Walking away is hard, but possible
– abused wife
“I have been married for 14 years and before, we had some good times. My husband was a police officer and he was not really bad to me, he use to bring home all he money and he would cook and clean and take me and the children out. We would play music in the house and dance. And then he start an affair and everything change.”
These are the words of a 42-year-old mother of three who after years of abuse decided that enough is enough, and is slowing walking away from the man she loved. She decided to share her experience.
“My husband and I went through a lot. He was charge and all that and I was with him throughout. He was thrown out of the force and he start working taxi and then started an affair and everything went downhill.
“He changed a lot after that, the first year working hire car he use he use to bring home money but then it was like $500 a week and then it go to $200,” she said.
“And then the licks start, you can’t talk, or you get your face buss up. Till one night he hold me down and try to put poison in me mouth but a close me mouth and the poison run down me face,” her voice broke.
I couldn’t see her since our conversation was via telephone, but I sensed she was crying. I told her to take her time and there was about a minute’s silence before she continued.
“Many times, he tried to kill me but the licks was a lot; every day you will get it. Some days I know he coming home and I would clean the house and cook he favourite food. I would dress up and look nice just so he don’t quarrel and to get some sex. But when he come he would not even notice me. I use to have to beg for lil sex, till one time I get kick off the bed just because I keep touching him for lil attention,” she said, sobbing.
“It get worse. Some days he would come and take off his shirt and tell me to look at he and I would see hickey (love bites) all over he body and he would ask me how he look, and I use to have to say nice because if I say anything else was licks.
“It was really hard, and I was getting nervous breakdown. One night he run me and the children out the house and we sleep in the bush.
“But I still holding on… because of the marriage and the children I holding on. I use to be the one who use to say sorry and hold on him and beg him to stay just to save the marriage, many nights I couldn’t sleep.”
I asked her if she thought she was saving the marriage by staying.
“Saving what marriage?” she responded angrily. “How could I save something that done gone, I don’t know what I was holding on to, honestly I don’t know.”
Once again, there was a long pause.
“This man use to bring pictures of he and this woman kissing and hugging up and show me.
“And even though it was a lot of stress I never use to tell me mother and family because they live far from me, so I just use to behave as if everything was alright.
“But then it get too much and what really make me know that this can’t go on is when we daughter had emergency surgery and I had to pay he $5000 to come and see she and he only come a stay for a few minutes,” she said angrily.
“That really get to me because even though he use to bring the woman to the gate that [having to pay him to visit their child] really hurt me and get me angry.
“It was one morning I didn’t do this man nothing, but he start busing and then he tek a hoe and start beating me with it and went report to the police how I attack he. As soon as the police see me skin he get lock up and charge.
“It was not the first time he get charge but I always use to beg for he. But this time the magistrate put a restraining order and order that he collect he clothes and leave he house. But he buse up the neighbourhood police the magistrate send with he and he get remand for one month.
“I didn’t call he or nothing and then he call and ask if I not coming to visit he. I feel sorry for he and went and visit he and you know that man refuse me visit. I sit down in front the prison and was like me head was bursting open. I know the woman was visiting he and he refusing me visit.
“I feel so frustrated like I want run away and then is when I see a woman who does work with United Bricklayers and I start getting counselling and I said this is it.
“He understand that I would not take him back and I don’t want him back. I never call his phone, he would come looking for us and he stay at the gate. Like anytime he and the woman fight that is when he come.
“My advice to women is it not easy to walk away but you can walk away. You don’t have to stay and take the abuse. I was stupid, for years I stay and take it, but we women don’t have to take it. Just get your act together and get a job,” she advised.
“I plan to move out from here and go with me family.
“Right now, I come to a point where I don’t hate him, I pity him. I can relax and have a conversation with him. Even if he get angry, I don’t get angry,” she declared.
I asked her if she would ever marry again.
“No, I would not marry. I will get somebody, but I don’t want to get marry. I don’t want another man to live with. I will have a friend,” she said quietly.
But even as the conversation ended I got the sense that she was not over her husband, but I do hope that she has moved on and that she can find happiness.