I was sitting there feeling sorry for myself until I met her and heard her story.
|I was sitting on a bench under a tree near where I live. I was thinking hard because I was trying to work my way through what I considered to be a major problem in my life and had no idea how to handle the situation or what to do about it. As I sat there I noticed a woman approaching me smiling as she walked towards me. I had seen this woman before but I did not know her name, well she sat down next to me and introduced herself. As she was doing this all I could think was can't she see by the expression on my face that I want to be alone but none the less she sat there and started talking to me. It was just general conversation and eventually I was talking too. Then she said I want to tell you a story. What she told me helped me to resolve the issue that I had been tackling because it was small when you look at the whole picture as it relates to life.
She began by saying I was 42 and lonely, he was 31 and extremely attractive to me. I couldn't believe that he was really interested in me she said. Well after many conversations with this man they began dating. Just being with him she said shot her self-esteem through the roof and as if that wasn't enough the sex was incredible. They dated for a while and then she moved in with him. He proved to be a very good provider and was constantly by her side. This was the beginning of something that would change her life completely.
Having reached a point in their relationship where she wanted to spend more time with her friends she began going out with her girlfriends. He began to question every move she made even when she was going to get her nails done. He wanted to know where she was at every moment that she was not with him. What had at first been thought to be an attractive quality became an annoyance. They began to argue more and more and she felt that she was always walking on pins and needles. One evening she returned home after having pizza with her friends and he confronted her arguing stating that he would throw her out of their 2nd story apartment if she ever cheated on him. He went so far as to open the window and throw one of the kitchen pots out of it. Although she was alarmed she just told him he was silly and got ready for bed.
He started telling her that there was no where that she could go that he would not find her. He accused her of all sorts of things (mostly untrue) and she was finding it harder and harder to defend herself verbally to him. He was beyond comprehension thinking things were happening that were really not. This behavior and accusations became worse and worse so she decided to leave him for the sake of her own sanity.
She moved, found an apartment on the other side of town in a very close knit community surrounded by homes. She lived on a quiet street and you could hear anything that was going on outside. Well, he began calling her job, she worked for the government in a secured building, telling her that he knew that she had left him for another and that she was a liar. Those statements turned into threats of physical violence so she told her supervisor what was happening and there was a notice to security informing them that if this person (they had a picture of him) entered the building to restrain him and call the police. In addition, she got a restraining order against him.
Things quieted down for a short while and then one evening when she was leaving her apartment with a male friend he popped out of the bushes with his hands behind his back beckoning her to come with him. She said that she was scared shitless and told her friend to just keep walking to the car. She felt if she made it to the car she would be okay. Her male friend was obviously quite frightened. As they got closer to the car he closed in on her and grabbed at her coat, pulling his other had from behind his back to reveal a tire iron. This was unreal she thought, like something in a movie but he began beating her with the tire iron. Her friend was able to get into the car and throw open the door on the passenger side and told her to get in or at least try and he would pull her the rest of the way. She found herself fighting for her life and found some strength inside that she did not know she had. She managed to get partially into the car and that's when she felt the first of two devastating blows. She heard her knee crack as he swung down on her with the tire iron and then a burning sensation, then she heard the ssecond crack as he struck her on her forearm that she was using to protect her face.
She started yelling to her friend "drive, just drive," and he pulled off as fast as he could. He managed to grab hold of her coat and almost pulled her out of the car but she kept on pulling while her friend held tightly onto her other arm. The coat tore and so did her gold chain with the crucifix that her father had given her, but she was free. She directed her friend to take her to the nearest hospital emergency room and as fate would have it a police car appeared out of nowhere. By now she was hysterical and as she explained to the police officer what had happened he radioed for another police car. While her friend gave a description of the perpetrator she was rushed to the hospital.
She told me that the reason that she told me this particular story was that sometime when things get rough she has to remind herself of where she has been, what she has been through, and how good things are now. She said that the needy, superficial person that she was then died the night that he attacked her She said it was that night that she made a conscious decision to live, really live as God had intended. She said that night when she looked into his eyes she saw death. He was crazed and he was hell bent on taking her with him, dead or alive. She said I chose to live and my life has been nothing short of wonderful every since. I have problems she said but nothing is as bad as that. When he was attacking me, she said, I lost control of my bladder and my bowels because that's how scared I was. I have never been that scared of anything since because I took control. I sat through many court hearings and endured physical therapy for a long time. I have a steel plate in my right forearm and a pin in my left knee. These are my battle scars, my badges. I fought with the devil and I won. This battle at least.
She left me with this, everybodies problems are not as dramatic as mine but whatever the problem, you must come to a point where you say I am going to live or I am going to lay down and die. Survival, that's what it's all about. There is nothing in this world that can happen to you that you cannot survive. Now I am not talking about a catastrophic illness, I am talking about man made situations. "I died that night, but I found out that there is life after death!"
BTW after spending weeks over her friends house recouperating she went home and went back to the area where she was attacked. As she stood there remembering she looked down under the tree and there lay the gold chain and crucifix that her father had given her. It was just laying there like it had been waiting for her. WOW!!!
Since meeting this woman, I would like to be able to say that we became the best of friends but that is not the case. She went her way and I went mine but I took a little bit of her with me. I decided to tackle going back to school and amazingly I made it through. I also examine my motives for doing things more closely. My needs are my needs and I am the one who should be providing for those needs not someone else. I am more up front and honest with the people that I deal with on a daily basis, family, friends, who ever. There is nothing that someone can give me that will mean more to me that something that I have earned or achieved on my own.