Today’s Story is from a male reader who survived Domestic Violence. His courage in breaking the silence and the cycle of violence inspires me. I am grateful for the courage it took to share this today. I hope it will inspire you to join this growing group of voices as we break the silence.
i’m the first generation male in my family who doesn’t abuse his wife.
to acknowledge that “i’ve never hit my wife” really doesn’t push me to trademark the very phrase for anniversary cards. i do know that just veering from abuse’s influence as one of my earliest memories is an accomplishment that i’m only just recently embracing.
i saw episodes of physical abuse consisting of my dad sitting on top of my mom as he punched her repeatedly on her head as she cried to her 5 yr old son for help. this i saw peeking around the corner early one morning. what’s a 5 yr old to do?
i saw him randomly slap her face for “disrespect.”
i saw the dejected look on my mom’s face after he cut off all her hair and threw away all her decent clothes to prevent any other men from looking at her.
this was the physical abuse, but the emotional abuse is what made me realize “repression” is not a voluntary choice…
i sat in the same room as my dad accused my mom of having a relationship with her own brother.
i’ve been fully briefed as a child by my dad about his futile “sting” operations to catch my mom with other men.
his throwing a glass of orange juice in her face for reasons i still don’t know.
my dad refusing to let my mom attend her own mother’s funeral in mexico because there would be men there.
twice we were wakened in the middle of the night to flee with my mother to mexico… twice!
and in the back of my mind is that blurry incident when my dad made my mom sleep on the couch so his 30-something daughter from his previous marriage could sleep in bed with him.
then later that day a vague memory of carrying my mom’s mostly lifeless body from the bedroom after she swallowed a bottle of sleeping pills.
that last one i just accepted and absorbed about a year ago.
who knows what will emerge as our vulnerabilities are not seen as shameful, but as courage for the sake of one another.
my dad died a few years ago, still trying to turn my brother and me against my mom (she finally escaped for good 3 days after i graduated high school, 21 years into an abusive marriage).
she always distanced herself as much as humanly possible from her experience as his wife, but made sure my brother and i did not distance ourselves at all from our obligations as his sons.
that’s where i learned the concept of grace and forgiveness. that’s why the house we bought for her is a few coins on the debt she paid for my brother and me.
Have you broken the silence yet? Share this story today. You do not know whose life you might be changing forever.
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