The roads in Fairfield are many. Some streets offer humble homes. Some roads lead to ivy-wrapped mansions and high-end pools. And the doors? We have red-gloss ones jeweled with regal brass knockers and weathered doors thirsty for a simple coat of paint.
At dusk we rise and earn our bread and butter in varied ways. We open our doors and rush off to make the best living that we can for loved ones and ourselves. Some board the New-York bound and are awakened to Grand Central morning light. And after 8-hour shifts we rush home and hope for the quiet calm of our personal lives.
We are busy. Busy with after-school activities and meetings and knitting groups. We exercise and sweat. We shop and dine.
Some Fairfield folk pack Sunday houses of worship while others make Sunday coffee and newspaper a peaceful ritual.
We love our wives and husbands and children and pets.
Fairfield’s trees are tall; maybe they muffle the sounds of harsh tones. Maybe they hold the secrets of harsh, pained words.
Because behind those varied doors, some people are broken and hurting. So much pressure—we have to have it all, no?
We smile, regardless of what occurs behind closed doors.
Warm smiles; tight-lipped smiles. Yet our eyes are screaming worry or sadness.
So we deny; we’re so good at denying. We deny ourselves love and respect. We deny our hungry hearts of healthy female friendships and bromances.
Maybe its the lure of success that trumps honest conversations. We want our honeyed highlights and clothing labels. We anesthetize with sleek cars and overhauled kitchens, thinking that will bring us the right kind of happy.
In 2015, there were 35,507 domestic violence cases in Connecticut—not including 5,839 innocent children affected by it.
Last week, Fairfield added five more names. We break our vows to our loved ones in silent disdain.
Three children who have suffered trauma; a marred memory, forever singed.
We mustn’t deny that violence reared its ugly head in Fairfield; to refute that current circumstance would be to live a myth.
Is it pride or shame that hinders hope and healing?
We are parched; our souls are thirsty for hope.
We need to awake from serving the idols of success and one-upmanship.
We need more than a prayer vigil; we need crucial conversations.
Men need more than inebriated guffaws.
We need real friendships, beyond the deceptive highlight reels of social media.
We need honest conversations, because all lives incur stress. The reality is —men and women and children experience life stress and we aren’t always able to articulate our need for help.
We need deeper conversations and table-gathered people willing to break bread.
We need simple disclosures.
Our doors need to be opened to honest conversations.
We need to be vulnerable—too many men, women, and children are bearing silent burdens of shame and fear and hopelessness.
Hope and healing begins when we are courageous enough to open our varied doors, regardless of our skin tones and economic stratums—truthful conversations regarding family violence are long overdue.