Tag Archives: abuse

Carolyn’s Abuse

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This is a story I wrote some time ago and decided to post it.  Abuse can’t be talked about enough. Just maybe it might even be of help to someone who needs it. Have a wonderful day.

By: Shirley McLain

Carolyn was a woman like many women who seemed to attract the kind of guy who wasn’t good for her. She felt her issues came about because of being abandoned by her mother at an early age and raised by a father who didn’t care about her. He was an alcoholic who went through all the stages of drinking, from sickly sweet to violent.  She learned how to hide and protect herself at a very early age.

Over her adult years, she had multiple relationships and marriages. She said she had a “redneck” addiction. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of a redneck is a white person who lives in a small town or in the country especially in the southern U.S., who typically has a working-class job, and who is seen by others as being uneducated and having opinions and attitudes that are offensive.

Her last husband was a rough, tough oilfield worker who was gentle, kind and couldn’t do enough for her in the early days of their marriage. His true colors began to surface within six months of their marriage. He’d start drinking and become angry at the littlest thing. She would try to stay out of his way, but he’d hunt her down, make her sit and talk to him.  This talk consisted of listening to him tell her everything he thought was wrong with her. The more he talked, the angrier he became. There were several occasions she’d have bones broken on her face from being hit with his fists. If she had to go to the hospital, it was always because she had an accident and had fallen.

There were also multiple occasions when Carolyn would be asleep in their bed.  Her husband would come in from the oilfield drunk in the middle of the night,  grab her by her hair and drag her out of bed. It would be because of some imaginary thing he believed she had done. He would rant and rave calling her every vile name he could think of and then proceed to beat her.

This abuse continued for eleven years before she decided she’d had enough. She knew if she hadn’t left, he’d killed her.

When asked why she stayed in the relationship so long, she said, “because I loved him and still do.”

Here are five ways to escape an abusive relationship that was originally posted by World of Psychology.

 

  1. Acknowledge the existence of abuse.

 

Victims tend to minimize abuse. Abuse does not have to be physical. It is frequently emotional and/or psychological. You don’t have to wait for broken bones or a black eye before you consider it abuse. Yelling, name-calling, intimidation, and threats are all forms of abuse. If you are forced to have sex without your consent, it is abuse and is sexual assault. Ask yourself: “Are you often walking on eggshells?” Keep in mind that most abusers are charming and apologetic after the abuse; there is a honeymoon period. Then predictably the tension builds followed by an explosion. Many women and men stay trapped in this cycle hoping that this time the abuse will stop.

 

  1. Reach out for help.

 

Check out YourTango for relationship advice

Fortunately, there are many organizations (local and national) that specifically have the resources to help you. You are not alone! Your friends and family members are not necessarily the best people to help you. They mean well, but they could still be minimizing the abuse or you could jeopardize their safety by obtaining their help.

 

Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224. They will refer you to the organization in your area. Many have emergency shelters that provide many resources. If you have children, they will be able to shelter them as well. They understand and will not judge you in your predicament. They provide individual and group therapy. They will help you with legal matters such as obtaining temporary restraining orders.

 

  1. Use a safe computer.

 

The National Domestic Violence website warns users to use a safe computer not accessible to the abuser as computer usage can be monitored quite easily. The website has many resources. Yes, you need to take precautions so you can be safe before you leave this relationship.

 

The time to be most vigilant is when the abuser realizes that you are planning to leave him or her. Have a safety plan in place. The above-mentioned website has a section to help you make these plans.

 

  1. Make every effort to address the underlying issues that led you to be in a dysfunctional relationship.

 

Did you have a childhood that led you to doubt your self-worth? Although men and women (heterosexual and homosexual) of many different cultural, racial, ethnic, educational, economic groups become victimized in abusive relationships, the common denominators are lack of self-esteem and self-love.

 

When we stay in these relationships, we become increasingly depressed; our self-esteem plummets further. The downward spiral must be interrupted by obtaining help. If you are depressed, you probably feel tired and indecisive. Your thoughts are negative, which furthers the depressive mood. It is easy to feel trapped and hopeless, but dig deep and look for that flicker of hope. It is there!

