Thoughts on “love”…. the tragedy at UVA

My heart aches for the Mother of Yeardley Love…and for the mother of the man who is accused of killing her. As a mother of a 23 year old daughter, I can only imagine the sickening feeling  of that phone call…that it can’t be real, this can’t possibly be happening.  But I look at such a thing and wonder, what can we pass along to our kids..especially our daughters who face the world of love and romance in a new age….not that domestic violence is anything new to the scene….not even remotely.

I sent the information to my sweet daughter, hoping to tell her….what? That people who will do you harm, don’t just look like threatening strangers? Be careful who get involved with?  It is a sobering statistic that of the 15 to 19 year old women who are murdered in this country each  year, about 30 percent of them were killed by a boyfriend or husband. Oh, love….can thy name be violence?

When I was in my 20s, I had only a minor brush with such a thing….I’d been dating a guy, pretty seriously, and then I didn’t want to see him anymore. But he couldn’t accept that ending….he came to my apartment several times uninvited, even when I was leaving on a date, saying he had to talk to me. I remember his hands were shaking as we sat in his car….he simply couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to be with him anymore. I didn’t understand either really…I just didn’t. He even drove 30 miles to see my parents and talk to them about it…I was embarassed, and as you can imagine…horrified. This was someting I had carefully kept from my Mother. After a while he did finally leave me alone, but being stalked was no fun, and it could have ended badly…but it didn’t.

I think most young women  think they can handle the situation…I did. You don’t want to make legal trouble for someone or embarrass them, and you may think things will get worse if you call his parents….his coach…his friends…his boss.  But sometimes, you have to get serious about what could be a lethal threat. And I hope my daughter will recognize the signs of  a young man who has troubled emotions in this delicate area…as women we often mistake  jealousy and control, for love. It ain’t, sister. When someone says “where were you” and “who did you see“, and “You can’t go to that party“…they aren’t loving you…they’re treating you like a possession…like a car. And behavior like that once it starts, is a definite trouble sign. It never gets better and it almost always gets worse. Cut the cord then….before you’re more involved. As the poet and author Maya Angelou, who’s taken her own walk on the dark side,  said so wisely, “When someone tells you who they are, believe them“.  Believe them.

I send all my good thoughts and wishes to Yeardley’s Mom and  her family, who are now living in a nightmare from which they cannot awaken. I’m so sorry for your terrible, terrible loss.

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2 Responses

  1. I also have a 20 year old daughter. She is at College Park. A VERY big campus. She lives alone and works at school … and I worry. What mother wouldn’t? I cannot imagine getting that phone call. How do we protect ourselves against this? How much of a warning did Yeardly have? Did she just hope he would accept that she wanted out of the relationship? A lot of serious questions. God Bless her family.

  2. Good post. The murder is such a tragic story.

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