I sometimes feel like I don’t need to tell a soul, but then who am I giving the pleasure of my silence? Who is the winner?
This is not really about winning or losing anyway. It’s a case of Survival and how I survived. How I rose up and stood tall against you, My Abuser.
With each passing day it gets easier to forgive but the Forget is just so impossible. There are faded parts, like over-worn Jeans or those precision bleached ones the kids like to wear.
I find that there are days that I don’t think about it at all and then other days a small little thing will trigger a Memory and just run wild in my mind all day long.
If you were ever in an Abusive relationship I think I speak for each one of us when I say that you play this next scenario out over and over in your head:
You know he is going to either come home and pick a fight so he can jump in his car and leave or he just does not come home at all.
Every minute that passes puts you more and more on edge. You start pacing, making sure everything is neat, clean, in it’s place.
You keep yourself in your finest clothing and your Make-up immaculate, although you would much rather be in your pj’s and in bed.
You hide things that can be used against you. (Knifes, Hand axe (My abusers favourite) Books, Ashtrays, Broom, Empty Bottles.)
You start thinking of ways to calm him or greet him so as to not set him off or over the edge.
You play out your words, careful of what you can and what you cannot say.
You keep the television sound way down in order to hear the car approach. ( I found that we tend to develop extra sensory hearing when in such relationships, you know the sound of your own car a mile off)
You keep the lights to a minimum.
You repetitively warm the food just a little at a time, or keep the kettle boiled in the hope he will walk in and ask for Coffee or Tea.
You keep a door unlocked to give you an instant escape route and always make sure you have the keys in your pocket.
a Small bag with an extra set of clothing and some money is kept hidden away outside the house in case you need to flee or spend the night outside. (This happened often)
Finally after hours and in a state of shear terror you hear the car coming down the road and can judge the frame of mind of the driver by the roar of the engine. It’s like a pre warning. You jump, your heart starts racing and your mouth is instantly dry. You run to put the kettle on and get some lights on in the house. You switch the Tv over to a sports channel or something you hope will grab his attention. You feign a smile when he enters the door and one of two things will happen. You will either get a sheepish grin back or you will get greeted by a face of a doom.
The sheepish grin is acceptable and the rest of the evening will probably end well. (Rare as diamonds on the pavement)
Its that Gloomy Thunder Face that is the scarier of the two.
What are you looking at?
What the F@#* do you want?
Who are you all dolled up for?
Where were you? (They make them self believe YOU went out and had a ball)
Who was here with you?
What have you done al day long? The house looks like shit!
You do your best to stay non complacent and not show hostility. You try and keep a straight face. They seem to see things and read things on your face only they can.
You offer the food or drinks option. Carefully ……….
If the food offer is accepted and you start warming it up, you still clamp your lips and sort of hold your breath as whatever you say next or not say next can cause an eruption.
Most times when he gets in in a foul mood the food will never be acceptable. It’s always crap. The dogs wont even want to eat it, yet they still pick up that first fork full and eat. Mostly there will not even be need for a fork as the hands will do the job. You keep yourself busy by wiping counters that need no cleaning or making yourself coffee. Then halfway through the plate of food it’s either side swiped off the table or thrown straight at you. No reason. No provocation,
All you can do is brace yourself for the impact and cover your face. Shouting, screaming out or asking why will infuriate him and start a full on war.
You know you have to clean it up and pick up the pieces. you have to get out that broom you so carefully hid away out of fear that it might be used on you. He gets up and pushes the chair over. He screams at you and tells you it’s your fault for making him mad. You irritate him. He wishes you would just fuck off or die. you make his life miserable.
He laughs at your attempts to clean up the floor and tells you that the position you are in on your knees is the position he will keep you in. You waste his money. You’re a whore. You’re good for nothing. Your an unfit mother.
Oh ok so know he has realised that he had used the word “mother” somewhere in his tantrum and asks me where his kids are.
He wants to know whether I even remembered to feed them the same shit he has just had to eat. He tells me I am poisoning his kids. He wants to know if I even thought of bathing them. Tells me I am a lousy mother, unfit!
A slap to the side of my face stings like a bitch and sends me reeling backwards. I gasp for breath and put my hand up to my face to touch the burning red hot ember spreading over my face. I dare not show emotion or even think of letting a tear show. THAT would certainly send him straight over the edge. I will regret the next blow. I slowly walk away.
As the words starts escalating from his mouth I keep my silence and as calmly as possible try and ward off the anger building up inside me. He storms off and leaves me standing there wishing I could just end it all. Just one swipe. Just one punch, just the guts to go. The guts to phone the police, but I know it’s all futile and in any case if he does get locked up and his company finds out he will be fired immediately and we will lose all benefits.
And in any case tomorrow is Saturday and the day will bring its own new challenges. the children have no idea of what happened after they went to sleep last night. They just know that Daddy is home now and it’s Saturday morning and he is spending it with them.
He just walks past me as if last night never happened. The shattered pieces are wrapped in old newspaper and thrown out.
I suppose I should wrap up yesterday and put it out with the trash too.
PS: My wish for each person who has had to endure ABUSE of any kind: Stand up, Speak out! Let your voice be heard. If by telling it like it is can help only one other person, we can help heal each other one person at a time.
By beating them at their own game, we can start BEATING THE DRUM.