Lot of heavy stuff! But you can look forward to a cute, baby Mara on the next page.

I would also like to take a second to give you a little bit of information about domestic abuse. In regards to Tristin’s question “Why didn’t she leave?” it usually isn’t a matter of just being able to up a leave an abusive partner. It can sometimes take as many as 8 tries before an individual experiencing abuse from a partner to be able to completely disengage from them. This is partially due to what’s known as the cycle of abuse.

The cycle goes tension building, acute violence, reconciliation/honeymoon, calm and then repeats. On top of this, abusers typically will isolate the abusee socially and financially, creating a reality in which the abusee believes they have no one else to turn to for help from the situation. Additionally, abusive relationships don’t always start out that way. It can often be a gradually building situation that takes years to incubate. For more information you can also check out the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s website.

If you find yourself or someone you care about in a situation like this, there are third parties there to help you get out of it. Abuse is never justified and you do not deserve to be treated with anything other than love and kindness.