Part 4 of My Personal Domestic Violence Story.
I walk in to Protective Services, sign in and sit down among 10 others waiting to apply for a restraining order.
A woman calls my name and takes me back to do intake. She takes pictures of my healing bruises and cuts, asking me to go through the story again. She tells me to have a seat in the waiting room. The Prosecutor’s Office, which is the office suite next door, will review it and speak to me.
A young woman calls my name, she tells me she is a Social Worker with the Prosecutor’s Office and she wants to talk to me about some details privately. I go into her office and sit down. She asks, “Why are you here?” I tell her it is because the officer at the main police station said I need to get a restraining order because this would happen again.
She asks if I want a restraining order. I tell her I don’t know, that I don’t think I need one, but the officer, the only one who didn’t judge me, said I need one. She explains that what I am applying for it not a temporary order. It is a court case where it will become a crime for him to set foot near me. The police would arrest him if he comes near me.
I hesitate. She tells me that I need to understand that him being in the car with me would be a crime. That I didn’t have to call the cops myself, if they stopped us for speeding or in a car accident and he was with me, they would arrest him.” “Oh,” I reply. I think about never being able to talk to him again, which upsets me; then I think about how terrible what he did to me was.
Confusion overwhelms me. The social worker knew it too. She’s asks “Do you honestly think this won’t happen again?” Yes, I say right away, not realizing what she is about to tell me.
“I loved my ex boyfriend so much. After the first time he abused me I thought the same as you, this won’t happen again. It did. Over and over. I was just like you, I loved him, I didn’t want to get him in trouble. It wasn’t till he held a gun to my head that I realized that he would never change. Even knowing what I know now, I still know I wouldn’t have gone to the cops. You have to be ready, and you have to want this. If you don’t, you are wasting time and resources. So figure this out. Do you really think this won’t happen again?”
I tell her I honestly don’t. She tells me to wait; she leaves to talk to the prosecutor. They both come in 10 minutes later; the prosecutor tells me, “I can’t file this unless you tell me 100% sure you want to do this.” I get angry, why won’t she file it, did she not believe me? I ask why. She tells me it is because I was hesitating the restraining order along with the lack of previous abuse. She continues to tell me if I reconcile with him and a judge finds out that Children Services could become involved. Once again I reply with “Oh.”
The Prosecutor tells me she will file it as long as I am 100% sure that’s what I want. The confusion starts whirling through my mind.
I want my abuser back in my life, but if he wasn’t going to be with me, I want him punished.
The only reason I want him to be in trouble is because he wouldn’t be with me. This shows the addiction type thoughts that go through your head when you are groomed by a predator.
I thought he is the only one who will ever be with me therefore I can’t punish him, even though I know what he did is wrong. Do I want to be with someone that “made a mistake” or be alone? He hurt me, he wasn’t allowed to leave me, especially when he tells me he’s the only one that will ever put up with me and my life. If he will not be with me, then he has to be punished but then maybe I can get him back and punishing him would end all chance of reconciliation.
I tell the Social Worker I am unsure what to do. She tells me she will put my file to the side and give me the weekend to decide. I thank her and leave.
The Phone Call
I email him again, saying that I want to talk to him before I go through with getting a protective order. No response. I try again. Nothing. I finally accept he is not going to reply.
The next days were spent sitting on my couch reliving the moment. Becoming angry, knowing I need to get the protective order, then fast forward a few minutes later feeling lonely thinking that I can’t do it because what if he wants to get back together, we legally can’t, and then I will be alone and miserable because I will never find someone who will want to date a single mom of 2 with a terrible ex husband.
It was around 9 pm on a Saturday, sitting there thinking the same things I had the past days and my phone rings. His name appears. I think to myself I am dreaming. Excitement comes over me. He was calling me but wait he didn’t have the decency to return any of your other contact so screw him.
The phone stops ringing. I feel ok with not answering it. I feel strong for the first time. Screw him, he beat you, he ignored you, and who knows what all he has been doing since this happen, I am going to be ok without him and he deserves to be in trouble.
The phone rings again. This time I answer it. “Why are you calling me?” Nothing on the other end. “Hello?” I realize it’s a pocket dial and hang up. I think to myself, he still has my number, maybe there is a chance, excitement comes back. The phone rings for the third time, I answer and nothing so I hang up. A fourth time, I pick up and hang up without a word, then call him directly back. He answers, “Hello, who is this?”
The abuser red flags are waving, yet I ignore them. He didn’t accidentally call me. He was waiting to see what I did. Then when it seemed like I gave up, he wanted me back.
“Who is this? You know exactly who this is, you called me 4 times and said nothing. What do you want? Why are you calling me?” Silence for a few seconds. Then he says, “I swear those were pocket dials but I miss you. I want to talk about everything. Can you come over?” Now silence on my end. Yes, I will be there in 30 minutes.
As I drive to his house, 19 miles away, he sends texts about how excited he is to see me. I was excited too. I had forgotten completely why we hadn’t seen each other. The bruises and cuts were healing but in my mind they were gone because he was back. That phone call completely erased the abuse from my memory. He calls me when I am 3 minutes away, asking where I was and tells me he is waiting for me outside. I pull into his driveway. He opens my door and grabs my face. There we have the most intense, emotion filled kiss I have ever had in my life and I thought to myself, everything will be ok.
Continuing an Abusive Relationship
What I didn’t know at the time was this was all a part of his plan. Preventing me from cooperating with the police about charges resulting from assaulting me. Fulfilling his narcissistic supply. Also, to have physical and emotional punching bag for as long as possible without the fear of people finding out…
…and I was the one he picked. I thought how lucky I was to have this emotional connection with someone. I never had that before, even with my ex-husband. My boyfriend and I were soulmates. He was the love of my life and I would not let one mistake ruin my plans for the future.
Little did I know, that one kiss would lead to me becoming (temporarily) a tortured soul. I spend the next 18 months being groomed to be his victim, going through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. I hid and made excuses for the abuse, physical and emotional, from everyone, including myself.
Night after night of name calling and emotionally being torn apart. Being slammed into things, kicked, pushed, and pinched. Possessions being destroyed. Controlling when I slept. Financially controlling me. Until now, no one knew.
I spiraled into a deep depression. When I thought it couldn’t get any worse, he decided he wanted to make sure he didn’t leave this relationship allowing me to have the upper hand. He wanted me to be seen as the Predator so I wouldn’t be able to tell the world what he had done to me.
To be continued….