Walk­ing away is hard, but pos­si­ble

– abused wife

Stabroek News Sunday - - WEEKEND MAGAZINE -

“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.

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