Maybe this is what I deserve…. (** Trigger warning Domestic Violence)

Growing up I had always associated men with some form of abuse. I had always felt worthless, unwanted, and dirty. Living in a home with a heavy handed disciplinarian I had always just assumed I was a terrible child and a not worthy of the love I saw some of my classmates have with their families. I made it a priority to never trust a man and never let them get close to me. If I was never alone in the room with a male doctor, family member, or friend then I could never have to experience any of that again. Obviously, this did not last forever. My teenage years came and went. They were a whirlwind of crushes and sexual desires.

When I finally found my boyfriend things were different. He made me feel spoiled and loved. He showered me with affection and materialistic items. I was so intoxicated by his love that I never expected things would change. I never expected that once I let another man in and trusted him that he would hurt me in so many ways. Two years had came and went. We survived various obstacles and arguments. Some arguments got more physical than others. I had had many concussions and many bumps and bruises.

I was sober now, but I could still taste that high. I was suddenly aware of just how far I had fallen. We had integrated fully into each other’s lives that I needed him and that terrified me. So I would chase the high like an addict who has gone too long without a fix. Spent my time thinking where is he? What is he doing? I began to over analyze every single thing he said and did. What did he mean by that? Why would he rather have alone time than be with me? I could not help but remember, when we were were drunk in love together and all we wanted to do was talk about how much we loved each other.

I was at the point that I was questioning everything. You eventually begin to wonder how the other person feels even though they tell you on the daily. You’re suspicious. But you try to remain calm and collected. I didn’t want to seem needy, demanding or controlling. I did not want to push him away and lose the only person who I believed wanted me. I focuses on trying to keep everything good, keep it going, and that high has to come back, right? It did not work. I was struggling to find happiness. People I haven’t seen in a while kept asking  how it was going with him and I never know how to answer. Good, I think? Is it?

We argued about most things. Eventually the arguments would get worse and worse. I was reminded on a daily basis that no one else would put up with my insubordinate behavior or my white trash family the way he does. I believed it. I knew deep down that I was dirty and that no one would want someone who was used baggage. He accepted the empty shell I called a body that I lived in. No one was going to see me naked and vulnerable and want me the way he did.

Soon enough I stopped wanting all things sexual. What had once been fun and romantic became a chore and more like that of all the hardcore porn he was watching. I noticed he had started watching more and more pornographic movies while I was around. He would remind me that if I was not going to please him that he had to do it himself. Some days he would hold me down and force himself on me. I would lay there stoic feeling dead inside and just allow him to have his way. There was no point in struggling or fighting because I knew I would not win. I knew it would eventually be over and if I did not fight or struggle it would be over with quicker. It was much easier to disassociate from my body. Despite being there used and abused, he could tell I was not there emotionally. I was lifeless. He told me that not having sex with him and not performing sexual acts for him meant I was getting it from someone else. He would take videos of me on his phone performing these sexual acts and use them as leverage to get me to do more things. He would threaten to show them to my father or worse post them on the internet for the world to see. I felt hopeless. This was my life now. This is how my life began, used and abused by various men. I was used and abused by my family and this is how I am going to spend the remainder of my life, used and abused by the man that I loved.

One day I got really angry at him for watching the porn in front of me. I was in a bad mood, having a very bad day, and I was not going to tolerate it today. I insisted I was leaving. He got up and pushed me onto the bed. Told me that I was his whore and that I would not go hang out with other men. He insisted I watch him finish his act and continued to pleasure himself. I got up angrily and tried to walk out the door. He quickly pulled up his shorts. I went to walk down the steps and he pushed me. I fell down the first few steps onto the landing. With my heart racing, I went to get up and leave and he grabbed my arm and tried to pull me back up the steps. His mother heard the commotion and ran to my aid. He screamed at her and told her to mind her own fucking business. I was able to slip out of his grasp and run down the next few steps. I ran through the dining room toward the door and felt him behind me. I grabbed the nearest thing I could find, a water bottle, and I chucked it in his direction. It missed him, hit the wall, and water exploded everywhere. I turned to run, but he already started hitting me. He smacked the side of my head so bad I fell to the floor. My ear was ringing and the screaming became more distant. I felt liquid dripping on my face, I could not tell if it was tears or blood. His mother was screaming trying to pull him of off me. He picked me up and slammed my head into the wall and I instantly blacked out. When I came too I was in his arms and he was sobbing. He told me how incredibly sorry he was. He admitted he had a serious anger problem and told me he was going to get help. I told him I had to go and he let me leave. After driving down the road I realized I was in no condition to be driving. I went to my friends house as she lived closer than me. She took me to the hospital and I was sent home with a concussion and a blown ear drum. The doctors had questions as to where the bruises came from and I lied and said I had a fight with some girl.

