Everyone has stories they don’t tell. For some, those are the stories that need to be told more then any other conversation that they have in life.
Today I listened to a woman tell me the story of how she learned to believe she deserved the fists that pummeled her on a weekly basis. She talked about how she would much rather take the abuse then allow those said fists to harm any of the beautiful creations of love that had been born to this relationship.
Now just a few short months ago I lived in this ignorant bubble of peace that allowed me to beleive that these things were not common life around the area I live. Maybe I focus more on them because of that alarming moment in my life. Then again maybe the weather has kept people inside more this year then normal, and these are some of the consequences.
I find myself staring at this woman and questioning who she was before. Was she always this weak? Was she a people pleaser that went along with the crowd? Had she ever had a backbone?
She spoke of the good times before the anger. Explaining a wild love that swept her off her feet. She told of laughter, joy and love. She spoke of the exact moment that the car they were in got blasted by a another car that blew a stop sign and sent them tumbling.
The batlle of addiction started there. The pain pills while fighting for full usage of his body. The depression when they realized he would permentantly be disabled, unable to hold down any physically demanding jobs. The behavoiral change that came from the jobs he attempted and failed over the next few years. The pregnancies that started happy only to be a quick reminder of why he needed to make more money. Pain pills seemed to work less the longer he was on them, so alcohol was his next solution.
Everyone can see the writting on the wall as to how we get to this woman in my care today. I cant help but wonder if computers hadn’t taken over our record system, would I even be able to lift her chart?
So I ask the question that is rolling around in my head. I am positive that she has been asked before.
“Are you ready to leave yet? Are you ready to show your kids that you love their father, but you love them more?”
She stares at me for a full minute, unblinking.
“I cant leave him. I love him.”
My soul aches for her. So I do the only thing that I can. I help fix the problem she came in for today. I look her in the eyes and I tell her that I am here. Even when I am not physically in this building, I will give them permission to call me in if she needs me.
Then I watch her grab her things and leave.