Turn your wounds into wisdom. Oprah Winfrey
I’ve been rather silent these couple of days. Taking some much needed time of solitude with self. That hiding underneath a rock moment, where I’m pensively and nonchalantly hiding from the universe. Searching for the ‘I’ within, as I iron these fragile despondent creases.
This past few days I realized how our paths meet for a reason and in the words of John Donne “No man is an island” and Ubuntu is very much alive in every one of us. I learned that like Oprah Winfrey, the surest way to bring goodness to yourself is to make it your intention to do good for somebody else.
I’ve always said to friends I will be that friend who opens her home when they are going through a rough patch. When the cracks emerge, I will be at the door, tequila in hand, ready to numb the heartache.
“I’m not making sense, am I?” Let me explain………
16 days ago a dear friend of mine called me in the wee hours of the morning with a heart- warming request. A friend of hers needed a place to crash for couple of days and she needed to be as far away as possible from her home. My first question “Is she in an abusive relationship?”
“I can’t say,” she replied. Without a moment’s hesitation I agreed.
I had opened my home to a stranger and she was every bit Pretty. What brought this damsel in distress to my doorstep, was a back hand, from her loving husband. Drenched in fear and confusion she ran to a stranger.
What she failed to understand was how her loving husband changed to a monster. Where calls had curfew, Facebook denied, and photographs with friends questioned.
I remember her saying “I can’t believe I’m part of the statistics on the commencement of 16 days of activism.”
But what shocked me was that after all this she missed her husband dearly and she couldn’t wait to go home. Guess love conquers all.
After a couple of days, protection order in hand she packed her bags and went home and what I realized was that the woman who walked in my life was different to the woman who walked out. She was stronger, wiser and ready to salvage her marriage seeing that her man hadn’t the will in him to fight for his woman, however what awaited her was a divorce notice.
I’ve always been baffled by abused woman running back to their abuser, irrespective of the mistreatment. In all the days we spent together I was shocked when she blamed herself for his actions. That if she was a humble wife he would not have reacted the way he did, that the curfews were warranted and maybe she should have spent less time on the phone and attended to his needs like a faithful God fearing wife.
You see, they prayed together, churched together and loved each other unconditionally. How Love led him bouncing her around like a tennis ball is intriguing. Not once did he beg for forgiveness or sit around a round table for therapy. All he did, was call to inform her that he’s packing up and leaving house, like a coward.
I still say it takes a man to acknowledge his wrongful actions. It takes a man to bring his wife home. It takes a man to, man up and step up. It takes a man to not raise his hand on his wife. It takes a man to protect his wife, however we tend to forget the vows when we knee deep in the marriage lane.
Much can be said, but in all fairness what she failed to see in love is that he wanted her for himself, he was stripping every bit of her for his control, he was possessive and he was turning her into an object; his object. The slap was the tipping point and she failed to be a pawn in his game and that takes a certain measure of bravery.
Abuse doesn’t start from the beatings, it bubbles under, way before the first slap. It starts verbally, emotionally, as a test by the abuser. Testing the waters, sussing out the opponent. One’s he gets his fangs hooked it explodes to horrific proportions and the victim floats in a bubble of denial. Ala, “he loves me he didn’t mean to hurt me, If I behave he will stop beating me, I made him angry, I have no- where else to go, he’s all I have.”
“How do I know all this?” because I’ve been the victim.
I was at a salon one Saturday afternoon and a lady came in with a blue eye and she was narrating with smile how her boyfriend and she had a boxing match the previous night and they kissed and made up after the final round. According to my stylist it was a common occurrence.
At times the victim comes from an abusive environment and pain, resentment, verbal abuse is all they know. That’s how love is projected to them and they become receptive to it and see no wrong in it.
As a result I knew what my dear friend needed. A sanctuary filled with love, and an ear to listen, that’s enough nourishment for a wounded soul.
Abuse is horrific. There are different levels and emotional heartaches attached to it. This black hole sucking the life from the damaged souls overcome with despair is considered shameful and we cosmetically hide or lie our way through it.
I remember vividly my mother’s emotional and verbal abuse. Growing up, she was just that the test tube that breathed life to this empty shell. To me mothering was a foreign concept. Mother’s love never existed. Mother and daughter moments a path I yearned for. Black sheep of the family, little ragged doll was all I was in her eyes. All I did was never right and resentment the glue that tightened our bond. Every beating, ill treatment fed her hatred and nourished her being. I was resentment, I was hatred, and I was merely a thorn amongst the roses.
I may have grown up, nursed myself to confidence and tenacity but the scars from the gory days are forever tattooed on my melanin. A slight rub brings forth a cascade of memories I wish to be mummified and buried.
However I remember, she and my dad one evening distinctly fighting each other, clothes torn, with my innocent eyes looking in. From that scene I deduced that there’s always a reason an individual lifts their hand or bully another. Whether it’s the past catching up or some incident that triggers the quicksand. There’s a psychological switch that’s triggered and requires an extensive cognitive and behavioral analysis; a source of addressing the imbalance embedded within the psychological stain.
My friend’s soon to be ex-husband has his own reasoning, sometimes I guess you just have to walk away. I doubt she realizes that by her walking out she has just inspired a number of women caught up in an abusive relationship and to me she is a winner.
However I’m just glad the incident wasn’t as severe as most abuse incidents tend to be.
Pictures Credit – #makeitstopcampaign and Quotesgram