Wednesday, February 12, 2014

shine on: my week with a black eye

I am one of those people who has never done anything exertive or interesting enough to warrant a cool injury. No broken bones, all teeth intact, not a single wake boarding concussion, in fact I don't think I ever even came off my bike as a kid.

At training last weekend, I attempted to catch one of those slam balls with my face. Heavy like a medicine ball, but with a rubber casing rather than canvas. As soon as my trainer said the words netball hold I should have known. Hand-eye co-ordination and I never developed a meaningful relationship. I held up my hands to catch the ball, felt the smart sting on my cheekbone, laughed at myself and continued on my merry way.

Arriving through the door after training, I saw that my eye was quite puffy and already starting to blacken underneath. I sent picture messages to my husband and my trainer, laughing at my own complete lack of co-ordination. Secretly chuffed with my cool workout injury.

Things got less cool throughout the week. I am too lazy for makeup most days. The first time someone jokingly asked me Hubby been smacking you around? I laughed and thought, what an odd thing to say, I don't think I've ever heard Hubby even raise his voice. By the third or fourth hilarious joke about domestic violence, a sick feeling settled in my gut, and it has stayed there, even as the bruise turned purple, and now yellowish. The solemn occasion of a funeral, along with my clumsy attempts to cover the bruise with concealer, didn't stop more of these comments. My darling, gentle Hubby was uncomfortable standing with me, hearing the jesting.

Relatives, friends, my kids' teachers and strangers have kindly asked what happened. People who know me well have asked, what have you done to yourself? Interestingly, people I work with avoided eye contact. I sat in the doctor's office, frustratingly chatting for ages about my kids, one of them was having high temps. Just a virus, but we were in there a lot longer than our regular three minutes. Glancing in the mirror in the parents' room afterwards, I remembered the black eye. Arriving home, I found my wedding rings I had removed to mix and roll meatballs.

It has been an interesting week, and a powerful lesson in human reactions to others' pain. Kindness and compassion are always welcome. Jokes about domestic violence are not.

If you are living in a violent or abusive situation, please talk to a trusted friend and get in touch with one of our excellent support services.


  1. Oh poor you Hope bruise heals quick. I remenber a similar experience after I had a operation nose. Like you first time I laughed it off but made me kinda sad. Big hugs :)

  2. Hi Sarah:-) Vanessa connected me with your gorgeous writings here. I know what you mean about the shiner and people's responses. Years and years ago, when I was single, I walked into a door. I actually walked into a half-closed door because I was stepping over my dog who was lying across the room, and in avoiding the dog I stumbled and cracked my eyebone a corker. I couldn't wait for it to fade but it took a couple of weeks and. I was working in hospitality at the time! People's responses were awful. I hope yours fades fast xxx

  3. Oh you poor thing, both the injury and having to deal with those responses. It's so sad that domestic violence exists and the rate is pretty alarming - I must admit when I see someone with a black eye I do automatically think the worst but hope it was just an accident rather than the sad alternative. Hope yours goes soon! Mel x

  4. Yes. Domestic violence is no laughing matter.

    Glad to hear that you're on the mend... and yes - hand-eye co-ordination and I are not on the best of terms either.

  5. I totally agree. Domestic violence is not funny.
    I broke my nose when I was younger and had to wear a nose cast of sorts for a week…I endured so many of the same comments…they got very old very quickly.
    And I never wear my wedding ring…or I rarely wear it. I can't wear it at work and so often forget to put it on the days I am not at work…whenever I am doing something "official" like going to the doctors or to the bank I always wonder if they notice and if they care…seems like such a silly testament of love.

  6. Hello Sarah

    I had a similar injury when I fell after getting my foot tangled in the electric blanket cord. Like you I was a bit shocked at the comments referring to DV. I hope you've recovered now. xx



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