Monday, March 2, 2015
Words of Love From His Lips, Hate Through His Fists
Today my Random Act of Kindness was not to rip my daughter a new one when she called me and told me she reconciled with her husband. She wasn’t even out of the house for twenty-four hours. The worst part of it for me was that I thought “This time she means to go through with it.” She left her dog, she left her clothes, she had no choice but to leave the children, they aren’t hers. By going back she is telling him that “Yes, I am a piece of crap and you can treat me any way you want”. She says they are going to go get counseling. I know that won’t happen. He will never get there. He’ll get sick, he’ll say he doesn’t want to tell a stranger about their lives, the counselor is in cahoots with the police, etc. There are a million excuses for an abuser that doesn’t want to change. He has them all.
My daughter was beautiful. She used to be very particular about the way she dressed and did her hair and make-up. Her downfall has always been guys who treat her like dirt. There was one boy that I had wanted her to stay with but she pushed him away. He wasn’t an abuser. She has done things for her husband that she never would do on her own. She has taken the blame for legal infractions, so many that she has ended up in jail. She now faces prison if she doesn’t pay her fines, get her GED, and a job. Prison. And at every turn, he makes it hard for her to do anything.
Last night as I dropped her off at a safe place I told her I loved her. I told her I hoped she would stay away from him. I knew that I probably wouldn’t see the kids again until they were old enough to seek me out, but she is my daughter, misguided though she may be. I hugged her and kissed her cheek. I know what it is to have an opportunity to leave. I was proud of her in that moment, and scared for her as well. I know how much she needs someone. It’s irrational to me, as I believe as long as I had a dog or cat I will not be lonely. But she has to have a man in her life. I just wish it was a man who would take care of her, not the other way around.
She was two when I left her father. He had been verbally and mentally abusive towards me and at one point, when she was about six months old, he put his hands around my throat. I never felt like I deserved it, but I was afraid to leave. I was afraid that he would go after my family if I did, because that is where I would go. After people threw a rock through our front door (hollow core door), I told him I was leaving for our safety. He was doing some things that weren’t very legal and were also downright dangerous. To my surprise he let me leave, probably because he loved his daughter and didn’t want her to get hurt. When I broached the subject of breaking up (after I was safely ensconced at my parent’s home), he wasn’t all that amenable. After a few weeks I told him he could have my car if he signed custody over to me. Yes, I traded the car for my daughter. I still believe this was the best deal I ever made.
I was twenty two when I left him. Last night I was thinking about that too. That she is going to be twenty-five in a couple days and she’s finally strong enough to say no. I guess I counted my chickens too soon. My job today, as her mother, is to let her go. This morning when she texted me I told her I wouldn’t be used again like I was last night. Like I believe I was, to get him scared that she would leave and so she could hear words of love from his lips instead of hate through his fists. She told me I could hate her if I wanted to and I told her I don’t hate her, that I feel sorry for her. Then I stopped texting altogether. No one told me how to do things when I needed to change.
It’s my turn to watch her scramble on the ground until she finds her wings.