my 2012 was the year that will go down as the year from hell, 2013 had more ups than downs, my donkey didn’t succeed in shutting down my blog either, he may have succeeded in getting me fired but that is working in my favor any way. There is strength in numbers and I will be right along side you breaking the silence. You are doing a wonderful thing here.

    1. Merry Christmas Carrie. Thank you for your post here. I am grateful to the women who can share their stories and the strength we give to those still working towards freedom. I believe the more we tell, the easier it will be for others. Have a happy new year too!

  7. Here’s to a wonderful 2014! Merry Christmas!

    1. Merry Christmas to you too Zoe. I am glad to you know. You are an inspiring women. I hope 2014 brings you much joy.

  8. Congratulations on your successes this year Melanie, the biggest being your time with your kids. I think even my heart smiles when I read words like “happy dance happiness” on a site like yours. Of course, hurray for your blogging achievements too. I am so very glad for you. I will cheer for your even better 2014. I think, when my time is right, I would like to respond to your April 29 invitation. In the meantime, keep taking good care, you are doing something right.

    1. Thank you so much. The time my kids and I spent together was big, and we made the best of every moment. I hope for more of it next year.
      Any time you are ready, there will be space for your voice here. Just let me know.

  9. Melanie, thank you for giving us a space to share our stories. You have been an important to piece to all of us during our healing process, and you are wonderful for not only sharing your story with us but also this sharing with us the ability to provide each other with much needed support and encouragement. 🙂

    1. Thank you for being a part of this. It warms my heart to see people reading and supporting each other here. It is the silver lining of all the horrors of the last eight years.

  10. clbolinbooks · · Reply

    Thank you for giving me the last story of this year that has for me, been a powerful journey of self-discovery… my mental foot is strong enough now to wedge his closed door open just a crack. I’m nearly ready to whip out my crowbar to take the whole damn door off the hinges.

    Melanie, stay strong and true to yourself, your children and aspirations. 2014 has got to be a better year for all of us.

    I love you, yes I mean that ((hugs))

    1. When I opened the door just a crack I found myself kicking it full force, wide open. We all take our own journeys. May yours bring you peace.
      Take care of yourself. 2014 will be better.

      1. clbolinbooks · · Reply

        Amen to that 🙂 Merry Christmas, Melanie!

  11. Melanie, I’m writing you to see if you could add to your Resources list. It is the country’s very first searchable online database of domestic violence agencies and it includes roughly all 3000 of the agencies in the US.

    When someone visits, in a matter of seconds – from a desktop, smartphone or tablet – that person can find help closest to them based on their location, language and service preferences.

    This release ( talks about the important strategic issues this new free non-profit service resolves. Succinctly put, finding help online has been too difficult up until now. The service is offered as a partnership between National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and my family’s charity Theresa’s Fund.

    Sorry for the long post here, but I couldn’t find another way to reach you.

    Chris McMurry
    Director, Theresa’s Fund

speak loudly, donkeys are sleeping

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