He did say that he loved me I am sure that’s what I heard. But then again my hearing isn’t what it used to be. I didn’t take him for granted, I really didn’t, I prepared his meals, washed his clothes and bore his babies.
Please the baby will hear you; another blow to the head and for what, dinner wasn’t on the table when he arrived home. He waited patiently while I prepared dinner, sat down at the table and even thanked me for preparing his favorite meal. The girls had already eaten and were in another room occupying themselves with their favorite interactive books and the baby was fast asleep. I began to remove the dishes from the table and suddenly I felt his hands around my throat. Stop, please stop, what are you doing? In his soft voice he said,” I told you to have my food on the table when I get home”. He never yelled, didn’t want the kids to hear him. I tried to grab his fingers and pry them from my throat, the pressure was unbearable and he forced me to the floor. I lay there looking up at the man I loved so dearly, would give my life for. He loosened his grip around my throat, thank God he realizes he’s hurting me, but I should have known better, a crushing blow to my head.
How long had I been out and how did I end up in bed? The baby was just waking up and in the distance I could hear their small voices, I couldn’t believe they were still reading to each other. Believe it or not at 5 and 6 years old they were incredible readers. When they began to talk he taught them how to read. He would read to each of them while they were still in the womb, sometime I think they came into the world reading. He’s really a good man, a generous provider and loves his children. He always wanted a boy, don’t get me wrong, it’s not that he wasn’t happy with our two daughters, he just longed for a son. When our son was born my husband was on cloud nine and for a minute I thought the private nightmare that I was living would end.
I worked for the first 3 years of our marriage and when I became pregnant with our first daughter we decided that I would quit my job when the baby was born and return to the workforce when she was old enough for pre-school. Well that didn’t happen, not long after, baby girl number two came along. He made a decent living as a Senior Director at one of the most prestigious tech firms in the city so when he asked me if I wanted to stay at home fulltime and take care of our family; I felt special and truly love. Although I had worked since I was a teenager and was accustomed to having some financial control in the household, this offer was very tempting. Eventually I acquiesced and became a stay at home mom.
Since I am being honest I must admit a slap here and there wasn’t unfamiliar to me. We’d been dating for several months and one night we were out with some friends and he asked me to walk to the bar with him. As we approached the bar he grabbed me by the arm and pulled me in the direction of the exit door. As we stepped out into the night, he pushed me against the wall and slapped me. I was completely astonished, “I yelled, what’s wrong with you, why are you shoving me around?” In a soft voice he responded with “why are you flirting with my friends”? “Flirting” I said, we were all just laughing and talking a few minutes ago, I wasn’t flirting. I am ready to go home, wait here and I will say our goodbyes to everyone. On the drive home he was silent, I tried to strike up a conversation but he was unresponsive.
He apologized as he held me close in his arms. “I love you and I am so sorry, I don’t know what came over me. I don’t want to lose you”. We lay in each other’s arms all night professing our love for one another, just cuddling.
Laying here in this hospital bed after being severely beaten by the man I thought was my soul mate, my lifelong love, the father of my 3 beautiful children, I can only ask myself “why did I stay so long”.