23rd January 2008
Dan arrived home in a foul mood. He’d been drinking with his journalist colleagues in the Crown and, as usual, he’d consumed too much. He complained that I hadn’t prepared dinner, that my hair was too long, that I was a lousy wife and lover, that my fingernails were a mess, etcetera, etcetera. Some of the above is true – I am a lousy cook, I do bite my fingernails and I’m not very affectionate towards Dan. I wonder why I married him, what moved me to make that decision, four years ago. Desperation, is probably the honest answer. Back then, I had a low opinion of myself and I was swept off my feet when approached by someone as good-looking and charming as Dan. Then the drink revealed his darker side and he fractured my skull. He broke my jaw as well. Facial and bodily injuries are still a regular occurrence. Indeed, every day he tortures me with physical and verbal aggression.
Why do I put up with it? I ask myself this question daily. If I stay with him, he will kill me at some point. Yet, I cannot find it within myself to leave him. Maybe I am too weak, too insecure to venture out on my own. Maybe pride plays a part and I don’t want to reveal the truth. Maybe I am still hoping that I can make everything all right. And, crazy as it sounds, if I did leave him, I don’t think he could cope on his own.
After the verbal bashing this evening, he beat me again, and I’ll have to go into work tomorrow with another black eye. The girls in the office always accept my feeble excuses, but they must know the truth. I guess it’s too embarrassing for them to broach the subject. Anyway, despite the physical and emotional pain, I’d rather keep the ‘secret’ of Dan’s domestic violence to myself.