Marisa ran toward her desk when she heard the phone ringing. “This is Marisa” she answered. From the line, she heard the words that she had been dreading, “You Gonna Talk to Me Now Bitch?”. Marisa could feel the color drain from her face and then shoot back up, her heart felt as if it would jump out of her chest, she could barely keep her composure, she couldn’t completely go off as she was, after all, in her office cubicle and others would have surely heard this conversation had she ‘gone there’. Marisa’s mind raced a million miles a millisecond, “whaaat? how? hoooooow? OMG! what do I do? chiiiingao! what do I do? omg. How? HOW? Hooooooooooooow in the f@#$ did he find me? What do I say to him?”
“Answer me bitch! Did you think that I wouldn’t find you? Noooow talk your shit bitch!” Marisa was taken aback, stunned. “I really can’t talk right now” was all that Marisa could get out of her mouth and she hung up. A few seconds later, the phone rang again…and again…again…and again. After finally turning the ringer off and saying a silent prayer hoping that no one in the office noticed what was up, Marisa gathered her things and left the office for an “appointment”.
Once in the “safety” of her car, Marisa was completely in disbelief and shock. Should she cry? scream? call someone? call him back? quit? what? Ten minutes seemed like an eternity sitting in that car, completely unglued and uncertain of what her next move should be.
It was apparent that Marisa’s getaway plan had not worked as she had hoped. This was job number FOUR and, for this one, for the first time, Marisa had to change cities. If he was able to get to her direct work line, then he HAD to now know where she was working, did he know where she lived too? Taking deep breaths, looking right to left, searching for signs of her coworkers, for anyone strange, for him, she put her head down, trying to hide the tears streaming down her face, and quietly drove away, unsure of where she would go next.
Sadly, this is typical when a woman finally finds the nerve to remove herself from a bad situation. She leaves thinking that ‘things will be better’, almost hopeful, almost positive that she’s done the right thing. No one tells her that leaving is the beginning of almost uncontrollable drama. There are still more roads that lead to fear, anger, humiliation, shame, sadness, and sometimes, violence before it’s all said and done. No one tells her that the madness will come at her from any/all sides, with sometimes double/triple/quadruple force. That this will the most difficult and dangerous time of all. That there are no guarantees that she will come out of this journey intact, much less alive. Life truly becomes day-by-day, hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute where all she does is question herself and her decisions. Everything gets even more complicated and overwhelming. For every time she puts her head up, she must continue to put her head down in order to get through the day, to show her family and friends that she is alright, to strive for some semblance of normalcy in a world that has come crashing down in front of her.
These stories are part-me and part some of the women whom I’ve met along my journey of finding my way back from similar abusive situations, these women understood me from minute one, and helped me to regain my balance and my sense of self. From time to time, I’ll share a story in hopes that someone reading this finds the courage to say “ya estuvo”, get their power back and change their life.