Monday, October 17, 2011

Mirror, mirror - Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. This is part three of a three part vignette that is an account of my experiences. You can read part one by clicking here, and part two by clicking here

I do not recognize the woman in the mirror.

She is not me.

She is someone else.

She frightens me, the woman in the mirror.  Her eyes have no whites.  They are bright blood red, and she won’t meet my gaze with her swollen-lidded, empty stare.  She looks beyond me, seeking an escape route that I cannot offer her, and her fingers play at her throat, which bears the impression of two hands, rendered perfectly in blaring black and blue.

Choking me… can’t breathe… won’t stop… have to make him stop… oh God oh God oh God I can’t breathe why won’t he stop please make him stop… go limp… play dead… that will make him stop so I do I go limp I stop breathing hold my breath oh God please stop choking me I can’t… shhh… he’s letting go… don’t breathe yet… he’s letting go…don’t move yet… just breathe… no don’t move oh why did you move…

Hands around my throat choking slamming my head against the floor and it’s black can’t breathe and he isn’t stopping can’t breathe oh God oh God oh God please stop go limp again hurry don’t fight him he’ll let go don’t fight don’t fight he’ll let go…

She frightens me, the woman in the mirror.  She wears an ugly purple-green mask that disfigures her face, stretching the lines of her lips, nose, and chin.  Her cheeks are distended, marbled yellow, blue-black and lopsided.  Her flesh is pulpy.  Her hair is misplaced and dirty. 

Cornered… have to get around him have to get away let go of my hair no oh God that hurts stop punching me please I didn’t… I don’t… stop… oh God oh God just let me get around him that’s my hair on the sink he ripped it out of my head oh God oh fuck oh please…

She frightens me, and I do not recognize this woman in the mirror.

She is not me.

She is someone else.

End Part 3.

If you know someone who is being abused by their partner, or you are a victim of domestic violence, you can get help!  Visit this website:  National Domestic Violence Hotline or call 1-800-799-SAFE.


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