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Sunday, April 16, 2017

"Out of Control:" Chapter 10


For the explanation of my current series, go to the first installment: http://bit.ly/2nnCvFx

Out of Control:
A Christian Parent’s Victorious Struggle with Child Abuse



A Memoir by Kathy Collard Miller

Chapter 10
Suicide

June 8th

"Larry, have you thought any more about going to the church picnic tomorrow? I really want you to go. It'll be such a great opportunity for us to have a family outing and Darcy is looking forward to it."

Even as I spoke, my soul beseeched, Please give him a desire to go, Lord. When I had first mentioned it to him earlier in the week, he hadn't been sure he'd go. So I had prayed all week he would change his mind.

Larry turned away. "Well, it looks like I'm going to have a real estate appointment tomorrow."

"If it's in the morning you could come after you finish."

Dropping onto the couch, Larry riveted his eyes on me. "Kathy, I don't want to go, okay? I'm sorry, but it just doesn't sound like something I'd enjoy. You know how people respond to me after hearing I'm a cop. They just complain about their tickets or something other cops have done to do them wrong. I don't need that. I get enough of it on the street. You go and have a good time with the kids."

A lump grew in my throat and tears darted into my eyes as my spirits plummeted to the ground. 

"Honey, I just don't understand why you don't want to go with us. Please come. Please!"

"Kathy, this isn't the only activity for families, you know."

Was that a sneer in his voice? 

He continued. "We'll do something together at another time."

I turned and walked out of the room, tears streaming down my face. Lord, am I so wrong to want us to do things together? Are his real estate deals and avoiding hearing complaints more important than his family?

I wanted to bang my fists against heaven's gates, demanding an answer. Father, why don't you change Larry? Why don't you make him want to spend more time with us? I'm so lonely. It's his fault I'm so angry. If you change him, I can be the contented, patient woman you want me to be.

Larry followed me into the bedroom. I brushed away my tears before he could see them.

"Kathy, are you upset? I promise we'll do something another time."

I wanted to fling abuse at him, to pour out my hurt and let it sting him too, but what good would it do? I knew it would only create an unresolved argument. 

I began making the bed and in contrived cheerfulness replied, "As much as I want you to go, I can't force you if you think you won't have a good time."

"Thank you." His smile deepened my pain. "Oh, by the way.  I've left my off-duty pistol here in the dresser drawer since I'll be going on a real estate appointment. It's high enough Darcy can't reach it but I wanted you to know."

I mumbled, "Okay."

The rest of the day I stayed away from Larry. A cage of resentment trapped me inside. Even though I had let myself in and closed the door with a loud metallic clang, the sign outside read, "Courtesy of Larry."

The next morning, the thick-barred cage still enclosed me. As I rushed around getting ready for the picnic, Larry wrestled with Darcy on the couch. Her cries of delight irked me. He gives her attention. Why doesn't he give some to me? He says he loves me but he won't even come to the picnic.

Larry and Darcy's continued roughhousing drove me to keep busy. When Larry stood ready to leave, he picked up Darcy, hugging and kissing her. Standing nearby, I waited for him to reach over and kiss me. When he walked out the door with only a "Bye, Kath, see you this afternoon," I silently walked away.

"Darcy, come into your bedroom to dress," I yelled. "We have to leave soon."

She ran into her room and jerked open a drawer, flinging out an old playsuit. "Me wear this!"

I groaned. "But honey, that is all stained. Look at this nice new outfit I bought you. It has a cute bear on it."

She shook her head back and forth, loosening the barrettes I had put in so carefully earlier.

"Stop it! Come here right now and put this on."

Darcy threw the clothes I handed her onto the floor and jumped up and down, screaming. Her crying grated on my nerves. It seemed as if she were saying, "I have a need and you aren't meeting it. You are a bad mother."

When I couldn't stand it any longer, I intended to move past her to pick up her outfit but instead of taking a step, my hands jerked toward her throat, tightening around her neck. "You look like your father and you're just as obnoxious," I screamed. 

In that instant, it was as if I left my body and watched a hysterical woman choking a little girl. The shock left me breathless and I let go. In an instant, horror replaced my ebbing anger as I realized what I'd done. 

"Oh, God, what in the world have I done? God, God where are you? Please help me. I've been doing so well, why can't I cope now? When am I going to be able to control myself?"

Larry's gun flashed through my mind. I might as well kill myself. I'm no good to anyone. I'm destroying her ... and myself. Tweet that!

I ran down the hall to my room and jerked open the top dresser drawer. The gun seemed to beckon me, whispering, "If you don't take your life, you're going to kill Darcy." It seemed so true.

As I reached in for it, another thought intruded. "But what will people think of Jesus if they hear Kathy Miller has taken her life." 

"Oh! I don't care about my reputation but I do Jesus'. Oh, God, but what if I kill her in my next rage?"

No voice answered me, but I suddenly returned to reason and heard Darcy hysterically sobbing in her bedroom. I closed the drawer and felt like I was slinking in shame down the hall. When I peeked into the room, Darcy saw me and retreated into the corner of her bed up against the wall, looking terrified. 

My heart broke and I barely had enough strength to walk over to her. "Honey, I'm so sorry. I was so wrong. Mommy is wrong. Please forgive me." I tried to gather her into my arms, but she felt stiff. My hot tears dropped onto her head and I could only rock her back and forth. "Oh, God, what should I do? I've got to change."

No voice answered but I slowly dressed Darcy and packed the picnic supplies into the car. By the time we arrived at the park, Darcy's tears had dried and so had mine. But my heart had lost all hope. What will happen the next time I'm out of control?


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