When I was little, I often dreamt of a demon.
I’d bang on our front door as the demon came down the stairs.
I’d scream and my voice would catch in my throat.
My hands would grow heavier as I pounded on the door.
When I got married, I started to suspect that demon was my husband.
domestic violence, gender violence, physical violence, social stigma, work, addiction
I’m the only girl among my siblings.
One time when I was in elementary school,
My parents were going out to buy some stuff,
And they told my older brother
To keep an eye on me and our younger brother until they came back.
My older brother waited for them to come back outside the apartment,
And I waited with him.
His cousin tried to convince me to go back to him.
I told him I won’t.
He said, “Do it for the girls.”
I told him, “Growing up with a mother and father, who are divorced, but respect one another, is so much better than living with two people who hate each other.”
My parents separated when I was young.
My mom, my sister, and I were living happily after the separation,
Until my mom got remarried.
I couldn’t bear living with her when she got married,
So my father sent me to live with my grandma.
I wish I had never gone.
My grandmother and aunt both gave me a hard time.
I would cry myself to sleep every day,
Because of how they treated me.
I had just turned thirty.
Fifteen years ago,
It wasn’t normal to be single at the age of thirty.
At every wedding I went to, my aunts would tell me,
“We hope you’re next, dear.
May God reward your patience.”
They’d say it with sorrowful eyes,
You know the look.
domestic violence, gender violence, physical violence, motherhood, marriage, divorce