The Living Dead

by Cortina Jackson

Staring up at a blurry ceiling, I blinked rapidly to gain my bearings, and seek some type of composure. Out of instinct from being in this situation, I quickly scrambled back onto my feet, looking wildly around the room so that I could defend myself from the next vicious blow that I knew would be inevitable. The previous body slam onto the floor, caused my ears to ring now, but the adrenaline that coursed through my body, refused to let me experience the tremendous amount of pain that would torture my body; hurting me, not only physically, but emotionally at a later time. Before I could figure out a route of escape, I saw his large arm in slow motion, as it passed over my head from behind, and rested snuggly around my neck, the grip tightened, and with a jerk, I felt the bones in my neck pop. With a violent twist, my entire body whirled around, as I once again landed on the floor; not the results he hoped for, as he knelt beside me trying desperately to snap my neck. I quickly got into a fetal position, tucking my head tightly into my rapidly beating chest. I knew that if he had an opportunity to grab me again like this, he would kill me.

As a lay on the floor listening to my own heartbeat, that sounded like a metronome growing louder and louder, I realized that he was not there anymore. I was left alone for a moment, giving me the opportunity to go through a process that was all too familiar to me. I had a habit of hiding keys, my purse, and money right before an argument ensued, so that I could get to them and leave in a hurry; otherwise, he would hide these items, and move all of the money out of the joint bank account, so that I could not get money, and I could not escape.

I jumped up, grabbed the hidden items, and left. This would be the last time that my body would experience the pain from cuts and bruises, delivered by the hands and feet of an abusive spouse. I was the wife of a police officer.

It was now time to rebuild broken finances, broken material things, and most of all a broken heart. It is sad to think that I feared more about making it on my own, than the actual abuse. However, after leaving, I have found the peace that surpasses all understanding through my faith in God. I wrote a book, I am working on my second Master's degree, and I am safe. Ignoring the warning signs sent me into deeper denial about my abuse. I was an island; withdrawing from family and friends. I was depressed, sad, and dead inside. I am so thankful for a second chance. I advocate for others who must gain freedom in their lives to live again. I am rebuilding, I am surviving, and I am free.

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