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In the process of packing up my house for the big move this weekend, I found one of my old diaries from the end of 2005.

This an entry from 7th November 2005 and it’s written as a sort of letter to Andre.

Most annoyingly, just the sound of an anonymous car revving its engine outside my house is enough to set my heartbeat racing. In fear. In stress. In wonder.

The worst thing about it is that in my conscious mind I know it isn’t you. I know you wouldn’t dare. Not with the AVO in place and the threat of arrest that goes with it.

But the damage you caused the night you struck me was not limited to my face, the front door and a few scared nights. In fact, those were the easy things to get over. It’s that which remains… that is the hardest part.

For crying out loud! I’m a mature, smart, sassy, confident woman. I’m fit and healthy. I’ve done lots of personal development work. I’ve done five years of martial arts and have plenty of yoga and meditation practices amongst my many resources and skills.

But I’m at a loss because regardless, it’s not over yet. Four/five weeks later and whilst I still know that in time it will be over, it isn’t just yet you utter bastard!!

I never used to have bad dreams but since you violently assaulted me in my own home, I’ve dreamt of murder, rape, assault and other dark things. Even when I know it’s a dream, the torment doesn’t end.

I walk home after work and as I approach my street I look for your car. If I hear the slightest strange noise or if my cat hears something, I flinch. Yes that’s right – I flinch! My body remembers and recoils. And my heart races as though its about to explode.

I know in twelve months time, this will no longer happen. Perhaps in three months, definitely (I think) in six. I hope. [Note: I wish that had been true!]

But for now, this one act of yours has undone so much. Has… shaken me in ways I can’t understand. Has changed me despite my desire that it will not. Has generated fear that lives in my skin, just under the surface.

Its like – women’s liberation and equality mean absolutely nothing in the face of a violent act – a man hitting a woman in the face. Suddenly, like it or not its all about control – who has the strength and who doesn’t?

I can’t grieve openly for this thing either. It’s too hard, too vile for most people to handle. Everyone around me just wants it to be over, including me. But its not, its NOT.

And, I want to tell people, so I have enough support. But then I don’t want to. I don’t wish to look weak and pathetic and just how is it possible that someone like me could end up with someone who could do such a thing? How??

I haven’t told many people, and especially not many men. I wouldn’t know how to tell someone if I start dating – whenever I do that again!

I know it’s not all of my judgement that’s bad, but I just don’t get how I couldn’t have seen that side of you before? Not at all?

How weird. Did I miss something or were you just really good at hiding it?

I am quietly devastated.

I am heartbroken for the death of a fraction of my innocence.

I am alone – there aren’t many people who can understand what its like, not surprisingly…. to be hit in the face.

I am shocked that I’ve pulled myself together so well on the outside. Inside I’m confused, structureless and sore.

It’s only recently that my face has stopped hurting completely. I think you cracked a bone – perhaps my eye socket or my cheek – because it was really sore long after the black eye went away. But I was too ashamed to go to a doctor and get it checked out. I couldn’t – I would have just fallen apart.

For weeks, I just touched my cheek lightly every day as a bit of a reality check – nope, I didn’t dream what you did.

My Guru told me to love those who hurt so much that they must hurt others. That your suffering is no different to mine or anyone else’s and that we are all in the same boat. From this realisation comes the seed of compassion, and love.

And I actually truly get that on an intellectual level.

But I’m only half way there. For now, I’m still coping and saddened by this breach of trust, this destruction of the ‘you’ I thought I knew.

And I’m quietly devastated that in a normal everyday existence, outside of fundamentalism, outside of war, religious conflict or any other extreme circumstance – that this expression between two human beings is possible.

But then, ofcourse it’s possible – because we live in a universe where anything and everything is possible.

And so in the end, my devastation is really that I had to be there to see and experience this expression of human nature first hand.

The wisdom in this experience is that: Reality includes everything good and bad and I can’t pick and choose. It’s all together.

There’s no point in expecting my spiritual practices to deliver only ‘nice and acceptable’ lessons.

This is all great stuff – but it doesn’t stop my heart pounding 10:1 when I hear a noise in the dark!

Fuck you Andre. FUCK YOU!


(Next: In the Chinese garden…)