TW/domestic violence/miscarriage/suicidal thoughts
It was a cold night as I sat shivering on the beach, listening to the waves crash onto the shore. My eye was throbbing with pain, turning as black as the night sky. This beach is my only solace away from home. Away from hell. Away from him.
It wasn’t always like this. In the beginning he was charming, handsome and a perfect gentleman. Those qualities changed the minute we got married. I remember our honeymoon like it was yesterday. What was supposed to be a night of romance and beautiful beginnings turned out to be a shocking night of pain and heartbreak. After a bottle of champagne, he didn’t like the lingerie I chose to wear for him that night. I offered to change or just take it off, but that wasn’t good enough. “ I should have known what he liked.” The more I tried to please him or calm him, the angrier he got. Everything I said or did was wrong and “how could I be so stupid”? The flowers went flying, the champagne bottles were smashed and I was slapped around by my handsome, charming groom. Then I was forced to forgive him and make love to him after all of that.
After waking up the next morning to his kisses, sweet talk and breakfast in bed, I thought maybe it was just the champagne that made him violent. Maybe it was me. Maybe I should have known what he liked. Maybe next time I’ll know better, I’ll do better. And that’s how it starts; the excuses, the self doubt, the always thinking it’s your fault, never his.
The next time it happened was when we moved into our new condo. This time the furniture wasn’t placed properly, his clothes got wrinkled, the sock drawer wasn’t just so.
I did try to leave once. I had a friend drive me back to my parents. Of course he found me. He begged me to come back. Promised me the moon and sweet-talked my parents. I was gone for less than a week. I went back home. The sweetness only lasted a month. Then my life became the hell I have been living since we became married.
The next time I was accused of flirting with someone at a friend’s BBQ. He started belittling me and insulting me in front of our friends. I was so embarrassed. He tormented me all the way home while I was trapped in the car with him. I felt like jumping out of the moving car and letting myself become roadkill. Anything would be better than where I was at this point.
You may think “why not call the cops?” I am married to one, that’s why. He works the swing shift. The only peace I get is when he is at work. After I make sure the house and everything is just so, then I can come down to the beach at night. I come down here and I pray to the sea, I wish upon the stars, I cry to the moon. The sea calls to me. Every night I see the ships in the distance, and every night I wish I was on one of those ships sailing far, far away from here. But every night I look at my watch with dread and I drag myself back home. Back to hell. Back to him.
This last time he beat me badly. You see, I lost our baby, I miscarried. And of course it was all my fault. Things were so perfect after we found out I was pregnant. He treated me like a queen. I thought “life would finally be perfect”, and then it happened. The worst thing that could happen to a woman, a family. I miscarried. A piece of your heart and soul is ripped away from you. There’s a big black hole inside that can never be filled. And then to have to tell HIM. How could I think he’d be loving and understanding? How could I think he’d wrap his loving arms around me and kiss away my tears? Instead my eyes are blackened, my lip is swollen. My heart and soul are broken.
That is when I met the old gypsy woman. She came out of nowhere as I lay crying on the beach. Had my desperate cries and prayers to the ocean and stars finally been answered? She stroked my hair and my face, held my hand. She glowed like an angel. She gave me something. She told me to drink it. I drank it. I didn’t care if it was poison, I would gladly end my life right here on the beach. Then she disappeared into the night just as mysteriously as she had appeared.
So I sit here on the beach, touching my swollen face, watching the waves crash and sparkle in the night. The moon shining on my bruises and broken soul, the stars twinkling through my tears, I drink the potion. I dig my feet into the sand. I sink myself into the sand under the full moon. I feel my legs start to tingle and burn. My lungs too. Suddenly I can’t breathe. I feel a desperate need to crawl into the water as I gasp for air. But the air is choking me. I feel weak but I know I must get to the water. I start crawling. I can only drag myself by my hands because my legs aren’t working. Once I feel the water, I cry out with joy. I let the waves take me. I can breathe in the water. I can swim like a fish because I have a fish tail! My body starts sliding through the water, deeper and deeper I go, racing as far and as fast as I can. It’s dark depths feel like freedom. I can BREATHE! I know I am where I belong. I no longer belong to HIM. I belong to the sea, the stars and the moon. I am home. I am free.
I swim to the surface, I silently thank the gypsy woman, wherever she may be, I thank the ethers, and I swim away into the night.