Tag Archives: violence

Emotional scars: Part 2

A few weeks ago on Deutcshe Welle TV, I watched this show about women who, in an attempt to get past horrifying incidents of domestic violence which had left their bodies awfully scarred, had gotten tattoos to cover the scars. Therefore in place of a burn or big scar, one would have a beautiful tattoo. Though I’m not a psychologist, I can say getting ‘rid’ of the marks sought of speeds up the healing process.

Now with regard to that, I found myself wondering, what would happen to people whose scars are not physical but emotional? For instance, last Sunday I was talking to my big sister and she seemed to have this evident revulsion for all matters dad. Late last year she had developed this habit where she’d stay in her room the whole day, in an attempt to stay away from him.

This went on for weeks until dad, in one of his rare glimpses of responsible parenthood, asked mom about her whereabouts. He actually sounded concerned, and that happens rarely. He told mom he didn’t support that because if she went on like that for a while longer, there was no telling what she could do to herself.

Eventually, mom talked to her about it and after seeing how concerned dad was, she stopped ‘locking’ herself in her bedroom and even started talking to him. They didn’t just dive straight away into the buddy-buddy pool but their relationship improved remarkably.

However, to my horror, last week I realised she was sliding back into that habit. When dad’s around she’ll avoid all the places she knows she could bump into him. While I don’t quite think it’s the best solution, I sought of understand why she’s doing it.

I had a talk with her about it and she told me dad is the one person in her life who has ever made her contemplate committing suicide. Therefore avoiding him works for her because if he doesn’t see her, he just might forget she even exists and he won’t have to think of all the hurtful things to say about her when he’s drunk.

See, when dad’s not trying to be a good parent, and that’s who he is most of the time, he makes someone feel very uncomfortable when they are around him. He’ll just sit behind a newspaper, purporting to read it all day, and he might not say a word unless someone starts a conversation. From what I’ve gathered over time, he usually spends that time observing everyone, making his own little condemnatory mental notes.

It’s only when he’s drunk, or has only had a little to drink and is pretending to be drunk that he starts yapping, complaining about everything and everyone. He’s been doing that since I’ve known him and I abhor it.

To be fair, I’ll just give him the benefit of the doubt and say maybe there are times he has meaningful complaints, like this one time we were all busy and didn’t get time to pull down the Christmas decorations until February.

Nonetheless, my problem is how he raises those issues. He’ll go fill up on some dutch courage before he starts venting. Worst part is, he always does wicked things deliberately with the sole intention of hurting us. For instance, two weeks ago he suggested we should visit his mom the next day and we all agreed.

Seeing as we were supposed to leave very early, we thought we would use that Friday evening to prepare for the trip which had been suggested on such short notice. Disappointingly, he went to drink at around five in the evening and he didn’t come back till around three in the morning. By then we had all cancelled the travelling plans since there was no way we’d be going to his mom’s with him drunk.

When he came in at that very ungodly hour, he started shouting as usual but since we were all asleep, he figured he would force mom to have an audience with him. Though his loud monologues had woken her up, she didn’t say anything. When he saw she wasn’t flinching or acting all agitated, he just walked to their bedroom window, opened it, and started shouting, apparently addressing the neighbours who cared to listen.

Though I didn’t hear everything because I willed myself to fall asleep so I wouldn’t hear him, the things he said were very offensive, and not to mention hurtful. In a nutshell, he said mom must be a witch because she spends so much time in prayer… (I’ve always thought praying is a good thing). And regarding my sisters and I, he said he didn’t understand what we were still doing in his house.

Like I’ve said before, maybe sometimes he has genuine concerns, but the way he brings it all up is what really hurts. I’ve never told him, but my reluctance to get married stems from this overwhelming fear I have of ending up with someone like him. He’s subjected us to so much misery, and though he’s clearly oblivious to it, I have an anxiety disorder to show for it… I have suffered from depression…and peptic ulcers…

Since I do not like dwelling so much on the past, I always try to find things which will cheer me up so I don’t get sucked into my own negative thoughts, which have become a constant companion. That’s what living in constant anxiety does to someone…Always waiting for something to go wrong…

If someone was to judge my sisters and I from our physical appearance, we look healthy and ‘normal’, because we don’t have physical scars to show for the pain and anguish we’ve been through. However deep down, we’ve so many emotional scars. That’s why I find dad’s sentiments awfully erroneous; physical scars are not the only indicators of suffering.

