Red, white, & black & blue all over
I was just posting a comment on Kim's blog. It stirred up such a mess of toxic emotions that I must vent the crap out of me and into the universe. It's just too much to hold in. Beware.....I'm about to blow!
In 2001 I ended a 4-year abusive relationship. During those 4 years (& 10 days) I received multiple bruises from his fists, boots and even his head. Of course, his mouth did the absolute worst damage. When you constantly hear that you're a fat cow....you kind of expect that you're going to start moo'ing anytime. C is a pathological liar. (I'm not using his initial to protect him he's not innocent! I'm using it simply because I don't want to type his name, let alone look at it.) No, he has not been professionally diagnosed....he wouldn't tell the truth about it if he had! He lied about EVERYTHING. He'd come home from work and I'd ask him if he put gas in the car, so I would know if I needed to leave for my graveyard shift a little early to get gas. He would say he filled the tank. I get in the car to go to work and the tank is parched and gasping. This is just one of a zillion examples of his love for storytelling. I detest lies. There are not enough words in the English dictionary to explain how much I hate being lied to. "Don't tell me what you think I want to hear, tell me the truth!" The number of times I uttered that sentence is in the gazillions.
We'd been living together for a couple of months when I began to realize that he was an alcoholic. I'd never been in a relationship with an alky before; this was something completely foreign to me. You'd have thought that when he pissed on my couch I might have clued in. He had fallen asleep on the couch watching a movie.....he told me it wasn't piss, it was Mountain Dew...since when does MT Dew smell like alky-piss? I let him know then that I knew it wasn't Mt Dew and that he'd be cleaning the mess up. I figured this was a one-time occurrence. Yeah, I'm runner-up for Queen of Denial. I don't know if I was in true denial at this time.....it could be that I had never encountered this type of behavior....but, after the 2nd time he wet the bed......the denial was soooooo over! We swiftly started sleeping in separate beds. I should have kicked his pissin' ass out the door and slept in separate zip codes! But....no. For some unfathomable reason, I stayed...for 4 years & 10 days.
Years before our relationship I was on staff at a homeless & abused women's shelter. That's right, I was the one that picked gravel out of a gal's face with tweezers after her hubby had ground her face into their gravel driveway with his steel-toed boots. 3 days later she went back to him. I swore that I would never be in an abusive relationship! Not me! I was a strong, independent, intelligent woman, any man try to hit me I was gonna knock him flat on his ass and stomp his balls into the concrete. There was no doubt in my mind.
Something that I didn't understand was that the abuse doesn't happen on the first date. It doesn't happen in the first month. It doesn't happen until you are emotionally & financially invested in the relationship and will do all you can to make it work. That’s when you have the fight where he shoves you up against your dresser. You’re in shock….did he just shove me? Did he do it on purpose? Maybe the fact that he lunged across the bed and body slammed me should have been a clue that he meant to cause me pain. The shock was overwhelming. It was beyond my imagination that someone would intentionally hurt someone they claimed to love.
This isn’t something I was raised with. My parents never touched each other, or my brother & I, in anger. Touching was always affectionate & loving. My brother and I got spanked and our faces slapped….but, it wasn’t done to vent anger. This was the type of child discipline that my parents were taught; it was their duty as parents, according to the Bible. “Spare the rod, spoil the child.”
Sitting on the edge of my bed I was too shocked to even cry. It completely boggled me. It’s probably the same reaction you would have if you woke up one day and everything you thought to be true about your lover was all a lie. He/She was suddenly someone that you can’t even recognize. My mind froze. The pause button was pressed. Time stopped. Forming a coherent thought was beyond my capabilities.
When the ability to form thoughts returned questions invaded my mind: “Who gave him the right to shove me? Where did he get the idea that this was an acceptable way to express anger? Who the hell does he think he is? Where does he get off pulling a stunt like that?”