 

  1. Get to the bottom of things.

 

Are you addicted to love or the feeling of being in love? Do you equate love with pain? Those of us who felt alone, alienated and unloved growing up tend to seek out relationships early in life. However, if our parents were in an unhealthy relationship, an abusive dynamic will feel familiar and comforting.

 

It is vital to acknowledge, explore and heal what led you to this pattern. Otherwise, you are doomed to repeat it. Take a break from relationships for a while. Taking the time to heal is so important. If you have children, they need time to recuperate from the trauma of witnessing abuse. It is normal for you to feel angry and sad, as well as regret that you left the abuser.

 

Don’t wait until you don’t feel anything to leave. As dysfunctional as it was, you cared about him or her. Surround yourself with support; find a therapist who can assist you in rebuilding your self-esteem, and start rebuilding your life.

 

 

 

New Book Coming on Bullying

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Here I am again, the lady that disappeared for a while. I did find out I couldn’t stay away from my writing even though I didn’t blog as I should have. I have been working on a new book that is for children above 10 and parents to learn about bullying. It’s called Thomas Gomel Learns About Bullying. What I’m doing is writing a fictional story using a 12-year-oldThomas Gomel FRONT.jpg boy and his family to teach children how to handle bullies as well as the parent dealing with a child that is being bullied. What do you think of my cover? Does it give a message to you when you see it?

Let”s talk about our bullying experiences if you had any. I have actually heard from some who did not have any problems. How wonderful for them.  I wasn’t one of those people. I was a new kid in a small school that moved from California to Oklahoma. I didn’t look right, I didn’t talk right. I just wasn’t right for about six years.  I had two very dear friends that helped me survive School.  I am almost 70 now and that trauma is not forgotten. I forgave and made some friends of those school chums, but the trauma I went through really never left my mind.

Domestic Violence: The Deadly Virus

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Isn’t domestic violence like a deadly virus that’s spreading globally?  Why is abuse at home on the rise even in the developed countries/

Domestic abuse has become sort of a disease now, so much so that we need and awareness month to address it just as we do for breast cancer.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the USA.  Even though this is December it is still the perfect time to write on this topic as it really touches my heart and deserves attention by men and women alike.

Why is this sickening behavior getting out of proportion and what stops us from taking control over this man-made cancer?

There might be many reasons for why domestic violence is on the rise, but there’s one personal quality that can act as a deterrent and an antidote- self-control.

What you need is LUCK- love, understanding, compassion, and kindness.  Maybe that’s too easy to say because the situations that lead to violence aren’t that simple. And, self-control isn’t child’s play either.  Love too either ceases to exist or loses its magic with time.

How else can we deal with domestic abuse, which makes one out of three women suffer around the world?  That’s really too much, isn’t it?

You’d be surprised to know that it’s not only women who’re the victims, but even men report being abused by women! However, the number of men as victims is much lower and their cases are mostly not as severe as those of women who’re abused by men.

In either case, there are injuries and causalities, and many more lives including children are greatly affected.  If we call ourselves civilized, we need to put an end to domestic violence.

Let’s understand the what, who, and why of this deadly virus that has severely infected the word.  And, in this post, we’ll only take up the issue of violence against women.

“All marriages are sacred, but not all are safe.” Rob Jackson

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior, which involves the abuse by one partner against another in an intimate relationship.  It can include violence in marriage, courtship, or cohabitation.

An abusive relationship is marked with physical, emotional, mental, verbal, sexual, and even financial forms of abuse as explained in the above writing.

All these abuses also happen in domestic violence against women.  Do you have any idea what abused women go through?  It sends a shiver down my spine even as I write this- women and even young girls are subjected to forced rape, sexual assault and even murder! Women are also burned or killed in the name of a dowry and honor killing in some Asian countries.

They can be brutally attacked with acid.  The acid attack victim suffers with burns and scars on the face and body throughout the rest of her life, if she survives.

battered-woman2Besides these severe physical abuses women are also subject to biting, kicking, hitting, pushing, punching, slapping, and choking.  For that matter, even denying medical aid when needed, and depriving the partner of food and sleep causes physical harm.

