Tuesday, April 15, 2008

"I Got Flowers Today"...A Poem

This is a poem I found long ago. There is no name attached as to who the author is but I felt it appropriate for this topic. The poem is as follows:

"I got flowers today. It wasn't my birthday or any other special day.

We had our first argument last night, and he said a lot of cruel things that really hurt me.

I know he is sorry and didn't mean the things he said because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today. It wasn't our anniversary or any special day.

Last night he threw me into a wall and started to choke me. It seemed like a nightmare. I couldn't believe it was real. I woke up this morning sore and bruised all over.

I know he must be sorry because he sent me flowers today, and it wasn't Mother's Day or any other special day.

Last night he beat me up again, and it was much worse than all the other times. If I leave him, what will I do? How will I take care of my kids? What about money? I'm afraid of him and scared to leave.

But I know he must be sorry. Because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today. Today was a very special day.

It was the day of my funeral.

Last night he finally killed me. He beat me to death.

If only I had gathered the courage and strength to leave him.

I would not have gotten flowers today".

There are three primary parts of domestic violence. What I'm going to share comes from "Cycle of Violence"...again I don't recall it's original source. Yet, it's something I was given when I first sought help through the women's shelter.

1) Increased tension, anger, blaming and arguing.

2) Battering, hitting, slapping, kicking, choking, use of objects or weapons. Sexual abuse. Verbal threats and abuse.

3) Calm stage (this may decrease over time) He may deny violence, say he was drunk, say he didn't mean it, say he's sorry, and promises it will never happen again.

Many times over these last few weeks, I've implored you to let someone know you are in a crisis situation. Yet, the amount of emails I'm receiving is confirming the vast majority are not doing this. There are various reasons that you are telling me for not doing so...and I understand.

My own personal experience let's me see that your reasons for not doing so are valid. However, now that I'm on this 'side' of the cycle of domestic violence, I can see some options that were available that I didn't take advantage of. Don't make the same mistakes that I did.

More times than I can count, I had to seek immediate health care. There was never a single time I was asked by a health care professional while ALONE..."are you living in a safe environment?". If it wasn't my abuser that drove me to the Emergency Department of the local hospital, it was one of his relatives (usually a female). It made no difference if the abuser was there or not...as whoever it happened to be that drove me...they were always in the room.

It's not rocket science to know that I answered, "Yes, I'm in a safe environment". We must do whatever it takes to get that health care provider...ALONE! Let them know that you need help and it needs to be now...not later. There may not be a "later".

I know that there are measures built into the health care system to help those in abusive relationships...yet, personal experience has taught me that just because it's "built in" doesn't mean it's followed.

Recently, I wrote about the need for additional surgery. I've also told my readers that I am remarried (almost 2 years now). You cannot imagine the shock I had when I went to the hospital this last time. When my husband and I went to registration to 'check-in', they still had my old information on the "face sheet" with the number of my abuser!

My husband and I both were livid. My husband told the person at registration that this was supposed to have been changed almost 3 years ago. She assured us that it had been changed in their system. My husband demanded that she print out a new "face sheet" to verify what she had just said. When she printed out that new "face sheet"...it was still the same. The information within their system had NOT been changed.

The sudden panic that hit me felt as if I'd been kicked. We were ushered into a different waiting area. This is where we stayed until I was called to go into the "prep area" before my procedure began. I felt victimized all over again. However, my husband's continued insistence proved to be of great benefit. Before I left the hospital they...finally... they had removed all old information off my medical chart. Why did it take almost 3 years to do this?

The only thing I can think of is it was not of importance. If it had been, it'd have been removed when I entered the "safe house". When I entered the "safe house" it was discovered that I needed surgery. My case manager called my physician and let him know where I was and the reason why. She had also called the hospital and let them know, too. I was to receive a call from the hospital later that day to let me know the exact time I should arrive and which entrance to use.

