I was late to the christening of my friend’s child. That morning I’d had a hot cup of tea thrown at me – it missed, smashed against the wall, the tears in the wall paper are probably still there.
That was the first time I’d had something thrown at me. Before that it had ‘just’ been druken verbal abuse, yelling and accusations in the middle of the night, me often curled into the fetal position. I had recorded the ranting to remind myself of how bad it could get – a desire to make things work always resutling in me erasing the recording.
His Aunt heard it, the yelling that first Christmas – a day or so later it was dismissed as he did a good deed for the community on New Years Eve. It was a small reminder to me that people really don’t want to be confronted with examples of abuse.
That Christmas, getting ready for a night out on New Years Eve was the first evening I dragged myself out of the bedroom, got dressed and pretended everything was ok – for four years I put my game face on and hid my shame.
That same summer, the one with the cup of tea – I challenged his behaviour, the late night early morning drinking, my suspisions of drug taking, his uncontrollable anger and aggression – he responded by banging his head against the bedroom wall, pulling his hair and dragging his finger nails down his cheeks. (He later told anyone who would listen that he’d fallen into a rose bush.) That was the moment I became scared – scared of him and scared of what he could do to himself and me.
The question you will be asking is why did you stay –
Change that lasts – community support