I do a lot of writing. I write for this site, obviously, and I have my personal blog and then my second novel that I’m about thee-quarters of the way done.
Sometimes I get the urge to write things that don’t fall neatly into a category but both the concept and the title come as if inspired. “Magnets Passing in the Night,” perhaps the greatest piece I never wrote, is about the concept of a connection existing two people that transcends time and distance and pretty much anything else (and this connection is not necessarily romantic).
I got an unexpected e-mail from one of my “magnets” last night, so this idea was very much on my mind as I read through Salon’s advice columnist Cary Tennis’ response to a woman madly in love with her husband despite the fact that he has abused her.
“The One Who Thought She Got Away” asked Tennis for advice on whether or not she should stay with her husband (which is contrary to what the battered woman hotlines advised, natch). She describes the sort of relationship that falls into the “when a tornado meets a volcano” category where she hit him once long ago and was forcibly restrained by him to the point of extensive bruising (he was a U.S. Marine) … and blames his subsequent abuse on the fact that once upon a time she struck him in anger.
He has hit me twice since then. Once, after days of fighting and no resolution, I said I wanted to spend a few days at my friend’s house. He pushed me out of my house, assuming I was ending it, and when I wouldn’t go, he punched me in my chest, successfully launching me out the door. He had friends there, and while they seemed disturbed, they took his side, and nobody helped me. I was left stranded outside until I convinced someone to open the door. (Back then he always had someone over, so there was no time I could speak to him alone.)
The second time I was pregnant. I was not planning on going through with the pregnancy, so I’m not sure if it’s relevant. We were fighting over dishes and at the same time a million bigger things, the way we seem to from time to time, and he was ignoring what I was trying to say and he left. I threw a bowl at nothing, and he came and restrained me, like I was some out-of-control harpy who had tried to murder him. He was nowhere near the bowl, or even the room. I asked him to get off me, I told him no one had any right to touch me without my permission, even him. I moved and tried to get him off, and somewhere it went from him restraining me, to him with a red face and spit coming from the sides of his mouth punching and kicking me, I lay there and covered myself while I could, and eventually he stopped.
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