Yaada, yaada, yaada.
She keeps talking but I have no clue to what she's saying.
Apparently, during our high school years we were buddies------best friends, really.
I have no idea who she is or any of the things she's reliving. Oh, I was there and I probably did all those childhood pranks with her. I don't remember at all.
I keep searching my memory bank but I can't come up with anything. Sorry.
How do I explain? Look, I'm brain damaged even though I don't appear to be. I can't remember everything in my life. Some of it's gone forever. Some of it is clear as a bell.
I do remember when this all started though . It's not crystal clear but I remember...
I was curled on the front seat wrapped up in a big terry robe and a blanket. I sat up and looked at the driver.
He was in a uniform, had dark hair, easy features. Even though he was looking straight ahead, keeping attentive to his driving I could tell he was concerned about me.
But I kept having uneasy feelings about him. Was he a monster? Was he a nice guy? They had told me at the hospital he was my husband and I needed to go home with him but I couldn't recall him at all. Well,
I didn't know my own name, either.
He quietly asked if I wanted to stop for a milkshake before we arrived home.
I wasn't thirsty at all but I sure did want to stop someplace. I did not want to go home.
They had told me there were children at home.
I didn't know how to be a mother. I didn't even know where "home" was. I was terrified.
Yet something inside told me not to tell him that so I just asked for a vanilla shake.
Unfortunately, it didn't take long for him to run inside the fast food place and then the inevitable happened. We arrived home.
The most amazing thing happened next. These two darling little boys came running to me. They had such love and concern for me my heart began to break. I had no idea who they were but I was determined to become the best mother I could for them. Most of my fear left me right then because I knew no matter what the two of them with me were going to make it all work.
A rather petite woman came to meet us. It seemed she was a neighbor and one of my best friends. She was
babysitting the boys and had volunteered to help me in anything I needed (she didn't know what a BIG job that was going to be or what a blessing she would become to me).
My "husband" carried my bags inside and hurried off to work. Everyone has priorities; we just weren't his, I guess.
Each day he'd leave early for work and the neighbor would come over. It became a routine. A rather comfortable one for me as the boys were fun to be around, I was re-learning to cook, clean, and be a good mother from my friend who was great to me and I wasn't pressured to learn fast .
Then, he'd come home after dark. The boys were usually in bed or at least quiet in their rooms. I always had supper on the table, although this was before the days of the popularity of microwaves so supper might
not always have been hot for him. But it was there.
The house was clean, the boys were well cared for, supper was always ready. I tried so hard. Sometimes it was awfully hard for me. Yet he was never satisfied. I always failed somehow. Always!
First, yelling. Then, throwing of things. Then, HITTING. And there was always tears. Mine. And slamming doors. His.
One morning after an exceptionally brutal argument my friend and I were having coffee when I asked why she was still around. After all, I could function on my own now and although I enjoyed her company I assumed she had better things to do.
I'll never forget her answer. I'll remember until the day I die.
She set her coffee cup down, took my hand in hers and looked into my eyes.
"Why, honey, I'm here to make sure he doesn't kill you."
That came at me like someone had thrown a bucket of cold water on me!
Everything I 'd endured was known throughout the neighborhood. It wasn't the family secret I thought it was. It hadn't remained behind closed doors. People knew.
My friend and I spent the rest of the day talking about lots of things. And our conversation cleared most of the mysteries up for me.
A few weeks later, I left the marriage, I left all the bad stuff behind.
The boys went with me. And we're fine. We're family. We made it work.
He took so much from me.
I had to get my sons' birth records so I knew their birthdays. I don't remember my oldest son's first tooth.
Most of my high school days are gone from my memories. There's people I run into that I swear I've never seen and we once were great friends. I don't know if this stuff will come back.
Some of it is gone forever. Some of it is just beyond my reach and I can't quite grasp it. Some of it is in a fog and I can only recall a few things. Others are crystal clear. And, sadly, it doesn't seem to matter if this had been a milestone in my life or not.
Yet I feel like one of the lucky ones. Think how much more he could have taken.
I just want to scream out loud to the women that are enduring this kind of life. GET OUT. GET AWAY.
It's not the dirty little secret you think it is. It's doubtful it's a secret at all.
And, trust me, if it happened once IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN.
There's a mother, a child, a sister, a brother, even a best friend that will be really hurt if you let this continue.
Do me a favor? Think about my story, try to imagine what I have to go through even today, then think about all the people in your own life. Now tell me, can you afford to have someone take that from you? Even if you don't think much of your own worth, what about theirs? Are they worth not knowing?
Jesus took our sins to the cross. And everybody else's too. So we don't have to live in suffering anymore.
He gave up His life so we could have a better one. Staying in an abusive relationship is like telling Him that He died for nothing.
I can't tell Him that. And you shouldn't either.
Robbie White is currently studying to become a counselor of domestic violence.She also works with the City Mission,a refuge for the homeless and needy.
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