Memorial Day is a day to honor those who fought for our Country and did not make it home. After the playing of Taps during a remembrance speech by VP Pence, I became emotional. I usually do when it involves patriotism and sacrifice.
Later in the day, I started to think about, and am not in any way comparing, the War Zone at home that many of us have faced or are still facing. The women and men we have lost their lives to Domestic Violence and it made a somber day, even more somber.
It is a slap in the face of reality to think that just like our soldiers and the secrets they carry and what they have to and have endured, many of us carry secrets too and have endured violence not at the hands of an enemy we chose to fight, but an enemy present in our homes who were supposed to love us.
We were/are soldiers in our own right. Fighting to keep the peace. Fighting to keep ourselves and our family safe. I guess the difference is our soldiers have each other. They lean on each other and protect each other. Doesn’t make it less dangerous. There is no doubt a soldier’s job is never done and the danger constantly eminent. But living in violence is the same on a smaller scale. You know who your attacker is. You just don’t always know when they will attack.
It takes 4 minutes to strange someone to death. Count that out. 1001, 1002, 1003…..keep going until you reach 1240. I was holding my 2 month old son when my enemy tried to choke me out on Christmas Day. He held me up against the wall. Baby crying. Me hanging on to our child for dear life. I remember I started counting as he yelled at me and told me I was not taking his son to my parents for Christmas. We would be staying home. It came out of no where. Like a bomb raid. There were many of those. I got to 842. I was very close to dying.
I often think about our parallels with soldiers. They come home and don’t get the help or the recognition for what they have sacrificed. People often don’t listen when they do try to talk about their experience or they diminish the trauma of war. Those in domestic abuse situations are often dismissed as well. I still, clear as day, remember a neighbor telling me that my ex was always nice to her. She did not believe what went on behind closed doors. I never had the heart to tell her what he often said about her and the other neighbors behind those closed doors. He had a business to run and she was a customer. He was good at the game. Just like the enemies against the U.S. are good at their games.
As we pray and give thanks to those who gave us our freedom and sacrificed so much, let us remember tomorrow, on a different day set aside from our war heroes, the women and men who are also soldiers and did not make it out.