I don’t want to pick faults. That is what she said to me, after all this time! Can I have a word, I don’t want to pick faults but what you said was out of order. For what seemed like a life time, I just stared at her whilst my brain got into gear and tried to understand what she was saying to me.
For three years I had suffered at the hands of her abusive son and ten years later that is what she greats me with as I walk past her in the street. Flabbergasted is an understatement.
She was actually referring to a recent radio interview I took part in and because I had made a remark about him being deceased, I was in the wrong but it was ok because she knew he wasn’t always nice so, well, there you go!
I really couldn’t believe I was having this conversation with his mother. It seemed like she wanted to say a lot more but I just didn’t have the time for her so I said, sorry for causing offence, she was babbling on and I was like, look I’ve said sorry and then off I walked!
Smiling as I walked down the street, I found it quite funny, this short but sweet conversation had just taken place. Irrelevant that I was beaten physically and psychologically, irrelevant that my daughter even exists and what I went through but how dare I say things when family were listening to the radio station. Even after 10 years it’s all about them and how they feel.
Some things never change. But I do wonder what she thought of me. My head was no longer bowed down; I looked her straight in the eye and spoke assertively. Not exactly the same person I was she last spoke to me. I must have looked a lot stronger than before. I’d never utter a word unless I was spoken to and then it would be in a quiet voice with no eye contact.
I gave her a few minutes of my time, after all sometimes you have to be the bigger person, don’t you and over the last ten years, I have grown.
Through the volunteering work I do related to coercive control and domestic abuse, I guess I always knew they could listen or someone from their family would be hearing the things I have to say but I didn’t think I would be approached by one of them and the reason was because I said something about the golden boy.
Maybe she had a point, I shouldn’t have made a comment about him being deceased; well actually, I think I said something along the lines of, personally for me I’m glad he’s not here, which for someone who doesn’t understand the complex cycle of domestic abuse might think sounds harsh, but does it really?
For me personally, I am. I didn’t say it from a mother’s point of view, a father, sibling, son or friend but from my own view point basically based on how he treated me and I think I’m entitled to that at least!
I found that the short conversation didn’t leave me feeling intimidated in the slightest, I wasn’t worried about what she might say next and I wasn’t feeling frightened at all. I just felt, I haven’t got time for this and said what she wanted me to say and off I went on my way.
After almost 10 years and no contact has been made until today; it doesn’t just end and it doesn’t just stop, it does become a part of you not really leaving you. It’s how you deal with it that’s the most important step forward.
Was she waiting for me to go into more depth of a conversation with her, give her my condolences of losing her son, was she expecting me to say I’ll pop round soon and have a cuppa. What really was the point of her conversation? Was it that she wanted me to know I was heard on the radio or was she clarifying to me that yes, her son had passed.
I really don’t understand why she even spoke to me because at the end of the day, her feelings really don’t bother me in the slightest, just the same as mine didn’t bother her with I sat in her living with a black eye.
As we stood shoulder to shoulder for a few minutes, I suddenly realised how much we now had in common…..
We had both lost a loved one, we were both mothers and we were both sticking up for and protecting our child, something she had done throughout our relationship and something I had done from day one.
I can guess my name was on the tip of her tongue when she got back home to her family which is the one thing we don’t have in common because in my house they are never given a second thought and their names never come out of my mouth.
She saw a completely different person in me and that was the best feeling ever!