Miracle Baby Monday is on hiatus this week. I have something very important to share with you and it simply cannot wait.
I’ve always said that I want to use this blog as a platform to help others. Today I will be talking about something, I had hoped never to experience.
Today, I will be talking about Domestic Violence.
I am very fortunate to have a husband who respects and loves me. There are so many women out there that do not.
This weekend, I helped a very good friend of mine, C, pack her belongings and those of her daughter to leave her husband after 5 years of marriage.
Her husband, the man who promised, before God, family and friends to love, honor and cherish his wife for all the days of his life, had been terrorizing her for the better part of a year. The abuse had reached all levels of trauma: emotional, physical and sexual. She had to barricade herself in her room at night because when he was drunk, the locks did no good.
A couple of weeks ago, he did the unthinkable. Something so heinous, that I am respecting her wishes by not putting it in print, but suffice it to say it was the final straw.
Why did she stay with him for so long? I know that is probably the #1 question people who have never suffered violence at the hand of a husband or significant other often ask. Why? How can you let him do that to you? Why can’t you just leave?
After getting married, C settled into her life as a stay at home wife and mother. She kept the house immaculate, the family fed with a variety of delicious meals. She is a spectacular cook; I’ve had the opportunity to sample several of her dishes, which she claims she just throws together. I could never throw together anything that yummy, I assure you.
She did this for 5 years. She was out of the workforce for 5 long years. She had no money of her own, except for $1000 she had managed to stash away. Her husband controlled the finances and would question her at length regarding all of her purchases. She also has a daughter to take care of.
Speaking of her daughter, I should mention that none of this abuse occurred when her daughter, B, was home. B spends a great deal of time with her biological father. The abuse would occur when she was away at her dad’s or at school, she was never a witness.
C’s parents live thousands of miles away and, as adults, we all know how difficult it is to ask our parents for help. C also suffers from depression and as a result the abuse would just drive her self esteem lower and lower until she felt that the situation was hopeless and she was worthless.
Like most abusers, her husband held the money over her head. Consistently telling her that he wouldn’t give her any money to leave and refusing to leave himself. She didn’t know how she could support herself and she was terrified she would have no choice but to send her daughter to live with her father on a full time basis.
When C confided the details to myself and our other friend, S, we all prayed. We prayed that God would provide us with a way to get her out. C was prepared to sleep on our couches and in our guest rooms if need be. Although for a victim of domestic violence, relying on friends in that way is incredibly difficult and does not help the self esteem, but she would have been safe.
While the final incident was horrible and I wish beyond all wishes that it had never occurred, there exists proof of what he has done to her. This proof is what allowed C’s friend to negotiate money for her departure. 3 months rent and a little bit of spending money was procured for C to start her new life. Our friend was able to find her a fully furnished condo just 5 minutes from her daughter’s school. God answered our prayers.
Thursday night, we had our final organizational meeting for our church’s ladies luncheon. We were all on the planning committee. S, C and I were all anxious, because our plans had been made. Immediately following the meeting, we were going to C’s house to pack her belongings and get her the hell away from her husband. S had arranged for a mutual male friend to be there for our safety.
Helping her to move out was one of the oddest and most awkward experiences of my life. Not because of C, but because her husband was there. He watched us pack everything, and helped to put it in the car. He insisted on being there. One final try to exert control over her.
It didn’t work. We did some nice work, us girls. Out of there in about an hour and fifteen minutes.
I shared a meal with this man at one time. My husband had a few beers with him. He gave my boys high fives.
But underneath the charming exterior, lived a monster.
A monster who saw nothing wrong with the terror he caused his wife. A monster who believed that it was her fault that he acted the way that did.
My dear friend left her husband 4 days ago and while her future is uncertain, she is safe. She can sleep at night. She is making plans to start making money of her own. She has drawn from her innermost strength, strength that she didn’t even know she had, to make the hardest but most necessary decision of her life.
She is the strongest woman I have ever met.
And Myself and S will be with her every step of the way, no matter what.
Friends, if you are reading this and have a monster in your house, please know you are not alone.
No matter how hopeless it may feel, you are not alone. I may not know you, but I will do everything in my power to help you. I have friends all over this country, I will help you find the resources you need to get out.
If you or someone you know is in a domestic violence situation, please visit The National Coalition of Domestic Violence or call 1.800.799.SAFE.
If any of you have other resources you would like to share, please do so in the comment section. Due to the sensitive nature of this topic, I will be closely monitoring all comments.