Not a Victim

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: May 28, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: May 28, 2017




Sitting in the emergency room once again she wondered how her life had come to this.  When did she stop loving herself?  Had she ever loved herself?  How could this be happening to her? And, why didn’t she see the warning signs? 

As she sat on the sterile and cold hospital bed, with that awful gown on, waiting for the doctor to examine her, she couldn’t remember what caused the explosion yesterday.  She wasn’t surprised because she rarely remembered what caused him to lose it. These days it seemed anything, and everything, had the potential to make him lose it.  When she tried to softly suggest that he spend a little more time with their daughter, he lost it.  When she tried to lovingly coax him into spending more time with her, he lost it. If she didn’t talk to him enough, he lost it.

Losing it had become so common that she stopped walking on egg shells, and gave up on her gentle approach when trying to communicate with him.  This meant they spent a lot of time screaming, and yelling, at the top of their lungs. And, most of the time the screaming and yelling led to him physically assaulting her in some way.

Unfortunately, the violence between them had begun to take its toll on their two year old daughter as well.  She always seemed to be fussy and on edge and had lately taken to hitting her mother, and others, when she did not get her way.  In fact, this past weekend when they were at the playground, she witnessed her daughter slap one of the little boys playing with her, and proceed to call him a dumb ass.  Stunned by her daughter’s behavior, she grabbed her daughter by the arm, put her in the car, and immediately took her home.  She was too embarrassed to stick around to try and talk to the mother of the little boy who stood there wailing at the top of his lungs.

Yesterday was no different.  After about 15 minutes of yelling and screaming about God knows what, he once again exploded, this time punching her, with all of his might, in the face. Silenced and dazed from the sheer force of the punch, she did not realize blood was pouring from her nose, as rapid as water poured from a faucet, until she focused in on the look of terror in his eyes.  When she reached up to touch her face, and realized that her fingers were covered in blood, she began to scream and cry uncontrollably. It was only when she began to scream and cry that she realized that she was laying on her back, on their kitchen floor.  Had he fucking knocked her out too?

Hearing her screams and cries and watching the blood cover her white, linen shirt, jeered him into action.  Grabbing all of the dishtowels he could find, he knelt on the floor beside her and covered her nose, quietly whispering, “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry”.  The more he whispered how sorry he was, the more hysterical she became until she glanced to her left and saw their daughter standing in the hallway, just staring at them.  Quickly she gathered herself and told him to get the baby and take her upstairs while she cleaned up the mess from this latest explosion.  Looking ever so remorseful, he turned, placed a big smile on his face and ran to grab their daughter, showering her with kisses and hugs as he carried her upstairs in her room to play.

As soon as he was safely out of earshot with their baby girl, she fell back over on the floor, covering her face with the dishtowels and wailed at the top of her lungs.  She was exhausted.  She wished he would just go ahead and kill her because she had no more energy to give.  She had no more energy to hide the physical pain she felt after these violent attacks.  She had no more energy to hide the mental exhaustion she felt on a daily basis.  She had no more energy to cover up the mess that her marriage was from her family.  And, she was finally getting to the point where she had no more energy to care for their baby girl that she once loved so much.

After about twenty minutes she calmed herself down enough to pull herself from the floor.  Before leaving the kitchen, she peeled her bloody shirt from her body and tossed it in the garbage can along with the dishtowels that were now covered in blood.  Topless, she grabbed a plastic bag from the pantry, walked to the freezer, filled the bag with ice, and drug herself up the stairs to their bedroom where she locked the door and climbed in the bed.  Not once did he bother to check on her, once she was safely inside their room.  And, as soon as the babysitter arrived, he bolted out the door, headed to the office.  She did not have to worry about calling in to work because she and her husband owned one of the most successful legal practices in the area.  And, whenever he unleashed on her he would simply cover at the office, and in court, until she healed.

As the doctor entered the room, she stopped playing the events from yesterday over in her head, wiped the tears from her face and focused on what lie she could tell this time.  Yes, she was going to lie.  She could not bear to tell anyone that her husband, the man that vowed to LOVE HER FOREVER, beat her up.  But her decision to repeatedly lie about the abuse was not about protecting, or, covering up for him.  For her, it was about her overwhelming desire to protect herself.  After all, she had always prided herself on being a strong, independent woman that would not put up with crap from any man.  And, in the past, whenever something seemed a little off, or there was any sign of disrespect, she quickly ended the relationship.  So, why was it, four years after the abuse began, that she continued to live with this monster in holy matrimony? What did it say about her as a woman, that she had fallen in love, and had a child, with an extremely violent man? 

She protected him because she could not bear to deal with the stigma attached to being a “victim” of domestic violence.  As an attractive, articulate, educated woman, she did not fit the bill of a domestic violence victim.  But, the reality was, behind the closed doors of her home she was fighting for survival. 

