This story has been hard for me to tell people. I am ashamed of it for so many reasons. I got in trouble with the police. My children were exposed to behavior they shouldn’t have never seen. I spiraled out of control, my life being controlled by an abuser, and I allowed my fear of being alone to contribute to me tolerating the abuse. It is the story about the night my abuser called the cops on me, when an abuser plays victim and when an abuse victim is made out to be an abuser.
I am fast forwarding 15 months since my abusive boyfriend first physically abused me. Somehow, he convinced me and I then in turn convinced myself, if we lived together, all of our problems would be solved. Inset a roar of laughter. I hate to state the obvious, but it did not get better.
It’s December 2018.
My boyfriend insists he does not have a drinking problem despite downing at minimum a bottle of wine a night, usually followed up by a 6 pack of beer. Convincing me my drinking was the cause of our increasingly verbally abusive and sometimes violent fights, I decide to do whatever I could to save my relationship and stop drinking.
We start to argue over my ex-husband, a reoccurring theme to our arguments. It starts to escalate, just like every other argument, when I refuse to say or agree to whatever my boyfriend wants me to. Usually it was saying something vulgar about my ex or agreeing to “destroying his (my ex-husband’s) life.” Then it continued just like all the fights.
He pushes me around. I tell him if he doesn’t stop, I will have to call the police. He says that will not happen and he would make sure of it. I think it is because he will break (another) phone so I continue to fight for my phone.
He tells me he will not break my phone, and as he gives it back, he pushes me right out the bedroom door. Then proceeds to lock me out. Out of my own bedroom, in the house I bought before I met him. I grab the paperclip we have on a photo ledge next to the door—my children tended to hit the push lock when closing the door—to unlock it. He stands behind the door holding it so I can’t get in. I tell him to let me in, we can calm down and go to bed, he refuses. The next thing I know he grabs the doorknob, pulls it back, and hits his face on it. I assume it is an accident because he is so drunk. He yells that I hit him with the door and he is calling the police.
I start screaming that I did not hit him, and he knows it. Too late. “911, What is your emergency?” He tells the operator that his girlfriend hit him with a door. At the same time, I am screaming at him in the background to stop, that he is drunk and being ridiculous and he knows I did not hit him. I am sobbing, we make eye contact, then he says into the phone, “Never mind, it was an accident, we don’t need an officer.”
I continue screaming in a panic that I had not hit him with the door. Partly out of fear I will get in trouble, but mostly because I am afraid when the police come, I will tell them he pushed me around and he will be in trouble.
He opens the bedroom door and slams his own face against the door. Hard. I shriek,
“What the fuck is wrong with you? Why would you do that?”
Not realizing why he had done it at the time. Hello, he had just told the police he had his face hit, he had to have some sort of injury to show them; however, because of the coloring of his skin the mark fades before the police arrive.
The hit sobers him up. I believe it dawns on him, I might turn this around on him and he could end up in trouble. He calls back and insists we do not need an officer.
It is too late. Once the police are contacted about a possible assault they have to come. I understand but I am furious that he called the police to our house, since they were there all the time due to my ex-husband’s “welfare checks” and other crazy reasons for calling.
My children are asleep upstairs. Since my boyfriend is drunk and I am sober we decide it is best for me to go outside to meet the police to explain that my boyfriend is drunk and hit himself with the door. I meet the cop at the end of the driveway by myself. As I start to speak, we hear my boyfriend coming outside. The officer tells him to stay by the front door, which my boyfriend then proceeds to lean against to keep himself upright.
I explain to the officer that I am sober and my boyfriend is drunk and an idiot. The cop says he can see that he is very intoxicated but he needs to check him out whenever the other officers arrive.
A minute later, 3 more cop cars arrive. The officers separate us to get each other’s story. I am feeling panic starting up internally. If I admit to the real story, he will go to jail for pushing me around. I tell the officer that he and I were arguing, and I stated if he didn’t calm down I would call the cops, so he did it before I could.
Thinking the police would just leave after telling them this, I start to calm down. The officer leaves me in my bedroom for a few minutes. He returns saying to me,
“You know we have been out here a lot?”
I answer “Yes, but it wasn’t because of my boyfriend or me calling, it was my ex-husband. He is a criminal defense attorney and has it out for me. He calls the cops all the time, mostly for welfare checks on the kids.” The officer nods his head.
“You rent this place, right?” he then asks.
“No,” I tell him, “I own it.”
The officer responds, “You mean your boyfriend owns it.”
“No, I bought this house before I even knew him, he moved in 7 months ago.” The officer gives me a look as if he didn’t believe me, but I dismiss it, and he walks away.
Later on I find out my boyfriend had told the officers I was constantly trying to kick him out and the officers let him know I could not do that, I would have to legally evict him according to our state’s laws.
Another officer asks me to come out of my bedroom, into the living room. I am thinking they will lecture us about calling the police and leave.
An officer informs me that I am being written a ticket for a simple assault. “What? I am? You mean he is for pushing me around?”
“No, ma’am you are for hitting him with the door,” the officer says. “WHAT?” I scream, “I didn’t hit him with the door.”
The officer proceeds to tell me that my boyfriend had a big red mark on his face. It hits me, no pun intended. When I went outside to wait for the police, he stayed inside. Not because he was drunk but to slam his face against the door, to make sure there was a mark when the cops arrived.
I lose it. I mean I fucking lose it.
Screaming that I didn’t do anything and that he was pushing me around, that I had threatened to call the cops so he did it to himself. He asks the officers not to write the ticket, that it was an accident. The cops tell us it is too late, the ticket is written.
I continue to lose it, the cop tells me it is “just” a Class C Misdemeanor, just like a speeding ticket. I am flipping out, saying it didn’t matter that it was a Class C it was an Assault ticket and it was going to ruin my life—a bit dramatic, yes, but it really did cause a lot of problems for me emotionally.
The cop proceeds to tell us that he is sure when I go for my court date that my boyfriend can explain everything to the judge and he would dismiss it but unfortunately because of my boyfriend calling 911 and the police coming out, along with my boyfriend having a mark on his face, he had to write the ticket.
I flip the fuck out.
I start screaming at the cops, fuck you, fuck this, fuck everything. Since my Ex-husband calls them on me for all sorts of things, I admit I have a lot of animosity towards them for not seeing that my ex-husband uses his knowledge of the law to make my life difficult.
I am breaking down. I am under so much stress from not only my ex-husband’s emotional abuse and my boyfriend’s physical abuse but also the stress from the two of them being at war with each other. Yet, somehow, I am the one who is in trouble.
Finally I calm down. The police leave, taking my boyfriend with them to allow us to cool down.
The next morning, he calls. I ignore it. I am struggling internally with how to proceed. Do I end it, or do I forgive him, once again? He calls again, I want to ignore it except it is my daughter’s birthday. He sends a text asking if he can come home to celebrate it with her. I say ok and we celebrate as if nothing is wrong.
That night I tell him I am angry. A normal person would have kicked their boyfriend out right then and there,yet, I didn’t. I don’t know that to do. If I kick him out, he will make sure the charges stick out of spite. The other part of me is convinced this will go away. We learned our lesson, and everything would be fine. He convinces me he will fix all of this, not to worry, that he loves me, and all will be ok.
I knew he would fix it for me, for us. He is great with people and would get me out of this. He promises me, he will call the Officer that wrote the ticket on Monday to fix it all.
I smile at him, confident it all will be ok. Not having a clue that it would not be going away. This night in December when my abuser decided to play victim, would turn into 14 months of Hell due to sloppy police work, a prosecutor with a vengeance, and my two narcissistic exes.