- bath ..
I ran the heavy wet cloth over my shoulders. The water, although once scalding hot, had turned lukewarm. Scattered droplets on my body cooled within seconds. I was only delaying the inevitable and yet it took an hour for me to finish my bath. I didn’t want to face what was to come. I wanted the seconds to suspend themselves. Despite all my desires to halt time, it continued on, unperturbed. My life was about to be changed forever, whether for better or worse, and there was nothing I could do about it.
- Ermisenda Alvarez
*image source: wallpaperway.com
The distorted ways that these men look at the world, over time, start to rub off on you. You fight it as much as you can, but after any length of time, you find yourself falling into their psychosis. One of the things though, I am proud to say, that he could never take from me was my faith in God. Oh, he tried, believe me!
I would be subjected to rants for hours on how there was no God or Jesus and how we came from aliens. I would then say, “Well, where did the aliens first come from then?” I don’t even remember now what his answer for that one was. I think of it now and how he has tried to do the same thing to our daughter and I have to laugh about how absurd it all is. Most of the time I would just think to myself, “yeah, you’re just afraid to believe because, if you did, then you’d have to suffer the guilt for all the mean, nasty things that you have done in your life time and you sure aren’t gonna do that, are you!”
Then I begin to wonder, “Is that one of the reasons God let me have a near death experience?” Maybe it was to save my daughter from his delusions. He already tried to take my faith and couldn’t but she is a child. Maybe her saving grace was Mark and I telling her about our “deaths” and what it was like to “feel” the glorious heaven that awaits us. Seems plausible to me.
I had a counselor tell me one time that the average cycle for an abused woman is 5 to 7 years. I was abused for between 13 – 14 years, twice the norm. She told me about the rage issues that I would be dealing with and how I was going to have to reprogram my mind. I didn’t really do too well at any of that until God gave me Mark.
In all honesty, he is the one who has done the reprogramming, not me. God healed my soul and spirit, Mark healed my heart and mind. If I had never found true, unselfish, unconditional love here on this earth, I would probably still be floundering or dead by now.
I don’t know why God chose to bless me so greatly. I have thought about this endlessly in the past. I didn’t deserve it, I didn’t earn it, but it was given to me all the same. I came to the conclusion that it must be all of the praying that was done for me, along with the fact that I was dedicated to Him at birth in the Catholic Church and He was not going to let me go down so easily. I also believe that the near death experience was my final warning to get it together too. Thankfully it worked
I no longer “hate” my abuser, at least as much as humanly possible, but I do have strong emotions about him, such as; disgust, revulsion, pity, etc. I have “forgiven” him because how could I do otherwise when I have been so forgiven myself? God would not like that.
Yet I do have vestiges of those old emotions when I read my friends posts about how they are suffering the ill effects still, the anger, the hurt and pain, depression, etc. My heart hurts for them, especially since I have so been there and done that. I worry for them because I know how suicidal you can become.
And this goes as well for those who suffer abuse through friends and in friendships. There are people out there, not just those of the opposite sex, that prey on the kind-hearted souls, the generous, caring, unselfish people who would give you the shirt off their backs. We also have to be sure to note that it’s not just women who are abused in either of these ways because there are men in the same situations. And the statistics are rising on their side in today’s society.
Why is that do you think? You have to wonder, don’t you?
Just some thoughts that I had to get off my chest. Thanks for listening/reading!!
Smiles and blessings to all,
- Dark Times and Long Roads Back From Abuse (terri0729.wordpress.com)
(image source: google.com/images)
The sound of voices snapped Susan back to the present. She could hear Mary and the policeman talking. Running the water in the sink, she splashed some cold water on her face, dried it with a towel and unlocked the door.
Taking in a deep breath, knees wobbling, Susan exited the bathroom and walked into the living room where her mother was standing with the officer. He turned to her and spoke, “Are you ready?”
“Yes,” she replied nervously, “but you will have to follow me ’cause I have to drop the car off somewhere for Jason to pick it up. It’s not in my name and I don’t want him filing theft charges against me.”
With that being said, she turned to hug her mother goodbye. ”Call me when you get settled in and let me know what the set up is and if I come there to see you or you can leave with me or whatever their rules are.”
“I will, mom. Thanks for always being here for me. Where’s dad?”
“He is downstairs.”
Susan turned to the officer saying, “I’ll be right back!” and proceeded to run down to the basement to tell her father she was leaving. ”I’m going to the shelter, dad.”
“Okay, best place for you right now.”
“I love you,” she said and bent to kiss him on the cheek.
“Ditto,” was his usual response and today was no different. He was still hurt though, she could see it in his eyes, but no time to worry about that right now. Those wounds would have plenty of time to heal in the coming months, after he was sure that she was not going back.
As Susan walked back up the stairs, she started thinking about work again. Since the day with the black eye, more and more had been discussed between her and Jim. She knew that he would be proud of her once he found out that she had actually done what she said she was going to do.
