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Angels of Hope and Freedom: Domestic Violence Resources

Theresa's Story
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t's Song

Butterfly



What Was I Thinking Of
By Teresa Thompson

We met some several years ago-- 'round the edges he was rough.
I'd no immediate attraction -- he spoke of life as being tough.
But he showed great interest in me, striving hard not to offend.
I felt I owed it to him, to at least become a friend.
He seemed to take on changes, in his hair and in his dress.
Attempting higher learning, all for me, all to impress.
How could I turn away from him? Such a difference I did make.
And as he sought more of me, I gave for him to take.

Chorus
My family life was strong and sound, of morals and of love.
Intelligent and logical, what was I thinking of?
That I was what he needed, to break his family chain ---
Of violence and destruction. My love would heal the pain.
So I'd prove my dedication. I'd prove to him my faith.
I'd prove total devotion. My love I would bequeath.

Steering clear of men I found the need. Affairs, it seemed, went hand-in-hand.
To be late from work or shopping, accounting time he would demand.
I thought "It's insecurity." -- Proof of love will ease the hold.
I'll devote myself more strongly, seeking trust to yet unfold.
Wedded bliss would prove devotion; surely now he'd know I'm his.
But soon my friends included -- in conspiracy, that is.
Declining lunch and outings, work and home, that was my task.
By his side I was to be, but if he's gone, I'm not to ask.

My income was to pay the bills: mortgage, groceries, and the such.
His work was so sporadic -- couldn't count on it for much.
A child, he said, was what he wants. But to that I did decline.
As provider for the household, the income needed would be mine.
I explained my reasons soundly: maternal leave, and medical costs,
Daycare, diapers and the like. The big picture, to him, was lost.
He claimed, I did not love him, nor care to have a child.
Maternal instinct I did lack. The accusations piled and piled.

His work did finally come around -- years later, if it be said.
A baby then agreed upon, I thought nothing more to dread.
He'd have his wife and child now. Secure, he'd be, no doubt.
A family man, his life complete, that's what marriage is all about.
But his angry grip grew tighter. More demands he placed on me.
And the bills were left for me to pay. His money for whatever he please.
In bringing up these troubles, he'd dig in deeper still.
An attitude, he said I had. I was to do his will.

(Chorus)

Reflecting on my fate at hand -- a child of mine now had.
And seeing what she'd see in me was alarming and quite sad.
What kind of image would I be, giving in at every turn?
To keep the peace --- not rock the boat, no strength was there to learn.
But a vow of marriage I had made -- a family unit, too.
Values that I hold quite dear. Oh, what was I to do?
To voice my opinion now and then, when I felt a strong belief.
To stand my ground, to speak my mind, to brace myself for grief.

The friction, oh, indeed, it came -- pure hostility and hate.
Fear for life did come to me, and with that my child's fate.
He said I'd have to leave her if I were considering to flee.
He would never let me take her. That's the way it was to be.
So I stayed there for my daughter, telling no one of the mess.
They couldn't help us anyway --- good intentions add to 'stress'.
More walking 'round on eggshells, nervous knots when he's around.
Damned if you do, damned if you don't. His wrath was quite abound.

A second child on the way. No desire of his declined.
Though there be no kiss from him, to his 'needs' I was reclined.
Again I asked for therapy, through tears and bruisened jaw.
With gritted teeth he claimed no fault. Plain simply, his word was law.
Complications soon ensued, this pregnancy, unplanned.
I prayed that maybe that would change his hostilities at hand.
A short reprieve from household chores, baby's welfare soon was lost.
He quickly wearied of the tasks. Early labor would be the cost.

Four months early came my son to me --- a miracle, indeed.
My efforts for the next few months --- this baby's every need.
He would deny our boy of mother's milk, as it diminished his sexual lust,
As well as all the time it took, no matter son's nutritional must.
He pushed our son's arrival home, but was ego and not of care.
Not a finger would he lift to help. In fact, he'd never be there.
On camping trips and make-believe chores, he'd find his duties away.
With special needs, at work and home - I cared for baby night and day.

(Chorus)

Focus on the children and making the ends meet.
Fatigued and ever weary, quiet feelings of defeat.
But my son was getting stronger. What more could a mother ask?
My life was for my children now, their welfare was my task.
Then one night in a blow-up, I heard my children cry.
Their daddy just hurt mommy, and I thought that I might die.
As he stewed in the adjoining room I prayed for self and kids.
Then I placed a call to 911. Yes, that's exactly what I did.

He flew into a torrent rage as they placed him in the cuffs.
An "Order of Protection", served -- the decision very tough.
But I feared retaliation, of his taking our daughter and son.
I knew not what was coming and I questioned what I'd done.
He phoned with mentions of remorse. Yes, he broke the "Order" served.
He said he realized he messed up -- the arrest was well deserved.
He further said he'd get some help. The first time he'd admit.
I told him that I'd wait and see, I'd need some proof before I'd commit.

Well, he actually started counseling, and when the "Order" had expired,
I let him in the house once more. A healthy family I desired.
Though he ne'er lay hand on me again, the violence still was there ---
His claim to place, his hostile frame, angry words and icy glare.
I knew a change would not be quick. A chance to grow I gave.
For near a year I struggled on, before, alas, it couldn't be saved.
A threat of death, the final cord. I knew that all was lost.
My children now I had to save. A broken family would be the cost.

(Chorus)
A strategy I worked upon, and informed my family thus.
I feared their disappointment and expected quite a fuss.
A fuss was made, but not the way I expected it to be.
They knew I'd been in trouble. Prayed for the day that I'd be free.
My move, it came more quickly than initially was planned.
Another heated moment --- I took friends' help at hand.
But frightening as the move was, a peace I found within.
No more walking 'round on eggshells. A new life I would begin.

No, not a bed of roses. Some residuals still ensue.
But healthier my life does grow, and that of my children, too.
I find myself more day by day, and loosen up his grip.
With counseling for me and kids, angers and fears we'll strip.
And sharing my experience with others of my kind,
I find it somewhat comforting, helping someone of like mind.
And yet I, too, feel sorrowful, for the many that there be.
Who live a life of fear and pain -- so many others, just like me.

And yet I, too, feel sorrowful, for the many that there be.
Who live a life of fear and pain -- so many others, just like me.