Dear Diary,

May 1, 2008

 

As tears stream down my face I search through my make up to find concealer to cover up the black eye I received the day before. Looking in the mirror I ask myself why I stay, and the answer is always the same. I stay because of my children. Not wanting to walk in my mother’s footsteps I suffer in silence. “Are you ready, it’s time to go to church,” my husband says as he comes up from behind and kisses me on the neck.

Cringing inside, I force a pleasant smile and say, “Yes dear, I’ll be right down, make sure you don’t forget your sermon.” “What are you trying to say, you think I’m incompetent?” he says as rage gathered in his eyes. Not wanting to get hit by whatever was in reach, I jump up and hug him while rubbing his back. “No baby, I just wanted to make sure we didn’t forget anything,” I say softly. Roughly grabbing my arm, he pushes me away and tells me to hurry up because the children were ready and he was tired of me always making him late. Standing in the bathroom mirror, I dry my tears and continue applying my make-up. After finishing, I carefully inspect my face to make sure I covered every bruise. Heading out the bathroom, I grab my shawl to help hide the large, red handprint on my arm.  After helping the children in the car, we ride in silence all the way to the church. A ritual I’m use to, I was once a woman who loved to be in the house of the Lord. Now I dread going there because I hate having to smile like everything is o.k. Isn’t the purpose of going to church to feel the presence of the Lord? All I feel when I’m there is emptiness. Looking around the sanctuary I’m baffled by how these ministers who claim they have the gift of discernment can’t discern the silent hell their leader is putting our family through. Looking up, I notice my husband looking at me. Smiling, I hesitate a little trying to make sure I nodded when I’m suppose to, saying Amen at the right moment—anything less would bring dire consequences. Going to church has turned into a job; I have to look and act the part, and make sure the children act accordingly. I have been doing this for ten years and everyday it gets harder. As the years pass, the beatings get worse. Not wanting my children to grow up without their father I deal with the abuse and feel like it’s my duty to stick it out, which was the vow I took, right? I feel like my home, beautiful, everything in its place, but dead on the inside. I wish I could talk to my mother about the abuse, but I don’t want her to see me as a failure. This week has been a quiet one with no incidents. My mother came and picked up the children so my husband and I can spend some much needed time alone. Let’s pray this is a step in the right direction, 6:32 pm.

 

That was her last entry. As I’m sitting here reading my best friend’s diary, all I can do is cry as I imagine what took place that dreadful night. I can see her preparing her husband’s favorite meal: fried catfish, okra, rice and buttermilk cornbread. Turning on the stereo and lighting the candles, she’s asking herself why she should put forth the effort even though she knows she’ll never have the healthy marriage she dreamed of. I can hear her calling out to him as she hears his footsteps in the foyer. “Baby come here, I’m in the dining room,” she probably said full of excitement as smooth jazz played in the background.  With an angry expression on his face, he probably wondered what was with all the soft music and candles. I can hear her telling him how she wanted to do something nice since they haven’t spent quality time alone in a long time, especially since she knew how hard he had been working at the church.

“Look, I’m tired and the last thing I want to do is hear a bunch of noise. All I want to is lay down,” he probably said with his nostrils flaring. She probably stood there in complete shock at a loss for words.  Knowing her, she reached and grabbed his hands and guided him to his chair. “Here Baby why don’t you just sit here and eat your dinner then you can go lay down,” she said trying to calm him. From the crime scene photos, it seems as though she was turning to leave the room when he slapped her. The impact was so strong she fell into the China cabinet. I can see him standing over her with balled fists yelling at her. “I’m sorry!” she must’ve cried out in a fetal position, trying to protect her body as best she could. Reaching down, he grabbed her by her neck and choked her. As she tried to pull his arms away he only squeezed harder while yelling and asking her why didn’t she respect him. Why she never listens to anything he says. And at that very moment, as her breathing became labored, I know all she could think about was her children….

