The Heart Sense
I used to get lost in that hurricane of words. Words sent to douse out my inner light. At first pity to entice my trust through sympathy. This is his charm and my vulnerability. Then his words erupting to reduce my self-worth, numbing my senses and whole being – my freedom, he cannot control it, spontaneously she acts. Can I call it violence, the things I heard and felt? I am told violence is something physical. I am told violence will cover me in bruises. Only escaping him, could I feel how deeply he had wounded me, and how his desire to harm me bore ripened fruit. He fed me on his drip of lies, for nine years my wrists and ankles, waist and neck bound down by his white tape of deceit. He plucked out my eyes and cut out my tongue. He made sure my feet never wandered far from his. My hands locked behind my back, my head always bowed and my heart always aching, looking for love never shared. My eyes searching for love from him, or red from crying because he had hurt me, and I was so tired because he did not let me sleep. Whenever I tried to rest, he woke me to fix more problems he met, his helplessness endless. I had to eat what he ate, do what he did, wear what he wanted and like what he liked. To do otherwise made him call me names and shout at me. Forever bound to be his shadow.
I looked up to him like he was a mountain towering above me, whose peak I constantly searched for but could never find. My reality defined by him. People felt sorry for him. He made me feel sorry for him. They said he needed emotional support and someone to help him. I also thought this until I left him, and saw his emotions were his way of getting people to do what he wanted.
My empathy most used by him, I still need to value in this life. His attack of me premeditated and carefully thought out. He kidnapped me in daylight with people around. I looked after him and made his dreams come true. He did not have to work and this was of great value to him, and he had his emotional punch bag.
If anything got to him he knew whom to kick, a verbal kick to downtrodden me. Now, my eyes carry with me the pain of my abuse. In my heart I know he behaves like a criminal. He has no moral compass but he speaks as though he has one, he has a tenuous hold of one, a glimmer I sometimes catch and then wonder if I imagined it. I was stolen to the underworld, and when I escaped through a fissure in his tower, while his eyes were turned elsewhere, he
turned to grasp me and caught hold of my coat. I had to leave with nothing, and then search for who I am. When I came into the world, my eyes were blinded by the light. I thought I was in love with the first man I met because I could not imagine the gentleness he is compared to my husband, but it was not love.
This book is the story of life with my husband, my escape and realisation of what he had done, and then poems of the contours of my life after I left him. I want people who have suffered abuse to know it is right not to have therapy if they so feel. The only learning is to learn to live from the heart, and in her trail
free of violation. This is freedom and peace. I wrote poems making no sense. It was not until I left him I could make sense. He had stopped me from believing I could make sense. The love he claims dependent on my being slave to him tortured me. He would cry when I made to leave. I loved him but when I left him he said he had never needed me, and I had imagined his need of me. This deepest of emotional blackmail made me sick and unhealthy. I hope in sharing my story people being abused recognise what is happening to them. They
can then take steps to safeguard their hearts from this malignancy of greed which will not stop taking from them. Having escaped him I wanted to lead a life in private. The court system to divorce and financially separate meant contact. Again, my heart was pitted into his extremes. Violence and fear continued. I needed time away from him, to heal in peace with my family and friends to love and support me, and I needed financial help to divorce. However, I was not granted these securities. I had to take a loan to pay my litigation fees. I had to meet my husband in court and answer his poison-filled court narratives. I was in a relationship with him for two years, married for five years and in divorce litigation for four years – eleven years of torture. We did not have children because he said children would be my sole responsibility. He would not be taking care of them. I was busy looking after him and working and so I wondered how I could create time to look after children. How would I physically have the strength to tend to their needs and his and my work and put him first? He knew I wanted children. My message to victims of abuse is to trust your instincts, and not what your partner says; remove yourself from danger. Get yourself out of the range of the words. This is what I had to do, and I had to plan to leave in secret. He would not have let me go, if told him I was leaving. When in recovery, continue to distance yourself from your ex-partner. The pain of the abuse lessens. Give yourself the time you need to heal. The fire of pain becomes a f lame to guide you, and life’s breath will f low
through you and create you anew. You will be able to breathe again. The love you gave to him, turn inwards into you and rest quiet. Find safe harbour.
I write as a woman who has experienced abuse but I know there are men who have experienced this same abuse. My heart is also with you. The abuse is to be made the victim in relationships and recovery is to recognise oneself beyond that victimisation. This type of abuse also happens in same sex relationships. Lawmakers, now is the time to protect victims of abuse and their children. Abusive partners need a victim. In the absence of their partner they will look for another victim, even their own child. Neglect is a crime. Abusive partners think only of themselves. This defect of character results in neglecting the needs
of a child. Victim partners hushed up need protection to speak freely about the true nature of their abusive partner. It has to be recognised this freedom does not exist in the presence of their violent partner. Courts will need to adapt. Survivors of abuse cannot succeed in court pitted against their violent partner alone. This forced failure of victims is not justice. I hope there will be a change for the common good. Survivors of abuse, by grace will heal. They will find a seat in love, and not in the selfishness and greed to which they were subjected. I could not find an anchor to love. The unstable current of malice drowned me. He pushed me so far out of myself. Sinking me in a deep dark ocean, out of sight of land, I could not see home to know where to swim to return to shore. This is the story I tell.
