My Mother’s Black Eye

| Baldi Lox
Baldi Lox’s drawing of her mother with a black eye.

There is only one thing in this world that infuriates me and that is the abuse of women. I can’t stand it. The thought of it unleashes this rage within that makes me want to scream and destroy every man that has ever laid a hand on a woman.

You may ask why this is the case? Maybe it’s because I grew up in a household where there was abuse. I remember my mom having a black eye. I remember seeing blood. I remember screaming, shouting and cursing. I remember having sleepless nights. I saw it, I lived it and I hated it.

My dad would come home drunk and talk a lot of rubbish. He would curse. It is amazing how alcohol can change a person. I love my dad. But there were times where I would wish he would go away and never return. Just imagine: it’s Saturday and you are worrying and praying that he will come home sober. Imagine crying yourself to sleep because you feel so helpless that you can’t help your mother.

I was just a child. What could I do? I was going to school with my eyes swollen because I was crying the whole night; having to lie to my friends and say I’d had a rough night. I couldn’t sleep – that was my story and I stuck to it. It was horrible being in class and asking myself, ”what the hell is happening at home.” I’d sit there thinking that maybe a continuation of last night’s boxing match was happening right now.

As I grew older, it continued. Then I decided to become vocal. I decided to say ”No,” but still that didn’t help.

Rather, I became a victim of verbal abuse. My father called me a bitch. He said that I was taking my mother’s side. I didn’t see what my mother was doing wrong. All I could see was him beating her. I always asked myself why she didn’t leave him.

Most children wanted their parents to stay together. But many of my friends were raised by single parents and I was envious. They wanted a father figure while I wished I didn’t have one.

”Mommy, why don’t you leave?” I’d ask myself.

Now I know the answer: because of me, my brother and sister. She loved us too much.

My parents have been together for 25 years and the last incident of abuse was last year in 2006. The bastard bashed a plate against her forehead.

My mother is a strong woman and I love her for that – she is my role model. However, I don’t want to be like her. I am 24 years old and I have never had a decent relationship because deep down inside I have this secret hatred of men.

I have never been struck by a man and I dread the day that any man would ever lay his hand on me.

Now, when I meet a guy, I have this tendency of fishing and trying to find out if he would ever lay his hand on a woman. I must say I’ve been lucky because I have come across very gentle men.

No man has the right to beat a woman. Men who beat women are cowards.

Even though he has left images in my mind that would haunt me forever, I still love my dad. My mom is a strong woman and she has been through a lot. She has endured a lot of pain and I still ask myself why she stayed.

Baldi Lox is a pseudonym, The writer’s parents are still together. Her father has since stopped drinking and is no longer consistently violent.

This article has been published previously at Yellow

Shelter information

Researched by Janine Fortuin

There are various options for women with children who have made the decision to leave their abusers.

The Ihata Shelter. Telephone: 021 638 5578.

The shelter is on the Cape Flats and caters for abused women and their young children. They provide:

  • A caring, clean and safe haven with sheltering from 24 hours to 6 months
  • Time and space to reflect on the future
  • A creche facility with a qualified creche teacher
  • Three healthy home-cooked meals
  • Clean clothes, basic toiletries and bedding
  • Arts & Crafts classes (jewellery, card-making, sewing, quilting and more)
  • HIV/Aids and abuse educational programmes
  • Occupational therapy and counselling sessions
  • Play therapy for the young children
  • Prayer facilities and daily spiritual upliftment
  • Referral to legal, medical and/or other professionals
  • Skills and upliftment workshops
  • A community/thrift shop
  • Healing music, laughter and gardening therapy
  • Parenting and life Skills
  • Employment opportunity assistance
  • Healthy organically grown vegetables
  • Kindness, care and support.

St. Anne’s Homes, 48 Balfour street, Woodstock, 7915. Telephone: 021 448 6792 / 021 488 8513.

The Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children, Klipfontein Road, Manenberg 7764 (opposite the Western Cape Nurses’ Training College). Telephone: 021 633 5287

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TOPICS:  Gender Human Rights Violence

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