Friday, October 31, 2008

What a Woman!

I think every woman has to irregularly watch the Oprah Winfrey show. It has often left me in tears; yeah, I’m a man! Women who have been battered up by crazy hubbies; women crazy about their outward beauty but inwardly decayed; woman whopping with wizardry in dealing with extreme situations in life. Every facet of women had been so alarmingly brought out by Oprah who appears a real angel.

In a show-time of an hour, Oprah has alerted me to the fate of an extraordinary woman.

A 34-yeard-old woman loved her mom as much as her boyfriend, Terrence. Carolyn Thomas from Texas was unusually nice to Terrence for 8 years though he was always complaining about her dress or her conversation with others outside her family. One in every four American women is domestically abused. Terrence thought he owned her and Carolyn gradually came to know that what she thought was her nicest love was actually a nasty obsession. When Carolyn wanted to part with him, he threatened that if he didn’t get her, he will get his family. Carolyn, who loved her mom than anybody else, didn’t want her to be hurt in any way. This decision destroyed Carolyn’s life. One day in December 2003, when Carolyn was talking with her girlfriend, Terrence barged in and started screaming at her as he suspected there was a man in the house.

Without heeding to the mom and daughter’s plea that there was nobody else, Terrence shot the mom in stomach and Carolyn in her face. Carolyn’s mom died later and Carolyn later recounts that she broke down when she learnt that her mom couldn’t “make it.” When Carolyn first saw her face in Santa Fe Rehab centre, she was frightened: noseless, jaws oozing out with most of her skin covering her face missing and her left eye badly wounded. Almost more than half of her face remains covered with bandage till today. She can’t smell nor can she eat; nourishing liquids are sent into her body through an opening in the abdomen. Carolyn’s scrimpy scare is recounted in an anecdote: she used to love kids so much that when one day a kid was frightened by her face, she couldn’t take it any longer. No words can describe the trauma that Carolyn underwent and still is going through. Just imagine what it takes to see a face that is not yours, but still is there for no damn reason.

Amid this kind of unimaginable life, Carolyn has transformed herself from a domestic abuse into a determined survivor. When Terrence was later found naked on the street outside Carolyn’s house, he went on trial in April 2004. American courts have an amazing ritual where sufferers vent out their feelings before the convicted. I think this public act does try to bring out the human in the convict. Carolyn too faced Terrence for the first time after the shootout and just imagine what her reaction would be. Carolyn was strong and stern in her voice. She said I’m no longer under your control and you must be lucky that you at least have a mother to talk to for rest of your life but I don’t have one. I forgive you for all that you did and have no hatred against you. See it takes unspeakable strength to first stand before a monster who has traumatized your life and yet forgive him for all the harm he has done to you. I think Carolyn must be crowned for her sincerity. The Texas court gave Terrence a life sentence.

Carolyn still does her bandage by herself. And she has stood the test of time by her faith in god. She has accepted her condition as a fatal accident, which has helped her resurrect and bring about a real transformation in her. She is still to undergo five reconstructive surgeries and five surgeons have come together to give their precious time and energy to do it. Really an amazing way to empathize with her! One of the surgeons, Alfred is astonished at Carolyn’s bounceback prowess and is hopeful that one day, Carolyn will have a public face apart from the brave character she is.

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