Insomnia and Abuse Short Story

She used to stay up late at night to clean the house and have peace. She could move about the house and touch things late at night, in a way she was not able to during the day.

If she touched things during the day, she was bound to do it in a way that displeased him. If she displeased him, or if he felt disrespected by the tiniest thing, she would pay for it.

She felt terrified of him. He liked the house to be clean and neat, so she had to take care to be sure things were done to his liking. But truthfully, no matter how long she cleaned, or how much she tried, it was never right for him.

After cleaning until 4 am, she laid down on the couch, with the television on quietly, so as not to disturb him. He was asleep on the next floor up, in the queen size bed. She did not dare slide into the bed next to him.

At 7 am he would awaken her by swatting her repeatedly with something….usually his coat. She would awaken mid-swatting,  and react with a normal startle reflex to being swatted while you sleep.

He would scold her and ask her how many times he told her not to jump like that when he woke her up. She was so stupid to keep forgetting how he hated it.

Then he would throw her purse on top of her and demand 3 dollars, so he could go down to the store and buy a tall boy. Beer was the only alcohol available for sale before 11 am. He would settle for that until the vodka could be purchased.

She knew better than to argue about needing the money for milk or bread. She still had bruises on her jaw, from doing that last week.

She handed him the money and he snatched it without saying anything more. But as he walked out the door, he grumbled something about her being fat and lazy for sleeping all day.

I still jump and cover my face by reflex, when someone startles me in my sleep.

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ben Naga
    Jan 02, 2016 @ 12:09:57

    Sad story doesn’t really cover it, does it?

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  2. maxinesusanallen
    Jan 02, 2016 @ 14:54:20

    To many people across the world suffer beyond belief at a hand or voice of an abuser. Its sad but well written

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. christinadrh
    Jan 02, 2016 @ 15:45:31

    You can never do the right thing. What was right one day is wrong the next. So glad you are out, but insomnia is tough, but so much better than being swatted awake. I recall the just a bit too hard pinch ‘for fun’ and all the other crap I chastised myself for not being goodhearted enough to take in “fun.” Ugh, never again. Ever.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

    • gentlekindness
      Jan 03, 2016 @ 00:28:47

      I woke up to that swatting every day. I felt like a dog. He would keep swatting me with his jacket or coat until I woke up. The a few more swats to make sure I was properly degraded.
      I went a few months with no heat one winter, because he spent my money on alcohol and cigarettes that I needed to pay for heating oil.
      He was not working but demanded my money. I used to have to sleep with my purse next to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

      • christinadrh
        Jan 03, 2016 @ 23:52:14

        Isn’t it crazy when we look back what we did to survive and try not to incur rage? I’m soooooo glad you’re out! Mine swatted me with a towel when he got out of the shower. Asshole.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.
    Jan 02, 2016 @ 18:17:02

    It wasn’t until I worked on the Board of Directors for an organization that ran a safe house for women and children just how much courage it takes for women to leave their homes to get away from the abuse. I’d known other types of abuse but the women I picked up in the middle of the night, along with their children – I saw the sheer terror and knew we had to keep them safe.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  5. susanbotchie
    Jan 03, 2016 @ 16:59:38

    The wife is in my prayers, that the Lord gives her the courage to stand, and tell peewee to buy his own booze with his own money. Peewee is a worthless piece-of-drek, and peewee desperately needs to know what decent folk think of him – worthless garbage.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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