When no call came, I let my case manager know this. She suggested to me that I should call them. You can imagine my shock when I was told that they did call. They let my husband (abuser) know what time to have me there and which entrance to use. This was in 2005!

You can understand why I was so upset when now, in 2008, they still had the wrong information. Please understand, I am in no way saying it's like this all over. I'm simply letting you know of my personal experience. This is the reason I caution you...make sure health care facilities know what your situation is...check...double check...and triple check, if need be. Don't get caught off guard as I did.

It may seem extreme that after almost 3 years they had the same obsolete information...but they did. If it hadn't happened to me, I may have had a difficult time believing it. Yet, I must say that my new husband's insistence made all the difference in the world...as I was so panicked, I could hardly speak.

Well, it's getting late and I need to stop for now...but not before I remind you that you are being prayed for. There are a vast number of women that I'm connected to, they also read your comments. Their hearts are connected to you. We are committed to your safety and well-being.

Kindest Regards,



Karolyn said...

I was waiting for you to do another post. I wrote to you before. I called the women center like you said but I got no straight answers. I think it might have something to do with me having 3 kids. When I called, I got put on hold for almost 20 minites, then got transfered to three different people. does this sound normal to you. one of my friends is now letting me use her computer but whenever i come here i'm still afraid someone might no what i'm doing. next time you write please let me know what questions I should ask so i can get some straight answers.

Anonymous said...

no help out here. what about girls like me? My boyfriend never lets me go anywhere an the only time i can use the computer is if he's outside.

Anonymous said...

They were talking about this (weak justice system) on the radio today. They mentioned how the system keeps letting abusers, pedophiles etc. off with little or no punishment – even repeat offenders. Then when someone ends up dead, everyone points fingers at each other and asks why nothing was done! We keep asking why it takes someone to die before anything gets done, then when all the speeches and photo-ops from politicians dies down it’s back to “normal” and the cycle continues until the next death. The judicial system is a joke and the abusers know it!

Anonymous said...

You are helping to break up familes. The man is the head of the house not the wife. The wife and kids belong to the man. Men have a rite to hit her if she disobeys. you need to educate yourself on facts!

Kathryn said...

Dear Readers,

I chose to delete a particular comment due to recognizable information. However, all questions asked will be addressed in future articles. Rest assured that my first concern is for your safety.

Kindest Regards,


Anonymous said...

There are four of us living together. Two couples. Our boyfriends are brothers. There are fights every day, either by the things they say or with thier fists. We never get to go anyware unless they go to. We are 19 & 22.
Our familys live in a different state. we want to leave but are afraid if they find out. how can we do that when we dont have a car or money? what should we do first? Dont email us back. Thank you for helping. Theres no one here where we are to ask and it feels like no one cares. The neighbors downstairs have said they here the fighting at times. If they called the police it would make it easyer but they never have. We're scared all the time. They get mad so fast and sometimes we dont even know wy their mad.

Anonymous said...

i wish i could believe things would change for me, but I dont. two years ago i left, but no one was willing to help me, so i went back to my boyfriend. just like you said, he told me he was sorry. the abuse is still the same and sometimes worse when he's been drinking.

Anonymous said...

There is no help here where I am. Its too rural and theres no way he lets me go anywhere alone. theres no way I would leave the kids with him either. I feel like he uses our kids to control me. What can I do to not feel so scared all the time?

Anonymous said...

I've read all your posts. I was in leadership to in my church. It was well known my husband is an abuser. He was so angry one sunday morning that while in the parking lot he slapped me so hard it caused my glasses to fall. There were several that saw what happened. It didnt matter. Since I'm the wife I automatically am assumed the one guilty of some sin. There is no help within my church at all. My entire life has been in the church. Now what?

Anonymous said...

peopel say they care but they really dont. you can get help only if you fit into some speceil catagory. you always hear that the laws favor women but thats not true. nothing can be done until after the abuser does something to you. no one cares. I have 2 boys. I dont want them to turn out like there father.

