Nov. 7: What was your worst Thanksgiving food fail?
It was the night before Thanksgiving and I asked my mom if I could help plan the meal… My Mom asked what I wanted to cook and my answer was anything and everything. This is what I had in mind:
- Thanksgiving Turkey
- Cornbread Dressing
- Ono Cornbread
- Collard Greens and Black Eyed Peas for good luck and prosperity.
- Fried Catfish
- Prime Rib Roast
- Pot roast with sourdough bowls
I had practiced cooking big Soul Food Feasts during my 2 years in Cali and I couldn’t wait to showcase and share everything that I had learned!
My Mom and I had started going to the gym together and taking classes and we found out that on the day after Thanksgiving there was an “After-Thanksgiving-Turkey Burn Extravaganza workout combo” So I made a mental note and invited my friend Tim, from high school, to join us.
That night we shopped til’ we dropped and even on Thanksgiving Morning we had a couple of last-minute ingredients to pick up. I was just starting to feel more confident and comfortable in my skin again. I escaped from my abusive relationship on August 29th and it was now the end of November. I had this zest for life and felt the euphoria of feeling free.
My Mom, Sister, and I spent the entire day chopping and cooking and we even had snow. It was a beautiful white Thanksgiving and we were cooking up a storm! Sadly, my dad was sick so he spent the day in his room resting and recovering.
We finally started to wrap everything up around 8:45 then around 9 pm our doorbell rang. Who could that be?!?! We were not expecting any guests.
Earlier that week I noticed some suspicious activity on my facebook. A woman who I didn’t know tried to add me as a friend. I almost added her because at the time everyone I knew was trying to get tons and tons of friends whether or not they knew them. Upon further inspection, I noticed that her hometown was listed as the same city I lived in in Cali. Coincidence or what? When I had asked her who she was, she said we didn’t know each other she just thought it was cool that we lived in the same town.
I decided not to add her then a few days later she sent me a message and said that she and my abusive ex had driven all the way up from Cali. Of course she had no idea what a nightmare he was. In fact, I was worried about HER safety. She went on to say that he was so heartbroken and realized that he had messed up and wanted to find me and marry me. She compared our story to that of “The Notebook” and said that she wanted to help us reunite. So they were in town hoping that I would meet my ex for coffee.
Part of me wanted to see him because part of my heart still thought that I loved him. But it was that part of my heart that kept me brainwashed and trapped. It was the part of my heart that blamed me for all of our problems and told me that if I could just “fix myself” then maybe things would be better. But my mind and the rest of my heart knew that he had threatened my life and it would be dangerous for me to ever see him again.
My mom suggested that we call the police so that they could take a report. I agreed to do it, but that initial part of my heart hurt. The officer took the report and said that there wasn’t anything they could really do at this point. If I wanted to press charges for the abuse I would have to go back to cali and I knew that I didn’t want to do that. I felt defeated and sad like I had somehow failed, but at the very least I started a papertrail that could possibly help other women that might encounter him. I hoped that nobody would ever have to go through the horrors and nightmare that I had lived through.
Thank goodness my mom had been supportive all along. The day after I got home, she took my to file for a protection order. Everyone else had told me that it probably wasn’t necessary since he was two states away. I am glad that I took my Mom’s suggestion and filed anyways even though it was triggering and heart breaking to write my statement and be reminded of all the pain.
Fast forward back to Thanksgiving night and that knock on the door was my ex. He wanted to see me. I was glad that we didn’t answer the door and my heart literally sunk. I was scared and fearing for my life. We called the police and the officer said that my ex had bought a really big ring and wanted to marry me. He showed me the id and I confirmed that it was definitely him. I was with him that sunny day in Cali at the DMV when he got his license.
They put him in holding for the long Thanksgiving weekend and he had his arraignment on Monday morning. It was recommended by the police department that I find a different place to live and be extra careful. My ex had broken my protection order twice and he tried to get a 3rd party to contact me. I didn’t know where to go or who to turn to and I was once again walking on eggshells and fearing for my life… I was even thinking about changing my name.
That Thanksgiving meal in 2010 was absolutely delicious, but the events of that night altered my way of life. I had to go back into vigilant-mode, constantly look over my shoulder, vary my routes, and be extra careful once again.
6 years later we are approaching Thanksgiving season once again and I feel so blessed to know that all those memories are in my distant past. It was hard and heartbreaking to go through, but I thank God everyday that I got out. I am a survivor!!!