Woman, rock, survivor

2017-08-08 06:01

Ten years ago I was in the car with him, blood flowing from the cut on my brow. A wound inflicted because I had confronted him about his latest side chick.

At that point, three months pregnant, I was too involved in my own depression and self-hate to realise I was actually also only a side chick. Three months later, when he hit me, my car and the home we shared with a baseball bat, I left him. That day I decided he had reached the below-zero tolerance level I had finally set as my end-of-tether resilience marker where he was concerned.

My family were all strangers. None would even talk to me, never mind spend time worrying about the consequences of the choices I had made that had landed me in that position in the first place. I simply wanted to die.

So, as soon as I came out of the hospital, my soul more bruised than my purple body, baby still very much alive, I tried to take my own life. This was in the middle of the most severe bout of depression I had ever suffered.

The bath was drawn. The razor opened. The tip of an incision made onto my left palm. And another one. And a last one, eating ever deeper into the soft flesh, a trickle of blood pulsing out rhythmically to the beat of my heart.

Then my baby kicked. It (she) kicked so hard I had a heart palpitation. She kicked again. And again. Then she elbowed me, as if to say: ‘Hey, what the heck are you ­doing?’

I was startled that I had allowed myself to sink so deep. Me, the model child with the model dreams and the model future.

As I take stock of tomorrow, Women’s Day, I own up to my past.

I stand taller than ever, having won the battles that have made me the homo sapien I am: Strong, brave, kind, loving, mother, lover, friend, healthy. Today I am not ashamed as I look back on the me of 10 years ago who has overcome the odds.

My moment of silence tomorrow goes out to all the women lying in hospitals somewhere, beaten, fighting their own demons.

There is life after him; you can pull your life back together. You are woman. You are a rock.

Just leave. It will be okay.

ML

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