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This Christmas

'Tis the season when we picture all things to be merry and bright. While for some families it most certainly will be a Merry Christmas, this will not be the case for everyone. The demands of the holidays often lead to domestic violence and, for a variety of reasons, most victims choose to suffer in silence until after the holiday is over and at times, indefinitely. All too often, that silence can be deadly. If you are in a domestic abuse situation of any kind, I encourage you to open up to a trusted friend or family member and to reach out to community and national resources for immediate help. Should you find yourself in a situation that is life-threatening and beyond repair, please do not hesitate to make your exit.
This Christmas
We were married two days after Christmas
Then two years later, we were separated
Two days after Christmas
How could this be?
It was our anniversary
I knew him like my ABCs, my 123s
Always quick to please
But soon he lost all his cares
 Got caught up in his love affairs
With Tequila and Chardonnay
Getting in his sanity's way
Though we seemed to have it all
Our Christmas tree was 7-feet tall
Reaching toward that cathedral ceiling
But the gifts beneath could not compete
With those lonely, angry feelings
Entertaining myself all alone
With Christmas songs playing all night long
In our fancy house in the cul-de-sac
With eighteen holes of golf out back
But he'd lost his cares in his love affairs
Then cerebral limitation and delusional accusations 
Led to him to outrage just on the cusp of physical violence
For years I would lash back but that day
I responded with silence
Ready to move on yet
Paralyzed by thoughts of being alone
Then I realized I'd been doing it all along
I'd already been patient
Already been kind
I'd tried all those years to open his mind
He promised to change when we were married
But two years later
Two days after Christmas
We were separated
I refused to be a slave to fear
The devil I knew was no longer welcome here
Though I've lost many things
What I gained is much more
My past can't compare to what God has in store
Because I learned to love myself as He loves me
And I care not if there's one present beneath my tree
I've already received the greatest gift there ever can be
When His Son came along and set me free
And this Christmas will be a very special Christmas for me!

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