My name is Angela Giles Klocke.
(Soft G, Long I = Giles / Clock + E = Klocke)
As I push my cart up to the register and unload my groceries, the cashier flashes me an uneasy smile. Caught off guard by the tiara perched atop my head at 7:30 in the morning, I wonder if she is trying to figure out a way to get a picture of me to share with her friends. But she doesn’t ask about it. In fact, she tries not to look at me at all. And isn’t that just like how we avert our eyes from cuts and bruises, from abuse? How we don’t ask about the scars across a person’s face…and heart?
Over the years, I’ve learned I’m allowed to talk about having a rough childhood, but I’m not supposed to mention what happened. I’m allowed to say my ex-husband died, but not that it happened when he tried to kill me first. And I’m allowed to mention domestic violence, as long as I don’t expect anyone to sympathize with the victims, since it’s their fault they stay anyway.
I’m supposed to conform, color inside the lines, stay quiet, and never, ever air my dirty laundry. Sit down, shut up. Or, as my grandmother once said, “Sit outside and don’t let me know you’re even there.”
I am definitely not supposed to write about the ugly things, stand in front of teenagers and talk about sex, or draw attention to myself by wearing a sparkling tiara in public.
As a child, I was a bit of a spitfire. I never took my parents’ abuse without fighting back, or at least fighting to get away. When choking back sobs before they gave me something to REALLY cry about, I would still try to get in the last word. Even as a young girl, I recognized the injustice in their actions and I would speak out…as much as muttering under my breath could be considered speaking out. So, as I’ve fought my way to healing as an adult, after 22 years of one kind of abuse or another, I have found my voice again to speak out, and I’m not content with muttering anymore.
I am a daughter of God, a wife to my best friend, a mom of three, a grandma of two, a sister to many, a friend to many more, a mentor…a woman who has survived.
My past includes: physical, emotional, and mental abuse; sexual abuse and assault; several near-death experiences; domestic abuse; teen pregnancy and marriage; and a tragic end to my first marriage. I am sharing bits of my story here, to shine a light on abuse but also to share my story of healing and reclaiming MY beautiful self.
I am a chaser of dreams, of light, of ideas. I love taking pictures and writing for the sake of writing. My favorite things to do include reading, traveling, discovering places I’ve never been, daydreaming, and making up funny things to share with people. I like to entertain, and I am never bored.
I’d love to speak to your group, school, or organization, or answer any questions you might have. Please feel free to contact me!