Why Didn’t She Leave?

Because her husband had the health insurance and her child had a serious medical condition and she knew in her gut he was mean enough to cut them both off the health plan if she tried anything.

Because daycare is so expensive, and she couldn’t afford to leave and wait for a two-year court case to resolve to force her partner to pay half of the childcare so that she could still work.

Because she was afraid he would come find her wherever she moved and then there would be a loud fight and her neighbors would be upset and then she’d lose that apartment.

Because she had tried to leave once and he had pulled an outrageous stunt that scared her and let her know how far he would push things.

Because she thought about leaving every day and was still trying to figure out how.

Because healthcare is so expensive and she had had cancer so she had to wait to finish her degree and then somehow find a job with health benefits, which would take a few years and some luck.

Because she has been relentlessly trained by the memes and self-help that she should look for the bright spots and be grateful and happy and so that is what she spends her bit of emotional energy on, feeling guilty that she’s so unhappy and wishing she could have a better attitude.

Because he had been raised to feel like everything he did was wrong, and this sort of felt like home.

Because the politicians set things up to where there was no way to escape and they wanted her scared and married even if it killed her.

Because her mom had just been diagnosed with dementia but there wasn’t enough money for an expensive nursing home, and if she left she would be somehow working full-time and taking care of her mom full-time. The math just didn’t work out.

Because the one time she’d called the cops on him, they hadn’t done anything, so she knew that if she left and he did something stupid it would have to be horrific for them to believe her.

Because she just found out she was pregnant again, and though she didn’t exactly want to raise another baby and though she knew it would make it even harder to leave eventually, she needed that sole spot of additional joy in her life. And because it was a two-hour drive to get an appointment to get it taken care of, and if she took a few days off of work she’d lose her part-time job.

Because at least he had his shit together more than her father did, and he did treat her kindly sometimes, and you had to be grateful for some cosmic sense of progress. Didn’t you?

Because it was her country and she didn’t have friends abroad and she loved parts about living in this stupid place and anyway she had no where else to go.




(This is kind of a poem, not all my personal experience but extrapolating from what I do know.)

2 responses to “Why Didn’t She Leave?”

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