Category Archives: Short stories

Grace

This is a short story that I wrote a few years back.  Some of you may have read it on other social media sites that I posted it to back then. It is one of my favourites.  Enjoy!

 

 GRACE

July 24th 2006

So many years of subtle ‘put downs’ and niggles about how she did or said things by the man she’d loved so passionately had culminated into this moment in time. Contemplating the freedom of death, than living another day with the realization that she would never ever be good enough for her man, her life. A mask wearing man who portrayed one image to friends, family and workmates. Images so contrary to the image behind closed doors. Prison doors!

Grace stood contemplating whether to jump. As the sun began to set over the beautiful cliff top of the Otago coastline known commonly as ‘Lovers Leap’ she replayed in her mind the twelve hours just lived and the certain life events that had happened one after another.  ‘How ironic to be standing where lovers have leaped to their death because they cannot be together and here I stand because I can’t bear to be with my man!’ she calmly thought.

Life’s twists and turns had been harsh to her. “Thirty years young and so beautiful!” was a comment said many times, along with “How come you were so blest with such brilliance and beauty?” A question she too would like answered because it had become more a cursing than a blessing! Deep inside the dark recesses of her soul she just felt so dark, ugly and stupid. How could she be all that they said she was feeling this, living this pain and oh so real truth of failure! Fame and fortune had a price. Paid in anonymities loss and the deception that it brings freedom.  Never being able to escape the glare of celebrity meant no one truly knew the truth, games are the given. With tears streaming down her face and the realization that the son she leaves behind, will inevitably follow his father’s example, is her biggest failure of all. As the saying goes ‘What walks in the father, runs in the son!’ Even for him she could not bear another day of living. It had started as any normal day up at 7:00 am to feed her baby boy and then she handed him back to the Nanny.

By 7:30 am, the alarms went off again in Grace’s heart. She heard him raging down the hall before she saw him; she looked up from the kitchen table in to a cold, hate filled stare from Damon her husband of the last 10 years.  ‘Once again you disappoint me Woman! Can’t you get anything right? How hard is it to follow my simple instructions?’ He seethed. Instinctively Grace raised her hands to shield her face from the blow that sent her crashing to the floor, the boot that landed in her gut took her breath away. Whimpering, she curled into a ball waiting for the next blow to come. It didn’t, as the silence grew she tentatively lifted her face to see where Damon was. She was horrified to see such a blatant look of contempt from her man’s face. This man who had been her life for 10 years. A man who had so passionately pursued her and left other paramour’s for dead could look at her now like this? ‘What a mask wearing chameleon charmer! Such a honey tongued angel in the public eye but you hide a stone cold heart of a master player and manipulator in private. How I am coming to hate you too!’ she thought to herself as she lay there afraid to move.

‘GET UP. You stupid woman! Get up! Have you no pride? Look at you? Geez…you disgust me! Why do you have to provoke me? Why couldn’t you have had this suit sorted when I asked you last week? He demanded.  ‘Just be ready by 7:00 pm for the dinner with the Chappell’s. You know how important this one is, and what I expect of you to get me the deal.’ He said. Grace groaned, as she knew only too well exactly what was meant by that comment.  ‘Oh, make sure that damn child is quiet or better yet farm him out to your mother for the night. I want that navy suit and white shirt sorted like I asked last week. You can do that this time. Right?’ He said with a sarcastic tone of voice and menacing look.  Grace nodded afraid of uttering words that could bring another beating. ‘This is such an important meeting. My future depends on a good outcome.’ He commented to himself more than Grace as he closed his briefcase on the table and headed for the door. Grace was numb. ‘No embrace or kisses like in our early years for me anymore Damon?’ she asked herself quietly, ‘No… they were the dream years, this hell is my reality! What was it that changed you?’ for the life of her Grace could not find any one defining moment. It had been a process of time and familiarity. ‘What is that saying. Oh yes, that’s it “familiarity breeds contempt”.’