1. The snake pit
She wondered while sitting on top of the hillock under the starry night sky as their dog raced around chasing rabbits; can he be trusted, is he telling the truth, is it me? The dog came to sit by her tired from his chase, his pink soggy tongue hanging out of his mouth exposing a jaw of sharp incisors. Dobermans are good
guard dogs. It was only when she died that the field mice dared to venture into the house and the rabbits played on the lawn. The sky, silent, offered no answers.
A formless mass, shadow falls on me
Silently wearing a grin it follows me
In my sleep and waking hours, towering
Night and day cowering over me
It’s a black dawn
Unexpected and without warning
A solid darkness engulfing me
A total void eclipsing me
Wait – I’m able to break free
Emergence – a light I can see
A soft luminescence
A fiery essence
Burning orange-red with tongues of yellow
And sparkles alighting as the fuel I bellow
My hunger for redemption
Suffering for redemption
Burning with a white heat
Shadows are an easy defeat
It cleanses and purifies
My being it glorifies
The universe expanding
And softly demanding
To destroy the liar
I draw in oxygen and breathe out fire
“But you are only a f lame,” he says. He plunges my soul into unending dark days “Not a fire and a flame I can blow out.” His hatred suffocates me in a self-loathing doubt. Shocked, she woke up. The room pitch black, she opened the
silk curtains bought from their recent trip to Thailand. The mist was hovering over the vineyards and above that the peaks of the mountains glowered in the sunrise. He was away again. She was expecting guests and a friend visiting from England. She questioned where she would sleep. The cleaner would be coming and would find it odd having a male friend staying in the house. He knew her friend was visiting. She wanted to avoid gossip. She would have to sleep in the cottage. The guests and friend would sleep in the house. The guests arrived in the afternoon. She noticed the car and went outdoors to greet the guests; a couple from Napa Valley, California. She was a young blonde and he an older distinguished gentleman. The wife was unhappy. The lodge was not what she wanted and she convinced her husband to leave. He apologised to his hostess. She tried to convince the man to stay, saying they could stay in the cottage. He replied that would be good but his wife had already decided no. She advised him that they would be charged a cancellation fee to which he agreed. She reached into the cabinet to give the man a bottle of local wine for them to enjoy. He reddened and told her not to worry. Embarrassed – he left the house.
She disliked these moments. She told her friend when she picked him up at the airport what had happened. He replied that it was great that she could make money without them even staying – she had not seen the positive. They decided to drive to the beach and stopped in a winery on the way. The sun was setting,
the beach deserted and she enjoyed the momentary ease of gentle companionship.
His endless chatter fills me
His words humiliate, a torture to me
Sleep is a foreign land
His words cut deep wounds into me
Through a crack in the thatch, a shaft of light
My attention caught by this pinhole of light
A break between his streams of words
This offering to me, a gap in his words
My dreams of freedom like nebula
Form in this space from his words
Love seeps into my internal wound
Heart healing, but it’s a deep wound
Insight, I see into my greater good
Not a slave to him, so void of good
No more can he put on the shelf
The virtue of my inner self
The reign of peace has no king or queen
Freedom exists in countless corners unseen
Tyrants rage to capture it
They foolishly think they can master it
My will, he constantly breaks
My heart he forsakes
True love, she listens fully awake
She fills the vacuum he leaves in his wake
I give her these lines
To find my life signs
I still hear his taunts
My life he haunts
Not as a ghost
Like a parasite I am his host
Stuck in the glue of that false identity
His prison of my identity
This sadness is real
This pain is real
I’m looking for protection
I say, “I’m looking for protection!” People tell me, “Time is the only remedy.”
And to heal in my parents’ love, a remedy. He divided me from my parents’ love
And he wields time. I’m forever lost. He returned and so did his anger. She wondered if she had imagined the calm. Did life always have to be a war? His idea of right and wrong pitched against one another was making her numb to
react. The days faded, one into the other, every day a corridor of grey leading to no light.
What is real?
Why does he steal?
He acts as if he brokered me
What is this shame that follows me?
Am I free, defined by who he says I am?
I feel like stagnant water trapped and damned
Where is my imagination?
Where is my spiritual link to creation?
He encases me in deep solid walls
And makes me forget but my spirit, she calls
I look for my tent that moves with the wind
I give up my house to move in the wind
I dream to pitch my tent
A humble tent
Next to a life-giving river
So she may revive my life
I so want to find home
He makes me build Rome alone
I have to account every second to him.
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