These are my confessions…


Hold your breath

Please Forgive me

Inhale

I Emilia, of sound body and mind, am writing to you to confess to something treacherous.

I have haboured this crime for a long time

And never once dared tell a soul.

I now feel that it’s time to confess my sins to you.

Even though this will never justify the acts I committed.

I am not asking for your forgiveness,

When the time comes, that will be between myself and my beloved maker

But I do hope you can at least understand the predicament I was left in

And that I truly believed from the bottom of my heart

That I had no other choice.

That is all in this point of time I could ask for.

.

Exhale

I had been with my husband for 14 years

He was the only man I had ever been in love with

My father walked out on me and my mother when I was 6

With some bimbo he got knocked up during a management work conference,

So when I met my would-be husband at 19, I thought he’d be the only man to ever really love me

So I stayed by him  and prayed to God night after night that he would never leave me.

Like how my father had abandoned us

And I kept praying.

Even the first time he raised his voice at me for not having his favourite meal ready on his birthday.

I prayed for him

Or the first time when his eyes changed and went cold in public, like I meant nothing to him

I prayed for him

Even when he started to demoralise me and question my character and isolate me from my family, friends and work colleagues

I prayed for him

And when he called me a whore for wearing those mini-skirts I used to have to work in

I prayed for him

Or when h…..he… held me up against the wall for coming home late and choked me when I went  blue and nearly swallowed my tongue

I prayed for him

Even the first time he called me disgusting and fat for having two slices of cake on my birthday and wouldn’t be intimate with me for a week.

Or the first time he busted my nose open for over spending on the shopping budget

Or cracked a rib of mine for something so small, I honestly can’t even remember the details over the striking pain

Or locked me in the while he went away for the weekend and I had to eat….. out of date food at the back of the cupboard to not starve to death…

….

My love for him never wavered.

And neither did my prayers.

.

Inhale

Back then, I didn’t know why I stayed..

I guess I believed this was my penance for a past life and karma for  crimes unbeknown to me.

Actually that is a lie, I know exactly why I did it.

My mother, God rest her soul, even though she never meant to

I noticed she never looked at me the same when my father walked out on us

I could tell that she held me completely responsible

For the demise of her perfect pert sporty body

The start of her post natal depression

And then the drink

Which is what I used to hear them screaming about when I was little

And I suppose that’s what pushed him into the arms (and beds) of multiple women

Before finally deciding on one worth leaving his family for.

Yes, that’s right, she held me completely responsible for all of that, a six year old…

I couldn’t even spell responsible back then, typical…

Exhale

After that, my mother brought me up in a strict religious fashion

She made us turn to the Lord to get us through the rough times.

And got us to believe he would deliver us from the hardships.

To some extent, it did work, she was right. We got better and the drinking stopped.

Even so though, I knew she never did forgive me for my past crimes

This was manifested in her constant prayers for me

That I wouldn’t drive away another soul and ruin another family

She said ‘The Lord would never leave you, like everyone else would’

As much as I shouldn’t, to this day, I still believe those words she tarnished me with

As much as any psalm or gospel from the scripture

I believed I was cursed and my only way out was through God himself.

I believed if I committed myself to the cause, the Lord would act in my best interests and he would not abandon me.

On the contrary he would provide me with the strength to walk the path he had laid out for me.

For this I would be eternally thankful for his graces and mercies.

So that is ultimately why I stayed with my husband

But things started to change when I fell pregnant.

Surprisingly for the better

And eventually for the worst.

.

Inhale

He didn’t lay a finger on me throughout both my pregnancies and each time I thought we had turned a corner

Each time I was just deluding myself

It’s funny, his actions weren’t induced by alcohol, drug abuse stress or anything else you could perhaps blame.

Infact I never knew what the triggers were that would cause him to turn

I just learned over time to not fight back,

Fighting back just meant it got worse and took twice as long to finish

So I adapted instead to fake being concussed so he would stop sooner and leave me alone

Even to the point of not controlling my bowel movements to sign off the performance

Just anything to make it stop, especially with the kids around,

I eventually also learned to do it all without even making a noise, so I didn’t disturb their sleep routines

But you can’t always pretend under these circumstances

Not forever…

.

Exhale

So one night,after spending time with the boys in the park

I noticed my hair was getting fairly long

So I decided to leave the children at my mothers while I got a hair cut and coloured

To fit in with the summer trend at the time.

