DYING TO STAY ALIVE
He watches as she cleans the last of the mess. She holds a bag filled with old newspapers, beer bottles, and cigarettes butts. Slowly he comes into the room, offering his assistance.
She turns and strains a smile; holding a finger to her lips she whispers, “Thank you honey, I’m fine. Go back to sleep.” She kisses his bruised cheek. He heads back to bed.
He leaves the door slightly open and watches. He prays.
His prayer is interrupted. Large feet slam onto the wooden floor, the sound resonating through the house. The Monster is awake.
He resumes his prayer. “Stop you’re hurting me!” The child begins to cry. He wants to save her, but his stinging bruise stops him.
The sounds of breaking bottles and things crashing everywhere and shouts of, “YOU LOUSY WHORE!” will always remain. But it’s just one of many times he heard his mother being slammed to the floor. The sight of his father kicking her will remain forever.
Then silence. Silence so deafening, he hears it to this very day.
Suddenly, it’s broken. “DON’T YOU RUN FROM ME YOU BITCH!” The beating begins once more.
A toilet flushing, the creak of the bed – only after the child hears these sounds, he feels they’re safe. The Monster sleeps.
A few feet away she lies crumpled on the floor, blood draining from her mouth and nose. She, too, sleeps. In darkness, he prays.
Now lay me down to sleep, I pray you Lord my Mom do keep. If I should die before she wakes, I pray You Lord my Dad do take.
For many women, scenes like this are their reality. Broke and broken, they feel trapped in their relationship. To survive, they stay with their abusers. But they’re dying to stay alive. Unfortunately, scenes like this continue to grow because, for some, it’s justified. Someone on their WordPress site, (you know who you are) said, “I can feel no remorse or compassion towards such women, they wanted the bad guy and still they have the audacity to complain? Did anyone put a shotgun to your head and told you to hook up with him?”
I ask that person to look at the young woman in the photo, look hard and ask yourself…what woman deserves that?
These women don’t need our judgment, they need our help. Fortunately, many abused women do escape their abusers, many times with just the clothes on their backs.
Let’s help. For our GOOD FRIDAY, donate one article of clothing to a battered woman’s shelter. Come back on Friday and share your experience. And as always, keep your head up.