The other night when I read about what had happened to Nigella Lawson, I was sickened. I’m even more sickened today as I read the headlines where Charles Saatchi said it was a “playful tiff.”
No, putting your hands around your wife’s throat IN PUBLIC more than once is not a bloody playful tiff. It’s physical abuse, plain and simple. It’s bullying, and Nigella shouldn’t have to stand for it. No one should have to stand for it.
Now we may never possibly know what was the precursor to the incident, or why it happened at all, what we need to keep in mind is that if this happened in public, who knows what could be happening behind closed doors. Or even more likely, what was being said.
I can say that with pretty good odds. I know. I’ve been in Nigella’s place. And it is a scary one. It’s scary to be tormented. It’s scary to be touched in a way that isn’t right. It’s scary to hear things that you intellectually know are false. It’s scary to be told you’re a waste of space and that you will never find anyone else who will put up with you. (Now be a dear and go and colour your hair brown and don’t forget that you were going to stop being friends with x.) (but well maybe he’s right . . .)
It’s hard to be in such a place, especially when you may still honestly love the person who has hurt you. However, there comes a point when love cannot overcome the physical and emotional scars that have been left.
It took me far too long to take that step. I endured three years of emotional and (very nearly -physical) abuse before I finally, finally got a clue. My reasons for staying were so ridiculous, that when I say them out loud to myself, I sound like a lunatic. I will spare you from them.
I hope that Nigella is safe and that she knows that she does not have to stand for this, nor does anyone else who is in an abusive relationship. You can get out and you can get help.