News | Opinion
There is no easy way to say this: I am a battered woman, always have been and probably will be as long as men walk next to me.
Make no mistake. I am strong. I say no easily; will tell you straight what I don’t like. I am not a victim.
I used to be. For the first seven years of my marriage esteemed Hubby thought he could klap me around. Not that I was ever naughty; deserved it. And it was always a fist in the soft spot where no one sees. Well, come to think of it, I once had to tell a doctor I “tripped” when my friend insisted on taking me to ER.
No cops were called, no investigation. I got pain killers and walked around with purple eyes for three weeks, always “you know that broken tile on my step? Tripped”.
But then I stopped being a victim. I knew the danger was when he drank; without fail. So I stopped singing and dancing – and hit him back.
That’s all it took. He stopped drinking and never, ever fisted me again – and the marriage grew stronger.
But the sun is coming up now and I’ve just come back from ER. “Just trauma to the tissue,” a disinterested doctor tells me after four X-rays to find out why I have difficulty breathing.
I’ve not told them that me walking funny is not about my chest: my thigh is swollen to twice its normal size.
I try to work the “tempers flared, sorry, you got in the way” day out in my head. I can’t. And it happens too often.
Shall I blame Covid-19? Us not having a social life? Us living on top of each other even though we love exactly that and have nights of sharing our deepest dreams; love?
No. I have to own up. I can roll my eyes, hear the statistics, blame the Cat in the Hat for calling it by its name.
What happens behind these closed doors – and the odd window a fist always hits in the heat of the moment – can only be blamed on that.
I sat in a state hospital with my at-least-burst kidney and saw it: blood and guts all around me and me, like them, just another statistic. The Cat is right. Blame booze.
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