Domestic abuse is not limited to physical abuse.  Some other forms of domestic violence are dominance, forced isolation, humiliation, harassment, intimidation, blaming, endangerment, stalking, and kidnapping.

Domestic violence also includes dating violence.  It’s sad to see how the dating valentines transform their loving relationships to domestic violence.

Remember that domestic violence can happen to anyone, but not everyone is an abuser.

Who is a Domestic Abuser?

A domestic abuser is no stranger.  The domestic act of violence are always committed by either the spouse, boyfriend, family member, or any know person having intimate relations.

Mostly the abusers are:

.  Youth in the age group of 18 to 30 years

.  Persons from low-income socioeconomic groups

.Unemployed and frustrated

. Uneducated or having lower levels of education

. Employees with low job satisfaction

. Abusers of alcohol and other substances

.Persons with a past history of violence

.  Those who grew up in an abused and violent family

.  People with antisocial personality disorders

.  People with attitudes and beliefs that accept gender inequality

However, exceptions are always there.

The abuser can also be an adult or senior, a person with high-income background- one who’s well placed in career, and even the one who’s not a substance abuser in any form.

One aspect that may surprise many is that most abusers are often charming and loveable in their other relationships. This, people might never suspect them of being aggressive and violent.  Yet, just like the Jekyll and Hyde personality, these charming abusers unleash hell when at home or in privacy.  Further, the domestic abusers are equally prevalent in all types of caste, creed, and race.  They all probably have the same types of reasons for domestic violence.

Why Does Domestic Violence Happen?

Arguments, differences, and disputes do occur occasionally in relationships.  An intimate relationship is no different in this respect.  But when things go to extremes, where one or both partners try to establish supremacy- the fair playground gets muddier.

Here are some basic reasons why partners abuse or are abused.

.  Domestic violence is a learned behavior.  Mostly you do what you see and experience.  You’re most likely to use violence in intimate relationships if you encounter it in your family and around yourself.

.  The kind of parenting you experience I a big factor in your becoming an abuser or victim.  You subconsciously start to imitate your parents and reinforce your observations.

.  Some even consider the effect of genetics, brain development, and biochemistry on the personality and nature of the abuser, and the acts of violence committed in close relationships.

.  Domestic violence occurs because one partner tries to gain power and control over another intimate partner.

. The abuse hurts the victim to induce fear by intimidation and inflicting pain so that the fear of leaving become greater than the fear of staying.

. A lot also depends on the socio-cultural status of the place where the abuser and the abused live.  Some countries or cultures fin the behaviors as normal, while other countries or cultures treat the same as domestic violence.

.  The public depiction of women as objects through videos, movies, songs, books, computer games, and especially pornographic material make women unworthy of respect.  This creates a negative impact in the young tender minds of children and teenagers, who later become abusers.

. Boys or male children are brought up in a way that they think they’re not responsible for their actions.  They think they can do what they want, and always have things their way, including mistreating their partners.

.  People who experience abuse in childhood are more likely to become abusers in their intimate relationships when they grow up.

.  Many religions have beliefs that teach and instruct women to accept male domination, and men to control women.

.  As a rule of nature, a submissive person is generally suppressed, pressurized, controlled and tortured even more by the dominant partner; this is what happens in domestic violence.

.  Acts of violence against women are planned and purposely done.  Men do it either because of a clash of egos, feeling of insecurity, intense dislike, or because they can’t tolerate her as an equal.

.  Domestic violence happens because the abuser is not happy with himself.  One who’s not happy with one’s own self can never be good and happy with others.

Can you think of more reasons?  Mention them in the comments.  Whatever be the reason, abuse of any kind is neither justified nor rational, whether it is against women or men.

Effects of Domestic Violence

The victim of domestic violence is battered and shattered.  The person begins to lose self-respect, self-esteem, and self-confidence.  But this is not all.

.  Talking about the United States, women who’re the victim of domestic violence are more likely to become homeless.

.  Many women lose their jobs being victims of intimate partner violence.

.Domestic abusers are likely to abuse even their children, besides abusing their wives.

