I recently found something I didn’t even think I had anymore. A few years back, my latop broke, and I got a new one, then I decided to get it repaired and even got it back months ago, but never really bothered to check what’s on it as I thought it must all have been erased, but to my surprise everything was still on it.
If you have even the slightest or faintest idea that something Is not right in your relationship/marriage, you should document it and save the proofs. You never know, in the future those can be very handy. I found some pictures that I took the first time my ex-husband assaulted me. I do remember taking those photos, I took those photos after he had given me my phone back, it was not a very good camera but it was clear enough. When I took those photos, he had already sked me to forgive him and I had answered positive, but for some reason I decided to take some pics of myself that day. I had never even look at those pics, I think I transferred them quickly on a hidden folder on my laptop so he wouldn’t have any doubts.
I never even look at the pics properly, I think I was too scared that I would find something not right, something strange about the way I looked, and I was afraid to face it, I was afraid to face myself, to acknowledge what had happened. I wanted to move on and be positive. I didn’t even bother checking my face in the mirror, I was happy to be oblivious. Oh I could feel the pain, may jaw did hurt, I remember struggling to swallow food for a day or two, but I didn’t want to look, looking meant going through it again, and I didn’t have the courage to do it back then.
Anyway, while going through the laptop, I stumbled on those pics I took that day and for the very first time, I realised what it looked like, what it looked like to be an abused woman, and more importantly what I looked like. This person on the picture looked nothing like, nothing of what I remember being before or what I think I am now. It was a completely different person, alien to me. I was not really much about the bruises, I am dark-skinned, so those don’t show very well, but it was just the face, the look on the face, the cracks on the lips, the blank expression, the sore lips; no none of it looked like a younger version of me or an older version, I fail to recognise this as myself. I look horrible, my eyes were numb, and my lips cracked in a few places, my face was completely drained of any colour and emotion. I looked lost in my own world, and soulless. I realised I looked like a total mess, a complete horror, and maybe had I look at that picture before, I would have realised earlier on in the relationship that I had to let go and get away from it.
My point is it’s crucial to document everything, photos where possible, text messages where you can, audio/video recordings and snapshots. Anything you really can even if you think it’s not important. Save it somewhere safe, maybe a friend you trust or even on a pendrive that you can hide. Make sure you have got enough, so if ever you need to prove anything then you can. Do not let your abuser know you are holding any proofs, do not threaten them with it, if you do then you are digging your own grave.