The End of US

Reflections on leaving.    “I can’t do this alone . . . Dear God, please help me to tell him that it’s finally over this time.” Our love had waxed cold over the years, colder than the February morning we were married. I wasn’t going to point a finger of blame, or argue, or debate a lost cause. My commitment now was to keep the vow I had made to myself, “If he hurts me like that again . . . ”

“Our marriage is over. I want out,” I told him. Immediately he sprang to his feet like a vicious guard dog rising up to a strange noise in the night. First his heart, then his countenance hardened. The beginnings of rage became evident as he quickly pumped his right foot, gripped the counter, and stared intently into the kitchen sink. Tap, tap, tap, . . . he wanted to run out of the house! Instead he paced back and forth as he eyed the backdoor and then me. “YOU WHAT!?” he barked with confusion and angry disbelief. “This is the end,” I answered softly, “the end of us.”

Silently, he continued to pace the room with that familiar look of disgust on his jaw. Then suddenly he stopped, and with an evil laugh turned toward me. Slowly, he came closer with a smothering intent. His watery, now serpent-like eyes glared downward into mine. His red face, a boiling volcano of nervous twitches and malevolent expressions of misfiring thoughts. He thrust his arms and shoulders backward and lunged at me with his puffed-out chest. He came nose to nose and blurred my vision, as if I were a potential physical threat. “ITS YOUR FAULT THAT I DID IT!” he screamed violently, “ITS YOUR ATTITUDE! YOU NEVER LISTEN!” I could feel the spit coming from his mouth as he baptized me with his self-righteous anger.

“No, you don’t listen. You’ve never taken the time to hear the cry of my heart,” I thought as I stood silently and motionless, but not for lack of fear. The Lord held me tightly, and whispered, “Peace be still.” Angels surrounded me with an impenetrable fortress that my enemy’s two-edged sword could not pierce. Then finally, after he spued out years of seething hatred (words that could never be neutralized if given eternity) my husband turned away in contempt, mumbled threats under his breath, and slammed the backdoor as he left. Just as he had done one hundred times before.

~~~ 45, USA, “You’re not paranoid if they’re really after you.”