Best Friends, memories, nostalgia, relationships, Uncategorized

Cycle of abuse and Maraschino Cherries

In keeping with the themes this week, I told a friend that I planned to write about another friend I lost touch with and hoped one day to find again just like Vlad. This girl; however, was much closer to me – a Best Friend.

Before I sat to write this, I decided to do a random Facebook search again and… I found her! Currently I am waiting on a response from her, so hopefully my message won’t get lost in the mystery filtered request folder never to be seen by her… It shouldn’t as it didn’t warn me that it would go there and we also have a mutual friend… soooo Fingers Crossed πŸ™‚

Well, now I’m going to go ahead and tell you briefly about her – though I no longer want to plea to the ether to help me find her. However, I’ll be changing her name this time; unlike Vlad πŸ™‚

Christina and I met in Ethiopia. She was a missionary kid that I met through church – she lived on a missionary compound and she didn’t go to my school.

I don’t remember exactly how it happened; how we became friends in the first place… But I do remember being over at her house to hang out and as we talked we found a connection. We found that we had similar feelings and ideas – we found that we both felt out of place with our evangelical peers much of the time. We spoke animatedly jumping from topic to topic…. until it was decided I MUST sleep over. LOL

I mentioned before when I was judged, shamed, and rejected by the other evangelical youth girls over a sexual joke and that only one girl laughed – That was Christina.

She was the one person in that church I could continue to trust and feel at ease with.

When I left Ethiopia in 1998, very few people had email addresses and the like – I did, but not many of my friends did yet – so we fell out of touch a little too quickly.

A fair handful of years later my Dad found reference to her online and sent the information to me – this included an email address – so I was able to contact her again. This was around 2006.

We connected again and caught up excitedly – sending pictures back and forth and exchanging phone numbers. I was heartbroken to find out that she was in an abusive marriage. She told me about him choking her, throwing her down stairs, holding a knife to her throat. She told me it was all a regular occurrence… She didn’t know what to do. She felt that if only he’d get help that maybe their marriage could be salvaged… They were both in the military and she wanted him to get help, yet she knew if she reported the behavior it could affect his career… She wanted him to stop, she feared for her life, yet cared enough about him to not want to ruin his career. But if she didn’t report it and it wasn’t made mandatory, he’d never go. She was scared of him and his reactions obviously as well. She clearly was trapped in a cycle of abuse.

I didn’t know how to help her. I tried to ask another military member from the same branch that I knew for advice – if there was a way through the military that she could get the outcome she was looking for… I got a very unfeeling, disinterested reaction and a statement that she should just report him.

The way it was said to me, I knew this person had no understanding of the delicate nature of the state of mind a woman trapped in such a cycle. This person clearly thought that my friend must be an idiot for not just leaving and besides which,  it’s not news to hear of abuse in military relationships. 

Sigh.

All I could do was support her as best I could and try to encourage her to leave him any way she could. I tried to encourage the thought that her very life as well as her baby’s was much more important than him keeping his military career.

Shortly thereafter, we lost touch again. One day I tried to email her – I’m not sure how long it had been… I’m notoriously bad at keeping up with friends via email on a regular basis. But I tried this email address… One that she shared with her husband… She had said he never actually used it… However… it no longer worked. The phone number I had was either lost or didn’t work anymore, I can’t remember which. (I have a feeling it was lost in a cell phone that ceased to work for me…) I haven’t heard from her since.

I’ve tried a few times to look her up on Facebook, Google, attempt the email address again in vain… I feared the worst, but periodically she would come across my mind and I’d try again.

Well, I am happy to say, that even if she doesn’t respond anytime soon, that from what I can see on her Facebook page – she looks happy, she looks healthy… and she is engaged to someone completely different (looks like a nice man at least…) So she clearly got out of her abusive relationship. This has caused a glimmer of happiness in an otherwise sucky day.

As such I decided this evening that I deserved a drink, so I made myself an Amaretto Sour with extra Maraschino cherries

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and then decided that strawberries and whipped cream would go well with said drink

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A bit of taking my mind off of the negativity as well as somewhat of a celebration in the knowledge that Christina is alive and well 😊

Ahhhh… That hit the spot πŸ˜‰

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 **PS this was written and scheduled two days ago – she has since accepted my friend request πŸ˜‰πŸ˜ŠπŸŽ‰

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2 thoughts on “Cycle of abuse and Maraschino Cherries”

    1. It’s definitely difficult not at least having the closure. I sometimes worry that certain friends I worry that if anything happens to them I just wouldn’t know because our circles of friends or family doesn’t overlap… and they may or may not use facebook or anything in which I at least might see other friends/family post anything there… Sorry I’m tired and rambling… but I probably overthink it… but I hate not knowing. I hate, for example, when I try to get a hold of Dane but don’t hear back from him for too long (I’m talking months at times)… if something happened to him I don’t think his family knows about me in which to think to notify me…

      Like

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