Domestic violence and emotional abuse are happen far too often behind walls of secrecy. The violence and abuse ranges from physical, emotional, economic and psychological actions to control another person.

*Emergency Hotline for Domestic Violence 1−800−799−SAFE(7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224.
*On the web at National Domestic Violence Hotline at http://www.ndvh.org/
*Resource List for Abused Women (divided by country and state/province) at http://www.safe4all.org/resource-list/index?category=2

Abuse Hurts…

Having An Affair

This posting is a continuation of Having An Affair Part 1 which is the story of my friend, Sophia.

“While we were dating and during our earlier years of marriage, Mark was always courteous and kind. When we disagreed, he didn’t yell. Actually, we didn’t disagree that often and we always had a resolution,” Sophia began. “By the time our first child was born, Mark had received several promotions at work resulting in a very lucrative ‘office’ job. One evening he arrived home and without even a greeting, asked me how the oil spot got on the driveway. I told him that I had no idea. I knew something was wrong. I could feel it. I tried to concentrate on the happy sounds of neighbor children playing outside as it drifted in through the open kitchen window.”

At this point, I began to tense because I had a bad feeling about the turn Sophia’s story was taking and I feared the ending.

“I like my kitchen. Do you like my kitchen?” she asked in more of a thoughtful statement than a question.

“Uh huh,” was my short reply.

She continued unhurriedly. “He asked me if anyone had come over to visit and I told him that no one had visited, but that seemed to anger him.”

“‘Who has been to the house today?!’” he shouted.

“‘No one,’I told him and the look of anger on his face scared me,” Sophia said. “I hadn’t ever seen that look on him before and it was almost deranged.”

“That’s when he slapped me across my face so hard that I heard bells ringing and saw the lights flickering. My face was burning and my jaw ached. I grabbed my face and cried out in pain, but that seemed to only anger him more. He pushed me into the cabinet, held my head between both his hands and screamed into my face that if he ever caught another man with me he would kill us both.”

I could tell that Sophia had wanted to share her story with someone for a long time because the words just kept tumbling out of her and she didn’t even expect a response from me at all. My insides, however, were churning.

“Not only was I hurting, but I was so shocked by his behavior that I didn’t know what to do or think. Mark let go of my head after he slammed it into the cabinet hard enough to give me an immediate headache.”

At this point she stopped and sighed, “That seems like such a long time ago.”

Then she continued, “I didn’t really have any idea how the oil spot got on the driveway or why it mattered. Where did the idea of another man come from because I felt that we had a strong marriage and cheating on him had never entered my mind? I heard him go out the front door slamming it behind him and drive away. I felt lightheaded and as I went to the bathroom to inspect my face, I reached up to the back of my head to feel a large knot. When I brought my hand down in front of me, I realized that there was blood all over my hand. My head was bleeding from being knocked into the cabinet so hard. I got another mirror so that I could inspect it. I needed stitches. I had no idea how I would explain this to the hospital especially since his hand had left a very bright red print on my face. I was still quite shaken, but I called the neighbor girl to come over and babysit my son so that I could go to the hospital.”

domestic violence image by Carrie Soderberg
Sophia stopped and helped her youngest, Jeremy, blow his nose. He was only a one year old then.

“I barely remember the drive to the hospital or getting stitched up,” Sophia continued. “I vaguely remember explaining that I fell and all the nurses looking at me like I was a liar. I held to my story no matter how many people they paraded in front of me. Then I drove home, put my son to bed, and waited anxiously for Mark to get home which he did well after midnight. He came in, went into the bathroom, got in the bed and didn’t even speak to me. Actually, he didn’t even acknowledge my existence in the bed. For a long time, with my eyes unable to shut, I just stared at the ceiling listening to him breathe. My face and head ached, but my heart ached even more. Eventually I fell asleep and in the morning when I awoke, Mark had already left for work.”

All I could think to say was, “That is so awful Sophia. I’m so sorry.” I knew it sounded lame, but I’m not a trained professional psychologist and I was shaken by the memories she was sharing with me.

I could hear her children crying in the background. Sophia promised to call me again soon, but had to go attend to the children’s dinner and wishing me goodbye, hung up.

Domestic violence
does not only
happen to adults.
Forty percent of girls
ages 14 to 17
report knowing someone
their age who has been hit
or beaten by a boyfriend,
and approximately one in five
female high school students
reports being physically
and/or sexually abused
by a dating partner.

~Dianne Feinstein~
Having An Affair Part 1
Having An Affair Part 2
Having An Affair Part 3
Having An Affair Part 4
Having An Affair Part 5
Having An Affair Part (final)


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