When he hits me, the most frightening part is not the pain and the possible scarring and the perverted sense of shame. It is not in knowing that I’m defeated, or in the realization that I am not physically strong enough to match him blow for blow, that I cannot teach him a lesson never to mess with me.
When he hits me, the terror follows from the instinct that this will go further, that this does not end easily, that today it is my arms that he is punching, but tomorrow it will be my hair that he will wind around his palm to drag me through the rooms, the next day it will be my backbone that will endure a shattering blow, the day after that it will be my head on which his angry fists will descend.
When he hits me, these thoughts pile on in quick succession.
When he hits me, the terror flows from the fear that today he uses his bare hands, but tomorrow he could wield a heavy-buckled belt, he could grab an iron rod, he could throw a chair, that he could break open my head against a wall.