The officer followed her to a location close to her house where she got out of the car, leaving the keys in it, and got into the squad car. They drove the dozen or so city blocks to the shelter in quiet conversation. He explained to her what the police procedures were concerning the shelter, how they would give her a 911 cell phone to use for emergencies outside of it, and about the 15 minute intervals that a cruiser was scheduled to pass by it and check the perimeter. He explained that they had an 8 foot privacy fence around the back where the play yard was, camera’s mounted on every corner and a panic button linked directly to the police station.
By the time they arrived, Susan felt much calmer. She was very appreciative for the officer’s concise description of what she could expect. It had kept her mind off of what she was doing and made her feel assured that she would be safe.
Pulling up in front of the shelter the officer radioed in that he was dropping her off and would be inside for a few minutes. Then he faced Susan, “It will get hectic when we get in there so just let me say here that I wish you all the luck in the world and to tell you that you are doing the right thing. No man has the right to hit you, EVER!”
She looked at his young, baby face and thought it sweet of him to say so. ”Thanks” she said
“As much as I’m gonna be.”
“Okay, stay in the car until I come around to get you.”
Susan did as she was told and, all at once, her stomach began to turn over and a wave of nausea hit her…
Teresa Marie 1/27/12 ©
- Where Did I Go? – Part One (terri0729.wordpress.com)
- Where Did I Go? – Part Two (terri0729.wordpress.com)
- Where Did I Go? – Part Three (terri0729.wordpress.com)
- Where Did I Go? – Part Four (terri0729.wordpress.com)
- Where Did I Go? – Part Five (terri0729.wordpress.com)
(image source: google.com/images)
Susan put her hands up to cover her face while shaking her head back and forth. She was mortified, humiliated and utterly broken by having to admit to her boss that she was not the all together person that she played up to be.
Just having to deal with him knowing the truth was almost enough to push Susan over the edge.
Jim put his hand on her shoulder saying, “Come on, let’s go in the conference room so nobody sees you crying or the whole office will know something is up and the rumor mill will be buzzing by noon!”
With that, Susan allowed Jim to gently guide her into a room further up the hall. When she sat down, barely able to get herself under control, she stammered out, “Y-you p-p-rob-bably just l-l-lost all r-res-respect for m-m-m-e didn’t you?”
The shock immediately showed on his face. ”Are you kidding?! Susan, let me tell you something, maybe it will help. You know already that I have the utmost respect for you. Your job should be done by two people, not just one, and yet you do all by yourself. You work with efficiency, clear more paperwork in one day than anyone I have ever seen before, making very few if any errors, even amid a multitude of interruptions throughout the day and, what’s truly amazing, you do it all without complaining. You handle people with respect, kindness and always smile at everyone. There is not one person that has ever come to me to complain about your attitude nor performance. Your job alone is an enormous amount of stress.
“I also know that Jason is not working right now and you are the sole supporter of your family. Being fully aware of what your hourly pay is, I am quite certain that is a huge struggle as well.
“Then two weeks ago you come to me with that request to alter you working hours and have to confess the reason why it needs to be done. It had to have been hard to admit that you were in trouble for writing some checks that bounced and then you couldn’t cover them, had to go to court and were ordered to do community service. I thought it was admireable that you were going to do it at a homeless shelter. It seemed fitting to me that you would choose something that was a service to others. That is why I so quickly agreed to do that.
“So, stress of the job alone is enough to deal with but then you were working from 7 pm to 7 am at the shelter before coming in here at 8 am to do your job. How much sleep each night did you get in the last three days?”
“Maybe four hours,” Susan replied.
“Okay then, for the last three days you have worked 19 – 20 hours daily which was a monumental task in itself and now I find out that you were doing all of that with the additional stress and pressure of living with an abusive husband! Are you kidding me? I now have more respect and admiration for you than ever before!”
At that, Susan buried her face in her hands again as she burst out with more deep sobbing. A flood of emotions washed over her; embarrassment, relief, shame, guilt, pride, pain and also anger. As she cried, Jim patted her shoulder gently. She had always thought he seemed like a sweet guy, 10 years her junior, and today he confirmed it was true.
What he had said to her, which she knew was the truth and not something just thrown out to pacify her, began to make her feel better than she had in a very long time.
As her sobbing started to subside, Jim began to talk once more. ”Okay, I won’t call the police this time but if you ever walk in here looking like that again, I won’t hesitate to do it for one second. So you hear me?”
Susan removed her hands from her face and nodded afirmatively.
“Now, as for that bastard, what are you going to do? As just another person, not your boss, I am afraid for you being there with him. You know that you have to get away from him don’t you?”…
Teresa Marie 1/25/12 ©
(image source: google.com/images)
Once the dispatcher answered the call, Susan was transferred to speak to another person.
After explaining what she wanted, to be able to go to the shelter, the officer on the line said they would dispatch a squad car to her mother’s house to make a report and then transport her to the Woman’s Shelter.
While Susan waited for the next nerve wracking 20 minutes, since it was not an emergency they seemed to be taking forever to get there, her father entered the kitchen with a look of mild surprise and a little more than doubt in his eyes.
