The Reason

YR8A7009-cvaughan.jpg

POW!

It’s fascinating how authors of graphic novels have nailed that onomatopoeia.  Because, that’s exactly how it felt when he punched my face, breaking my jaw.

Thrown back into the closet from the force of the punch, I stood up and looked at him quizzically, as if to ask, “Really?”.

But truly, I had always known it would come to this and had been almost waiting for the inevitable.

The reason to leave.

He left for class, I headed, mouth bloodied and all, straight for the rental office, requesting a new apartment placement.

I packed my belongings in under an hour and called the police when he found my new residence and started to rip them from my car.

I lived my entire senior year of college in fear of seeing him, as I had the previous two years of dating him.

And wondered, as I received weekly ultrasound treatments for my jaw, how I had allowed it to go on as long as it did.

Same old story.

Different girl.

It begins with the shaming.  The belittling. The Emotional Abuse.

And evolves to the physical.

Until and unless we Recognize it.  Name it. And Stop it.

Until and unless we Recognize it.  Name it. And Stop it.

Until and unless we Recognize it.  Name it. And Stop it.

Until and unless we Recognize it.  Name it. And Stop it.

Until and unless we Recognize it.  Name it. And Stop it.

Until and unless we Recognize it.  Name it. And Stop it.

Until and unless we Recognize it.  Name it. And Stop it.

Until and unless we Recognize it.  Name it. And Stop it.

Until and unless we Recognize it.  Name it. And Stop it.

Hold my hand.

Recognize it.

Name it.

Stop it.

You are reason enough.

 

 

 

 

 

The Paver

Over the years, quite a few friends, especially those moving, have asked me how I’ve managed to make new friends.

The answers always results in a chuckle and long-winded story of me racing on my bike, knocking on doors, or running down full-term pregnant women to find a connection.

Any connection.

I’ve since realized my spider-webbed childhood is to thank.

4 half-sisters, 1 half-brother, 1 step-sister and 1 step-brother will do that to you.

Fit in.

Make peace.

Be the connection.

Pave the way.

YR8A7438-cvaughan.jpg
Camille Vaughan Photography

Confession

9 Months.  That is how long I had hidden it from him.

But out like a thief, it came.

My confession.

It’s been 20 years since Columbine but not a day has passed, since before I even had children, that I worried about sending my child to school.

On Friday, the used-to-be-unthinkable happened right down the road from us.

Down the road as in, on our way to school.

As in, my 5 year-old asking why the police-car lights are still flashing 3 days in a row.

12 innocents murdered for no reason other than they. were. there.

My instinct is to protect her innocence. My gut tells me to instruct her where to hide.

Why, in the literal F* H*, is this even a consideration?

He told me that everyone at work knew someone who had died.

I confessed I’ve never said goodbye to Aurora before school without considering it to be the last time.

Why?

Why?

Why?

Why?

 

YR8A7782-cvaughan.jpg
Camille Vaughan Photography