Nobody Wins…


    This past week, a woman who lived in the same area as I do went missing.  She was the mother of four and a productive member of society who worked as a nurse.  Her story was all over the airwaves and many people in the community were visibly shocked as I live in a fairly affluent neighborhood in one of the outer boroughs of New York City.  There was a lot of speculation surrounding her disappearance and it was stated on the news that her husband was being questioned as a suspect.

    I hate to say this but, I immediately felt in my gut that he had killed her.  It was just too weird that a responsible mother of four beautiful children suddenly disappeared without a trace.  Over the years, I have grown accustomed to ultimately finding out that it was the spouse or the boyfriend that committed the heinous act.  Unfortunately, it usually turns out that this was indeed the case and the public learns that there was a long history of domestic violence prior to the murder.  In many cases, there is a record of the police having previously been called to the house and the woman dropping the charges after the fact.

    This story is almost identical to all of the ones that I have heard about in the past.  It follows the usual domestic violence pattern to a fault.  Allegedly, there was a long history of spousal abuse and the police had been called out to this home on numerous occasions to mediate between this couple.  It seems that the woman finally got fed up and filed for divorce which did not sit too well with her abusive husband.  In his sick mind, he had no choice but to take her life since he couldn’t handle that she was getting strong and standing up for herself and trying to secure a safe and bright future for her children.

    Over the years, I have had countless friends and acquaintances who have been involved in abusive relationships.  It is very difficult to be friends with someone and to watch them being abused, whether it be physically or mentally.  The hardest part about it is when your friend continues to be with the toxic person that is abusing them.  Although, you counsel your friends and try to call their attention to the fact that they are being abused and that they don’t have to put up with that kind of treatment, ultimately it is their decision to either dissolve or continue in the relationship.  As the old saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.”

    Experience has taught me to be a good listener and to provide an open mind and a shoulder to cry on when my friends are coming to me about problems in their relationships or marriages.  I learned years ago that sometimes people just want to talk and vent and that they may not necessarily want or need your advice.  When it comes to hearing from one of your friends that they are being abused, trying to stay neutral is a lot more difficult.  Obviously, as a woman, my first instinct is to tell them that they need to run and get away from the situation as quickly as possible.  Life is funny, though, because telling someone that they shouldn’t be with their partner because he is abusive, doesn’t always sit so well with the other person.

    I wonder if the woman who lived in my neighborhood ever had a friend who told her that she needed to get away from this man.  Would it have made a difference and saved her life?  Maybe her friends and family did tell her to leave her husband over the years but she just didn’t listen.  Maybe she had Battered Women’s Syndrome because her husband had managed to strip her of any strength and dignity due to so many years of abuse.  Perhaps, nobody said anything because they were trying to mind their business or were afraid of becoming the targets of her husband’s fury.

    Another question that comes to mind is how someone could take the life of another person whom they once loved and whom they brought children into this world with.  It seems counterproductive, to say the least, to kill someone because you want to be with them and they refuse to be with you.  Without sounding facetious, it should sink in that death is permanent and not a way to convince someone to reconciliate a relationship with you.  This is why it is inconceivable to me how some women can stay in relationships with these sick and demented individuals.  I’m sure it is a problem that is deep rooted in one’s self esteem or lack thereof. 

    I’m fully aware that different people have different boundaries for what they will and will not put up with in their relationships.  There might be things that I put up with from my husband that other women might not and vice versa.  Abuse, however, should be something universal that none of us ever put up with or accept in our lives.  Nobody should have to live under those conditions or with that constant fear on a daily basis.  Although a lot of programs have been created to assist victims of domestic violence, I still think that there is a lot of work to be done to address all of the dynamics that revolve around this issue.  It is a plague that affects everyone in the family, especially the children.

