Teela Hart

Surviving Domestic Violence


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The Next Step


I decided, after three (or more) days of self- loathing, mindless distraction and fear (self-imposed and otherwise), that I would venture out from the confines of my cozy corner.

I discerned a distinct lift in my spirit, listening to Vivaldi’s “Winter” as I began putting away, picking up, rearranging, dusting, sweeping and mopping. Oblivious to anything else, it felt good, right, and free.

A knock at the door, my son running down the hall, and a slightly sinking feeling ended my harmony. Jon was at the door. I suppose, since the restraining order had timed out, he felt he could stop by any time he pleased.

I maintained, I think, as he stood at the door while every thought you can possibly imagine crushed my mind. He had decided to lighten the proverbial load with a menial monetary donation out of the goodness of his heart and look in on the children. (As if)

Refusing to make eye contact, I stared down at my feet and asked him if he had tried to call first. My insides vibrated; I held the doorknob tightly to brace myself just in case the quaking decided to seep into his view. I took in a long, unhurried, breath. I couldn’t give him a glimpse of the storm going on inside my body as well as my mind. The door closed behind him. At first, I thought I’d done pretty well under the circumstances.

Out of nowhere, like a slow winter approaching, my hearing muffled, tunnel vision replaced peripheral, I could feel my body growing cold as the blood literally drained from the top down.

I sat on the bed; huge bullets of liquid terror formed on my face and I closed my eyes and slowed my breathing. Shortly after, I regained my composure only to realize the dread growing in my belly.

I should’nt have been so curt. He is going to ‘get me back’ for that little tort. Maybe I should call him back and clarify. Maybe I should apologize. What is he going to do? How will he take it?

Even now, as I type this very post, I’m debating, hoping to stay a controlled, violated and blemished mind. I have somehow landed right back where I started today.  Cautious of every next step, I take it anyway.

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