As you know, the month of October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Most stories consist of those going through it or those who have survived it. We often overlook those affected who are constantly in between it. Let’s set the scene, shall we?
Imagine two friends growing up together. They have went through school and got their degrees together. One friend has gotten married and her egotistical, narcissistic husband has threatened her to an inch of her life. A husband who has vowed to love and protect her is now choking her out ever night. A husband who is breaking her down each day in front of any audience he can have. Imagine this same husband having a gun to her head and forcing her to engage in sexual acts with multiple partners at one time.
Now imagine getting a call at three in the morning saying to rush to the hospital because your best friend has been admitted. You stay by her side through all the tests. You know what’s going on yet you watch her lie day in and day out (ie. Fell down the stairs, walked into a wall, bumped into the dresser, tripped and fell etc.). You plead that she tell the truth. You beg her to leave. Her husband comes back and she runs back to him. She keeps covering the truth.
Now imagine the anxiety you are now feeling every time you leave your friend. She tells you that the kids are why she can’t stay. That her fears are that the kids will soon take the abuse as she is currently. Imagine the pain of heartbreak. Imagine the confusion you now feel as to why a multi-college educated woman is trapped into an abusive marriage and cannot find an exit.
Now imagine you going on about your life and you coming home to a call from your friend. She is panicking about being killed and you should rush over right now.
Now imagine the scene of your friend with two black eyes and half naked. The kids are in their rooms. The husband has a gun to your friends head. You pull out your gun in hopes of protecting your friend. You get pistol whipped by her husband. You cock your gun back. She tells you to save the kids. You finally give in and walk towards the kids. You hear two gunshots. You rush towards your friend and she and her husband are dead in a pool of blood. You check on the kids and they are dead too. Anxiety and anger sits in. What just happened?
Now imagine when it all hits you. Waking up in cold sweats because now you’re thinking you should have done something more. You didn’t do enough. The nightmares are now post traumatic stress disorder. You function less by the hour. You cry daily. This isn’t a world where you could live in. What do you do? How do you deal with the blood stain left on your heart? Where do you go from here?
See there are many violent situations where those around you are caught in between the violence. The heartbreak of just being there and fear of you (the victim) not living is unbearable. When do we speak up? When or do you ever let go?
True story moment: To this day, Domestic Mirrors (Domestic violence poem in Up For Air) and the parallel of my book Up For Air scenes was based off a friend I no longer talk to. The fear of her getting beat in front of me was too much. The 5 second check-ins everyday aggitated me. What can you really say? She never left. She doesn’t acknowledge me at all. I still see her around. It is like we never spent time together. I am still not okay with that.
Click below to listen to Domestic Mirrors:
P.S. I apologize if I spoiled a part of my own book for you. This needed to be said.
P.P.S: If you are going through or know someone going through domestic violence, please get out or get help! Here are a few contacts:
The Domestic Violence Hotline:
House of Ruth:
24 HOUR HOTLINE: 1-877-988-5559
Meathead Movers (Free for Domestic Violence victims), Ca: