ONE WOMAN SHOW
Isabel Elias Apodaca
According to National Violence Against Women Prevention Research Center, every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.
The One Woman Show is an intimate sharing about a time in my life that I experienced a tragedy and nothing growing up could have prepared me for. I share my story because I want to bring more awareness to the deep rooted problem of abuse against women.
I was born in a small country town, Central New Mexico. We moved to California when I was just 4 years old. My parents purchased a nice home in a upscale area of Pasadena, California. They wanted to provide a better life for us. Shortly after, they lost their home, divorced and we moved to the heart of the ghetto in Los Angeles.
After the divorce, I really missed my dad. I was daddy’s little princess. I looked forward to weekends with him. Even though my daddy was not around much, I had dozens and dozens of fiends. You see, I loved to perform. I grew up where dancing was a big part of our self-expression. Latin music was always playing in our home. Now I got to take my performance to the street. My little brother would sell tickets to the neighborhood kids for my performances.
Throughout my school years... I was a good student, got all A's, belonged to the science club, belonged to a Youth Club, and continued to express my passion for dancing.
But then my life took a turn that I was NOT expecting. I was raped by a person I knew. It was the most crushing and traumatizing any 16-year-old could experience. I didn’t know what to do. I even thought about suicide but being a good Catholic girl, that would not be an option. So, I decided that I would pretend that it never happened.
The worst was still to happen. I’m pregnant. Not knowing what to do, and I couldn’t go against my mother. I married my rapist. She said the baby needed a name and she was not going to have a pregnant unmarried daughter living in her house. The wedding date was set between my mom and his parents.
The violence started right away. After a black eye or kick in the ribs, he would cry and apologize profusely promising never to do it again. But the cycle of violence continued. I tried to stay out of his way thinking it was my fault. I didn’t cook the right food; didn’t clean the house to his specifications; didn’t give him enough attention.
By the time I was twenty-one, I had three little babies. They were my purpose for living. I could put up with anything as long as my babies were with me. My happiest times were when he was in jail – which was often. He had a serious drinking problem and was caught drunk driving over and over.
There was a four-year lapse before baby number four came. By then I learned some survival strategies and began to reach out for help. I knew that if I didn’t get out of this hell called a marriage, I was either going to kill him or he was going to kill me. I got out of that hell called marriage and set myself FREE.
I could have taken many roads. I decided education was my road. I went back to school. I got my teaching credential and taught in the public-school system for 25 years. Today, I’m still a teacher, a Teacher of Life. It’s what I do; it’s who I am.
All my anger, the need for revenge, the hostility, is gone completely. I have a good life and I count my blessings very day. I have a wonderful man in my life.
The One Woman Show, A Victory Monologue, is entertaining in a comedic fashion with a message that “we are bigger than our circumstances, bigger than our issues and bigger than our challenges.” Everyone deserves a life of peace and goodwill.
We must declare Victory over the past and build a whole new future that empowers us!