(Disclaimer: This will be the fifth of a miniature series of blogs that will reference a less-than-loving past relationship. This is the story of my abusive relationship and how I wound up in and out of it over the course of three years. Please see Content Warning before reading if you are concerned about the nature of the story, as I will not be leaving out any details. All names, places, and identities will be altered for no other reason than to avoid conflict. Changed names, locations, and other things deemed necessary will be marked with *.)
Yesterday, I started becoming paranoid. I don’t know if it is because I’m writing and reliving everything that I went through, or if it’s because I feel like he will try to come after me if he reads this series. In any case, I almost decided to take the blogs down last night. I knew I would be disappointing a lot of loyal readers, and I just couldn’t do that. Between my devoted readers and the need for me to finally tell my story, I decided to keep them up. I think I have a right for my voice to be heard, and I am amazed by how many people have come to me, confiding in me about their own abusive stories. Some of them are ashamed, some are happy to know that there is someone who can relate, some are just happy to read about someone rising from the ashes. In any case, I would be doing myself no favors by remaining silent, as I have for the past eight years. I was never allowed to talk about my relationship while I was in it, or there would be consequences. So here I am, years later, sharing my story. I’m not trying to get even, or make anyone look bad. If that were the case, I would not have hid everyone’s identity. I mean, I was abused and treated worse than an untrained dog for three years, but I guess the least I have to do is keep him protected by using a fake name. God forbid he be exposed or ever reap any consequences for his actions. It makes me sick.
But back to the story. He was becoming increasingly temperamental as time went on. I wasn’t quite as aware of it at the time, because I was there, living amongst the anger and the fits. I just thought it was normal behavior for him. I knew when he was getting mad and I normally knew what to expect from it, but that never made it any easier. Plus, I can’t sit here and feel sorry for myself too much. It’s not like anyone forced me to crawl back to him, I did it willingly.
Every day after work, I would drive directly to his house and we would hang out. We had our good days, don’t get me wrong. It was normal for me to go over there after work. One day we had been fighting, nothing serious. Just bickering back and forth. I hadn’t heard from him for most of the day, so I tried to call him before I got off work to tell him I wanted to talk. Plus, I had left something at his house and I needed to get it for school the next day. He didn’t answer his phone but I had to grab my belongings no matter what. I didn’t think he was actually still mad at me, I figured he was asleep or not at his house. When I pulled up, not only was he there, others were there too. Some people I knew from school had become friends with Jesse and were hanging out around his house. I asked them where Jesse was and they said he was inside, so I went in.
He was asleep, it was 6 p.m. so I thought that was strange. Yeah, he slept a lot, but 1 p.m. to 3 a.m. were his usual hours of operation. In any case, I started grabbing my things. I noticed something by his bed, something that hinted towards why he may be passed out at 6 p.m. It was a prescription bottle of some kind, but his name was not on the label. My heart sank, but then I got mad. I shook him to make sure he was, in fact, sleeping, and not dead. Whatever was in the bottle, there wasn’t much left. He was breathing but he didn’t budge. Just kind of groaned and rolled over. So I ran outside to probe the guys for answers. I asked what was in the bottle, they all claimed that he was way off when they showed up a while ago. I was so confused as to why they were even there still, but I would later realize that they didn’t hang around Jesse for his friendship. They were all m more like “business partners”. I’ll leave it at that.
I went back inside, this time really trying to wake Jesse up. He woke up, saw me, said hi and still kind of dosed off. I pleaded for him to wake up. I asked him what was in the bottle. I was a combination of scared and upset. I was scared because I had no idea how much he had consumed, and I was upset because he had consumed it in the first place.
He woke up, but not gracefully. He woke up raging. Screaming. He flew out of bed and asked me what the hell I was doing at this house. I told him I had to grab my things and I wanted to talk to him. He gathered my things, which I had dropped when I saw the bottle next to his bed, threw them at me and started dragging me to the door. I was pretty use to being dragged out of his house by this time. I fought him, struggled and screamed for him to let me go. I asked what he took and he said nothing, that the prescription wasn’t his and that someone else had left it there. But his behavior gave him away. He was definitely not his normal, angry self. He threw me outside, but continued to follow me to my car. I had dropped something during the delightful trip out the door and I stopped to get it, but he continued pushing and shoving me. I finally got away from him long enough to put my things in my car. Everyone was still outside, now starring at the shit show taking place as Jesse escorted me to my car.
“Get the f*ck out of here, leave,” he opened my door and tried to shove me inside my own car. I pushed him off of me and climbed around him. At this point, I was pleading to the guys that were there, asking them what the hell he took. They were frozen, still. I was mad at them for letting him take whatever it was he took. At this point, Jesse had somehow acquired a brick, and was about to throw it. It’s still a mystery to me as to where he intended to throw the brick, at me or the car. In any case, I told him if he did throw it that I would call the cops and that he needed to calm down. I was leaning up against my car, trying to catch my breath. He stormed over to me, grabbed me by the shoulders and slammed me against my door. I felt a sharp pain shoot through my left shoulder. I screamed out in pain and the statues hanging around the house finally came to life. When he wouldn’t let me go, I fought back with my good arm, and he grabbed me by the hair and neck, flinging me on the ground, and then choking me with his forearm.
