With brows furrowed, her head throbbed and pulsated to the rhythm of her heart. Her stiff limbs weigh her down like anchors as she drags them at a crawling pace. Every pounding footstep inches her across the frigid tile floor, causing her muscles to ache. In between sobs, her throat — parched and raw — gasps for air. Finally, she reaches for a nightlight and flicks it on.
She shudders at the image in the mirror that mocks back at her. One eye was swollen shut. How did I come to this? Bruised cheekbone. How did that happen? Bloody nose. When will it end? Busted lip. How much more can I take? His curses echo in her head. But the dagger of betrayal she feels in her heart hurt more than the blow to her face.
She thought he loved her! Hadn’t she given him everything? But it’s never enough. He takes and takes, sucking her very life, until she’s deflated, a shell barely standing on the breaking point. She keeps offering herself, just one more time, hoping this time will be different.
“He will see me now!” Yet, she is invisible to him.
The voices in her head tell her you are a mere child to him, like a puppet held by a string with no goals, dreams, or desires. He’s blinded to your needs and deaf to your cries. You are dead to him!
Truth be told, she died long ago. She’s empty. Used up. Bruised. And barren.
She turns from the image and screams out in the darkness! Crying. Pleading. Longing.
“God, are you there? Do you feel my pain? Can you hear my voice? Do you not see my tears? When will you mend my bleeding heart?”
But she feels her prayers only hit the ceiling.
“Mama! Mama, are you praying for me? I’m still here. I’m not a quitter. I thought I could do better but I was only fooling myself. I can’t go on.”
“Somebody, tell me: How. To. Live.”
Why did I write this? Because I know from my own personal past experience what this feels like. While my memoir mentions some of the dark, hard knocks that I endured during my first marriage, I am happy to report I’m not that girl anymore. I am no longer a victim. I am a survivor. I learned that my yesterdays do not have to define my tomorrows.
I want to reach out to those who may be in a dark place and involved in a relationship that is sucking the very life out of them. I want you to know that you don’t have to be ashamed of your pain. You don’t have to suffer in silence! My prayer is that if my story touches just one person — bringing hope and light into their dark place — then I have done something right.
I am desiring to write a compilation of stories from others who have also survived domestic abuse and domestic violence. Those who have moved on, healed, and don’t have a vendetta against another or hold any bitterness. I believe these are the ones who come out stronger and better and can shine and bring hope to the hurting. If this is you please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Together we can make a difference.
© M.A. Pérez, 2016, All Rights Reserved