Are you suffering in silence? Just like my friend there are so many women who are living this exact same life not knowing where to turn especially if their spouse is held in high regard. Many of them are repeating the cycle they have seen played out as little girls watching Mommy being abused. They have low self esteem or have found themselves getting caught up and don’t know how to get out. If you are reading this and you are in an abusive relationship or you know someone who is, don’t be the silent victim. Go to the nearest shelter, open up to that friend who you think might look at you different and know that in telling them you will be taking the first step to freedom.  Statistics show that 1 in 3 women report being physically or sexually abused by their boyfriends or husbands. More than 32 million Americans are affected by domestic violence each year. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women. Please seek help immediately if you have found yourself in this situation. Call the National Domestic Hotline at 800-799-7233or 800-621-HOPE. You can   go to http://www.joyfulheartfoundation.org and http://www.nyawc.org to learn about the different signs of being in an abusive relationship. You are not alone, DON’T SUFFER IN SILENCE!!!

Mikenda Early is 32 years old and a mother of three. She currently resides in Nashville, TN. She’s working on her first fiction novel while attending Nashville State pursuing a degree in Nursing.

© 2015, Shalena D.I.V.A.- Author| Speaker| Life And Business Coach. All rights reserved.

40 comments on “Suffering in Silence by Mikenda Early”

    • thhank you so much foor taking the time out to read this important information. Until we really put a spot light on the things we quote on quote keep in the dark the cycle will continue.

      Mikenda Early

  1. Mikenda, this post reminds me of the minister who killed his wife a few years back and hid her chopped up body in a deep freezer in his basement! He told the congregation that she died during childbirth. He raised the seven kids with an iron fist and even molested the cousin. How sick! More abuse happens in the church then we’ll ever know. I feel sorry for any woman in this situation. Thanks for writing this. Continue to grow in your writing.

  2. This was so, so captivating! Thank you so very much for putting it out there for all who maybe going through salient pain and giving information on how to get help. Keep being God instrument in your writing. Love You Daugther!!!!

  3. Mikenda,
    I read your article about being silent no more. I’m sorry for anyone who feels that have to be subject to such treatment, and I came to realize first hand why some women stay. They are afraid to leave, to upset their family, security, some are dilusionally and believe they can really change the person. Christian or religious women are holding on to false hope and most of them don’t have anyone that will believe them because the mate is highly regarded in the community. I suffered in silence for years and although I shared with one or two sister’s some of my experiences to them it didn’t sound like abuse, then he made an attempt on my life. Well my children were there and even they found it difficult to believe. I left and never looked back. It was tramatizing for me to stay and leave. I took the leave trama. It was a very difficult transition for my children but I knew I couldn’t go back because somebody would die and I was determined it wouldn’t be me. I needed to live to take care of my children, a charge that I accepted when I decided to have them. It took years to heal. I had to forgive and I’m still in recovery on some levels. The sooner one can release the toxins that come with abuse on every level the better off you’ll be. I’m grateful that you and others are aware that abuse in the church and outside the church exist and the more we talk about it the more women will become empowered and gain the courage to remove themselves from the situation.We must be there for them because some of them may not be able to do it alone. I am a survivor. One of my children recently admitted that it was hard to believe but God has to reveal some things after you make the move to safety. Although I suffered in silence during the abusive phase I still felt very much alone after being separated from my children but we’re all alive today, broken but not in despair. I pray for women of all ages and stages to be enlightened and exercise their right to freedom from all types of bondage in any form. Thank you for sharing your story and passion, the next generation can not tolerate abuse under no circumstances, so whatever need to be exposed or revealed let it be so.
    Survivor

    • Friendly Christain,

      I’m sorry for takuing so ong to respond to your comment. I want to thank you for taking the time out to read my article. What I am moist proud of is that your aliveand you found a way to leave that situation. God is so proud of you and I am sure your children are to. So many women suffer in silence, but I do believe as long as we as women continue to shine the light on this type of abuse there will be more Victors instead of Victims. Be Blessed

  4. Captivating, Heart Wrenching….but yet true. This “WAS” my story minus the church. I lived this life exactly, but I didn’t have a mother to go to. I had a mother inlaw who protected her son, because she didn’t know….or didn’t want to know. In the month of July 2, 2009 I believe I lost my life…..if only for a few hours. I was slapped, choked repeatedly until I was gone. When it started it was about 4pm in the afternoon. When it ended it was 11:45pm…..imagine what I endured…..as I do not remember everything due to going in and out of unconciousness. After being choked for the 3rd time and going into unconciousness, by the grace of God….I woke up after hours of being unconcious. I found myself in our closet wrapped up in blankets….left for dead. There is alot more to this story that would take a book to complete it. But ladies…if you are in this situation…get out! I too was afraid not because of financial issues, but fear of being cut into pieces and thrown along the highway. I got out, I was afraid…but my life is more important and my children are even more important!

