Never did I see signs of abuse…hindsight now when I think about the excuses she used, falling up the front steps, cutting vegetables in her hand, the miscarriages, the weight loss. There were so many signs I didn’t put together. I loved my son in law. We never know what goes on behind closed doors.
A few years ago, he was diagnosed with several disorders, hospitalized for a brief time, and put on meds, which he refused to take. He also was a ‘closet’ cutter. It was the day my daughter came home from work and found him bleeding in the bed holding their one-year-old daughter threating to cut her throat and take her to the grave with him that she decided it had to end and end at that moment. She was stabbed while grabbing the baby but was able to get outside and call 911.
She did go back to him. Two more children and 3 years later he left them homeless on the side of the road. It was November. Still she kept all this from us. By Thanksgiving of that year, she had moved in with us as a ‘separation.’ Of course me thinking it’s just a little spat and will blow over encouraged her to work things out. If I had known….
My daughter has kept a written journal of everything. She, in so many ways, has become an inspiration for me. She finished college with a degree as a paralegal and has taken on the justice system to fight for her rights as the sole provider of her children all while working a full time job. She turned her pain (although I don’t think it will ever go away) into a strength and motivation for others.
I couldn’t read past the first page of her journal, it was harsh the stuff he made her do to prove her love to him. I wanted to vomit. She gave me permission to write her story but asked if I’d write it as a fiction/nonfiction novel. A story people can relate to whether man or woman, child, or aged adult. She doesn’t want it to be preachy of course but to bring the awareness to those who are taking the brunt of the abuse and know they have choices.
I have tried to this point not ask her about details other than what she has already shared and what I had read; it brings on a lot of emotion.
I can do this. I have to do this.