My so called life

Posted: Monday, August 20, 2007 by Rom in Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

If my life were a book I would call it “revelations.” Nope, not the book from the bible, my life is not prophetic or holy; it was far from that, it’s just that only on this machismo society of ours a little or nothing at all reveals the true picture of husband battering in broad daylight, it’s a shame I guess…and I hate it.

I really hate it! I never thought it still grows inside me, after five years, it’s still boiling inside and burns like hell, an unending rupture of flame. It all triggers as I watched the evening news where, Rolando Navarette, a former Filipino WBC boxing champ, now a sick and poor as rat, forgotten, beats his live-in partner who is half of his age. The poor women suffered a broken face, and a broken head as the hammer smashed into her cranial area, a black eye and tons of bruises that tell the whole story.

I felt a cold damp on my nape, after the sudden flush of anger, I sweat but I feel cold, suddenly I noticed my thumb on the TV’s remote, it’s shaking as if pushing the button is such a burden. The TV is finally off, I don’t know how I did it but I shut it off, as soon as my memories start to play on a different channel in my mind.

I always thought my own story is different from the others, “it’s not worth re-telling” I always said that. Nobody would listen to such an unconventional story that is so doubtful, unrecorded and I guess—rare, as nobody would listen to the story of a BATTERED HUSBAND.

Yes I was. I don’t know, even myself cannot believe I’ve been one. I was 19 then, idealists, broken and lost. I didn’t finished college, much as staying until my junior years in school due to financial constraints. It was the time in my life that I’m at my lowest point, all youth, much energy, but nothing to do, it’s the stage that I’m watching all my dreams fade away before my eyes .

The situation back then is a big political turmoil clouting my country, after the assassination of Benigno Aquino, a political awareness sweeps the youth of the land, anger and dissatisfaction is a commonplace, a reflection on my home front.

At that time I left home, I have my “comrades” with me as we wage struggle on the parliaments of the streets supporting the armed revolution on the country side.

Then I met her. Both idealists, intellectual, artists, we share common ideals, we laugh together amidst the struggle that we embraced, and at that time we have one thing in common: we both are “walking wounded.”

It’s like whirlwind, the next thing I know is that we’re living in the same house and she’s three months pregnant. Suddenly the political ideals that we defended on with our lives had taken a back seat, I really can’t contain the feeling back then, it’s like as if I found a new lease on my life, I was in the verge of giving off my youthful energy and intellect to the struggle of Marxist-Lenninist-Mao Tse Tung ideologues and suddenly found myself a soon-to-be dad.

At first I thought it was just the angst borne out by the activism, or maybe the hard life that she had in the past that makes her bursts into anger immediately without much reason. Then it gradually grew into tongue lashing episodes. “It’s the married life, I guess” is said to myself all married couple experiences such kind of troubles one way or the other regardless of demographical, racial or any political affiliations. I guess I’m wrong until we had two kids. She’s some kind of having an unnatural baggage of anger always carried on her back that every time, every move, every inch and every episode of our daily life, is a life full of shouts, cursing, and lamentations and hurt.

My eldest kid, her head being shoved into a garbage pail for tiny mistakes that she made, experiencing such shameful words thrown at her and physical punishments at her young age. If I try to meddle, anger pours and shifted on me. She’s quite big in her built, having weighed 200 pounds including insecurities and hang ups.

On a normal sunny day, she would pound up on me, that’s in the middle of the fight, I don’t know really why I didn’t fought back, I would catch her arms in the air and held it so tight so as nothing of his blow reach my face, sometimes I would just cover my head with my arms to cushion the attack, but my lower body is open to her kick.

In the morning, neighbors would see her with all the bruises, the black and blues on her arms made by her pounding on me, it looks as if I’m the one beating her, while I lay flat in my dimly lit room nursing swollen bleeding lips, and ashamed to come out in the open.

It’s been a cycle, going on and on in a regular basis. There’s this conversation of ours in the living room that turns into a heated argument. The lights are off, it’s past midnight, and the two kids have gone to bed. We were talking about some budgeting and how the resource was about and how to make both ends meet (I was the only one working while she stays at home), the “talk” becomes an argument, suddenly the cigarette she was puffing found an ashtray on my leg as she leans toward me to put it off at the expense of my flesh. It’s still here although faded on my left leg.

“For the sake of the kids” Fuck that phrase! I’ve been imprisoned in that phrase for about twelve years of my hell-life with her. Yeah for twelve years I finally got the nerve to wake her up one night and tell bluntly on her face that I can’t stand it anymore and want a separation.

Of course it’s not that easy, there’s so much underlying circumstances happened before, during and after that. But I stood firm on my feet, battering takes away my self- respect, my courage, her tongue lashing made me inferior, however, I still can’t understand why I allowed it, she draws knife on my face, she spits literally on my face and why did I allow it? And now I was about to end this, and why? I have only one solid answer for that, I don’t want my kids to suffer the same fate as I did in her hands. That’s the only reason.

As I leave that house, I worked my way to get the custody for my children regained their trust as I regained my lost dignity.

We walked away from that house, me and my kids, a backpack of clothes and my guitar in hand couple hundred peso bill in my pocket, and a strong conviction that no matter what--no one has the right to hurt anybody, for any reasons at all. Although I still experience some flash back whenever I hear news and stories of wife battering, it’s funny that I haven’t encountered stories of a battered husband.

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