BLOG: I left my abusive ex-hubby, the best decision ever
This is an issue I hold rather private but I’ve decided to share to encourage those locked up in dens of hell. It’s a chapter of my life I have opened up for you to read, learn, get encouraged—or perhaps encourage someone else.
Pain makes you stronger; in this case it has and I am now healed totally.
Most of the time I pray for wisdom more than anything else especially where relationships are concerned. The heartbreaking story of a 27-year old woman Jackline Mwende, whose hands were chopped off by her husband, made me realise that we sometimes take life for granted.
Life is to be lived and enjoyed to the fullest, the way I do it!
I had to consult my family and friends before sharing this story. It was a difficult season that one. They thought, why not if it will help someone.
I was a victim of domestic violence. Actually, I was laughing at my former situation with a BFF (best friend forever), telling him that getting married when I did was the biggest scam of my life.
I got married to my puppy love. I am that child whose life had been structured in that sense. And all was bliss, or so I thought.
I chose to settle with the 30 per cent I liked about him and cared zilch of the 70 per cent he didn’t have. He was the air I breathed, the one I lived for. He was the one who stopped any sense including common sense in my life but I soldiered on. I was in love; verily and nothing or no one could stop me from loving him.
Not even the daily punches I got from him!
In fact, each time he raised his hand on me (forget the education I have, where love is concerned education flies out of the window), I interpreted that as love.
The more he hit me, the more excuses I made for him amongst my friends, family and relatives.
He swore that if I left him, he would ensure that no other man ever would have me (gotta be the funniest thing ever).
I was the best wife, I mean, I woke up early to make his breakfast, cooked his dinner too and made sure we didn’t sleep angry.
I find holding grudges, a very big job and sometimes I would gift him even after a kichapo (beating). For instance, two days after a fight, I would spot a nice watch or shirt, – expensive for that matter – and I would buy it for him (saitan was in the making yaani!)
And I somewhat imagined I was the best wife he could ever have, yaani I was the one (sema confidence 101, this got me laughing).
I told myself he wouldn’t be ok if I left him. Now, I believe he still is ok, and breathing well.
So, I stayed on, prayed every day, bruised my knees hoping and praying that he would change.
I stayed on for my babies. I stayed on to bear the ‘Mrs’ title. I stayed on to look perfect to society. I stayed on just for what I now term as stupidity’s sake!
I couldn’t leave, it’s like I had been domiciled there for life.
Any time I packed my bags to leave, I always found a perfect reason to stay. I would stay on despite having head injuries.
It got so bad at some point that I started wearing headscarves to the office to conceal injuries from the thunders rained on me.
I also got myself sunglasses to wear during the black eye days!
I also had a curfew so I had to be home by 6pm. He also had a dress code for me (never mind I had an independent life before we got married) and, well, he somewhat had control of my phone.
Fast forward; whenever we had an argument, my best response was silence and to move on fast. He was irked by my lack of response.
It was a Saturday, my stress-free, sleep day. I wasn’t going to let someone ruin it with their petty talk.
Shock! Dude unleashed a pair pliers, the plumbing pliers, and before I could comprehend what was happening, he had hit me on my mouth, actually my teeth.
I was bleeding, shouting and confused. My upper front teeth fell off and as I was still composing myself, he took a knife (he had pulled this before) and was just about to stab me.
WOKE UP FROM SLUMBER
Luckily, my house-girl (God bless her) swung into action and I was able to escape. That’s the day I woke up from slumber land, from the spell that had been cast on me and into reality.
I loved someone who didn’t even love me back. I fought for a marriage which didn’t even have a foundation, I was just there being a housemate, sex partner and punching bag to someone who didn’t have the same thoughts and feelings in him.
Yes, I love you dude but I have to love me first. It has to be me first then other people. “Love thy neighbour as thyself”.
I was no longer the hot Edith who left her parents’ house but something else. My market value deprecated but I was keen on working on me.
I left. I called it quits. It was the most difficult time, I must admit. How could I be alone? I wasted my five years lying to myself.
I keep saying God’s grace is sufficient. It certainly is. Many years down the line, I can assure you that I am better off alone now and despite the single mum tag (which I care zilch about) life has been fair.
Of course there have been difficult moments but, hey, who said life should be a straight graph? I drew some inner strength that has pulled me through.
START ALL OVER
I started all over again, but I am making it.
This is to those suffering in abusive marriages and hoping that things will change. Let them change while you are a distance away.
Many times we say “I am staying for the children” but who will look after the children if you’re killed? If you are left disabled, who will support you? Wisdom is very key in marriages.
This is also to the young girls who are just about to get married. If you find a man who has 20 per cent of what you like, ask yourself if you can live without the 80 per cent. My experience is that they hardly change. Walk into that marriage knowing that the 80 per cent deficit won’t be achieved anytime soon.
And this is to tell you that there are good men out there. Just choose what you can live with. After my drama, I have come across many good men, of course most haven’t met my standards, but they are good.
Some are just there to waste your time, others to be with you for who you are, but still pick what you can live with.
Sometimes I get the question “why are you keen on that guy and he is not your calibre?” I don’t know how friends rate calibre but I settle for character.
A good character is the epitome of anything in life. Add discipline and honesty and it’s bliss ever after! I will settle for a man with character whether they are my height and lean like me as opposed to a tall, dark and handsome 30-percent fellow.
Let’s not jump into marriages because we are ageing. Do not say I am 25 or 30 and there is no husband in sight.
Let a proper person find you. Psychos are mushrooming by the day; let’s not do it because you have dated for long. Let’s not do it because it’s a way of life. Let’s do it because we can’t live without the other person and every day of your life you won’t regret waking up beside them.
I am wiser now and my divine original, the one God has kept for me will have a partner, best friend and critic who will compliment him. I am there to provide energy for him to be who he is and fulfill God’s purpose for us in life.
Me and my 30-something-self experienced all these to the extent I said I will never love again or I will never get married again.
But you learn from your mistakes and decide to give an able person who can carry you as you ought to be carried a chance.
READY TO LOVE AGAIN
Heck! Now I am ready to love again, dance again, have fun and play!
The victim in me is now healed, I worked on me. And by the way, that experience didn’t stop me from achieving what I want or being who I am.
In fact, it made me go after my dreams more aggressively than before. The bible says: “This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.’”
Beauty for ashes!
The writer does Security Communications at the Office of the President. This article was first published on her Facebook wall.