Most of us who have experienced Domestic Abuse, can later pinpoint the event that caught them in the abuser’s trap. Abusers don’t take responsibility for their behaviour, it’s always the fault of someone else – she made me angry; if only I could get a better job; if only my parents accepted me. Everyone is to blame except themselves. These meditations are shared from my book WITNESS*, which recounts Sarah’s abuse at the hands of her husband, Jamie. When Sarah got free of him, after many years, she discovered in counseling the point in their relationship where she became trapped. It happened after a severe beating that left Sarah cowered, bruised and in shock. Some time after the attack, with Jamie gone from the kitchen, Sarah got herself to her feet and went into the living room to find a comfortable seat. When she opened the door, Jamie flew at her again, and told her she shouldn’t make him so angry; one of these days he was going to murder her, and he would end up in prison, and it would be Sarah’s fault. Sarah loved Jamie, and the last thing she wanted for him was prison; she didn’t have the presence of mind to consider herself, and what he did to her. Jamie made her responsible for his anger, and she took that responsibility. She had no-one to talk this over with, her mother was dead, and her sisters far away. In any case the uppermost feeling she had, was one of shame.
Mother, I place myself in the warmth of your loving arms.
I place my feet on your earth and allow myself to be rooted in the earth, my home. I feel your energy rise in me, supporting me in experiencing my pain.
You were present when he hurt me; you are my witness.
Alone in a small room, he slapped me and punched me and kicked me.
No other human being saw.
Later, he made me doubt my own experience, my own heart, my own mind.
But you are my witness.
He did these things to me.
He shamed me.
He degraded me
He blamed me:
I accepted blame.
You Mother surround the Cosmos;
I have life and breath in You.
Hold me in my pain.
Bit by bit, layer by layer.
Mine is a long journey back to health.
You are my guide and my companion.
Remind me when I doubt my own experience.
You are my witness.
Remind me when he denies these acts.
You are my witness.
Image & text © Kitty Nolan 2016
*WITNESS also available from:
Barnes & Noble