Sitting on the couch I couldn’t help but see the piles of clean, unfolded laundry taking up space on the love-seat. This was a sign of all the help that I was not getting while on mandatory bed rest after miscarrying a twin. A baby remained and I rubbed my large belly trying to express the love that I felt for her and to make up for the love my husband would undoubtedly be unable to offer to our unborn child.
He was in the kitchen, preparing lunch for us. We had five small children, the oldest being seven years old.
“Go get the kids and have them wash up, lunch is almost ready,” he ordered.
I opened the front door, yanking hard as it was a door we rarely used, it creaked open and I hollered to the children all playing on the swing set, seemingly without a care in the world. Calling each name I followed that with, “Let’s wash up, lunch is ready.”
My husband screamed, “What in the hell are you doing?” as he took huge strides to be by my side. With no further ado he picked me up and threw me down the hall to my left. Skidding across the blue carpet I tried to huddle to protect my unborn child, all the while I had my hand out to stop me from crashing into the wall that I was oh so close to. My hand touched something sharp, the metal door hinge, and I felt the blood slip down from my palm. Rolling onto my back, I stayed in a fetal position to attempt to save the helpless human within.
“We live right next to the landlord, are you trying to get us evicted?” he bellowed.
“No, I was just…”
“Shut up, just shut the f— up!”
I saw his fist tense and raised my hands to block the impending blow.
Startled he said, “Oh my God, your hand is bleeding! Come on, let’s get you cleaned up.”
I should have been wary of his change of attitude, but it was nothing new, the cycle of violence. “No, I will take care of it,” I could feel the tears of worry defying my attempts at composure as I rose to go to the bathroom to wash up from his fury.
My husband stood over me, feigning concern, as I washed up. “Let me help you,” he demanded.
“You,” I yelled in a rare show of defiance, “need to get the f— away from me.”
He wasn’t done with his niceties though, “Come on, baby. I’m sorry, I won’t do it again. I was just upset because we can’t get evicted for loud noises. Where would we go? Oh my God, I’m so sorry.”
My aching body tensed as he wrapped his arms around me. Feeling defeated I allowed him to take the wash cloth and clean up the traces of his anger. I knew it wasn’t over yet, we still had to have make-up sex, which would be after lunch, and I was cringing at allowing this monster near me.
Maybe I could have left, right then, maybe I should have, but I needed him. He had me convinced that I was too stupid and ugly to ever be wanted by anyone, and I was in need of someone to take care of the kids and me. My only other option was to convince the doctor to take me off bed rest, but I knew it was a long shot and my husband was good to the kids. So I continued to sacrifice safety.