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The Loss of a Friend

January 26, 2015

This weekend I received disheartening news. Erica Perez, a woman I have written letters to quite a bit since 2007, was murdered by her husband.

Erica Perez

Erica Perez

She was the mother of 5 boys, and the main thing that attracted me to Erica was the depth, the quality. the truth of the love she had for her children.

Our friendship and our correspondence began with two sentences on Facebook that she had sent me about a song we both liked. Eventually, we spoke on the phone and she’d tell me stories about her boys: how much she loved them, how they were doing in school, and what TV shows they liked. Sometimes she shared the dark details of her relationship with her husband, although she never shared his name (I only knew him by “HE”). She told me how he went out drinking and cheating on her, and how he always came home and accused her of cheating although she wasn’t. When she confronted him about his cheating, he accused her of being the cheater, threw her on the bed, and choked her. She also wrote how he almost never touched her affectionately or sensually. I wrote her a lot a letters saying “Erica, please pack up, take the kids and go somewhere far away.” Her reply was always, “I can’t. How will I survive?” How will I take care of my babies?”

4 of Erica's sons

4 of Erica’s sons

Erica tried to distance herself from him a few times, but I knew it was difficult to leave after so many years together and 5 children. Easier suggested than done, I guess. In my heart, I was afraid this murder was eventually going to happen, but after a while when it didn’t, I quit thinking about it so much.

As a child, I grew up around a lot of domestic violence that was drug fueled: my mother screaming in terror, screaming matches between the both of them, and breaking stuff and hitting. Later on down the road, in a different household I became the one being hit. The cycle of abuse is just CRAZY! I guess some people would rather go through this stuff than be alone, but I just don’t understand. I’d rather weep the bittersweet tears, the type that burn way deep down inside and come with sweet relief of loneliness, than just feel the sweet bitterness of whatever you call this type of living.

Growing up psychologically tormented, emotionally disturbed and physically abused, one of my greatest fears has always been hurting my woman or my child, if I were ever blessed with them. I do not believe I ever would, but it still is a great fear that the cycle of abuse will continue with me. The thought is so strong right now, I had to put my pen down and just grab my hair until it hurt.

Those five young boys did not deserve this; I pray they did not witness the actual act of their mother being murdered.

Below are links to domestic violence websites and to a newspaper article about this situation. No man should be hurting his woman or his children. Inform yourself on how to recognize and stop Domestic Violence. Maybe that sounds weird coming from me, it kind of felt awkward as I wrote it, but as a child, I hated hearing it, I hated seeing it, and I hated being a victim of it.

Love each other.

Erica Perez newspaper articles: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Dad-in-Amber-Alert-Standoff-Charged-With-Sons-Kidnap-Wifes-Murder-285862711.html

http://ktla.com/2014/12/11/amber-alert-issued-for-4-montebello-boys-after-womans-body-found-in-car-father-named-person-of-interest/

Domestic Violence and Abuse: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/domestic-violence-and-abuse.htm

Domestic Violence Helpline: http://www.thehotline.org
1-800-SAFE (7233)

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