I keep looking in the mirror and crying. I can’t stand to see myself. My hair was down below my waist. I hadn’t cut it in over twenty years. Now look at me.
He didn’t speak to me during supper. He had been calling me all day, but I was working in the garden, so I wasn’t by the phone. I tried to tell him that, but he just stopped talking to me. That’s what he does when he gets mad. So I got the kids into bed and I took my bath. When I came out, he walked up to me with a pair of scissors. I didn’t know what he was going to do at first, but then he grabbed my hair and pulled it so hard that tears just popped out of my eyes. Then he just chopped it off.
I tried to fight him, but he said he’d stab me if I didn’t sit still. I cried so hard. Then he told me he was going to get the belt. When he went to the bedroom, I ran outside. I ran to our next-door neighbor’s house and hid in his workshop. Ben came out looking for me, and then he got our 15-year-old son to help him. My own son!
I used the phone in the shop and called the police. They came and got me. I had to leave in my nightgown, and both of the kids are still with their dad! When will I see my kids?
I’m so worried. I had better go back home. I need some clothes. i want to talk to my kids. What about my daughter? She’s only eleven. She’ll cry when she sees my hair.
I can’t stay here. I have to go back home. ben will be mad, but I can handle it. I appreciate your help and all. Please don’t be mad at me. I just have to go home.
BEATING HEARTS: Stories of Domestic Violence is a photographic project inspired by true stories of domestic violence, documented by Kate Sartor Hilburn and Terrie Queen Autrey of Louisiana. Visit www.beatinghearts.net to view more posters and photographs from the collection.