*

The phone rang but Grace left it for the answer phone to pick up, as she couldn’t face talking with anyone at the moment. ‘Hi Grace… Mum here. Just ringing in to see how you are doing. Call me back when you get this ok, love you’. As she rang off Grace had a moment of sheer hopelessness’ flood her soul. The one person she’d thought that she could turn to in the early years of abuse had abandoned her with the simple phrase ‘Well baby, you have to stop what your doing to make Damon angry. Stop pushing his buttons and just be the good wife that I’ve shown you to be. Remember to hush up about it and tell no one else. We woman don’t talk about this kind of thing in our family, we just deal with it!’ When her Mum had said that, Grace had been gob smacked but quickly realised she was on her own. It wasn’t until now that she realised the full extent of generational ’secrets’. What is kept in the dark will always reappear. What had been Grandmothers shame became her daughters and granddaughters. Though she knew her Mum loved her, she had her own demons to battle and denial was her Mother’s weapon of choice to survive the pain of her own loveless marriage. It was the loneliest moment of her life at that time. She has had many more since. The one thing she craved was validation and intimacy. To be loved without fear.  The realisation that her mother had lived the life she now lived but without the trappings of celebrity hurt Grace deeply. She blamed her Father.

A cold and emotionally distant man who was a creation of the post war babies whose Fathers were so scared by War, unable to give their children any affection or validation because of what they’d had to do to protect their sanity from the horrors they’d survived.  What a legacy to give a child? Fear! Grace’s dad had given her life lessons that a good education and a position in society is the goal of a woman and that if you had beauty…. Use it! Grace had that in abundance and had learned well from her Daddy’s seeds. ‘Yes Daddy, I’ve harvested well the seeds of fear, rejection and pain. Why couldn’t you have told me just once that I was acceptable? That you would just love me for me, and not who I became to please you?  Why was the real me so unlovable, so throw away and under valued?’ Grace cried into the pillow on the sofa as she used to do as a child, heart wrenching and soul destroying in knowing she would never ever get her Daddy‘s validation.

The day progressed and all was ready for the evening dinner plans when Grace’s cell phone rang.  ‘Hi Grace speaking.’ She said. ‘Hiya Sis, you better turn on the 6:00 pm news. I think your gonna be really interested with the content of one of the items.’ Grace’s baby sister said with a vindictive laugh. Grace just hung up on her sick to death of her Sister’s need to play games. She wasn’t going to fall for it but curiosity got the better of her. The item sent her reeling. It was about Damon and a ‘secret’ lover that the paparazzi had caught him with. It was none other than Grace’s sister. This was the last devastation. No more! The shame and humiliation of this oh so public betrayal along with her private hellish existence pushed her over into the calm premeditation of suicide’s lie. She walked into her son’s room and kissed him as he slept. She then retrieved her keys from the coffee table and walked out of the house to her BMW and got in. She had been expecting the house to be surrounded by the paparazzi but realised the vultures were probably aware of the dinner at Bennu’s and were waiting to get the pictures of the humiliated wife arriving with a brave face.  ‘Well you won’t be getting what you want from me tonight.’ she laughed as she drove to ‘The Leap’.

So, why did Grace choose this option? What was so bad that living became so untenable? What if there had been another way other than one way. Beauty dies when something that should be immutable and rock steady becomes mutable and inconsistent, Truth becomes the lies and lies become the comfortable truth lived.  True beauty and grace comes from the depth of self. It is not about outward appearances but inward serenity. What is seeded into the depths of our soul and spirits from birth is what will be harvested in our adulthood. So much is taken, stolen when the child is ill equipped to counter the attacks on self worth, esteem, and confidence and for we woman our validation that comes through a fathers love. Grace and beauty die when all that you believed in, ‘the fairytale’ of future that you expected, believed would take away the pain of self-lost, is just that a fairy tale. When love burns you, scars you and wounds you so deeply that death is the only option. When you passionately love someone, expecting him to be ‘your everything’ and they end up deceiving and betraying you, life becomes meaningless, hopeless and so very lonely there is but one way out…Stepping off the cliff into free-fall…Grace took it!

