A young woman works behind the counter at a convenience story. She is a single mother, She works full time, She is a full time student, and she lives with her single mother, who takes care of her baby. Even though she faces what would usually be thought of as a difficult life, she is a seemingly confident young woman, she is friendly and outgoing, opinionated and outspoken, but she is caring and compassionate, and she has an incredible passion for life, and like many other people, she loves the notion of love.
A man, a regular customer, begins flirting with her often. He eventually asks to take her out. He is charming and sweet. He treats her well, he makes her feel beautiful, he is seemingly supportive and listens to her stories, laughs at her jokes, and shows sincere interest in her hopes and dreams.
She introduces her child. The little girl amazes him. He becomes attached. The little girl lights up around him, he plays with her. He is good with her. Her dad has never seen her.
He had a bad child hood, but he loves children. He doesn’t get to see his, because his ex keeps them from him out of spite. The woman hurts for him. Her heart breaks for him. He tells her he loves her. It’s fast. He never met anyone like her. She makes him feel more alive than he had ever felt. He could see himself spending the rest of his life with a woman like her. He never thought he would have that again. He thought he had given up on love. She falls in love.
They live together.
He doesn’t work. He questions her if she gets out of work or school late. She has group projects that include male members. He gets jealous. He goes out with other women. Old friends. She isn’t allowed to speak with her best friend of six years because he’s a male. Even her female friends become a problem. Then her family becomes a problem.
They argue. Then they argue more. She stands up for herself. He threatens her. She still stands up for herself.
He hits her. She fights back. He beats her until she can do nothing but sit on the floor and cry.
She’s bruised. She’s sad. He looks at her with pain and tears in his eyes. He looks down and away. He apologizes, but says he wishes she would just understand him. He wishes she wouldn’t do things that hurt him so bad.
They fight a lot. Everything she does hurts him. There is another child. She has been forced to have an abortion. She has lost a baby, stillborn. There was a funeral.
They fight a lot. He yells a lot. She stands up for herself. He hits her. She fights back. He tells her to get out. He throws her things in trash bags. He throws them in the yard. They yell a lot. She agrees to leave. Puts her children in the car. Goes back to get her purse. She tries to walk out the door. Cold metal touches the back of her head. She hears the hammer of the 25 calibur barretta. He says if she leaves he will kill her. She whispers, “I Hate you.” She’s struck with the pistol. She drops to her knees. She sobs. She has dropped her things defeated.
Shes not outspoken. she has no friends. She misses her mom. She feels ugly. He says she’s fat. He says she’s lazy. He says she’s a bad mother. She always hurts him. She feels worthless. she wants to die.
They are married. Her mother dies. She hates her life. She wonders if he died, if she would get better. She wouldn’t hurt him. She just wishes that he’d die. She’s scared. She hates god. She hopes there isn’t a heaven. Can her mother see how weak she is?
He hasn’t hit her for months. She doesn’t talk back. He yells, she promises to try harder.
They fight. She hears her mother’s voice. He yells. Her kids are crying. They have 4 now. 3 girls and one boy. He yells. The oldest takes the others to their room to hide. He yells. She snaps. She screams. She calls him hateful and a liar and a piece of shit, abusive, horrible excuse for a man.
She’s against the wall. She can’t breathe. His hands tighten around her throat. He’s screaming. Saliva sprays her face as he yells. She’s clawing at him. She’s fighting for air.
Her two year old son screams. They look down the hall. He lets go. She runs. She took the phone. He didn’t know. She calls her sister. He leaves the house. She throws clothes in some trash bags. Tells the kids to get ready. Its 2:00 am.
He walks back in. He sees her packing. He drops to his knees.
He promises to get help.
He promises to treat her like the queen he always knew she was.
She tells him she loves him.
Then she tells him it’s too late.
He has his mother take their youngest two children. The others aren’t his. He tries to tell her she’ll never get them if she leaves, because she was a bad mother.
She says fine. She knows better. She leaves.
It’s a sad story, similar to many others, from the painful memories of women that have lived through domestic violence. Many don’t survive. Additionally, it doesnt just happen to women. Men can be victims of domestic violence also. Sadly, it is less reported among men for many reasons, so statistics that are collected don’t truly reflect the actuality of the problem.
Many victims of domestic violence are being damaged emotionally and mentally as well as physically. It is an experience that one should never have to face and in most cases there are deep rooted issues behind the violence, such as mental problems or trauma that causes the abusor to behave the way he or she does.
My purpose for writing about this is simply to spread awareness and understanding, as well as to let others that may be living through something similar know that they are not alone. I will be posting a list of links to support sites and foundations that provide assistence for victims of domestic violence, but it might take me a little while. Thanks for reading.