"I have to leave it"

One morning Sara got up with a single thought: I have to quit. There were never any physical assaults, but she was riddled with invisible wounds.

The words of her husband haunted her mind: you are useless, do you really think that those clothes fit you well? If you continue like this, I will leave you.

It was not a punctual and isolated action but a behavior sustained over time.

Over the years, Sara ended up believing that she deserved all that mistreatment because, deep down, maybe he was right and she was "useless."

That is why she endured each of the infidelities that she discovered, she forgave him over and over again, because she had no other option, because she had "provoked" each deception. Especially because of the meager and insipid sex life they sustained.

"Claiming will only make things worse," she repeated to herself, like someone who is more tired of shouting and insults than of the betrayals themselves.

In addition, as her husband said, it may all be the product of "his imagination, his ability to exaggerate, or his extreme sensitivity."

That is why he also cried silently, breathed deeply, swallowed thickly and smiled. Yes, she was smiling, because in the eyes of the world she should look like a happy woman. For everyone, they were the couple of the year. "Failures" are never discussed. In addition, before family and friends, his perpetrator was a person of good manners, intelligent, kind, loving.

This context nullified their ability to react, although sometimes, suddenly, questions would emerge: “You have two university degrees, Sara. Why do you allow yourself to be annulled by this guy? ”He wondered. But, they were not pretenses of superiority. On the contrary, she doubted her own intelligence.

When investigating the profile of “the others”, she always found a common factor: “they were vulnerable women”, that is to say, of scarce resources. But what about her? Why was it still there? If he had all the tools to escape.

"It is that not every day he is like that, some mornings he is loving," he answered.

They were married on February 14, at his request. They have more than 20 years together.

Sometimes they went out. But the walk turned into torture, since her husband almost always lashed out at all the drivers who stumbled on his way: "women shouldn't drive," she sentenced over and over again.

Sara struggles to remember if her husband had ever expressed himself with admiration or affection about a woman, but no. He wasn't respectful even when it came to his own mother.

So one morning, in the middle of her quarantine, and as if it were a divine revelation, she understood that she had to leave him. The first thing he did was move to another room. Later, amid doubts, fear and "shame", Sara appealed to female solidarity and was honest with her two best friends.

With the support of both, she turned to a psychiatrist to control her immense depression. She was medicated, but, at the time, she abandoned the pills and made her best medicine known. Sara watched dozens of videos and read hundreds of articles on psychological abuse. She knew that she was not alone and was even surprised to discover that recognized women, even with high public positions, had been victims of gender violence.

“Many times he hit the wall hard, threw the cell phone or hit the door hard. Then I understood that that wall could have been me ”, he wrote to me.

Then, he was encouraged to seek legal advice and on that basis, he began to claim his rights and began the paperwork for his divorce. But, he has not yet managed to get his attacker to leave the home, although he has tirelessly asked him to do so. "It is not easy to live with him, I have had to fill myself with courage, I no longer let him yell at me, I set limits and conditions."

In the midst of this struggle, Sara tries to rescue a love that is worth it: that of her children, one of 19 and one of 17, who, she confesses, "have also been victims of their father's wrath."

She knows there is a long way to go, but she celebrates her first steps: acknowledging her problem, seeking help, learning to value herself, and not allowing one more offense.

However, at this point, their fight also requires state support. I wish, for example, Sara and her children could sleep without their attacker resting — stalking — in the next room.

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