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And so I smile

Riyadh 2006

Her smile had faded and stringy hair had been cut into one even line, but it was obvious she still existed. No modern styles were allowed and like the children, she would be summoned to sit in his chair and wait for scissors to chop and shape until this task was complete. Her skin had wrinkled and bits of grey washed through a dirty blonde but there was no mistaking, it was really her.  A red shirt hung loosely over her chest and spots of bleach dotted her pants. The space was noticeable but only with a wide smile which could easily be avoided.  It had been years, even decades since I really looked at her in the mirror.

His job ended and once again he would stay at home for 12 months looking for the perfect employment opportunity. Offers came and went but none were at the standard that he had become accustomed to. He held a U.S. passport which entitled him to benefits and a salary that were in line with his status. His frustration built with each passing day as he slept till noon, drank tea with friends and walked through the house making random inspections.

The balance that was kept when he was working had now come crashing down and although money had been saved and was plentiful, it was not to be touched.  The boys were at University, children needed immunizations and our teeter totter balance could not be disrupted. Eating and drinking had become difficult and avoiding the fractured tooth that hung precariously was no longer possible. It wiggled and moved sending shooting pain along a rugged path that ended only to be agitated more frequently. One last warning was given and an offer to see the dentist. He was of course the best provider and always thought of his family first. I nodded my head in agreement, handing him the pliers and a tissue. He placed his hand firmly on my head and gripped the jagged piece of tooth ripping it loose.

117 Comments Post a comment
  1. I find it very hard to like this Lynn but my mood is lifted when I view all the lovely family photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 16, 2018
  2. OMG 😮

    Liked by 2 people

    February 16, 2018
  3. Ouch! 😳

    Liked by 2 people

    February 16, 2018
  4. OMG that must have hurt. I am pleased you moved beyond that more now.

    Liked by 2 people

    February 16, 2018
  5. I don’t think, that this monster ever have placed anyone near, where he placed himself. Monsters are like that. So great to have you in a much better place today, sister ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    February 16, 2018
  6. Wow. Such torture. I have to go back and look at your family photos to remember that you survived hell and it is inspiring.

    Liked by 2 people

    February 16, 2018
  7. Oh my god Lynn…Love and hugs to you. I am so happy you are free of this and hope that writing it down will free your mind of its burden. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    February 16, 2018
  8. My body is just tingling with something – fear for you? Cringing? I don’t know what it is, but this was just so moving and vivid. It’s going to stick with me for a while.

    (Also, thank you for all the smiling pictures. That you can smile after going through all that shows how strong you are.)

    Liked by 2 people

    February 16, 2018
  9. Just when I think I have read the worst you throw me into the fire again. This is quite barbarous but your writing of it is really well crafted. Your voice grows and matures with each snippet you share. Thank you for sugaring the pill with the wonderful family album … it does not take away the feeling of agony but it brings a warm smile nonetheless xx

    Liked by 3 people

    February 16, 2018
  10. The anxiety these memories must bring you. Hugs and kisses.

    Liked by 2 people

    February 16, 2018
    • Thank you Paula for reading and commenting. This one was hard and I felt ashamed to tell it but it was time xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      February 16, 2018
  11. Wow! I loved browsing the photos. They show love and resilience. So glad you can tell your story and put it on paper. It gives you a voice and it needs to be heard. The pain and anguish come through. It is good to know that you now have a bridge and have so many loved ones cheering you today. Love and hugs xoxox

    Liked by 2 people

    February 16, 2018
  12. What a beautiful family you have! Your strength and resilience always amaze me. xoK

    Liked by 2 people

    February 16, 2018
  13. OMG. Horrifying

    Liked by 2 people

    February 16, 2018
  14. Holy Jesus, Lynn. Like someone else mentioned, it’s as if your photos are testimony to the sacrifices you’ve made in life. The feel-good juxtaposed with the not-so-good I have to tell you, I’d like to get one of his teeth on the end of my pliers. . . 🙂

    You just go, girl!! Xoxoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    February 16, 2018
  15. What a monster!
    Leslie

    Liked by 1 person

    February 16, 2018
  16. OMG!!!! I can’t…I just can’t say anything!

    Liked by 2 people

    February 16, 2018
  17. If not for the pictures of now, I would have a more difficult time processing the ‘then’.

    Liked by 2 people

    February 16, 2018
  18. And what a beautiful smile you have now! xoxoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    February 16, 2018
  19. I hate this man so much!

    Liked by 2 people

    February 16, 2018
  20. I’m saddened. You and your little ones suffered such abuse. Thank you for sharing the photos of your wonderful family. ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

    February 16, 2018
  21. Looking at the photos take a bit of an edge off the pain.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 16, 2018
  22. This made me shudder! I couldn’t have “liked” the post if the wonderful happy faces were not there.

    Liked by 2 people

    February 16, 2018
  23. Really frightening…you must be proud to survive all that and have a family intact. Garfield hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    February 16, 2018
  24. balindsey2015 #

    I literally flinched when I read this. He is simply Evil. So very happy to see you and your family able to smile and be free of the tyranny. X

    Liked by 2 people

    February 16, 2018
  25. Like so many others have commented here, I am so relieved that you and your family are safe now!! I have only read snippets here and there and that is enough to know you have been saved from an awful life. But you do have a beautiful family!!

