Cook Out

Treun and I decided to have a joint cook-out. He invited his best friend and I invited Arcadia and Elrick and a couple of other friends.

That morning I woke up and started cooking and baking.  I’d thrown away one of my good pots that had gotten destroyed a couple of months ago so I knew there was some stuff I had to do at Treun’s house.  I cleaned up my kitchen, took my shower, and headed over to his house to prepare the rest of the food.

As I was working in his kitchen, he was tidying his house.  He was vacuuming while chatting away with me as I puttered in the kitchen.  All I could think was how surreal it felt.  Never have I gotten ready for a party in conjunction with another person.  Before, I’d be telling the children what needed done and arguing with them about it.  Bubba was either at work or watching t.v., never willing to help. I’d be getting more and more resentful that I was, once again, doing everything alone while he did his own thing.  Now here I was, getting ready for a cook-out as a couple, both of us contributing and just enjoying working together.

When we were both done with our little chores, we headed to the grocery store to buy burgers and hot dogs for the grill.  I bought him some stirring spoons because he only has a big serving spoon and I felt he needed stirring spoons if I was going to be cooking in his kitchen.  I seem to be making myself at home in his house.  I keep taking little items over to make my life easier: hair clips, a spare phone charger, a pillow.  Slowly but surely, I’m making more of my presence felt in his home.

We had a really nice afternoon and evening.  Only Arcadia and Elrick and one of my others friends showed up but the day was full of good conversation, laughter, and the happy shrieks of swimming children.  Arcadia’s kids, my friend’s son, and Serenity and Greta were all in the pool.  Treun leaned his head into mine and told me how this is what his pool was meant for – to have people in it and enjoying it.  He genuinely loves having children in the house and in the pool.  He has a heart for kids and is a very family oriented man.

My friend and her son left so we put on some cartoons for Arcadia’s kids to watch while the four of us sat in the dining room and talked.  At one point, I was scratching my leg and Treun asked me if I’d gotten bitten.  I hadn’t realized I was scratching so I looked at it and said that I guess I had considering I was scratching it raw.  I then went back to the conversation at large.  I saw Treun get up and open a drawer in the kitchen.  He walked back in, sat down, and applied some hydrocortisone to the bite on my leg.  That simple act of kindness had me near tears.  He cared about something as minor as a bug bite because it was bothering me.  His compassion touched my heart more than he will ever know.  I thanked him and smiled at him.  I hope that smile conveyed the depth of my gratitude for who he is and that he is in my life.

While we were sitting there, I whispered to Arcadia that I was having anxiety about the sink full of dishes that were sitting there.  I was desperately fighting it because I can’t live with that old anxiety anymore.  Bubba is no longer around to demand that I clean up before the party is even over.  Also, a part of me wanted to see how Treun reacted to having those dishes sitting there.  I hate that these inner wars are still having to be fought.  I hate that I still have anxiety about things that aren’t part of my life anymore.

When Arcadia and Elrick left, I looked at Treun and asked if he minded if I did the dishes in the morning.  He said, “Hope, I don’t expect you to do the dishes, especially not tonight!  Let’s watch a little t.v. then head to bed.”  I often wonder if he notices the quizzical looks I give him.  He’ll say stuff like that, stuff that is outside of my realm of experience, and it will just perplex me.  I know my emotions show on my face and I wonder if he notices the boggled expression before the beaming smile pops out.  More and more the beaming smile is replacing the confused look quicker because I’m getting used to him being the exact opposite of Bubba.  I’m getting used to being treated as a valuable person, a loved person, a person of worth.

It was such a fun cook-out;  I thoroughly enjoyed myself and am hoping to have many more chances to entertain with Treun.



  1. In the past three days I have read every word of your story. I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you. I know you may not have begun writing this blog for other people but I appreciate being able to read your story and put words to parts of mine.

    • Thank you for your kind words. I’m glad you are using my story to help yourself. So often people remain silent because of shame, fear, or being told to keep quiet. Getting stories of abuse and survival out there is imperative so those people who are remaining silent can hopefully find healing too.

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