To be fair, it was probably the best haircut and style I’d ever have

I’d never look so pretty

When I got home, he took one look at my hair

And asked who I had got it cut for

Suddenly he was accusing me of cheating on him.

After I had put the boys to bed in the attic,

He suddenly came up behind me, pulled me around…

And slapped me out of the blue, then  punched me really hard in the gut

It must have been just underneath my diaphragm because the blow took my legs right from under me

Then he started yanking me by the hair and pulled me down a flight of stairs all the way to our bedroom

I had just spent all day rolling around in the park with the boys and my hayfever was going at full force

My ears were still ringing from that thundering slap and I…I just wasn’t strong enough to be quiet today,

He caught me off guard and I was in real agony

He took out a pair of scissors and said

‘Let’s see how pretty your lover thinks you are when he sees the bald fat slut you really are’

And he started to cut my hair while periodically stopping to bust my lip open.

Without even realising it, I was wailing in full force..I hadn’t been this upset in years

I honestly had never looked so pretty…

Inhale

While he was laying into me,

My eldest son, walked into the room holding his younger brother’s  hand

After being woken up by the noise they’d been quietly been stood by the door.

I guess my noise had gotten them up

I don’t know how long they were there for and how much they had actually seen

I didn’t even notice them at first

That was until the eldest had the courage to scream…

‘s.s…s.s.stop hitting mommy’

.

In his bravest little voice

my little soldier

.

Exhale

I glanced up but my husband didn’t hear

All I could see out of my bruised left eye was

His normally sweet cute little face, curled up into an angry ball

As he ran in his pjs over to his father’s leg

And he started to kick it.

My husband stopped as he’d just realised what had happened

And his eyes changed,

Like that first time on his birthday all those years ago

He lifted his leg and flung my boy right across the room

I didn’t see how he landed but he didn’t make a noise

I feared for the worst…

My husband got off me and turned around

I swear, in that moment,

I have never felt despair like I did right then

My heart fell into the hidden pits of my stomach

And I nearly threw up in my mouth

I would have cried rivers if I had any tears left

He was heading for my boys

He was going to injure my boys

If he hit them with anywhere as much force as he’s hit me before

He was going to kill my boys

.

Inhale

He dropped me to the floor and turned his back to me

And he slowly moved in towards them

Pure instinct ran through me

I scrambled myself off the floor

Picked up the hardest thing I could within arm’s reach

And I ran at him

And I hit him….hard….right in the skull

And kept hitting him as hard as I could

I remember feeling his head crack under the weight of one of the blows

And the vibration of  ringing of the alarm clock in my hand

I guess that’s what I must have picked up

And I kept hitting him till the batteries fell out

All I could think of was my boys and their safety

I must have got him in the soft bump on the top of his head

As blood splattered out of if  like a geyser

Covering the mouldy walls and stained carpets with crimson.

He shrugged me off him with a purely reactive elbow to the face

And knocked me down again.

But I had to get up

Because I knew this would be the turning point

I knew that after this

If he ever caught me again, that would be it, my life would be over

And then he would come after my two children

I couldn’t let that happen

So I quickly searched  around for what I could find

And my reaching hands, quickly pulled out the skipping rope from under the bed

Left there from when he last whipped me with it

The skipping rope he bought because he said I was too fat

And would rather be dead than be seen out with me

I double looped the chord in my hand

I climbed up on the bed and leapt onto his back

I looped the coil over his head and around his neck

And held down at the two ends so it would arrest against his adam’s apple

And for the love of God

I pulled

And I prayed

.

Exhale

He must have been caught by surprise as I heard him choking really hard

In an attempt to get me off his back, He started staggering around,

Trying to bash me into things while his arms wailed widely

He instinctively found the wardrobe door and kept swinging me into it

So the handle daggered right into my swollen ribs

Over and over and over

After the beating he had just given me I was amazed how I didn’t pass out

I must have been running on pure adrenaline

But all I could think about at the time

Was making sure I could get some eye contact with my eldest boy

Who I could now see was lying passed out on the floor

So my attention moved to finding his little brother

And when I did, there was only one thing I wanted to do,

One message that he needed to hear

My entire existence as a mother boiled down to this one moment

.

Inhale

I took a deep breath

And at the top of my lungs

I screamed

.

‘RUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUNNNN’

.

But nothing came out

So he didn’t move

Even if I screamed like a hurricane

I still think he would’ve been too scared to

Too scared to even flinch…

Bless him.

