“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Sisters, our bible teaches that we should help those in need and stand up for what is right. It teaches to advocate and to not fear. It seems simple on paper. In reality, you’re walking back into the battlefield. Your putting your armor on, picking up your sword, and fighting along side another warrior. Her fight becomes yours, and blood will flow.
If an abuser learns to abuse from his parents, then logic tells us that his family will also be abusers; brothers, cousins, nephews, sons. It becomes a twisted family tradition, even an expectation.
I’ve overheard some distressing comments coming from my ex abuser when his nephew would call. “If I was you I’d go back in there and slice up every piece of furniture in the house…. tell the cops she hit herself, she’s crazy…. no listen, you were here, no you were here with us, tell them that… don’t give her time to file a restraining order, you file first” Do you feel sick yet? There’s more.
My abuser’s twin, also an abuser. He’s was recently convicted of domestic battery resulting in moderate bodily injury. He lives with his wife and their three kids. A life of domestic terror. I love his kids, I love his wife. I even kind of love him. I hate what he does. I’ve watched his boys change from sweet boys to raging men; I will always regret not helping them sooner. But time passes, and a new generation begins.
A new generation. A new baby. A nephew, no longer a boy, but a man. A baby cousin for my daughter. Babies are so precious. I will say this, that boy loves his baby with every ounce of his being. He’d slaughter dragons for her and then sing her songs, all in the same day. Sweet isn’t it? My stories aren’t sweet though.
This baby has a mother, I will call her Eve. The cops have had to help her a few times when he’s hit her. Stalked her. Destroyed her property. He learned well. She’s young, so is he. She has two slightly older kids. She struggles, but she tries. Her parenting isn’t on trial here. She is a mother, she has a baby. She has a baby with a man who is an abuser who comes from a family of abusers.
Eve is a sweet girl, almost no education, no resources, no support. She’s a sister warrior from the same war and I keep her close. I pray for her, let her be strong. She calls me last week, “Jenny they got me, they got me good.”
She tells me the whole story. She let my ex-nephew take the baby for a visit; 2 days went by, no baby, then another week. Finally they call her. They’re going to pick Eve up and take her to get the baby. At this point I already know, and my blood boils.
They didn’t take Eve to her baby, they took her to a lawyer. They tell her sign this paper and you can have her. They tell her sign this paper or we will drag you through court, we will win. Sign this paper and you’ll still have her on weekends, sign this paper signing away your parental rights. Give us your baby, or else.
Bless her heart. The girl asks me if she can take them to court in a few months when she can afford a lawyer to regain custody. She didn’t even know the difference between custody and parental rights.
This is an old trick of my abuser, skipping court proceedings with paperwork. Nortarized paperwork signed in distress or fear or with false promises. He has even had them signed days before they are notarized. Slippery isn’t it? I know the trick, and I know about the grace period.
I help her write an affidavit to redact and file it with the court house. I call the abused women’s outreach, so now Eve has an advocate, a new best friend. She needs one, she is rightfully scared out of her mind. She is afraid of losing her baby and she is afraid of fighting back. Eve’s life is now one of hotel rooms, restraining orders, and looking behind her. She has her baby though, and now knows she can fight back. We’ve advanced in battle. We may even win.
Her fight is my fight. Not only because she is our sister in war; but because all the threats and all the tricks they used on her, they used on me first. I know her fear, it is also mine.
There will be attempts at revenge, or justice as they call it. The phone has already rang, the intimidation has already started. It’s worth it though, and I will do it again and again. I pray God give me wisdom and strength. I will never stop fighting this war; this twisted family tradition of violence and bullying ends with my daughter and her baby cousin.
Last words: this was hard to write, it took three days and the words came out jagged and sharp cutting me as they came. I’ll probably edit it again in a few days. The reason is that instead getting out feelings of fear or victory, I’m letting out so much anger. I am so angry that no one ( including me) saved my ex-nephew and he grew up living in violence, I am angry that the men in his life have committed these crimes against women for so long, and our still allowed to do so. I am so angry that because they men they think they have the right to hurt. There is an ocean of blood behind my eyes, and pray I soon feel forgiveness instead)