Loss without Death

Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to you. God bless you and keep you another year through!

Today, I walked around trails in a local park taking in the sights, sounds, and smells. All of it reminded me of when we used to do this together. Even though you weren’t there with me, I wished you happy birthday while I walked. Near your birthday, Christmas, and big events in my life I think about you. I wish you had been there when I graduated college and for the biggest day in my life, my wedding. We had red velvet cake. It was your favorite, maybe it still is.

The saddest part is, I know where you live. But I still can’t see you. He won’t allow it. Deep down, I know you think of me and miss me too. All you wanted was a loving husband, a faithful friend, to be a wife, and a mother. He used this and manipulated the situation. He turned you against us. Or at least you allow him to think that. I like to believe in your heart of hearts, you think about us, pray for us, and love us still even if you can’t show it.

I’ll never forget that day, I came to give you my invitation for my college graduation. I knew he wouldn’t allow me to come in or speak with you alone, but just like you, I’m strong willed and persistent. He told me no several times and asked me to leave. I explained to him I would be willing to leave when YOU told me I needed to leave. I waited on the porch with anticipation. You came to the door, it was barely cracked. Angrily, you told me to leave. I asked for a few minutes to talk. I tried to walk closer to hand you my graduation invitation, but you told me to stay back. I didn’t go further. I asked if I could place it on the chair. You agreed and angrily told me to go away again and this time I did.

I play this situation in my head that you were so angry with me at that door because you were trying to protect me and yourself from him. You were so afraid of him and what he may do that you responded in the only way in which I would leave. Being nice wasn’t an option. I tell myself and believe you did it to survive. Whether this is true or not, I hope to one day find out. Maybe I believe this as a coping mechanism to deal with the deep confusion and sadness I feel.

As I walked away, I was defeated. I believed when you saw me and I told you about my proud moment, you would have snapped out of the trance he has you under. It didn’t. I knew the outcome of coming to your home may not be good. I was flooded with emotions and tears. Memories of all the times you were there for me as a baby, a kid, the fun we had playing made-up games, picnicking in the woods and so much more, came flooding back to me.

Although, I know you wanted a loving, doting husband, you didn’t get that but it’s what you deserve. Maybe you believe he is because that’s what he’s conditioned you to believe.

Isolating you from your family, friends, the outside world, and not allowing you to leave your home is not love. Its possession, ownership, and abuse. I know you don’t see that now. You believe we are the enemy and don’t want you to be happy.  We just want you to be treated with love and respect. We want to be a part of your happiness.

I know you are in an abusive, coercive, controlling relationship. Even knowing the signs, statistics, tactics of an abuser, and working with women like you daily, it doesn’t make it any easier. I pray one day we will see you out of this. We love you and understand you are just trying to survive.

To all the women and men out there who are experiencing this or have a family member who is. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Please reach out for help. To us or someone. I will continue to list resources that offers support, including national hotline numbers.

Please feel free to message us privately for any more specific questions regarding information on domestic violence or abusive relationships. Any information that is shared with us WILL NOT be published on this site or anywhere else without your permission.

 

NOTE: If you are having thoughts to harm yourself or others, safety is our number one concern over privacy. We want to get you help. Please see our blog entitled “Be Informed for the national domestic violence hotline.

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