Teela Hart

Surviving Domestic Violence

courtroom

I Need You Mommy!

15 Comments


The purpose of this post is to be “real” with the readers.  If I cannot be real with you, then it would be fair to assume I cannot be real with myself.  I invite you, for a time, to slip into my skin and take a walk with me down the streets of my life paved with shame and devastation.

My senses, invaded by the smell of musty old paper files, various colognes and perfumes and a hint of cigarette smoke provoked a feeling of nausea as I leaned against the wall outside the courtroom with countless other court-goers.  The sign on the door in bold type read, “Please have  all necessary court documents in hand upon entrance, and the emphatic ‘no cell phones allowed’ in all caps. 

The bailiff approached the door, checking each document as the plaintiffs and defendants entered the courtroom.  Anxiously trying to absorb my surroundings, I found my seat in the last bench available in the back of the courtroom.  Never, have I ever, felt so out of place as I did on that day. 

Whispers of others discussing their cases, lawyers, dressed in fine linen suits, traipsed back and forth to consult with their clients and the downright nosy regulars gazed on in anticipation of the events soon to unfold adjusted themselves in their seats.  

The door opened and shut numerous times adding to the number of folks to be heard.  However, the person I was looking for did not merely walk in.  He walked in with his entire family; aunts, uncles, brothers, friends, witnesses, and worst of all MY children. The entire parade took up four rows.

 I feel it necessary to add here that once I had my husband arrested for communicating threats to kill me, my children were irate and in complete shock and disbelief that I could have thrown their father in jail like a common criminal and as a result, they returned to him.  That, coupled with the fact that they feared him themselves made it easier for them and I was obliged to give them that solace.  I held no ill will, only the deepest of agony.

The bailiff called the court to order and an eerie hush fell over the courtroom; everyone rose from their seats in unison as the honorable Judge C walked in and took his place of superiority at the bench.  The bang of his gavel shot through me like a volt of electricity and the juices in my belly churned as I reached for my mother’s hand for support. 

Judge:  Mrs. Hart please take the stand.

My legs like rubber propelled me to the stand where I took my seat and the oath to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Mr. Hart:  Did anyone hear me tell you that I was going to kill you?

Me:  No, you knew better than to say it in front of witnesses.

Mr. Hart:  Have I ever hurt you, lay hands on you or touched you in any way to cause injury?

Me:  Yes!  Sobbing uncontrollably, the judge asked if I needed a break and I answered with an emphatic no.

Mr. Hart:  Do you have proof of the times I hurt you physically or otherwise?

Me:  No….still inconsolable.

Mr. Hart:  Isn’t it true that you have made a habit of fabricating fantastical stories about me because of your mental instability?

Me:  You know that is not true Jon, your own children can attest to that.  My words nearly incomprehensible.  My mental “instability” is caused by years of torment at your hand.

Mr. Hart:  Isn’t it true that you are taking powerful narcotic medications causing your memory to be less than reliable?

Me:  You know that I am.  You injured my arm with such force that I can no longer use it and the pain can only be described as waves of thunder and lightning in rapid succession every waking moment of my life.

Judge:  What medications are you taking Mrs. Hart?  I rattled off the list as the judge scribbled his notes.

Mr. Hart:  If that were true, if I had inflicted those injuries, why didn’t you have me arrested then?

Me:  I was afraid, and I am still afraid, but I have had enough.  It is time for you to pay for your sins Jon.  It is time for the children and I to be free.

Judge:  That will be all Mrs. Hart.  You can step down.

I had no witnesses, no one to stand up for me.  The domestic violence advocates were not present to assist; my case was lost.  The restraining order now voided and the charges were dropped.

Judge:  Mr. Hart.  Do you have any witnesses you would like to call?

Mr. Hart:  Yes your honor.  I would like to call my daughter H to the stand. 

My heart sank like a stone as I watched my eleven year old, distraught, daughter go up to the stand.

Judge:  Do you want to testify sweetheart?

H:  No she whispered, head bowed and clearly traumatized.  Weeping she returned to her seat.

At the very least, the chasm called my soul widened on that day and the decision to take my own life played in my mind.  I would be free, one way or another, I would be free.

I returned home with Jon defeated not only by him, but also by the courts and the domestic violence center assigned to my case. 

My children, in my mind, had turned against me and the agony was more than I could bare.  Over the course of the next nine months, I made plans to end my life as casually as if I were making a grocery list.  That is until my youngest son approached the bedside where I lay lifeless at the brink of death.

Tears filled his eyes as he whispered three of the most powerful words into my ear breathing life into my very being.  “Mommy, I need you.” 

Mommy

Mommy

 


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Author: Teela Hart

I am a mother, daughter, sister and domestic violence survivor.

15 thoughts on “I Need You Mommy!

  1. “Incredible” falls short. I am honored to know you better for what you have endured – and survived. I don’t feel qualified to say more.

    I can’t find the next step. Send it to me if you’d like.

    Xxx
    HW

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  2. Hugs to you, know this, you did not “have” him arrested. He broke the law, the authorities made the call and followed due process. No one can just call up and ask to “have people arrested” unless the law has been broken. Keep up the good work.

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  3. Dear Teela, If I could reach out and hold your hand right now, I would.
    But since I can’t, I will say this- You are not alone. I’ve suffered abuse for the last eight years of my marriage but was in denial that it was abuse in the first place. However hard it seems now, this too shall pass. Give yourself time to heal and your children- god bless them- will eventually understand what is being done to them and what was done to their mother. Nobody and nothing is worth taking your own life- there is so much to live for. One little step towards happiness every day, however small that step may be.
    * a warm hug from across the world *
    PS: Have you ever thought of getting a pet? As simplistic as that sounds, having my cat with me made me feel less alone. I also say that as I understand that your kids don’t live with you right now.

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    • They leftt with me after he hit my daughter with his truck and her bother witnessed it. She was not seriously injured physically, however, she has been in an emotional fog ever since. They have both been to therapy, as have I, however, we all need a support group. I am actively seeking one now. Again thank you.

      I receive your hug. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and reply to my post. It is appreciated more than you will ever know.

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  4. This is exactly why abuse continues, no one ever takes the side of the victim until it’s too late.

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    • Alienora,
      Thank you so much for nominating me! I feel greatly honored and overwhelmed that my writing has made such an impact on you. I will do my best to do you proud and honestly share my heart.

      Like

    • Alienora,
      I have drafted a post very similar to yours, concerning the sunshine award. I hope you don’t mind. If you do ……tell me before I hit the dreaded publish button. I look forward to hearing from you.

      Like

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