*

A baby cries, unable to be comforted. He is the only innocent who will be truly hurt by Grace’s demise.  A mother cries, caressing the cold cheek of her beloved daughter in her coffin whishing she could take back her years of silent compliance of abuse seen. A father withdraws into silent heart cries for a daughter left to long to know, guilty of his ‘too busy’ life to help rescue his daughter as only a father can.  A sister relishes her time for the ‘now’ limelight and attention given to her famous dead sister. Denying the reality that tomorrow it will be just the same old same old, hoping and praying that just once in her life she too can be noticed and praised as the beautiful one, the graceful one. Sadly it will never eventuate because she truly is ugly on the inside and doesn’t realize we are all the reflection of our true self’s outside in.

A husband bravely holds his crying son…tears and sympathy flow toward him from all of those around. Inside he seethes with a fury because once again Grace disappoints him. Heartlessly he cries out to a God he doesn’t believe really exists and curses him for the predicament of being a solo Dad and the realization that she was the only woman who truly ever loved him.

The End.

 

 

Broken Part 4

Entering the Church  that Sunday was the hardest thing she ever did, many of these people would know  who she had been but the response was awesome! As she got up to give testimony she chose to sing, something she’d not done in years. This is what she sang ‘The Real Me’ by Natalie Grant.

By the end of the service she had come home to the ever-loving arms of her Christ, her Saviour  Redeemer, her King, and Knight in Shining Armour and the  Lover of her soul!

The End.

Though the storyline is purely fictional…some of the issues raised are very real to some of you who have read this story. 

I hope you can understand why I wrote this  story…Every broken heart needs a voice and a way back….your journey  may not be the same way that happened in the story.  That’s ok…you WILL find the path that is healing for you as I have done.

  • Firstly, that what happened to you/us  was/is not  EVER our  fault!  It is an act of violence  perpetrated on us…it is so not love!
  • Secondly…As a beacon of Hope…this is the underlying message I wanted to share. 

That, no matter how dark it gets, how lost you may feel or how totally betrayed and alone.  You are not!  If it has brought up issues of Child Abuse or Rape for you I would like to tell you that you are so not alone.  Please contact the following for help, support or information.  

RAPE CRISIS NZ.

Email:    info@rapecrisis.org.nz

Mail:    PO Box 78307

Grey Lynn

Auckland 1245.

Phone:   09 360 4001

Fax:       09 360 4015

http://www.rapecrisis.org.nz/

Rape Crisis Information.

Broken: Part 3

Who is He

That
mends me…..

Who is it

that
hears me…..

He it is, that

loves  me through and through,

He it is,

that loves the hidden,

hurting
child

within…

 

You cried over me,

heart breaking

and saddened…

held
to your heart, mine.

You  held me…

a  broken prisoner, 

A little rag

doll princess.

Father  betrayed to

bind  and chain……free  will

gifting, exerting pain.

 

Heart  sore, body

broken!

torn, ripped  and raped!

 Seduced? 

Nah!  Sold
out!

Daddy deceiver,

my  child trust

 annihilator……

A master  manipulator

God….WHY
OH WHY?

Did  you condone…….

your  preacher man?

 

Spirit  screaming,

unable
to see or hear….

A  child grown too soon,

mask
weaves to veil……

Her  God unable 

to  reach……

Remains
constantly
side by…

 arms length near.

Waiting,
aching, watching.

 

Scared  of…..What?

Dealing!

A
broken, runs,

besmirched,
shamed and hardened….

She  is twisted,

with a  disfigured
internal
self  perception…..

A
broken runs

into man
after man after man….

searching
for a saving only

her
God can bring.

 

From the golden

heights…to  hells door!

no one is

too far, too  bad, too lost

that
Gods right hand….

cannot reach.

Again the question

Why..
God, why did you allow this?

