Oh…some of the roads that we walk down in life are just so painful… And yet there remains this need to communicate what we have been through….so that we, and other wayfarers may learn from the experience…
Vanessa de Largie went down a long and torturous road whilst she stayed in a relationship with an abusive and violent partner. She documents this time in her life with her book DON’T HIT ME! which she has written from diary notes taken at the time.
The structure is simple. Each page has a subject heading and then her notes/thoughts are detailed below.
It makes for tough reading. The account is raw. De Largie is a straight shooter …
Under the heading – Inside Out:- ‘It seems that people struggle with up-front honesty/ They want veils and lies/I was born inside out/My heart sewn to my sleeve/ Exposed, up-front and in your face.’
Her accounts of being beaten, of being treated with contempt, send shivers up the spine. The verbal blows that make her feel so small are as vicious as the body blows that she receives.
Her partner tells her:-‘You are fat/you are untalented/you are mentally ill/your breasts are too big/you are pathetic….
She knows that she is in a terrible place and is desperate to live: – ‘I am cognitively broken’…’I made a pact with God today. I will leave as soon as I have enough money.’ …’My thoughts are imprisoned. I imagine a high jail with walls so high.’…’I am in a living hell. I feel like I am in a movie that keeps on playing.’
De Largie documents some of the insights that she picks up along the way- How she becomes addicted to her partners’ abuse- ‘I can’t live without his swinging moods’…She is appalled by her lack of courage- ‘How many boundaries do I let him pass before I actually grow some balls and do something?!’
She describes how her partner is so sick that he starts using reverse psychology on her- it becomes part of the abuser’s toolkit.
She writes of how he asks her,- ‘Will you promise me something?/Yes, what?/ Can you promise not to terrorise me anymore?’
De Largie turns to the subject of Manipulation. ‘Abusers have to be in power at all times, calling the shots/My abuser takes things/ He takes things or life becomes what is his’ and ‘what is mine’/The bed is his/The pillows are his/It sounds really petty because it is really petty/Abusers are petty people/ Having things taken away from you when you are using them can be most disturbing/ You begin to only use your own belongings/You buy your own mattress so when he kicks you out of the bed, you are not stuck on the hard floor.’
This is a harrowing read and an important one. The hope is that the more these stories of domestic abuse and violence come out into the public arena then the greater the likelihood that people won’t allow themselves to be the victims of such abuse behind their own closed doors.
Vanessa De Largie’s book DON’T HIT ME! is currently available as an ebook and as a paperback at Readings, Amazon, Barnes and Noble. Vanessa also maintains her own website:- http://www.vanessadelargie.net/
Vanessa De Largie bio at IMDb.com:- http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2924479/