Tuesday night, so late that it was near to ringing in Halloween, a friend of mine lost her youngest child. He was shot by her boyfriend during a domestic dispute. I have told close friends and family that while I was shocked when I received the phone call, I am not surprised. This man whom she called her boyfriend was no friend at all.
My friend had been in this relationship for a few years. I remember when she met this man. I met him within a few days of her meeting him and I knew. Been there, done that. I knew right away that he was trouble. Always go with the gut. But she was ga-ga with his over the top personality and charm. Most of all she was lonely. Abuse predators take advantage of this. For some reason there are women who like the bad boys out there, those who will control your very soul. So I began my journey with her from light hearted friend to a tear stained pillow.
She had worked hard that day ~ standing on one's feet, cutting, coloring, styling, combing hair can be quite tiring. When she came home from work, hungry, exhausted, just wanting to crash, he was there. He was always there. He wouldn't, couldn't keep a job. She was his mule. His meal pass. His puppet.
She wanted to rest, he wanted to talk. About what she doesn't do right. Her youngest son, beautiful ~ full of life's promise, hope and love and only 18 years old ~ was there. He sought to break up the argument and got shot. The bullet was intended for his mother. In that split second he became a martyr. What mother would imagine that. What mother wants that. What mother can live with that.
For any woman who has been or is, a victim of domestic abuse, please ~ please ~ please get help. There are agencies, shelters, pastors, counselors, FRIENDS - real friends that don't smile and say words that tickle your ears - who help with this issue. Listen to them. They care. There are always warning signs. The first berating dialogue, the first raised fist. Leave. They don't need you; they will find another victim. You cannot change them. Just leave. Please, just leave.