Scanning Obituaries

Every week I scan for his name in the obituaries. Every week I take 5 minutes and scan. I look and see his first name, pausing I notice that the last name matches as well… I click, heart racing and breath suspended… the middle initial is different. Nevermind. I feel awful; I feel like an awful person for my disappointment that he’s not dead. He’s probably got a long way to go before there’s 6 feet of dirt covering his face but somewhere inside me I long for the relief of that day. I know it’s awful. I’m supposed to be a person filled with grace and forgiveness and usually I honestly am with him. I really– truly– don’t want him to suffer. It’s like I told an investigator at one point, “I don’t want him to ruin his life, I just want this all to stop!” The “this” I was referring to is the constant looking over your shoulder, the hush of your senses as a car resembling his drives by slowly. It’s the paranoia and fear of harm that must days subsides to reality but is still ever-present to your subconscious. It’s obnoxious and draining. His very living and “breathing-ness” limits my freedom.

Because he’s alive I feel I have to be constantly aware of my physical surroundings and mostly my online presence.  I write this blog anonymously, I don’t share photos with friends on Facebook, I don’t take credit for work, I wonder about getting married, I worry about children who aren’t even born yet, and I entertain dreams of returning home merely as fairytale. So I do… I scan weekly the obituaries– because he’s still alive, I scan the obituaries.  I don’t want him tortured because that does me no good but I do want 100% assurance that he’s out of my life.  I want to be able to take a deep breath again.  Call me twisted, dark, unforgiving or whatever– I’m really not.  I’m just tired.

I often wonder how that day’s actually going to pan out.  How will I really react on that inevitable moment when his obituary’s ink hits the page and I read it?  Will I cry? Will I feel the instant relief I long for of will it all be grief and guilt?  Maybe I’ll be numb, completely ambivalent.  I hope I don’t rejoice.  I don’t want to be te person who rejoices over anyone’s death — the just feels wrong to me.  Peace is what I want – peace is what I hope my reaction to be… sorrow for what was broken in him and me and peace for my days ahead.

May this blog serve as an education to those who do not yet know or understand the atrocities of trafficking and may it serve as an encouragement to those who understand it all too well.

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  1. I relate a lot to this. When my abuser dies, I’ll be able to be fully in my half-brothers’ lives. My movements won’t be restricted~he lives only 25 miles away. When I was in a relationship, I went through great pains to keep it secret. Online, I keep my profiles private. Not this one, though it is anonymous. I had two domestic violence protective orders against him, once every year, and it has been a year since the last one expired. He seems to have learned to stay away from me, but I never know if he will cross the line. I keep looking over my shoulder and I’m sick of it.

    • I’m so sorry. I completely understand how this goes… one day neither of us will have to look over our shoulders. The trick is to just keep moving forward and come to a point where you’ve just got to have faith that things are always going to be bad, or potentially dangerous. There is hope.

  2. “Call me twisted, dark, unforgiving or whatever– I’m really not. I’m just tired.” Amen to this. I’m pretty sure I have been called all of those things. Thanks for making me feel less alone in the world today. It’s nice to know someone else gets it. btw, I finally started a blog about my journey through healing. You inspired me! 🙂

  3. thanks for this! forgiveness is a long process! I have my own story posted on my blog.

    • Thanks Robert. Yes, forgiveness is a long process for sure but this really isn’t about the forgiveness piece for me, it’s about the freedom. You see, as I wrote in the post, I don’t wish pain or suffering on my trafficker, I just wish that the “control” he still has over my life would end. The only way this is really going to happen is if he was no longer living. I’d be perfectly fine to settle for him moving to another country in the middle of no where or a jail cell with guarantees that he’d never come back but that’s far less realistic. It’s all about the freedom…


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