I woke up last night with my heart pounding like a war drum.
This has become a frequent occurrence lately and I can't seem to make it stop.
It's never the same dream but it is the same enactment, he is dragging me across the room by my hair, I am screaming for help hoping the neighbours hear. Almost three years I lived in that condo, probably dozens of nights that you could hear my screams echoing through the halls, never once did anyone call the police, check to make sure I was okay. Not even that night, a night I remember calling out, "help me please", someone.
Sometimes I hear or read about how someone doesn't understand how women could let it get so bad that they lose their lives. How you could continue to love someone or stay even through fear. Now I understand. I understand what it is like to be afraid, to comply to live, even if it is barely living at all.
A few weeks before I left for good I got smacked around for not being affectionate after returning a trip with my girlfriends. I couldn't, it was that trip when I decided I would leave, that I was unhappy. At the end of the night I sat on the floor, scared, convinced that I needed to go, not knowing what people would say or how my family would react, I didn't want to tell them he had done these things to me, would they even believe me?
As I sat there, my lip bled and my arm throbbed from being bent in an unnatural direction. He approached me, my stomach turned. He told me that I would not see my friends, I would leave work promptly at 6pm when he would retrieve me, I would come home with him and that was my life. I was his, his wife and his wife did what she was told.
After that I wasn't sure what to do, I felt like I was living in a dream-world. My actions had no weight, I could try my hardest, do my best at work, be spectacular. But it didn't matter. In the end two things would happen; I would be his wife, have children I didn't want and take care of him in a little house in the country between beatings, or I would die.
Whether it is being dragged across the floor, or his hands around my throat, or his knee on my chest. The nightmares don't end. My therapist says they will subside, in time. Like my concious mind, my subconscious is working it out, making sense, trying to understand.