I try to hide these memories from my consciousness, but they always reappear.
“Why did I stay?”. ”Why did I not listen to my friends who told me this was a toxic relationship?”. “He stole my confidence, my independence, my freedom”. “He kept the only car keys in his pocket ”. “I did not listen to the warning signs, the alarms going off in my head”. “He grabbed my hair and pulled me to the bed...why did I stay?” “There was magnetism between us”. “Sugar and Spice and everything nice”. “What is wrong with me? Why did I not leave?”. “He put a gun to my head and pulled the trigger...no bullet”. “I finally left....but not before I tried suicide.”
Domestic violence happens most often to women. 1 out of 4 women will experience violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. This violence is more than just hitting, shoving, and other physical attacks. It’s a pattern of controlling behaviors. Any behavior that scares, insults, threatens, intimidates, humiliates, isolates, and controls another person constitute domestic violence. The goal: to keep power over that intimate partner. Frequently there is a cycle of abuse during which tensions rise and an act of violence is committed, followed by a period of reconciliation and calm. This is why I stayed so long. But I felt trapped through isolation, power and control, fear and shame.
My assemblage demonstrates my hidden memories of violence where I felt fear, diminished self-worth, anxiety, depression and sense of helplessness. I still try to hide these terrible memories, but they always reappear. This was not a game as the scrabble pieces might suggest. It was deadly serious.