2.27.2010

"Every f***ing day of my life"

Nothing was on tv, so I decided to see what documentaries HBO has on demand right now.  I love documentaries and can watch them for hours.  Wouldn't you know that there was one on domestic violence?  I stared at the screen for a few moments before pushing play.

There were some opening scenes, and then before the title and credits even rolled, out of the blue, I gasped like the wind got knocked out of me and I began sobbing.  It was short-lived, as it usually is.  I was able to compose myself and watch in silence as scenes that too-closely resemble my former life began to play out in front of my eyes.

This particular film is called "Every f***ing Day of My Life" and is about how a woman spends her last four days of freedom before going to prison for killing her abusive husband.

"Oh my God."

"Oh my God."

"Oh my God."

Not necessarily a statement, but a repetitive prayer that kept moving through my soul like a wave.  An involuntary cry to the only true witness to everything I had gone through.

"Oh. My. God.  That could have been me."

One of the things that got me was when they asked the woman, who's name is Wendy, what made her snap that particular day.  Her answer was, "I don't know."  And she was serious.  She said, "I have no idea, because it could have gone on for another 20 years, or I could have done it 10 years ago.  Every day was the same."

I so understand that.  What saved me from her fate?  I don't know.  There but for the grace of God go I.  I believe I just didn't have it in me to truly hurt him (or anyone), but I'm sure she thought the same thing about herself.  That's why she held on for 20 years.  They kept flashing between videos of her in labor and giving birth years before, to the night before she left for prison, baking cookies for her kids and laying out their clothes.  Oh, how I feel for her.

I know I was afraid to leave because I thought he would kill me or someone I loved, but there were so many times I wished him dead.  Not by my hands, but maybe by a car accident or something.  Heck, even when I found out he was hurting my baby girl I couldn't hurt him.  People ask me all the time, "How could you have not KILLED him???"  I don't know.  I just know that even in the heat of that moment, I couldn't.  The only explanation I have is grace.  I think grace was the solitary thing protecting me from choosing the wrong fork in the road.  I thank God for that.  For His protection.

But what if, just once, I ignored or pushed through the grace and did something really, really bad?  How different would my life be right now?  Oh thank you so much Lord for not letting me have to find out.  I still wonder what will happen when he gets out of prison in a year-and-a-half.  Will he bother us?  What will happen if he does?  Will he hurt us?  Will he act badly enough that I feel the need to defend and protect myself and my children?  Oh, go before me Lord.  I pray all the time that nothing like that happens.  Sometimes the thought of that stresses me out so badly.  My cousin Michelle said, "Veronica, you won't do anything bad.  It's not in you and you are too past all that.  If he ever shows up at your door, you are going to stand firm and assertively say, '[Evil One], you are NOT welcome here and I will not tell you that again.  Now, go away or I am calling the police and this will get ugly.  That is exactly what you know how to do, not hurt him."

That little speech actually helped me a lot because I am the queen of second-guessing myself and everyone around me.  But she's right...that is probably exactly what I would do.  My mind might race a million miles a minute and be prepared to do something else if the situation warrants it, but I will start by being rational and knowing that he cannot and will not get near my children ever again.  I can't deny though, that it's always in the back of my mind how quickly things can change.  I always see stories like Wendy's and wonder how I will spend the rest of my life.  Will my life change that quickly and I'll end up in prison because of a deranged, psychotic, abusive man?

Sometimes I'm so jealous of women who have never had to deal with domestic violence.  What is it like to live inside of skin that has never known physical abuse?  What is it like to be married to a man who has never verbally berated you and insulted you...daily, weekly, monthly, yearly?  What is it like to be cherished and to know your value?  I'm slowly started to learn bits and pieces of that, but it's a long journey.  One foot in front of the other.
xoxo
♥ veronica

1 comment:

Allison said...

PRAISE GOD for taking you and your kids out of that horrible horrible situation. He protected you then and He will protect you in a year and a half too. I love you, V, and I am so thankful for the woman that God has made you, even in spite of the rough road that you have traveled. You are stronger and wiser for it!

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