In my last blog post, I talked about how I often questioned my ex-husband whenever he was up to his shenanigans and foolishness. I wondered just who he thought he was to mistreat me so blatantly and so often. For every time I forgave him, it wouldn’t be long before he was off doing some other stupid thing. Finally, one day, I asked the question that I believe anyone should ask an abuser when the opportunity presents itself. I asked him who the thought I was.
It had been another one of those long, long weekends when we had started fighting early that Friday morning. It was a rare occasion that he actually came home after work, but I wished he had just stayed out drinking and drugging because I knew we would fight the entire weekend. Indeed, we did.
It all started because I had not washed the morning dishes right after I got home from work. Before long, he was mumbling about me being “dirty”. I began yelling back that if he had wanted a maid, he should have married one. The last thing he said to me before I went completely crazy on him was that he should have married someone else. Yep, all that foolishness because there were dishes in the sink. I cussed, clowned, and threw a couple of things and finally looked at him and said, “I’m not sure who you think you are! I guess the better question would be who do you think I am??” He just stared. Didn’t say a word. Couldn’t say a word. He walked out of the room.
What I Think He Thought
To date, he hasn’t answered that question. I know for a fact that he didn’t evade the question in an effort to spare my feelings because that man never cared what he said to me. What I think is that he really didn’t know who I was. After one of our more vicious fights, he told me that I had tricked him in that he thought he was marrying a naïve, country girl who would let him have his way. He said that he thought he’d be able to go and come when he wanted to. His exact words were, “I thought I was getting a White girl in a Black girl’s body.” I know, I know — that’s incredibly stupid, but that was his thought pattern.
You see, as is the case in many abusive relationships, I didn’t know what a monster I was marrying. He was manipulative, sneaky, and secretive. He didn’t show me any of his stupidity. He didn’t show me how cruel he could be. In that light, he never saw the defensive hellcat I could be. I never, ever put up a facade — I was exactly who I needed to be to protect myself. That arguing, scrapping, cussing, object-throwing badger (with perfect aim, nonetheless) didn’t show her ugly face until she was summoned.
Ask Yourself the Question
I’ve only been asked twice why I didn’t leave before things got so bad that I suffered a brain hemorrhage. Both times I was asked that question it was by people who didn’t know enough of the whole story to know of my belief that in my purpose. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I stayed until the very moment that it was time for me to leave. I would not have the story of survival to share with other women who may be questioning who and what she is. I wouldn’t be proof that there is life after abuse. I am living proof that life after abuse can be absolutely splendid. It takes time to heal, but at some point, healing should be a task you’ve accomplished.
Nothing and no one should occupy enough of your psyche that you can’t move forward. Define, stand by, and walk in who and what you are so that there will never be any question in anyone’s mind as to the answer. Know who you are.