.  Children, who witness or experience domestic abuse, are more likely to do the same when they grow up.  They might even become juvenile delinquents and engage in unsocial activities.

Many young children end up in jail for murdering their battered mother’s abuser.

.  Victims of domestic violence are likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, psychosomatic problems, eating disorders, hypertension, heart disease, arthritis, and even sexual dysfunction.

. The abused always fears the abuser, and this fear makes the victim dependent on the abuser.  They fear that leaving the abuser may bring more harm to them.

There may be many effects of domestic violence, so break the silence and come forward to share what you’ve experience, heard, or seen.  Remember, you might be able to help a domestic violence victim through your act.

To avoid the ugly effects of domestic violence, you should be able to recognize the early signs of domestic abuse.

Warning Signs of Domestic Violence

Are you suffering from domestic abuse?  If you’re not sure then you should know these signs of abuse and treat them as warnings before they take the ugly form of domestic violence.

I’ve presented them in question form so you can answer them in “yes” or “no”.

If you come up with having many “Yes’s” then you probably need to talk to someone close to you, who can be a family member, friend, or you can even consult a counselor.

.  Has your partner ever destroyed anything that is special to you like any objects, books, and clothes?

.  Have you ever been forced to have sex against your wish or in ways that you don’t approve of?

.  Do you fear your partner in any form or for any reason?  Do you fear going home?

.  Do you blame yourself for the violence?

.  Are you subject to frequent criticism and blame from you partner including being called names?

.  Have you ever been threatened verbally or by using a weapon?

.  Are you denied education and restricted access to sources of information like books and the internet?

.Does your partner or spouse often touch you in intimidating ways?

.  Are you often humiliated or insulted in public, besides in private?

.  Does your partner often criticize your family or friends?

.  Does your partner make you feel too lowly or unworthy or even makes you feel that you’re crazy?

.  Are you treated like a servant?

.  Are you often made to feel guilty of things directly or indirectly related to you, whether you’ve done them or not?

.  Are you never allowed to make big decisions about the family or even yourself?

.  Have you been denied to lead a life of your own and take a job?

.  Is your dignity being questioned?  Are you suspected of infidelity to the extent that all you moves and talks are monitored, even if you remain faithful?

.  Are you totally under control of your partner and can’t do anything without your partner’s permission?

.  Are your children being used against you, or are you threatened that they’ll be taken away from you?

.  Is your pet being abused just to create a scare in you so that you obey your partner?

.  Does your partner make you do illegal thins, blackmail you or even threaten to leave you or commit suicide?

.  Are you deprived of access to family income and not allowed to have your say in important financial matters?

.  Have you been troubled by your partner to arrange for money?

.  Does your partner take away all your money to make you dependent on him financially?

Many of you might feel that some of these questions don’t quite relate to domestic violence.  However, you need to remember that domestic abuse is not only physical, but also psychological, emotional, and mental.  Even violation of your basic human rights is an act of violence.

I’m sorry to say that if you have any of these signs, then it’s an indication that your partner doesn’t truly love you.

Why?  That’s because somebody who really loves you will give you all the freedom and never restrict you from being and developing yourself.

If you’re not given your place in the family and society, then you’re being deprived of your rights, and that’s a violation.  If you feel that many of these warning signs are part of your life, then you may be in an abusive relationship or in any of the states of domestic abuse.

Abuse is not about a single isolated incident or behavior, but frequently acting behaviors that form a pattern that becomes severe with time.  Never ignore these behaviors or patterns.  These may be the signs that you’ve a controlling partner.  You need to raise a strong voice against it.

“The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.”  Mark Caine

 

 

What Should You Do in Domestic Abuse

 

It’s only you who can and who should do something about your condition and situation.  What you should do depends on the type and level of domestic abuse that you are suffering. I could write a full- fledged post about how to deal with domestic violence but I will give some general suggestions since this post is already very long.

 

First:  Take the initiative and courage to break the silence.  Talk to someone close to you.  If you can’t then try any online help resources for women suffering from domestic abuse, or call their toll free helpline numbers.

Second:  If you think communication with your partner makes sense, then convey your thoughts and feelings.  You will be surprised to see the things that can be resolved when you talk?  Only you know if you can do that.

