Trigger Warning: violence against women, intimate partner violence
Fist against flesh
leaving a temporary scar
like a crash in a car
purple for a day
cells and muscles
twinge and twitch
skin will heal
both a fiction.
I wrote this when I was musing about the lovely colour of the skin of eggplants, and then thought of the many people, mostly women and children, in abusive relationships. I worked as a group facilitator for 10 years. With the experience as a worker in the drug and alcohol field for 10 years I witnessed the damage that drug dependence brings to a family. The cycle of drug and alcohol use becomes a habit which is a hard to break, but it can be accomplished with the help of group work and counsellors.
For these adults and children who grow up with habitual drug-dependent adults, their world is secret and well-camouflaged until it all becomes intolerable. It is the secretiveness that keeps reality at bay and sets behaviour patterns. Changing a pattern is a step into an unknown and as such very unstable place emotionally. Once a small change is made, everything else that was taken as “right” is now suddenly “wrong”. The lie about “us” and those who are love becomes illuminated.
Families follow the pattern of what was, with no awareness of why you can’t let go, enjoy relationships and laugh at life. I imagine it is like being constricted by a large snake. Many biographies have laid bare the truth of childhood resilience and trauma in a home where abuse of drugs or alcohol is central. To write about your experience, either privately or publicly, helps to release the secrets and hopefully some of the pain.
(photo of aubergines by Dominck, CC-licensed via Flickr)