Saturday, July 19, 2008

A bad after school special... rerun!

"After School Special"... my generation tosses this term around a lot to describe a plethora of situations... at times I feel like I am connected slightly to one. I mean, I have a sibling with 2 children and 2 baby daddies for crying out loud. One of the children is now in the care of my parents (by court order)... that is a freakin' mini series in the making. But that's not my reasons for bringing this concept up today.

Thursday there was a knock at our door just after dinner time. It was our very new neighbors next door. (That morning I sent a very excited email to Daddio announcing that after more than 2 years of that house sitting vacant we finally had someone moving in.) She and her daughters came over to apologize for her dogs and the animated conversation they were having with our dogs up and down the fence line... and to introduce themselves. What started out to be a normal first meeting of neighbors became a lesson in not focusing on what we were clearly seeing... a battered woman. There was no mistaking it from the moment she swept her hair back that had mostly been covering her face. Black eye, bruised forehead, swollen lip. Once we noticed that, our eyes also found marks on many other areas of her body that were exposed. Soon our first encounter with out neighbor was over and we all went back to our respective homes.

Of course inside, it was just a matter of moments before Daddio and I turned to one another and began discussing what we had just seen.

Cut to yesterday... Friday... after dinner Daddio took the boys out front to play while I finished cleaning up the kitchen. I came out for a short time to see how things were going. I noticed when the new neighbor turned to me that her face looked worse. Not five minutes later Daddio was ushering the kids quickly in and telling them to shower... come to find out there was a police officer next door speaking to her... and my boys LOVE the police and were naturally inquisitive, but didn't need to hear any of what was going down.

It was after this that she confided the obvious. Daddio came back in, and we had a little chat about what it means to us living next to this situation. She's left her husband, but the abuse is still occurring and there are children involved. We pulled together resource information (the local women's center hotline) as recommended by my SIL (who counseled in that environment). And as bravely as I could muster (um, I hate being even the least bit confrontational... you may remember Daddio teasing that I don't even like calling to order the pizza, there is some truth to that) I walked next door and gave her the information and began a long conversation with her.

Like the cheesy and poorly acted after school specials, came this comment from her... "He's a wonderful father, he's just a bad husband." SAD!

We know this perpetrator will be in our neighborhood at times for pick-up and drop off of the children. I would be lying if I said that I'm NOT worried... I am!

My dear friends and readers, I ask that you pray for this family and that no further crimes are committed!


justme said...

yikes!! we'll keep them in our prayers.

Teena in Toronto said...

That's very sad :(

Happy blogoversary!

La Familia said...

I will surely keep them in my prayers. I'm sorry anybody, but especially children, have to witness the horrors of domestic abuse.