Tuesday, April 03, 2007

It was about this time of year, maybe slightly later because the air was warmer and there were more leaves. In the memory I am standing looking out across the playing field when Lorraine’s mum stops and asks me if I’m O.K.

I don’t think I was crying then, but she could tell that I had been.

We carry on, walking towards the Estate together and, at the end of the conversation, just before she turns off into their drive, she says: “It’s not the hitting that does it. It’s the other women.”

At the time I was too grateful and too taken aback to disagree but,
although I would never admit it, I found ‘the other women’ a blessing. Someone else to share the burden. Someone else to take the pressure. Best of all, an evening free from the fear of misjudging the tone, of getting something inexplicably, horribly wrong, of saying the wrong word and watching the clouds descend and waiting to take the blame.

For me it was the hitting that did it.

This Spring the Mass Observers want to know about domestic violence. I don’t know what to tell them.


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