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Letter to my neighbor

Below is a letter to my neighbor that has been sent to her. I remain anonymous. I have tried to help her in other ways, like knocking on the door which by the grace of God did not put me in danger- not to say it won't in the future. Stomping on my floor to let him know people are home. Now it is time I communicate and face to face can be embarrassing for her or may become a misguided attempt to help her. So I wrote this letter. It is 3 pages long, you do not have to read the whole thing but it has been sent in the mail in hopes of giving her some empowerment.

Letter to my neighbor......................

Hello my sister and neighbor. I guess you are wondering why you are receiving a letter from an anonymous stranger. I felt it was time to share with you that your cries do not go unnoticed. I hear them and I am here to tell you that you are not alone.

Your worth is beyond his comprehension and that is one of the reasons that he is so aggressive. He is scared that he cannot control you but this is due to his own innate insecurities. He uses fear and anger because that is all he knows. Make no mistake, he has a choice to learn other ways, but it is up to him to pursue these options, not up to you to make him reach for them.

It has little to do with your behaviors. You are simply a target for his apprehensions, pain, and convictions. I will not tell you to leave him because the faith and hope held in your heart is powerful, more powerful then these words. I understand that there is great emotional attachment in this relationship. Plus, the family unit makes for a stronger family when in a healthy environment. I know you hope he will change so you can have that environment.

I feel scared for you and I know it is not “my business” but I can tell you that I know what it feels like to not have anyone come to your rescue. You are aware people hear your cries, yelling, and you’re littlest screaming for his mommies’ release. When no one knocks on the door it may feel like you are abandoned but you are not.
First, I will start off by sharing some facts with you. These are not statistical but from life experience and they resonate from truth.

• It will get worse unless he and you commitment to seeking God together. Even then he may not change or come on board, but I guarantee as a daughter in Jesus Christ myself, God will provide you a safe place and should he not change his unruly behaviors, God will remove him. You were not born to be abused. You are a manifestation of God. God is both male and female because God is a spiritual being. Almost all religions recognize that we are made in this almighty image.

• You are a gift from God to that man, even more so, God has given you both the gift of children which he knew that only you as a mother could bare.

• Your neighbors hear it but do not know what to do. I can tell you that if it gets bad lets use a code word like SINGAPOR! Though I cannot guarantee that I will be home when you use it, I can say he will not recognize this code word as a call for help, if anything he may just look at you real funny. By the grace of God if I am home, I will call the cops. This way the call for help remains anonymous and his anger will target an anonymous neighbor.

• Abusive men and women likely have experienced or witnessed domestic violence growing up. This is a cycle and it is affecting your child and child to be as we speak.

• Domestic violence is an epidemic worldwide. Many women feel invisible or like they cannot do anything to get help. The mentality and emotional state after violent episodes for those abused increases their likely hood of staying because violence imprisons the victim’s inner being.

Second I would like to tell you my story. I remember what it felt like to have no one come to help. I never want anyone to experience that feeling.

It began one evening to my unawareness his emotions were brewing. During the incident I found out he felt embarrassed in front of mutual friends because I demanded that we should leave when he became drunk and began to “School” a young boy about the streets. (He was scaring the boy Sh*tless). I had to stop it.

We left to a nightclub which he wanted to leave as soon as we walked in. I wanted a least a drink but he pulled my hair, just enough for others not to see it. We left and headed home. As we were driving he began to argue with me, arguing turned into screaming, screaming turned him pulling my hair while I was physically driving. So of course the police pulled us over, but I was drunk and by some grace of God drove away with a ticket for only reckless driving. Deep down I wanted to tell the cop but I was too scared all around to do so.

We park in front of his house. I just want him out my car but he pulls the keys from the ignition. He yells things like “you always get what you want, well you got me now, what is it like.” “I warned you I was going to let you drive unless you f up and I am taking back the keys”. “Bit*h was a frequent word. I went to get out the car and he jumped on me, choking me. I pulled on the handle of the door and my head dropped out, he let go and closed the door. This went on from 2am to 6:04am, each time I tried to get out it got worse. I attempted 5 times to get away.

Choking escalated to choking and gut punches consecutively. At first I tried to fight back but to my own disappointment he was too strong for me. At one point he got out the car to talk on the phone, I got out too, leaving my brand new Camry behind. My life was more important.

