The stairs became my friend that day, as I was dragged down a short flight by girls I had only spoken to a few times before. The only thought in my mind was to lash out and make him regret putting his hands on me. I tried to kick and scream my way out of the hands who only wanted to protect me, but I failed. My emotions took over my body and I became limp. I cradled myself in a corner and watched everything unfold before me.
Fear struck instantly when I heard the commotion of what sounded like a fight. A group of guys took him down to the floor to calm his nerves, but he took it as being proven that he was the weakest in the room. He was so worked up over who he had thought texted me and wanted to get to the bottom of it. My name was angrily shouted over and over. The girls who surrounded me knew nothing but to keep me away. They were afraid of what would happen if he and I crossed paths again. Glass was shattered and doors were slammed, yet not once were the police notified. Everyone in that house was an underage drinker… but all I cared about was my safety, as well as everyone else’s.
After this event, the entire senior class wanted nothing to do with his existence. We weren’t invited to anymore parties, (I say “we” because I had no choice but to stay by his side) and liquor officially became off limits. All I needed to do was survive the next few days and everything would hopefully go back to normal. WRONG! The group of girls, who I thought I shared a connection with, went back to taking charge of the hallways and only mingled with “their kind of people.” But no one forgot about what happened over the past weekend, not even a little bit. “The girl who got hit, the abused girl, the girl who.. oh I forgot her name, but the one with the crazy boyfriend!” … this was nonstop chatter within the 2011 senior class, which ended up traveling through the entire school. No one knew my name, but they knew my battles. This was one I just could not win.
What would have to happen for this scene to be erased from everyone’s minds? When were people going to stop looking at me like I had chains wrapped around my ankles? Everyone knew about what happened, yet no one would speak up. They were afraid to approach me, my own friends even. It was like I had a huge bubble wrapped around me and everyone was afraid that it would pop. I didn’t have the strength to stop the rumors… well, they really weren’t rumors, anyway. The gossip being spread around was actually true. I just couldn’t deal with the image everyone was giving me, so I let their words speak instead of doing so myself. In the end, he got what he wanted. People knew him for who he really was, but that didn’t matter because he had a girlfriend who put up with his shit and still respected him come nightfall.
There is no right kind of abuse. It is not okay to control someone with actions or words. It will never be acceptable to put your hands on someone to get them to listen, obey, or respect you. I knew that because this had occurred, it would only bring more tension to the relationship. It happened once, and nothing was done to fix or prevent it from happening again. But maybe, I thought, maybe I’d be more prepared next time. Maybe there was a way for me to feel it coming on and stop it before it went too far. Was that even possible?
No, and there shouldn’t have ever been a next time. I shouldn’t have felt obligated to accept this as my new life, and neither should you. Don’t sit there and wait for it to happen again. Stand up, open the door, and slam it behind you as you walk away with your head held high.
A new door has just opened… are you willing to see where it takes you?