I know I've neglected my blog, but holy crap, it's 5 in the morning and I haven't slept. Maybe it's partly because I've been working from 4:30 pm to 4:30 am, and tonight is my night off, but it's mostly because I cannot clear my head, and I'm hoping this will help. On very rare occasions I start thinking about things that I cannot get out of my head. For some reason, this just won't leave me alone and I've been on the brink of tears off and on for the last 12 hours because it has got me so worked up.
Tonight was my night off, but I went in to do 6 hours of overtime. Out of the blue I started thinking about my mother-in-law. I have never met her, and I never will, and that pisses me off. When my husband was 3 years old, his mother was killed by her boyfriend. She was about 24 years old and was the mother of two small boys, my husband and his brother. From what I've gathered from Cangrejo's grandmother, was that she had an argument with her boyfriend, and it ended when he beat her to death. He then took her to the local hospital and left her lifeless body in a chair in the waiting room, and walked away. As far as they know, he was never caught. They don't know if the bastard lived or died. It always bothers me when shit like this happens. When someone has so much life ahead of them, and so much left to do, and then it gets taken away from them just like that. She now has 3 (almost 4) granddaughters that will never have the pleasure of meeting her. They will never know their abuela. She didn't get to see her boys grow up into men and build lives for themselves and their families in the United States. I've seen two pictures of her, and she was a hauntingly beautiful woman. My husband has her eyes. I like to imagine what she would be like. I think she would love to laugh and joke with people, just like my husband. I think that, just like both of her boys, would have a very short temper. I like to think that she would give me a hard time for not being a very good cook and for stealing her Josesito from her, but I also like to believe that we would get along fairly well.
This all got me thinking about domestic violence and the negative impact that it has not only on the direct victims, but all of the people connected to them. Then I thought about how many people I know that have been abused. I have been. It happened once. An ex that I had drug me up the stairs at a hotel by my hair. I remember kicking and punching and biting him in all of the most sensitive areas, and he didn't even feel it because he was so high. I know that people saw, and they did nothing. Once I got away from him I locked myself in the room with two other girls. I was crying and I told them what happened, and they didn't do anything to help me, didn't even act like they cared. I still remember that feeling of complete helplessness and loneliness. I also remember that when I drove away, I swore that I would never, EVER allow anyone to make me feel like that EVER again.
I wonder how many people (men and women) stay with someone that abuses them (whether it be physically or mentally) because they're scared to leave, or because they have children with that person, or because for one reason or another they think that they won't be able to make it on their own. And how many people know someone that's in an abusive relationship, but they do nothing to help or reach out? How many children will grow up without a parent because of this? I think about all of the people my age or younger that grew up watching abuse, and the affect that it has on them. Will they learn to hate it, like my husband has, or will they continue the cycle and abuse the people around them?
Last year Cangrejo and I were driving home from Salt Lake and decided to take the 'back roads' (aka not the freeway). We were driving down a stretch of a road that's always pretty busy and we saw a car pulled over to the side. I saw a man lifting his arm and then I saw it come down on a woman that was in the car. I let myself get around the bend where we were out of sight before I pulled the car over and pulled out my cell phone to call 911. I also had to hold my husband in the car, because he was about to get out and beat the shit out of the guy. While I was talking to dispatch I did a u-turn and drove back towards the car so that I could give them a better description and location. That's when I saw the little boy that was probably 4 or 5 years old. By then, one other car and a motorcyclist had pulled over nearby, watching what was happening. The man noticed he was being watched and literally threw the little boy and the woman back into the back seat of the car and drove off. We stayed with the other car and the motorcyclist tried to follow the car until the police showed up. After 4 police cars were there and looking for them, my husband convinced me that we could go. I was shaking, because I guess the adrenaline from the situation had worn off and I was in freak out mode. For the rest of the drive home, and for the next 2 weeks, that woman and the little boy were stuck in my mind. From time to time I still wonder if they caught the guy and if the woman and the little boy are safe. I kick myself for not calling the police station to see if I could get any information about what happened after we left.
I've decided that I have to do something. I haven't decided what that is yet, but people need to be more aware of the things that go on next door, or down the street, or to their friends, or family. And people that have to put up with this bull shit need to know that it's okay to ask for help and they need to know what resources they have to get out of that type of situation, and if their aren't enough resources available, then by damn, there needs to be. I'm going to do something, and it will be in the name of my mother-in-law, que en paz descanse. If I only help one person, then I only help one person, but something has to be done and a difference has to be made.
All of that being said, suggestions are welcome.