She waited until the children were napping to open the door. It stuck briefly from disuse. Still everything remained: the goblin offering his golden apple, the bouquet of purple flowers, a chestnut horse, the talking owl. 

Her hand twitched, longing to grasp pen and paper.

Outside, he arrived home early. Inside, she slammed the door shut.

She surveyed the unswept floor. Then he was upon her with his twisted face.

“Daydreaming rubbish again. Get up. Fix my dinner.”

One day, when the children were grown, she’d leave him. She’d examine the treasures behind the door and finally tell her stories.

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Susan Dawson
Susan Dawson (@susan-dawson)
6 months ago

I’m glad she had retained the will and creative ideas to write them one day. It isn’t easy in domestic abuse situations, which must sap the spirit.

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe (@eric-radcliffe)
6 months ago

Oh! Danielle, it really upsets me when I read stories like this. Why anyone, but especially the person they marry should turn out to be an abuser, it so hard to understand. So we need stories like yours to support and to give strength to those who are victims. Well written in a hundred words.

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof (@christer-norrlof)
6 months ago

You paint a good picture of the conflict between a dreamer, poet and artist on the one hand, and the realistic, down-to-earth, irritated, matter-of-fact person who doesn’t have that inclination or understanding. The danger of this relationship is that the hour of freedom might never strike. The reason could be security, fear or acceptance.

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary (@carrie-oleary)
6 months ago

It’s difficult enough living with someone who doesn’t understand or support creativity, living with someone who blatantly oppresses it is just too awful to contemplate. I can imagine a sense of suffocation and losing the essence of yourself. Nicely written and something that I think will stay with me.

Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse (@marianna-pieterse)
6 months ago

Danielle, this is one of those stories where I simply couldn’t respond immediately. I was so lost in thought over it and wondering how many people are in similar situations. The sadness of it is actually quite overwhelming. As Eric said, why does one person have to turn out to be an abuser? It makes one thankful again for what we’ve got. It is difficult enough to write something good if you are tired from running after little ones and if you still have to hear these horrible insults from a person who is supposed to love you. I can just imagine how dreadful it must be.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
4 months ago

My tears are falling when reading your story. Women who are abused mentally by their partner often think that running away and becoming free is the solution, but they cannot do it, because of the children. Anyway, I love the last part of your story, about how she managed to keep her will to write and share her ideas one day.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
4 months ago
Reply to  Danielle Burke

Yes. You are right.

Sandra James
Sandra James (@sandra-james)
3 months ago

A living nightmare 🙁 and how glad I am that her dreams of stories in the future allow a brief respite from her situation and help her get through. Sadly, there are people (women and some men) who live in terrible situations. Well written, Danielle!

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