Amazing how he already had a mug shot or two floating in the system……
The first picture was once a mother of two young girls.Her body was found the other day only minutes from my apartment. The report says that the children were returned without harm obviously before the worse could be done to her. How could they assume no harm was done to the children? I mean even if their mother was alive at the time they were let go, they will still have mental and emotional scars. My son was four years old when he witnessed me being beaten! Only now have I even considered that it wasn’t just one punch after all…that he did repeatedly punch me. As if a broken nose weren’t enough, my glasses and the coffee table had to match I suppose. He’s 18 now and still remembers.
There was definitely harm done. There was definitely a reason for alarm. Obviously I am angry with this situation, but not just because of the outcome. I’m angry because I know that there were signs.
There were signs I ignored in the beginning. I guess I even ignored them up until that last night. Even now as I recall events, I tried to seek help to no avail. On a day that should have been one of my happiest, it was one of my most miserable. I had just graduated from the University of Memphis with my BA in Communications. That afternoon I had been warned. My mother flat out told me in the parking lot after the ceremony, “Mark my words, that “n” word is gonna kick your a$$!” I didn’t want her to be right. Yet, mere hours later, I found myself running down the hall trying to barricade myself in the bathroom to get away from my mother’s “rightness.” He didn’t punch me, but he grabbed me by the back of my neck and forced me to the ground. I was seven months pregnant with his daughter. I don’t recall his words, but I remember being grateful that my son was a hard sleeper then.
Now, however, he wakes at the slightest noise. He’s never awaken without a start. His other 12 year old daughter witnessed this first fight. Even she asked me on occasion, “Why are you with my daddy?”
He took me to the hospital that night because I faked contractions. I thought that if I could just get in the public I could get help. Still, he was more clever than I assumed. The nurses thought he was just concerned about my and the baby’s welfare, but he only wanted to stay close enough to prevent me from telling the truth. I wonder if Zeneatrice Crawford had tried to tell her truth before she was brutally murdered by this monster. I felt like the nurses’ staff failed me that night. I suppose much like I thought the Memphis Police Dept failed me on 05/08/2003. I’m more convinced now however, the fallacies that interfered with my safety were no fault of the people involved, but of the system that wasn’t.
This story and so many others like it have pierced my heart to its core and I’m tired of just saying what I will do. I’m going to do what I’m going to do. There are too many ways to provide the right help and I understand now why certain logical ways hadn’t been in place before. I’m supposed to bring it together. My why is simple: because it’s not okay.
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