Archive | April, 2017


27 Apr


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She sat huddled in the corner of her room. Her back was pressed against the wall, as if hoping for some grounding, some support. Her knees were drawn close to her chest, her arms tightly wrapped around herself, almost seeming like she was trying to soothe herself with a hug. Tears dropped intermittently from her eyes, her body emitting an occasional shudder. Her eyes glanced over her arms and legs, looking for the red marks from the lashing she had just received. A quivering hand rose up to her face, tentatively hovering over it, almost scared of brushing over a stretch of slashed skin. She sat there for what seemed like hours, her heart rate accelerating with the rise in the sound of the footsteps outside her locked door. The footsteps of a burly man, a man she had loved, even revered, for years.

She woke up the next day as the alarm clock blared at 7 AM. Laying a few minutes in bed, she steeled herself for another day. As she stood in the shower, with the cold water pouring down on her, she almost wished that it could also wash away the memories of the previous night. She applied two extra coats of concealer under her eyes, an attempt to ward off the anticipated queries from her co-workers about her growing dark circles. She wondered if there was any concealer available in the market which could also mask the look of death in her big, black eyes. She trudged through the day, immersing herself in the pile of files on her desk, hoping to distract herself from the impending doom that awaited her at home at night. One could never unearth the whirlpool of emotions inside her which was wrecking her sanity, every moment, every day. As she cracked jokes, and laughed along with her co-workers, not one of them was able to look past her façade, and tell her that she seemed to be trying too hard; that even if her face was perennially split into a wide smile, her eyes were still vacant.

10 PM, she shuffled around the house, completing her chores and hoping against hope, that tonight will be the night she would be spared. She tried to be as invisible as she could, hoping that if he didn’t see her much, he wouldn’t flare up. Wishful thinking. Just a few minutes later, he sought her out, and on started the insults, berates, belittling, threats, and mockery. His verbal blows rained torrentially on her, every word searing through her like acid-tipped arrows. She winced through them, cowering, sobbing, fighting back, and weeping, in unending cycles; until she was resorted to a lump of flesh and bones pressed hard against the wall, her knees drawn close to her chest, and her arms wrapped tightly around herself.

Relentless loop. Every day. Every night.

She did not have any scars to show for her abuse. There were no breaks on the surface of her skin; no cuts, burns, or slashes. But her heart, soul, and psyche was repeatedly stabbed at every night. Sure, there were no outward signs of distress; but if one would have ever looked closely at her, one could have fathomed her pain. Her shoulders drooping with a veiled burden, her vacant eyes, and her deadened spirit and zest for life were her scars.

Emotional abuse is as real, painful, and damaging as physical abuse. It is time we give it the attention it silently screams for.