He caught up to me and pulled me by my hair back to the car, dragging me down the block. Yeah, I guess no neighbors seen or heard that, right? Considering there was a group of people standing openly down the block for hours, none cared to affiliate concern for my situation. My mind and words were careful, just focused on getting home back to my daughter. I can honestly say I did not know if I was going to make it home. The night felt like forever. I can remember him pulling my head down into his lap and saying “I bet you did not think your night was going to be like this”. It broke my heart, a piece of me cared so deeply for him that this was a misguided comfort from being in his lap, I wanted to hug him, love him and another piece of my mind was trying to make sense of the realty that he was abusing me.

I could not take no more and could not get away. I remember the moment I just surrendered to God because for the first time in my life I was helpless in controlling my destiny. Literally there was no way out. By now my mind figured out he was the enemy and the whole confusion thing wore thin. I did not want hugs, I wished deep down inside I could beat him up. I placed my head on the steering wheel and called out to God to help me. Within minutes he gave me my keys and got out my car.

In time, we spoke again. His actions “we” blamed on alcohol. I remember feeling scared that he would strike at times but he didn't at first. I began taking extra care in what I said trying to not show fear but the inevitable would soon occur. This time I was trapped in a bathroom. His strength was serious and he was drinking. In an attempt to regain myself respect which I felt was taken in the last fight, I demanded that he would not hurt me or this time I would fight back.
Well that did not go too well. He gripped my arm. I told him to get off of me. Before you knew it, the toilet was broken spewing water, my head knocking off the porcelain top. We fought from one end of the bathroom to the other, destroying everything in it. Running for the locked door he caught me and threw me in the tub, thus choking me. I felt something in my neck being cut completely off. A few moments later his mom who lived with him, busted down the door and began to pry him off of me. His neighbor which was a female was standing there in shock and his mom stood at the exit of the door. I took my last bit of strength to walk around them and out the door. My spirit cracked and mentality fragile it was like sleeping with the enemy. I woke up bruised, throat pains and blood on my pillow. I did not even know my head was cracked open. I kept it quite and silently went to the hospital, alone.

He never hit me physically again after that but he made sure he would hit me emotionally. He moved in with a girl down the street from my house. Deep down inside I wanted to tell her out conviction that he would probably do the same to her but there was a part of me that was jealous. Another part was relieved, yet another hurt and scarred to come forward.
For her it was worse. I heard stories that he beat her daily, in front of her young daughter. Many times she ran out of her own house to seek safety from neighbors, one who happened to be my friend.

I say that to say to you, maybe that experience was not for me to warn her… God knows he could have killed me for doing so, but maybe it was for this day to come so that I could share this story with you.

Abusive people play on your emotions as much as they do on the physical body. There is a term for what abusive people pull on their targets: FOG (Fear Obligation Guilt). It is a power struggle which these tools are used to manipulate others into staying in unhealthy situations that hurts them mentally, physically, or emotionally.

Do not sell yourself short. Jimi Hendrix said “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” I tell you that God is love and all powerful. Realize you are an awesome being that has the potential to do great things through God’s power. Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 regarding the expectations of love if you like.

You have the power to break the cycle. You have the power to confront your feelings through the spirit of God, through Christ. These feelings of fear, guilt, obligation, hope, confusion do not rule you. They are just as much of a passing moment as joy, happiness, and excitement. Surrender your circumstances to God. Take full benefit of what your life has been designed to do. Do not conform to the pressure of this man. He will have a field day in making you into the image that he would like you to be. Imagine him as the potter pressing the clay under his fingertips to create an image from his own heart and mind. Ask yourself do you want to be subjected into what he wants to mold you to be? Let no man or woman dim your light!

You must fill yourself up with subsidence. To do this, allow God to transform you internally. Then you can use this awakening to demand nothing less than your significant other to respect you and your family. You may call God anything you wish and follow any religion you wish. I speak from a perspective of a Christian but please seek God with all your heart and follow the path where ever it leads YOU. No person in this world should have to endure violence, fear, or disrespect. Make God your heart center and look at the situation from the outside in. Ask yourself this question, would you allow your children to be treated the way he is treating you?

Domestic Violence Statistics:
• One in four women (25%) has experienced domestic violence in her lifetime.
• Intimate partner homicides accounted for 30% of the murders of women and 5% percent of the murders of men.
• On average between 1993 and 2004, children under age 12 were residents of households experiencing intimate partner violence in 43% of incidents involving female victims.
• Studies suggest that between 3.3 - 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.

Sincerely,

Your anonymous neighbor......

