Nerissa — she writes.

Getting in Trouble for the Things I Wrote.

Trigger Warning: The story below is a memory I have of domestic violence.

This is how I remember the first time I didn’t cry when being beaten. I was maybe 13. My father had started up with me about a hymnbook he accused me of having. I told him I didn’t have it, but he used that as an excuse to come into my room and find my diary. At the time, I didn’t realize what he was doing. I kept my diary under a pile of clothes on my closet floor, thinking that was a great hiding place. So when he started to search through the clothes, I really thought he was looking for his hymnbook.

When he found my diary and started flipping through it, young as I was, I went straight to fight.

that’s my diary!

There wasn’t much yelling back and forth. He’d taken off his belt and started to beat me. It was as I was going down the stairs, trying to get away while he was lashing at my back and head that I realized:

I don’t have to cry.

He got me out of the room and went back upstairs. I was still ready to fight. He was going back to my room, back to the diary, but I still had a bullet in my mouth.

This is abuse!

And that did it. He started to beat me again, this time chasing as I ran from the family room to the kitchen, continuing to lash me even though I was crouched on the floor in a fetal position. He stopped beating after I pleaded. He would probably remember it differently, and so would my mother.

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