I'm Not Susan

by A Battered Woman

Don was drunk again, just another typical night, one of many. I remember the good times of our marriage'times like when the baby was born and our first home. Things were great then. It was great until Don started doing crack and anything else he could get his hands on.

As time flashes on, I remember the time when we ran out of food stamps and our W.I.C. allotment had been depleted. It was a long summers day and the night seemed to never end. I went out to the porch to get cooled off. The kids were in the bed and the baby was just about to go to sleep. It was a beautiful night, the stars were so bright you could just reach out and touch them.

While I was sitting on the glider enjoying the peace and quiet, Don came out and kind of sunk into the seat. Looking back now, I really did not hear him talking to me. I can just remember being so tired from the day. I can actually say I did not notice Don had come to sit beside me. This annoyed him tremendously. When my mind snapped back to reality, I could sense that Don was going to go off. After nine years of marriage, I just knew there was going to be a fight, and as I said before, one of many. Don started the day off complaining about the eggs being too runny, and he thought the kids watched the TV too much. He wanted to watch football and the kids were in the way. Thinking back, no matter how much I tried to make the eggs the way he liked them, or constantly tried to quiet or actually hide the kids, he was never happy. Like the other nights, I knew the beating would come eventually.

Don was clever. He knew the police always took so long to respond to my call thus enabling him to clean me up and wash away all evidence of the violence that had just occurred. Living on a farm was a definite plus for Don's ability to dodge police interference.

Back to that night... Don stood up and screamed at me saying, 'You women are all alike! All you want is some poor idiot to support you and you just sit around all day watching soap operas. Of course you will lay with any man that you can get your hands on!' I could feel myself going numb, and the only thought going through my head was to get back inside the house and call for help. Don started again, 'I'll teach you a lesson, Susan. Just like my mother you think you are so special. Huh, well I'll teach you!'

The beating was not so bad, well not as bad as I thought it would be. This time there were no broken bones or blood anywhere. There were a lot of bruises, but I guessed eventually they would heal or I could hide them. I remember thinking that I would have to wear long sleeves for a couple weeks.

As the picture of that night reflects strongly in my mind, the night was coming to an end and the baby was up, awakened by the violence, I suppose. It is strange, but the thing that stands out in my mind concerning that night is that it wasn't the beating that hurt the most but the fact that my name is not SUSAN!

Editor's Note: Not all Survivors enter physically or emotionally abusive relationships; however, many do find themselves feeling trapped in a situation like the one above. There are many resources for help in such cases. It is especially important that you reach out for help. You are not alone.

If you are in an abusive relationship, please check out our resources section on this site.

  • Reprinted from "Survivors & Friends" 1993: Volume II: No.1