If you’ve been keeping up with the blog, this is the story of how an abusive relationship plays out. In my last blog, I covered the mental abuse.
That’s where it started. Mental conditioning to break me down. Over time, I thought so little of myself that it was easy to accept the things he said about me. There was always a part of me that protested. I would tell him, “No. No. That’s not who I am. That’s not right. How do you not know me better?”
But the thing of it was, the things he told me about myself were true. Because he made them true. He trained my brain to become these truths.
He told me I was a liar. I’m not a liar. But I was. I lied to him constantly to protect myself. But I wasn’t even telling “bad” lies. I was lying about things to protect myself from being screamed and punished for things that weren’t wrong. (Like hanging out with my friends, talking to guys that I was friends with.)
His timing was also impeccable. One night, I went to a party on campus. It was at this guy Nick’s house from one of my classes. He and I had been assigned to work on a project together. He was a nice guy. Pretty harmless. Kind of dorky, but an overall cool dude. The party was in his basement, where everyone was playing beer pong and listening to music and stuff. He took me upstairs to show me where the bathroom was. That’s when my man called. He heard silence. The bathroom was on the second floor, so you couldn’t hear the party music. He freaked. I told him I had stepped outside, which was a stupid and ridiculous lie, but I knew he wouldn’t buy “in the bathroom upstairs.”
I was fucked no matter what. He wouldn’t believe the truth. He never did. Ever. So I’d lie to try and ease things. That didn’t work either. That’s what it always came down to: no matter what I said or did, I was absolutely, royally fucked. He couldn’t accept that I really wasn’t up to no good. He refused to.
One night, he claims he followed me to a club that used to be in the Strip District (Tequila Willies) and said I was making out with some guy and dancing on the bar.
I’ve danced on some frat house tables in my time. I’ll admit that. I’ve NEVER danced on a bar. And I have NEVER made out with a random guy in a dance club. Not ever.
Everything he said I’d become once I turned 21, he tried to make me out to be. Nothing could change that vision for him. He went so far as to say I had hickies on my chest. I didn’t. I had some random burning from a tanning bed. It kind of looked like brush burn. It was sort of patchy.
NOPE. They were hickies and I was a damn whore for flashing them in his face.
I ended the last blog with where it got worse. Where the abuse went to physical lengths.
After the incident of finding out what I did with the guy when we were broken up, I paid for it. I paid for it with my body and any tiny shred of dignity and pride that I had left after 2 years of being put through a mental paper shredder.
I won’t go into detail on specific acts for a number of reasons- mostly to maintain at least some of my privacy in this and because honestly, it’s just too graphic and horrible to put out there (and embarrassing).
To put it into the most blunt terms- if I was going to be a whore, he was going to treat me like one. Sex went from consensual, to violent acts and a slew of verbiage meant to shame me. The tears, the pleading, the choking and gasping for air, the desperation in my voice wasn’t enough to stop him. He never thought twice. He never hesitated.
He just told me I’d prove my love and eventually prove what a fucking whore I was. If I was going to be anyone’s whore, I was going to be his whore.
He’d leave for work and leave porn up on the computer. This was homework- or a preview of what was expected of me. Not all porn is bad. Some of it can be really hot.
Not this. Not what he had in mind.
Everything involved my being held down, being completely submissive, and being degraded beyond anything even a wife would do to bring back some excitement into the bedroom after a few years of marriage and children.
No normal, healthy, functioning person would force a person into sexual scenarios that they were uncomfortable with. If someone you love says, “no,” you move on. If ANYONE says no, it freaking means NO.
Why did I stay?
I was down to where I had literally no one to turn to. No family. No friends. No one. I lived a secluded life. Me and my dog. He would go out at night. Hardly ever came home. No calls. No texts. I’d lie awake in bed, unmoving and watch the stars move across the sky out the window, night after night. I’d watch night fade and the sky turn pink with dawn, completely numb to its beauty.
He threatened to kill my family. I died inside. I was choking on sobs and he acted like I was crazy, like he had just told me he was buying me a diamond mine.
I continued to be his whore, trained to use my body to make him happy. This was my conflict resolution, and it hurt me in future relationships because it was the only way I knew how to resolve a problem.
Sex was all I had. I’d initiate, and try to bring some sort of emotion, or gentleness. He wouldn’t allow it. Everything hurt. It always hurt.
I started a new job and became friends with a girl from work. She lived on the way, so we’d take turns driving together and paying for parking in town. I’d drive to her house and we’d either take her car and I’d grab mine on the way home, or take mine. I had an accident and he had to drive me until my car got fixed. He would drop me at her house. He got pissed that I didn’t invite him in to meet her. Claimed I was at a guy’s house and not actually going to work.
I had already asked him to meet her. He told me no, because he wanted nothing to do with my friends.
I’d send him a picture mail of she and I to prove I was with her. “That’s an old picture. You weren’t wearing that.” Are you fucking kidding? You just saw me 20 minutes ago!
I told you. I couldn’t win.