Jekyll and Hyde: Part 2

The entire time I was thinking, uh… duuuh… we’re the ones in the car. Obviously we’ll get there first. But I didn’t want to exchange nasty words with him on the first day of the year, so I bit my tongue. As we were exiting the court gate, he took more than enough time signing out and at that point we were all regretting why we thought he would be different that day. He’s pulled his delaying tactics one too many times but every time we fall for it, thinking he’ll do things right.

While we were nearing the junction, he saw my sister ahead of us so he used the opposite route. My big sis asked him to act like a Christian for once and do the right thing but instead he just stepped on the accelerator, speeding up, blatantly ignoring the estate’s 20km/h speed limit. I was afraid we were going to crash.

While we were nearing the main exit gate, we pleaded with him to go back for my sister. The roads looked so deserted that morning and the road to the church was lined with pubs. We were therefore afraid she would bump into a nasty drunk along the way and there would be no one to defend her if God-forbid anything happened.

Maliciously, he refused to slow down on all speed bumps. I really wished he acted like the grown up he was. But I never really bank on people acting their age, because as the adage goes, “If age imparted wisdom, there would be no old fools”.

Eventually he agreed to turn around. When he saw my small sister though, he slowed down, almost to a halt that, even a snail would have beaten us to the finish line.

“You see how she’s walking?” He derided, mimicking her walking style. “I know she’s going to meet up with a boy.”

By then it was around 8.30am; a half hour since mass began. We requested him to drive a bit faster because we were getting late. When we were drawing close to her, my big sis rolled the mirror down and started calling out her name. She didn’t know we were behind her.

We should have known better though, because the instant we got to her, dad branched, driving to the opposite direction. My big sis and I shouted in protest, asking him why he was being so mean. She and a cousin of ours were sitted on the back seat, holding some mirrors that had been taken from the cabinets in mom’s beauty salon, but had been left in the car. They had cost so much money and my big sis was afraid they would break. Mom was already too stressed about closing up her salon and we figured the last thing she needed was to have any of her items break.

We agreed with my big sis I was going to catch up with our small sis, so she wouldn’t walk alone. At the time I was so mad at her because I was thinking if she had waited patiently for dad to get done with his crappy delaying schemes we would all have gotten to church in time for the mass. We’d wasted so much time on the road chasing after her. That however, I would deal with much later. All I needed at that point was to get to church.

As I was getting out, I realized the door couldn’t open, so I would have to use the co-driver’s. I rose from my seat, trying to get to the front but dad stepped on the emergency break and my head rammed into the dashboard. I wasn’t hurt as much as I was pissed.

“I can’t do anything to avenge myself dad,” I told him, “but remember, God is always watching.” With that I got out. I walked the remaining distance to church, huffing when dad just drove past me. He was clearly doing to me the same thing he’d done to my sister. I walked behind my sister all the way to church because I couldn’t catch up with her.

By the time I got to church, all the readings plus the gospel had been ready and the priest was giving the homily. I had missed much but I was glad to be in the house of God. I was mad and hurt, so I took a while to meditate, in an attempt to calm myself down.

My sister and my cousin made it to church way after we had given our offertory but I was happy they had made it. Turns out they had gone back to the house to take mom’s mirrors.

When mass ended we all walked back home sharing our morning experiences. Obviously, my cousin was so shocked by the whole incident. “Is this how we’re spending New Year’s?” He’d asked. Luckily we had already given him a crash course on dad’s misbehaviour in case our old man screwed up while he was still visiting.

Dad was sound asleep when we got home. The morning had just been a weird one. When he woke up in the afternoon, it’s like he had morphed into an entirely different person in his sleep. He was jolly and meek, and even agreed to take mom shopping for some household utilities. When I served him fries for lunch he didn’t complain even though he’s always saying how much he hates them. Later, he asked for some more. We couldn’t help but wonder if that was the same man who had sabotaged our church going. It was all too unreal.

I couldn’t help but think Mr Hyde had screwed up with our morning and Dr Hyde had spent New Year’s with us. One person; but totally different personalities. One thing I know is that dad has some good in him, only that it surfaces very rarely. Unfortunately for my family and I, Mr Hyde is the one who’s in control most of the time.

