A painful letter that an abused woman wrote to her son
Forgive me for being so weak. Maybe someday you’ll understand why I had to do this. For now, all I can do is hide, and send you this letter, explaining my predicament. Leaving wasn’t an option for me. Things got beyond a point where I couldn’t stay any longer. Maybe the world is right for blaming me for putting myself in this situation.
But little do they know of all the unbearable antics I was forced to undergo. Maybe someday, you’ll understand my reasons for doing this.
I fell in love with him.
He was everything I was looking for in a man. He was kind, he was gentle. He was an excellent cook and he never let me toil in the kitchen. He showed me that my dreams are important too, and I must kill myself and go for it. I must never back down or give up. As time passed, I became a confident woman. I invested myself in my work and I felt myself grow triplefold than I ever had. I felt so blessed to have this kind man in my life, who held a role stronger than a guardian. He was my hat on a sunny day and my shelter in the storm. I hid myself in his chest and before I knew it, I Unwinded within him.
He understood me, and I needed him desperately. He was my go to man, my soulmate. He was my best friend and my mentor and everything I spent my existence looking for. He was perfect. And I married him.
Oh, it was such a beautiful day. We were supposed to get married in the town chapel, for my parents hated him. So we got married in the proximity of a few close friends and later, we took off to Prague for a quiet honeymoon. Oh Jonathan, I had never been happier. We roamed around the city streets. We tasted local wine, and danced in exquisite parties and he bought me every gown that he claimed made me look like a 90s celebrity queen. I was practically glowing. People complimented me so. They envied us for being so happy, and so in love. Oh, I wish we were always like that, but things changed.
The sky turned red and our love faded away.
Maybe it was all a pretense. Maybe, it never existed at all. But soon after my marriage, I had you. I was pregnant and I was certain your father would rejoice this news. But I was mistaken. At first, he picked me up in his arms and swung me around. We celebrated with our bottle of Chardonnay and he ran down the street, knocking at random doors, yelling that he is a father. I watched him beam with so much joy. I knew he’d make a wonderful father. We couldn’t wait to have you with us, and create a tiny little world for you. When I was six months pregnant, I came home from the young mothers’ counselling group and I saw your father in bed with another woman.
I was so ashamed.
I silently asked the woman to leave and locked myself up in my room, weeping for two days. I didn’t eat those two days, didn’t drink water. I couldn’t even talk. Maybe it was my fault. Maybe I became so unattractive and self obsessed that I couldn’t satisfy your father’s needs. I kept questioning myself and I caused you to suffer with me for those two days. God, I’m a terrible mother, aren’t I? Your father kept banging the door. On the second day, he broke down the door and led me upstairs feeding me and apologising to me for hurting me this way.
I forgave him.
Maybe he slipped this one time. He’s a father now. Surely he won’t abandon us this way just to have sex with younger woman. He loved me too much to do that. He loved you too much to do that. But I was wrong yet again I gave birth to you on the 16th of November, 1992 at 6.53 pm. It was a new beginning. I had a beautiful baby boy in my arms who I loved beyond measure. I brought you home to the little cradle I set up with the toys that you took a strong liking to. Remember your GI Joe figure? You wouldn’t let it go for days. You’d take it everywhere. To bathe, to pee and even to sleep. You’d cry every time I took it away from you. You were my world Jonathan. I could never see you cry. I could never see you in pain. He struck me for the first time a few days after you were born. He hadn’t slept in days because you were crying and I was too exhausted to wake up and tend to you. He grabbed me by the hair and threw me on the floor. Kicked me till I choked blood and spat on me saying I ruined him. He was a 30 year old man whose bachelor days were robbed from him. I hadn’t asked him to marry me. All of this was what he wanted. I couldn’t understand what I did wrong. I didn’t get what changed.
I slept on the floor that night.
Absolutely numb and terrified of the man in the room next to me. Where was the David I fell in love with. What happened to the kind, gentle man who treated me like I was his queen? The beatings never stopped. Every alternate day he’d strike out at me. My body became a canvas of his inflicted bruises and a day came when I couldn’t recognise myself. Gone was the raven haired 28 year old i’d recognised myself to me. Before me stood a haggard look wounded woman, with hair pulled out, and scars lining her face like the freckles of a 90 year old woman.