    • OMG.. what a story! I’m so glad that this article continues to touch upon and shed light upon domestic violence. Only by God’s grace did you survive. Hallelujah! And I mean that form the depths of my soul.

      Have you sought help after this incident? I would love to reach out to you.

      Please reach otu to me if you can.

      Thanky ou for speaking up and sharing your story. WOW!

    • Frankie:

      What a horrific story. I thank GOD you are able to speak out. I am also a survivor. If I could be of any assistance to you please feel free to contact me. I would love for you to share your story with other survivors as this will empower & encourage others to give them the courage to safely get out of an abusive relationship. Remember you did not deserve to be treated that way! Reading your story made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

      Please be in contact: http://www.silenttearsdv.com Face Book: SilentTearsEndDV or msteele84@yahoo.com

      God Bless you!

  5. Hi Frankie,

    I am so happy that you found the strength to get out in time. Many times when we first leave it can become more dangerous than being in the home, simply because the abuser realizes that the abuse has come to an end. I don’t know how long you’ve been out of your situation but I hope you are in a safe, comfortable and warm place. If you are in need of any local resources to help you make your transition a smooth one please reach out to me as I would be very happy to help you. May your dreams come true!

    Glory to God
    A. Evans

  6. Yes the church should address it. I hear sermons about it at my church and I know that my pastor encourages people to leave abusive relationships

  7. Yeah, he’s also a Sheriff and knows first hand that sometimes you don’t live to see a second opportunity to leave a bad relationship

  8. YEAH IT’S ALSO TIME TO ADDRESS THE REAL ISSUES TO, PEOPLE DON’T EVEN REALIZE, THERE’S PEOPLE SITTING BACK NOT ONLY MAKING THIS SHYT HAPPEN, BUT FILM IT! REALLY, AND LAUGH AT YOU LIKE IT, A COMEDY! WHAT WE’RE NOT EVEN UNDERSTANDING! ONE HUNDRED PECENT TRUE, A TIMELY AND FILMED DEMISE! WINK

  9. Yes! Covering scriptures on how a husband should treat his wife, like he treats himself and in the case where a woman is the abuser the point is the same.

  10. I think that there are some churches that still turn a blind eye to domestic violence (and other social problems i.e. addictions, abuse, mental illness, etc..) I am not sure with abuse if it is old school thought that the woman must submit to her husband or if it was just that churches didn’t want to look behind closed doors. It seems there are more progressive churches these days though that are willing to address and tackle social issues, i.e more churches adopt 10 step programs, a church in Portland OR recently had an event to combat the sex trafficking problem in the area, etc…~ Melinda

  11. Some churches touch the surface. It’s definitely a fragile subject. The church is supposed to be your safe haven so it should be a topic if not on sunday definitely on bible study day. So many women stay for fear of what others might say if she divorce but if hs’s hitting you he’s not loving you as Christ loved the church so your head “the man” is out of order. JESUS loves us and would not keep us in an abusive relationship. I understand that someone has to go through it to have a testimony and to help another get delivered but it is a form of bondage and i understand that we are supposed to be free from bondage.

  12. @Amy–Yes, I know of instances where the pastor was the abuser like in this piece. That’s tough. I also remember the story of a pastor in NJ who killed his wife and hide her body in the basement for over 15 years while he raised the children by himself. He also raped and molested them all the while being a pastor– SICK!

  13. I know women stay for fear of not being able to make it on their own, for fear of the man finding and killing them but it’s fear causing them to stay and God did not give us the spirit of fear; but of power love and a sound mind and if you are induring abuse you don’t have a sound mind. We truly need to pray for the women and men who are being abused and for every kind of abuse.

  14. Yes, I expect my pastor to touch on subjects of the world ! People are in those situations and many do not understand that the type of treatment in a domestic violence relationship is inapproiate. Many are in those poor relationships with no understanding of what a real relationship consist of. Educate them and let them know as a church family that the house of God is your safe haven. Come and be free of that by letting someone in the congregation or pastorial staff minister to their needs by assisting them with resources and help out of that situation.

  15. Writing this article was both hard and freshing. The hard part was dealing with the pain of a verr real issue and the refreshing part bexause I was able to tell this story and shed light in a very dark and a not talked about place. If we keep discussing the issue then maybe actions will be taken.

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