Finally
answered……

 

I allowed only

because

am not a man that I should lie…..

I
gave free will as a gift,

to be chosen
by my children for

evil  as  well as good………

Diverse  journeys taken

but
always within bearing….

I
saw who you were

always
destined to become…..

 

Your  story told,

Will
bring a 1000 fold back…..

Back  to me,

who
were and are

broken
just like you……

Are  you willing

Broken-hearted
child of mine

to reach out,

 and  take
my nail scared  hand?

Broken…..will
you

let
me heal you?

Well…….will
you?

Broken: Part 2

Hope you enjoyed part 1…please feel free to comment on any parts of the stories shared.  Here is part 2…Enjoy! Poem which is part 3 will be posted in the next few days…

 

Her fragile faith, which had been so trusting and joyful, had been blown all to hell!   Broken’s heart was well hidden, it had to be, to safe guard her younger sisters, as long as she ‘satisfied’ his hunger-lust and brutality they could grow up safe.  What a lie that was…but all she could cling to and keep herself sane.  Thankfully, she never had to put it to the test.  The truth always comes to out into the open. Secrets out into the light.  The scandal of the incest and beatings was front-page news for weeks, and then her Dads suicide brought more publicity for a while.  The stigma on her lessened as the weeks turned into months as a nations craving for the ‘now’ gossip forgot her.  Her brother and sisters had been taken into foster care just as she had been.

At 18, though she was released to go her own way, oh what a way she took! Broken went from man to man to man.  At twenty-four, she had lived and loved many men.  Trying to blot out the pain, blot out the shame, and blot out her failure and rejection but mostly to blot out God.  She became the opposite of her younger sanctified self… became the best prostitute and porn queen of the High St!  Nothing was beneath her.  Her need to be accepted and loved had been so distorted by her father and subsequent foster ‘fathers’.  She believed giving her body would get her love…sure, men wanted her, had her, even kinda loved her, but all tired of her just as quickly.

She was only just realising that when you loathe yourself, after a while others do to too.  Lifting her head up from the bedroom floor, Broken looked into the mirror again, moving into a sitting position she understood that it was not the men but herself  she should  blame for her decisions. Choices made that self sabotaged her life!  The realization of how manipulated she’d been into believing she had no control over her body, that when a man demanded she give out, she’d bloody well better!  What a lie!  Realizing now that her broken-heartedness was up to her to find out how to mend, no one else’s responsibility……the agony of realizing this brought more tears and a long-awaited hearts cry to the one person she knew in the deepest part  of her, had never let her go.

However, she had tried her hardest to sicken and disgust him with her debauchery of sinfulness.  Oh how she hated herself for that!  Broken couldn’t bear the thought of  Him being hurt by what he’d seen her do but had not been able to stop, being broken so deeply she had no compass to show her the way back or how to mend, well, that was her defence to run and hide in sin.  She knew!  Of course she did!  Her childhood love and relationship with Jesus had been solid, so solid…

As she lifted her eyes, she saw Him there, kneeling beside her with arms outstretched, Broken saw the moonlight filtering through his nail scared hands, ‘Are you ready to come back to ME.’ He asked, ‘Ready to come home to my heart?  Ready to allow me to love you as only I can.  I AM your knight in shining armour, only I can be… no man can live up to that expectation, nor should he have to, but you have never even had that my beautiful, have you?  The love of a good man…you have only known the pain of perverted love.  Are you ready…?’  Jesus asked in the quietness of her heart and with tears in His eyes.

‘Not just yet my Lord…soon though.’  She smiled.  Standing to her feet was much more than just a physical standing……it was as if with Jesus asking, she felt Hope renew  inside  of her, that just maybe her world, her life  will be alright after all. It would take about another month of preparation before Broken felt she was ready to accept the invitation. She had wanted to tidy herself up to present a vessel of hope to her Jesus, knowing that He would do the healing inside; she had concentrated on her outside.  One thing she returned to in that month was her gift of writing and penned the following poem, it was so cathartic.

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