    Liked by 1 person

    February 16, 2018
  26. Such lovely pictures and a beautiful family! You write beautifully and although the ending had me cringing I’m so happy you are in a better place😊 big hugs to you!

    Liked by 2 people

    February 16, 2018
  27. Oh my, Lynn. Sending you big hugs. What a horrible man. Keep looking at all those beautiful pictures of your family. You’re a strong woman, my friend. ❤ < 3

    Liked by 2 people

    February 16, 2018
  28. I’m aghast. But your resilience shines through. Very well written

    Liked by 1 person

    February 17, 2018
  29. Oh Lynn, you know my feelings my friend.
    I am so pleased you have found the light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks for sharing all your beautiful family photo’s. Hugs xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    February 17, 2018
  30. Lynn, I’m so happy that you no longer live in that toxic environment. Thanks for continuing to share your story. Your photos are great!!

    Liked by 2 people

    February 17, 2018
  31. Dental issues are bad enough but to not be able to handle it properly is worse. He definitely lacked compassion.

    Liked by 2 people

    February 17, 2018
  32. Oh Lynn! When I think I have heard the worst – there is more. I am so glad it is in your past, and you can smile now. I know the pain will never be completely gone, but you are helping others with your story. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 17, 2018
  33. Oh my gosh! He didn’t even let you go to the dentist! Terrible! But the pictures are all so lovely! xoxoxox

    Liked by 2 people

    February 17, 2018
  34. Wow Lynz the thongs you had to endure! Glad life is much happier now!

    Liked by 2 people

    February 17, 2018
  35. I’m happy for you now, Lynn, there is much to smile about.

    Liked by 2 people

    February 17, 2018
  36. For a moment I thought you had written a work of fiction and then the truth dawned on me . How brave and strong you were and are. Love K x

    Liked by 1 person

    February 17, 2018
  37. Thank you for your bravery telling this. My prayer is always for your perfect healing from all these abuses. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    February 17, 2018
  38. This is powerful. I like the way you address yourself in the mirror and “you are still there”. The gallery of your smiling pictures and loving family offset the horror he brought into your life.

    Liked by 2 people

    February 17, 2018
  39. The early pictures of you and your sister are beautiful. I am glad you are home in the states. I can see why your daughters and sons are beautiful and take after you in looks, spirit, and song.

    Liked by 2 people

    February 17, 2018
  40. Wow………
    But such wonderful, happy pictures of you and your family.
    Your strength is amazing.
    x 💕 x

    Liked by 2 people

    February 17, 2018
  41. That was awful! It must have been terribly painful… So glad that you are free. I am for the family love you now enjoy.

    Liked by 2 people

    February 17, 2018
  42. Lynn, I felt physically sick reading the horror of the home-dentistry – I wished it had been fiction. Luckily the wonderful photo array of you and your smiling family at the start was still in my heart and mind … such a contrast to your earlier life. May you forever smile with impunity. hugs, my friend. xxxxxx

    Liked by 2 people

    February 19, 2018
  43. Sad words, lightened by the lovely smiles!

    Liked by 2 people

    February 19, 2018
  44. Beautiful family photos Lynn! I don’t know why I didn’t see that coming. It boggles my mind how a person can inflict so much pain on another person.

    Liked by 2 people

    February 21, 2018
  45. If only……I cannot even finish this sentence as it would put me into a rant that probably would go on way to long….I am so happy your free, your in charge of you, no one else, you have such a wonderful support group around you….Lynn you really are my strength…no matter what I endured with the asshat I was married to, is nothing compared to what you endured. Sister keep your head held high and keep that beautiful smile bright and full of love……keep writing…..let it all out….its what was never to be again…..!!! love ya Lynn

    Liked by 2 people

    February 21, 2018
    • Thank you sister! I am trying to keep writing! I might put a poetry book out first. It is taking a long time and I hit places where I cannot write any more. Thanks for being there. Love you dear sis! xo

      Like

      February 22, 2018
      • How wonderful, your poems are lovely, I would certainly buy a book….its healthy to know when to stop and give yourself a break…good for you….don’t push yourself on that. its important to remain mentally healthy doing it….no anxiety to be stirred up while writing….its therapeutic, not detrimental….love ya….

        Liked by 1 person

        February 22, 2018
  46. Had to back track after reading the other post about abuse because I usually see your poetry and other posts. I applaud you for being open about this because that’s a very hard thing to do. You are showing how strong you are. Your story will help heal another person with similar story because when they see your words they will know they aren’t alone. Let there be only love and kindness in your life now 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    February 23, 2018
  47. He continues to stay in character. If he keeps this up, he will never be redeemed.

    Liked by 2 people

    February 25, 2018
  48. Wonderful family gallery and lots of happy faces. Keep smiling!

    Liked by 2 people

    March 6, 2018
  49. He really enjoyed inflicting pain, didn’t he. So glad you are free, now.

    Liked by 1 person

    May 11, 2018

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