Challenge: God’s Punishment/When I Became Numb (Blog12)
It’s me again, pregnant with one of our children. Yes, still living I the same country. Our situation was still the same. I had already begun to wonder if he even loved me in the first place. I knew the answer to that, no. I was only a conquest. I think he loved what I represented, and at the same time hated it. Look at him, he had an American wife, he looked at himself, he’d never be a ‘real’ American. At least, I think that’s how he saw it. I think it angered him that he would always be bound by his culture, and he took that anger out on me.
I had heard of a place that did 3-D imaging ultra-sounds. I wanted one of the baby growing inside of me. I may have not loved my husband by that time, but I loved the baby inside of me. I don’t know how, but I had convinced my husband to come with me to see the ultrasound. I think he needed the car to be somewhere later, so he figured if he went, he could hurry the process along.
I was excited. I was going to be able to see the baby I already loved, already talked to, already had dreams for. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a talker. I was being myself that day, talking and talking with little or no response from him. It was going to be a long car ride.
Then his phone started ringing, and ringing, and ringing. Every time it stopped ringing, a text message would come through. He would look to see who it was, each time becoming more and more agitated. Stupid me, I asked who it was. No answer. It rang again, “If it’s so important, just answer it.” He snapped, “Mind your own business!”
The phone continued to ring. Why I did what I did, I have no clue. I knew I would be hit for it, but I did it anyway. The next time the phone rang, I took it to see who was calling. He snatched it quickly from my hand, “NEVER touch my phone! NEVER!”
I was hurt, this was my day, I was going to see a picture of my baby. “Just answer your whore and be done with it!” His hand reached across the console and slapped me so hard that it stung. I put my hand to my cheek. Again, the phone rang.
Tears streaming down my face I yelled, “Just answer the phone, I don’t care! I DON’T CARE! I know your whore is more important than I am! Just answer the phone!”
With his one free hand he grabbed my neck and began shaking me. Through gritted teeth, “Don’t call her that! You’re the whore, an American whore!”
He took his hand off my neck, undid my seatbelt, reached across me, opened my door, and pushed me out. Yes, my husband, the father of my unborn child that was in my stomach had just pushed me out of a moving car.
My instinct was to hold my stomach, even before I knew I was falling out of the car, I was holding my stomach. I scraped my hands, arms, and legs as I hit the asphalt. I guess he had slowed the car enough to where I would survive the fall. He yelled, “Go tell the police!” and drove away.
I was stunned. It was surreal. I looked around, and realized he had gotten off of the highway and onto an access road. He had dumped me off in front of a police station, like I was rubbish to be put away.
I don’t know how long I sat there. It couldn’t have been that long. I don’t know, I had no purse and no phone. I stood up, winced at the pain from the scrapes, and wandered into the police station in a dream. “English, I need someone who speaks English.” An officer came to assist me.
I tried telling him what happened, but he didn’t want to listen, he would always stop me. “Where do you need to go?” he asked. I told him that I had a doctor’s appointment, but I had no car, no phone, and no money to get me there. Was I really having this conversation? Does no one see my swollen belly? Do they not see that I am bleeding?
He left the room we were in. I remembered the other police officer that came to our flat, maybe he was going to get handcuffs for me. I took this time to feel my belly, please, God, let my baby be okay. I felt a small kick on my stomach and I began to sob.
The officer came back, gave me tissue and said, “Come on.” I didn’t know where he was taking me, I didn’t care. I knew the nanny would be with my daughter for two more hours, not sure what would happen after that.
The officer walked me outside and took me to a police car, “Get in.” I obeyed. “Where is your appointment?” I gave him the card with the address. I tried again to tell him what happened. “Please, Madam, I am sorry, but do not tell me, it is not my business.” I didn’t try again.
He drove me to my appointment. As I was getting out, he handed me some money, “For the taxi home, return to your husband. I am sorry.” And then he was gone.
I went in to my appointment. Funny, no one asked about the fresh cuts and scrapes. While they were doing the ultrasound, one nurse did ask why I was crying. I told her that I was just homesick (another cover-up).
Then I got to see my baby, precious, alive, moving! I got to take a picture with me. And then I left. I took a taxi home.
When I got home, the nanny was there, my husband was not. She saw my cuts and scrapes, without a word she got a washcloth and washed them and bandaged me. I cried as she washed them, I cried because she was being so kind to me, she was the only adult who was kind to me that day. When she finished, she got her purse and went to the door, turned towards me, “You deserve better,” and left.
I went to my daughter, picked her up, and sat down on the sofa. I held her tightly and she hugged me back. “Why are you crying?” “I just missed you so much today, I thought I’d never see you again!” “Silly Momma, you see me every day!”
After dinner I put my daughter to bed. Then, with the lights off, I sat on the sofa in the darkness. He pushed me out of a moving car. He pushed me out of a moving car. He pushed me out of a moving car. I cried and cried until I had no tears left. I wasn’t sad. I wasn’t angry. I was numb. It didn’t affect me anymore.
I went to bed. Later he came in and laid-down beside me. I was numb. He punished me again. I was numb. The next morning he called for me to get his coffee. I did.
Nothing affected me after that, I was numb to everything. I was numb to life. There was no taste, there were no colors. I was numb.
The only joy I felt, the only feelings I ever had after that were for my children. They were everything and the only thing right in my world. I promised to protect them, and I did, as best as I could. Sometimes I couldn’t, and these are the times that kill me, that haunt me.
He pushed me out of a moving car. I was numb. Still, I did not leave him. Why? I don’t know.
Being numb can help you. Being numb stops the pain. Being numb is not living. Life was without color or flavor. I only existed.
Even years later, when I finally broke away, I was still numb. Five years without him, I was still numb. It had become my way of life, my normal. I thought it was God’s punishment for not protecting the kids better. I accepted that, that in exchange for my kids making it through? I would accept it over and over again.
I was going to be numb for the rest of my life. I had accepted that as my fate. I was numb. Until I wasn’t.