The Doctor quietly peered into her black, swollen eyes, and just stared for what seemed to be an eternity before he introduced himself. She was sure, as he asked her what happened, that he already knew the answer.  And, for a second she wanted to break down and tell him, that the love of her life had punched her in the face with enough force that she believed her nose was broken.  But, she couldn’t bring herself to say it out loud.  So, as she sat there, choking back the tears, she told him, “I was in a car accident yesterday, and I hit my face on the dash board.”

“Yesterday?” he replied.

“Yes, yesterday.”

Uncomfortable with his gaze, she quickly added, “I did not come to the emergency room yesterday because I didn’t realize how hard I hit it.”

“Oh really,” he said. Pausing for what seemed like an eternity the Doctor finally asked, “Are you sure you hit your face on the dash board ma’am?”

Again, choking back tears, she looked away, and responded, “yes”. 

Unfortunately, the Doctor still did not seem satisfied, so he suggested she talk to the social worker on duty at the time.  Agitated, she explained that she did not understand why she would need to talk to a social worker because she was in a car accident and asked him if he could simply complete his exam so that she could go home and get some rest.

Fearing that pushing her too hard would cause her to leave before he completed his exam, the Doctor quietly examined her face and told her he wanted to send her for x-rays to make sure her nose was not broken. 

Breathing a sigh of relief as he exited the room, she curled up on the stretcher and dozed as she waited for the X-ray tech to come.  Fortunately, after her five hour stay in the emergency room, she learned that her nose was not broken.  After sliding back into her sundress and Gucci sandals, she grabbed her Gucci handbag and left the room.  Unfortunately, because it was 9pm before she left the emergency room, she could not hide behind her big Tiffany shades.  She could feel the stares coming from the nurse’s station as she tried to quickly leave the emergency room.  Just when she thought she was safe, she heard someone call her name.  Initially, she planned to keep walking as though she had not heard the person but when the woman repeated her name even louder she slowed turned in the direction of the voice.  For a moment she did not recognize the woman, standing there staring in her face. After a few minutes it all came back to her. During her days as a prosecutor, she had zealously prosecuted this woman’s husband, and sent him to prison for two years, after he had broken her arm, her jaw, and several ribs, one evening when he came home in a drunken rage.  She could not believe what this man had done to his wife. And, she was completely outraged by the fact that this woman wanted to drop the charges against the prick.  In fact, she remembered the woman begging and pleading for her to dismiss the charges and when the jury came back guilty for felonious assault, the woman looked over at her husband and began to cry.  Now, ironically, here she was, married to an abusive prick herself.  Seeing how uncomfortable she was, the woman eventually said bye after briefly telling her how her life had turned around for the better while her husband was away in prison.  It seemed the woman had taken advantage of that reprieve and decided to get counseling and enroll in the nursing program at the local community college.  She was now remarried to a man she absolutely adored and worked as a registered nurse in the intensive care unit at this hospital.  She thanked her once again for fighting for all of those years before, before walking into the hospital to begin her shift. 

As she walked away, eyes black and blue, and almost swollen shut, she still could not identify as being a victim of domestic violence.  She was different.  Or at least she thought so.


The Doctor could not shake how badly beaten she was.  He knew she was lying when she began to talk about the car accident.  In fact, he was pretty sure when he walked in the room, and saw her, slumped over, sitting on the hospital bed, that she had been beaten up by someone.  Once he concluded that she had been beaten up, he immediately looked down at her left hand and saw a beautiful, 2 carat Platinum Tacori Diamond on her perfectly manicured nails.  As she began to speak and spin the tale of a car accident the day before, the Doctor figured the donor of that ring was also probably the person responsible for her visit to the emergency room that afternoon.  After all, what concerned husband would allow his seriously injured wife to come to the hospital alone? 

He also was pretty certain that she was abused because her face looked similar to his wife’s face after he punched her one evening in a drunken rage. 

While he seemed to sympathize with the abused women he treated in the emergency room, the Doctor had very little sympathy for his wife of fifteen years.  He only beat her because she did not, after all of these years, know, and respect his limits.  He repeatedly warned her when things escalated between them that he was at his limit. But, she never seemed to be able to be quiet.  She would just keep on going, causing him to explode and hit her in order to make her be quiet.

He could not understand why his wife constantly nagged him.  Once a trauma nurse, she hadn’t worked since they were married.  He provided nothing but the best for her.  They lived in the nicest gated community in the city. She drove a beautiful luxury car.  She spent her entire day doing exactly what she wanted to do, which most of the time included spending money.  And, he took her on at least three expensive vacations a year.  Although he wanted children, she had convinced him that they would be better off just focusing on one another, so their 4,000 square foot home was filled with elaborately decorated, empty rooms.

Most of the time he was able to control his rage toward his wife. But, she always pushed it to the limit. And, she knew when he was drinking he had a hard time controlling himself. So, if she would just stop nagging him they would not have a problem. His wife was not a victim of abuse. She was different.  Or at least he thought so.

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