A few months went by and things were back to normal. He had realized he went too far so he changed. He was loving and charming. He became the man I fell in love with. We went on dates and spent nights watching movies. I felt like things were finally looking up.

One July morning I decided to go with a close friend on a brunch date and a shopping adventure. I had bought myself nice new sunglasses and lots of new clothes. As I was the one driving too and from the stores I missed the phone calls I had received from my boyfriend. I had dropped my friend off and drove straight to my boyfriends house. I told him where I was and what I was doing and he told me I was a “lying, cheating, whore”. I instantly went out to the car to get my bag of clothes and sunglasses and explained that I had the receipt with the time stamps.  He proceeded to grab the bag out of my back seat and sifted through it. He took out the sunglasses and snapped them in half. I instantly grabbed the bag of clothes and tried to get in my car. He grabbed my head and hit it against the window of the car. I struggled to get out of his grasp, hopped in my drivers seat while he was pulling at me and I started the car and began to back it out. He almost broke my door off the hinge and finally moved so I could drive away. I drove straight to my friends house who again insisted I go to the ER because of the the large bump I had on my forehead. She explained to the doctor that it was a domestic violence case. They released me and advised I should head to the police station to fill out a report. My friend was in agreement. She told me she was sick of bringing me to the hospital and that if I did not go she would not speak to me anymore. We were friends since second grade, her mom took me in during senior year when my father could not handle me, I could not lose her.

So, my friend brought me directly to the police station. She previously has tried to convince me to leave him, but I always refused. Sometimes you want out, but you’re in it now. You love this person and you’re committed. After all he was the only person who could love a person like me. But she was right, finally I had enough. I could not do it anymore. I finally had enough courage and support to end the cycle of violence.

Going to the police station was a difficult and stressful experience. We were brought in the back by one of the officers. He told me he had to take photos of my bruises to put with my statement. I stood there while he took photos of various angles of the hematoma on my head, then of the perfect fingertip sizes bruises on my arm from where he grabbed me.  He asked me various questions about what had happened and advised that because we did not have any children together they could not do much about it. He said that if I agreed to press charges that they would arrest him and we would have to go through court to get a restraining order filed. I was overwhelmed by it all. I felt guilty of the thought of ruining his life with an arrest like this. Ruining his family with having their son arrested and removed from their home in the middle of the night. The officer advised me I had till 5PM the next evening to make up my mind. I told them with the events of the day I could not make the decision and that I would come back tomorrow to work things out.

My friend brought me to my car and I headed home. All I wanted was to lay down and forget everything that was happening. I walked in and I remember it being really late. My dad was in his bedroom and called for me to come in. I really did not want him to see my face as I did not want him to know what was really happening to me. I blamed most of my bruises on my clumsiness, but this would be hard to explain. He turned on the light and asked what had happened…. I advised I turned too fast while trying to get my clothes out of the car and I hit my head on the edge of the car door. He hesitated speaking for a moment and then his face changed.

I knew once I saw my father’s face that something was not right. He told me my grandfather had called and that my mother had passed away earlier that afternoon. I stood there in shock and disbelief. The rest of that evening was a blur. I ran to my car and began to sob. I turned on the radio hoping music would help the pain dissipate, but it did not work. I drove to my boyfriends job. I needed to have someone to talk to. I needed the reassurance that everything was going to be okay. I just wanted to feel loved.

I did not expect the cold shoulder which is what I got. “What would you like me to do about it?” he asked me in response to me telling him my mother had just died. Honestly, I did not know what I wanted him to do. I just needed someone to tell me it was going to be okay. He felt a little sorry for me and agreed I should spend the night with him.

After that life became normal again. He changed even more than when I previously ran back to him. He showered me with love and gifts. I began staying over his house more often and my father was not happy about it but I didn’t care. I did what I wanted.

