Tuesday, August 14, 2007


"So the cycle goes .... like an old wringer washer that turns and turns and turns, and never stops until you pull the plug, and drain the dirty water from the tub. It spreads out onto the ground and soaks into the dirt, then disappears. Once dry, it's gone, until the next wash day." - Tanya S.

Part Two:

The Pain. The pain was not only physical, it also was anguishing mental pain for my unborn child. Cold fear ripped through me like a hot searing knife cutting deep into my heart. For at that moment, I knew that I might lose her. Her life might end before it began. The pain of losing a child has to be worse than any physical pain. I healed and Juli was born on June 15, 1982, a perfect healthy baby. I went on to have Joey the following year, and Jared the year after that.

Throughout the years of my children's childhood, I endured many many more beatings and many more fears. The abuse escalated as he became more and more depressed and angry. I became reclusive and left my home only when I had to. I was ashamed of the bruises and the black eyes. For when people looked at me ... I knew they knew. My children witnessed almost every episode of abuse. As they grew, they would cry and try to stop him from the beatings that he was certain to give. They would jump on his back and hit him. Our dog would bite him, yet he never felt their blows nor did he hear their cries. He was oblivious to his children and what he was doing to me. Not once throughout the years did I ever fight back. It would have only made it worse, and I couldn't imagine it being worse.

I remember the dining room the most vividly. For some reason, I was always in the dining room, in a corner, against the closet door. I can remember hearing my head crack against the wood at the same instant that I felt his fist smash into my face, and I can remember the taste of blood as I would slowly fall and swirl into unconsciousness. I remember counting the blows as a way to endure until it ended. ... and it always ended. It ended with pity, sorrow, tears and promises that it would never happen again. I remember that he would pick me up, lay me on the couch and my kids would bring me wet wash clothes and sit with me, and they would shake and they would cry. Only twice did he take me to the hospital, knowing that he did this me, and would have to pay in the eyes of the law. Yet I stayed, and I never left him. I endured many more meaningless beatings and many more years of his torture.

The cries of my children still haunt me. When I remember back, the vision of them I see, tears at me, and I hate myself for staying and I hate myself for letting them witness the violence that could have destroyed them. And at times, I pity them, for they remember too.

At the time, I didn't know which was worse. The fear that it would surely come, or the actual pain of his hand that would hit me with enough force to knock me to the floor, or over furniture ... or out the door. His rage would come in waves and in cycles. For reasons that no normal person would even get upset over. But I always knew when it was coming.

He would stand in the doorway and watch me as I cooked dinner for our family. When the clock struck five o'clock, and if dinner was not ready ... he would say, "I told you that we eat at five o'clock. Look at me!" ... and I knew. I knew what was to follow. I can remember him throwing the pans of food out the door. I can remember the dishes being broken, I can remember seeing the fear in my children's eyes. I remember that I tried so hard to have dinner ready on time ... but for some reason, whatever I did, was never was good enough. I never kept the house clean enough. I never did the laundry good enough. I never did enough. I didn't have sex enough ...and I never did it right. It was never enough. Just like the beatings, to him, I never got enough.

My husband entered into counseling after being court ordered. I too would go occasionally when the Psychologist would summon me. I was told that "he is a sick man that is waiting to explode like a loaded gun, and he is capable of the unthinkable." I took that to mean that he could kill me and our children in his rage. I took his threats very serious, "if you leave me, I'll kill you." I stayed. I still believe with all that I have within my soul, that if I'd left him then, I would not be here today. I could have been the poster child for domestic violence, and I endured it like a disability that would be forever.

Sadly, I can not say that my children never suffered at his hand. They did. And they remember, but they forgave me for my fear of him.

After many many years of counseling, the abuse never ended. It did stop though. My children grew up and they physically stopped their Father. There came a time in our life that he knew that they no longer would tolerate the dirty little secret that we lived. It was over. My boys had reached their limit. It was over. For all of us. This was at about the same time I knew that I had to leave. ... and I did. After his fifth extra-marital affair, I left. It's funny .... I never left because of the abuse, I left because of his affairs.

I left him in the very same place it started. I walked away. It took more strength to leave than it did to stay... I am free from domestic violence. I have a good life. I have remarried and know that never would my husband raise his hand to me. I am healthy and have a healthy love. Only the memories remain, and they visit me less and less with each passing day. I could write forever of each incident, but as I think back now, they were all the same.

Some women are not as lucky as I am. Some never walked away. Some died, and there are thousands that wish they would. ... and if anyone reads this that is walking in the shoes that I walked in. Leave. Leave now. Your life depends on it.

You can't go back and make up for the past you've missed, but you can go forward and live. You can just live, or you can live. I choose to live. I am one of the lucky ones.

~ lay your hands on those you love with kindness ~


To read the conclusion, click here