This month is Domestic Abuse Awareness month. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the United States. As a former victim of Domestic Abuse I feel strongly about getting the word out and letting women know that they are not alone in their battle. I will be posting poetry, information and stories about Domestic Abuse. I will also share bits and pieces of my own story.
When I experienced this, it seemed that there were stages I went through in dealing with him and the abuse. I remember when the abuse first started and I didn't want to tell anyone because I was embarrassed. The first time he ever really left a mark on me was in the Spring of 2001. Our daughter was a few months old. He punched me in my eye and it turned black and blue and the side of my face was swollen. I didn't want to go to work with my face messed up because I was a Bank Teller and my customers were regulars. I didn't want to deal with anyone asking questions. Make-up would not help so I decided to call-out from work for a few days. I sat on the side of my bed for a long time thinking of what I would tell my boss (this was the morning after). I was going to tell her that the baby was sick or that I caught the flu or something. Every time I tried to dial the number, I would get emotional and I couldn't hold it together. I was crying because I was hurt. I was angry and I was ashamed that I let myself get into this screwed up situation. At the same time I was thinking that I couldn't even afford to miss work for a few days. I had just come back from Maternity Leave.
As it turned out, I did a 'No Call, No Show' and lost my job. I didn't go anywhere or see anyone until my face was practically healed. Then I went to my mom's house one day. When she asked about the small scar by my eye I told her he accidentally elbowed me when we were in bed. This stage, of trying to lie, deny and hide the abuse, lasted a long time.
When I look back at it now, I wish someone had called me out on it. I wish someone would have told me to stop lying. Eventually someone would, but it wasn't until almost two years later.