TITLE: Not Hide And Seek
By Pat Murray
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“He will find us so you can’t make any noise,” I tell her. She tries to be quiet but just cannot hide her emotions.
No, we are not playing hide and seek. Dad and Mom are fighting and we know the only way to keep from being beaten by him is to keep quiet. We can hear the bumps and thumps and shouting of the battle.
My sister is sobbing and I hold her mouth closed trying to help her and all the while wanting to scream in fear myself. We’ve been here many times before and don’t even have to imagine what is going on. This time just seems so much worse.
It seems we have been in the darkness for hours. Daddy finally leaves the house to go “drink with his buddies.” He was sober when he left and we know it can be worse when he returns. We hear Mama crying in her room but still know that we need to stay quiet. We slip into bed and hold each other close and softly cry ourselves to sleep.
When we awake, we know Mama will not feel like taking care of us so we want to help her. Creeping toward the kitchen we can tell that Daddy has already gone to work. When we see Mama’s face, we cry. She can hardly see through swollen eyes and speech is difficult through cut lips. Those are the wounds we could see and as children could not begin to fathom the depths of the wounds that were inside.
Forty years later we are still struggling with those scars. There were many incidents like this one. However, I remember how God brought me through it all. He protected me as a child and as an adult has given me the strength to tell others about those times. There are so many issues to address when it comes to domestic violence. To those experiencing it in their homes, “Get help!” To those of us not experiencing it, “Watch, listen, pray and help.” Let’s help the children out of the dark closets.
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