Treat your woman like you would your mother. That’s what they say, isn’t it? The relationship I had with him was no different from the one he had with his mother. She stood in the next room, most of the time, when we fought and threatened to leave one another behind. Here and there she would add a comment directed toward him, and tried to explain that no one deserved to be treated the way he treated me. But that only added fuel to his fire. It was almost like his mom and I were in the same boat, and each time he yelled the waves were close to knocking us off. I wanted to vent to her and let her know that I was there in return… but we were both terrified of the unknown. He had countless tricks up his sleeves and I didn’t want to be the first to experience one.
I thought I had reached my breaking point the first time he put his hands on me. I told myself over and over again that my buttons would no longer be pushed. One and done, I’m walking away. But I was in for a surprise. He was extremely apologetic, as they usually are. We talked about it day after day to try and get past the misery everyone was bringing upon us. “I didn’t realize what I was doing. I was drunk. It won’t happen again.” Apparently, that was all I needed to feel like my life was in good hands. Those around me were far from trusting his word and tried to convince me otherwise. But I was so blindly in love that I wouldn’t let anything come between us.
Until the next time.
I grabbed my things and reached for the knob that would free me from his foolish behavior. But before I was able to grasp it, he threw me against the wall and stopped me from breathing. This had all stemmed from another argument we had, which forced me to express my desire to leave him. He made it clear that breaking up would be the last thing I wanted to do. Meanwhile, I could hear his parents talking in the next room over. They had no idea of what went on behind closed doors. All I could do was pray one of them would knock and end my suffering. A lifetime had passed, (what seemed like) and again I was reminded why he had all control within his own two hands.
After he released me from his possession, all I could do was cry. I couldn’t bear the thought of allowing this to happen for as long as we stayed together. Deep down, I knew, it was never going to end. I wanted to stand up for myself and shout “NO MORE!” I wanted him to know that abuse, domestic and emotional, was not okay and I would no longer put up with it. Instead, I broke into thousands of unreplaceable pieces and wrapped the chains around my own ankles. It was made clear that this was where I was meant to be. This was the life I chose and there was no turning back. When was my way out going to be presented to me? Would there ever be a right time? I had so many unanswered questions. But instead, I went silent and continued to watch our relationship fall apart.
When we got together with our friends I saw a side of him that I hadn’t seen since we first met. Gentle, kind, appreciative… qualities that all men should have no issue conveying. But the second my car door slammed it was like he took his mask off to feel comfortable in his own skin again. There was always something I said that rubbed him the wrong way. If I made it known that we weren’t always a picture-perfect couple, my life would be hell for the next few days. I went from feeling like the luckiest girl in the world to not wanting anything to do with life in general. I was so burnt out and exhausted from the threats, the accusations, the lies. My head was constantly spinning and it became harder to keep up with the way he wanted to run things. When I was finally allowed to go home and recover from the day’s events, it was like I needed to turn my brain off until the morning. Just one switch, that’s all I cared for. But it was never as easy as I made it sound.
I dozed off into a land of fluffy clouds and bright green grass, soft enough to lie on and soak in the sun. One second went by, two seconds. My dreams were often interrupted by the vibrations of my phone under my pillow.
“Who are you so distracted by that you can’t answer me?”
I just want to sleep… Please, let me sleep.