A guest post from a survivor
Of Walking away…
If I were having coffee with you, I would tell you, “I am thankful that I get to sit down with you and drink this hot beverage which I`m usually a fan of but I haven`t drank in a while or allowed myself to indulge in”. I know you would ask me, “Why?” because you know how much I love coffee and because that is who you are, a person who cares why people do what they do. I would tell you “This is because I have been mostly drowning myself in wine and in my sorrows and pain”. I know at that moment you would look at me, wrinkle your mouth and tell me , “I wish I could give you a hug” and tears would roll down my eyes because daaamn COVID-19, God knows I need a hug.
We would sit down and I would tell you how I have missed you and how life has not been what I dreamt and planned for. I would tell you how I have settled in my new home and how the new job has been challenging but I show up every day and give it my all. I would tell you how my heart is shattered, but also oddly it`s something that also gives me some relief. I would tell you how of how I never planned any of this, but it happened. At that point you would tell me, “Slow down and start from the beginning but that it`s also okay if I don`t want to get into it”. At that point I would just start weeping.
I find my voice at some point and I tell you, “I am finally leaving my marriage”.
You would look at me and wait for me to go on. Looking at your face and the love in your eyes I just start bawling my eyes out and I cry. I cry for my little kids that will grow up without both their parents, I cry because I remember all the times that he beat me to a pulp, all the times that I thought I would die at his hands, all the times that I would see my mother`s face while he was beating me and I would hold onto that face for strength, I would cry because I would remember how I planned my escape in secret and got a job halfway across the world and he did not know about it and when he knew I allowed him to come with me because who would I be if I did not give my family one more chance.
I would cry because I would be remembering the last time he beat me and wanted to stab me with a knife but I ran for my life in the middle of the night and the police were my refuge in this foreign land where I have no one but myself.
I would look at you and continue to cry as I rehearse (in my head) the speech I will one day give my kids when they are old enough to understand; of how it did not work out between me and their father because we did not love each other and how we grew apart. I would cry because I would be thinking of how I will never tell them that he is a monster and let them see it for themselves when it manifests but love them instead, and teach them how love heals all.
I would then rub my eyes and tell you, “One day when I am strong enough and maybe more healed I will tell you all about it”.
You would look at me, deep in my eyes and say, “I know you have it in you to see whatever you are going through and that you know how much I love my children and how much I would do anything for them and that you will always be there for me ”. I would look at you and sit, just stare at you with nothing but love and appreciation. We would sit there a while longer, not saying anything, our coffees untouched till they grow cold, and then we`d say our goodbyes, blow kisses to each other, wrinkle our mouths in unison, both of us thinking and wishing we could hug each other and then I would smile weakly at you and you would smile back at me with tears in your eyes and nod, and I would nod back at you. We would then walk away from each other. I would walk away knowing that you understood me, without me saying anything to you and that in you, I will always have a friend and a love. I would walk away knowing that I had been seen and heard. I would walk away knowing I had been felt.
I would walk away with a sore heart but also one filled with resolve and hope. A heart filled with nothing but love for you, and for myself, and for my children. I would walk away knowing that one day it will be okay. I would whisper to the universe a bittersweet, “Thank you” and breathe out a sigh of gratitude. Gratitude because I was able to leave with my life in-tact, gratitude that I can tell my story and encourage someone to leave if they are being abused, grateful for all the support and love from those who know my true story and above all gratitude that I will always have my beautiful children.
I would smile inwardly as I wipe the last of my tears, I would lift my chin up as I look ahead and my smile would reach my lips and spread ever so slightly as I remember that I am going to be okay because I am exactly where I need to be and that I am a child of God, loved and cherished.
Remembering that I am WOMAN.
About the author
A virtual stranger who reached out to share their story, at least a part of it. I simply gave it a home and am deeply honoured that they would entrust me with it. For now, they are not yet ready to share as themself but they wanted to write about it.
This is me. No masks, no pretences. Me. I am ready, in part, to share parts of my story.
Thank you, this means more than I can say.
As I am