For the Love of Erika Parker

cover photography Abuse by ChristineObsceneFYS


prologue: Why do people stay in abusive relationships? Love

What is love? Academia has struggled with presenting a single definition of love. Biologists believe it is a basic instinct, that nature inputs into the DNA of all animals  certain primal qualities, that exist with or without the loving hands of nurture. Psychology seems to suggest, that love begins and ends in the mind, and that each person can control love, with the same intensity and chance, that love can control them.


                               I Can’t Make You Love Me by Bonnie Raitt


For the Love of Erika Parker 

written & edited by Kendall F. Person


The first punch caught Erika off guard. She absorbed the blow with the intentional self-destruction of a heavyweight boxer. The pain would come later, that was a foregone conclusion. The pain always came later. But as the second and third strikes landed, and the blood began to spill, all she could think about was what had she done this time.

Love became biological for Erika. She needed it, and thought it needed her for elementary survival. It overpowered all else in her body, which was becoming less able to recover from his relentless bouts of aggression. Still dizzy, and only an hour removed from the epic beating, she believed would take her life, she lay comforted in her abusers arms. “I love you,” he whispered in her ear, while wiping the blood from her battered face. Although the pain had now attacked her, wreaking havoc, where it may, the expression of love, was all that she could feel.

Erika Parker (not her real name) was born into a family of love and raised in a traditional home. Her father held firm on to the teachings of the Old Testament, truly believing sparing the rod would spoil the child. His punishments were swift, but left no lasting effects. The trial revealed a happy home, and a normal, if not unremarkable life. She earned a degree, started a career, made her own money, and was very proud to be in complete control of her life. She would meet her husband two years later, knowing before they married, there would be problems with his unparalleled need to control.

But something more powerful than reason and far stronger than her faith, compelled her to move forward and become her husband’s mate. Love He moved her into the mountains, taught her how to hunt, treated her ever so beautifully, forcing her to fall deeper into his charms, then initiating his game of breaking her tender heart.

Erika, had for some time, knew this day would come. Several days and sometimes weeks of bliss, would cushion the rounds of abuse. But, this time was different. Still catching her breath from the love they just made, he grabbed her by the throat, drug her out of bed, and from somewhere behind his back, he produced a gun, which he shoved against her head. There was no more fight left in her, in trying to hide love. There were words coming from her abusers mouth, but she heard none of them, she would later tell the judge. She could remember staring at her husband, and thinking to herself, she would always love him, but she would learn to love herself. 

She had long ago stop pretending that she did not know the reason why she stayed. For her, it was the intense power of love’s draw, that made her endure hell, day after day. And while the pleadings of her parents, the rounds of therapy recommended by friends, could not change the way she felt about him, it did change the way she felt about herself.

Unbeknown to her husband, however, she had come to love herself far more, than she could ever love him. He did not shoot her, but she was convinced that one day he would. He pulled the gun away from her head, laughed, before arrogantly casting her and the gun aside. He then mistakenly turned his back and casually walked away.

epilogue: Why did she do it? For the love of Erika Parker

<the end>
The National Domestic Abuse Hotline


  1. As usual Kendall, very powerful and provoking pieces we read from you. But I wonder why a man would want to batter the woman he says he loves and cares for. These actions hurt clear through the family,leaving scars that can last a lifetime. I know.

    Liked by 1 person

      • By way of coincidence, my daughter’s name is Erika Parker, spelled the exact same way as the woman in this article. That is what drew me to it today. I confess to you that I must be getting old, as I cannot always endure the Neighorhood blogs, not because I don’t like them, but because I cannot handle it at times. But truth is usually naked.

        You are special.

        Liked by 1 person

        • An old friend relayed the exact same biggest, slightly different words “You have to be ready before reading your stuff.” I understood what he meant as i do you, so imagine living in my head. (big smile) But I am so grateful that come back. I will repost my favorite poem (after If by Rudyard Kipling). There is a line that reads “I return to my center…” simply brilliant in mind think. It works for me every single time. You may have read it, it is called The Plight of a Powerless Consciousness

          Liked by 1 person

          • Hi again Kendall. I took ten minutes and read the poem and also watched and listened to Crystall, the author recite it. I have to agree with you on that one line in particular, “I return to my center…” I got goose bumps when I was reading that particular portion. Life is good and bad, calm and hectic. People will always be people, so there has to be a point in time (more than once) when one can return to their center, the place of refreshing. Thanks for sharing.


