Dear Reader: We’re so pleased to feature the writing of our own Wendy Sue Noah, on today’s launching of her book, Real Eyes Faith
“Why did this smart vivacious woman stay with such a monster?”
I get this question a lot.
First, there was my interpretation of blind faith that God really wanted me there. Second I had no friends or family in Los Angeles. Finally with each child, I felt more and more stuck.
If I we did not have children, I can say with conviction that I would have left him early in our relationship, like the first three wives.
With each child, I felt more pressure. I would never leave my babies. I couldn’t imagine running away to a shelter with them. In my clouded view, there were no other options. The irony of necessity brought a solution I dismissed. We’ve all experienced a “wake-up call” at some point in our lives. A moment of clarity provides both a call to action and the strength to carry it out. It was time for change. The moment of clarity for me, when I realized with real eyes came from innocence. Ocean, my oldest child, was eight years old.
“Mom, I never want to be like you when I grow up.” Ocean told me.
“Why is that?” I asked, dumbfounded.
“Because, I never want to be married to a man who beats me and yells at me all the time.”
Little did I know just how dramatic the change would be!
I started challenging Khalifa and the idea that he is an uncontestable authority. For the first time I objected to his abuse. To say he did not appreciate my rebellion is an understatement. It had gotten to the point where he would order all of us to sit down. He would lecture, yell, and threaten all of us as if I was one of his children, not his wife. It was out of control.
It was important for the children to perceive him as the Master of the house and the world. My rebellion did not go over very well. His first response was more intense anger focused on me.
I lived in fear.
This had been my life for almost a decade now. It felt like I walked on glass every day. I did not know how far he would go, once I stood up against the abuse. He met with Tunizia privately in her bedroom for over three hours one Sunday afternoon. I could feel the heat through the door, the intense energy. All I could do is wait for them to come out with whatever it was they were brewing. Tunizia owned the house. All of us spiritually married, but legally we were living there on her grace and generosity.
Anything could happen now. They finally came out and asked me to sit with them in the living room for a family meeting. I sat across from them, doing my best to appear composed and unintimidated.
Khalifa started. He was obviously frazzled and his eyes were red.
“Teiwaz, you have five days to move out of the house, or Tunizia will make all of us leave.”
I always knew that Tunizia did not like me. She spoke with authority next.
“I refuse to live in my own house constantly filled with fighting and screaming. You and Khalifa do not get along, and I refuse to be a victim to this disorder. I want peace.” She handed me a four-page document. It stated their wishes that I move out and not return, with a signature line for me at the end. As I was read through this cold and well-thought out ambush, Khalifa continued.
“Since the kids are with Aunt Charlene in Lancaster right now, we will need you to pack up and move before they come home.”
Oh, what a perfect plan, I thought to myself.
A few weeks before, Khalifa’s blood pressure was high. He told me that he needed some rest without the kids. His unmarried childless sister had extended an invitation for the kids to stay with her, while he gets a much needed break, for his health.
I did not want to separate from my children, especially with my ten month old baby. Samaj was breast feeding. But Khalifa insisted. His rule was the rule of the home. It hurts me to admit that I was also feeling the need for a break from all five kids.
Now he and Tunizia are telling me to pack up my bags and get out before my kids come home. What were they thinking? Did they consider at all that the kids would be shocked if their mom was gone? It obviously didn’t matter to them. The only objective was to get rid of me, now that I wouldn’t take the abuse any more.
“No, I will not move out.” I shocked them both.
For the first time since the abuse began, I felt confident. The stunned look on Khalifa’s face was priceless. He reiterated that Tunizia would throw ALL of us out, if I didn’t leave. He was actually pleading with me.
“No. I am not leaving without my children.” I stood up.
“This meeting is over!” I stormed into my room and slammed the door. I felt invigorated. I was ready to fight for my children and our safety. I had no idea what would happen next….”
Real Eyes Faith can be found at http://wendysuenoah.com/real-eyes-faith-ebook/
Wendy Sue Noah, 47 years young, is the President and CEO of Social Media with a Conscience. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a BA in Mass Communications, with honors, in addition to studying at Kent University in England during her Junior year. Wendy Sue began her professional career as part of the team that launched Match.com. Her successful social media career continued at Fujitsu and marketing Worlds Away, the precursor to Second life. Social Media with a Conscience supports individuals, companies and start-up ventures with marketing, promotions, events and a full range of social media marketing services. Her five children range in age from 7 – 15.