Domestic violence…..the idea of it leaves a bit of an aftertaste doesn’t it. I thought , like the cliché says, it only happens to other people. Well, yesterday I was that other person.
I’m an educated woman, not afraid to speak my mind. I’m a mother of a wonderful 4 year old girl. Like many people I have found myself temporarily living with my in-laws, while we wait on house renovations. It’s never easy living in someone else’s house. But do you know what, the details are irrelevant. The subject of the disagreement is irrelevant. Nothing warranted the verbal abuse I received yesterday from my father-in-law. I’ve known for quite some time that he has a very short temper, quick to fly off the handle. Indeed I have witnessed “rows” he has with his wife.
And yesterday I fell foul of his quick temper.
A disagreement with him, where I only defended my actions, quickly escalated to a full scale incident of verbal assault. About 2 minutes into his rant, I started to cry. This seemed to make him worse. He accused me of being a drama queen, I was so dramatic I should be on stage….I attempted to leave but my mother in law, who was also present ushered me into a different room. Did I mention my four-year-old was present for all of This? Do you know, I actually feared for my physical safety.
I thought at one point he was going to hit me.
He followed me into the other room and said we have to resolve this. I told him I was not going to discuss anything with him and to leave me alone. He did. About 30 minutes later he delivered a cold and emotionless apology. To me, it was meaningless. Let me tell you, he is well used to apologising. By the way, my husband was at work when all this happened.
If I thought that this incident was an isolated one, I would probably accept his apology and play happy families. But I know that he has form and will do this again and again. The incident left me reeling. I don’t know what effect it had or will have on my daughter.
I am done with him. The only way I can guarantee that this will not happen again is to not have any interaction with him. So that’s what I will do. Today I will leave with my daughter and move into my new and not so ready house. In one sense it’s easy for me. He is not my husband. I didn’t have a strong emotional connection with him. There is no connection now. I’m not financially dependent on him. But I can only begin to imagine how difficult it would be if he were my husband.
I’m writing this at 6am because I can’t sleep here in his house. I don’t feel safe. So today I am of out here. Violence be it physical or verbal is never acceptable.