Third: If mutual dialogue doesn’t help or isn’t possible and things turn pretty bad, then don’t hesitate to seek professional help and visit a certified counselor, or even call the police if need be.

Fourth:  if nothing works- walk out?  Don’t stay with a domestic abuser, nor try to make-do with a person when there is nothing left between both of you.  Your partner can even to the extent of crying and begging for forgiveness, but then you must realize that the apologies made are condition, and he indirectly holds you responsible for the abuse.

He might say that if you hadn’t said this or acted like that, then the abuse might never have happened.  Or, maybe his apology is genuine, you’ve to decide on that based on the past record of your partner.  Remember that the abuser is always in control, and his aim is to train the partner to be what and how he wants.

 

Call to Action

 

Abusers are people who like to abuse, and there’s no other cause to it.  Don’t fall for sweet talks if you’re in a serious abusive relationship.

You need to avoid this trap and cycle of abuse.

Never allow yourself to be abused or mistreated.  The choice always lies in your hands.

 

Before your abuser attempts to break down your sense of self-worth and make you feel helpless, you need to seek help and take important decisions of your life.  Always rememberthat if your partner loves you, he or she will never be abusive or violent. This should be an indication whether you want to move away or stay in a relationship.

Only an abuser will adopt the strategy and tactics of control and domination, and such behaviors are the root cause of abusive and violet behavior.  On the other hand, remember that since domestic violence is a learned behavior, it can be unlearned too.

You need to decide if you want to make amends and give your partner a second chance, but if nothing seems to be working, you should walk away as fast as you can.  Don’t think twice because your life is precious!

I know of my family and friends who are leading very happy lives after leaving their partners due to domestic violence. Some of them remarried to people who truly love them and are very happy now.

It’s your life and you have all the right to live it the way you want to. Go live your life, and break free if you have to because you live only once.

 

 

 

 

 

Peaceful Guilt (A Short Story)

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I thought I would share a short story with you today. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.  Let me know what you think. Feedback is always helpful to a writer.

***

Andrew Johnson walks to his car and places a box in the trunk. He gets in the car, starts the engine, and drives out of the parking lot. People are standing at the bottom of the ramp, huddled together in a group, talking.

As his car picks up speed, a smile crosses his lips. Are you proud of me father for finally completing a job?

Father chews on me about any and everything.He’s made my life miserable. Pulling up in front of the mansion, he puts the car in park and jumps out. It’s great having the garage man park the car. He lifts the trunk, takes out the box, carrying it to the front door. The butler, Wilson, opens the door.

“Good afternoon, Master Johnson.”

“Hello, Wilson. Where is my mother?”

“She has gone to a Women’s Club meeting. I believe she is giving a speech today.”

“Thank you, Wilson; I’ll be in my room.” Andrew bounds up the long stairway to the second floor landing. He walks around to the back stairs and takes those steps to his room on the third floor.

I’m feeling very pleased with myself right now. Life is changing for mother and myself. People ignore what they see because Anthony Johnson is an important man. Father puts out the persona around people that he has the perfect life. If only they knew. Maybe now they will get to know him now as mother and I do.

A knock sounds on the door. “Come in”, Andrew calls out.

A woman in her forties walks in. “Hi, mother, how did your speech go?” Andrew asks.

As his mother was walking towards his bed, he is thinking how beautiful she is. Her petite build, long blonde hair and clear blue eyes make her the envy of many women.

Sitting on the edge of the bed, Margaret takes ahold of her son’s hand. “Andrew, we have to talk. Our lives are going to change.”

“Yep, they sure are. Isn’t it great? What’s on your mind, mother?”

“The police came to the Woman’s Club and brought me home. They told me your father was giving a speech in front of the bank and someone shot him.”

“Wouldn’t you expect the police to come and get you? You were the devoted wife.”

On the bedside table the radio plays softly. Andrew and his mother listen as a news report begins. “Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m sad to announce that our Governor, Anthony Johnson has been assassinated. At this time, the police will only say they have a lead. We’ll cut into your regular programing if there are further developments.”

A knock sounds on the door. “Come in”, Andrew says.