I was trying to fight back any way I could, but my shoulder was in so much pain, I was limited on resources. The guys were trying to get him to calm down, and finally, I swung one last time to get him off of me when I felt a blow to the side of my head. Immediately, the guys let out a collective “Ohhhhhhhhh!”. One of them got mad and screamed at Jesse, “How are you gonna hit a girl like that, bro?”
I was right outside of my car. I pulled the handle, climbed in, started the car and took off as fast as I could.
None of the other guys stepped in. Not one, besides the guy that had the nerve to criticize Jesse for putting his hands on me in the first place. Later on I would find out that “it wasn’t their place to step between a man and his female”. Classic.
As I drove away, I still felt the sting in my shoulder. I figured it was bruised pretty good. I couldn’t go home in the condition I was in, so I went to Amy’s. I was not in good shape. I was freaking out and in shock. I told her about what happened and she suggested that I go to the hospital because my shoulder was sinking in on one side. I refused. She insisted. I refused again, and she made it clear that she was going to take me herself or have my parents do it. I preferred the former, and this was most definitely an ultimatum that she was not bluffing on. When we got to the hospital, they had me take an Xray, which revealed a broken rotator cuff. I don’t know if any of you have ever broken a rotator cuff or even torn one, but it is the most uncomfortable pain and there is not a whole lot that can be done about it. My collar bone was severely bruised, just as I figured. When I had received the word from the doctors about my rotator cuff, they put me in a sling and I opted to get out of there as soon as I could. I had no idea what the hell I was going to tell my parents, but it had better be good.
Before I could even get up to leave, a police woman came walking in. I knew exactly where this was going. Amy just kind of looked at me like “go on, tell her what happened”. The cop sat down next me.
“Wanna tell me what happened here?” she asked.
Of course I didn’t want to tell her. I knew she would contact my parents before I even had a chance to make up a lie. But I didn’t have a choice at this point. I knew why the cop was there, and if I didn’t say something, I knew for a fact that Amy would. So I told her. She didn’t even look at me when she finally said, “you’re too young for this, honey. You need to get the hell away from this guy. Will you promise me that? Will you promise me that you won’t go back?” Now she was looking directly at me. “You are very lucky…this time, anyway. You have no idea how bad it can get. I hope you never have to find out.”
“What’s going to happen to him?” I asked, knowing how pathetic I sounded.
She kind of bit her cheek and looked down, shaking her head, then back up again at me. “Honestly? Probably nothing. We don’t have proof that he did this, but I will be filing a report. Do you understand what I am saying? You need to leave him, if it’s this bad now, he could kill you.”
What she was saying to me wasn’t registering. I was sitting there, still. Speechless. I had nothing to say, mostly because I didn’t know how to feel. She thanked us for our time, and left us.
Amy was still by my side when my phone when off. It was Jesse.
“I’ve been praying something bad would happen to you hahahahaha” I read.
“I didn’t even do anything to you. Just leave me alone.” I replied.
“You deserved this, I’m glad you got hurt.” I couldn’t believe how cold he was being. So I gave up on even saying anything back. It was a lost cost. Some kind of substance was making it course through his bloodstream and whatever it was, I had no power over it. Drugs controlled him, not me. I had to accept that this time around.
We didn’t speak again for a long time. Two months at least. During that time, I fell back into a deep depression. I lost at least 15 pounds from not being able to eat. I was too nervous, all the time. I saw a therapist about once or twice a week, I was diagnosed with PTSD and anorexia nervosa, I was so depressed and sick that I had to quit my job, and to top it all off, I hated myself. All I could think about was Jesse. I missed him, still. After everything he put me through, I was ashamed to miss him. My poor mom was falling apart just trying to put me back together. She was thankful we were over, but she thought I would die from malnutrition before I ever saw the light at the end of the tunnel; that’s when she checked me into a Mental Wellness Facility as an outpatient. I guess the only thing worse than being alone when you’re depressed is being surrounded by a bunch of other depressed, high-wired people. It didn’t help that his family thought I was the one to blame for all of this.
Once while we were broken up, his mother had the nerve to tell me that I was faking the whole injury, and that she had heard that I was seen without my sling on at school one day. Where they got this information is still beyond me. I didn’t even live in the same town. She went on to inform me that the reason he gets so out of control is because I make him that way, that I play games with him. She was as verbally abusive as Jesse was physically and mentally abusive.
I was about ready to give up. I didn’t have the nerve to reach back out to my guy friends for fear that they wouldn’t want to deal with me again, but mostly for fear that Jesse would find out and hate me for it.
So I just did what I could to get by. I am thankful for the handful of friends who were there for me during that time. They let me talk, they understood, they never judged me, and I could never repay them for just listening to me. I am sure they got so tired of listening to me tell old stories and complain about missing him, but if so, they never showed it.
This all was happening right around the time I was graduating high school. I sent him an invitation, but of course he wouldn’t be caught dead supporting me or being happy for me, for anything, ever. We still had not spoken and I was beginning to think we never would again. But I wasn’t about to let his absence screw up this monumental day for me. I even hung out with my guy friends after graduation was over. We went back roading and stayed up until at least 6 a.m. telling crazy stories, talking about the future, and having a blast. I woke up the next day feeling somewhat refreshed. I even ate a little bit. I was getting better, slowly but surely.
A few weeks later, when I was dangerously close to recovery, one of my “friends” sent me a text, informing me about Jesse’s new girlfriend.
Back to square one we go.
To be continued…