Anonymous said...

I'm scared and dont know what to do. Theres no help out here. it must be becaus i live to far from the city.

Anonymous said...

I read all the stuff you wrote. What you said in your church happens here to. They dont care. If your boyfriend is a volunteer then he looks like hes more holy or somthing. If your the girlfreind anything that goes wrong is your fault. really, no one cares.

Karolyn said...

Yesterday I had to get 4 stitches on my bottom lip. It seems to match well with the two black-eyes. I absolutely do NOT know what to do. No one seems to care. There was also no way to get the doctor alone. My husband never leaves my side. He took my car keys and the only way I can use the pc is if he's in the shower or I use the one at the library.

Anonymous said...

I really felt the pain of "I Got Flowers Today". How true of an abuser
wanting to sweep things "under the rug" and not face the seriousness
of his behavior. How true that women rationalize and excuse his his
behavior for doing a good deed like bringing flowers. It is so
confusing when a woman is treated harshly and abusivly then to turn
around and be given a token of affection.

From An Educator

Anonymous said...

to all of you out there who feel that there isn't hope, there is. I left an abusive relationship after 14 years - 11 of them married. I have four children who ranged in age from 2 1/2 to 10 yrs at the time I left. Even though I knew the time had come that I had to leave, it still took about a year to get the courage to do it. The day I did, he hung himself in front of me, and told me it was for me, for ruining HIS life! Instinct took over and I saved him, but still I never looked back. His suicide attempt was just one more attempt to try and hurt me. My divorce and custody battle are still ongoing, after almost 3 yrs! Believe me, it may not be easy, and I won't lie, it'll probably be one of the hardest thing you will ever have to do in your life - but it's worth it! My husband is seen as a pillar in the community, so obviously, I have had to face much ridicule and non-believers. The truth is no one knows what goes on behind closed doors. One of the reasons I stayed so long (besides fear) was for my children, however, I now realize the most important reason for leaving was for my children. We all must take a stand and end the cycle. Once you leave the situation , you may begin educating your children about all forms of abuse. But if you stay, all they will learn is to become victims or abusers themselves. Honestly, there is not a good enough reason to stay.

Anonymous said...

to all the abused... your partner can not and will not change as long as there is a victim to be had! The Poem, "I Got Flowers" very much describes the relationship I had. Flowers do not mean they are sorry, nor does gifts, jewelery etc. All those things mean is that the abuser wants you to pretend nothing is wrong. And these attempts will work - but only if you let them. I did. I am in a new relationship now, have been for two years, and I STILL NEVER want to receive FLOWERS ever AGAIN!. Thank God my new partner understands.

Anonymous said...

In response to "You are helping to break up Families..." You sir, are a complete fool! It is you who needs to be educated and your poor children as well if you have any. Though I pray you do not!

Anonymous said...

I can not stress enough the importance of leaving an abusive relationship. I realize for those who are in the situation it is what you are used to whether it is right or wrong. Well....CHANGE IS GOOD!
I know that alot of women fear what will happen financially to them and their family. They also fear what the abuser will do to them if they ever find them. Some are scared that the abuser will follow through with the threat of killing them. I understand and from a very real stand point. I left an abusive relationship and about two months after I left my EX husband did in fact try to murder me. He stabbed me around 21 times.I was very close to death, to the point that I had accepted it as my fate. Yet those few months of MY LIFE that I took back made it all worth it. Even if I did die I was able to feel like I was in control of me.I know that sounds horrendous and it was however, I am very glad to have gone through that. He wanted to bring me down but he just made me stronger. While I was in the situation I knew it was bad and I knew I needed to get out but it wasn't until I did leave that I realized the severity of my situation. Even if he had killed me, I still had taken some time of my life back and it felt damn good to look at him and not have to bow down to the royal anus! Anyway, my point is as hard as it is... PLEASE LEAVE! It is worth it!