Comments

surfgirl-CA's picture

powerful & compassionate

hi Rochelle - it is a good thing you did to write this woman. Far, far too many stand aside in fear or say "It's not my business." I strongly believe that it is our ethical obligation to help those who fall into out path when they can not help themselves. We can't know when she will be able to act, but your letter will always be there in the back of her mind, helping her learn that she can take action.

I have worked as a public health RN & an E.R. RN & in family practice medicine for many years, & I have dealt with these cases many times. I appreciate your references to Christ, but I would say that unless you know her to be a Christian, I would suggest leaving those references out. She could be a believer in any other religion. Or no religion. While God is powerful (as believed by those of us who believe in a god), the ways to God are personal and various, and what speaks to one person may turn another off. And, since you are offering her a revised paradigm for how to look at her situation,something completely new to her and a stretch for her, she may not understand that the options available to her are available whether she believes in your God or not. She is confused.

The goals here seem to be to let her know some one hears her & understands and to inform her that she can help herself. That can all be achieved without specific references to Christ, altho I say again I appreciate your beliefs and way. I wld also suggest sending a short follow-up note w/ the toll-free tel. number of the local domestic abuse hotline & a brief explanation of it : available 24/7 and they will not take her kids away if she calls them ... and they WILL protect her from him & give her shelter. Finally, I would strongly suggest that it is our ethical obligation to CALL THE COPS when it is occurring. They will offer her that shelter as well, if they are well-trained. The days when they side w/ the man are largely gone. You can STRESS CLEARLY to dispatch that your identity not be revealed by them -- they handle these situations, called in by neighbors who wish to remain anonymous, all the time. They understand that this perpetrator can be a risk to you as well.

surfgirl-CA --
When we come from the willingness to love, not fear, we will see the best and highest materialize in our world.
Quand nous venons à partir de la volonté à l'amour, pas la peur, nous allons voir le meilleur et le plus élevé se matérialise

Rochelle White's picture

Thank you

Thank you for your comment. I understand your perception about bringing Jesus into it and I thought about it when I was writing the letter. What occurred to me it was my following in Jesus that would even lead me to write a letter to a neighbor.

I agree that including additional information such as numbers for help is good because it provides her additional options for safety. I hope I did a good job in making clear that resources are available to help her beyond the scope of God but I know the power of God and just wanted to share how strong it can be when we face difficult times in life, especially when we are facing them alone and feel like we can not tell anyone about the abuse.

Either way, I hope that the letter helps to awaken her and hopefully she will keep the letter in mind if the future should she endure further episodes of his abuse (physical, emotional, psychological, verbal, ie)

Best

Rochelle

surfgirl-CA's picture

you did right, IMHO

(for the non-English speakers: IMHO = in my humble opinion)
Rochelle - Your efforts on behalf of this woman and her children were ALL GOOD, & I appreciate yr reply. The only point I was really trying to make is this, essentially:
When ppl like this (not always women, of course -- also children, older folks & sometimes even men) are in this type of situation, there is so much they have to wade through to get to the point where they pick up the phone or walk away, that keeping it simple and giving them exactly the info they need to start that process is imperative.

There are issues of psychology -- fear, anxiety, depression, drug issues, confusion, difficulty taking initiative, self-esteem and even difficulty even being able to consider the possibility of escape, let alone HOW to escape. There are issues that are pragmatic - where will I live? Will they take my kids away? What will my in-laws or family do to me if I walk? Will he come after me? I will lose my family/home/income/"safety"/"security" etc.

The sense of powerlessness, fear & confusion is SO strong (as you know, clearly) that we have to approach these folks OVER AND OVER AGAIN, tell them : "You WILL be protected & here is the FIRST SIMPLE STEP. After that, things will get better & better." They don't even remember any more what "better" is. And more often than not, we have to say this over & over, & actually take their hand to get them there.

Please consider calling the police next time. Your act will resonate through those people's lives FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES. You can literally save them by starting the process.

surfgirl-CA --
When we come from the willingness to love, not fear, we will see the best and highest materialize in our world.
Quand nous venons à partir de la volonté à l'amour, pas la peur, nous allons voir le meilleur et le plus élevé se matérialise

surfgirl-CA's picture

Hendrix

funny thing today, Rochelle, about 8 hrs. after I read yr post - my 18 yr old son quoted Jimi to me today , too, exactly the same quote:
“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”
Amen to that, sister. Love ya, Jimi!

surfgirl-CA --
When we come from the willingness to love, not fear, we will see the best and highest materialize in our world.
Quand nous venons à partir de la volonté à l'amour, pas la peur, nous allons voir le meilleur et le plus élevé se matérialise

Rochelle White's picture

Wow

That is amazing.. See everything happens for a reason. I am happy that you shared that experience with me. God Bless you and Love you too!

