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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Walk (07/20/06)

TITLE: Secrets of the Dark
By Teresa Collins


The room is dark. The pain is starting to set in. I use the wall for support as I tried to stand on my wobbly legs, my body still shaking. I could barely see.

I made my way over to the bathroom mirror. I gasp as I caught a glimpse of myself. I was frightened by my own reflection. I dabbed the blood from around my nose and the corner of my mouth. The tears were trying to squeeze through the swollen tissue around my eyes that were turning blue.

As I sat with ice over my face and rested my sore body I could still see that rage filled face. It would play over and over in my mind.

Suddenly, I heard the door open and his footsteps. I froze, afraid to breathe.

“Did I do that to you?” I heard the concern in his voice.

I just sat there numb, afraid to speak. I wondered how the tears managed to roll down my cheeks. I hurt so badly. Maybe I really did deserve this.

“I’m so sorry!” he said as he grabbed my hand. I was startled by his touch.
I removed the ice from my face and tried to open my eyes. I heard him gasp. I felt his head in my lap as he collapsed in tears.
“I can’t believe I did this to you again.” He cried.
“It was just an accident, you didn’t mean it.” my voice trembled as I tried to speak.
I couldn’t move. I just sat there embarrassed and weak.
I reluctantly put my hand on his head to comfort him.
“I’m sorry I let you down.” I whispered.
“I’m so sorry; I will never do this to you again.” He said through his sobs.

Torn between relief and fear, I wanted to believe him.
My head was spinning; the love, the anger, the promises, the pain.
The words I’d heard so many times before. The love I so desperately needed from him would be at the end of each attack.
I would be in seclusion for weeks until the bruises would fade, the swelling and cuts would heal. I felt like a prisoner in my own home. Each time I wanted to leave, each time I stayed.
I believe him this time; I believe he really is going to change.

I stared at my healed reflection. I saw the innocence in my eyes; my fair skin was radiant with beauty. I was loving, sincere and wanted to please. I knew he had a serious problem.
I knew that I didn’t deserve the beatings.
It was only a matter of time before it would happen again.
I prayed for wisdom and strength to make the call.

I finally made the call.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me. Psalm 138:7 (NKJ)

4 psychological stages of the battered woman syndrome:
• I thought it would always get better I believed the promises of ‘I’ll never do that again’ – denial
• I blamed myself for his actions – guilt
• I started to realize that it would eventually happen again because it was always the same promises – enlightenment
• I made the call - responsibility
4,000,000 women a year are assaulted by their partners. 4 women everyday are murdered by boyfriends or husbands. 95% of victims of domestic violence are women.
~National Statistics~

Please be with all those women who feel stuck in this cycle of abuse as I was for years, afraid to leave and afraid to stay. Let them know how very precious they are and they don’t need to be beat, called names or treated with disrespect. Help to enlighten them to the reality of the situation. Remind them that you are always with them. Help them to walk in strength to make the call and use their experience to help other woman get free. Amen

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This article has been read 574 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Ann FitzHenry07/27/06
Maryolyn Payne07/27/06
This is a subject that should be expossed today and you did a very nice job writing it. I could feel your pain. Thanks for sharing a painful subject. Maryolyn Payne
Maryolyn Payne07/27/06
oops, I should have checked my spelling before sending my comments. Sorry
Lynda Schultz 07/28/06
Thank you for sharing your heart. This kind of abuse also happens among friends. You sincerely believe you are doing the right things by preserving the relationship, until finally the light goes on. Good job.
Valerie Routhieaux07/30/06
Wow! I can't imagine it. I've never been abused, but I have heard the stories, and my heart aches for every one of them, for you. I'm glad you made the call. I pray that your life is much better now. You have a gift with words as I saw and heard the anguish you felt as you went through the pain of abuse. Keep writing and sharing
Debora Dyess08/01/06
Very nice job. Only a couple of things to watch, writing-wise (is that a real word?) First, watch tense. There were a couple of places where it seemed a little muddled--first paragraph was one. It's hard to know exactly how to word those verbs sometimes. Also, see if you can do some combining of sentences and ideas to promote a smoother flow. For example, you said swollen eye (maybe it was the eye...I didn't copy it to paste here, sorry) that was turning blue. You could combine that idea for a bruising, swollen eye. I wondered if you were using shorter sentences to convey the emotional rockiness of the situation, which works, but if you were try to keep it consistent and steer away from longer sentences--they feel out of character with all the short ones and break that idea.
Overall, very well written--are you sure you're writing in the right level?!
I appreciated your work, Deb