Reading The Color Purple reminds this student of her abusive relationship with her boyfriend. She describes hiding her feelings and bruises from others, while in the meantime questioning herself about what she had done to make her boyfriend so mad and whether or not she would be able to escape this abuse. At the beginning, when he hurt her, she thought that he was only showing some aggressiveness, but when he started insulting her she became scared and would freeze on the spot.
This student describes a relation between physical abuse and silence, as she finds herself hiding the signs of violence on her own body—either in an effort to protect her boyfriend or, perhaps, to avoid being judged for what happened.
He would always find something wrong in what she had done and use that as an excuse to hit her, before realizing what he had done and apologizing. He began controlling her, locking her in his house, and pressuring her into having sex. She would get so nervous and scared that even just hearing his voice over the phone would make her feel nauseous. Once, he threatened to kill her with a knife in his hand.
The student’s recounting of terrifying episodes of intimate partner violence reveals her inability to escape the grasp of this emotional and physical abuse. Meanwhile, her body expressed a reflexive aversion to what was happening, as she became nauseous.
The student concludes that they each gave each other want they needed. She needed love and security, while he needed to vent his anger. In the end, the relationship ended unpredictably, as fast as it started.
The student does not see herself as a mere victim, instead underlining her own role in sustaining the relationship.