Best

Rochelle

lintajonhera's picture

Thank you

Dear Rochelle,

Thank you for not just showing but being love to this woman and allowing God to speak through you. Sometimes people just need to know they are not alone, that they deserve better.

lintajo

Rochelle White's picture

Big Smile

Yes, when there is no one you can turn to, God is there. And sometimes that is just enough to get a person through their circumstances until they feel comfortable enough to reach out for help.

Best

Rochelle

Iryna's picture

Faith, Hope and Love

Violence and abuse not always happen in physical way. Much more often they appear as psychological tortures. You made a great work, and your letter touches deeply. I would like to say a lot, but I will say just Thank you, Rochelle, for this letter!
A hug,
Iryna

Rochelle White's picture

Your Welcome Iryna

Your welcome. Please take the pieces of this letter with you that touched your heart. I appreciate you taking the time out to read all 3 pages, when my neighbor receives this letter I hope she will find a way to embrace it as well. I am here willing to listen anytime. Keep writing and sharing!

Best

Rochelle

surfgirl-CA's picture

psychologic abuse

yes, Iryna - I agree totally, & psych abuse can be just as injurious.

surfgirl-CA --
When we come from the willingness to love, not fear, we will see the best and highest materialize in our world.
Quand nous venons à partir de la volonté à l'amour, pas la peur, nous allons voir le meilleur et le plus élevé se matérialise

These are really inspiring words especially for me who have been through abuse and yet am still with the man, he has not abused me physically from 2009 but,he abuse me verbally using worls that are threatening, to me and they always reminds me of the abuse I have BEEN THROUGH
, Please pray for me to take the courage to do the right thing, am not convinced that he will never abuse me again as he has promised.
Thank you so much Rochelle for sharing this message that God has told you to share with your fellow Sisters May God continue to Bless you, love you.

Hope.TMT

Please be careful as you remain in this relationship. Remember always you are worth more then he can comprehend and he uses verbal abuse as a form of control. I think verbal can be just as bad and takes a toll on the mind and spirit. I am going to pray and encourage you my sister to be empowered to make the best the choice for you and your family. If that means leaving then so be it, if that means you work through with him so be it. But I pray that he does not hurt you ever again. I hope if he would ever again that you will find the courage and strength to leave. I support you.

I think abusers make promises because at the time they are sincere but as time goes on they have developed a habit that is hard to break. The first step is he has to acknowledge he is an abuser and want to do something about. No secrets, out in the open seeking help. In the mean time I would come up with a backup plan to get out.. Places you can stay where he can not find you, keep some close friends in your back pocket, a small savings hidden separate from his. If you have kids, accumulate their necessities that the friends house and gather information about the area so you are prepared to make the move and confident that you can stand on your own.

God Bless you and Love you too!

Best

Rochelle

HOPE tOWELA's picture

Thank You So Much

I really can not find the right words to thank you enough for your support, I will definitely start working on that as much as I can, for my own sake and my childrens, am so greatful.l really need prayers because there is so much power in prayer, and God always makes a way for us, if we only trust him.
Love Towela.Hope

Hope.TMT

Rochelle White's picture

Watch this eve video below

This is one of my favorite songs composed by Eve. When you start to thing about going back play it.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x15hvo_eve-faith-evans-love-is-blind_mu...

Best

Rochelle

I just want to thank you for the video you sent, I kept on listening to it over and over again, am trully greatful, it has not been easy for me, Our culture in my country has made women's lives unbearable,so much that, a woman cant walk out of an abusive relationship,because a woman is meant sacrifice in a marriage for the sake of the children and save the family from the embarrassement. I have seen women who have stayed in an abusive marriage and ,where the husband is unfaithfund, the woman ends up geting infected of HIV dies leave the children behind and the man marries again immediately the wife dies, it happened to mybest friend, and to a lot of women ,only the educated ones who are independent and can be able to afford to move on with life.
I am so happy to have you as my friend who knows that a woman is special ans has a special place in this world and also deserves better.
Thank you so much for the video, it was an eye opener for me, although we fear of the unknown, I thank God for all he has done for me and I believe he will make a way for me one day, I will be albe to come out of this.
Love Towela

