Old Wounds Always Remind

***TRIGGER WARNING!***

It’s my time of the month…which is TMI, but I’m painting a picture here…bear with…

During my time of the month, besides cramps and bloating, irritability, and exhaustion, I have another issue that bothers me. My jaw, on my left side, swells, and I have to put an ice pack on it to get it to go down. My upper and lower teeth temporarily don’t line up on that side, but it goes back to normal within a few days. How weird is that? Really not so weird…

Several years ago, as I was in active abuse, I was punched in that side by my then-husband. We were arguing and he took a swing that connected with my face. In fact, I saw that blow coming, so I braced my jaw and tensed up. Big mistake! My face, needless to say was swollen and I somehow didn’t have any cracked or broken teeth. My eustachian tube all they way up to my ear swelled and was painful, which caused an earache — which probably contributed to my near deafness later on. I still get that earache when it swells, to this day!

A few days after the physically violent episode, we were invited out by friends. I really didn’t want to go and have to explain my appearance, and begged to be left at home. He aggressively insisted and no amount of ice therapy, bruise gel, or makeup was going to hide it. *Sigh*

Upon entering the room, everyone started staring and making a big deal about my face. A few friends’ wives came up to hug me. My abuser, said, “Oh, she got that fighting with another chick.” Everyone gasped. “She’s a scrapper. My tough girl. You should see the other b*tch.” I just shrugged.

I was getting compliments and back slaps over my bravery and toughness. I was mortified and said NOTHING. How could they not know that HE did that to me? Violence was being rewarded and praised, regardless. I think he also eluded that this fictional female foe and I were fighting over him. Thinking back, I feel like me saying nothing only fueled the lies he told about me, later on, being the truly abusive one. He’s also probably comparing me to Amber Heard right about now. *Shrugs*

And I have a lovely monthly barometer to remind me, lest I forget, the abuse I endured. Thanks, Mother Nature…I thought you were on MY side! Sheesh!

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