On a non-descript Saturday evening in late March 1988, I was sitting in my living room waiting for my wife to return from a party. My one-and-a-half-year-old son was asleep in his bedroom on the top floor of our home. Images of my wife getting drunk and carrying on at the party kept running through my mind. I felt alone, disrespected, deceived, and at a crossroads in my marriage. Our relationship was on shaky grounds and had been since we returned from our honeymoon. Looking back now, I realize it all had to do with unrealistic expectations on my part—unrealistic expectations that led me to want to micromanage my wife’s life.
When she finally returned home, I proceeded to verbally and physically abuse her. I wanted answers, and I wanted them immediately. She defended herself as best she could, even arming herself with a revolver, but my rage would not be denied. Eventually, I wrestled the weapon away from her and in the process, shot and killed her instantaneously.
The sound of the firearm discharging brought me back from the blind rage I was in. My rage was replaced with despair, as I frantically sought to get emergency assistance. The recording of the 911 call that I made, and which was introduced as evidence at my murder trial, still resonates in the deep recesses of my mind as I struggle daily to deal with my painful reality.
To think that I am responsible for ruining the lives of so many people is sometimes more than I can handle. The emotional and psychological trauma brought upon my son, my wife’s mother, her other relatives, my family, the community we were a part of, society at large, and the professionals who dealt with the crime, is still being felt by me today. So much pain and misery.
And, what was my rage all about? Nothing, really. Attitudes and beliefs—stupid ideas that found themselves in my consciousness that convinced me that I was not being taken seriously. The loss of life is a tragedy in and of itself. But to me, the biggest tragedy is not being able to do anything about the pain that others experienced because of the bad choices I made.
When I read the stories published by ENDPAIN, I’m looking for answers to my dilemma. It is truly sad that I have neither the talent, nor the ability, to express in writing the depth of my heartache, the vivid nightmares of trying to secure forgiveness from someone who lives only in my memory, and the look in the eyes that I see in my dreams, which appear to be asking the question—“Why?”
As a result of this experience, today I try to avoid conflict at all cost. I monitor my speech and my communication with others carefully. It is written that “the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity ... it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it, we bless our God and Father, and with it, we curse men ... ” These things ought not to be so.
I have no way of proving this, but I believe that if we all made a conscious effort to use our words to educate and edify, and not to condemn and judge, we would go a long way in easing much of the pain and suffering prevalent in our world. As I go forward with my life, I’m committed to doing my part, adding a dash of honesty, humility, and sincerity in all my affairs and ensuring that the love of God is ever present in me. If we all make the same commitment, perhaps we can indeed ENDPAIN.