Flushed red cheeks implanted on a pale ghost-like face were telltale signs. Those grayish blue eyes took on an eerie hue. So far in the distance, they looked as welts began to form. The puffy bags underneath said what words would not say. The hands were trembling and shaking almost uncontrollably and oh so cold to the touch. Head hung low that rests uneasily on slumping shoulders connected to a spine ever so curved and hunched over. There was stammering and stuttering sounds emanating from his mouth yet not one syllable from his thoughts was lucid. With weariness and resignation, he forced up a half-smile. A trembling voice in soft unsure tones proclaimed “it’s okay I’m okay. I’m okay, It’s okay.” His fuzzy mind fresh from the pounding he took convinced himself that he was okay but he was really just okay with things not being okay. He would repeatedly say in a somber mono-toned voice “ I never knew I did not know this was coming.”
Procrastinate and then procrastinate some more he was told and this will happen again and again. One day you will wake up and find yourself dead. He barely raised his head to give acknowledgment to the person who was speaking to him. His head would again bow as he became fixated on the black and white square floor tiles that adorned his kitchen. Like him, they were scratched, worn and even broken in some spots. “It’s okay. I’m okay. It’s going to be good again.” His scratchy sore throat only carried enough strength for these words to be said. Bleeding profusely from several body cavities he succumbed to his wounds as just then when his body could no longer hold him he landed head first on the floor. Muttering and moaning were the only hints there was still life left. An oxygen mask was forced around his head with the air pillows placed firmly in his nostrils. Nitroglycerin was placed under his white scaly tongue as was the right thing medically to do. The ambulance attendants flash a forlorn look at each other as if to say he is not likely to make it.
“Love is just a four lettered word” which was a line from a song penned by Bob Dylan that can ring true. Love can leave a battlefield of scars but not of this magnitude. Limbs consumed with hatred swung like axes put to burning walls to knock them down. They would momentarily retreat so they could reach back to gather the necessary momentum to generate the velocity they needed to deliver more blows in rapid-fire sequence. You can pummel a man to the point where he has no more pain to feel. The maximum threshold had been reached. He could no longer feel the strikes or the blunt force colliding with his bones. Throughout this it all his heart refused to stop beating refusing to relinquish the love he still had for his crazed would-be assassin.
Outside of his hospital window, he would give a passing glance to the palm trees swaying with the wind as they waved to him. They wanted nothing more for him to feel their gentle breezes that would float over him. Their leaves lobbied to be able to caress his face while anointing him with aromatic oils that could restore his severely chafed skin. In the rigid rules of hospital wards concessions such as these would not be facilitated. While the tubes of medicine filtered through the tubes in his arms into his nearly collapsed veins that were tied to his bedside started to extract their own price from him. The Palm Trees beckoned to help but their request was callously denied. Modern medicine with their sworn allegiance to Big Pharma saw no value in nature which was given to us by G-d. The dying patient that lay prone in front of them required more work from Nurses whose own nerves ran ragged than they wanted to perform for their self-described puny pay. There were soiled bed sheets to change, sponge baths to give and fresh clean gowns put on that revealed more of his nearly naked battered body that he wanted to be seen. He lay there in shame and embarrassment. No one cared about his dignity let alone his life that he himself would hope for a swift final ending too.
Code blue! Cole Blue! He was in cardiopulmonary arrest. Frantic resuscitation efforts were underway to keep him alive. He did die and pass away from internal bleeding. In the immediate moments following his death, the soul inside him rose. He looked down during his ascension to where his yet to be moved lifeless body lay. While up on high a stranger greeted him. Together that would watch reels of the life of a man to see where his final resting place would be. He did not know the man in the reels was him as he no longer remembered anybody as he was not he. At the end of the agonizing emotionally packed session, he was sent down to rejoin his semi-rejuvenated body. The defibrillators that caused his body to jerk, jump, before receding along with the endless miles of tubes, IV’s, oxygen masks put his heart back into the business of pumping blood if only temporarily. The crash cart remained parked at his bedside in the presumed likelihood it would be needed again.
What is to become of how little is left of this man’s fading life? Nightmares griped him even as he lay there practically motionless recalling how he was pounded into submission. He remembered the precious cherished love they once shared. But then that night happened. In an epic scene of bloody violence, it all ended. Why? How could she do this to me? Why he asked over and over again with no ears within range heard his desperate cries for an answer to his question. Nobody near cared to hear. What drove her to become so psychiatrically unstable? A red robin perched itself outside his window. He could hear her sweet sounding symphony of song. He was too paralyzed to move. If he could only touch her silky feathers or touch her beak what a rare pleasure that would be. The singing stopped as the bird soared skyward. Was there a message in the melody? “It’s okay, I’m okay but I want to die. Let me die! Let me die! I deserve to die! LET ME DIE! KILL ME! I beg you to let me die.” There is no reason I should be alive.” Alas, it was only the voice inside of him that was making these pleas for death. He had no voice to give. Certainly no will to live. Would there be a way he could accomplish death by his own hands?
People can carry secrets deep within their lives of a life that is best left hidden under blankets of pretending normalcy. We lust for intimacy unbeknownst to even us. Go we will go with a stranger who proclaims love for all that we are or are not. Some will marry with beautiful children joining the world from that union. How many of us can truthfully say we are okay? Gray days are good days now as are cloudy days with torrents of rain falling. Are they really good days? Inadequate at best describes the emotion carried by yet another victim of living under siege. They insist to the point of prolonged redundancy they do not know or trust anybody that they can willfully share the details with of the daily horrors they face who can make it stop.
If you are living with Domestic Violence (or a child that is being physically abused) seek help. Do not try to fool yourself into thinking the hurt from the hurting will go away and all will be peachy keen. The superficial bruises will fade (sometimes not) away until there is no tell-tale sign of them. A spark will ignite uncontrollable anger that will be aimed at you or them. Run out! Get help! Call the police. Get to a shelter or a hospital where you can be safe. Social Service Organizations that help victims of Domestic Violence or Child Abuse are there to help you but you must reach out to them. There are no shortages of ways they can help you rebuild your life. Seek out the services of a Social Worker Therapist to talk about your feelings. You needn’t suffer in silence.
The pleas and empty promise that it will not happen again as things are better now must be ignored. Do not fall into the “it will be okay” again trap. Just as I am sitting here the hitting will start again. You can not let your abuser keep you like a caged animal to let you out when he pleases. He or she cannot be allowed to take hold of you. Once you are in their clutches the only way you will escape if you do not act is when you are carried out in a body bag. Read closely about the man that I have been writing about who died by the killing of his body and his soul at the hands of somebody that he thought loved him. Do you want this to be you? It will not be okay as you will not be okay despite your protests to the contrary. Take hold of the sanctity of your life before it is too late.
Authors Note: This article is intended to bring to the forefront a very important yet highly disturbing issue in our society today which is Domestic Abuse be it from or towards either gender. To no lesser extent and of equal importance are the number of reported (and unreported cases) of Child Abuse/Child Neglect in addition to Elder Abuse. Lastly (for Larry Tyler) we should not place only a minimal amount of importance to the plight of abused/abandoned animals as their lives are intricately interwoven with ours. L’Chaim (To Life)! Keep life alive! Where there is life there is hope.