One morning late November 2007 I woke up extremely nauseated. I called out of work and decided to spend the day resting. Three days went by and the nausea did not subside. I went to the doctor who wrote me a script for anti-nausea medication and advised I had to go get an ultrasound of my stomach to figure out what was causing the pain. Two days later I went to the hospital and had the ultrasound done. I had a large gallstone. I was advised to contact a surgeon and book the surgery to get it out as soon as possible. December 26, 2007, just 4 days before my 21st birthday, I had my gallbladder removed. I spent one night in the hospital and was put on bed rest for a week. December 29, 2007, just one day before my 21 birthday I woke up vomiting. I had a fever of 103 and it kept rising. I contacted the Dr and was advised to go to the ER right away for monitoring. I was admitted and advised I had to spend the next day in the hospital. I was put on a strict liquid diet and not permitted to consume food until they ran enough tests. I spent my 21st birthday in a hospital bed. My dad spent a good portion of it all by my side. My boyfriend would come when he was not working.

Within a few weeks I recovered from the surgery. I still had pain here and there, but it subsided. Now that I was 21 I could go out and drink! I would work all week then go out on Friday and Saturday nights. Sometimes with my BF. Sometimes with my friends. I would come home at all hours of the night and sometimes not at all.

One evening I went out to a bar with my friends and I ran into my BF. He was there with his friends and some girl. I was intoxicated and immediately mortified seeing him speaking to another girl and laughing. She was leaned over whispering in his ear with her hand on his. I flipped out. I told her he was an abusive piece of shit and if she wanted my used goods she could have him. I felt betrayed.

He noticed how upset I was and tried to assure me it meant nothing, she meant nothing, but I did’t believe him. After all, I have seen this girl before lurking on his Myspace. He assured me I was intoxicated and that I blew things out of proportion. I realized that I was feeling jealous and he could have been right. He asked me to leave my friends and come home with him. I agreed. I blew off my father’s curfew and spent the night at his house.

Once we arrived at his house we went to his bedroom and I laid on the bed. He pulled me off the bed and advised that I fucked up embarrassing him and that I made a scene. So my punishment was that I had to sleep on the floor…. No blanket…. No pillow…. I was given a book to lay my head on. He was intoxicated as was I so I figured I had fucked up and could not blame him for his attitude. After all I was the crazy one that night…. So I laid their intoxicated thinking about my stupid decisions and eventually fell asleep. Around 6AM I woke up and realized I never called my dad. I woke up my boyfriend and had him bring me home. He dropped me off and went back home to go back to bed.

When I got home my dad sat me down and told me that if I could not follow his rules then I could not live in his house. He took my car keys and kicked me out. At this time I did not have a cell phone so I had to walk 3 miles to the gas station and used a payphone to call my boyfriend. He came and picked me up. We waited for my dad to go to work and then we went and got my car. I packed up as much as I could fit in my car and moved out.

My boyfriend allowed me to move in with him and his family. I was so happy about it. No more curfew! But, I was not aware of how much more controlling my relationship could become. Things we great at first. But one day I came home on lunch from work and he and I got in such a fight that he threw my car keys in the gutter. After a verbal argument he finally fished my keys out and I went back to work. I walked in and the manager advised it was unacceptable and that they could not continue dealing with all of my drama. I was let go. My boyfriend agreed it was for the best and said I could work baby sitting his sister’s kids. So that is what I did. He and I fought constantly over everything. I would text my friends and complain and try not to allow myself to get angry and fuck everything up. I did not want any more violent fights.

The night before Thanksgiving is considered one of the biggest party days of the year. My boyfriend and I agreed to go our separate ways this evening and enjoy time with our friends. I had a great time. Perhaps too much fun. I was extremely intoxicated by the time my friend’s boyfriend brought us home. I called my boyfriend to come get me and he ignored me. I began wandering the streets of the neighborhood trying to comprehend how I was going to get home. Eventually I was able to reach another friend of mine who was able to bring me to her mom’s house where I stayed the night on the couch. The next morning I woke up to a barrage of angry voicemails inquiring about my location. He was clearly intoxicated. I called him back and he advised he was coming to get me.

