When you lie- there is the pull from your conscious to look to your heart. Your eyes shift, your head lowers- everyone does this (even great liars "tell"). It was everything I could do to lie and not hang my head. One of my coworkers asked me and made it clear he didn't believe me. I had awareness for the first time that I was lying and the heaviness of that was enormous. All I could see were all the people I had lied to over the years and for what? For a man that thought it was funny to poke my injuries that he inflicted. That hurt me because he couldn't control his temper at .... God only knows what. I was frantic all day. I paced. I didn't get much work done. My lies felt like they were crashing in on me and I wanted out. I wanted out. My coworker went outside. I followed him, still unsure if I wanted to tell everything. When his eyes met mine tears were already threatening to overflow. When he asked me if I'd been hit, I paused. And then.... I nodded. (Emotion of every kind came crashing in. If I could put a sound track to this there would have been a great build up of strings and percussion and then crashing as great as of waves on rocks...) He asked me if I'd been hurt before. I nodded again. The best way to explain what happened next is just that I saw someone be angry on behalf of me- it wasn't scary but simply overwhelming. He was fuming but not at me. I wasn't sure what was happening. My ears and heart were still feeling the effects of the crescendo that brought me to that brave nod. But I knew, I knew I had to have help. I knew if I went home I'd die. I'd told his secret. So I didn't go home.
Recently I read an article by Rachel Jewkes (Intimate partner violence: prevention and causes, April 2002). I appreciated the way that she broke down two factors that are always present in a domestic violence situation. These factors: unequal position of women in a relationship (and in society) and the normalcy of using violence in conflicts are both necessary to create an environment that allows domestic violence. Neither of these factors are easily changed as they are prevalent in our world.
But- I am a mother. Are you a parent? Teach your children. The need to speak out against violence is so great. People in our world die over Air Jordan shoes, over the need for food, over the unaddressed anger of their spouse, and for a million other idiotic reasons.
Be Brave! If you are in danger find help, Domestic violence escalates. It rarely starts with being killed. If you fear another person find help. You life is precious and worth you living it. Your life has sincere moments that you can find but you have to be safe to find them. Be Brave!