Jekyll and Hyde

The first time I came across the phrase ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ was in the Oxford dictionary; and the images that first sprung to mind were the people who had split personalities that I had watched in various movies and telenovelas; people, whose personalities shifted from saintly to villainous in varying circumstances. The thought was very intriguing, mainly because it was incomprehensible, how one person could have two personalities that were as patently distinct from each other as night and day.

The most recent case I have come across on TV is in vampire diaries, where Aleric Saltzman, a mere mortal, dies; but with the help of a magical ring he comes back to life. He’s killed one too many times in the show that at some point his constant encounter with the underworld has him transforming into a hard-nosed hunter. Apparently, a spirit in the other world (who we later find out is the mother of the originals) was grooming him to become a hunter of the supernatural beings. Due to that, his personality keeps shifting from the good to the evil Aleric, who slays unremorsefully.

That’s just a TV show. Now back to the real world. I recently discovered a real life Jekyll and Hyde; my very own father. He could give the real McCoy a run for his own money. Now I’m not just imagining it, or watching it from a scripted show. I’m watching a real life version of the proverbial Jekyll and Hyde and one thing I can say for sure is that it sucks big time.

I tried comprehending how one person could have two distinct personalities and until now it beats me. I know for some people it’s a clinical matter but in this case, I would say dad’s is totally a personal choice; to be good and alternately evil.

I would love to say his is an involuntary thing, but based on my deductions, he has full knowledge of his actions and how they affect us. I would attribute his behaviour to alcoholism and receiving wrong advice from ill-wishers, starting with his mom and siblings.

For starters, the other day mom asked him if he knew the things he does are wrong and karma would catch up with him at some point. It may sound hard to believe, but he said he did, with absolutely zilch remorse. That’s the easiest way to tell when someone’s actions are bordering on evil; when the person does them consciously and worst of all impenitently.

One Wednesday, for instance, only days after mom had closed down her business, dad came home unannounced. His office is located away from the city so he only visits during the weekend. He didn’t say why he’d come. In any case he said he didn’t want anyone asking him why he was home.

A week later, he was still around, making our lives miserable as hell. He would get home from the bar in the early morning when everyone was asleep and despite the fact that he has his own keys, he’d just ring the doorbell incessantly, just so everyone could wake up. One would be tempted to think it was a child who was greatly fascinated by the chiming of the bell.

If somehow we ignored him and he let himself in, he would go to the living room, turn the music on, playing it so loud and if anyone requested that he turned it down, he would maliciously turn it up. So now that we know that we never ask him. We just shut our bedroom doors and pray that God will intervene somehow.

Before mom closed down her business, she had asked dad to help with the house expenses but he had refused. Instead he’d callously scoff at her, saying he’d given her permission to use other means to make money; and that was him alluding to mom whoring. I couldn’t have been more offended by his words, because I felt he was scorning her faithfulness; he knows she’s been nothing but faithful to him.

silently, I thought if only he knew how many men hit on her; but she, like the conscientious wife, turns their advances down; not because she’s afraid of him, but because she values the sanctity of the sacrament of matrimony.

On New Year’s day, he said he was coming with us for Mass. Happy that we were all going to start the new year together in the presence of God, we didn’t question his motives. Mass was starting at eight and as the church is just a twenty minutes walking distance, we knew we would be there before it began.

At 7.50 am we got into the car, strapped our seat belts on and waited for him to step on it. Twenty minutes later we were still at the parking, waiting for him to record the mileage, even though I usually find the whole exercise pointless. Patiently, we waited as we didn’t want to set him off. At some point I offered to help him out as he didn’t have his glasses on, but he just pinned me with a withering glare.

My small sister got out of the car, deciding she was going to walk. We all regretted why we’d agreed to let him drive us. Luckily mom had already left as she had finished preparing before us. When my sis left, dad started complaining how he was being forced to go to church. Putting away the sheet he’d been filling, he pulled out of the parking.

“Your sister thinks she knows too much,” he carped. “We’ll see who gets there first.”

Do not let your anger lead you into sin

Frustrated man isolated on white

“There’s good anger and bad anger. If you’re driving and a traffic officer finds some non-existent fault with your driving skills or your car, then goes ahead to ask for bribe so he can let you off the hook without getting the concerned authorities involved, if you didn’t get angry there would clearly be something wrong with you. Or if you saw injustice being perpetrated and didn’t get angry, then there would definitely be something so wrong with you.” These were my priest’s sentiments during mass a couple of Sundays ago, and I couldn’t agree more with him.

