“Red Story No. 2” by Mia Makila, 2019 (digital collage). Available.
This piece was difficult to make. It is a real memory from my life. A moment that repeated itself over and over again throughout my relationship with an abusive man. I loved that man. Or I thought I loved him. I thought he loved me. But at times, he told me he wanted to kill me. During a few seconds while physically abusing me. he even tried to kill me:
Most of the times he is just threatening my life in various ways. Sometimes with his hands. Sometimes he has a knife. Or boiling water. I am on the floor. He is on top of me. I have his spit in my face. His hungry saliva all over me. His hands around my neck. We are both sweaty. I am screaming. He is yelling, calling me things, telling me that I am a sinner, I am the devil, a prostitute. Worthless. I am fighting for my life but at the same time – I am not here. I disappear. I dissociate. At times I am shielding my body with a painting of birch trees that hangs on our wall. When he is trying to strangle me, I pretend to get unconscious to make him stop. My strategy is successful. The grip of his hands around my neck relaxes, he whispers: “Mia? Mia?….Mia?” Since I am holding my breath, I suddenly grasp for air and he starts to cry: “I am such a monster… I’m sorry. I’m sorry”. My job now is to make him feel better. “No, you are wonderful, I love you so much, you are not a monster” I tell him and start to comfort him with my body. Nobody knows what he is doing to me. Nobody is comforting me, not even myself.