I never thought I could be scared of a man. Not once did I ever think a guy could become aggressive with me. I thought that men who hurt women hid in the shadows and lurked outside of bars at night, and that women who got hurt by men were foolish or naïve. But in reality, I was the naïve one. If you had told me a year ago that the man I knew and loved would try to hurt me, I would’ve thought you were crazy.

I will always remember that night and the monster you became. You had too much to drink and smoked a random stranger’s joint. We got back to your place. You started talking like a madman, drawing experiments on a scrap of paper. Then you threw yourself face down onto your bed, pounding the pillows with your fists, saying over and over that you were a bad person and had done bad things. I tried to console you and tell you that you were not bad. But that’s not what I was thinking inside. Inside I remembered what you had told me a few months ago, that you had been charged before by an ex-girlfriend. I had never doubted your innocence until that night, as if your words were a confession and a warning of what was to come. Because, before I knew it, you started yelling. Threatening me. Your eyes turned dark, pitch black. You tried to hit me with your belt. You put your hands on me. You were screaming and so was I, telling you to get off of me. Your roommate came and tried to help. He said to get you something to eat, play you some music, but it didn’t matter. It was no use. I was trying to get out of the house, you were pushing me and I almost fell down your steps. The next thing I remember is you charging at me, screaming my name. Then your body flew across the yard and hit the ground; your roommate had tackled you in attempt to protect me. I will always remember that sound your body made when you collided with the earth. Though I was not the one who was tackled, I felt the impact a thousand fold. I fell to my knees and looked at the monster before me. The last thing you said to me, looking so fiercely into my eyes, was “Coco, you know me.” I said the only thing that still seemed true in that moment: “I don’t know you like this.” And then I ran.

I received the texts all night. First, they were threats. Then, you repentantly asked to please talk this out, as if words could fix what you did. Then the threats again. Then the message that still makes my heart stop, “We are over.” You called me several hours later, after the sun had risen and it was morning, though I didn’t sleep for minute. I tried to confront you about what you did last night. You told me so assuredly that no one would ever believe me. You were coming over to my place. I told you to stay away, not knowing what you would do. But you came over anyway.

I don’t remember the conversation very well. Only that it was long, my head was hurting, and that you somehow managed to manipulate and blame the whole thing on me: I overreacted, I handled the situation poorly, I was too sensitive. And I believed what you said. I guess that isn’t quite true, but somehow I was too scared of losing you than I was of being with you. So I put my head down like a guilty child and accepted what you said.

The next few days were more of the same: your manipulation, your continued twisting of the truth to excuse yourself of any wrongdoing, the outbursts, the aggressive texts asking what the hell is wrong with me over and over, coming at me so fast that your fingers must have been moving a mile a minute. Of all the things that made me cringe, it was those texts more than anything. Because your words were like a knife piercing right through me. The anxiety I felt when my phone went off was unparalleled to anything, even compared to that night itself. I never knew what you would say or what would happen. And then, five days after that night, it finally came, the text saying that we were over once and for all. It was finished.

But like so many other things, that text was a lie. A few days later you messaged me saying you missed your stargirl (the nickname you gave me). I told you that I missed my sumtangui (the name you gave yourself). You played the same games and the same manipulation tactics. And then we were back together. You took no responsibility for what you did, and I just let it slide. And I prayed to God that it would never happen again.

P.S. – I didn’t intentionally address this to my abuser. I just started writing that way and went with it. Also, Coco is my pseudonym for this blog

Here is a poem I wrote about this horrible night

“The First Time”

The first time
Your eyes went black
On that dreadful night
Nearly a year past.

Everything was in slow motion
But my heart stood still
Among the commotion.
I remember your belt
Coming at me.
How I nearly fell
as you continued to scream.
The fear and disbelief
shaking me to my core.
Wondering who was this man?
This man I fell for?

I thought it must be a mistake
Like I was in a movie
Or playing a game.
Because this wasn’t you.
The monster with black eyes
Was not the man I knew.

I remember lying on the ground
As your roommate tackled you down
You looking at me, screaming
“Coco, you know me.”
And the funny thing was
I thought I did.
But I was dead wrong
“I don’t know you like this”
That was my response.

I remember calling 911
But hanging up
Just wanting it all to be done.
But the weirdest thing
Was on that night,
I didn’t cry
And I wasn’t sad.
I’m ashamed to say
I really almost laughed.
Because I couldn’t believe it.
Though now I wonder,
How did I never see it?
The signs were there
Long before that night
But I tried not to care
And so I paid a price.

And I’m still paying it
Even now
After all this time,
I still wonder how
You did those things to me.
Was it ever love?
Or just a dream?

That look in your eyes
Will haunt me forever
I will never forget it.
No, not ever.
And so
Though nearly a year has passed
I will always remember
The first time
Your eyes went black.

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4 thoughts on “Fear

  1. I have been blogging since 2009. But one thing that I never anticipated, and constantly am amazed by, are the fabulous connections that are made in this funny virtual world we inhabit from time to time.

    Thus it was when I read your post above. Amazed by your bravery and honesty in you wanting to share your innermost feelings and emotions, touched by the power of your writing and, above all, grateful that what brought me to this place was your recent decision to subscribe to Learning from Dogs.

    Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I am glad that I found your blog too. I love dogs and they definitely can teach us a lot about love and compassion. Wish you all the best

      Liked by 1 person

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