For starters, life is not perfect, and for that simple reason, it would be practically impossible to always be happy. Nonetheless, anger becomes a sin or just frowned upon when in anger, someone goes and does something so appalling. For instance, a man may find his wife in bed with another man. To any reasonable person, the husband –in such a situation- has all the right to get angry.

However, even in that moment of extreme anger, he should take some time to calm down, so he doesn’t do something that might have the law qualify his right to freedom; when he’s apprehended and subsequently incarcerated for doing something atrocious in the heat of passion, say killing the wife or the other guy.

In reality, there are many people who have found themselves in such undesirable circumstances. I always wonder; when the anger has subsided and someone realizes they did something so dreadful, do they wish they could turn back the hands of time, so they could do things differently? Personally, I know there are many times I’ve done things in anger, which I’ve regretted a lot.

There are a few bible phrases on anger, which I always keep referring to: for instance, Ephesians 4: 26 – “If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin, and do not stay angry all day”. This, in my understanding, means one can get angry but they shouldn’t go to bed with the anger in their hearts.

My dilemma…

A couple of weeks ago I had a phone conversation with this guy I really like. He was calling to ask me out but since I have my reservations about us dating, I felt I needed to explain why I was opposed to it.

“I told you I hate being lied to?” I asked, referring to a conversation we’d had two days before then.

“Yes.”

“In the spirit of honesty, I feel I owe you some truth.”

“What truth?” He asked, his voice so calm, ready to hear me out.

I wasn’t sure how he was going to take it, but I knew I had to say it anyway. “I’m in a dilemma…” I started, my fingers crossed, praying that whatever I was about to say wouldn’t upset him. “Remember the other night, when you told me, that when you decide to get married you will think of me?”

“Yeah…”

“I’ve been thinking about that a lot,” I continued.

“You’ve been thinking about it? So you took me seriously?” He asked light-heartedly. “I’m humbled that you take me serious enough to even think about it.”

At the time, all I just wanted was to say what was troubling me so I could just get it out of my system. I wanted us to be on the same page, so he wouldn’t feel like I was leading him on or anything of the sort. “There’s something personal I need to tell you. Don’t judge.”

He laughed nervously, anticipation getting the better of him. “Of course I won’t judge.”

“The thought of getting married terrifies me.”

Honestly I don’t remember much of the immediate conversation after that but what I gladly noted was that he wasn’t pissed… Instead he calmly told me whatever he’d said was not cast in stone and it’s not like anyone was holding a gun to anyone’s head. In short, the proposal wasn’t final and there was more than enough room to make adjustments as we go along.

After that very unusual revelation, he sought to find out why I was scared of getting married; you know, trying to understand my background and what could have led to my startling stance on matters marriage.

Again, I found myself in another quagmire; the pain of having to narrate my ever traumatizing past to someone who could potentially be my better half. I tried to find the words to explain to him how my childhood experiences have contributed to this very disturbing notion I have of getting hitched to anyone.

Since I’d hinted at something, I knew I had to shed some light somehow; unfortunately words failed me. First I made him understand that I’m not really used to talking about myself, leave alone divulging information that could paint my family in very bad light. I further explained that normally I just let the matter slide without offering any explanation.

The difference in this case was this is a guy I actually like, and the nicest guy I’ve met in my life so far. I didn’t want to hurt him in any way, or even give him the slightest feeling that I was rejecting him. Ergo, I knew either way I had to find suitable words to describe the painful pictures from my past, no matter how hard it felt.

My chest rose and I exhaled loudly as I tried to find those elusive words… “God help me!” I sighed. “Do I have to?”

“Yes.”

“You’re not making this any easy,” I complained, hoping he would just let it go.

“I just want to understand you.”

After more sighs, I attempted to elucidate… “I can’t tell you much for now, but in a nutshell, I had a damaging childhood. I’ve watched my parents and the life they lead is not something I’m in a hurry to get into.”

“Are they your biological parents?” He asked, in his very calm, reassuring voice.

“Yeah, they’re my birth parents.”

“Are they separated?” He asked, concern in his voice.

“No. But it’s been pretty bad.”

“So your mom is not happy?”

“Basically.”

