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Finding My Strength After Abuse
It all happened so fast, I felt like I was having an outer body experience. I looked in her eyes and saw no resemblance of the woman I loved. My reflection in her eyes was absent and replaced with a blaze of fury. She made a ball of her fist and, without further notice, punched me upside my head. I hit the floor, screaming, crying and afraid for my life. Instantly, I could feel a knot developing. Lying on that floor, I felt like a helpless child. After a few moments, I gathered myself and rose up only to be hit again in seemingly the same spot. Again I collapsed. In that moment death seemed like a welcomed alternative.
With robotic movements, that night I wrapped my head up in a headdress to cover the knot on my head and went to work. But while I was at work, all I could think about was my way out. It was November and we were going home for the holidays in December. I was going to wait until then, but I never said a word to her. As we packed for our 'visit', like Celie preparing to leave Mister, I was loading down my suitcase with everything and anything of mine that would fit and simultaneously hoping she wouldn't notice. When we got to my father's house, she told me she would be back later. I told her no need because I had no plans of returning. I also had no job, no education, no car, and after a few nights at my father's no where to go. But I knew that I couldn't go back. I was made to find my own strength.
Once I had slept on every couch and called on family who said they had no sofa, no floor, no roof to offer, I called my third grade teacher. I hadn't spoken with her in years, but she had always been there for me. Still teaching, she told me to come to her job and get the key. I lived with her a few weeks, until my father, coerced by family, offered to let me come live with him. I stayed there for a few months. In that time I got registered for school at the local junior college, used my refund check to buy me a car, and found a little house for $300 a month (You can only imagine what that looked like.). Many nights I cried myself to sleep. Many times during this period, I knew I lacked the strength to do it myself but secretly wished death to ease me of my burdens. But as I was looking for death, God had given me a new life.
Slowly, life got better for me. Over the next year,my ex and I continued to communicate. When she came home to visit, we would spend time together. Somewhere in the mist of these meetings, I realized I hated her for hurting me. That hate endured for quite some time. I was able to hate her from a distance because I didn't have to experience her each day. But a year later when she moved back home I had to deal with what I was feeling. With great reservations on my part, we began to talk about where we were going with the two of us. Were we ever going to get back together? Did we still love each other? More so, did I love her? After many long talks, we decided we would try again, but it was understood if violence were to ever become an issue again I was leaving. And there was no doubt that I was sincere; because I had already shown myself that for all I lacked I had my own strength.
Like the Dottie People's song I loved when I was growing up, "He Meant It For My Good", it was through this experience that I realized I was a strong, extraordinary woman. I realized that even at my lowest, I was worth more than a slap across the face. I am so happy to say that I lived to tell this story
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