"In an argument over something unnecessary and unimportant, I turned and stooped to pick something from the ground, and was stunned by a blow to the bones of the back of my neck..." c.1987
"Pissing at a pub urinal, I heard the door open, and the first thing I knew was that my head rebounded from the piss-smeared tiles and I realised that I had been kicked in the small of the back with all the force my assailant could muster..." c.1993
"Bent double, kneeling on the floor and weeping into the seat of a chair in complete despair, the room suddenly crashed upsidedown, and I realised I had been kicked in the ribs from behind with such force that I had been catapaulted topsy-turvy..." c.2008
These examples all have something in common: being attacked from behind, being ambushed, having one's soul and trust assassinated by the sheer inimicable hatred of another, and each of these occasions made me assume that someone unknown to me had attacked me from behind; yet every time I was forced in utter incomprehension to realise that it was a loved one, or family member who had assaulted me from out of nowhere.
There is a curious observation to be drawn from this sort of behaviour, namely: "Don't turn your back on anyone, ever!"
Being attacked at any time is not much fun, but at least if one is aware it is likely to happen, or given the human compliment of having a chance to dodge or defend oneself, then the bitterest of poisons is drawn from the strike. But to be attacked when one's guard is down, when it is absent; to be assaulted from the blue space of inconceivability - then one realises that there are no limits for some people, and one is forced to draw, reluctantly, the conclusion that some people could kill you in your sleep. And the thing I find most painful is that those people stole my trustfulness, my faith in them as civilised, loving, human beings.
I've been attacked by strangers: that is nothing by comparison, though horrid enough in itself. But to be attacked by loved ones destroys a part of the most generous nature of one's soul.
It makes me wonder on this question: why do some people find it easier to strike from behind? Does it make it easier to strike if one avoids having to look the victim in the eye? Or simple cowardice? Whatever the cause, it is dehumanising, and if you've ever been dehumanised by anyone, let alone a loved one, then you will know what a disgusting sensation it is.
The horror is at least fivefold. First, the horror at the transgression of social boundaries; secondly, the horror at realising it is a loved one who has done it rather than a random stranger; thirdly, the horror at the realisation that with their cowardly blow they have mutilated one's own love for them profoundly; fourthly, the horror that one is capable at the last resort of despising the ones you love due to their actions; and fifthly because it proves there are no certainties.
It is obviously not uncommon, having spoken to friends and acquaintances. The reaction falls into two camps: either it is unacceptable, or it is 'normal'. The people who do it justify their behaviour by saying "I was angry", "It was what anyone would do", "Anyone would behave like that if they were angry", but I disagree entirely. A direct slap in the mouth may well be quite deserved, but an assault from behind is a far more deadly wound.
It is all poison, poison, poison, poison, and I anathematise it from the bottom of my spirit.
[p.s. This is all written in a spirit of reflection on events over many years - my current lover has not yet taken me from behind. :-) Take care all, Dx]