“mess up + angered father = beating”

Trigger Warning: Domestic Voilence


It’s always awkward when you try to put your thoughts on to paper, especially when you’re not fully aware of what your thoughts actually are. I would love to sit here and write for you all about what the effects of my experiences had on my mental health, but the truth is I don’t actually know. I’m not too sure if they even did have an effect. Maybe I’m just a bit weird naturally.

I come from a very conservative background, where everything you do has a significance and value to it. If you break a tradition, or a chain, you lose everything it stood for and therefore you lose what value it could bring you. For my dad, it was all about keeping tradition. I remember this one time, my mum put her tea down on a small coffee table, and when my dad came into the room it was almost as though a lightning bolt had hit him; he went red with anger, flipped the table in her direction scalding her with the tea, (I think it was Earl Grey), and proceeded to unleash his fury on her poor bones for the next twenty minutes. Apparently, the table had belonged to his father from before they had moved away from their country and was of great sentimental importance. In his eyes, her ignorance was not innocent, but malevolent; he always had this expression, “ignorance is disregard”, a saying he would whip out and preach to me and my siblings after he had ensured that she knew what she had done wrong. I never questioned his actions I only pitied her helplessness. If I’m being completely honest, I would get annoyed at her because we all knew what would happen if she made a mistake and yet she still couldn’t bring herself to remember the little things. Often people talk about how they would try help their parent if they were suffering from domestic abuse, but I never did. It was very simple maths in my opinion: mess up + angered father = beating.

1 in 4 women will suffer from domestic abuse, whether in the form of sexual, physical or verbal abuse, the chances are that the real statistic is far greater. My mum isn’t the type to go and seek help, and try to talk to others. She never joined an action group and she never sought to act as a pillar of strength for others in her position. She had a job, three children, a husband and that defined her life; she was her family, and if taking a hit meant her kids got to live with two parents in a nice home in a good area, then that was right, in fact, that was her responsibility. I reckon that if I were to ask her today if she forgives him, she wouldn’t be able to simply because she never blamed him. Watching her carry on with us three spoilt brats as he moved on from us and found a new family and a new slave for a wife, I just know she still see’s it as her fault and herself as the problem and not he.

Again, I find myself struggling with what to tell you, whether to proceed with my story, whether to tell you how it’s affected my life and the way I deal with other people, or if I should just feed you with some facts and options on how you yourself can learn more about the severity and real danger of domestic violence. I suppose I could do any of those, and maybe I will, or rather, how about you imagine what my answers would read like? The truth is really that no matter how many times I watched her cry, saw her flung across the room and listened to her beg for his forgiveness, I still can’t truly see it as only his fault. The two should never have even considered dating let alone marriage- try picturing the Godfather, literally, it was the mysterious foreigner that dealt in dirty dealings who met the sweet Western girl. A coupling doomed for failure, doomed to the constant desperation that can only be seen from a woman trying to change everything she is and all that she’s made up from to suit and fit into her man’s world, when he just doesn’t want her for her.

I know I’m probably somehow messed up and will apparently never be able to trust in a partner because of the embedded fear that now haunts me forever, and it will take a One Tree Hill moment, with good background music for me to ever really ‘let someone in’. This may be true, and indeed I can see it in the way my siblings have dealt with relationships, but in all honesty, so what? What’s the difference anymore, especially as the rate is so high, who on earth am I to have the cheek and start self pitying and thinking about what happened so many years ago, when there is always someone just next to you who has the same experience if not worse. I’ve always believed that a problem is only as big of a problem as you let it be. Even whilst I sit here writing this very confident view on my capability to dismiss my feelings on the matter, I’m lying. Whilst my thoughts may ring true, that doesn’t negate the real issue here: a man entered into a partnership with a woman but forgot to acknowledge her worth, and dismissed the fact that just because she wont hit him back, does not mean he should hit her. Whatever way one looks at it, as a child, I was a hindrance for a solution and I’ll always have to live with that. It’s so bloody awkward.

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