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It'd been a heck of a bad week. One week of mental turmoil as she tried to hide the truth from the world. To be honest, she wished that she could hide it from herself, but the blackened eyes looking back at her in the mirror didn't lie. He'd hit her. Only once, but it was enough.
Normally, he was a sweet, loving man, one who treated her like a queen. But when he drank hard liquor, he became depressed, angry... This time, he thought his best friend had stolen from him, had accused him of suckering him and his girl out of money.
"How could you have been so stupid?" He asked her, poking her in the chest with every angry question.
"I'm...I'm s-sorry... I honestly thought..."
"You honestly thought what?" Another poke to her chest.
"I th-thought you were in trouble with the bar and I was trying to help."
"Have I ever sent him for help by himself? Have I ever not asked you myself if I needed help?" Two more pokes, one for each question.
"N-no, but..." He was getting meaner and angrier, and she tried to push him away from her as she snapped at him. "Stop it! I already know I'm stupid, and that I'm a screw up!" It was the wrong move. In pushing him, she accidentally hit him in the chest, setting him off in a berzerker rage. A blinding light flashed across the vision in her right eye as his fist connected with her forehead. She screamed, trying to protect her head and neck as he grabbed a thick dowel rod she kept near the bed, almost positive he was going to hit her with it as well. He told her to pack up and go.
"But, I c-can't s-see..." She really couldn't see, not only from losing her glasses when he'd hit her, but she was in tears and terrified because the vision in her right eye wasn't right, almost as though she'd been looking at the sun for too long. Just like that, the rage left him, and he helped her find her glasses, then holding her until she calmed down.
Now, a week later, the bruises were slowly changing colors to an ugly yellow and purple, the white of her eye still red as the blood was re-absorbed. She'd taken a bit of teasing at work, due to the excuse she had made up, saying that she had tripped over her cat in the dark. Her story hadn't changed at all, though, so they finally decided to leave her alone about it. She knew that she should leave, but she was afraid to come forward, not so much for her sake, but for his. In her own twisted way, she was more worried about him and what would happen to him. So, she stayed quiet, the nightmares she'd been having slowly fading. She wondered if it would get better. If she'd ever feel like herself again, and still wondered what she'd done to deserve it...
Unfortunately, domestic violence isn't talked about enough. It isn't brought out in the open and discussed because people are too uncomfortable to talk about it. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ncadv.org) one in three women and one in four men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. One in seven women and one in 25 men have been injured by an intimate partner. In the United States, on average, 20 people experience intimate partner physical violence every minute. That's more than ten million abuse victims annually.
I urge you, if anyone reading this is in a situation that involves physical, sexual, verbal, or mental abuse from your intimate partner, as much as it hurts to leave them, it will hurt worse in the future because it won't stop. It will not get better. Listed below are a couple of websites and phone numbers. It's my hope that there are some who will use these resources to get themselves help.
In the US:
•National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:
Phone:1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) you can call these 24/7/365
If you happen to be on your phone's web browser on their website, there is a safety exit button that takes you to a Google search page so your abuser won't know you've been on the site.
•U.S. Department of Health & Human Services / Office on Women's Health
Phone: 1-800-994-9662 (Mon-Fri, 9 AM - 6 PM ET.)
This site also has an escape button in case your abuser might see you reading it.
Finally, I hope that you know that you didn't cause your abuse. It was not your fault. You can end it, though. You can walk away. I pray you have the strength to get the help you need.
All my love to all of you,