My heart broke the first time he hit me. My chest shook and all the breath in my body left me. Me, who had sworn more times than I could count to as many people that cared to listen that I would never stand for a man to hit me. He wouldn’t dare! But yet, here I was – dazed, confused, unimaginable pain oozing both in my heart and my body as I struggled to make sense of what was happening. Wasn’t it moments ago that we were just kissing and making promises to each other? How dare he?
I remember being so angry as I cried the pain in my chest away. There’s this thing that crying does to you. It rips you apart slowly as you take into account all that you’re feeling but somehow, something about it is freeing. It’s like scratching an itch and being relieved even though the continuous rubbing of your finger nails on the same spot has made the place sore, you somehow still feel relieved. That’s what crying is like and that day, I cried till I was convinced there was no more water in my eyes.
I remember deciding to never talk to him again. I deserved better than this and if he could hit me once then he definitely could do it again. I had heard the stories, I understood the pattern, I wouldn’t be the victim and so I walked away in anger half hoping that he would beg me knowing fully well that I probably wouldn’t agree but just so that I’ll have the satisfaction of somehow knowing that he actually wanted me even if it was in a twisted way. I felt sick to my marrow.
It’s been 265 other times since then (yes I’ve been counting) and each time his fists come in contact with any part of my body, I vow that this would be the last time. I don’t know when it was exactly that I gave up. I don’t know when it was that I decided that I had come too far to move on. Who would love me like he did? Can I do without him? Did I even want to? I’ve come this far, surely I can hold on a while longer. It was too late for me. No one interested me in the way that he did. One word, one text from him and I would feel all the anger evaporate from my body. He had me in his grasp and he knew it. I knew it too but I felt powerless against it. This is what abuse does to you, it messes with your mind and you start to believe that this is the best that you can get. You start to see yourself through the eyes of your attacker and you even start to believe it which in turn informs how you act, what you take, what you receive and I received a lot of rubbish from you Kola and yet you asked me yesterday to marry you. You want me to suffer like this forever?
I can’t believe that this is what i have become but i’m daring to believe that i deserve better than you – better than a bruised heart and wounded bones. I have carried your secrets in my scars long enough. This is my chance and although I have questioned myself a thousand times, I think I have finally found the strength to be free from you. I’m leaving you, even if I have to limp all the way out of your life. I hope I mean it enough this time.