Domestic violence in same-sex relationships is as common as it is in a heterosexual household, but unfortunately, awareness movement hasn’t focused in the LGBTQ community, and people are not aware that they can suffer in equal rate or even more compared to a heterosexual couple. According to the statistics, “43.8% of lesbian women and 61.1% of bisexual women have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime, as opposed to 35% of heterosexual women.”
National Book Award–finalist, Carmen Maria Machado, expressed all her emotions on paper for her book, In the Dream House. A memoir that engrosses the toxic and harrowing experience of having a relationship with a volatile woman and how psychological abuse can escalate into frightening situations.
In each chapter of the book, Machado, presents her former relationship in a different phase, giving the readers distinct angles and exposing how queer domestic violence, despite not been written about a lot can also be a rollercoaster. The writer told Vulture how the whole process of relieving those personal and sad moments put her in a dark place. “It was horrible. It made me more depressed and kind of killed a little part of me,” said Machado. “I was sitting alone in a little cabin in New Mexico trying to write about the worst thing that ever happened to me. I thought I was ready to write the book, and I don’t know if I was but I did it. If I said it was a good experience, I’d be lying. It was not a good experience at all.”
In the Dream House is Machado’s second publication but her first full-length book, a situation that put her to the test. “I was really exhausted and sad. I [had] also never worked on a full-length book before,” she revealed to the magazine. “[My wife] Val told me how an old writing teacher of hers used to say writing a full-length book is like falling into a bowl of spaghetti. You’re trying to pull all the noodles together but it’s really hard because you’re just in this bowl of noodles.”
For the author, the whole experience of writing this book was bittersweet but also made her realize that certain circumstances were completely avoidable. “I’m proud of this book, but it also made me think about stuff I could have done differently. In that sense, I’m not exorcised, because the ghost is still there. It’s still present, it’s just contained. I don’t know, the metaphor getting away from me,” she added.
You can take control of the situation and avoid living with the scars of the past. If you or someone you know is an LGBTQ victim of domestic violence call the National Domestic Violence Hotline now!