Thanksgiving came. I had plans to spend the time relaxing with his family, but then he got a text. One of my friends found out through his best friend (my friend who took me in’s boyfriend)  how crappy the night before was and decided that the way I was being treated was unacceptable. He decided he would do something about it. He texted my BF saying he was outside and to come out and face him like a man. My boyfriend ran outside and I was running behind him. They were in each others faces screaming at each other. Panic set in. What the hell should I do. My friend grabbed a pipe from the ground and threatened to hit my boyfriend with it. My boyfriends family heard the commotion and called the police while simultaneously trying to break the fight up. My boyfriends mother was tossed aside. The cops rushed in within minutes. They separated them both of them and I was told I needed to leave. I got in the car and drove. I parked in a local parking lot and just wept.

All in one day I lost good friends, my boyfriend, and I had no family to be with. Everyone had thrown me out. I spent Thanksgiving night in my car that year. The next day he reached out to me and agreed that he wanted me to move back home. Without hesitation I went back.

My 22nd birthday finally arrived. We agreed we would meet my friend and her sister to go try out the new go cart track racing. He was taking forever to get ready and I started an argument over it. I hate being late. Suddenly we were bickering over everything. I said I was going to leave without him. He hopped in the car and we started down the road. I made it out of his complex and less than a mile down the road before the fight escalated and he grabbed my steering wheel trying to pull the car over. The car turned sharply to the right, hopped the curb and the sidewalk, before landing on the road behind the shopping center. I was LIVID. I began punching him and hitting him as hard as I could. Once I realized what had happened fear took over. I knew he would beat me. I knew I would regret this. I jumped out of the car and ran inside the store. I dialed 911 and advised there was an accident and that I was afraid for my life. Soon after the cops came and walked me back to the car. They contacted a company to tow the car. They pulled us apart and asked my boyfriend what had happened. It became a he said she said. The only issue is, he was the one with bruises not me. So I was clearly the aggressor in this case. They gave him a ride home. After running my plates and registration the cops informed me that my registration was expired. The cop then walked me to his car and put me in the back seat. I sat in the car and panicked. The cop finally came and advised he was issuing and ROR (meaning I was arrested but released on my own recognizance). I was told to have someone come get me.

A friend of mine let me crash at her house for a week. During this time I did not speak with my now ex-boyfriend. We went from three years together to quitting cold turkey. He was my drug and I did not get my fix. The withdrawals from love are painful, more painful than all the trauma’s I have experienced before. You remember that high, being drunk in love, and you just want it back so bad. Don’t they want it back? Don’t they remember how it felt? You can’t just throw that away, it was so special and it can’t be over.

When he finally reached out to me he apologized and agreed to pay to get my car fixed but on his own accord. I moved back into his house. At this time he took away from cell phone. He watched me every time I went to the bathroom to make sure I was not doing anything I should not be doing. He would go to work and disconnect the internet to make sure I could not call anyone or reach out online. Every time he left the house I was brought to his sisters to watch the children. The whole family kept eyes on me. They all just wanted to stay out of the situation. He officially controlled every aspect of my life. I had no contact with the outside world for months.

He began going out drinking with his friends all the time. He would come intoxicated smelling like women and alcohol. On a few occasions he came home with make up on his clothes. I would fight him every day, but I ended up regretting it every time. I eventually just fell into a routine and just tried to check out mentally. After all it was much easier to be numb than deal with the pain of his abuse or the pain of knowing no one loved or wanted me. I lost all my friends because I put him before them. I lost my family because I was disobedient and cared more about love.

St. Patricks Day came…. He advised he would be going out with usual group of friends. I had begged him to please stay home with me so I was not sheltered in the room alone the whole night again. He ignored me. Unplugged the internet and set a computer password as he always did then left. About an hour into laying on the bed I thought to my self that this was bullshit. I should be able to go out with my friends and see people on a day like today. I sat on the computer for about an hour trying to figure out how to unlock it and get in. FINALLY I was able to log in and sign onto my email. I did the email to text and reached out to one of my friends. She was mortified to hear about my situation and immediately came to get me. I grabbed what little items I could and escaped out the door while his mom was in the bathroom. My friend took me to her boyfriends house where she was staying.

This was it…. I was free…. I cannot say that the withdrawals of this relationship was easy.  Some days were much harder than others. It was like an alcoholic going through the 12 Steps, you slowly start to recover one day at a time. You hope that now you’ve learned your lesson. That next time you get a taste of that high you keep your head. You remain coherent and reasonable, only getting buzzed enough to feel that warmth in your blood but without losing yourself in the process.

 

 

 

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