My sister, Annette, lived through a terribly abusive marriage and made it through to tell the story. One day, several years after she escaped and upon hearing of a friend in Iowa in a similar situation, she put pen to paper. This is the heart-wrenching and hope-filled result.
“Spousal Abuse: Scattered Thoughts of a Survivor” by Annette Cooper
Anytime someone I am close to is going through domestic abuse or we find out “the rest of the story,” although I have done much healing and time has helped me through, I still get a little crazy in the brain. So here are some scattered thoughts.
Anger, and fear and tears; was she scared, did she cower? How many times did she cry and hide? Who can look at anyone the same after suffering this? Are all people bad? Deep down inside, is there no humanity? Running FROM them. Running TO them. I remember the first time, I remember most times. When he drug me down the hall, screaming profanities in my face. Was HER mind screaming “NOOOO!?”
Did it kill any of her soul?
Tears roll down my face, thinking, remembering. Hoping she is ok. Hoping she has not lost too many parts of herself. How can someone steal parts of you? Is it theirs to take? Did I give them away? Oh, it hurts, lost, scared, feeling like I am moving away from earth. Is she ok, does she cry at night? Does she love herself? That is a loaded question, my friend. I hope so, or if not, she better learn. We only have one life: can’t put it in the hands of someone who will blow it out like a candle, take it from you like it’s theirs to take. The hole inside grows. They take too many parts of you. Brain becomes lost and confused. What is reality? Why do they have a hold over you? Stomach hurts, that is the black hole of dread and fear, my friend. It only grows, until it consumes you.
Glad she got away. Glad she is not hurt. My friend was murdered…I was not. I don’t know how. I still cry for her.
How does it begin? We won’t try to figure out his “why.” For answering someone else’s question is not your job. When did she believe what he said? When did her fear outweigh her confidence and common sense? I was beat down and beat up. Manipulated, used, abused. Told I was nothing for so long, I believed it. Lord, give her clarity. Lord give her strength. Help her to walk away, not look back. Lord, put your arms around her. She feels alone inside. Maybe? Either way, she needs YOU. When I remember the destitution of my mind and soul, it is like a different person, a different time, almost like I’m telling the story of a sad, sad girl I used to know.
The painful memories are still there; I keep them hidden in a box. A box, behind a locked door. That is ok, they couldn’t all go away. Certain events in my life unlock the door, open the box, and whoa…wait, open the last box. It is ok. It is part of me.
It is the PAST, thank goodness.
It used to be, when certain events in my life occurred, I could hear the padlock on the door rattling. “Oh no, don’t touch it!!” my head would scream. “Don’t put the key in, there is too much behind that door, it overwhelms me and saddens me, to the point of exhaustion, tears and regret.” The lock was unhinged, the box is opening, I am falling, anticipation of that last box will put me straight over the edge. Tears, fear and pain overcome me. The last box is as big as the desert…barren, dark. In every corner, knives to stab my healing wounds. Hours and days of pain. At the bottom of the box was my heart, broken, sad, desolate.
Jesus held my heart in his hands, healed it. He held it while I cried and got clarity. Just let His light get me through to the next breath.
The pain eased, the box became smaller. And one day the box was small again, so I put it back in the other box, shut the door, and put the lock back on it. A lot went away, through healing and time.
The bruises on my body went away. The lacerations, the bumps, the disfigurement of my face. The pain inside was greater and took longer. It was not my place to make sure he served justice for what he did to me. Legally, I did what I could, but he will stand one day to answer for what he has done. The pain has lessened. I am safe. She is safe. Lord, continue to keep her safe.
Ok, I love you.
Keep strong for your family.
I love you!!!!!!!