        • A reader’s comment connected dots I had not connected. One of those dots leads to you and your open and honest words ” I confess to you that I must be getting old, as I cannot always endure the Neighborhood blogs, not because I don’t like them, but because I cannot handle it at times. But truth is usually naked.” Perhaps, I have reached a defining moment on how to approach Season V. Thank you.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Kendall,
    This is a disturbing yet powerful piece that captures the horror that many women call their lives. Your vivid descriptions take us into the mind and heart of those who suffer daily these unspeakable abuses in the name of love.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. She stayed because she was lost and she didn’t recognize herself anymore. Her insides were damaged even more than any bruise that showed up on her body. Leaving seemed impossible. He broke her down so far that she didn’t think she could until…the light caught her eyes and the flash of it brought a memory of who she once was. That’s all she needed to walk. So she did.
    Thank you for your story.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think it’s important to remember, that though these people took away a portion of our life, our youth and our innocence, it doesn’t define who we are and it doesn’t have to consume our life a second more beyond that unless we let it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Another point, how important is that ancient teaching men give with stern voice to four year old males, “Do not hit girls.” Our friend in your next blog, the one who could (italicize) be a healer or iatros (psych-iatry, soul-healing), reminds of this teaching. So what if it shows the limitations of our modern feminst pc. If that were true, we would be taking the same question up half the time with genders reversed, wondering why women abuse men. Not that they do not, but not usually physically, and the passive stuff we active ones are responsible not to respond to. (women do passive workplace harassment, for example). At any rate, making it a point of nobility and teaching this to four year old males is very important. Do not ever (italicize) strike your mother” is important for boys who will grow up, and their father might be away by then. It really is aristocratic versus tyrannical habits, and we really will prevent this from occurring, as was said, you have to mean it, and be careful not to lose!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. An incredibly powerful story, even more so by the way you have told it using emotions and not names. I think sometime when we look at these stories in the news or read about them we only see the face value (the actual faces) and forget that it runs much deeper. That is why it can and is so hard to get out of this situations. Thank you for telling this story!!

    Liked by 3 people

    • You are so very welcome. I could not be more inspired and recommitted to my work, than I am now, with the outpour of emotion of For the Love of Erika Parker. Thank you for adding your voice and your perspective. And welcome to The Neighborhood.


    • Thank you for adding your voice to what has become somewhat of a chorus . For the Love of Erica has struck a note that I have not seen in awhile. Will continue the topic. So nice to have you in The Neighborhood.


  7. So very sad. Today, women and children can get help easily if they have the courage to seek it. It wasn’t so in my day. What people don’t know is that it isn’t as easy to get away and get help as one would think. There is this emotional thread the perpetrator has on you. There’s the voice inside you that says, “if I tell and am not believed, I’ll be beaten further” or I could be subjected to public humiliation.
    Such was the case of a friend of mine who lived in a big city and I won’t say where, but her father was a councilman, mayor or something like that. He was sexually abusing his girls, waiting for them after school for years. Those girls ended up in mental hospitals and detention homes, being mislabeled. The older sister gave up and accepted her fate, my friend did not, so her humiliation lasted into her early adult years. Very sad.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. This is very hard, because of the last sentence. The reflections on love are profound.. We think it a point of nobility to interfere in defense of women, like a knight of the round table. Men prevent other men from striking women, by threatening bullies and meaning it.. One pastor warns against interfering, or advises caution, because they will both turn on you. Once I saw a woman in trouble under a freeway, and so I allowed her to walk with me, both of them, out into the streetlight, where they could continue their discussion more safely. There was no necessity that we be that lucky. ML King Jr. would teach the nonviolent protesters they could not fight back, even if women were struck by police- That restraint is very hard. But the highest degree wins without fighting, and fights without needing to touch his opponent.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You voice, your words, the wisdom and the examples used, is profound by itself. Thank you for adding your voice and your perspective and your willingness to share. They may not be responding aloud, but I am certain those who need wisdom and strength and direction are reading hearing the many voices that have come out today. You are appreciated. So good to have you in The Neighborhood.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for this story. It’s very real. I actually know a girl who’s in a similar situation. Of course I don’t know the intensity of it, but perhaps I could show this story to her older sister who is worried. Thanks again.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Extremely interesting read. I explore a similar string of matters on my site, at times in fiction, at times in nonfiction, straight-up like Vodka. The articles In love with the Abuser and Types of Lovers – Hades and the Abuser come close to this. The psychology behind women’s decision to enter and stay in such relationships goes beyond daddy issues and low self-esteem – these are important, yes, but they are surface matters that mainstream shrinks with pampered training choose to stick too, because the quicksand under “daddy issues and low self-esteem” is dangerous, and it takes more than watching psycho-thrillers and looking interesting with glasses on to discover and treat; deep down it’s about something else.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks for sharing this real story. It is all about control. That should be red flag early on, but it is usually not heeded. About 1/3 of the homeless working families we help are headed by single mothers who are the victim of domestic violence. The victim is shamed and won’t tell her family. She will make excuses for her abuser or hide her wounds. She may wait until its too late. He will not change – get out. He says he will – but get out. Find a friend, family member, social worker, police, but get out.

    Liked by 3 people

      • Many thanks. A good friend who ended up as Board Chair of a DV agency told me why he is involved. He grew up as part of a big family. His parents. brothers and sisters did not know their daughter/ sister was being beaten by her husband. Excuses for absences were always given. They did not know until he beat her to death. They learned afterward he was beating his/ her children as well.

        Liked by 2 people

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