His face stern and intimidating roused my barely coherent state to attention. His nose touching mine, his moist breath warm against my lips stirred the most intense of fears leading me to the conjecture that I, once again, was in for a tempestuous morning. However, the moment my vision cleared he retreated. Although his physical presence withdrew, his essence remained. Upon questioning him about the event his reply was one of denial, after all, I was the crazy one, not he. However, I knew he had been there, I knew his intent.
Jon was lazing on the couch when I walked in. Tears laced with hurt trailed effortlessly down my face forming a mosaic on my powder blue blouse. I dropped to my knees before him, buried my face into his chest and clung to him as if he were my last hope for survival.
“Please” I begged, “Please go with me to counseling, our children’s wellbeing depend upon it. So does ours.”
His face emerged hardened and unforgiving sending a wave of shivers down my spine. Undeterred, I continued; I kissed his cheeks and his unaccepting lips, yet still the unrelenting face of stone peered back at me. I traveled further, lowered myself, kissed his feet and devoid of any semblance of compassion, he pushed me away.
“You can stop now Teela, nothing you say or do will ever change my mind. No damn counselors and that’s final. All they want to do is turn you and my young’uns against me.”
He could not understand that he was doing that all on his own.
Vehement emotion, and a few other indescribable ones, orbited my mind as a stony resolve of my own took place. I marched over, took one more look at his “godly” demeanor, and made a statement I would soon regret.
“If no is your answer, you have two choices. We can place the kids in the care of your brother or I will have child protective services take them.” Desperation had overcome fear and the words pouring from the deepest recesses of my soul would be the beginning of my tenuous attempt to affect change in the unrelenting pattern of abuse that had defined our relationship. Jon had never lay hands on the children, but the mental and emotional abuse was present and accounted for.
Abruptly, he dropped the tools in his hands and leaped toward me, nose to nose, through clenched teeth he muttered, “if you do anything like that Teela, I WILL KILL YOU!” In addition, he turned away as if he had won. In my mind, however, the fight had just begun.
. . .
For reasons I really cannot explain, the rest of this story will have to wait until I can reconcile what is left of my composure with the present.
Thank you for reading!