Page 23 - Trapped in a Diamond

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Seven Signs That You Are Losing Yourself in a Relationship
my story. Surely, my broken body held all the necessary evidence. After
that day, my father never touched me again. My mother continued to
beat me, however, whenever she was frustrated or not getting a desired
response—until the day she beat me with a stick. I pushed her away and
she fell on the bed. It was the first time any of us had reacted this way. I
managed to escape to my sister’s home and stayed there a couple of days,
afraid of my mother’s reaction. I had never put my hands on my parents.
It just was not something a child could do to a parent. I had always taken
their beatings with a straight face, never ducking the punches, always
looking them straight in their eyes while they were slapping my face.
It must have bothered them that I would not submit to them. Maybe
that was the reason they would beat me more. They could not break my
rebellious spirit. When I returned home from my sister’s house, neither
parent asked me where I had been nor was I never beaten again. I was
nineteen years old.
Though the physical abuse had ended, the emotional abuse continued.
Their private discussions were easily overheard, and I was well aware
that they had no confidence in my intellectual abilities. “Vittoria is not
that intelligent, and we need to think about how we can get her a job,”
they would say with resignation. But I had a teaching certificate and
held tenaciously onto my own inherent wisdom that I
was
intelligent.
By this time, I had lost all respect for them, both as parents and even as
knowledgeable people with good judgment.
Fortunately, I was blessed with friends—wonderful, intelligent, edu-
cated, and caring women friends my mother’s age—who believed in me.
They were always there to encourage me and to remind me that I was a
beautiful person inside and out. I shared with them all the ideas that my
parents had ridiculed. Thanks to them, I was able to establish a certain
level of self-esteem. One of these women lived in the same building I