Dear MIMsters: How a Scene I Witnessed Involving My Mum and Stepdad When I Was 5 Changed My Life Forever

I had wanted to send this post last month, but the emotions were too much for me to handle. So I had to calm down and well, it took me a month. I witnessed this scene when I was only 5 years old but it has changed my life forever.

In the earlier years of my life, I lived in an abusive home. My stepdad was a giant, a very loud and violent man who was hardly ever at home, but when he was, it was hell.

Well, it has been 22 years since my mum and him got divorced but last month, as I was falling asleep, I had a flashback. I sometimes get flashbacks when I am triggered by certain things. But that night was the worst flashback in my life. I literally relived the moment my stepdad was strangling my mother.

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I felt I heard her screams and me running to the bedroom to see him on top of her, strangling her as if it was in the present. I never thought that emotions that painful could ever rise up again until that night. And it made me ask myself, “how many more people and children are being emotionally scarred for life because they lived in an abusive home?”

I am a very tall woman but I fear being with a man bigger and taller than me because it reminds me of my stepdad and I associate such a stature with violence. People always ask me why I’m into shorter, softer guys, but they’ll never understand.

Mind you, I was 5 years old when the strangling incident took place. I hardly remember anything when I was 5, but that day, that day when I ran on him almost killing my mum is a moment I can never forget. My mother divorced him months after the incident. She doesn’t know I even remember what happened so vividly.

This bring me to the question, “how many times have children witnessed cruel things but we think they’ll not remember them?”

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My mother married him when I was 2 years old and the violence started as soon s they gave birth to my sibling because he now has “his own” child. Even though I suffered only 3 years of living in an abusive home, those 3 years changed my life for ever. Therefore, whenever I see posts and stories from mothers who are beaten up by their husbands but claim that they choose to remain in this abusive marriages or relationships for the sake of their kids, I cringe and cry within.

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