Beneath the Skin

It was all I knew; to get angry, to hit, to scream. I watched my dad hit my mum over and over my whole life. It was all I knew. So when I was 13 and he hit me I didn’t think it was that wrong. I didn’t realise how bad it had gotten. The bruises weren’t the worst part, the pain though. Weeks after that I jumped when a teacher
raised his voice or I heard a car door slam. I’d feel my heart race and all the same fear come back. It was the emotional abuse that was the most violent and even after a year of not seeing him I still can’t put it
into words. He was my dad, and to love someone so much and put all your effort into hating him so that you wouldn’t get hurt again that was the most destructive of all. The fear of knowing you had no control over what’s happening because he’s bigger stronger louder. I couldn’t stop him when all I wanted to do
was to protect my family. I watched him hit my mum and my sisters
watch him hit me. The bruises on my skin faded but the ones hidden beneath the
skin took far longer to heal. How do you feel knowing that that was written
by someone who goes to this school? Really? That’s really scary that if that’s
something that’s real then that that genuinely makes me feel quite ashamed of
what society thinks is something that’s normal. It’s pretty depressing that this would happen in our society. There’s this whole hyper like stigma around domestic violence being like drunken alcoholic
old men just like hitting but like knowing that it’s so much deeper than
that is kind of confronting. It’s hard because it could be anyone and you don’t
like even if they have like a smile on their face every day like you don’t know
what’s happening in their like life at home and like the situation they’re in. I just didn’t think it was that bad. They’re gonna spend the rest of their
lives like getting out of that mindset of fear and of like not trusting men
because not all men are like this. To the person that wrote that if they were here now I’d probably say; you know I I don’t know who
are but and even though I know that may be the norm for you it shouldn’t be the
norm. And anything you know anything will be there to be there for a friend,
to talk to someone about it even to sit down with someone if they were sitting
by themselves just to make someone feel like that part of their life is… like
they’re cared for, you know? I’d say that I care for them. Never ever believe that
you deserve it or that this is your worth. or that this is all you’ll amount to because this is one thing that you that you will remember that you will take home and you’ll be stronger for. There are always good people around, there are always
friends, there are certainly teachers here who do what they do in schools
because they want to keep as much as possible
young people safe and I would just say to them please please reach out for help. One day like things – you won’t even realise but things will have gotten better and it won’t hurt as much and the memories will but you’ll know that they’re only
gonna be memories now and that you have this entire whole rest of your life that
you just get to spend making sure that the people who hurt you know that they
didn’t hurt you for good. you

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