Marissa is your typical happy and successful middle-aged woman.
She was in a violent relationship for 10 years. Violence or abuse happened after the first year of their marriage. Initially, it was like, she would not be allowed to go out of the house except if she is accompanied by her husband or whenever she will do a family errand. On that case her husband would closely monitor her calling her all the time until she is home.
Control was the first sign of abuse.
When you are in an abusive relationship for so long, you lose your identity. You believe in the lies you were told. You don’t believe in your ability to live independently. You don’t get much sense of freedom, and on most occasions, you learn to live with it and deal with it quietly for there is nothing much you can do about the situation.
Such was the story of Marissa.
Until the inevitable happened. The emotional abuse gradually became more intense. Her husband found a way to isolate Marissa from her family and friends. And so seeking help was close to impossible. There was also the “shame factor” of abuse. Marissa is living a highly functional abusive life.
Abuse however has a way of manifesting physically, no matter how much you try to ignore it.
Marissa accumulated enough stress that it manifests itself in physical symptoms. Marissa suffered from excessive bleeding and chronic fatigue. She was eventually diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease an autoimmune disorder that can cause hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid. Rarely, the disease can cause hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid. Thyroid hormones control how your body uses energy, so they affect nearly every organ in your body—even the way your heartbeats.
That was her ticket to courage; the courage to finally leave her abusive husband and seek the help of her family.
You need to imagine this as a character in a story plot, and write about her.
- Give her a name.
- Mention the geography she lives in.
- What could be her temperament?
- Is she prone to melancholy, or is she faking it to fool someone?
- Is there someone she is thinking about?
- Where could she go next for here?
The list is indicative, and you can use your imagination to paint a more vivid character sketch.
If you are telling a story, you can add one or more characters to bring depth.