Three years ago this week was a tough one for my family and I. My family has always had their crazy moments, stories and gossip for days.There have been family deaths before, usually because of old age or sickness. But never a tragedy. A part of me is kicking myself in the head right now, because that sounds pretty selfish.WE have never been through anything that tragic. But in all reality, though we were hurting, crying, confused, depressed, outraged, and sulking, we didn’t go through anything at all.
Physically, Jasmine was the one who suffered.
When I close my eyes and I try to play back the moments of her event. I have my own little play in my head. She wanted to leave, she wasn’t happy. She wanted to pack her bags, she went to pack her bags, he found her in the apartment, begged her to stay… and just like that, everything is blurry, scenes have been blacked out for the audience. A time gap is missing, leaving us to only guess what it could have possibly been to trigger such a reaction.
At this point, I ask myself, do I really want to know?
Though my heart sinks every time I think about it, I know the ending. We know the ending. Her body found, left and deserted. Regardless of those missing pieces, I know only one thing, the one thing I wish wasn’t true…. Jasmine isn’t physically here anymore.
Mind you, I said physically, because I know damn well, no matter how long time passes, how old I may be, what I’m going through, spiritually, mentally and living in my heart is my cousin Jasmine. She’s everywhere. My guardian angel.
It’s taken me a long time to come to this way of thinking… and though I’m typing it now, it’s still not easy to accept that thought 100%. For we are all still angry. Angry that a lowlife piece of scum could take away something, someone so beautiful, giving and thoughtful away from this earth, away from loved ones, away from us. If he couldn’t have her. nobody could.
Angry because till this day, we have yet to know what truly happened. Angry because she had to suffer, while he took his life like a coward. Angry because we didn’t even have the option of having an open viewing for the wake. Angry because we were still in denial. Angry, because till this day, we all want her to be here, with her family, with friends, sharing her contagious laughter,
I remember when she first went missing, we were all struck by confusion and worry, all wrapped into one emotion. Even though Jas was in school and had work, she always made time for family and friends. Especially to make time to talk to her sister Melanie, daily. So when posts were being put on her social accounts of her being so busy with school work, we didn’t fret, at first. (Later to find out that he was the writing all of this on her pages) After about a week of no contact we knew something was weird. After hearing the news, I was stuck in denial. Yet, doing everything I possibly could. Putting up Amber alerts in every social network possible. (I actually got responses once flyers went up, he was seen in Virgina, celebrating.)
Everything happened so fast, yet so slow at the same time, no matter how much we did, we got no answers. Not even from his mother who was the last to see both of them. (who knew and lied about her sons whereabouts)
One day while my cousins and I were questioning local business, residents and putting up flyers near the neighborhood she was living in, we got the phone call from the police department. They found her.
That’s all the would say.
They found her.
The car ride to the precinct, was the most that I have seen my family pray together, out loud, with worry and fear, united as one. Cousin sitting on top of another cousin, next to a sister, next to an aunt, next to in laws and all. We were crowded, rushing past lights, crying and praying.
Since only two people could go in to speak the officers, we waited outside. A mob full of tearful Dominicans in front of a precinct. What a sight. We waited, that’s all we could do. we waited for about 2 hours. Officers who kept coming in and out, telling us not to block the entrance. Just waiting with nothing to do but have faith, they said they found her.. we just didn’t know how.. and all we wanted to know was if she was okay..
You found her, yes…. but please tell us alive and safe.
The services were hard. It was a bonding moment, that I wish would of happened under different circumstances. The men in my family wore purple collared shirts, while the the women came about in purple attire as well. Purple, not only her favorite color. But the color for Domestic Violence Prevention.
Honestly, I didn’t plan to get this personal in this post, I guess my fingertips just took control of the situation.I’ve been blogging since about 2008. Though, online I may appear very cheerful, confident and use my arts for self expression. I like everyone else go through my share of hardships. Most, many. mostly all personal disasters and misfortunes have never made it to this virtual version of myself.
Not many know this, but I too have been in an abusive relationship. When I was younger, I was surrounded by abuse in the home, so dealing with this through a man, I thought, this must mean he loves me. How stupid of me. I can’t speak for many women, so please.. these are only my opinions, feelings and emotions that are being plastered on here. So I can only speak for myself.
I stayed, after being kicked down stairs, choked & slammed against walls. If it wasn’t for his constant lying… I still would of stayed. Again, stupid me. I vowed to never be stuck in a situation like that ever again. Then Jasmine happened, I was broken inside, missing her of course, but because secretly I kept thinking to myself “this could have been of me”. I know this sounds horrible, and I hate myself for it. It was a lesson I was learning the hard way. It was a reality check, that I wish came from a pamphlet or one of those teenage books you read. Not from real life, not from a cousin that I was so deeply in awe of.
In another relationship, after swearing them off completely for awhile, I fell once again. Madly deeply in love. I felt we breathed in synchronization. After a little while, patterns started to emerge again, this time with bigger demons than the last. A good soul, a good man, I will not take this away from him, memories that I would cherish for a lifetime. But there you go, my lifetime, it was my lifetime that I saw being threatened, this time after battles, dragging, threats of suicide and mental manipulation, teared soaked pillows, I was scared.Ending this would not be easy, but very well needed. I knew it, and every day that passed by without doing anything about it.. I felt Jasmine, not only judging me, but calling me a coward, I was embarrassed.
In all truth, her personality would never feel that way about me… I was being hard on myself, it was me saying those things.. I was judging myself.
Knowing Jasmine, her words would of been completely different, Stay strong, you can do this, you don’t deserve this, everything would be okay, ask for help, learn from what has happened to me.
I, very prideful, thinking I could handle everything myself, couldn’t. Until one day, my skin grew thicker, blank stares, ignoring and just fed up. I couldn’t do it anymore, I didn’t deserve it. No one does. It was time to let go.
Everyone woman should let go. You don’t deserve the pain, you are worthy. A man who lays his hands on you, does not respect you, and without respect there is no love.
Please, be wise, ask for help. Learn and leave while it’s early. Learn from other’s stories, mine, Jasmine’s, a close friend or even online. You are not alone and there is always someone who can help.
It’s difficult for me to be this naked online, but if I could do my part in helping save a life, that’s all that matters.
Back stories of Jasmine: