“I found peace in your violence…I’m at one, and I’ve been silent for too long”
I’m not really sure where to start for this post. This will be the post that I’ve referenced a few times about a traumatic relationship & the post-traumatic stress that I battled for years. This is a lengthier post and is extremely difficult to write.
I still struggle with the flashbacks, memories, & dreams but I’m no longer afraid of this person. However, I will never forgive him. This will always be a part of who I am and will always be an everlasting distant memory.
I was vulnerable, naive, craving love and attention. I had just left a 3 year relationship to a man who [I later found out] was going to ask me to marry him. I wasn’t healthy nor in the healthiest state of mind; I was anorexic, binge-drinking, and doing drugs. Shortly after leaving the relationship, my friend introduced me to online dating. This is where I met him.
Like most abusive relationships, things start wonderfully or the red flags are too minor for you to notice over your excitement of a new relationship. It didn’t take long for things to start popping up.
First, it was keeping me skinny. He didn’t want me to gain weight and would be vocal about it if he felt like I was “getting fat”. This wasn’t too striking at the time since I already wasn’t eating and had the same opinions about my own self-image.
Next, it was taking opiates “for fun”. After he realized how euphoric and calm I felt on them, he wanted me on them frequently, basically whenever I was around him. I specifically remember when he told me, “Take these because you’re not a bitch on them.” Mind you, his definition of me “being a bitch” was when I resisted to anything verbally or physically. Addiction to opiates occurred next. Soon, he didn’t have to tell me to take them; I wanted them.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree because what happened after involved his father, who is just as psychotic. I defied his orders. I only remember that they were ridiculous orders and there were no reasons for his orders. He didn’t enjoy it when I challenged him. What did he do? He threatened to have me arrested. Both of them were also extorting his father’s “girlfriend”. I witnessed plenty of incidents of violence between them because she didn’t do exactly as he asked. Like I said, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Things soon started to get physical: pushing, grabbing, hitting, throwing things at me. I vividly remember one of the times where he pushed me so forcefully, I face-planted on the asphalt. Another incident occurred when he broke the whole dashboard of my car by punching and kicking it. Other times where it got physical involved forcing me to perform different sexual acts that I very clearly didn’t want to do. He would also film it, which is something I have NEVER agreed to and probably never will agree to in the future.
During the whole relationship, he also kept me away from my friends as much as possible. This is usually a very common red-flag in abusive relationships.
He must’ve been losing his grip in the relationship or losing his control of me. He was dying of cancer. Except, he wasn’t. He never was dying of cancer, or dying of anything for that matter. Fake stories, fake hospital visits, fake seizures, fake everything. I was never given any proof except his version of a story of an “unknown” cancer. He used the fake seizures to his advantage. Seizures can actually cause amnesia. Therefore, he wouldn’t “know” what he did when I were upset. All of this only happened during the times where I was fighting back verbally and he was losing his control. During the last couple of months of the relationship, this is how he kept his control of me. I mean, who is going to argue against someone who says they are dying of cancer?
Everything happened within 9 months and eventually led to the day where the police got a call from my neighbor, then eventually from me. I don’t remember why, but things were getting extremely out of hand. I remember being held against the fridge with his hands around my throat. I used a move that I saw from the movie Enough with Jennifer Lopez and was able to free myself. At this point, he grabbed two knives, one for each hand. I ran for my room, which had a doorknob that didn’t lock. I put all of my weight against my door. However, my phone was sitting on my bed, out of reach. I heard him throughout the house, taunting me. It was something straight out of a horror film. He looked into every room while saying, “Come out wherever you are. I’m going to find you.” Since I heard that he was far enough away, I left from against the door to grab my phone. As I was coming back to put all of my weight back against the door, he was attempting to open it. He was pushing it, hitting the knives against it, running into it, trying to do anything to get the door open. Meanwhile, I’m dialing 911. We struggled for what seemed like a long time. He was able to get the door open enough to stick his hands and the knives through. As I’m on the phone with the 911 operator, I’m trying to tell her my address in between my screams for help. Once he heard me giving my address to the police, he dropped the knives and ran from the house.
Since he left, or I “scared him off”, I told the operator that I was okay and that I didn’t want them to come to the house. Stupidly, I didn’t want to get him in any kind of trouble. He was an actor. This would tarnish his “reputation”. I regret the way that I handled the situation and wish I did follow through with the cops.
I later found out that my neighbor had called 911 once he heard me screaming. Although nothing happened with the police afterwards, I am glad that my neighbor was home. Not only is there my call on record, but my neighbor’s too.
Things ended shortly thereafter. I am thankful that I was able to get out as some women aren’t as fortunate as I am.
A couple of months later, I gained the strength to go into the police station to see if I had any options. After making a report, the officer came back. He held up a mugshot and said, “Is this him?” My heart just about dropped. It was him. And he had a record (not that I’m surprised)? The officer gave me the option of a restraining order, but did tell me that it could provoke him more rather than just move on with my life. I am extremely confident that a restraining order would’ve provoked him further and I now knew what he was capable of.
Believe it or not, this is just a brief overview of the things he did or put me through. There is so much more that is unsaid.
It’s been 6 years, now. I’m tired of feeling afraid and giving him the satisfaction of installing fear in me. I’m not going to be afraid of him or what he could do anymore. I know how strong-willed I am and the type of fight that I can [& will] put up if need be.
This experience shaped the way I trusted in a significant other for a very long time. I am so thankful for Geo (my recent ex of 4 years) and the ways in which he helped me cope and move on from this trauma. Geo showed me the possibility of feeling completely safe from violence within a relationship. I trusted (and still do) Geo with my life. It’s upsetting to me that we grew apart and ended things. Either way, I know what it’s like to trust again.
Thank you for reading this. I know it was one of my more lengthier posts, but I tried to fit in as many details as possible for the things that I talked about.
“I’d rather be a lover than a fighter”