I feel sick.
Not nauseous, sick.
I feel alone.
Something I haven’t felt since January 2017 when I knew the whole new world that I had just entered was collapsing around me but I didn’t want to admit it.
I wake up in the mornings and heave through anxiety. I can’t stomach food, not that I would be allowed to eat anyway.
Questions flood my mind… What will the day hold? Will I get attacked again? How will I hide my bruises and the marks on my arms where I have been pinched and pulled? Will I get anymore that I have to worry about? Will I be subject to another night of being shouted at and screamed at because I’m late off from work?
I get up, check my body over, making sure that I know which marks I have to cover up, I have a shower, get dressed and pretend as if nothing has happened. Pretend everything is ok and I put on a brave face, the smile I have put on for the past 3 years.
I’ve been telling everyone I can about this for the past 3 years but no one believes me. When I bring it up everyone blames me and says it’s my fault. My parents, my grandparents, my friends, professionals, literally everyone.
I do the school run or breakfast club run and then I’m free. I get on my bike, cycle to the station and make it into work. Most of the time late, because I have a child and childcare isn’t open 24/7 unlike the service I work for. The day goes by and now it’s time to go home. Again the anxiety strikes, heaving, feeling sick, no appetite. What mood do I face when I get home? Will there be arguments? Do I face a beating again? I don’t want to go home. But I do. I pick my daughter up from after school club and walk through the front door. We are now behind closed doors again.
You see, the person causing the bruises and marks and the high level of anxiety in me, is my 7 year old daughter.