It has taken me, the man that is the Mouse over 3 years to say the words “I was in an abusive relationship” to anyone. Until then, like a Mouse I scurried off the subject quickly, avoided the word, ducked it. This verbal admission came very recently and only after by marshalling my thoughts, exploring my feelings and creating a blog where no one knew the Mouse, did I manage to do this. When I did say it, I felt terrible, guilty and ashamed, diminished because I had let it, the abuse, happen.
I think the other person was so stunned that the sentence passed without comment or incident. I am not sure I will say it in the real world anytime soon. The Mouse had gained confidence, the Mouse was squeeking a little louder and more clearly. That confidence spilled over, I wish it hadn’t. While the Mouse can write, tweet, engage and create because of the past; the truth is in the real world, it doesn’t work like that. While the Mouse has anonymity from my abuser, I do not. I am still scared, and now, I have something worth destroying, I am more frightened than before. When I had nothing left, bankrupt and with shelter due to kindness, I still didn’t have any courage, perhaps I should.
I have let the Mouse explore the world of domestic violence and abuse; and I will stay hiding behind my Mouse. It feels very hostile; I am clearly from the wrong team. Feels like my childhood where I went to the wrong school, put a bullseye on my back and fire away. The Mouse wants to fight back and say loud “what about the men!” or “women are abusers too”. I admonish him, no, I cannot face a war, and there is no win. Keep that head down, be quiet, don’t make a fuss; it kept you and me alive this long.
Let someone else fight that fight.