First the controlling behavior emerged.
Just about any decision I made on my own, without his approval, resulted in a fit of rage.
Eventually anything he didn’t give the okay to resulted in some form of punishment.
But he wasn’t stupid.
Scumbags like this are careful to leave marks where other people won’t notice them.
During one incident, where he came at me and I tried to defend myself with the closest thing I could get my hands on, a ceramic pitcher, the pitcher broke.
The sharp end of the broken handle sliced the top of my foot open.
It was about 3 a.m., and I had to be at school in a few hours.
As soon as he realized what had happened, he shifted gears.
He was never the apologetic, I promise this won’t ever happen again kind of abuser.
He was like your kids when they get into a fight.
And one kid hurts the other kid.
And the kid who got hurt is crying.
So the kid who did the hurting tries to shut the other kid up, tries to bargain with her so he won’t get in trouble.
Just trying to cover tracks and avoid getting caught.
He bandaged me up, told me I was ok, and that he would take care of me.
Of course, I listened to him.
A few hours later, I limped to school.
But only a couple of steps into the building, something in my foot popped.
And the school nurse wheeled me out of school in a wheelchair.
I found out later that the ligament to my little toe had been severed.
By the time I got to the hospital, I was told I had waited too long to have it fixed.
I got stitches for the cut, but the ligament was never repaired.
To this day, I can’t move my little toe.
A permanent reminder.
I don’t remember the story I told everyone at school.
I thought they believed me, but I know some of my close teacher friends knew better.
And teachers talk.
So the whole staff probably knew.
Halloween was not long after that incident.
I was going to Tennessee for my best friend’s annual Halloween party.
The POS was coming too, naturally.
I came up with some costume ideas for myself.
But he wasn’t having any of that.
We were going to have a costume as a couple.
He decided on,
a pimp and his hooker.
One of my teammates at school just looked at me when I told her what we were going to dress up as for the party.
You know someone is going to hit on you if you dress up like that.
And you know what he’s going to do.
I could have said no.
But I knew what would happen if I did.
Either way I was screwed.
Take the beating sooner or later.
So I went with later.
At least there would be other people at the party to protect me.
It only took about an hour once we were at the party for the inevitable to occur.
The POS dragged me into the bathroom, locked the door. and slammed me into the wall by my head.
He put his hands around my neck and started to choke me.
I was crying, fighting back, and trying to yell.
He put his hands over my mouth and smeared my lipstick across my face.
There were people outside the door yelling.
I heard a girl yell to go get one of the guys.
The guys came and pounded on the door.
The POS stopped, opened the door, and pretended like nothing had happened on the other side of it.
The guys dragged him away.
I don’t remember the details of the rest of the night, although I did talk to my parents back home.
So did my best friend.
And that night, while my friend and her friends kept the POS away from me, my mom went to the house we lived in together in Connecticut and cleared all of my belongings out of it.
My friend put the POS on a flight out of Tennessee first thing the next morning.
He flew back to Connecticut not knowing that all my shit would be gone when he got home.
I flew back later that day. My parents picked me up from the airport.
The POS called.
And I let him.
Twelve hours after getting back to my parents house and vowing never to see or talk to him again,
I was right back in the bedroom with him.
He needed me, he said.
I somehow twisted things around to believe that what had happened in Tennessee was my fault.
Abusers are really good at making themselves appear to be the victim.
I was right back to feeling sorry for this sick motherfucker who had treated me like the hooker I had dressed up as a couple days earlier.
If only I had done things differently.
If I just changed this or that about myself, then he would stop.
Maybe I could fix him.
Maybe he needed me to help him.
Looking back now I can see how ludicrous this thinking is.
But fifteen years ago it would take a couple more serious incidents before I was really able to see the light.
Number 1! Please keep me there!
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