Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Knowing myself today I can't even imagine the person I was at 21. Why I would ever put up with the crap this person put me through is shocking to me now. I dated him for four years. He was older. Married but going through a seperation/divorce when we met.
I worked at a paint store in the wallpaper department. He was a paint contractor. I was freshly divorced from my first husband. He offered friendship,gifts, attention. In the begining he was all about building me up. He was funny. Everyone liked him. He lived in a very nice house and had lots of toys (motorcycles,cars,etc.) It didnt matter that I thought he looked like Danny DeVito, he was being nice to me and at that time in my life I needed that.
He was quick to start with the gifts. One of our early dates was to the mall in Ft Myers I believe. I felt like I was in a movie. He took me on a shopping spree for clothes. I came home with lots of new outfits and a slowly growing crush/attachement to this man that was treating me like a princess.
Later I would learn that everything he gave me came with a very expensive price tag emotionally. He would treat me awfully and then buy my forgiveness with jewely, clothes, furniture. I remember feeling almost sick to my stomach as I'd approach his house before our dates, what would set him off tonight I'd think..would I have too much make up on, not enough, would he not like the outfit I was wearing, would I have to change before we went out? Looking back now I wonder why I didnt just turn around and go home when he'd act that way.
I would tell myself that it wasnt that bad, he hadnt hit hard enough to break anything. I would tell myself that I deserved his mean comments, that I should have spent more time putting on make up or picking out my outfits. Everyone else seemed to love this man and think he was so charming so for me to say differently no one would believe me.
When he threw a rock thru my windshield as I was trying to get away from him it was my fault beause I had sprayed pepper spray in his face. When he slapped me across the face it was my fault becasue I had kicked him in the groin as he held me down. When he sprained my wrist by twisting it so hard that I thought it would break it was my fault because I was not appreciating him enough. When he held my face inches from our camp fire the last summer we were together it was my fault for screaming too loudly when he pulled my hair.
Yes, I know it wasnt really my fault.I don't know what ever made me think it was. I finally did have enough.
With all the things that I have forgotten in the last 20 plus years I think that I will never forget this day. We were making lunch. Today's lunch was grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. I much preferred just grilled cheese but my eating habits were a constant argument between us so I didn't say anything and sat down to the lunch he had prepared. I must have made a face or something because I could tell by his tone that he was annoyed with me yet again. He asked me rather harshly to make him a list of the foods that I disliked. I shot back too quickly that it would be easier to make him a list of what I liked.
Before I knew what hit me he had punched me in the head. My glasses went flying. He reached for them and threw them on a very tall ledge in his house so that I could not put them on and leave. (I could never drive without them). As I sat crying he went and gathered my belongings while yelling at me all the while. He lived almost an hour away from my house so when I'd come up for the weekends I would have to bring several selections of outfits for whatever he may have planned for us to do. He was making trips out to my car with all of my stuff and yelling at me. I crawled into the kitchen and dialed 911, between his trips back and forth.he found me on the phone and yanked a hand full of hair from my head. I cried harder. He went to get a ladder to retrieve my glasses from the ledge so he could be done with me and the police arrived. They police made him give me my glasses and they escorted him off to jail. He asked the police if I could stay in the house because one of his parrots needed medication at the time. They said yes, and surprisingly I stayed. I was scared to death that he was going to come back and hurt me but I stayed. Sometime in the middle of the night the police came back to check on me and told me that he would be getting out of jail in the morning but I was safe until then. I left very early in the morning never to go back.
There would be conversations later about dropping charges. I think he talked me into dropping charges but I honestly don't recall. A few years later when he came to see me at work and I was less than friendly he made a comment that he could not believe that is what i was taking from our relationship and me coming off as a "victim" was very unattractive.
I am usually one to stay in touch with my ex's and even remain friends. He is one that I will never be friends or even friendly with again. I used to have nightmares about him but those have long stopped. A few years ago he was pictured in the paper for doing some work with a local church it about made me sick to even look at the picture.
I can say 100% that I will never be in an abusive relationship again. I will never live in fear of someone again, I will not give them that much power over MY life.