“At least you don’t have to live in fear anymore”
“At least it’s all over”
“At least you’re safe now”
On October 15, 2010 the son of my father took a plea bargain for a 7 year sentence. He had been arrested June 1st. For 4.5 months he prolonged his trial. Between June and mid September he enjoyed playing games of intimidation with me. This was his usual tactic with his victims. Finally by mid September, I couldn’t take it anymore. I left the small town in Oklahoma where we both lived, quit my job, and moved in with my parents in DFW.
Between the assault and moving, I went to work and the grocery store when needed. Otherwise I stayed home. When I came back to Oklahoma for the trial, he finally got a deal that worked heavily in his favor. You see, this was his 3rd violent felony. He was on probation for his other 2. Since he violated the other 2, he got to combine sentences to just serve 7 years with possible parole after 4 years.
When the news broke that he took the deal and I didn’t have to continue with trial, those phrases started. It’s over now. You’re safe. You don’t have to be afraid anymore.
What people fail to understand, it had only just begun…. it wasn’t over. I lived in torment daily. I wasn’t safe. I still was afraid. The damage that was done could not be simply erased.
I can still feel his hand grasped tightly around my throat. Clenching tightly as he watched the life drain from my eyes. My heels digging into the carpet. My arms flailing towards his face to stop him.
Go ahead. Fight back. See what happens.
I still can feel him lift my dead weight to the upright position as I am crying uncontrollably.
Why the fuck are you crying?? Stop crying!!
I can still feel the punch that hits my left eye after he yells at me to stop crying.
I still feel my hands grip the carpet to flip back on my stomach and crawl under the coffee table. I still feel the wind brush my hair as he flips the coffee table over when I’m under it.
I can still feel him gripping my shoulders as he slams my head repeatedly against the floor.
I can still feel my tight belly as I tightly clutch my stomach as his knees are locked on the outside of my hips. As my fingers slowly get pried from my soft skin, I feel a barrier leave that was protecting my unborn son.
I can still feel my screams releasing from the depths of my gut. Traveling up my throat. Escaping my mouth. His hand immediately covering my entire mouth and nose.
Once again I watch him under my droopy eyes as he enjoys seeing me fade.
I wake in the middle of the night unable to breath. I get touched a certain way. I hear a certain phrase. I see certain things.
It only takes one thing to be brought back to that moment. The exact moment of laying limp and helpless on the floor. Broken. Done. Given up. Destroyed.
So please tell me. Is it over?
The answer is no.
Domestic Violence doesn’t end when you leave an abuser. It doesn’t end when he gets arrested. It doesn’t end if they die.
My abuser served 25 months out of a 7 year sentence. Year 6 he had a warrant out for his arrest again. He was arrested last month. Slap on the wrist. $2500.
The story is never over. But I get a choice in how it is written now.