Good Girls Don’t Tell (Public Post)

scar 1

One of the few scars reamining that I can share

Apparently physical scars fade but emotional scars remain.  It turns out that old cliché is a bit of rubbish too.  Emotionally, I’m well.  My scars however show no signs of fading anymore.  I don’t know how many I have, not many now but I spy them here and there.  They’re not really visible to people as such, I suppose nobody is looking but I’m very aware of them.

I’m sure many have guessed, even if I never said it outright, that there was a sinister element to my marriage.  The realisation and acceptance of abuse was what I struggled with most post-divorce.  I can’t fully explain what happens in an abusive relationship.  Unless you’ve been through it, I don’t think it is possible to understand the mind games and manipulation that go on.

I have always been a very head strong, independent and no nonsense type of woman.  I don’t come from a broken home and have never witnessed violence in my life.  My childhood was pretty normal and the most traumatic thing which happened to me was my pet cat dying when I was seven.  My point is that I am the most unlikely person to be perceived as having been abused.  I would be the type that you would assume would walk out on him straight away, had he ever laid a finger on me.  Yet I never did.

I’ve asked myself plenty of times why I didn’t.  To those who have been through it, you will understand.  In an attempt to explain, there are a combination of factors as to why one stays in that type of relationship.  There is the abusive cycle whereby the abuser plays the victim.  There is the unfortunate emotion of love being involved which takes a lot to overcome.  Then there is the biggest one, the feeling of humiliation at having to tell somebody you are being manhandled like a rag doll.

I decided after my separation that I would never bring it up.  My parents and siblings had been through enough hurt that it wouldn’t be fair.  It did come out though, a year later, nothing ever remains a secret does it?  They haven’t seen the scars and probably don’t know the extent of the violence but respected what I chose to share.

I hate the word victim.  I don’t call myself a “victim” of abuse as I don’t want to be a victim to anything.  The sense of weakness which haunted me afterwards has gone but it took work.  I wasn’t weak to have accepted it, I was strong for having survived it.  That cliché is true. I have the faint remains of scars but I don’t carry them with shame anymore.  They are a reminder that the wounds have closed and that healing has taken place.

11 thoughts on “Good Girls Don’t Tell (Public Post)

  1. So true of our cultures… Don’t speak of an evil,so that means it’s not happening. I’m glad you are coming out of a turbulent time, so strong, and able to write about it, another form of therapy…

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    • Thanks for your comment Ritu. Yes unfortunately true that culturally we prefer not to speak about unsavoury matters such as this. My own situation was a bit more complex I suppose. If I was to publicly speak of it then I believe my ex would be portrayed as the victim of a scorned wife (‘see what she’s saying now about him’) so I would rather keep quiet and that he be known as the scum bag who cheated on his wife. Writing has definitely been a great form of healing for me x

      Liked by 1 person

      • You know, I’ve seen this in the flip side with my bro in law n His ex wife… But she was the bad penny, and he kept quiet after… Her n her family did the bad mouthing, but he felt what’s the point in speaking out, everyone always believes the girl first… X

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      • I can understand your Bro in laws point, personally I don’t think people always believe the girl but probably believe the family that has a good reputation. Unfortunately though I believe our communities are fickle. At the end of the day nobody from my community is going to care what he did and ultimately will choose to forget.

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  2. This was so heartbreaking to read. “Headstrong, no-nonsense and independent” are exactly the words people would use to describe me. Which is precisely why a mutual friend (more his than mine) asked “If you truly were so scared of him, why do you want to make things work?”, only echoing his “You’re making things up” theory coz rationally, WHY would any woman want to stay with a man who abuses her right?! SO OBVIOUS. Urgh. If only things were really clearly black and white.

    Only someone who has been in an abusive situation can understand. And I’m so, so sorry that he hurt you physically too, on top of the emotional and mental torture! Lots of love and prayers your way. None of it was your fault and feeling humiliated at having to tell someone is a real thing.

    I admire your courage and thoughtfulness at not telling your family about it after the divorce though I would advice any women reading this while still in abusive marriages to please reach out and tell someone they trust.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear healing, don’t worry, it wasn’t emotional writing it so I think that’s probably a good sign in terms of my wellbeing! It’s a very bizarre experience and not really one that is easily explained. I think for me, it was only after coming out of the marriage, that I started absorbing the full extent of what I endured. That’s why it’s very interesting for me to read my blog back as I clearly have not identified with the abuse at the beginning of the separation as I’m too heartbroken over being dumped!

      I’m more than aware now that it was never my fault. Although for many years of course ended up believing I ‘made him snap’.

      In terms of telling people. I will go into this a little more at some point but I eventually told my family about a year later. I think it is healthier not to have secrets and tell those close to you as something like this does fester and will only seek to destroy you. I would also never encourage any man or woman going through it to hide it however the sad reality of abuse is that it is very well hidden as many of the perpetrators know exactly how to make that happen; whether it be through making sure bruises aren’t visible, making sure they are always seen as good guys so nobody would believe they could do such a thing, distancing people from the families etc. These are all fantastic and awful tools employed by your average abuser.

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  3. Dear….. I can only imagine how hard it could be for you to speak…. More to go through it! But i like that u posted about it and in our society many girls go through it and keep it silent… Instead we need to shout about and make it stop one day In sha Allah.

    Like

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