For Better or for Worse?

Our survivor, Jenny, does not like to dwell on her past, and so she favours word economy in the telling of her story. Here is a concise account of her abusive experience.

On our wedding day

When he broke my arm                                                                         

I should have walked away

However, at the hospital, in his crisp suit, tears in his eyes

He got on his knees and blamed the alcohol

And I forgave him

But that was the beginning of the cycle

The beatings continued

In the privacy of our home

And out in the public eye

In front of our children, family, friends, strangers

And along the way he offered other reasons to justify his abuse

He thought I’d looked at someone else a little too long

I was a horrible cook and deserved to be taught a lesson

I was his wife and had no right to resist his sexual advances

I should have protected myself; he did not want another child

He’d gotten fired from his job and was stressed

He could not find a new job and was stressed

I stayed for 12 years

I shouldered the blame

Forgave him every time

I made excuses                                                                     

I hid my scars and bruises

But in the 13th year

I saved my own life

I left and never looked back

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