Contrary to popular belief, the act isn’t the worst part. Of Domestic Violence I mean. Well in my experience it’s not.
The part I will never forget is the quiet that settles after. The change in behaviors.
The devastation that takes weeks, months to rinse out of your clothes.
It’s all I can think about while sitting on the couch with the dog, as we wait for the lights to colour our room from cream to watery-red.
The silence then cut with a knock at the door. And then two bluey-grey figures position themselves between us.
Eight times, is all I can think.
We are the registered address of domestic violence, eight-fucking-times.
My dad tells the blue-grey figures what unfolded only minutes before.
It hurts to hear it come out of his mouth, the truth. Usually so allusive; now raw and rampant.
Exaggerated by his emotion.
Just wait as it twists and turns in his mouth in a few weeks time, I want to add.
But I don’t.
You, as a family member must take part in the devastation.
It is your responsibility to grieve.
To join in feeling ashamed, even if it had nothing to do with you.
It is not your marriage and she is not your mum.
But he is yours.
Your issue that remains unsolvable.
You wrestle with it in your mind everyday like a kind of torture.
I look at the back of his head as he continues to messily explain to the police what occurred.
Why are we here again?
What is wrong or fixed in your mind, that signs us back up for another round?
The same conclusions over and over again – the same person who thinks this is right, over and over again.
Deserved. She said we, you, deserve it.
She tells the Police we’re making it up.
She tells the neighbors it was only a verbal argument.
I want to press it into the bonnet of her car.
Hard; I want to enjoy every stroke. Every single syllable. L-
I; I want it to feel like it’s digging into her skin.
A-R; permanent reminders of the pain she’s stained us with.
The very same car she manipulated my dad into buying her and when he refused, she asked for a divorce and sulked at her best-friend’s house like a child.
I want her to see it and for her to feel remorse, even if it’s just a sliver, before she takes it out on us.
I want her to see it and feel a sense of wrong in herself.
Even if it registers, just for a moment.
The truth, something the neighborhood could now see clearly. Read. Lounging across her bonnet, like one of those girls in Playboy.
The truth, not sexy nor romantic. And no longer a side reserved just for us.
I’m drawn back to his head in front of me, as they ask if he’ll press charges.
“No, I think she’s learned her lesson”.
The last time, the Police said he was selfish for doing this to me. That he can’t use them as a scare tactic to change people.
“ Look what it’s doing to her – you’re not helpless, you’re a parent,” the older Policemen says.
He looks, but I know I don’t outweigh the failure of a second marriage.
I just do my part and just sit there; listening but not really.
The familiar feeling is back. I give in to its silent defeat as it takes from me, my hope.
Then the quiet begins and I welcome it inside me.
Continue reading 2/5