One of the questions I'm often asked is "Why didn't you tell anyone?"
Even now, years later, I'm wary, careful about what I reveal.
He made sure I didn't tell anyone. He made sure I understood the consequences of telling.
So whenever he went into a rage, I closed all the windows, so no one could hear him shouting.
And when my upper lip was black and blue I told people I tripped over the cat and fell down the stairs.
I longed to reach out and tell someone, to ask for help, but I was afraid he would punish me if he found out. So I retreated into my shell, curling up in bed under the blankets and waiting for the storm to pass. Sometimes his anger dissipated right away; other times he was silent for days.
Then things would return to normal until the next time.
Author of Severe Silence (https://amzn.to/2S5ubp1)
January 25, 2018: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women