By my eyes, I have luckily been brought up in a good home, with two loving parents and they set up a belief to me which i would consider a healthy and loving relationship should be like. I have a set expectation of what a marriage should be like. I have been exposed enough to know what is a good relationship aught to be like as opposed to a toxic one. Domestic violence is indeed a problem. One aught to visit a hospital or jail cell to only understand the horror people live with. The obvious advice and the right advice surely is simply to get out, and when a party can not leave ask for a third party to mitigate the matter for the best interest of the affected man, woman or child in some cases.
Now, I am not in a position to advice in the matter as am painfully single. however I know toxic environments are not good. I went to the market today and happened to listen into a conversation from two mature women. Both of them seemed as survivors of violence, however to them it seemed as just something normal. One was the actual physical violence and the other verbal and mental violence.
Woman 1 says, “my husband used to drink a lot after we decided to move in as man and wife. I was happy to have a family of my own being that am an orphan. We were happy at the beginning, however, after I delivered my first born, he would come home and find any reason to be angry with me. Mostly after night out drinking with his friends. I had seen in my life the way alcoholism ruins many marriages and I wouldn’t let that befall my house. Any opportunity I had, I’d make a point to ask him to stop drinking. Of course any time I cautioned him, he’d end up beating me up and eventually throwing me out of the house at night. I was lucky I had a relative who stayed nearby, I’d end up spending the night at her place. The following day, I would return to my house after he left for work and we’d have a repeat again.”
Woman 2 says, “I would rather my husband beat me. I think that’s easier than what I have gone through for the 35 years of my marriage.’ That long? I wonder to myself. “That man can talk, he just won’t shut up. He would focus on one issue and wait for a response from me to start arguments with me. If I don’t catch the bait, you’d think he’d keep quiet but no, the man will go on talking to no end. I came up with a plan to survive the mental anguish…”, she says smiling.” I cook way early before he gets home, after I have prepared the bath for him on arrival and he has eaten his supper of course insulting me all through it. I head to the kitchen do the dishes and immediately head to bed. He usually takes his time eating so trust me I have to hear all he says then and then he follows me to the kitchen while am doing the dishes since he lacks audience in the sitting room, he automatically follows me with his words. I power through the dish washing and quickly make a get away to bed. I simply pretend I have fallen asleep as soon as I get in to bed. Only then does he shut up. But I have a good home, I am thankful for that. I have raised children with him regardless.
Woman 1 continues, “he changed though, after a few years. Prayers work I tell you, I think I finally got through to him and he just suddenly stopped drinking and has since become a model father. We are happy now and I hope nothing changes again. My aunt moved away from this area so I don’t know where I would go if he starts hitting me again.”
In my mind I wonder, is this something to be proud about, you have been beaten like a dog for years and you haven’t done a thing for yourself! You aught to have gotten away the first time a hand landed on you. Not wait for him to change!
Woman 2 continues, “am glad that happened in your case. Now I worry about my daughter. She got married a year ago you know. The man took to beating her, denying her food and locking her in the house. The time I learnt of this I had gone to see her to visit her without planning ahead, she was locked inside the house and the man had not come home in 3 days and had taken her phone so she couldn’t ask for help. That’s when I learnt of what she was going through. The girl did not say anything! She had no food in the house. My poor daughter, I couldn’t even recognize her. She had lost so much weight! I asked a neighbor to notify me when he returns. She called me a week later to tell me that my son in law had finally come back. My daughter was locked up in a house for over a week with no food or a way to ask for help. I dragged my husband there. I am very proud of him despite his weakness of going on like a pregnant woman-” she says with a coy smile.” We took our daughter back despite the complaints of that evil man. She now stays with us, she got a job and she is not looking back to that horrendous fellow. And can you imagine that that man had the nerve to come to my home and demand that she goes back with him? I think my daughter would have gone back to avoid a scene but I just wouldn’t allow it and my husband stood by me.” She laughs and says, “Of course I had to listen to comments of how I did not train my daughter right to be a good wife and so on the entire night. I am glad that despite is weakness at least he knows how to be a man.”
They burst out laughing and notice that am just standing there and I think that was my cue to give my life experience with men but as I have none, so I ended up buying broccoli I did not intend to buy to save face and walk away with my thoughts.
Is there really a lesser evil amongst the three men? I wonder. Maybe I have it wrong but what I see is three women who have normalized victimization as a way of life, something that is a part of the norm. The pain is real for me as I could even see the scars on woman 1’s face but she wore them as if a victor in a battle I don’t think she had to endure.
Woman 2 has accepted and endured mental torture as a part of her life. She is wise enough to recognize the problem her child is going through, enough to save her out of the cycle of abuse but what about her. I know she seems content with her life as is but I wonder why she does not view herself a victim of a similar cycle?
What is the solution for this scourge?