How do you define Love? Did you know there is no Abuse in Love? Love equals Respect.
I look around the room, wiping the last of my tears from my face.
It takes a few seconds for my eyes to adjust to the darkness that now surrounds me.
Listening closely I can hear Him downstairs. I knows He is trying to be quiet but He is drunk and it is nearly impossible to be quiet if you have been out drinking for five hours.
I remember to stop holding my breath; He is not coming up stairs just yet.
Slowly I ease the warm laptop, that I have just turned off, and it’s table off my knees onto the floor, sliding them under the bed.
I sit back up, on my side of the bed, our bed, get a tissue and wipe my nose.
On the desk opposite me I can make out the outline of a photo frame. Although I cannot see it properly I can picture what it contains. It is of the two most important people in my life; my young sons, who are sound asleep in their beds.
Then I remember the online conversation I have just had and the tears I have cried this evening.
Domestic abuse? no, it isn’t that. I’m not being abused, am I?
I don’t know how I had gotten into such a serious discussion with a complete stranger online. It had started on a Mummy website chatting about not being able to get pregnant, then our kids, then our relationships.
Up until tonight I had thought that the only people who rang Womens Aid were women who had black eyes and bruises or who had to go to hospital because of their partners.
Not me, He has never given me a black eye; well there was this one time but that wasn’t really Him hitting me it was more of an accident during an argument that I cannot remember properly.
I’ve never had to go to the doctor because of him. Going because of stress and feeling down because of his drinking habits and verbal abuse didn’t count or did it?
‘Verbal abuse’, no, sure a lot of people tell their partners to fuck off and call them ‘bitch’ and ‘cunt’ don’t they? Is that Domestic Abuse?
And sure He would’ve had to have hit me more that He has done to count as Domestic Abuse surely?
Complaining about my family and my friends can be Psychological abuse? He is always telling me how awful they are to me and asking me why do I need to see them so often.
Why is this label so important to me all of a sudden? I have heard of domestic abuse, but never thought it as more than physical violence; Verbal abuse? Psychological abuse? Sexual abuse?
I think I am still in shock after checking out the Womens Aid website. I must have ticked off the majority of their ‘warning signs’ on abuse. And yes, when He gets angry I am afraid of Him. I walk on eggshells around Him and have learned what not to do or say to anger Him further when He is on one of His ‘rants’. I don’t trust Him not to hurt me physically again, even though it has been about 5 years since He last hit me. I have been so unhappy too.
My online friend had said if my husband loved me He wouldn’t say what He says or do what He does even if He apologises a hundred times and tells me He loves me all of the time.
I think that is my biggest shock; He doesn’t love me the way He should love me.
What am I going to do now?
The sound of a door closing downstairs brings me back to earth.
I quickly lie down, on my side, facing away from his side of the bed and pretend to be asleep when He comes into the room.
As He stumbles around the room trying to get undressed I drift off to sleep knowing our life will never be the same again.