Letter #52

Content Warning: domestic abuse


My experience with domestic violence

The excitement of Friday courses through my veins as I gleefully chat with my 5th-grade friends. We sit down in music class, and then a surprise visit from my mom brightens my day. But she’s different today. A somber shadow casts a haunting aura of distress over her usual cheerful demeanor; she is taking me home early. When I ask about the reason behind my early leave from school, my questions fall on deaf ears, leaving me confused and impatient.


As we climb into the car, my mother admits that the reason for the abrupt leave was because previously that morning, my father had held her at gunpoint. She recounts the horrifying experience of pleading and crying on her knees, begging him not to harm her. We end up at a nearby hotel, where we stay for the weekend.


In our room, my mother recounts the violent event and explained how my father thought she was being unfaithful. I confide in my cousin and friend about the incident. Concerned, my friend’s mother asks if it should be reported, to which my mother and I both respond ‘no’. That Friday night, I did not cry for more than ten minutes. As an 11-year-old, it was hard to fully grasp the gravity of the situation, and I didn’t feel as scared or sad as one might expect. Sunday morning arrives, and with school looming the next day, my father unexpectedly picks us up from the hotel. We return home, and life seems to resume as if nothing had ever happened.


Since that fall, nearly four years ago, this event has been brushed under the rug, never to be spoken of again. Throughout my childhood, domestic violence was a common occurrence. I used to perceive these incidents as mere arguments, not to be taken too seriously. But now that I’m older, and my father is a frail, older man, I consider my story to be strangely lucky, considering how extremely different my life might have been if he had pulled that trigger.


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