He became blatant about his own cheating. We’d be in his car, and there would be post-it notes with girls numbers he got while at work. They were all “clients.” One day, he forgot his phone at home. It rang. It was someone I knew was his co-worker. I picked up and told him that he was on his way to work and forgot his phone. About 10 minutes later, he called my phone and flipped out for me answering his phone.
It rang again. Sonia. The girl from the post-it in the car. If she’s a client, this will be fine. I picked up. She hung up on me.
I went through the texts.
Another “girl from work.” Texts from when we had been on vacation a few weeks earlier. From Sonia and this other girl. He got her pregnant. She aborted the baby.
He didn’t even bat an eye when I confronted him.
He started leaving up hookup websites on the computer so that I’d see the messages from the girls he was meeting up with to fuck. I was “prying into his business.”
He kicked me out of the apartment. I tried leaving. My shoes were all in my closet. He blocked the closet. I had my car keys in hand and I told him I was leaving, just to let me grab my shoes. He was screaming in my face to get the fuck out. I pleaded, just let me get shoes. I’m going. He ran me into the hallway and slammed me against the wall. I hit my head and slumped to the floor. I got up and went to leave and he blocked me.
He begged me to stay. He apologized. I was sobbing, begging him to let me leave, that I couldn’t stay. That I wouldn’t stay.
I’d been left a shell of myself. I’d been used. I’d been hit. I’d been held down and spit in my face. I wasn’t this girl. How did I become this girl? Who was I?
I was a girl who in high school, people liked well enough. I went to college and made friends really easily. I was someone who people used to describe as “a walking ad for Colgate tooth paste” because I was always smiling and laughing.
I was a good girl.
I’m not a good girl. Not anymore. Not at that time.
I was the person I promised myself I’d never become. I was 23 and my life was the opposite of how I wanted it to be. I wanted to graduate college and get a job I could like myself for. I wanted to get my happily ever after, with a husband, and children, and a dog.
All I had was a dog, a closet full a shame, a heart full of agony, and a mind full of secrets.
I found a place to live pretty quickly. He accused me of trying for longer than I had. That I was planning on leaving him the whole time. No. I finally had the courage and took the first place I found. I didn’t even care to look at it.
I did the next thing I had to do. I drove to my parent’s house. My dad was in the backyard. I looked at him and just started bawling. He hugged me and told me it was okay. That’s all he said. That’s all it took. They never brought it up again. They just took me back and acted like I’d never been gone. Like I hadn’t spent 7-8 months without even calling them, like we hadn’t fought.
I moved my stuff and spent my first night in the apartment. I was getting my bedroom set the next weekend and sleeping on an air mattress in the meantime.
I went back the next day to get my jewelry box. I had forgotten it. I opened the apartment door and he immediately was out of his seat and pushing me into the hallway. He demanded the key. I freaked. I hadn’t been gone 14 hours.
There was a girl in the apartment. I screamed at her that if she was fucking him in my bed I was going to kill them.
“She’s just my friend.”
I was done being stupid. Fuck you and everything you did to me and put me through.
The next weekend, my brother helped me move my furniture. He told me the one thing that no one had been brave enough to tell me and then dropped everything. “He didn’t love you. Someone who loves you doesn’t treat you like this.” He didnt’ know anything that had happened to me. Not specifically. He was only 18, and he told me what no one my age was willing to say.
Mentally, I could have gone a lot of different ways after this. One thing I have never wanted to be or act like, was a victim. I changed everything. I changed my hair. I changed the way I dressed. I threw all of my effort into my new job. I made new friends and I put it all behind me. I started living the way I wanted to live. I started walking with my head held high. I started laughing again and smiling and having fun. I spent time with my family as much as I could. I called my mom every day.
And I truly was happy.
But happy only lasts for so long. I never dealt with what happened. I ignored it and just pushed on. And it worked, for a time. But I can’t ignore it forever. Relationships that followed were strained. I was trying desperately get to the the other end of the spectrum, and still ending up in relationships that I wasn’t happy in. I was dating guys that were flawed in ways that I thought I could fix.
I was still living to make someone else happy.
What did it get me? It got me a son…that I’m raising alone. And I’m okay with that because that was the event that started to turn my life around and make me truly examine what I want and what will make ME happy. I had some relationship issues, but I’ve finally worked through that because I learned to love myself by loving my son.
He taught me everything that was valuable about myself. I did graduate college. I did start doing the things that I wanted to do and figuring out what I actually want in a relationship (and what is healthy), including the things I need to change about myself. This blog is a reflection of my changed philosophies. This blog is my evolution as a person and how I see the world after all that I have been through.
I still have residual problems from the abuse. The fact that I’m writing about it in more detail is one of the ways I’m dealing with it. I’m acknowledging it. One day when I’m ready, I’ll sit down with someone (a therapist) and work through more of the specifics. As I’ve stated, recently, things are popping up in my memory and in my dreams that I had long blocked out.
It’s time to face reality.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. I hope that if anyone out there has had a similar experience that you will get out and get help. Push through the fear and don’t let it define you.