Susan wasn’t positive but thought she saw traces of disappointment mixed with relief in them.
“Hi dad,” she said as she stood up to hug her father, “are you surprised to see me?”
“Yeah, alive anyway. Welcome home girl!” Susan’s dad was a man of few words unless they were pulled from him in the course of a question and answer conversation. Still, though he said nothing more than that, she was sure that she had hurt him just as much as she had her mom.
Now that was a whole other story there concerning her mother. She had no qualms about saying just how she felt, sometimes with words that were carelessly chosen that left Susan with deep wounds. It was not that she thought her mom meant to do it intentionally, maybe it was just how she was raised. Her mother came from a very large family, 14 children to be exact, and grew up during the end of the depression years.
They raised chickens for eggs and meat, gardened and canned all their own canned goods, bartered and traded, etc. And with all those children, Susan felt sure, living in close quarters, there were probably times that her grandmother was short on patience and time to worry about hurt feelings as well.
After she sat back down at the table, her dad got his cup of coffee fixed and took his seat as well. ”So what are doing? You have a game plan? Where are your kids?” He had only seen her two oldest children and, other than a few pictures, not the baby.
Susan proceed to tell him what had happened thus far and what her intentions were. ”Sounds like you’ve thought this out. Are you gone for good this time? Sure you won’t go back? “
“No, dad, I won’t go back ever again!,” she answered, “If I did that, I feel certain that you two would see me in a coffin the next time. Jason’s been threatening to kill me for about the last three or four months straight and I believe that he will do it too! He said that he’s just trying to figure out how to do it without getting caught so that he can get ‘all my money’.”
“That bastard!” he replied.
“Robert!” her mother said from the sink where she was standing.
“Well he is!”, he shot back at her with a scowl on his face, “He should have been dead a long time ago.”
At that moment there was a knock on the door. Being more like a rap than a knock, Susan knew instantly that the police had arrived. Her mother went to answer it. She was grateful that the conversation had taken up her waiting time and she had not had to think of what she was about to do.
It was going to take every ounce of inner-strength that she could muster to “betray” Jason. It was something that he had drilled into her head for 15 years, loyalty – “nothing that goes on in the home is ever told outside of it” was like the mantra of her life with him.
An officer walked into the kitchen with her mother and began by saying, “What can I do for you? Dispatch said that you wanted to make a report of domestic violence and go to the shelter?”
She could barely get the words out, “Yes…”
Teresa Marie 1/23/12 ©
(image source: photobucket.com)
“Hurry up, let’s get inside! By now Jason knows that I didn’t go to work. Where’s Dad?”
“He isn’t awake yet. He had a hard time sleeping last night and was up and down at least a half-dozen times I think.”
Susan couldn’t seem to quit shaking, or crying, nor could she say “I’m so sorry!” enough times.
“What are you going to do now?” her mother asked.
“I was going to go to the Battered Women’s Shelter, I think. That’s probably the safest place for me right now. Besides that, they will probably help me get counseling so that I can strengthen my resolve to never go back there.” she answered. ”I don’t know what the procedure is to get placed in there though. I thought I would come here and we could look up the number and call.”
At that point Susan’s mother arose from the kitchen table where they were sitting and grabbed the phone book. As she did Susan thought, “Lord, help me! I can’t do this without You!!” Her mother turned around and handed her the book.
“Do you have any clothes to change into?” she asked.
“No. I couldn’t take anything with me or he would have been suspicious. All I have is the uniform on my back.”
“Well, at least the people at work won’t know that you are wearing the same clothes every day!” her mother exclaimed trying to lighten the tension. ”I’ll go get you something else to wear. Will you need shoes too?”
“Yes, please. Some tennis shoes would be fine, mom. Thanks.”
With that, Susan started looking for the phone number to the shelter. Once she located it, Susan picked up the phone with a trembling hand and dialed it. The lady who answered was very pleasant-sounding and explained to her that she would need to make a police report and then have the officer bring her to the shelter. That was the only way that she could get in.
After Susan hung up the phone, her mother walked back into the room and asked, “What did they say?”
As she proceeded to explain their procedures to her mother as Susan’s trembling went into high gear. She was shaking so badly that she could barely take a sip of the coffee that her mother had fixed for her when she had first arrived.
“Are you alright?”, she asked.
“This is going to make him a whole lot angrier than just me leaving when I report him to the police. What if he goes off the deep end and really kills me for it? What will happen to the kids?”, Susan asked her mother as she burst out crying once more.
“Don’t worry about that right now. You have to do it, Susan. If anything happens to you and they don’t catch him for it, I promise that we’ll hire an attorney and fight for custody of your children. Have some faith in God! You have to believe that He will protect you. But right now you have to call the police.”
“Okay,” Susan replied, “hand me the phone again.” With that she dialed 911 and waited for the dispatcher to answer as her knee rapidly bounced up and down…
Teresa Marie 1/21/12 ©