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Susan K. Droney
Farrel Drake wants a normal family life for herself and her two daughters from her first marriage. She meets and marries Robert, and their two families combine. Shortly after their marriage, verbal abuse, beatings, and broken promises become an almost everyday occurrence.
Farrel locked the bathroom door, quickly turned on the fan and the cold water tap and filled the basin. She dipped a face cloth into the cold water, then pressed the cloth against her right eye, wincing with pain as she held it there for a few minutes. She willed her mind to go blank, anything to erase the scene which had transpired less than five minutes ago. She didn't dare raise her eyes to the mirror above the sink--not yet. She needed time to think up an excuse for her latest 'accident'.
She sighed defeatedly as she slumped to the floor, giving in to her emotions. She winced again in pain as a salty tear slid down her raw cheek. What was she going to do? Where could she go? Was it really her fault? Robert always warned her not to make him angry. He constantly reminded her that he was the head of the household and, as his wife, she was to submit to him without question. There was no middle ground.
She had no idea what had prompted his outburst this time. When he returned from work, she'd had his favorite meal on the table, the apartment was spotless, and their three teenagers were on their best behavior.
Deep down Farrel knew Robert really didn't need a reason to abuse her. If he had a bad day at work, she was his punching bag. He relieved his frustrations through her. Sometimes he only verbally abused her, then he would question why she had no self-esteem and lovingly tell her all of her wonderful characteristics. From abuse to compliments, she'd gotten caught up in the middle and lately had begun to question her own sanity. Perhaps she really was a terrible human being.
She felt like a failure in everything she did. No wonder her friends had deserted her. Robert was her only friend. She had Robert and the kids. That was all. Her life was a mess. She had nothing to show for thirty-five years of life except a long list of failures.