Excerpt From Book 1 of “Where There’s Smoke”
by Demian Yumei
“Covert abuse first introduced itself to me when I was a child, behind closed doors. Today, I see it out in the open. I hear it over the airwaves, watch it on television and see it online.
It seems the bad behavior that comprises covert abuse is not only met today with more tolerance but is openly celebrated. Where people used to be more conscientious about, at least, appearing to be respectful toward one another, utter contempt is now not only acceptable but seen as a badge of integrity and honesty.
It’s crazy. But what’s happening on a national scale reflects what many people experience on a daily basis in their intimate relationships. Their human dignity is denied, their value determined to the extent they benefit another, their dreams diminished, their desire to live and to love looked upon with suspicion.
Our collective closets are open and all the garbage and trash stuffed away have come spilling out into the living room.
Like destroying a relationship or a family or a business, the stuff behind covert abuse can destroy a country, a nation. And with the power we have to impact our world and each other like never before, we can destroy our planet.
Right now, covert abuse appears to be hiding in plain sight. We need to step up and address it with eyes wide open and with empowerment. We need to make a difference.
Covert abuse remains covert as long as it needs to. Given the opportunity to wreak havoc in the sunlight, it does not hesitate.
It’s my commitment to shine a light on covert abuse, whether it slithers in the dark or spews its venom in the light.
If you can recognize covert abuse in its camouflaged hiding places – rocked by people’s behavior, inked into institutional policies, delivered on politicians’ speeches, slung by people you don’t know and “gifted” by those you think you do — you will be better able to disengage, and where necessary, expose.
People don’t know the house is catching fire. The smoke hasn’t stirred them awake yet. People have died in their sleep. But you can wake up. Put out that fire in your own life and take steps to extinguish the flames from spreading any further.
Armed with knowledge and better gear, you can make a difference.
You can save lives.”