Friday, February 27, 2015

Domestic Abuse

Have you ever had that dream where you are careening down a dark, rain-slicked street?  You are going way too fast for the conditions.  The road starts curving. Pedestrians and vehicles (garbage trucks that are backing up in my dreams) pop up in your windshield.  The steering wheel comes off in your hands.  The brake pedal stop working.  You stomp on it hard enough to drive your foot through the floorboard and the car keeps accelerating.  Have you ever had that dream?  Parents have that nightmare a lot.

Belladonna is old beyond her years and cursed by a double helping of empathy.  She is watching one of her best buddies make bad decisions and started having those dreams.

Little Ducky

This buddy has been Belladonna's friend ever since they were "Little Duckies" in Miss Lisa's dance class.  They were four years old at the time.  Little Ducky is smart and very, very pretty.

Little Ducky went off the rails late in her Junior year of high school.  She will not be marching down the middle of the Eaton Rapids school gym with the rest of the Class of 2015. 

At first, Little Ducky was taking "Alternative Ed" classes.  These classes are delivered, for the most part, via computer.  They have been a God sent for many students.  People in small towns can be cruel and some people are exquisitely sensitive to criticism.  Computer based classes can save those students.

Little Ducky did not stick with it.

Bum magnet

Little Ducky turned into a "bum magnet".

Little Ducky moved in with her latest bum who lives about fifteen miles away from here.  The bum is cutting Little Ducky away from her friends and family as surely as an Orca finesses a sea lion in the surf.

It is as painful to watch as the cheesiest, most cliche horror movie.  You know how the next 10 scenes will play out.  There is no suspense.  Only pain.

Belladonna was attempting to text Little Ducky last night and the bum had Little Ducky's phone.  People who text a lot (we are talking teenage girls, here) develop idiosyncratic spellings and grammar shortcuts.  Little Ducky was not responding to Bella's texts, the bum was.

"Nope.  Cant go to lunch with you tomarra.  I gotta wash bums clothes."

In the good old days

In the good old days "Dad" would visit the bum and lay a little hickory on him.  There is no dad in the picture.

Of course, it never did any good.  There is a victim-enabler-persecutor triangle at play in these dynamics.  It is all scripted by the bum.  The only person capable stopping the script are the Little Duckies of the world.  They have to walk away.

Sometimes they walk away before the bruises.  Usually, it happens after the bruises.  Regardless of how long it goes on, it goes on way, way too long.  And, tragically, the net effect is that the Little Duckies simply trade one bum in for another.

This is tearing Belladonna up.  There is nothing she can do about it.  Changes in grammar and spelling are hardly enough to report to the authorities.  The reason she wants to have lunch with Little Ducky is to see if there ARE bruises.  She suspect that the reason the bum is shortstopping the text messages is because there are.

I know that many of my readers are far more worldly than I am.  I would love to hear from you.  Realistically, is there anything more that Bella can do other than patiently attempting to make contact and waiting in the wings?


  1. I've seen this a hundred times. Little Ducky suffers from a lack of self-esteem and from the lack of having a father figure. While The Bum is to blame, he's also an integral part of the equation. He needs her, and she needs him. It's really a sick, sick paradigm. You aren't going to talk sense to the bum, but you probably won't talk sense to the Duck. She needs him, and will protect him. In all my years of dealing with those types of relationships, I've only seen a couple of women walk away successfully, and that's only after SHE decides to get a handle on her self-esteem.

  2. My police officer husband says there's really nothing you can do unless you think something is happening right now. As in, you're on the phone with her and she starts hollering and screaming...then you can send the police. But really it's something she will need to do herself...often they'll get to a domestic call only to have the victim deny that anything is wrong. If the officer can see that the victim has been beaten he can arrest the offender, but if the victim doesn't press charges he'll just come back home, and probably do more damage in retaliation. I'd say best thing Belladonna can do is be there if her friend decides she needs to talk, and encourage her to leave. Like PawPaw said, Little Ducky has got to decide that for herself.

  3. Like the others said, basically nothing. Now if she had a dad, on the other hand... sigh. I would also caution against Bella trying to go see her. She might be putting herself in danger.

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