The top picture is me and a couple of my walking buddies

My father’s words touched a chord within me and while I knew he meant well, a familiar irritation welled up and could not be ignored. It was easier to just go along, not make waves and hope to avoid unnecessary altercations. Guilt and shame hid just beneath the surface and masked my frustration at any intervention that might cause a possible eruption. A look of disapproval crossed my face, the standard one that assured him I was steadfastly behind him in every way. The same commands were repeated again and he knew that they were in fact a warning not a mere request. Although the money was a gift he wanted to see a new stroller, vacuum and other items for the children before they returned to the United States. He handed him a check for $5,000 and shook his hand.

A daily walk with compound friends had become a new ritual and helped to shed the pounds that had stacked on through seven pregnancies. Ladies clad in sports bras, shorts and tshirts all took to the loop and made their way past homes, security gate and mini mart. People had come to know me well and most looked past a long black abaya and scarf that was held together by a yellow ducky diaper pin.  At first they invited me and then insisted that I join them.

The stroller I had purchased before leaving the United States was now barely operable and teetered back and forth on what remained of wheels that kept it in an upright position. I laughed and pushed, talking and joking ignoring the scratch and scrape when hands gave out and I was unable to support the weight of two toddlers. I hopped and danced moving forward hoping no one noticed these peculiarities that presented themselves during each and every walk.

A single pair of black canvas shoes were now worn beyond repair and had been purchased five years early before leaving for Saudi.  The souls of my feet touched the pavement giving way to burning heat that created a strange and awkward gait. Mom and Dad sat on the porch reading the paper and sipping coffee, watching me make my way past, looking torn.

He pounded his fist three times gaining force and momentum with every blow.  A single vein protruded from his forehead and intersected with a childhood scar. The table wobbled and creaked signaling anxiety and humiliation. His eyes were no longer dark and brown but almost seemed a shade of black. He stammered to release words that would increase in volume with each repetition. His thick accent that had once been charming was now menacing and almost toxic in nature. The message was clear, He would not have any garbage people tell him where to spend his money and now as always it would be my job to walk the tightrope of abuse.


95 thoughts on “Intervention

  1. This is almost painful to read, Lynn. It evokes so many difficult feelings, and I just thank the stars that this is no longer your life. I imagine your parents walked that tightrope too, wanting to protect you and not sure how to accomplish that without putting you in greater danger. Abuse is horrid the way it sucks everyone into the cyclone. But the power of abuse is not absolute, and it’s possible to break free of impossible circumstances, as you prove everytime you post, hugs your kids, and accept that you are a precious human being worthy of love. ❤

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Such a powerful piece here Lynn, and made more so in seeing how far along you’ve come. All I can do is keep looking at your lovely and HAPPY family photos on the right here and just smile at your beautiful and well-deserved life now. XOXOXO

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I totally get what you are saying. Sometimes it is easier to not make waves. But eventually you learn it’s not about you or anything you do or not do, but about “him”. Always about him and his inability to control his own demons…so he takes it out on you. You explained it beautifully Lynn, if not heartbreaking as well.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I want to respond to this with a broken heart emoji, but I hit the LIKE instead, because I appreciate your honesty and frank detailing of life events. I wish it had not been so difficult for you, but your story teaches me to befriend those who maybe don’t look a lot like me, and be compassionate. As they say, you never know what another is going through, so be kind. Always, be kind! [insert puffy heart, here].

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You are amazingly conveying the picture of how dark and scary your life was next to the sunny and joyful sceneries outside your home. What a psycho-terror that must have been pretending all was ok the way it is and carrying the burden of humiliation and tyranny.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s not hard to tell who the real man is in that story.
    It’s so wonderful that you have a different life now, Lynn. You should be very proud of yourself.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. You have come such a long way Lyn. Your mum and dad must be so relieved for you and your children. I love that your dad tried so hard to help you knowing that his requests would be met with hostility once you were gone from him. They too have suffered greatly. XX

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Oh, Lynn! Reading books written by strangers is bad. Reading this is both heartbreaking and empowering, because I know you have fought your way out of this horrible situation and moved so far beyond it. It gives me gooseflesh to think about what you had to endure. I am so happy to call you friend, even in this small way.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I cannot even begin to comprehend the turmoil that must have bee going on inside of you…How to placate both men …One who cared and one who patently did not..You have come so far and you should be proud of your well adjusted beautiful children 🙂 xx Which is all down to you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Lynn, this is so well written and conveys the deep conflict inside of you. The pain of the conflict cuts sharply. Joseph Gobbels, the propaganda man for Hitler said, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. It must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over again. Truth is the mortal enemy of the lie.” This is what happened to you. The lie was repeated and enforced until you lost the sense of your own value. It is a miracle that you are enjoying life today! The truth about your past abuse is setting you free from the lies. Hugs and love. XOXO

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Yes, the abuser seeks to brainwash his prey so even logic and kindness are met with suspicion. Your poor dad didn’t know how his gift would cause grief for you.
    I’m so glad you had those walking buddies! I hope they helped you see that you were in an insane situation.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. As I hold you in a tight hug even though its through this blog, this post, these black and white words, I hope you feel my respect and admiration for doing what was needed at the time to keep peace and safety for the kids. I admire you so much. Keep your head high and keep smiling and writing….many hugs xxxxXXXXxxxxxkat

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This just brings tears to my eyes in so many ways Lynn. What you put up with for all those years….there just are not words. Massive hugs to you my friend and thank you for getting out of that situation.
    ‘Garbage people’….Really ??? How dare he !!!!
    HE summed himself up in one word…..HE is the garbage !!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I am happy that you are able to write your story and that I too had gone through something similar, and was able to escape. I have been asked to finish some of what I have gone though. I have started one little memoir titled “Angels Among Us”. In which I escaped, ended up In the wrong place and the people who helped me.

    Liked by 1 person

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  16. The most important thing is you were a strong “protector” of your children like a Mama Bear! You are their example of goodness and Love! I’m sure it is a history that still makes you shiver in fear, in nightmares but you are a testament and light for others to try, to succeed and be happy again. Lots of Big Hugs and hope to give you a real one (or many!!) someday! 💖 💞 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Powerful words and this just is so horrible how you had to endure. I am glad you are Free! You are a bird flying above the past and enjoying the love and joy of family.
    Your description was eerie and mesmerizing. Your book will be really a great one! Hugs and love, Robin

    Liked by 2 people

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