Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Serendipitous Reunions

So, here I am staring at it. The remnants of pre-cellular communication at Gate C72 at the Newark Airport where I poured nearly all the change I had into a pay phone to let my Mother know that I landed safely back in the States. I didn’t expect to see that today.

When I left Youssef earlier that morning I had nearly nothing, just a suitcase, a few Euros and a plane ticket home. No cell phone, no US Dollars, no job. I had no idea what I was going to do. I spent most of the time in the Brussels Airport and on the plane crying. When I landed in Newark, I was so numb and empty and alone.

I exchanged my few Euros for Dollars at the currency exchange in Terminal C and went looking for a phone before my connecting flight. Lugging my heavy, overstuffed bag across the terminal, I came to the first phones that I could find. I called home to hear my Mother’s voice crying with joy, elated that I made it.

Several months later I’m sitting at the same Gate, staring at the same pay phone that announced my entry into safety. This time, however, I’m here in a different capacity, from victim of domestic abuse fleeing from her abuser to businesswoman hopping a late afternoon flight to Orange County, California. What a contrast!

So today, am I still broken and lost and confused? Absolutely. Do I still want to cry? Do I still have panic attacks? Do I want to jump out of my skin and scream demanding an answer for what he did to me? Absolutely. Would I ever go back? Never.

If you’re involved with someone who hurts, scares, humiliates or belittles you, stop waiting and just leave. Don’t tell him that you’re leaving. Don’t take everything with you. Don’t second guess yourself or worry about your job. Don’t even tell your friends. Just leave.

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