I remember the first time my husband hit me. All I could do was to cover my face and pray for the beating to stop.

When he was done, he wanted us to have sex as an assurance that I had forgiven him. The pain of being kissed while my lips had cuts and my body ached was unbearable!

FEEDING THE MONSTER

I had earlier opened up to my husband about coming from a broken home and he made sure I distanced myself from my family. When there were funerals or any other family gatherings, he would take me somewhere else just to distract me from meeting my family. I felt like he was protective and cared for me – not knowing I was feeding the monster inside him.

I got a job at a retail store and my husband lost his job after his contract was terminated. This made him more obsessed with me and he would monitor my movements.

One day I had to work overtime and he was so angry when I came home late at night. He wanted to beat me up. I had to run to our neighbours for help. When I came back, he was gone.

He disappeared for two weeks after stealing my salary, which I had withdrawn from the bank. When he came back, he apologised and cried. As days went by, I noticed that he was coughing uncontrollably.

Even when I bought him medicine, the coughing didn’t stop. I asked him to get tested for TB when his health deteriorated. He eventually agreed to go the clinic.

SHOCKING NEWS

After some tests, we were told my husband has TB. He also tested for HIV. When the results came back positive, we were very shocked. I also took an HIV test, but fortunately I tested HIV negative.

The doctors drew more blood from me and advised me to come back after three days. The results were still negative. I bought boosting supplements for my husband. I made him eat healthy and suggested we join the gym.

I supported him because I wanted to show him that his HIV status didn’t change my love for him. But I was disheartened when three months later he started drinking heavily. He would refuse to wear a condom during sex. He would beat me up and say he wanted to infect me with HIV.

A PERSONAL HELL

That’s when I realized no matter how much I supported him, he’s just never going to change his bad behaviour. With the help of the police, I then moved out of our home but he didn’t take it too kindly.

Afterwards, he kept on calling and after a while I gave in to his demands of meeting me but insisted we do it at a police station where I felt safe. We met and as we were busy talking my phone rang and I tried ignoring it.

I was scared of him but he told me to answer it. When I was about to answer, he snatched the phone away from me. So I asked one of the police officers for assistance. The officer spoke to him and said we should go to another office in the police station for privacy.

While we were in that office and as I was busy explaining what was happening, my husband tried to snatch the officer’s gun but failed to do so.

I just remember running and hiding behind the counter in the charge office. Other police officers had to restrain my husband from coming after me. He was then locked up and I was relieved. The incident still haunts me to this day. I wonder what could have happened.

* Not her real name

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