Every time my daughter flies back to visit her father, there’s a moment where I worry that he’ll hurt her.
It’s not a deafening worry, but more of the insidious type. It pops up when she mentions the visit, and grows while she is away, only to taper off when she returns. The thing is, this could be my old trauma. Let’s get more real. It is my old trauma. I have no clue what kind of man he is today.
Here’s a list of some of the things I witnessed him do while I lived with him:
1. Threaten strangers with a machete
2. Threaten his neighbors
3. Physically hurt his animals
4. Bury a dog alive (it survived)
5. Sell drugs
6. Emotionally, psychologically, physically hurt his children
7. Emotionally, psychologically, physically hurt me
8. Manipulate me (and quite frankly, everyone around him)
9. Threaten to kill me
It’s been twenty-four years since I left him and ten years since the last time we talked. My daughter is in her twenties. An adult. And still I worry.
When you’ve been intimate with an abusive person, had a child and family, had to escape and run and hide from them, at what point can you relax?
I wonder how mothers of babies, toddlers, and young children cope when they are court ordered to share their kids with their abusers? The fact is their two choices are to either break the law and withhold their children or hand them over to their unknown fate. These moms must be petrified and panic-stricken.
Each time my daughter flies back to see her father, I surround her in white light and pray that she is safe. I hope that he’s changed. That he has healed.
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