The first time I ever felt fear was the day after my wedding.
I was getting ready to go out for the evening sheva brachot (party each night for 7 days following a wedding to continue with the celebrations). I stood in the bedroom.
I was getting dressed.
He was as well.
As I walked past him I made a comment
Which enraged him.
I said “hey you’re short”!
I thought it was a joke as I am tall
And was in heels and he was barefoot.
The atmosphere turned sinister.
His face went from white to red to purple
He was livid
I saw his mouth twitch
His hands shake.
I must have touched a nerve
I whispered not knowing what he was capable of.
“Sorry?? Sorry?? Really??”
He was yelling.
He was out of control.
I’d never seen him like this.
He slowly walked over to me.
He was breathing heavily.
I felt my heart thud in my ears.
He was inches from me.
I was shaking.
What the hell has happened to him?
What happened to the guy I met
7 months earlier?
I could feel his breath.
“Little? You called me little?
Don’t you EVER fucking call me little again.
Do you understand me?”
So this is what fear feels like.
Not knowing his next move.
Then he turned away and said he was
Going out the house as he didn’t want to
Be anywhere near me.
As he left and I heard the door close
I slowly fell to my knees and my body
Slumped to the ground.
I was terrified.
What would happen next time?
Suddenly I was sobbing.
Soaking the carpet.
Ruining all my make up.
I couldn’t stop.
But I had to go and party soon
Meet friends and family
Pretend everything was okay.
How would I do that?
The pain was overwhelming.
Eventually I pulled myself together.
Wiped my face.
Redid my make up.
Put on a beautiful wig.
And joined him in the car to go.
Of course everything was wonderful
Yes he treats me amazing
He’s so kind
It’s wonderful being married.
On and on.
I couldn’t tell anyone the truth.
It was a one off – wasn’t it?
I wouldn’t say that again
And it would all be fine again.
No one guessed anything.
We played the loved up happy couple
But I was already breaking inside.
I had seen the look in his eyes.
It wasn’t a look I had seen before.
And it scared me.
I vowed I would do anything I could
To make sure I would never
Make him angry again.
That was the first time.
The first time of a 17 year marriage.
It began a cycle of abuse I couldn’t escape.
Day after day.
Month after month.
Year after year.
Until the day he got arrested.