Daily Prompt: The Clock

Warning: domestic violence triggers ahead.

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I heard the car door slam, and immediately looked at the clock. It blinked 3:00 at me. Beer O’clock. He had been out all night drinking on a Tuesday and he had just gotten home. The slam of the door meant he was good and soused. I pretended to be asleep. It was the closest I’d get to sleeping for the rest of the night.

The question was, would he be drunk and violent? Would he yank me out of bed by my hair, slam me against a wall and try to strangle me? Would he smack me across the face and knock out another tooth? Would he give me yet another black eye?

Or was he drunk and maudlin? Would he go into the bathroom, fill up the tub, get in fully dressed and grab the hairdryer that was still plugged in? Would he threaten to kill himself again, and then get angry when I didn’t play along and try to kill me?

Both were possible. Both had happened. Both alternatives had the same outcome, which was him trying to kill me, but never finishing the job. I just didn’t have the energy for it anymore, either way. I wished that he would just kill me and get it over. It was 3:03 and I had to go to work in a few hours. I pretended to be asleep.

There are 26 comments

    1. goldfish

      I used to think that way. Why don’t these women just leave? I know if I was ever in an abusive relationship… yadda yadda. And then it happens to you and it’s never that simple. There are reasons we can’t, not don’t, but can’t leave. Fear. Manipulation. Control. And eventually, apathy. I just don’t care if he kills me or not… The fact is, TD, you can never understand it unless you are there. It’s never as easy as just walking out the door. Just the process of getting to the door requires a strength that you can not possibly imagine unless you’ve been there.

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      1. sortaginger

        I can see how it would appear that way, especially today. I could tell friends in bad relationships to get out (with or without DV), but I couldn’t do that for myself. A combination of low self esteem, fear of making it worse and not wanting to admit failure played a big part. I also did not have a support system outside of that relationship (family, friends) because I was kept so isolated, Plus resources available today weren’t as widespread for me 16 years ago, living 30 miles from the closest city. I am glad there is more help available for those in these situations and more recognition of what DV means, but when you are in that situation you don’t always see those options, even today.

        Sorry to hijack your response, goldfish.

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        1. goldfish

          It saddens me now when people who’ve never experience an abusive relationship pass it of with a “well, they should just leave.” Like you said, there are usually underlying factors like low self-esteem that the monsters prey on. They will use anything and everything they can to prevent us from leaving. It’s an awful situation to be in. Hopefully, it is easier now to get help than it was when I was in that situation.

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      2. twindaddy

        I guess. I’ve had people tell me what they would do if someone tried to committee suicide in front of them. When I tell them that that’s happened to me and you just kinda freeze from shock they just look at me weird.

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        1. goldfish

          I’m sorry that you had to go through that, but, yes, it’s like that. You can’t adequately judge someone (or yourself even) until you’ve been in that position. I learned that the hard way. Part of the reason why we stay is because of the ‘why don’t they just leave?’ stigma. Domestic violence is embarrassing. It proves to the whole world that we’re not strong enough. We don’t want anyone to know. Telling my friends what had happened to me was almost harder than living through it. I lost a good chunk of my friends because of it. That stigma is the very reason I talk about my experiences, because I am strong enough to do it and it might help someone else realize they are strong, too.

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          1. twindaddy

            It’s a horrible experience. The guilt of being the reason someone wants to commit suicide is oppressive.

            I’m sorry you endured what you endured. It’s senseless. I’ve never understood using violence as a means to coerce someone you allegedly love to stay. I would never strike a loved one. Other than the spank my children, anyhow. And even that is very seldom.

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          2. goldfish

            I can only imagine how hard that must have been. My abuser used to fake committing suicide as a way of control, like I wrote about above, but to be around someone who really means it must be unbearable.

            It is totally senseless. Both domestic violence and suicide. I’m glad that you don’t understand the mindset of an abuser, most people don’t including their victims, but I wish that society didn’t judge the victims so much. We are the same as any other victim of violence. It is beyond our control. We need help, not judgment.

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  1. sortaginger

    I had a similar thing happen. As of right now, it is probably the one thing I won’t blog about. Partly because I have more immediate things to work through. Party because I try to forget. Maybe one day.

    Thank you for sharing the story with us, however far you choose to go with it.

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    1. goldfish

      I’m sorry that you can relate. Talk about it only when you’re ready and only if you want to. We all have different ways of dealing. It took me ten years to be able to write posts like that. xoxo.

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      1. sortaginger

        I think writing about my current issues puts me touch with those years, but first things first. :-) Stay strong and write on, goldie (fishie? goldfishie?)!

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