The rest of the conversation was him trying to get the truth out of me. He even went to an extent of telling me some pretty personal stuff-his background and all-just so I would find the courage to confide in him. But as it turns out, I didn’t reveal much anyway. One thing I made clear though is that we would be done the instant he proposed marriage and it felt very comforting to know he understood me, even though I had left so much unsaid.

I have known this guy for only three months, and so far he’s been nothing but good to me. He’s kind, understanding, generous, patient, very chivalrous… he’s just everything I would ever want in a husband…

let go of the past

However, there’s just one major hurdle. The instant he mentioned marriage, mom’s painful marital life sprung to mind and all my defences went up. I started seeing younger versions of my sisters and I crying, watching helplessly as dad rained blows on her, and we feared he would kill her… I remembered the many nights we slept hungry because mom didn’t have a job, while dad wasted his money in bars.

The irony of it all is that while in my life dad is the worst man I’ve known (relationshipwise), this guy (if his very good personality isn’t just a charade) is the best man I’ve met so far. Now the worst part is that the fear of reliving mom’s pain-filled life won’t let me have the peace of mind I need to be in a meaningful relationship.

So far we’re only friends, and lately he’s been asking me out a lot. Light-heartedly, he says I’m difficult, but I also feel he’s stubborn; he won’t take any no from me and in any case, he seems so ready to do whatever it is he feels will make me happy-except let me go.

Because she is a woman

gender inequality

I’ve often wondered, what it is about a woman that makes her prone to trouble; just how many undesirable things has a woman gone through and the only excuse given for her woes is, “she’s a woman”…

The other day, when I was leaving class, a friend called me. Apparently she and another guy were involved in a heated debate on the appropriateness of wife battery. My friend, a girl, was of the opinion that it is unlawful and generally unacceptable for a man to hit a woman while the guy thought it was completely alright to lay a hand on her, in the name of ‘discipline’.

“What’s up?” I asked her when I got to them.

“He thinks it’s ok to hit a woman,” she replied, “What’s your take on the matter?”

First I was taken aback. The guy, from my observation, is slightly younger than me. So that thought alone had me perplexed, because some hopeful part of me had imagined wife beaters only exist in the older generations. Somehow, I had let myself believe young people would automatically be anti-battering. Well, shock on me!

“You think it’s ok to hit a woman?” I asked, forehead creased, in utter disbelief.

“Yeah,” he replied casually, seemingly unperturbed.

“Why?” I probed.

He lifted one shoulder in a shrug, his lips curved in a sheepish grin, “Because my culture allows it.”

“Don’t you think that’s an archaic excuse?” I asked. “Aren’t we too civilized to be citing such reasons for such out-dated practices? You know you don’t have to do, or even agree with everything your forefathers did. If something is wrong you change it. If we, as the younger generation don’t do that, then we risk perpetuating things that are basically wrong.”

“But I don’t see anything wrong with that,” he argued.

“Why do you feel it’s ok?”

“Because she’s a woman. Sometimes it is ok to hit them, just to discipline them.”

Whaaaat? I couldn’t believe I was having that conversation with someone who was roughly twenty or only slightly older. Normally that would be a conversation I would imagine having with some much older guy. “What do you mean, discipline them?”

“You know, if she does something wrong and you hit her she won’t repeat it next time.”

“That’s what you think?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, in that case, it depends with the woman in question. Because if you hit me, that would be a Pandora’s Box you’d be opening.” At that point I felt lost for words. This guy, in my opinion, was ignorant and so obstinate; he wasn’t ready to have anyone alter his perception. “You do not treat a woman like a child. Once someone reaches a certain age, they require to be accorded some respect.”

“But sometimes women are just stubborn,” he argued.

“Hypothetically, you’re married and your wife finds out you’ve been cheating on her. In anger she slaps you hard across your face. Would that be ok?”

“No!” He barked determinedly.

“Why?” I asked.

“Because it’s not acceptable for a woman to hit a man.”

“Those are double standards. If you told me it was ok, then maybe I would have also seen the wisdom in your words; that it’s ok for a man to hit a woman. But as long as you hold those double standards, I will not agree with you on the matter.”

Then it hit me, that maybe if he were to look at it from a different perspective he could see things differently.

“If, say you have a daughter, and when she’s of age she gets married to some guy. Then one day she comes and tells you, ‘daddy, my husband hit me’. How would you feel?”

