Af­ter ten years of abuse, di­vorced mom on a jour­ney to a bet­ter place

Stabroek News Sunday - - WEKEEND MAGAZINE -

From page 11A

I asked her what he meant.

“Well I couldn’t have the nice fam­ily, live in the nice house etc and have a faith­ful, lov­ing hus­band,” she an­swered.

“And we have talked af­ter our di­vorce and he told me that the rea­son he did those things was be­cause I let him. I made it okay. So, I take re­spon­si­bil­ity for my part in it all,” she said. I asked her about her re­spon­si­bil­ity. “There were things I did that con­trib­uted to our life be­ing so tur­bu­lent. I’d lock him out of the house. I threw his clothes out, I broke his phones. In my own mis­guided way I thought this was me tak­ing a stand and be­ing strong,” she an­swered.

“Then there were times I went to the po­lice sta­tion to make a re­port and they’d ask if I fought back and if I said yes, they would say then we have to charge you too,” she con­tin­ued.

She stopped speak­ing and I was about to ask if it still hurt that much when the tears started to flow down her cheeks.

“I thought I was over all of this,” she said, cry­ing. “The first time my ex and I sep­a­rated life was hard and so I went back but the last time I told peo­ple and I had help and so it was a lit­tle bet­ter.

“Sometimes we stay be­cause we hon­estly don’t see a bet­ter way.”

I asked her what she wanted to say to the sis­ters who are stay­ing.

“I’d say give the peo­ple around you some credit. They care more than you re­al­ize. I’d say no one can help you out of a sit­u­a­tion un­less they know the sit­u­a­tion. I’d say in a year or two you’ll look back on what’s hap­pen­ing, and you won’t un­der­stand why you didn’t leave sooner. It might be a cliché, but it does get bet­ter with time. And there isn’t a soul on earth who can make you do right by you. That’s all on you.

“In my case, di­vorc­ing my ex was the great­est gift I could have given him and me.” “Did it make you free or save your lives?” I asked. “I think it saved our lives,” she an­swered. “So, it still hurts but you are in a bet­ter place?” I asked. “Oh, I am on my way to a bet­ter place,” she said with a smile.

“But I don’t think I have for­given my­self yet,” she said.

“I haven’t for­given my­self for stay­ing be­cause none of my rea­sons for stay­ing seem le­git­i­mate enough,” she said re­flec­tively.

“My chil­dren wit­nessed a lot of what was hap­pen­ing now they have a life with­out all that pain and drama. You know when some­one de­vel­ops Stock­holm Syn­drome or was brain­washed they have to go through a process to be nor­mal again? That’s where I think I am. It’s tak­ing longer than I thought it would but I’m get­ting there.

“It has been over two years since the last time my ex hit me and that was af­ter be­ing reg­u­larly hit for about ten years. Yes, I’m lucky. My ex­pe­ri­ence just left me with a crooked fin­ger and some emo­tional scars. So many oth­ers aren’t here any­more or had it so much worse.

“If there’s any way you can bring out the fact that vi­o­lence in a re­la­tion­ship is not nor­mal, it would be good,” she said.

The con­ver­sa­tion was over, and she was back to con­tin­u­ing that jour­ney to a bet­ter place.

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