I met him and we fell deeply in love. He was so caring, gentle and loving. He was handsome, a prince among men. I felt so loved and special, all my friends were envious. He was perfect.
The first time it happened I couldn’t believe it. He asked me something I can’t remember what but I remember I thought that it was something that was none of his business. I answered rudely saying it was none of his business. That’s when he slapped me. I was in so much shock I didn’t even cry or scream.
I walked out of that house vowing never to come back. I went to a girlfriend’s house to plot my way forward. He found out where I was. He sent me flowers and tried to call me. Then he sent me a card saying “am sorry baby I didn’t mean to hurt you. I love you. Come let me make it up to you. I will never ever hit you again. Come home, baby.”
I thought about it and prayed. I remembered the good times and I couldn’t believe that he would hurt me again. I knew him; he was one of the good guys. I went back and he was my old love, my best love. That’s how it all began.
I know you think I am naive, going back to him after he slapped me. I guess you would have told me to run as fast as my legs would take me. But if you did I wouldn’t have listened. My friend tried to tell me that it was just the beginning but I didn’t listen.
Things were pretty calm again. He never hit me again. At least not until after we were married. He had gone out one night and came home drunk. I was 6 months pregnant and I didn’t want to go out so I went to bed early. He came home at 2 AM. I guess he was expecting me to be up waiting for him to come back and open the door for home when he returned. He knocked furiously on the door but I was deep in sleep so I didn’t hear him.
He called me on the cellphone. When I came to open the door he was spitting mad. He slapped me. He asked me what kind of a wife I was, sleeping when her husband is knocking on the door. I tried to tell him I was resting. That made him see red.
He punched me in the breasts and then kicked me. I fell to the ground and started screaming. I felt pain in my abdomen. God was I losing my baby. I started screaming at him that I was losing the baby.
As if in a trance he switched back to the man I knew. He told me he was so sorry. He couldn’t believe that he had done such a thing. “Baby it was the alcohol,” he told me. He wept as he drove me to the hospital.
“Baby I am so sorry. The devil entered me. Forgive me, baby I never meant to hurt you.” He chanted over and over.
When I reached the hospital I was taken to the emergency. The doctor looked me over and asked me what had happened. I looked at my husband. He looked so helpless and sorry. He could not have meant to hurt me or our baby.
I lied, never knowing that that would be the first lie in a series of lies to come. That this would be my first visit to the hospital and not the last.
“you’re lucky you almost had a miscarriage. Be very careful that you don’t trip again” The doctor told me that I needed to be on bed rest in hospital for a week so I was admitted for observation.
My husband came to see me every day asking for forgiveness. He promised that he would never hurt me again. I didn’t know whether I believed him. I was pregnant and had no job. Where was I going to go?
I didn’t know what to do and I knew I couldn’t go back home to my parents who were poor and could not afford to feed two extra mouths. They were so excited when I married a man they considered very well off.
So I went back home after one week to my husband. I thought he had learnt his lesson when I almost lost the baby. He was so loving and so excited when we got a son Kevin. Kevin was the light of my life. Spoiled but sweet. We had another child after that, a girl called Mercy.
Most of the time things were good but sometimes my husband would get into a rage, hitting and punching me. Once he broke three of my ribs and another knocked out two of my front teeth. He always took me to the hospital and paid the bills. I used to tell the doctor that I was a klutz so clumsy and accident-prone. I tried to leave a couple of times but he always came begging me or my family to give him another chance.
Things came to a head when Kevin was in primary school at around seven years of age. We were called to Kevin’s school and told he had beaten up a girl who had taken his book. In the headmaster’s office, my husband brushed it off as a minor incident.
He said and I quote, “that’s just how boys are. Sometimes they like to fight. It doesn’t mean he is a bad boy.”
I told Kevin off for beating a girl. He looked me straight in the eye and said, “then if it’s bad to hit a girl, why does dad beat you?”
I was too embarrassed to reply. But as I looked from father to son I had an insight. I saw what my son would become one day to another woman if I didn’t do something.
My husband dropped us home after verbally abusing Kevin for discussing home issues in public. He also told Kevin to expect a beating when he got home. He wasn’t angry because Kevin had beaten up the girl but because of saying in front of the headmaster and teacher that his father beat me.
I waited for my husband to leave. Then I went and packed my clothes and those of my children. I went into the wardrobe and removed a stash of cash I had hidden and a bank account card.
I told Kevin we were going visiting and we needed to get his sister from school. Without looking back at the big house with beautiful furniture and everything a woman could dream of, I closed the door to my nightmares and opened a gate to a new life.
I wasn’t going back to my parents because my husband would find me there. But I had made a friend who my husband didn’t know about. She had seen what my husband had done to me on numerous occasions and she had told me if I ever needed a place to stay I could go stay with her.
I know this will be hard. But in the end, to save my children who I love more than myself it’s time to get out. I am praying to God for strength to help me do what I have to do for my children.
This is a work of fiction. The reality is every day women are being beaten up and sometimes even killed by their boyfriends or their husbands. Don’t let yourself become a statistic. But also watch out for your friends and family. No woman deserves to be beaten or go through verbal abuse. Say no to domestic violence.
8 Places That Domestic Abuse Victims Can Seek Help
Single Lady In Nairobi: When He Beat Me #BlacknBlue
How we can help victims of domestic violence
The Singlehood Series: He Beat Her Up But It Took Two Years For Her To Realize That He Was A Monster