I have searched the internet for blogs about women that have lived through domestic violence. I find lots of sites about recent domestic violence or present domestic violence, but I have a hard time finding blogs on domestic violence before there was a term “domestic violence” or “battered wife”.
You see I am 68 years old now. When I was a young girl of 16 I met a boy/man who was 21. A very handsome guy. He was Catholic like my family. In fact our families went to the same church. He had just gotten out of the Army. It was the summer of 1966.
I didn’t know him, but I had friends that knew him from “Da Bronx”. I had lived in the Bronx as a child and had friends that came to the country lake where I now lived. He came from a large Irish American family, with three older sisters and an older brother. He was the baby of the family. I was an only child. We had moved 50 miles north of New York City when I was eight or nine. I didn’t like the country as we called it. I missed the city and all the people where I lived. I always had someone to play with, which was important being an only child. I could roller skate and go the the big playground. We had a playground teacher and showers to play in the summer. Loved roller skating!! Rode around with my big key around my neck. I lived in a twelve story building. It was a wonderful place to grow up. I attended the local Catholic school. which most of the kids in the neighborhood did. There were mostly Irish, Italian and Jewish families where I lived. Everyone had almost the same apartments. I didn’t think much about money and status at all back then. Everyone seemed to be alike. We had Easter parades at the big Oval. We had Christmas caroling and dressed in wooden christmas tress. There was a May Day celebration and Halloween spook house. Swings that reached the sky and my all time favorite the monkey bars!!! I had two older cousins that lived close by, and I loved my cousin Dorothy. Their mother was my mothers sister. They were close, so my cousins were the closet I had to siblings. I really loved where I lived, my school and my cousins being so close. Of course they were older, one was three years older and here sister was five years older. We had other relatives close. My mothers mothers lived close by, but she died when I was five. I have some memories of her, mostly giving me pennies. Then there were my moms two sisters and brother that never married a had a nice home close by also. My moms other brother lived out on Long Island , so we didn’t see them often except at Christmas at my aunts house in the Bronx. My dads mom and dad lived in the Bronx also. He had two brothers and three sisters. We would be with that side of the family on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. My moms side on Christmas and Easter and New Years Eve. So I had a pretty nice childhood living in Da Bronx.
As I mentioned when I was eight or nine we moved to the Lake. This was a vacation spot that my parents and I and some relatives would go to in the summer. It was a great time. There was a big lake and all the family would be together. I learned to swim at the lake. My dad just let me jump in off the dock and my mothers not being a swimmer herself was terrified. It was great fun diving off the diving board and swimming to the raft. It was a good feel. Unfortunately being on vacation somewhere and living there all the time was very different.