13th March 2008
This afternoon Dan turned up on my doorstep. I’m not sure how he found my address, but he is well connected through his journalism and he has contacts everywhere. Needless to say, he was not happy. He told me to ‘stop playing silly buggers and return home’. I tried to explain, in a calm voice, that this was my home, that I’d left him and to please leave me alone. But he insisted on hammering away at the door. I was fearful of the neighbours’ reaction so, reluctantly, I let him in. In my living room he went into a tirade telling me how useless I was in every aspect of my life, how no one would love me, only him. How I couldn’t cope without him. I think the reverse is true – he needs me more than I need him – but I held my tongue. Then he grabbed hold of my shoulders and started to shake me. Then he hit me, hurt me and made me cry. When I started to cry he became all sympathetic and gave me a hug. Then he tried to remove my blouse and I pushed him away. This is a ritual we have been through so many times and it always ends with him screaming at me and hitting me repeatedly until I can barely breathe. But not today. He raised his fist to hit me, but I ducked out of his way. I picked up the phone and he sensed that I was about to call the police. That had a calming effect, maybe because he realized that this was more than a ‘domestic’ matter, that he was assaulting me in ‘my’ home, not ‘our’ home. After a pause to recapture his sanity, Dan left mumbling apologies while I locked the door behind him and collapsed in a chair. I’ll have to put up with more days like these, I told myself – can I do it? Then I reminded myself that I had no choice. I would have to stand up to him, prove that I was stronger than him, then maybe he would go away.