Wilson opens the door. “Excuse me, ma’am for the intrusion. There are men down stairs who identify themselves as FBI. They would like to speak to Master Andrew.”

“Do not open your mouth, Andrew,” his mother says.

Sally’s Warning Chapter 3

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Background
Sally is a senior in high school, dealing with an alcoholic father and a young man who once was married to her best friend. The story takes place in the late 1960’s.

 

It was 7:00 p.m. and Sally’s father still wasn’t home. She knows what it means and so does Mona. “Sally, put the dishes on the table. Your father can eat when he gets home.”

“Mama, when I get done eating, I’m going to take my shower and go to bed. I’m reading a really good book. It’s called, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.”

“I’ve heard of that book. Aren’t they making a movie from it, or something?”

“Yeah, I think so. Oh, speaking of movies, that reminds me. Linda and me want to go to the show Saturday afternoon. Is that all right? There’s a good movie on with Bette Davis.”

“Yes, you can go, but you have to get your ironing done first.”

“Okay, I’ll iron Saturday morning while it’s cool. I might even do some on Friday night.”

Sally and her mom talk while they eat their supper. Then Sally gets her shower and crawls up on the top bunk to read. Her room is in the middle of the house without any windows. She keeps a box fan blowing on her all the time. That’s the only way she can stand the oppressive heat.

Her dad comes in about 8:00. She can tell by his speech he’s been drinking. Mona finishes the dishes and sits down. She looks at her husband and asks if he wants something to eat.

“No I don’t want anything to eat. I’m not hungry. Besides, you know I don’t eat when I’m drinking. Me and a couple of the guys went to the Hilltop when I got off work.”

“I figured as much.”

“Where’s Sally? It’s too early to go to bed.”

“She’s in bed, reading.”

It isn’t but a couple of minutes after her dad arrives in the house she hears him yell her name.

“Sally, come out here. Sally, come out and see your ol’ dad.”

She jumps down from the bunk and walks into the living room. “Hi, Dad, you wanted to see me.”

“I sure did, do you want to drive my truck tomorrow?”

“Sure, I’d like to.” What’s going on? He never lets me drive his truck. He even has a hard time with mama driving it sometimes.

“If I drive your truck to school tomorrow, what will you drive to work”?

“I didn’t say a damn thing about you driving my truck to school. You won’t set foot in my truck tomorrow.”

“Oh, ok. I thought that’s what you meant, that I can drive it to school.”

“No, I didn’t mean that. You have your own damn car to drive. Get out of here, I don’t want to look at you anymore.” Her dad says in a sarcastic tone. Sally tucks her head and leaves the room. I wonder what that was all about. I can’t win with that man.

Sally climbs up to her bunk and tries to get back into her book wanting to forget about her father. She can hear his voice getting louder and louder as he talks. She turns out her bedroom light so her father will think she is asleep. Maybe he won’t wake her. It’s not going to be easy to go to sleep with his yelling, and it’s so hot in here.

Sally is suddenly woke by her father’s turning the room light on. “What did you just say to me? I told you, you are not driving my truck.”

“Daddy, I’ve not said anything. I was asleep until you woke me.”

“Yeah right. I heard you, so don’t bother lying.”

“Please, Daddy. I won’t drive the truck tomorrow. I want to go back to sleep.”

“You’re damn right you won’t drive the truck. Ungrateful kid.”

He walks away from her door, and Sally has to crawl to the foot of her bunk to turn out the light. She has a difficult time getting back to sleep, but she finally drifts off.

Friday finally arrives. Sally has it all planned to get the ironing done this evening so she can sleep in in the morning. Mona is in the kitchen preparing to start their supper. Some of the family is coming over, so it will be a good dinner. Sally calls out to her mom, “Mama, I’m going out front and sit for a little while and let it cool down more before I start my ironing”.

“Okay,” Mona says as she stands at the sink peeling potatoes.

Sally wasn’t outside ten minutes when Bill pulls up. She groans inwardly and waits for him to walk up to the bench. “Hi, Bill, what are you up to?”

“I stopped by to see if you want to go to the drive-in with me tonight.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. Mama won’t let me. I have to do my ironing.”

