After my last blog, I took a moment to reflect on the conversation with my ex. As I brushed my teeth and stared at my reflection, I went over his words in my head. I am always looking for hidden meanings, inflections in the voice that I missed on the first go round. How did I respond? How did I feel?
Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. He had admitted to hitting me. He said that he realised that hitting, choking and abusing me to get his way had not been the right thing to do. Up until that point, he had never acknowledged it ever happened. And truth be told, I was still half-convinced that it was another crazy dream that my mind conjured up.
From time to time, I would vascillate and tell myself “it wasn’t all that bad.” I’d never ended up in the hospital, never had to cry out to the neighbors for help. Maybe I should never use the word domestic violence or abuse in relation to my marriage or our relationship cause certainly what happened did not qualify.
Those are the moments when I am in denial, and I want to pretend its all in the past…But when I least expect it, the memories raise their ugly head. I look at men as the enemy and have to remind myself they can only hurt me if I let them. I hate always having to read between the lines, I would like to be able to take people at their word. I don’t make promises I cannot keep or if in that rare moment I do, I admit to my failure and beg off.
To be honest, I used to check the domestic violence sites years ago when my marriage started, and although there was no hitting then, there were enough indicators on the list of “how to know you are abused” for me to recognize trouble.
Why didn’t I get out then? Cause I did then, what I was doing now, trying to say “it was not that bad” and “it was normal”, “other women have it worst”, “I have already said until death do us part.”
But I did not want it to be my death that parted me from my marriage. I wanted to live and be with my kids, fulfill a whole lot of dreams that seemed to be lost. It eventually got “that bad” and I am sure it still does not compare to what other women have suffered. But I was not raised like that. I could count on one hand how many beatings my dad ever gave. He used the look to keep us straight. Why would taking abuse from a man be okay. It is not.
Even if at this point he is only cursing you out, telling you all the things you are not good at, that you are not a good mother, you need him and would be nothing without him, it’s time to walk.
Because once he breaks your will, there is nothing stopping the physical abuse to begin.