Monday, October 3, 2011

And then there are things that I would rather not remember....

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month.  This is part one of a three part vignette that is an account of my experiences.

It is bitter cold and dark, and I am running.
I have to get away.
I have to get away.
I have to get away.
One foot in front of the other and I have to get away.

He is going to kill me if I don’t get away.

A car turns onto the street in front of me.

One foot in front of the other…

The headlights catch me off guard.

I have to get away.

One foot in front of the other, and I slip on the ice and fall.

The impact of my knee against the pavement brings me to my senses. It is dark. I have to get out of the way of the oncoming car. I roll to one side, sobbing hysterically. The pain is unbearable.

The car slows. I try to sit up. The car door opens and I hear a voice without comprehending who is speaking.

“Jesus Fucking Christ! What the FUCK?”

I don’t have the answer. My mouth moves, but my throat chokes on silent shrieks. I can taste fresh blood on my tongue, hot and bitter.

I don’t have the answer. I collapse against the frozen pavement. I don’t have the strength to sit up.

“Oh my God, Marie! I’m so sorry. I never should have left. Oh my God. Marie, I’m so sorry…”

He kneels down beside me on the icy street, and gingerly pulls me into his embrace. I can feel him trembling.

“Are you okay? Please tell me you’re okay? I need to know that you are okay!” His voice is broken. His sobs keep time with my own.

“I don’t know. I have to get away. Mike, get me away. Please, take me away,” My lips pulsate painfully around the words. My tongue is swollen and sluggish in my mouth. Each ragged gasp for breath is agonizing, and I can no longer breathe through my nose. “I have to get away.”

“I’m going to get you away. I’m going to take you away right now. But you have to tell me first, are you okay? Marie, I need to know because I don’t want to kill him. I could kill him right now, do you understand?”

My brain fractures. I cannot focus. I do not grasp the meaning of his terms, but I understand the urgency in his voice.

It occurs to me that I am not okay.

I haven’t been okay for a long, long time.

I studied psychology in high school, and again briefly in college. I say briefly, because I attended the first two classes and ultimately decided that it was too difficult to drag my lazy rear end out of bed at 8 in the morning to attend lecture. Therefore, I know virtually nothing about the book learning behind the psychology of domestic abuse. That being said, I also have an uncanny ability to seek out and become skilled at what I need to learn the hard way.

Someone once said that those who don’t learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them. Truer words were never spoken. I bear witness to that fact every day.

You see, this wasn’t the first time that this had happened, and yet, it still wasn’t enough to make me leave.

Love isn’t blind. Human beings are.

But we can be taught to see.

End Part 1.

If you know someone who is being abused by their partner, or you are a victim of domestic violence, you can get help!  Visit this website:  National Domestic Violence Hotline or call 1-800-799-SAFE.

Stay tuned next Monday for Part 2 of my vignette: Beyond the Looking Glass.


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