“Where is your mom?”

“She’s in the house starting supper. Why?”

Bill didn’t answer her because he was already through the screen door. He’s inside about five minutes. Sally can’t stand the suspense of wondering what he is up to, so she went inside. Bill is standing in the kitchen talking to Mona.

Bill gets a big smile on his face, “Your mom says you can do your ironing in the morning and go to the show with me. Isn’t that great?”

Sally’s eye’s cut to her mama’s and Mona’s head is bobbing up and down. Oh, god, I’m done for. Now what am I going to do? “Oh, that’s wonderful.”

“I’ll pick you up at 7:00. You should’ve eaten by then. The movie called Adam and Eve is on at the drive in. Your mom told me you’d wanted to see it.”

“Yeah, I wanted to see it, but I was going to wait until it was inside at the Okla.”

“Well, now you don’t have to wait. I’ll see you later.” He walks from the kitchen and out of the house.

“Mama, why did you do that?”

“I got tired of him asking me to take you out. So now, he can take you out and leave me alone. Now little girl you either shit or get off the pot”.

“Mama, what a thing to say.”

“You know exactly what I’m saying. You haven’t ever told him no. You keep making excuses. Now you can’t make any more excuses.”

Oh, my life is ruined.

***

Sally’s date shows at straight up 7:00. Her mom answers the door when he knocks. He comes into the living room and waits for Sally to finish getting ready. He and Mona have a nice conversation. Finally, Sally comes out. Bill’s eyes brighten when he sees her. “Wow, you look nice.”

“Thank you,” Sally says as Bill stands and they walk to the door together. He opens the door for her and she steps through. She walks down the walkway towards his car. He hurries and gets to the car door just as she reaches for it. “Here, I got that.” He opens the door and she slides in. Since this is a date, I guess I shouldn’t hug the door like I did last time. She consciously tries to relax.

Bill walks to his side of the car and gets in. He’s all smiles as he takes them to the drive-in in McAlester. He’s talking the entire time he’s driving. Sally smiles and nods her head a lot. She’ll answer his question if he asks one, but never starts talking.

Once he gets to the Drive-In and parks, he looks at Sally and asks. “Would you like to go to the concession stand and get a Coke and some popcorn?”

“Sure, can we sit on the swings until time for the movie to start.”

“You like to swing, do you?”

“Yes, I do. I like to go up high and let the wind blow my hair. It’s fun.”

“Okay, I haven’t been on a swing in a very long time.”

The two of them sit on the swings and drink their Coke. They decide not to get popcorn until the movie starts. Bill pushes Sally on the swing and she laughs.

“That’s a nice sound to hear. I haven’t heard you laugh since me, you and Jackie were running around together. I’ve missed your laugh.”

“Bill, isn’t it time for the show to start? We’d best get our popcorn and another drink and head for the car.”
Braking herself with her feet, Sally gets off the swing. They walk to the concession stand and then back to his car. He opens the door on his side of the car and Sally slides over. Bill gets in beside her and puts the speaker in the window.
***

Sally wasn’t enjoying the movie at all. “I thought this would be a good movie, but it isn’t. It’s really overrated.”

“Yeah, it’s pretty bad. Do you want to go get something else to drink?”

“No thanks, let’s just go home. I’ve got to get up early in the morning to get my ironing done while it’s cool.”

“Oh, all right, home it is.” Bill removes the speaker and leaves the drive-in.

Pulling up in front of Sally’s home, Bill kills the engine on his car. He turns to Sally and takes hold of her right hand. Looking directly in her eyes, he says, ”Sally, I love you.”

Sally felt as if her lungs lost their air. She sputters “what!”

“I said I love you.”

“No you don’t!” Sally starts scooting to the passenger door and grabs the handle, opens the door and begins to get out of the car.

“Sally, don’t tell me how I feel. I love you and I have for a long time. Just think about it for a few days. You don’t have to say anything now.”

“Goodnight, Bill.”

“Night, Sally. Think about what I said.”

He starts the car and pulls away. Sally is speechless and doesn’t know what to think. This event is a total shock. Now what am I going to do?