By Danni Moss
Copyright protected, all rights reserved
I saw a news story just now that triggered a lot of emotions. Here’s the story… after it I’ll tell you why it upset me. This story is courtesy of ABC Action News.
By Keith Baker
TAMPA, FL — Police say Hugo Esquitia was upset with his wife, the A/C wasn’t working and his crying 6-month old daughter when his anger took over.
Esquitia faces aggravated child abuse for what police say he did to the little girl.
He is accused of grabbing the child by the head and trying to yank her out of her swing chair. When that didn’t work police say he grabbed her by the arms and tossed her to on to a couch.
The child was transported to an area hospital with serious injuries to her head.
Esquitia is held in jail without bond.
There were a couple reasons this story caught my attention.
First, notice why he got angry – he was upset with his wife, the A/C wasn’t working and the baby wouldn’t stop crying. I would bet any amount of money in the world, in his mind – and what he has told his wife – it was her fault he got angry. If only she hadn’t made him mad, if only she had taken better care of the baby so she didn’t cry — then he wouldn’t have gotten angry. It’s all her fault. Why do I know this? I lived this story!
Another thing that grabbed me was the man’s actions. I don’t remember my husband, Gary, ever attempting to pick up one of his children by their hair (though hair-pulling was well within bounds), but throw them on the couch when he was angry? Oh, yes — often. I was always terrified they would break a limb or their necks.
I wish I had known to call the police. Somehow my children were never injured, so no emergency hospital visits ever drew the attention of the authorities. And Gary denied he was abusive; he was believed every time. He never admitted to throwing the children in his rages until we were in court during our divorce. But then, even though my attorney got him to admit it, Gary assured the court he had gotten help and had not been abusive for the previous several years. So the judge didn’t believe me when I said he was still abusive.
Well, it’s a little hard to throw a teenager who’s bigger than you onto the sofa! Gary didn’t stop the physical violence until they were big enough to beat him up — and one of them did it twice. Then he magically developed the ability to walk away rather than raise his fists. It didn’t stop the verbal abuse, but that stopped the physical violence.
Why didn’t I do anything about it? Oh, I did. When I tried to get outside help, Gary’s perfect facade and pleas convinced them I was using the “abuse” hot button to try to get out of my marriage. He also threatened to take the children and leave the state, to have me charged with child abuse (it would have been funny if I weren’t completely afraid he would be believed), etc.
So I stood up to him inside our marriage. I got in the middle to stop it every time (until they were so big I would have ended up hurt!) By then I had one goal — I was not going to lose my children to the courts because of this man. My children were my responsibility until they were 18. I might not be able to fix it all, but I could try to build a strong relationship with my children so they would have something to stand on later. And I had a covenant with God for my children’s salvation by the time they were 18. With the oldest, God pulled out a squeaker about 6 months before he turned 18. 😉 The second son accepted Christ when he was much younger.
But in hindsight, I wish I had known to call the police from the beginning. If I had there would have been an established trail of reported abuse and I may have gotten better help from the system; and many years earlier. When I see a story like that, all the old pain floods back. I wish, I wish, I wish…