*Note: if you’ve been a victim of trauma or abuse, the following could trigger memories, emotions, and thoughts of your trauma. I want you to be well. Please only read if you’re in a healthy space to filter and process those thoughts and emotions. Also, you may feel ashamed, isolated, and alone—that’s normal. There IS help available. You can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or find them online at thehotline.org to talk to someone and get connected to people in your community who can help.
I mark the day.
Humans choose lots of ways to mark time. Birthdays, anniversaries, seasons, holidays.
Some of us mark time in different ways.
Two years ago, you hit me. In our home. In the hall next to our sleeping children. In the hall next to the bedroom we shared. I still feel the place on my tailbone where the doorknob bruised me so deeply after being shoved against the door. Not in a metaphorical way either…in the way that it still hurts when I do yoga, or I sit down to take a bath.
I remember you punching me in the upper arm. I remember the adrenaline surging as I chose ‘flight’. I remember trying to lock myself in the bathroom. I remember getting hit again. I remember taking your clothes from the closet and telling you to get out. I remember you chasing me, holding my lower arm and wrist…bruising me yet again. I remember the feel of your fingers pressed down around my collar bone and neck, and the tiny bruises they left behind.
I remember you threatening to take the children. I remember gathering my babies from their beds, waking them from their slumber and locking them in our bedroom with me. I remember wondering if I should climb out the window and flee. It was cold, and I had two babies. I chose to huddle them close to me, and wait it out.
I remember the sound of the lead pipe hitting the door as you tried to break in.
I remember the fear in my children’s eyes.
I remember whispering into their ears, “It’s ok. You’re safe. Mommy is here. You’re going to hear daddy yelling and making loud noises, but you’re safe. It’ll be over soon.”
I remember hoping that those weren’t lies.
I remember the ‘calm after the storm.’
I remember the confusion the next morning, the panic, the shame.
I remember calling a trusted friend. Crying. Terrified to tell my story. I remember the grace in her voice. The love in her words. The pain she felt knowing I was in pain.
I remember my father picking me up. Taking me to my childhood home, my childhood bedroom.
I was safe and protected.
But the real work had just begun.
Months and years have passed. I’m healthy and healing. I’m growing and learning. I’m loving and giving. Redeemed and reclaimed. Happy.
And yet, I mark the time. I’ll never forget. I always remember that 28th day of November.
This post reflects the views and experiences of the author, and is intended to start a conversation. Please share your thoughts in the comments below!
Or, if you’d like to hear some overall thoughts on abuse from Christians at THRED, you can find those over here.