A while ago, I was on duty when a lady came in with complaints of headache. Headache is usually a very simple yet complex symptom. It may mean nothing, and it may be ominous. She was poorly dressed, yet well spoken. I remember, she kept holding her head. The first doctor who saw her had noted that she had an argument with her husband, leading to a fight. She didn’t have any obvious injuries, so he gave her pain relievers and let her go.
She kept coming back and by the 3rd visit, we were tired of the drama. Usually, she came with a female relative of hers who kept bad mouthing the husband loudly. Her husband accompanied them 1 day and things almost got out of hand. Also, finances were an issue and everyone was trying to keep her bills low, since the man would not pay a dime.
One day, she came back complaining of the headache again. I asked for details of the fight and she said he had hit her head against the wall. I asked her if she could ask him to pay for her to get a CT scan. Partly, my motive was to punish him, as it had been about a week. No one believed anything sinister was going on. She returned to say that he refused to pay and her relative had done all she could. This lady emptied her savings account to pay for that scan. It was then I knew she was really in pain. She was a civil servant, earning peanuts in a very demanding job.
Her scan showed intracranial hemorrhage. We were shocked that she had been bleeding for 1 week and no one noticed. She had no alterations in consciousness, or behaviour, or any other sign. Immediately, we referred her to a neurosurgeon, hoping against hope, that people would band together to offset her bills. We never heard from her again. That experience taught me never to disregard any symptom, even at the risk of crying “wolf”.
A number of women are in abusive relationships, some men too. Domestic violence is a no no. You cannot love anyone more than you love yourself. If your life is under threat, you need to seek help.
Another story which I read of in a magazine, reported as a true story, buttresses my point. A lady had lived with her abusive husband for years. One day, during the usual beating, her nanny ran out and called the lady’s brother to intervene. When he came in and dragged her husband off her, she ran out. The man ended up dead. Her brother insisted it was an accident, the man’s family insisted it was intentional. Her brother was remanded in prison for murder. The late husband’s family fleeced her of millions as compensation, but refused to drop the case. As at when she told the story, he was still in custody, and the dead man unburied.
To you precious lady, he loves you, right? He always apologizes, he buys you gifts to make up, he says it’s the devil, he does it to correct you, he’s only being the man? Will you consider the effect of your decision to endanger your life on others? Your children? Your family? Your friends? They don’t know him like you do, they don’t love him like you do. You can’t expect them to understand that seeing you in tears with bruises and cuts, turns him on? They may foolishly try to defend you and get into trouble.
Please, I appeal to you, to find a safe house. An NGO, church, or a friend to stay with temporarily. He can get psychiatric help in the mean time. You can thank me later. You are only dating, and he siezes your phone, sniffs your underwear to know if you are cheating, flogs you with a cane (these are real women I have met); if you marry him, you will end up in th lagoon. You won’t even get a decent burial.
Brothers, no matter how much a lady provokesyou, learn to take a walk to cool off. If you find yourself developing tremors when angry and so on, seek help. Also, stop the substance abuse. You don’t want to end up in jail because you were trying to teach someone’s daughter a lesson. If a lady is abusive to you, cut off from her. Don’t let her push you to the wall.
Finally, if a friend confides in you about such a situation, advise her to let others know. Please don’t try to intervene yourself as you may be caught in the crossfire. Let it come out in th open, so you don’t become a target. Live wisely, circumspectly, for as the bible says “Be angry and sin not”. Cheers