Chanel is a young woman in her mid to late twenties that looks as though she is ten years older. Her recent life has worn on her outside and killed her spirit inside. She is in a fight for her life as she speaks openly for the first time about the psychological abuse (domestic terror) she experienced with her husband and what drove her to kill him. As she walks us through the moments of him being the perfect man, she realizes that she wasn’t sure of the exact moment that his love shifted to ownership. A list: the things that she must do in order to be obedient to him. And before she saw what was coming, she found herself disconnected from the world, moved across country and completely dependent on her husband. No friends, no family only him. Watching her on camera, clocking how many minutes it took her to do things outside of the house, regulating what she cooked, and giving permission for everything from what time she woke up, to use the bathroom, counting the number of toilet tissue squares used, the way she slept to the clothes that he so properly laid out for her on a daily basis. She knew not to get out of line. Like a dog trained by her master, she feared for the hand that seemingly now gave her life. We often think of abuse only in terms of physical not realizing that the demons in our heads are just as powerful. Is she a severely abused woman or a murderer?

Female- Mirror of Terror

  • Good morning to all of you. I do apologize, I am sorry that you have to spend your morning listening to me. (Aside)No one wants to listen to me. (Beat, back to audience)I have been told by my lawyer that I need to stand in front of all of you and answer your questions, and I have to be 100% honest. I find it difficult to be honest at this point. Not because I want to lie to you or because I have lied in the past, because I have not. I have never lied because I have never spoken. (Slight smile, she touches her mouth, aside) I forgot what my voice sounded like. I have never spoken because until this moment in my life no one has ever told me that I had something that was worth hearing. Until today I didn’t know that anyone would ever listen. As humans we look at animals and we know that they communicate but we aren’t exactly sure how. It’s always been ironic to me that we can see that in them, but we cannot see that within ourselves. Communication is a skill that is learned, but only if you’re allowed to speak and only if in the spoken words you are allowed to be heard. (Beat)I’ve learned a lot since…Before I continue, I ask, will you really hear me today? (Beat, she scans the room for approval and moves forward.)Very well then, back to the very beginning. You never realize that you’re living in the midst of hell until you find yourself burning in it.




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