“This man was so bad, that you had a baby with him, married him a month later, and moved him into your house?!” This was what my husband’s attorney said to me as I sat in the witness stand, trying to conceal anxiety and fear of the woman whose intentions were to badger and discredit my testimony. What was running through my head? I knew that no matter what I said, no matter what the truth was, these people had their heart set out to do the ‘legal thing’ regardless of right or wrong. She was representing her client, and doing a good job at that, while she objected and trounced my lawyer into speechlessness. As a result, I lost. I was denied the right to a restraining order against my husband, because as the judge declared, my testimony was not credible. They were looking for a man who slugged his wife around and beat her when he became angered. They were looking for a stereotype, and that wasn’t my husband. He was the exact opposite and he had more creative ways.
I want to apologize beforehand to you, the reader, if what I say may not seem clear or I reveal some ideas that are contrary. I do, however, intend to speak truth to my story. I am tired of being embarrassed, ashamed, and confused about what happened and is still happening to me. I don’t know what I will get out of telling my story, except maybe understanding and hopefully above all, awareness. It can happen to anyone from any race, ethnicity, cultural background, socioeconomic status, personality, or state of mind. Some of us escape just in time, but if you’re like me, you got stuck. You just couldn’t move out from the quicksand in that swamp that you thought was harmless to step into, as long as you had something to hold on to, you’ll never sink too deep to where you can’t get out. It happens. The truth, I feel that many people who had the authority over this course of my life didn’t understand or believe because they only saw what others have legalized as ‘fact’. Being trusted and deemed honest has never meant so much to me until my life began to change and these events began to unfold. I held on to it with every inch of my being. The following is my story.
We met at a local pool hall and right away, I was smitten by his good looks and charm. He had an athletic build and wore a cap lowered just above the eyes, giving him a mysterious, pleasing persona. But what stood out from underneath his physical appeal was how natural it was for me to talk to him. He was very friendly and didn’t hint arrogance or unkindness in any way, so I spoke to him without hesitation or timidity.
Our conversations were about God and work, and I was having a great time because I felt I could just be myself. More so, I was excited that a great looking guy was talking to me – an average woman.
Soon, we started hanging out at his apartment with his roommate. It was a time in my life when my beliefs and actions were quite incongruous, so many times I suppressed knowing that reality by pretending it was okay because it was only temporary.
Temporary. When things are temporary, you don’t invest time in it and you watch the clock run its course and wait until it’s over. At least that’s how I dealt with situations that aren’t necessarily pleasing but are only here for a short period of time. But what was going to happen to me was anything but temporary.
To be continued…