“It would depend on why he beat her. If it was a valid reason I wouldn’t have a problem with it.”
At that point I knew I couldn’t argue him with him anymore. He would have to see someone he loved or cared for being beaten to understand the magnitude of the matter. “Have you ever interacted one on one with someone who has been battered?” I asked him.

“No,” he replied.

“It’s not as pleasant as you make it sound. God willing, when you have, let me know what you think.” And with that I wished them a good day and walked away.

Memoirs of a battered woman

Domestic violence

It was a late Sunday night. All the lights in the nearby houses were off, a clear indication everyone was asleep as the landlady’s dogs growled fiercely, sending chills down the spines of all who heard them. The night was quiet, and the dogs’ barking was the only sound tearing through the silence, and I hated the sound; because I associated it to break-ins.

The neighbourhood we lived in wasn’t the safest, given that our landlady’s son was a young man, who had recently cleared from high school and had joined a gang which used to break into people’s houses. A few recent burglaries made me so afraid of the night as that meant thieves were free to roam.

Unfortunately, in my house we used to sleep late. It had become a tradition. Dad would come home late drunk, and we would be eagerly waiting for him to bring us food, even though most nights the wait would be for naught as we would still go to bed hungry and crying after seeing mom and dad fight. That night however, as we were sitted in the living room we heard a knock on the door.

At first we were all afraid but when the knocking persisted, mom peeped through the window which was adjacent to the door and seeing it was just her friend, she opened up. The woman, who we had visited earlier in the day walked in, dressed in dark clothes and a shawl over her head. She was a bit reluctant to drop the shawl, and when she finally did, I understood why.

Her face was all swollen, with dried blood stains. I could barely recognize her. To this day, I’ve never forgotten how shaken I felt. She looked so different. Luckily for us, mom and dad hadn’t fought that day and dad had gone to bed early, so mom and her friend had all the time to talk. When we managed to get a chance to talk to mom, we curiously asked her what had happened to her friend because she seemed like she had been mugged.

I don’t remember how old I was at the time, but mom told us her friend’s husband had beaten her. I couldn’t believe it. She had been okay earlier when we visited her at her place after church. Worse still, her house was almost an hour away from ours if one walked and apparently, she had come on foot, alone in the dark. Everything about that picture was scary.

I’m not sure if we were on holiday but the next day my mom and I saw her off at the bus stop, where she took a bus to go back to her mom’s. She had left her four children with her husband. When her husband attacked her she had fled out of the house with no money on her; only with the clothes on her back. It was really sad.

I knew her husband, and he didn’t seem like the violent type. Then again, it’s hard telling men who are violent just by looking at them; dad looks like he couldn’t possibly harm a fly; looks can be deceiving.

After that day I don’t remember seeing much of her as I went to boarding school later so I didn’t tag along often everytime mom went to see her as she was her best friend at the time. All I know is she later went back to her husband.

Years later, she went to see mom at work the Thursday before mom quit her job. They don’t see each other a lot because we moved to a different part of the city and the long distance sought of put a barrier in their relationship. They talk on phone rarely but they are still good friends.
When she visited mom at work, she told mom she’s now separated from her husband.

Sombrely, she went on to tell mom the events that led to their separation and I must admit; it was pretty ugly: One night her husband came home, wielding a sword. Her youngest daughter was away in boarding school, while the oldest was in her college hostel.

She was in the house with her third born daughter. Her only son was just nearby at a friend’s house. Scared, the daughter stood between her mom and dad screaming, shouting for help. Eventually her son came home just in time to find her husband about to slash her. Her son tried to hold his dad from behind but he still overpowered him and hit him on the jaw with the handle.

Her daughter intercepted it, holding the blade with her fingers and she suffered severe cuts, with her fingers almost falling off. When neighbours came in to help, the man hid the sword and sneaked his daughter, who was bleeding profusely to a nearby health centre. After that incident mom’s friend moved out, taking her children with her.

When mom told me about the incident, I pitied them an awful lot. She has been through so much. I always hate it when my parents fight but I don’t remember dad inflicting such physical wounds on us. With my family, the wounds are mostly emotional. It’s difficult too, but I’d hate to lose my fingers in a one-man-sword fight.

The husband as it is, wants his wife to go back to him. I hate to come off as unforgiving, but given the nature of that man, I would really discourage mom’s friend from being sweet talked into reconciling with him. If she went back, he might succeed in killing her the next time; God forbid!

Such abusive people just need to be left alone.