My X physically abused me and my child.
This is a really hard part of my life to contend with, aside from the fact that it happened, and this is why – my mind rationalizes that we don’t qualify for being physically abused. That it wasn’t quite physical enough.
There were no visible wounds. No cuts and scratches, no black eyes or broken bones. We have no physical scars.
He liked to use his body to back me into a wall. He was a foot taller than me and would loom over and shout in my face.
One time when he was in a maniacal rage, he drove recklessly with me and the baby in the car, side swiping oncoming traffic, and acting like he was going to kill us.
Then there was the day he kicked me out of the house. I had my daughter on my back in a child carrier. He shoved us out the front door, and I tripped down a set of stairs, then almost fell off the landing to a ten-foot drop. We could have broken our bones or cracked our heads open. But by a miracle, I regained my balance.
When I came home the next day to retrieve some diapers and clothes for my child, he went berserk. When I tried to leave, he grabbed me by my wrist, twisted my arm behind my back, and shoved me into the wall. With his other hand he reached for the baby in the carrier, gripped her by her flailing limbs, and started to yank her out. She screamed and screamed, and so did I.
When I stayed in women’s shelters, and heard such utter horror stories, I couldn’t relate my physical abuse to theirs. I down played it, almost embarrassed to even mention what had happened to us. Like it was insignificant. Irrelevant.
But that does not mean it did not happen. My daughter and I were physically abused. By absolute luck, he hadn’t afflicted more physical damage on us. By absolute grace, I left before it escalated.
I’m so grateful to my younger self, who had the audacity and determination to escape his threats, and to imagine a better life. She blazed a new path as a woman, as a mother, as a survivor.