But I love him…..

But I love him

He’s been through a lot in his life. He lost his father when he was young and he comes from a broken home.”

I can’t leave him also. I can’t do that to him.”

He’s not actually that bad once you get to know him

He was my first, I don’t see myself being with anyone else… I love him

I heard the words echo at the back of my head, it all seemed too familiar, too close to home, too disturbing. Shattered glass, broken promises, lights blazing, sometimes it felt like lightning… it happened one too many times yet it caught me by surprise every time.

I’m ruined. You’re ruined. We’re  both ruined. We’re ruining each other. This is tragic

Bruises….screams….sobs… sympathy… and the cycle starts again.

I remember being young at home sitting on a chair wearing my best Sunday clothes, my sister holding my shoulder… I kept hearing screams… broken glass.. shattered on the floor.

Mom’s in hospital again, daddy lost his temper….again

I was six years old, I had on my best church attire, I didn’t know what was happening but I knew when Daddy lost his temper mommy ended up in hospital.

Now here I am standing at a crossroads, he’s hit me one to many times. I could always cover it up when it happened with no one around.

I fell down the stairs.. you know how clumsy I am.”

I couldn’t this time, my sister and cousin were standing 5 steps away from us. When the second strike touched my face all I could see was stars… maybe he’ll stop at the second strike this time. It’s okay, he just lost his temper… again. He started crying, I couldn’t… I was too numb.

I’m ruined. You’re ruined. We’re  both ruined. We’re ruining each other. This is tragic

It was a lot of things, it was insecurity, it was personal issues, I could never admit that it was abuse. He was physically abusing me, assaulting me and then emotionally blackmailing me to stay with him. I have never admitted it to anyone until I heard my friend tell me her story last week. It felt like my whole world was obliterated, like a gimmick, a revelation. I was in a relationship with my first boyfriend for four years and whenever I speak of the problems we had I cite “cheating” as the reason we broke up, him hitting me never seemed to phase me. Why? Let’s put modesty aside, I know I’m a very intelligent woman, I know what abuse is, I know what domestic abuse is yet it happened to me for four years and I never mentioned a word of it to a soul.

Mom’s in hospital again, daddy lost his temper….again

I was in an abusive relationship for four years and I stayed because it seemed normal to me. It felt okay, it was an environment I was a part of for sometime in my life, and I never knew how much damage that created in me until recently. I got a “warrior” tattoo last week and I slept on my side as the tattoo artist was busy with the design, I closed my eyes and thought of all the times I’ve justified someone I love doing an injustice to me with….

But I love him…”

Does he love me though? Did he ever love me? Love doesn’t hurt. That’s what we often do in relationships, we ruin each other. We take and we take but we leave emptier than when we entered the relationship.

I felt a tingle on the back of my throat, I felt a tear fall from my eyes. As I closed my eyes I wanted it to hurt, I really wanted the tattoo to hurt, I wanted it to hurt more than all the hurt I’ve succumbed to. As I lay on that side, I felt every tingle of ink entering my skin

Warrior

I felt it and I wept for all the parts of me I’ve lost in every relationship I have ever been in. For every time I let him hurt me.. continuously….because I loved him… for every loss.

I’ve survived it all and everyday of my life I am still picking up the pieces. I still have BIG trust issues and insecurities and I often find myself overeating or under eating and everyday I need to remind myself that it’s okay. I don’t have it all figured out, I don’t have all the answers, I am not always in control and most times than I want to admit I need reassurance and I want someone else to be strong for me. It took me 25 years to learn that being vulnerable is okay, that it’s okay to show weakness, it’s okay to not try to always be so perfect.. because I’m not perfect and I will never be perfect.. I don’t want to be perfect, it’s too great a burden to carry.

One of my friends asked me the other day what is the one thing I look for in a relationship, and I said “security, commitment, communication, respect, understanding.. I want to feel safe, protected and loved“. That’s all I want.

So if you’re reading this and you feel sad, abandoned, insecure, broken, hopeless and ruined, I just want you to know that you’re not alone. I survived every bad thing that has ever happened to me and so can you. It’s not easy, I am writing this blog with tears streaming down my face because I still find it hard to believe how far I’ve come and all the things I have survived, but everyday I rise and I become stronger and so are you. Before you justify domestic abuse by saying “But I love him…” ask yourself first

Does he love you? Do you love yourself? Is this what you’ve always had in mind when you pictured love?”

Abuse, in any form or shape is not an indication of love. You deserve better and you can do better. You are a survivor. A warrior. A conqueror.

Published by Sibahle Teyise

Mholo, Hello, Groete, Sawubona, Lotjhani, Dumela, Ndaa, Avuxeni! I’m Sibahle Teyise, JAGWAT founder and head content writer. I have an Undergraduate Degree from UCT majoring in Public Policy and Literature, as well as a Postgraduate Diploma from UCT specialising in Marketing, Events Management and Business Communication. I am an author under construction, working on my book to be published soon- "When It Happens For Girls Like Us". I started JAGWAT in 2017, following the success of my personal blog - Tales Of The Mute. The inspiration to start JAGWAT came after hearing the sad stories of women being murdered on a daily basis, the violence against women as well as the many stories of women taking their own lives because of suffering in silence. JAGWAT provides a platform for women to take back the power by sharing their stories on a public central platform and with this, they show other women that they are not alone. I believe that when women stand together great things happen. No women should suffer in silence and the more we speak up as women and create a sisterhood and support group, the more powerful we can become. I am passionate about communities with women from disadvantaged backgrounds and JAGWAT supports Women Initiatives as well as making a difference in various schools from the township by offering assistance to learners in the form of mentorship and tutoring. I am a self-proclaimed book-worm and although I am a shy person, I am a motivational public speaker. I was heavily bullied in primary as well as high school and I am extremely passionate about Anti-Bullying campaigns and initiatives. I read, I write, I gym, I pray, I cycle, , I hike, I run, and pretty much everything in between. I am a weight loss motivator having lost 16kg in the past 2 years, which is quite an achievement for someone who can’t cook. (Thank GOD for food that can easily be boiled!!) I am a firm believer that an empowered women can empower other women and JAGWAT aims to be that platform for Women Empowerment. On a lighter note: I have the worst music playlist in the history of playlists.

11 thoughts on “But I love him…..

  1. You are a beautiful writer and a beautiful person. I am in awe everytime I read anyone of your blogs, you have truly touch d my heart Sibahle, it has never been okay and I’m so glad you’ve found the strength to speak up.

    Like

  2. I’ve been following your blog posts since you started JAGWAT and this one makes me want to cry, simple because I have been in a similar situation before and 29 years later I am still trying to pick up the pieces of my broken past. Thanks for sharing and encouraging us Siba.

    Like

  3. Sibs you are a strong soul, I’m speechless at your journey and how kind and amazing you still are. I pray you never change and that you continue being the beautiful woman that you are, you speak for many and you inspire many people. Keep writing please, your voice is being heard.

    Like

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