Hope.TMT

Thank very much for the video you sent me, I never stop listening to it untill I do something with my situation, God will make a way for me, I just have to trust him,
Love Towela

Hope.TMT

Gracious's picture

Dear sister Rochelle

Thank you for writing and sharing this, I was through this for so many years because this man was my first love but he tortured me not physically but psychologically but I didn't know how to leave without him because he new my weaknesses. Though I gathered the strength to walk out it hasn't been easy because this's a man I visioned my future with but I believe i'll recover and with God's help i'll meet the right man for me. Hugs sister Rochelle

Love

Rochelle White's picture

Yes you will

Yes you will meet the right man, just give it time. Patience my sister. I know walking out was hard and being away even harder but in time you will heal. The trick is begin to fall in Love with yourself again. I suggest learn this and when you are ready you will be able to handle a man on your terms, not his. Love life and live everyday to it's fullest. Praise God and worship him, once he is your God center, everyone else will have a lot to compete with considering how awesome and powerful he is:)

Love you xoxo

Best

Rochelle

Gracious's picture

Loving myself

Thank you for the advice sister. It's true because the abusers will always come back to play with your emotions and till now though many months i've passed whenever he calls on me, saying NO still hurts and it's even worse when they know you too well like this one who new me since I was an underage girl. He knows my weaknesses and my strength. I Thank God that I have sisters here who for sure will help me through.

Love

Rochelle White's picture

Yes stay in their company

Stay in your sister company.. That will always help regardless if it is on the phone, physically or on the internet. You will make it through. If you go back it normally can feel worse.. Please stay looking forward:)

Hugs and love

Best

Rochelle

Gracious's picture

Focus a head

Looking forward always. Thank you sister Rochelle.

Love

TJ's picture

powerful

I read this via my phone today but couldn't respond - tricky internet on it these days ... rain in Guyana.

I just wanted to come on and say that what you did was amazing. Some people do not like to talk openly and that letter just might save her life. Well done! Also, well done to you for surviving!

Hugs
TJ

Rochelle White's picture

Thank you TJ

Thank you very much! Big Smile:) I hope it helps her in some way. My story was difficult to write but I feel like it is safe to post here. I hope it will help my neighbor recognize that I understand and just want the best for her. But I can't keep going to her door because one day I might become the victim. This is the best option I could think of besides calling the cops which may or may not help because it is temporary.

God Bless

Best

Rochelle

surfgirl-CA's picture

calling the cops

Hi again, Rochelle - you have to do what you think best. I can not assume what will definitely work. But re. calling the cops, IF they are well-trained, it may seem temporary, but it often takes numerous attempts before a person breaks free of an abuser. The #1 motivator, in my experience & in the research, is the woman realizing the effect on her child. The #2 motivator is learning there is somewhere to go where she will be helped & safe. The police are trained to offer this in most jurisdictions. Unless calling the police is clearly a bad idea in your city, based on how they handle domestic violence, I know of no domestic abuse hotline or expert who would not advise it. Just sayin'.

surfgirl-CA --
When we come from the willingness to love, not fear, we will see the best and highest materialize in our world.
Quand nous venons à partir de la volonté à l'amour, pas la peur, nous allons voir le meilleur et le plus élevé se matérialise

Rochelle White's picture

Thank you

Thank you

Best

Rochelle

I read all your posts on this thread and I just keep thinking that we owe the world our greatness! That sounds arrogant, but what I mean is, you sisters of ours are beautiful - strong - warrior women - caring - loving. The world needs more of that. The world needs more of our brand of living. Don't hide your light.

Obviously I can not know each person's situation, and it can surely take awhile to extract one's self & one's children from a bad situation. No one can say what is best for an individual to do. And rebuilding your life is not always easy. But one thing I do feel sure of is that ending the abuse, in whatever manner one achieves it, pays benefits for GENERATIONS - to the children, to the culture, to yourself, to all women and to those who will be nourished by your courage.

I can categorically agree with Rochelle that your worth is clear, intrinsic and very valuable. Please set yourself free when you can, because you and your children deserve a happy life.

Thanks for starting this topic Rochelle.

surfgirl-CA --
When we come from the willingness to love, not fear, we will see the best and highest materialize in our world.
Quand nous venons à partir de la volonté à l'amour, pas la peur, nous allons voir le meilleur et le plus élevé se matérialise

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