I was terrified.
I would have stayed as long as I had to. The fear of him disappeared. Instead, I felt familiarity in his whippings. It was almost like a ritual. He’d stumble in, smelling of another woman. And hours later, I’d be lying on the floor, drenched with sweat, blood and tears. This was something I could handle. Leaving wasn’t an option. I had to take care of you, and I lost my job for I was too ashamed to step out with a bruised face.
My friends stopped calling home to check on me, for they felt like I’d moved on to the busy life of a married woman. I was completely alone then. You have to realise that you were the only reason I stayed. I don’t want you to ever blame yourself thinking I ran away because of you. I wasn’t abandoning you. I just had to do this. I had to save myself. He’d have killed me for certain. I was just terrified Jonathan. Do you understand even maybe a little where I come from? My last straw was when he rammed you against the cupboard.
My three year baby boy was bleeding heavily and screaming in agony. I couldn’t take it. He was a heartless monster. He’d have killed us all. He stabbed my thigh with a knife and he broke my spine. I muttered incessantly that night for I failed to protect you from him. I couldn’t move. It was agony beyond measure. Please forgive me for failing to keep you safe? I ran away with you that night when he was sleeping. December 14, 1995 at 12.45 am, I was limping on the streets with a small suitcase, some stolen money and a three year old bleeding baby boy in my arms. I left you at the hospital that a friend of mine owned, and I entrusted you in her care. I ran away from there, knowing he’d track me down. I wanted you to be safe.
Whenever I went to the police, they leered at me. They objectified me for I was a helpless woman, flitting on the streets, looking for shelter and food. My broken back made it almost impossible for me to hold a steady job, and I saw myself spend nights at motels, terribly afraid of a drunk bastard in the neighbouring room coming onto me. Do you feel my fear Jonathan? Oh I hope you understand how difficult this was for me, leaving you was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do and I hate myself for doing it. But I barely fended for myself and I was afraid that you’d starve to death if you came with me.
I was more afraid of your father hunting us down and punishing you for my mistake of running away. At that time, I felt like I was doing what’s best for you as a mother. In retrospect, I missed watching you grow up. I missed holding you in my arms. Oh I lost you Jonathan and death seemed to be a lighter sentence than the turmoil I was going through. What did I do to deserve this son? I only fell in love and my life crumbled before me because of that man. Please forgive me for leaving you son, please don’t think I’m a terrible mother. I love you and I love your father, but I’m just afraid son. When you grow older, promise me that you will shield women or even men from being abused and hurt by one another.
Your body and mind are your greatest triumphs son. Don’t let any filth ruin it for you I love you son. I hope someday, you’d be old enough to read this letter and know that your mother loved you, terribly so. Grow up to be a kind and gentle man, my son. This is a good world and you must lead a respectable life. I love you son. Your mother really loves you.
Hope you can forgive her one day.
*Sophia was found dead six months after writing this letter. She was hunted down by her husband, who hit her in the head with a bottle of Chardonnay. She died on impact. David was arrested, and this letter was found in Sophia’s possessions along with a photograph and address of the hospital she left Jonathan in. The police tracked Jonathan as he turned 13 years old, and gave him the letter. He weeped. He and his guardian Anne, who was a dear friend to Sophia arranged a quiet memorial for her. Jonathan understood the plight of his mother. He forgave her. He wished he could tell her this in person, but somehow, he knew she knew what he wanted to say to her. He loved her beyond measure and he was glad she wasn’t suffering anymore. He read the letter every night before he went to sleep, vowing to never let another woman suffer the way his mother did. He began working for the plight of abused woman and in his lifetime, rescued over 3000 abused woman in his country. He was revered to be a kind and gentle man. He died on October 25th, 2053 and was buried near his mother with a testimony which said, “a faithful son who loved his mother beyond boundaries”. He fulfilled his promise to her. He didn’t let her die in her vain. He forgave her truly. It wasn’t her fault that his father was a monster. She deserved better. She deserved to live*