This past Monday I had an appointment with my therapist and we spoke about the yelling outside in the middle of the night incident that happened last week. I told her about my reactions to it and how I am absolutely tired of these flashbacks and countless bad dreams. She suggested that I pick a memory and write about it over and over again until I become desensitized to it. I will dedicate this homework to the throwback Thursday edition of my blog.
Breath in… The one memory that surfaced for me when I heard the screaming was an incident that occurred between my ex and my family. I don’t remember verbatim the conversation that occurred on the street, because I am trying to block it out, but here goes my best effort.
It was a day during the spring 2011 semester. I was on my way to a meeting with my thesis adviser. I was completing the last leg of my paper. I had just gotten myself free from a headlock and blocked doorway and was running late for the meeting. While I was walking to my destination I was stopped by a guy who asked me the time. I looked at my phone and told him and began walking away. He then asked me if I wanted to hang out sometime. Now I am terrible in these situations. I just brush them off or I used to give wrong numbers. In this case I gave a fake number and kept walking as I was already running late. I later found out this guy wasn’t even a student at the school but an alumni and he was bothering females on campus. Luckily nothing terrible happened and I continued on my way to my meeting.
After I got back to the apartment he was sitting in the living room waiting for me. It was like earlier in the day didn’t happen. I think he used to let it go because he was holding on to me for other purposes. So to also act like the morning never happened I began recounting my afternoon. My ex got extremely angry with me for giving someone a fake number. I get tremendously uncomfortable when strange men approach me. I just want them to go away as fast as possible so I throw out a number and keep it moving. Who hasn’t done this? Telling them you have a boyfriend hardly works and they keep on talking. Recently I was on a bus and a guy tried to pick me up and I said, “Sorry I have a boyfriend.” He went on saying he wants to be friends and that I’m afraid he’ll do it better. I then had to get up from my wonderful middle of the bus seat and go to the back which makes me nauseous. When I told my current boyfriend guess what? He didn’t beat the hell out of me!
Wrong or not I didn’t deserve what happened next. I was laying on the other couch in the living room and he stormed over and put his knee in my side and began punching me with all his strength. At the time he had started weight lifting at the gym so he was getting stronger and stronger. I remember tensing up all my muscles because this made it hurt just a little less and I was hoping that at least he was hurting his hands. His punches were uncontrolled. He landed them on my shoulders and back. When that became too painful I tried rolling over and he got my butt and the back of my thighs. This was probably the worst of all the beatings because by the time he was done I could barely move. These particular bruises turned black and took forever to heal.
Afterwards he said he was taking me home so I packed a bag for the umpteenth time and we left. I made sure my flash drive with my paper and research on it was secured in my sock because the Lord knows my ex destroyed my research often because he didn’t want me to finish. Then I hobbled to the car because I could barely move.
When we got to my house is where it gets foggy. Somehow a screaming match broke out in the middle of the street between him and my father. I believe he was bitching about me and my father had a bat in his hand. I tried to calm the situation but that didn’t work. After what seemed like forever I was sitting in the driver’s seat and he was saying to take him back to the apartment. The whole way there he is screaming at me because I didn’t take his side and that I was wrong for letting my father threaten him with a bat. I apologized and kept telling him I was taking no one’s side and that I was trying to just make it stop. This was a night that he would never let go. Up until he finally let me leave for good he kept demanding I get my father to apologize to him. I tried several times but my father was not having it. My ex kept telling me well I got his daughter so clearly he doesn’t care about his daughter because I’m going to hurt you and make him regret not apologizing. He said we will regret the bat.
I’d like to note here the one thing I do remember about the night is my father didn’t come near him with the bat he was holding it in his hands still standing by the house while we were double parked. I’d also like to note that by this point in the relationship I was 11 years into it and towards the end it was less of a relationship and more like a captive situation. He no longer saw me as his girlfriend and more like a pawn to get things from my family. So the whole fake phone number this was not an act of jealously just another reason to be an asshole.
This is what flashed through my memories when those three people were in the streets screaming at each other at such violent levels. This is what gave me a bad dream of my ex coming back to take me away. That is usually how that dream goes. I just can never recall all the details. I suppose I should keep a dream diary and write in it every time I am woken up by bad dreams. I will read this out loud to myself until I feel it no longer gives me the shivers. If wearing clothes that scared me until I got used to them worked then it must work with memories right?
*My heart is now racing because of my search of bruise images. The image though represents the color of my arms, shoulders, back, butt, and thigh. They were deep black/purple bruising… and breath out…