3 women will die today. They will die at the hand of a husband, lover or former lover. That is a statistic from the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and I will be committing a portion of the proceeds from Just Beneath the Surface to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Just Beneath the Surface will also be discounted.
This is the story of a woman who is emotionally imprisoned by a violent man, a woman who believes she can ‘fix’ this broken, angry and unpredictable partner, a woman who believes if she could just be a little bit better, and love him a little bit more…she just might survive. She doesn’t even realize that she has set her daughter on the same path of passion and pain. If you or someone you love is living in danger, and you are located in the United States, check this list for a support hotline in your state. http://www.ncadv.org/resources/StateCoalitionList.php
“And another thing. I’ll be damned if I come home and have you mouth off to me like I’m right back at work all over again. I’m sick of people running over me. You in particular. So you sit there and think about what you caused! I was never like this until I met you. Move.” He stepped over me.
“Move !” he bellowed.
I crawled away from the bedroom door so that he could get out. I was glad he was leaving. I was so shaken and confused that I hardly believed this was happening. And although I had the sting to prove it, I was in denial, as there was no way the man that I married had hit me.
I stood in the bathroom avoiding the mirror as I tried to take the swelling out of my bottom lip. Did Spencer just hit me? Yes. Spencer hit me. Spencer just slapped me. Spencer just backhanded me to the floor. It hurt so badly that both of my eyes were still watering, and I was not even crying; I was too stunned. Besides, my kids were waiting on me. I had no time for tears.
I did not know if my feelings, my last bit of pride or the actual busted lip hurt worse. Why did he have to hit me? I never would have imagined myself in a relationship covering bruises and biting my tongue, walking on egg shells and lying to myself.
How would I explain my swollen lip? What was I going to tell Diamond? How would I explain to Jules? What would they tell Michael? Why was I even considering covering up for him, as though it was my job to lie for him?
There were days when Michael hurt my feelings so badly with his insensitivity that I wished he would just shove me around or cheat on me so I could have a real reason to leave him. Now that I had been hit, I still could not imagine leaving Spencer. What was wrong with me?
I hated to picture it but I did, his hand raising and meeting my face with such force that I fell to the floor. I envisioned the way I must have looked when I fell to the floor, staring up at him with my hand to my bloody lip. It happened so fast that I did not even have a chance to cry. And Spencer only looked down at me as if to say “now what,” and ironically enough, I was thinking the exact same thing.
I had an imaginary line, and Spencer crossed it by leaving fingerprints on my body then by squeezing my arms until I cried. I drew new lines, and he continued to grab me by my arms. I drew another line, and he put his hands around my neck and banged my head into a wall. And now he had hit me.
“Open the door,” he said.
“Give me a second?” I said, wincing as I lay a wet towel against my lip.
Why did I hide my bloody towel under the cabinet and grab a new towel as if I was embarrassed for Spencer to see the crimson stains?
Just Beneath the Surface – Amazon ( Just Beneath the Surface will be discounted for the month of October)
Stay tuned for an interview, facts and much more, all about Domestic Violence Awareness Month, in the upcoming weeks.