I would shut my eyes because I knew what was coming. And before I shut my eyes, I held my breath, like a swimmer ready to dive into a deep ocean. I could never watch when his hands came toward me; I only patiently waited for the harsh sound of the strike. I would always remember his eyes right before I closed my own: pupils wide with rage, cold, and dark eyebrows clenched with hate. When it finally came, I never knew which fist hit me first, or which blow sent me to my knees because I could not bring myself to open my eyes. They were closed because I didn’t want to see what he had promised he would never do again. In the darkness of my mind, I could escape to a paradise where he would never reach me. I would find again the haven where I kept my hopes, dreams, and childhood memories. His words could not devour me there, and his violence could not poison my soul because I was in my own world, away from this reality. When it was all over, and the only thing left were bruises, tears, and bleeding flesh, I felt a relief run through my body. It was so predictable. For there was no more need to recede, only to recover. There was no more reason to be afraid; it was over. He would feel sorry for me, promise that it would never happen again, hold me, and say how much he loved me. This was the end of the pain, not the beginning, and I believed that everything would be all right.
Like so many innocent, selfless girls, untouched by the world, I forgave him. The pain dispersing through my body reminded me that I was strong and all I needed to do was heal. I would cry without tears at first, the sadness inside me so intense, that the hollowness in my heart would weigh me down. My heart’s deep hollowness was so immense, that the loudest shriek would never echo. I was already beyond it and unable to be saved because I was lost. I can still remember staring into a mirror and not recognizing my own face. “Did he hit it away from me?” I would ask, “Who am I?”
It is difficult for a person to understand the feeling of not having any control over his or her body, until he or she has experienced domestic violence. When I came to realize that I had no say over my body, and the only thing left to soar free was my soul, I learned that it was a cruel world out there. However, after two years of unforgivable pain and torment, I decided to get my life back. I went to counseling sessions that my close friend set up for me. The counselor helped me realize that I needed to come to terms with the harsh reality of what was happening. After that, I learned that the abuse was not my fault. This was where I realized that I was not alone, and that I did not deserve the pain.
Even now, I sometimes think he won, though, because he sleeps peacefully at...