    I’m sure that the woman who lived in my neighborhood reached out at some point to someone.  It doesn’t even matter what advice they gave her because she obviously made the decision to continue working on the preservation of her marriage and her family unit over the years.  We cannot judge her because we don’t know what we would have done had we been in her situation.  She gained some courage and finally stepped away from her abusive situation only to pay the price with her life.  Her children are now left without their mother and will lose their father too when he becomes incarcerated for her murder. 

    We need to pass stricter laws to protect victims of domestic violence and to offer counseling services for victims, their children, and their families in general.  This is just another festering sore that is infecting the family unit and it needs to be dealt with.  I’m tired of hearing these kinds of stories on the news because nobody wins and the worst casualties in all of this are always the children.  If their own parents are not advocating on their behalf that they be raised in a stable and nurturing environment, we run the risk of perpetuating a vicious cycle of abuse that will continue for decades to come…

P.S.  Unfortunately, the body of the woman whose story inspired this post was found today near a road by her job.  Her death has been ruled a homicide and her husband is the prime suspect in the investigation.

© 2011, Tough Cookie Mommy. All rights reserved.


  1. Jenn @ I Am Not Superwoman says

    Horribly tragic. Praying for the rest of her family and her poor children who will now be motherless and if it was indeed the father; fatherless.

  2. So very sad. And unfortunately, there’s usually little friends or family can do. These women need to want it for themselves. Sometimes it’s the Battered Women’s Syndrome, sometimes it’s that they think they can “fix” their partner or situation, sometimes it’s that they’re too afraid to leave because of what their partner might do; it could be any number of reasons. But ultimately they have to make the decision for themselves. And it’s so very sad when they stay and something like this happens…

    • Chela, you hit the nail on the head. These women have to make the decision to leave these men. It does not matter how much advice they receive from their friends and family because, ultimately, the choice is in their hands. There are so many factors involved that there is no easy solution to this epidemic. I guess the only thing we can do is to remind these women that they are not alone and to be there unconditionally.

  3. Happy stalk hop friday!
    your newest folower,

  4. I used to volunteer at a local women’s shelter. It wasn’t the greatest place in the world, but it was so much better than staying with an abusive spouse. What bothered me the most was when the women left the shelter to go back to the spouse. I always worried about what might waiting for them when they got home.

    • It is so hard to watch some of these women go back to abusive situations that are dangerous for them and their children. At the end of the day, however, all we can do is listen and be supportive whenever possible.

  5. Terry Edwards says

    So very true. It is a sad but very true. Love can kill a person. You just have to be strong enough & have enough self-esteem to know when it is no longer healthy for you to love someone. Thank you for stopping by and following me on twitter. I’m following back now. 🙂 Stop by and visit me at… & http://thecomfortzonediversity….

    • I agree with you, Terry. You have to love yourself first and know that you deserve the best of everything and that you certainly don’t deserve to be abused. Thanks for following and for your feedback.

  6. Self Care Girl says

    Your post breaks my heart. It is true though that all you can do sometimes is listen, you can’t change the situation for anyone who isn’t ready to change.

    I think your post is also timely. I travel a lot and have stockpiled all of those little care packages the airlines give you (the pouch with toothbrush, socks, etc..). I spoke with my local Domestic Violence shelter to see if they would be interested in these. They are! Many times women are forced to leave their homes and belongings in crisis…a simple tooth brush and face cleanser may not make a huge difference, but it is one less thing they have to worry about when their lives are turned upside -down.

    I am following you from facebook friday. I would love to have you stop by my blog and say hi!

    Take Good Care!
    Self Care Girl

    • I think it is wonderful that you are donating all of those care packages to the shelter. One can only imagine how traumatic it must be to leave your home and all of your belongings with only the clothes on your back. Simple things such as hygiene products help one to feel human even during a difficult time. Thanks so much for the follow!

  7. Such a difficult situation and so easy to say what should be done from the outside. I can’t imagine what that woman went through and am saddened for the children – regardless their mother was murdered – how will that affect them as they grow? I can’t imagine. Just makes me want to hug and kiss my little ones.

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