Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Stop Domestic Violence...One Woman's Story

He is jealous of everyone. I’m not allowed to go anywhere without asking permission and then he interrogates me when I return. He puts down all my friends. I can’t even visit my own mother without a hassle. He checks the mileage on my car. He hides my keys. He won’t let me drive. He makes me account for every penny I spend. If I go to the store, he times me. If I’m late, there’s hell to pay.
If I leave, he says he’ll kill himself. If I leave, he says he’ll kill me. If I leave, he’ll take the kids. If I leave, he’ll never let me alone. If I leave…If I leave…If I leave…

He doesn’t hit me that much. He throws things. My things. He smashes his fist through the kitchen cabinets. He pushes me out in the snow. When he hits me, he acts as if nothing happened. He’s always sorry and says it won’t happen again. He says if only I didn’t push his buttons, it wouldn’t happen at all.

He tells people I’m crazy. He tells people I cheat on him. He tells me no one will ever believe me. Everyone likes him. Everyone thinks he’s a good guy. I don’t have any friends anymore. My family says we should work it out. My family is sick of me leaving and going back.

He tells me no one will ever want me. He says I’m too stupid to work, too fat, too ugly, too skinny, too slutty. He tells me I can’t do anything right. I can’t do anything right.

I just want to take a walk or see a friend or read a book without him always there. I’m always walking on eggshells wondering what he’s going to do. I just want to be myself. I just want to breath my own breath.

When I left, he followed me everywhere. He knows what I eat for breakfast, who I talk to, where I shop. I know he knows because he tells me. He leaves flowers in my car. He killed my cat and left it in the mailbox. He says he’ll do anything to get me back. Anything. He says if he can’t have me, nobody can.

The kids are all mixed up. They’re acting out at school. When they see him, he cries and says I don’t believe in marriage. He asks them what I’m doing, who I’m seeing. I wonder if it will ever end, if I’ll ever be rid of him. I’ve called the police when I see him passing by my house. They say they have to catch him in the act. They say I need a witness. I’m so tired of it all. I’m just so tired.

Some days I feel hopeful. I’m beginning to like being alone. I can talk to friends on the phone as long as I like. I’m looking for work and I’m taking a class. I’m not as dumb as he says. I’m really not. Sometimes I hear his voice in my head and it sets me back. I’ve got to work so hard to get out of bed. I’m trying to figure out who I am. Who I am without him. I know I’m someone. I know I am.

Andrea Itkin- New Hope for Women

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Three Yellow Roses

I walked into the grocery store not particularly interested in buying groceries. I wasn't hungry. The pain of losing my husband of 57 years was still too raw. And this grocery store held so many sweet memories.

He often came with me and almost every time he'd pretend to go off and look for something special. I knew what he was up to. I'd always spot him walking down the aisle with the three yellow roses in his hands.

He knew I loved yellow roses. With a heart filled with grief, I only wanted to buy my few items and leave, but even grocery shopping was different since he had passed on.

Shopping for one took time, a little more thought than it had for two.

Standing by the meat, I searched for the perfect small steak and remembered how he had loved his steak.

Suddenly a woman came beside me. She was blonde, slim and lovely in a soft green pantsuit. I watched as she picked up a large package of T-bones, dropped them in her basket... hesitated, and then put them back. She turned to go and once again reached for the pack of steaks.

She saw me watching her and she smiled. "My husband loves T-bones, but honestly, at these prices, I don't know."

I swallowed the emotion down my throat and met her pale blue eyes.

"My husband passed away eight days ago," I told her. Glancing at the package in her hands, I fought to control the tremble in my voice. "Buy him the steaks. And cherish every moment you have together."

She shook her head and I saw the emotion in her eyes as she placed the package in her basket and wheeled away.

I turned and pushed my cart across the length of the store to the dairy products. There I stood, trying to decide which size milk I should buy. A Quart, I finally decided and moved on to the ice cream. If nothing else, I could always fix myself an ice cream cone.

I placed the ice cream in my cart and looked down the aisle toward the front. I saw first the green suit, then recognized the pretty lady coming towards me. In her arms she carried a package. On her face was the brightest smile I had ever seen! I would swear a soft halo encircled her blonde hair as she kept walking toward me, her eyes holding mine.

As she came closer, I saw what she held and tears began misting in my eyes. "These are for you," she said and placed three beautiful long stemmed yellow roses in my arms. "When you go through the line, they will know these are paid for." She leaned over and placed a gentle kiss on my cheek, then smiled again. I wanted to tell her what she'd done, what the roses meant, but still unable to speak, I watched as she walked away as tears clouded my vision.

I looked down at the beautiful roses nestled in the green tissue wrapping and found it almost unreal. How did she know? Suddenly the answer seemed so clear. I wasn't alone.

Oh, you haven't forgotten me, have you? I whispered, with tears in my eyes. He was still with me, and she was his angel.

Author Unknown