Friday, November 25, 2005
Knocked Out but Hopefully Not Down
Everyone who knows me will easily tell you that I love hard and I laugh long and I love me some teenagers. Always have and I always will. I will sacrifice my last to help them to meet a personal goal so as you may know when they fall by the wayside, I feel helpless because I could not inspire or encourage them to get out of bad situation. To make this as short as possible, let me explain. I am the oldest sister out of four girls. We are very close, talking almost daily, three of us spending every Saturday together going to church, dinner and just chatting about so many things.
As the oldest, I somehow end up with my brothers and sisters children, spending hours upon hours, having rap sessions, movies, games, and shopping, walking, hugging and holding hands. I have four of the most beautiful nieces and my daughter and I kid you this is not some aunt who can't see. They are all between the ages of 16-21. We raised our girls together as sisters almost. We wanted them to be each other strength when one was weak because my mother raised her daughter and sons the same way. I have spent 22 years in the helping relations field, dealing with drugs usage, unemployment, mentoring, training, taking kids to farms to learn how to grow food, and dealing with domestic violence, losing one staff and one co-worker to this horrible experience. I am not a saint. I have my issues. But I do not understand how someone that I exposed to a better life through education and experiences would allow someone to bring them so far down; they can't even pick themselves up from.
My beautiful darling niece 21 years old is in an abusive relationship. When she met this fellow last year she was about to turn 20 and he was soon to turn 18. She was working full-time and I had just purchased her a car, her first. She was in college and my husband and I had just given her money for her books. She had just signed her contract for a new apartment. She is beautiful, successful, and full of life and desire. She is from a two family home with a good relationship with her parents and siblings. She is the only girl. We should have begged her not to move, when she first said, "I found an apartment." Why was I doing so much for her, I was able plus her mother has been my anchor so many times. I would help any of them to reach their goals. She met him. No job, no car, living with his mother, high school drop out and two years younger than her. We started noticing the scratches, the nervousness, and the agitation early. We knew.
After all, I have seen this often in my profession. I tried talking to her. Told her all about domestic violence and I even gave her articles of recent deaths of young women. "He loves me and will never hurt me, he's not like that." Right! Her father tried to intervene; she wouldn't let him, refusing to open her door to her security locked apartment building. Refusing help from the police, her brothers, male cousins, and pleading for them not to mess with this boy. She loves his dirty drawers. I don't get it. He has threatened to kill her over and over again and has choked, beaten and isolated her from her family. We have tried everything. She has gone 115 pounds to about 98. She looks like she is going to break. She has super Oprah thick hair that hangs to the middle of her back. He makes her wear it in a tightly wrapped pony tail. So no one can see the length. Sometimes she doesn't even comb it to keep him from fussing. He doesn't want her to look too attractive. He accuses her of dating her cousins, uncles, and even rap stars on TV. Imagine yourself listening to Nelly, and this guy, turns to say, "Oh I guess you messing around on me with him now." These are people she has never met. Crazy right! Since she has met him she has no car-thanks to him, dropped out of college because she was accused of dating everyone there, abandon her apartment, while still paying rent. He has shown up on her job and jumped on her, almost lost that. With him she is losing everything. Yet she loves him.
Guess what. She is pregnant, on purpose, almost 7 months.He jumped on her Thursday. She called the police. Here if you call the police and not have the person arrested, they may arrest you. She has called several times, when he came on her job, and a couple of other times. This time they arrested both of them. She had a bench warrant out for a traffic violation; I bet he had something to do with. She called her parents who didn't know what to do. Should they get her out, pay $500.00 just so she can go back to him? While they pondered this, she called my mother, "please call my auntie and tell her to get me out?" "No. I said." She needs time out. She needs to be away so she can see how it feels to be stress free, to see how it feels to be at peace, to not be scared. I won't get her out." Four young women her age have died in a four week period here. Domestic violence! Two of the young men, under 25, killed the woman and then committed suicide, leaving parentless children. We shared this with her. "Jason, loves me he would never hurt me.” That's exactly what a father said on the news last week while talking about his 21 year old daughter whose husband killed her and himself. He said she said, 'he's not like that." My niece said the exact same words.Why is it that you can help everybody else but not your own family member?
Why is that a girl from a loving family date a useless, thug whose dreams are empty? Why does she not care how her actions affect her mother and father? My sister is only 39 and yes she is turning gray with worry. Why can't she look in the mirror and see herself disappearing daily? Why do these stories on the news and in the paper not seem familiar to her? Can you love someone so hard that you are willing to let him kill you? Why did this happen to a girl who was on the move to being successful be so willing to give it all up? We left her in jail for one day. She is so sweet and will do anything to help others.His mother got him out today and he left her there pregnant with his child. He had the nerves to leave this message on her mothers' phone. "Momma, I'm out of jail. Please call my auntie (I have never met this fool and don't ever want to) to get my baby out and I swear with everything in me I will pay her back." Get real! He doesn't have a pot to piss in. Friday, her 23 year old brother broke. "I gotta get my baby sis out, that ain't right. I got $400.00, call my auntie to get $100.00." I broke. Her parents didn't. I know why. They are thinking the same thing, are we letting her out to die? If so, I don't want to believe my actions allowed it. I hear the pain in her mothers' voice. I see my own child who asked me, "Why is she allowing this? When we were little we promised each other we would never date guys who beat us, why did she do the opposite?" I can't answer that. But I know this-I have prayed for her, have assisted her in every way that I can, have educated her on sex, drugs, violent men, and the importance of a college education. This hurts. We may lose her too young through all of this. But after one day we can't stand letting her remain locked up, pregnant and wanting to get out when he is walking around. Wouldn’t' a real man have told his mother to get my pregnant gal out. No, but he ran his weak self, with his tail tucked behind his butt as fast as he could without regards to her or his son. My nephew got her out today....to what...we don't know....Saturday.....he called her mother to tell her to tell my niece to give him his shoes and that she was not pregnant by him. Her mother told her and she said she asked him and he said he didn't say that. I guess her mother is lying....what is wrong with this child? Did he hoodoo her?