Reflection: A Personal Story About Abuse

This Story also on One Blue Berry

Her reflection stared back at her, teary-eyed and depressed. Why? Why?! WHY?! Oh God, why did this happen to me? The thoughts streaming in her mind, they couldn’t find a way out – insufferable – quiet, she had to be quiet; it was 2am. Why am I awake? More tears started to flow.

Just days earlier it happened, the betrayal, her love, her husband – he betrayed her, he struck her yet again, after all those apologies and promises to get better – he stuck her. Her hair covered the gingerly placed stitches, and the ice had calmed most all of the bruising and swelling already – she lifted her bangs so she could see them in the mirror, the tragedy of her marriage – in three stitches – as if the stitches were supposed to make it all better; nothing made sense any more, how could it?

Her back found the wall and she slid to the floor, the pangs in her head becoming prevalent – dizzying – she reached for her pain killers almost in prayer; please lord, make the pains go away. She thought of him, she had loved him with everything in her soul, mind and body, and – her stomach churned at the thought of him – was it one or two of these? Maybe two will make it go away twice as fast…

Internalizing all her pain in her parents’ house was almost too much to bear; she could hear them snoring softly; they had put her up in their living room on her old twin mattress, and she was thankful for the help. After they left the hospital they collected her things and the pets and brought her there; she was on pain meds, paranoid and needed the safety and connection. It was a good move on their part.

She didn’t want to wake them though, and after waking up from the nightmare, she consoled herself in the bathroom. She tried to use the cool water from washing her hands to calm her face, but it was to no avail, nothing made her feel calm – nothing. Feeling bad for using up all the bathrooms tissues she crawled back to her makeshift bedroom.

She found the cat curled up on her pillow. It was nice. For a moment it cheered her that – at least someone cares about me right now. Petting her soft fur elicited a purr, this purr was beautiful in the bleak darkness – the cat loved to lick and did so now in love and affection. Lying down next to the love, the purr and the softness, she was able to fall back to sleep – amazingly. But it was not peaceful.

Thoughts of him – Get out of my head! She cried in her dream and wetness returned to her eyes. It was too restless for the cat and she soon left her owner to her memories, nightmares and thrashing.

The dream was about the end of her life – or what had been her life for so long; it was early, time to wake up and go to work. The alarm had gone off numerous times and finally she had to shut it off. “Wake up” she called to him – over and over and over. Why was he not getting up? Because he had drank with the neighbor til 5am and didn’t ‘feel’ like it. Scolding her and calling her names, he finally relented and awoke to get ready – eyes bloodshot.

She resented him quietly for this, but overlooked all his flaws because she loved him. Moving over to the closet to change, he belittled her some more and pushed her backwards until she banged up against the bathroom door frame. No remorse in his eyes for this. She started to cry, shirt in her arms and pain in the back of her head. “Shut up!” he yelled – and she shut up. Sniffling, she drew her shirt over her head and finished getting dressed.

Still in quiet the fowl mood, her husband finishes getting dressed as well. There is only 10 minutes left til they both had to be at their respective jobs – the stress!

After calming herself, she remembered that she needed to take her morning vitamins – turning to the medicine cabinet she takes each one out and cradles them in her hand. Then all of a sudden she is screaming – fallen to the floor – she is against the wall by the door frame of the bathroom, her head in stabbing pain, hand covering her wound. And in one moment he is sorry, apologizing and asking her what happened – and the next yelling at her to stop crying – “It’s not that bad, let me see.”

Pulling her hand away from her head to show him, there is blood. He gets her a towel, resentfully gets some alcohol to clean the wound, and tells her to take some Tylenol and sleep it off; he will see her after work.

Scared, confused, worried – she crawls to her phone in the other room and starts making calls – it’s her doctor that ends up calling the police for her – she doesn’t know this and asks her mom to bring her to the ER. Her mom makes it before the ambulances does; but they get their right after. There were so many questions! Her head was throbbing and everyone kept telling her to stay awake – she was so confused about what had happened.

Six hours in the ER, three stitches, one CAT scan, too many answers to the same over and over questions, pain prescription in hand – she was finally released – only to be bombarded by phone calls from his dad saying that she needed to go get her husband out of jail – she didn’t even know he had been arrested until that moment. She wasn’t about to bail him out of jail – not after what he did to her…

And now, he was released on bail – his family saving his ass – and she was staying at her parents, sleeping on her old twin mattress dreaming – crying – in pain – All his fault – His betrayal. Ending her life as she knew it.

This is my story, I wrote originally for a creative writing class; it’s creative non-fiction, and depicts what I was going through in the days after my marriage ended from abuse.


  1. Jess Morrow

    Hi … I found you through One blueberry and I was so moved by your story, and proud of you for sharing it. I went through a similar marriage … a lot of women did, as I’m sure that you know: you are not alone. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Your words are vital, important, and necessary.

    1. Emily Rose

      Hey Jess, I am finding more and more women that connect with my story and even though I wrote that a few years I wanted to push myself to share it. I still get so emotional when I read it, and I am working on writing more about my experiences to share with the world. It is so difficult at times to share such intimate and emotional moments, but if I can give hope to just one person that they can get through a similar experience, then I feel it was all worth it.

  2. Jess Morrow

    Emily …

    I feel like I can understand this all too well. Not only did I survive a marriage that sounds a lot like yours, but I also spent 2 years working as a victim advocate for domestic violence survivors. So yes, I do think telling your story can help a LOT of people. Go you! (also … my middle name is Rose, and my sister’s name is Emily.) :)

  3. Fae Nathara

    Wow, Emily, that was really powerful. I went through a similar (though not the same) experience a few years ago, and while I wasn’t the target of physical violence, I was the one with the injuries. I just remember thinking over and over again “this is not my life….”

    1. Emily Rose

      Thank you Fae for your response, I’m glad you got through your ordeal too.

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