My memory has blocked out some of the crap I allowed the sick loser to put me through. How I stayed alive for 4 years & 10 days is beyond me. His sickness became my sickness. I knew that he was a liar, yet I believed him when he called me a fat cow. He was huge in my mind. He was going to kill me; this was not something I doubted. My hope was that he would do it quickly and painlessly. My self-esteem was ground into dust.
C’s list of favorite attacks included:
- Running up behind me and slamming his head into the middle of my back sending me headfirst into walls, doors, counters, etc. (he would then say that it was my own fault that I fell).
- Throwing anything in his hand at my head (lighters, empty beer bottles…he’d never waste beer by throwing a full one!, whatever was handy……thrown as hard as he could. If it was something that had a lot of sentimental value for me & would break when it hit my head, bonus!), one time he threw his mountain bike at me as I was running down the stairs.
- Shoving me onto the bed, from behind of course, and forcing my head down into my pillow so that I wasn’t able to breathe.
- Ramming his fist as hard as he could into my thigh.
- Spitting in my face.
There were other modes of venting on his menu of favorites, but I think you get the idea.
In my insanity, I had decided that if he ever hit me in the face I would call the cops. 4th of July 1998, early morning hours: he wet the bed we were both sleeping in. I had the audacity to wake his drunk-ass up and attempt to make him change the sheets. While I was in the potty he got comfy in his own dry bed….I wasn’t gonna put up with that. Using the decibels God gave me I let him know that he was going to change the sheets….or else listen to my God-given decibels for the rest of the night. He started getting up, so I turned and walked down the hall to my room. Coming up behind me he said my name and as I turned towards him his fist became one with my jaw. That was it. I called the cops.
By the time the cops had arrived we were both sitting on the front steps and I was feeling sorry for poor misunderstood C. (this makes me gag just thinking about it!) He told the cops what he did and they took him away in handcuffs.
When he got out of jail on the 6th or 7th of July, I was there waiting for him. Even with a restraining order issued by the judge against him having any contact with me…. yep, I was there to take my man home. (Excuse me while I hurl!) He was very well behaved over the next 90 days….that restraining order was a good thing.
No sooner did the restraining order expire and he was up to his old tricks. But, things had changed in me. I wasn’t going to be his punching, shoving, kicking bag anymore. At least, not without getting some of my own licks in!
He made the mistake of giving me the Tae-bo tapes as a gift. When he’d get into one of his “moods” he started feeling the wrath of Kat. Kahn has nothing on me! My legs have carried my fat ass around for many years…these girls have some serious strength in them! I’d hear him charging up behind me, next thing he knew he was flat on his ass with my size 8½ boring into his chest! That only made him angrier. That’s when I’d head over to the neighbor’s apartment. That’s right, we were living in an apartment. Everyone and their dog got to enjoy our matches. One particularly bad night I was banging on J’s (he is innocent!) door while C was pounding his fists into my back and the backs of my legs. J opened the door and I threw him my cell phone and asked him to call the police. It’s not clear to me why he didn’t. C took off out the front door of the apt building while J & I went into his apt and locked his door. If I remember right, he made a comment about how I needed to call the police myself. (Ok, quick lesson: if you see a woman being abused and she asks you to call the police…DO IT!!! J is innocent, but he's also an idiot!) I never did call them. Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to why I didn’t.
2001 I ran into someone I had met 2 years before. This person was my hero. She saved me from the monster. In front of her he became the little cowardly boy that he had always been. He shrank right in front of us. He was scared of her! He knew that I was leaving him and that I had shared my horror story with her. I finally saw him as the nothing that he had been the whole time. I was free.
I left one bad relationship and started another one. Knowing about the relationship I was escaping, promises were made that I would never be afraid of her. She would never treat me the way that he did. She would never say such horrid things to me. She would never lay a hand on me in anger. I would be safe with her. I could heal with her. I could trust her to take care of me. She would cherish me like the Pryncess I wanted to be.
Promises are made to be shattered…. maybe that’s my heart. My head is pounding; I’ll continue this saga when I can hear my thoughts over the jackhammer between my ears.