The diary entry that follows is purely fictional. None of the situations expressed are linked to actual persons living or dead. Although some things may resemble actual events, the intent is not to relay a true diary but a fictional character that can express many different stories of women who have been abused. The intent is merely to bring awareness from the inside out since we mostly see abused women from the outside looking in.
Trigger warning – The content below contains wording which may be triggering to domestic abuse survivors.
Diary Sunday October 18, 2015
Today was a good day. I was walking along the road this morning when I met a woman who invited me to come to her church. She said they would be serving lunch after the service and I was welcome to come. She offered me a ride to the church and while I was nervous about taking the ride, something in her eyes told me that I could trust her.
Trust. A concept that I didn’t think I would be able to have for anyone again. I sat through the service with tears streaming down my face as they sang beautiful songs of praise to God. The sermon was about the good Samaritan. Was that a coincidence since this woman was surely a good Samaritan to me today? With tears streaming down my face I drifted off into a memory of when my husband and I were first dating. We would go to church whenever the doors were open. He proclaimed his love for Jesus and we talked of becoming missionaries one day. It was a dream that I shared.
There was a beautiful woman dancing during the praise and worship time, she had a beautiful flowing dress that followed her twirls delightfully. She danced with a long multicolored scarf that flowed up in the air and back down to the sounds of the worship music. I wanted to be her. I loved to dance and yet I have not danced in many years. How could I dance when my precious ballerina was no longer on this earth? How could I dance when my life no longer had meaning? I felt an overwhelming desire to run in that moment as the memories came flooding into my mind shutting out everything around me. I looked over at the woman who brought me to church and she smiled at me. Her smile was so warm and inviting. Somehow she eased my anxiety and I was able to stay for the entire service.
Lunch was amazing. There was so much food and desserts to choose from I could not believe my eyes. Breakfast casseroles, tacos, barbecue beef, chili, homemade bread, hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken and dumplings, fried chicken, every kind of fruit you could imagine, cakes, cookies, pies and my favorite homemade bread pudding. I filled my plate with just a little bit of everything I could fit on it since this was the best meal I have had in a long time. So many people came up and introduced themselves and seemed interested in knowing me. I still can’t make sense of it all. Why would they want to know me? I’m sure I look like an old dirty rag and probably smell like one too. Every person who spoke to me seemed to look beyond my shabby looks and I felt like they all were looking deep into my soul. It made me nervous and I would begin to shake. My new friend would put her hand on my shoulder and silently pray for me. It was if she knew the rage that was going on inside my head. The swirling thoughts of unworthiness to be at this table with beautiful, happy people. It was truly overwhelming.
A sudden crash caused me to lunge underneath the table, my heart was beating wildly and I thought I was being attacked. I could do nothing but sit under that table and rock myself holding my knees close to my chest. No it can’t be happening again. No, please make it stop. I could hear voices around me praying to God to help me. I heard one say it’s ok, it’s ok, it was just a punch bowl that crashed to the floor and shattered. I had tears streaming down my face as the memories of being taunted and beaten with a baseball bat flooded my mind and would not stop. I could hear myself crying out “please stop, please stop”. As the prayers continued around the table, I looked up and my new friend was on her knees in front of me praying and crying. I began to fix my eyes on her and slowly the anxiety and panic began to subside. I didn’t even realize that she was holding my hands. Suddenly the realization of what was happening overwhelmed me and shame entered into my consciousness. How could I ever come back to this place? How embarrassing?
I was helped up off the floor by my new friend. I expected people to look at me like something was wrong with me or call the police or kick me out of this place but they didn’t. An older woman across the table asked me if I had been abused. I hung my head low and said yes. She came over and put her arms around me and began to share her own story of abuse. What? Wait, where am I? I am sitting in a church. People don’t talk about abuse in church. It was why I left the church years ago. I listened to her story in astonishment. She understood me. She could relate to my terror and agony. I couldn’t believe it. Every day people pass me by and act as though I am invisible and yet two women made me feel like a human being today. I am not sure I know how to process this in my mind. It’s new to me.
The older woman invited me to come and stay with her family for the night. The softness in her voice made me feel that I could go with her. I felt like I made two friends today. Friends. All my friends had abandoned me long ago. They couldn’t relate to my struggle. They couldn’t understand my never-ending sorrow and pain. I’m not sure if this is all a dream but I hope that if it is I don’t wake up from it. I am sitting in a beautiful guest room in my new friend’s home. The bed is so inviting and I must rest. I have not slept in an actual bed for weeks. I have a strange feeling of safety here. I hope this day never ends.