I can’t recall the exact date that I had to call my ex boyfriend’s mother to come get him out of my bed, but I know it was about a year ago. I try not to think about it but it is part of my story so I have to be open about being abused, if I want to help others. So here it goes…
I kicked out my ex-boyfriend a few days before.
I wake up in the morning to find him asleep on the couch. My front door has a flimsy chain lock on it, so he easily broke off to get in the house. I sleep with a box fan on and along with some Xanax, I would sleep through any noise he made. I let him sleep all afternoon. Why? I guess I was hoping he would change his mind and get help and everything would be ok. He wakes up and leaves without saying a word to me. Two hours later he stumbles back in the houe, hammered telling me he had gone to the restaurant down the street to drink. A huge fight breaks out and he leaves in an Uber.
The Last Night
I think to myself, at least I don’t have to worry about him tonight. A few hours later, I wake up from being kicked in the head. He is standing on the bed above me. I am half way asleep and confused. He kicks me again. I jump out of the bed and let him know I can call the cops or his mother to get him. His choice. He yells, grabs two blades of my ceiling fan and rips them off.
It is silly to think ceiling fan blades were the thing that made me done with him.
Breaking my toe, I forgave him. The hundreds of bruises, I forgave him. Breaking 2 iPhones, my Macbook, a tv, a Google, my makeup, and those are just the things I can recall, I forgave him. But that ceiling fan. That was it.
I go to the kitchen and grab a knife for protection. I call his mother; she tells me do I really think he will not calm down; I tell her no, that she needed to come, or it was the police. 25 minutes later she arrives. We go to the bedroom where he is laying in bed. He tells her to fuck off, that he isn’t leaving. He usually respects his mother, that is why I call her, but he is not this time. An hour and a half later, she gets him out of the house. I went to the living room about 5 minutes into their arguing so I am not sure what all was said or why it took so long, but he was gone.
Over the past year, so many emotions have gone through me.
Happiness that I am no longer a victim of abuse. Strength for knowing that is not acceptable and not allowing it in my life. Sadness for allowing myself to be in a relationship like that. Guilt that I exposed my children to screaming fights (they never witnessed anything physical.) Grief that all of this had happened.
I felt other ways too, very irrational feelings.
Missing him. He was great with my children, he really did make my life easier when it came to parenting. To think that outweighed the abuse while in the relationship, is why it is irrational. There are still days I miss sober him. The whole reason I stayed so long was because when it was good, it was really good.
I miss not having to worry about my financial situation. The stress of not having anyone to help me with bills has caused problems.
The worst is when I have the irrational feeling of guilt that I didn’t try hard enough to help/fix him.
Not long ago, I even irrationally thought “if I had just let him smoke pot out in the garage, maybe he would have stopped drinking and it would have worked.” Shaking my head, I remind myself that it is not anyone’s place to fix someone else, only they can fix themselves. Broken people can’t be fixed by others.
But you know what?
I would rather be alone, broke, and struggle with parenting, then to spend one more night in my life being abused.
Two days ago, I was looking for a picture from about 18 months ago on my phone, when I ran across this picture. I was standing there with my arm on my waist, trying on a dress to wear to a wedding. Posing as if nothing was wrong.
Except that my arm was covered in bruises.
It hit me. I was so used to the bruises on my arms, I didn’t even try to cover them. If I covered them, I would have to admit to myself that I am being abused by my boyfriend. Instead, I act like they are normal and no one will question it.
The craziest part of it all is I remember sending that picture to 4 people, and none of them made one comment about the bruises on my arm. Only two people ever asked me about having bruises all the time. Once by my workout instructor and once by an older woman who sat next to me in class. They didn’t ask the first time there were bruises, they both noticed a pattern and asked. I denied it, of course, saying that I bruise easily and it is from the kids climbing on me or just me bring drunk and clumsy. Hah! I would rather imply that I have a drinking problem than admit my boyfriend roughs me up a couple of times a week physically…not to mention emotionally berates me 3-5 nights too!
So here I am one year later.
One whole year since I was being abused. When I share with people my story, they always say they are sorry. I tell them it is what it is; it has made me a stronger person, and they shouldn’t be sorry about that. I feel sorry for the next woman he does it to. I hope that she is strong enough to call the police the first time it happens, because it will happen again. Just like the cop told me it would.
I have gone through hell the past 12 months.
From having him move out, a failing business, being sent to a psych ward, a custody battle against my ex husband, and all the other shitty little things I could list. But all I can think is,
“at least I am not being abused physically or emotionally anymore,” and for that I am thankful for.
If you or someone you know is being abused, please contact National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or via chat at https://www.thehotline.org/