So it's been awhile since I've written as life has kept my busy and a little silent these days. I was reading an article on the latest scandal in the NFL involving the football player captured on video abusing his wife. In the article it said domestic violence is BACK in the news and I thought to myself, "Has it ever really left the news?"
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 3 women have experienced physical violence by an intimate partner. That could mean if you are standing in between two other women that one of you has experienced this abuse firsthand.
This football player's wife is on my mind tonight. As I listen and read many wondering why she stayed with him and some going even further to play the blame game, I remember that I was her years ago in another lifetime it seems. Let me tell you a little about that time.
First let me say that I was that woman that believed and many times verbalized that I would NEVER put up with a man who would abuse me. I was 19, just out of school, and fell in love with a boy. I can still remember the shock of when he hit me the first time. And yes it was a few months before I married him. I just cried and he apologized saying it would never happen again. I believed him. Why wouldn't I? He loved me, right? I mean we're getting ready to stand at an altar and pledge our love to each other. It couldn't possibly happen again. I had to believe that.
I was wrong. I won't go into details except to say that for a year and a half I lived a nightmare. I stayed and at some point believed that I deserved all of it. Once you hear something so often, you can mistakenly let it into your head and heart. I hid it from everyone until no one could ignore the hospital visits including many injuries and a miscarriage. I still went back. You know what finally made me leave? Looking into the monster's face as he held me by the throat and told me that he could kill me. I believed that.
It was then that I reached out to family and friends and fled that life. I hid at a friend's house until I could get a flight to my mom's. He didn't give me up immediately though. He stalked, called, and finally after two more years he signed the divorce papers and I was free.
I wasn't really though. It has taken many years and it is only by God's grace that my heart is whole again. I have a good man in my life now.
But I remember her. That young girl who believed. That young girl who lived in that space thinking it was exactly what she deserved and was so ashamed. That girl who was so broken.
That's why tonight I think of his wife.
And I lift a prayer for her.
Won't you join me?