Yes. That is the name I choose to give you for naming is claiming. I don’t know you, yet I do. I have heard you in the quiet sobs across a static filled phone line, the silence saying more than words do. I have heard you across from me, coffee mugs cooling in the cold air between us, being dismissive of that one abuse hurled at you, at that one slap that you provoked. You say you know you are at fault yet there is that niggling feeling beneath it all that perhaps you were not at fault at all.
I hear you, loud and clear as you sit across my breakfast table, your voice faint but steady, your eyes hollow, the light extinguished from years of horror. I see it in your children, acquiescent, tuned in to your every word. I see it in the wariness in their eyes. Friend or foe, they assess and hunker down, for the moment, for the day, for the week.
I hear you in your emails, your fear hidden in between the lines. I hear you each time you call talking about superficial things before you eventually bring it up.
I listen. I nod along. I weigh my words before I speak for I know all it takes is one word for you to flee, to turn and walk away, to decline help being offered. This is what I want you to know. This is all I have been wanting to tell you but struggle finding the right words for.
You are worth so much more.
You are not at fault.
You deserve respect.
You aught to be treated like a human.
You should walk away.
You should reach out.
You will be OK.
You can start from scratch.
You will rise like a phoenix.
It will be hard. It will be an uphill climb. It will affect your children but in a good way. You can do it. Help will find you if only you ask. So, I implore you now Anamika. Walk out. Set yourself free. Show your children that abuse is never okay. NEVER.
PS: This post is in response to a #blogathon by Women’s Web and Juggernaut books in raising awareness about domestic violence and promoting Meena Kandasamy’s When I Hit You. I have been hearing buzz about this book on social media and of course it is a topic close to my heart. I would love to have a copy of the book. #ALetterToHer