I dreamed Germany had invaded Richmond. I knew the trains running down near the river across from Rockets Landing were carrying people to prison camps,possibly to their deaths. He came to pick me up, demanding the children, who were toddlers in the dream, and I get in the car to escape the train. I refused, choosing instead to take my chances on the train and subsequently trying to escape the prison camp. That seemed, in the dream, the lesser of the two evils, to go to a prison camp.
Shake them off though I try, they linger, these sorts of dreams. I know now I am free, and I don’t have to make those difficult choices. I am both grateful and haunted.
Maybe my sense of inescapabilty was once again triggered by a recent local ‘incident’. Everyone likes to call these things ‘incidents’ but I, of all people, should just call the spade. It was a murder where he taunted her relentlessly, the woman he professed to love. He hunted her down, drove her off the road into a ditch, got into her car and murdered her using the same gun with which he then killed himself. It was not quick and clean. It was a long drawn out cat and mouse game in which he finally prevailed despite her best efforts to stay safe, despite the police and victim service’s best efforts to keep her safe.
I will not sugar coat that he ‘fatally wounded’ her because that is too easy to flip to the next screen, the next story after saying poor, dear woman. Such a shame. Her poor family. He must have been sick. He must have had PTSD. He must have snapped one day.
What about her? No one asks what must she have gone through? What fear must she have felt? What struggle must she have had trying desperately to break free and build a new life for herself, freed from the prison of his control, only to be tracked down like a fugitive to her death.
Mercifully left here, I have taken it on to give her death, and all of those silenced, a voice. I will not, cannot, lay down quietly and put my hands over my eyes and ears and say I know something and I’m not telling !!! I am telling. Perhaps at my own emotional peril, but I am telling it.
I didn’t know her. I only know it needs to feel very uncomfortable for all of us because neutrality favors the abuser. What can you or I do? Really do? We can take a stand. We can make it harder. We can cut off the oxygen by calling them on it if it’s someone we know perpetuating the abuse. We can support (women) by not judging their circumstances, especially when they have to make hard decisions to stay in abusive relationships. We can help them monitor their safety. We can educate ourselves on the dynamics and not falsely believe no one we know is experiencing abuse. If you don’t know someone, you will. You will.
As for me, I have nothing else to do with my own survival but this. I will get up. I will do the next thing. I will thank God for the chance to experience this day, my children and friends for however long I am able. I will cry. I will begin again, receiving the gift of being here and accepting my mission. I will love, as God loved us.