*Based on a Real life Story. The names of people and places were changed.*
The first time I heard the story about ‘The Shepherd Boy and the Wolf’, my math teacher was telling me about lies and truths. “Scream for help, only if wolf is really coming for you, because if not, nobody will help you when the wolf truly attacks”.
This is Lila’s story. She is not a shepherd girl and doesn’t have any sheep. She is not even a girl anymore; but when she was younger, she had stuffed animals she took care of in silence, because her screams…were ignored.
I woke up really early and got ready for work, but decided to go back and check on Lila, my wife. I had to wake her so she could get ready for work, while getting my ‘have fun at work’ kiss, of course. So I went back into the bedroom and there she was, right on the bed. The first morning lights silvered through the curtains and fell on her frame. She looked so beautiful and perfect, I was so entranced. She does make me feel this way many times but I can’t complain. Well, I wouldn’t mind getting late to work this morning. It’s Friday, anyway.
I got between the sheets, pulled her close to me, until I could feel her smooth skin on my face. I turned her gently and pushed her hair out of her face. ‘Ohh, you’re in for a surprise, wife of mine’
Only I didn’t think I would be the surprised one.
When I kissed my wife, a lot of things happened at once. She opened her eyes really wide, pushed herself up, tried to push me away, and started kicking. I was so confused that I didn’t react immediately. It gave her a chance to send a few more slaps and kicks. Then she pushed me so hard, I almost fell off the bed. How on earth did she become this strong overnight, I wondered. I thought quickly to what I might done to upset her but nothing came up.
Then she ‘growled’ I swear, she did “Men are pigs, I hate them”.
I didn´t say anything. I couldn´t. I saw her grip the edge of a pillow as if it were a weapon. “Lila, what’s going on? Where’s this coming from?” After a pause “Did I do something wrong?”
“Leave me alone. I’m going to kill him”
“I said leave me alone!”
Her face had this really hateful expression and I could swear her eyes were shining. She looked like she really could kill that person. I didn’t even know what was going on. Lila wasn’t my Lila anymore. I didn’t know what to say to her. I just kept thinking of everything I might have done wrong. Why would she want to kill someone? Who is he? Was she talking about me? She still looked half asleep.
When I got to work, I spent a few hours on the internet looking for any clue that would help me understand Lila´s behavior. My ego wouldn’t allow me put in a question that might have pointed her strange behavior towards my doing. That was all Lila. I couldn’t even remember doing anything wrong. Due to this, I searched for “causes of violent behavior”…and the results poured in…
“Wrong behavior at home; access to unappropriated content, lack of social skills, poor communication, childhood issues, etc”.
I didn’t want to think anything caused it but her childhood issues or memories. Lila never liked to talk about her childhood, so I decided to believe that was the reason for the violent episode. Google might have the answer, or maybe I’m just an idiot.
I Have Something to Tell You
By the end of the day, I was afraid to find Lila in same attitude when I got home. But I was wrong; she had a smiling face and a chatty attitude. I was still confused but I knew enough to keep my mouth shut. We had dinner, saw an episode of her favorite sit-com, and went to bed.
When we got to bed, I summoned courage and started to talk about the incident that happened in the morning but she interrupted me before I could get into the specifics, and told me, “I have something to tell you, but please, interruptions and questions are not allowed. Swear it”. I did.
I´m not going to lie, I was scared about what she was going to tell me. I was so sure I wanted…no, needed to know about it, but I was wrong again, because now… I would like to forget it.
The Single Mother
Childhood, for most of the people, is the huge enjoyable, carefree time of their lives; No worries except homework, house chores and basically being a good child. And it was that way for Lila until she turned 13.
One afternoon, Lila’s mom just got home, dropped her bags, and announced that she was getting married.
Lila´s parents got divorced before she born, but her mother still had traumatic episodes because of the abusive relationship. So the girl knew since early age about psychosomatic conditions and volatile moods.
