From fearless to fearful, from laughing to screaming.
From happiness to sorrow.
All these things have one common denominator: YOU!
I know I shouldn’t blame you for everything, but I do.
I blame you for taking away my innocence,
For forcing me into situations that I have never been in.
I blame you for never listening to reason.
I blame you for all these things and more.
You promised to always protect me, to put me before anyone, except God.
You promised me all these things and you broke every one of them.
After all the lies and broken promises, I just wanted to say…
I forgive you and I love you.
How did I get in this situation? When did loving this man turn into this? When did his gentle touches turn into slaps and punches? And most importantly, when did loving him become so hard? I have asked these questions so many times. All these questions and more would run through my mind daily. With no answer in sight.
If you don’t know, let me be the first one to tell you. ABUSE IS WRONG!! It is never okay to stay in a relationship where you feel threatened in anyway. Please know that love is not supposed to hurt. In my own relationship, I thought that if he saw that I would stand by him no matter what, he would change his ways and be the man I thought he could be. In other words, I tried to change him. Not possible!!
Out of everything that he put me through, I never once considered leaving him. Not until the very end anyway. Oh, sure I tried to leave him alone. Especially, after the first sexual assault. But he apologized a million times and eventually I started talking myself into believing him. I would tell myself that it was mistake that we just got our timing wrong and it was a misunderstanding. Of course, I was lying to myself. But, I wanted him to love me.
I remember fighting so hard to keep my sanity, keep him happy, and keep my family from finding out. All those things can take a toll on you physical and mentally. Before long I was suffering from depression. I couldn’t get out bed most mornings because it felt like a two-ton weight was on my chest. I couldn’t get through my mornings without feeling like I had run a hundred-mile marathon. It was one of the hardest things that I have ever been through.
I wanted to share this with you to show that you can come out of anything. That you are stronger than this. Do what my mother told me to do, “get out of that bed and stand on your own feet!” This is not the end of your life! Stand tall and strong!
I know the title may have thrown you a little, but hear me out. I know no one asks permission to bring danger into their lives. But, for conversational purposes, let’s say you did. When you met the man or woman that you thought you would be with for the rest of your life, did you take in consideration your mother’s opinion of them? If your mother didn’t like him or her, was that a deal breaker for you? Or, were you hard-headed like me and ignored it?
I still remember every word my mother ever said about him. I can remember her first reaction to him. She knew from the word “hello” that he was no good. And I ignored it because I really liked him and I felt that my mother never gave him a chance. I would always tell her “you don’t know him like I do.” When in fact, I was the one that didn’t know him.
Like everyone else who has encountered danger, I wish that I had listened to my mother and ignored his smile and his words. I wish I had run in the house and blocked the doors and windows. But alas, I didn’t. I listened when he spoke, I smiled when he was kind, and in the end, I fell in love. Well, I fell in damn in fool. For those of you that don’t know what “in damn fool” is, here’s what I mean.
Ever been so in love with a person that you put up with any and everything that they do? That you overlook the warning signs, the MIA moments, or any other red flags that you may see. “In damn fool” is the moment you realize that they have been lying to you the whole time and you still look pass it just to have them. Because in the back of your mind you believe that they will eventually see how great you are and how much you love them and they will change for you.
The only problem with that is that if they ever do change, it is usually for the worst. I can only speak from my own life’s example, but the change that came was not a good one. After the first slap, I thought that maybe I had provoked it in some way. I didn’t even fight back. Maybe he took that as fear. Maybe I was afraid of him.
I knew it was wrong to stay after that first time. Something said that it would only get worse. For two and a half years I put up with unspeakable acts of violence, that even now, at times still make me shudder. Recently, through a situation that I did not see coming, I found out that life does imitate art. Or is it the other way around?
When I sit back and think about everything I have been through, I find that I feel stronger than I did before. And even though I recently had an altercation with my abuser, I refuse to let him win. I am no longer the woman that needed to make sure that he was happy and never upset, while I lived in hell. I know now that I don’t have to go back to that place in my life when I thought about him before I thought about myself.
During that relationship I always needed someone to talk too. But I felt there was no one I could reach out too. I felt that I didn’t have anyone that would understand what I was going through. I thought that being in an abusive relationship excluded me from the groups of friends that I had. That they would think I was stupid for allowing this to go on. So, I kept my mouth shut.
I stayed quiet even when my days brought me to wishing that I was dead. Wishing that he would just kill me instead of letting it linger. That just maybe if I was dead everything would be better. Luckily for me, this was not to be! I fought to win back my life and I will continue to fight if I have too. So next time I see danger, I won’t have to ask my mother. I will already know to walk on by.
I see bright lights, sounds of an explosion, and loud screams. No, it’s not New Year’s or the Fourth of July, it’s November 21st. Today is a new holiday. It’s the day I died. Today will be the anniversary that my loved ones will remember for the rest of their lives…whether they like it or not.
We were supposed to be preparing for Thanksgiving, not a funeral. But as usual, nothing works out as planned. Tonight, he seemed different. In a quiet rage, I would say. I could feel him watching me as I walked, more like tipped, around the house. Careful not to make a sound. Wanting to go unnoticed, in hopes that tonight would be a quiet evening.
Not so fast! He has it all planned. I’m the only one left in the dark about the reason for tonight’s episode. But not for long.
“I found your bag in the basement,” he says out of the blue.
My heart stops.
Think, Samantha! I scream in my head.
Finally, I say to him, “Bag? What bag?”
“The one you’ve hidden under the tarp with the old furniture.”
“That’s not mine. Well, it is mine, but they’re old clothes.”
“Was the envelope with the checkbook and keys old, too?”
The lump that formed in my throat was the size of a boulder.
“Going on a little trip?” he asked, while tossing the envelope on the counter between us.
“No, Sam. Let me see if I can figure this one out. You were going on vacation and you would be back in a week. Or are you planning for bad weather and that suitcase was for emergencies? Last one,” he said, placing his other hand on the counter. In that hand, a nine-millimeter. “You were leaving me.”
He came around the counter and stood next to me. All I saw was the gun.
“You know how I feel about lying, Samantha. Tell me the truth.”
I shook my head no.
“Come on, own up to it. I promise things will go better for you.”
“I’m…not…lying to you,” I said, practically hyperventilating.
I watched as he slowly raised the gun up and I felt it as he put it against my temple.
“Now, let’s try this again. Were you leaving me, Sam?”
“…Yes,” I cried quietly.
“For another man?”
“Please, what? What are you begging for? Your life, your freedom?”
I only nod. God knows I wanted both. And then God answered.
“You won’t leave me. You will never leave this house again.”
The bright light and loud explosion was the gun. The loud scream was my own. I know it doesn’t matter now, but I hate holidays.
Great event for the family!!!