Instead he got closer and closer

As my husband found the strength to take increasingly larger staggers towards him

WIth me still on his back

Soon he loomed over my little one and had a hand out to reaching for his neck

He was no more than a few fingertips away from him as he bent himself forward

I wasn’t going to stop him.

Not like this

So I took my right foot and kicked it into his right knee pit

This made him buckled down on one knee

And I took the opportunity to reposition myself

So I could take my left knee and jammed it into his back

While yanking up hard on the rope round his neck

And I used all my weight leverage

To stagger him backwards

And topple us both onto our backs

.

Exhale

He collaspsed on top of me

And the weight of his body winded me as I landed badly.

With all the pain and the hayfever I was suffering from

I lost my breath and my body went limp

I couldn’t hold on to the rope any longer and I was just not fit enough to continue this fight

After all my work,

It was going to lead to nothing

We were going to lose

My husband turned around, straddled me and started to strangle me with both hands

The blood from the wound in his head had covered the top of his forehead and  eyes now

And had started to drip onto my face and into my gasped open mouth, all mixed with his sweat

He was like a rabbid wild beast

The only man to have ever loved me,

Wasn’t a man at all

He was now shown up as the complete monster he truly was

“How could I have let it get this bad?” I kept thinking to myself

Over and over and over…

I started to scratch at his face

And tried to wrestle him off me

But my body had  given up the will to live

And to be honest, so had I

I realised I had lost,

I couldn’t fight for me or for my kids anymore

I just wanted it to be over now.

So I went silent

And waited for him to kill me

.

Inhale

As my left hand dropped to the floor

It hit something cold and metallic

The pair of scissors my husband was using to cut my hair

What seemed like a lifetime ago

Were now in my grasp

I didn’t have time to overanalyze this

Or second guess my actions

Their was only two choices to make

Act or Die

And for the first time in my life

I didn’t pray for him.

Exhale

I swung that blade deep into his neck

Hooked my legs around him and pushed his head down into my chest

Add held him suffocating there

Until his neck bled out completely on top of me

All while my youngest child started wailing in the background.

And for the first time in a long time

I was relieved

My Boys were Safe

I…was safe…

My prayers were finally answered

It was all over

.

Inhale

I need to make one thing clear at this moment

I didn’t kill their father

I didn’t kill my husband

I didn’t kill a man

I murdered a monster

And my Kids never got to feel any ounce of what I did all those years

And I confess to you now

There’s not an ounce of me that minds rotting in jail for the rest of my life for this,

Or burning in hell for eternity.

Not. One. Fucking. Ounce

.

Exhale

But this isn’t the act I wanted to confess

This was the fairy tale I ended up praying for

This was the escape

My coping mechanism through all the screams

The real confession is this

In reality, nothing had changed.

He still beat me

He still shamed me

I’m was still trapped.

And for some reason

I still prayed for him

.

Inhale

And my deepest regret is, I stood idly by

While he did the same to you both.

My two boys…

You were both there that night.

You know how this tale really ended.

That was the night he started hitting you both as well

And put one of you in hospital

And traumatized the other for life

Throughout it all

I did nothing and told no one,

I made up excuses to cover it all up

I guess on some deep level

I was happy it wasn’t just me

I wasn’t cursed like my mother had said all those years ago

I wasn’t cursed

I wasn’t

Exhale

But that’s besides the point now

If you are reading this, then it seems that I have finally got my comeuppance

From the lord himself

I didn’t make it out.

I am now confessing my guilt to you, my children,

That I was never strong enough to do anything about it.

And worst of all, I took the courage out of all of you to take control of your lives

As I had failed to do in mine.

Now I am in a place where he can’t hurt me anymore

But I’ve left you both vulnerable,  unprepared and unprotected.

And all through this, the only thing that keeps ringing through my ears is

.

Praise God he didn’t leave me,

 Praise God he didn’t leave me
Praise God he didn’t leave me

.

Inhale

Shit, reading this back just brings back how fucked up this whole thing really is

And maybe it wasn’t me that was destined to be cursed

But you two instead…

How could I have allowed that?

What type of mother am I?

I’m so so sorry.

Please pray for me.

.

Exhale….

Emilia Cortez
1964-1998
R.I.P

.

-This letter was read on 12th September 2012
At Pablo Cortez’ funeral service
by his eldest son, Carlos.
Later in the week,
Carlos was given the death penalty by a state jury
For the first degree murder of Pablo Cortez
I guess, In the end, he eventually did forgive her.
It’s a shame his little brother Gomes couldn’t
Who ended up taking his own life
7 years earlier.
God rest all their souls.
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