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The New Girl in the House

September 8, 2009

This is not the usual type of post where I wax poetic sometimes (melodramatically) or interject humor inappropriately. The topic requires a more straightforward way of telling, I think.

Mid August Ramadan started. The first weekend after Ramadan starts, Baba texts me that we have been invited over to some friends house for iftar (breaking fast). It is a couple I have written about before. The husband is abusive, but I adore his wife, M. She is a good friend and wonderful person. I have always tried to support her even if it means hanging out with him. I agree to go to their house, and make my way to where Baba is staying.

Just as we are getting ready to leave, one of Baba’s friends gets a text from the husband saying that dinner is canceled and that he and M. are going to divorce. This is shocking to the group only because it is first time he has ever openly said something like this. Because of their history, I’m worried about my friend so I text her.

“Everything OK?”

“No,” she replies, “He fucking hit me again.”

“Can I call you?” I ask.

“I don’t think it’s safe. I’m hiding in the bathroom. I don’t want him to hear anything.”

I ask her to call for help, but she is scared the police won’t believe her, since he hasn’t left any marks, and then he’ll hit her worse, later. I am unable to convince her to call the cops, unfortunately, which is frustrating.

Naturally, everyone who knows of the situation wants her to leave him, but I’m amazed at how little people tend to understand the psyche of an abused woman. She had threatened many times to leave him. She and I had discussed it time and time again, but it was only going to happen in M’s time.

The next day she called me and told me the story. It was no different than the many other times. Honestly, the story was most sad by how familiar it was to me. I even guessed details before she said them. It was typical, and I was again extremely frustrated by my inability to do anything other than listen. I told her as I had many times before that she was welcome to come stay with me, even if it was for a few days to sort things out. She declined once more.

The next day I received a call from her in the middle of the work day.

“He kicked me out of the house again. I’m going to get some clothes and come stay with you. Is that OK?”

I was overjoyed.

“Yes, come. Stay as long as you like.”

That was two weeks ago. Saturday we got the last of her things out of his house, and she has signed a lease on a small studio not far from me, which she’ll move into in about a week. I am so happy that she is finally on her way to finding her own happiness, and I am also happy that I could help her. Of course so much has happened in the two weeks that I’m glossing over, but these aren’t that important. What is important is that my friend deserves a loving relationship with a man who respects her and she if finally starting to believe that herself. As I suspected, the thing that finally prompted her to take action was no more or less than important than any other time, except this time she decided (Thank God!) it was the last time. It was literally the proverbial straw.

It will be a long hard road from here, and I know there will be moments where she will feel weak and vulnerable and I truly hope that she is honest with those of us who care about her and leans on us during these times. But otherwise, I know that she is a strong woman who will come out of this victorious and I hope she sees her own strengths and comes to trust in them. The years of verbal and mental abuse mixed with the physical have taken their toll, and it will take time to rebuild her self esteem. She is capable, but she doesn’t quite know how much yet.

I look forward to seeing her surprise herself.

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 10, 2009 1:48 pm

    I'm so glad to hear she's out.

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