Teleprompter Stories by Hadassah Patterson

Teleprompter Stories by Hadassah Patterson


My name is Hadassah. Something a lot of
people don’t know about me is that I survived the domestic abuse situation. It
took a long time for me to understand that that’s what I was. I’m not a labeler, I
don’t make labels but my ex was abusive and his father was abusive and his
mother was really codependent on the whole situation I think she had been
abused by her siblings there were some hints I buy that kind of behavior but
they never really talked about it that was a lot of stuff that I didn’t bother
to tell me they kept stuff to themselves but one night I was driving home after a
long work day and I was a bank teller at the time my ex wanted to buy some kind
music from some artists or what have you and I need gas in the car to be able to
get back and forth to work you know the commute so we were getting groceries at Walmart
and this joker just flipped out right in the aisle just
yelling and gesturing yeah you know he’s like six foot six you know so there’s a
lot of him to gesture so when you start gesturing and you’re that big…[chuckles] so it made this huge scene and you know we won’t discuss the unfairness of people staring at us
and then giving me dirty looks as if I was at fault when I was just dealing
with his misbehavior, the things people assume but just having to manage another
adult who was not behaving like a grown man you know that’s enough stress as
it is we finally may get the groceries and everything and they get him corralled
out back out to the car he takes out this huge hunting, flip utility knife
while I’m driving [deep sigh] and it was smooth on the tip and
serrated toward the… the hinge of it and it was really ugly
you know and I said I’m going to kill myself or you know let me do what I want so there’s a cop that’s facing us you
know he’s about to pass and we were sitting at a light by then and I was…
I had to decide in a split second if I was gonna blow my horn and you know have
my husband arrested or committed or whatever…something [chuckle] or just to get some
sleep and go to work the next day and I make my plan and I had to factor in so
many things you know that 30 seconds the time that I had you know we’re out here
in the country and I’m a young black women with natural hair and I’m sitting next
to this huge irate white dude [laugh] do I only wanna spend the next two hours dealing
with cops who may or may not believe what I’m saying or side with him you
know and I still no matter what I’m gonna need money to get away from here
I can’t afford to miss work I can’t afford to be out so I pull over to the nearest parking
lot and I looked at him it was about a block from where we were living at the
time but I just wanted to make sure that I’d handle it before we got home and so I’m just
staring at him for a minute and so he could calm down enough for me to speak I’m like what kind of wacko tries to slit their own damn throat I mean my
mom is an insurance agent do you know the likelihood of people slitting their throat as a means of suicide it is near zero that crap hurts and we’re
programmed not to like pain so you’ll stop about halfway if she got that far
because you know your pain was then I’d have to take your crazy ass to get stitches at the hospital and you have to explain it and I’d be up half the night and
you still wouldn’t get the music you wanted so what is the damn point you’re
not going to manipulate me I am exhausted I need sleep I need to get to
work I am NOT doing this tonight and what kind of husband doesn’t make sure his
wife has gas to get to work you don’t even drive you know so I’m having the
whole conversation [laughs w/ unbelief] we’ll call it a conversation and everything
never mind you know the whole notion of oh I love him I don’t wanna hurt himself
you know that was a given but the only thing that people really and truely cannot deny is called logic I still made sure I knew where the
knife was when he went to sleep but I know I couldn’t keep every sharp object
out of his hands or rely on his sanity to keep me safe when I close my eyes at
night so I started planning my escape at that point I went back to my hometown eventually away from his family you know
they had a fit because they had been trying to isolate me and so I flipped
the script and you know one thing after another I said over the distance myself
and took step after step to kind of be more independent and so we reached the
separation agreement he went back to lives with his parents I was the only one
working and paying bills at the time and it wasn’t until I had a non-emergency
policeman there so nothing will happen when he came to pick up his stuff the
last time his final out you know a lot of scribe, the fits, the manipulative
tactics and you know the occasional blows and he’s listen the policeman is listening and he says you know ma’am we have a strict policy about
domestic violence you know we don’t always assume that just because we can’t
see blows that he hasn’t hit you you know especially with someone who’s brown
and he was a white guy he’s like especially someone who has you know brown skin
because he may not always see the scars and someone who has brown skin I mean he was so compassionate and it wasn’t until he said domestic violence you know
the whole label that I understood that I was in the category I just hadn’t
thought about the fact that I was fitting into the domestic violence
category I was too busy trying to survive and you know people will judge
you that’s the problem it’s not that people don’t want to leave
an abusive situation is that they don’t always recognize where they are yet they
don’t recognize that they are in a domestic violence situation they don’t
categorize it that way yet and I had to understand that I didn’t need anyone
elses permission to protect myself and to save myself and to be loved properly
I decided that that was something that I was going to have for myself.

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