Though the news was slightly shocking and unexpected, Lila tried to be as excited as her mother. Their lives were going to change anyway.
Lila was right, everything would change, but not in the way that she expected.
The wedding was largely celebrated and the family gained a new member: Lila´s stepfather, an unemployed lawyer who loved easy money and shady deals.
At the beginning, everything was all fun trips, delicious meals and shopping at big malls, but a few months later, mister lawyer started to show his real self and the trips and laughter dramatically decreased.
Suddenly. he turned into a violent person and he would argue and argue with his wife until he could shut her up with his fists. Everything became toxic, so much that the housemaid resigned and it left Lila more alone than ever.
Afterwards, the nightmare began.
The Wolf is Coming
Lila grew into a stunning teenager with seemingly developed body parts. She was tall and striking, with a wide smile and really smooth skin. She got a lot of attention from boys at school, boys in her neighborhood, and someone unexpected; her stepfather.
Lila made a pause in her story, I thought she was going to cry. Actually, it was me who started tearing up. I was completely distressed. I knew what was coming next but I allowed her continue her story.
One day, while she was home alone, her step father stumbled in from wherever he was coming from. He walked a few steps and called for his wife, but he was only pretending.
He just wanted to know if Lila was alone. He called for his wife again, but got no response. Once he knew they were alone, he moved closer to the girl, and trailed his hand down her chest. Lila remembered a movie she once saw with her mother. There were a bunch of creatures – elves, dwarves, a demon and a gray sorcerer who was about to die and fall into the underworld. He dedicated his last words to his partners: Run you fools!
She ran to her bedroom with the devil breathing down her neck.
She finally got into her bedroom and tried to close the door, but her stepfather was much bigger and stronger. Lila backed away, fearing the worst.
She stopped again and looked at me. I didn´t say anything. Good lord, I didn´t even dare to return her looks. She remained quiet for a few seconds and finally said she didn´t remember the exactly moment that “filthy man” came close to her, but that was what happened.
He touched her everywhere, and between screams, asked her “What happened beauty? I am your father, like it or not. I own you and your mother”.
Lila deduced what was about to happen, but couldn’t do more than cover her breasts with her arms. She screamed and struggled against him, yet no help came for her. Then Lila heard her mother voice, “What going on?”. Then the door opened.
“What’s happening?”… Those were the only words from her mother and her only reaction.
Lila tried to escape but her stepfather grabbed her by her wrist and threw her against the bed. One would expect her mother to do something, fight the disgusting man, scream for help, but she did nothing of such. She only told him to be gentle, and shut the door to her daughter’s screams.
Knowing the Trauma
Some people believe (including me until that night) that the consequences of traumas acquired during childhood don’t last, but they could affect victims in long term, and it reflects in the physical and emotional well-being, their sexual life and social relationships.
Lila complained of lumbar pains almost every night, and suffered from nightmares and general memory problems. It was as if telling me about her stepfather opened up a dam of so many issues. She suddenly became someone I didn’t know; someone I couldn’t understand. We visited every hospital in the city, even private health specialists, but nobody could diagnose her illness.
One day I talked to a psychologist who’s also a friend of the family, and she spoke about possible trauma and asked Lila to come in for a session, but Lila vehemently refused.
I researched again about physical traumas and discovered that they reflect in the way of chronically pains, psychosomatic disorders, sleep disturbances, gastrointestinal disorders, etc. Lila suffers absolutely all. Till now, I can’t help my wife.
The End of the Story
You probably asked yourself while you were reading, what happened at the end of Lila’s story?
Well, after telling everything, I kindly offered her a glass of water, but she looked at me with a weird kind of brightness in her eyes and answered, “my stepfather used to touch my parts when I was a girl, then he would give me water”. Then she turned away from me.
When I remembered that night, I wish I could turn back the hand of time and hug her tightly. I wish I had said something comforting but I just didn’t know what to say. Sometimes I wonder what will become of my wife. Will she feel better eventually?
-Nicaragua, Central America