The following was forwarded to us.
We have permission to share it with you anonomously on this White Ribbon Day and hope that the story of this woman, from our community, encourages others to stand in their truth.
Locations and names have been omitted at the writers request and protect the anonymity of others and some language has been adjusted to fit the audience.
“I remember being intensely frightened for most of my early childhood. I’m still a bit jumpy, at times.
I don’t remember my father being around much. And when I do, he always seemed to come home after dark and you always knew when he was home. But often he was never there in the morning, when we all woke.
My very first memory is of having an ear ache. My mother crushed up some aspirin and mixed it with honey and fed it to me from a spoon. I must have had an ear infection or something because all I can remember is the pain and the way that she looked after me.
I must have been about 3 years old.
I remember the house, down a small side road, visible but not too close to the main road into town. We only had one car. Dad wasn’t home and I had to wait the infection out until he returned.
My next memory, we are living in another house. We are in the suburbs now.
I’m in bed. Asleep or almost asleep, I’m woken by noises. I’m curious. I don’t know what time it is but I climb from my bed and pad my little fee out into the hall. The door is shut. I don’t know why? Is it usually shut?
I open the door and there are my parents. They don’t see me at first. My father has his hands around my mother’s throat and she is pushed up against the wall between the living room and the back door of our lovely little state house. I think there’s blood?
His teeth are gritted and he’s saying something to her, all up in her face, in her ear. She is crying. She’s sobbing.
I must have run toward them, because my next memory of being pushed into the lounge and my mother’s voice behind me. The next thing I know, I’m on the couch and she is on top of me. I hear her telling him not to hurt me. She is afraid. I can tell. Her body is stiff and her voice breaks.
My next memory, she is bailed up in the dining room, against a very 70’s vogue cast iron plant holder the size of the wall. It may be the same day, it may not? I’m still only young. Time and space seems different in a childs world.
He’s yelling at her, over her. She’s backing further and further into the wall.
I’m on the floor. I could be standing, I could be sitting? They seem a long way up. I could be crying? I don’t remember? I know I’m afraid. I don’t know where my siblings are?
It could be normal to me by now? Is this normal?
I am not yet 5.
This is not normal.
Today I am a grown woman. I have a family of my own. I have a home. I have a University education. I have the courage to share these memories.
I’m still haunted by the arguments sometimes, in my head. At times of high stress or those quiet times when I least expect it.
I’ve been know to hide or duck at certain noises, but I don’t do it so often these days.
My physical reaction to conflict is immediate. I’m instantly transported to that time in my life. Long ago.
My mother eventually left my father. There is more, much more, to their story. But I’m not sure that’s my story to tell?
As an adult, I choose to live violence free.
This is my truth.”