Yesterday after my visit with the nurse (I have a urinary tract infection) I was in the drive-thru at Walgreens when something caught my eye in the rear view mirror.
There was a car behind me. A black man and a white women were in the vehicle. The man was reaching across to the woman, and she was leaning away from him.
The expression on her face said it all. It said: leave me the hell alone.
It reminded me of some incidents in my own life.
I hate confrontation. More than anything I hate to be around a man who is volatile. And I really hate to be embarrassed in a public place with other people around.
For whatever reason, there seem to be some men that find power and control intoxicating. Like a drug they can’t or won’t give up.
If this has ever happened to you, you know the sinking feeling when it’s about to unfold right there in front of others and you can’t stop it. If you say anything, you know it will enrage him further.
It is a terrible feeling. Some of you may know that feeling.
But back to the couple behind me.
I watched them until I had my prescriptions and left. I fervently hoped that it was just a little spat. Or that she would leave the situation if it was a bad one.
I thought about them all the way home.
It might have been a minor altercation. But sometimes it’s not minor. Sometimes it is heartbreakingly ugly.
I know what people often say: She can always leave.
But it isn’t always that simple.
Some men keep money from you. They find ways to make it very hard for you to leave them.
So the parable here I suppose is: Please don’t judge women too harshly if they’re in a bad domestic situation. I promise you that she does not want to be where she is.
But she has to find a way to leave that is safe. How many women have you read about in the news that were killed when they were leaving?
It happens to be the most dangerous time for a woman in such a situation.
You might have a daughter, a sister, a mother, a friend that ended up in such a situation. It isn’t a rarity by any stretch. Quite the opposite.
Help her if you can, but don’t be too pushy or judgmental. She’s already frightened enough.
That person you may care about has to be the one to actually make the decision to leave.
Just be there for her when she does.