Archives For Domestic violence

record-3-edited

*Trigger Warning: Domestic abuse

In the history of the world, no one has ever loved anyone the way I loved my husband.

I felt that way all the way up until the moment he dislocated my rib cage.

He bought me my first car. I didn’t own a car until I was in my 30’s. I grew up dirt poor. My first car was the BUS.

Our first Christmas together, he presented me with a cherry red Mazda Miata convertible.

I loved that car. I named him “Herbie.” As in, the movie “The Love Bug?”

 

The very first week, I logged 800 miles, visiting every friend I had in the tri-state area.

FREEDOM.

For the first time in my life, I experienced the exhilarating sense of getting behind the wheel of my very own vehicle. He gave me my love of the open road. He called me “Road Warrior.”

 

In a world where everything changes, one constant for me has been my love of road trips.

He gave me that.

He also unearthed the soft white underbelly under my fierce determination to rely on no one, EVER. Found in me the little girl who grew up abused and abandoned. And filled that great yawning abyss of feeling unloved.

Accepting love is a muscle that can atrophy if you let it go unexercised too long.

 

We accept the love we think we deserve.

–The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

 

His love for me was stronger than anything I had ever experienced since the death of my oldest brother. The first few years of our marriage were unequivocally the happiest years of my life.

 

In a world where everything changes, the only constant is change.

My husband got into serious trouble, and lost everything – including his ability to make a living. I stood by him, because I loved him. For Better Or For Worse.

We switched roles. He became the stay at home parent, and I the provider. I backed into a successful business purely by accident. But this unorthodox and unexpected role reversal was brutal for him.

It soured our relationship irreparably.

 

Love truly is blind.

I was blind to the years he gradually bankrupted me.

I was blind to his pathological lying.

As it all unraveled he transformed into someone I didn’t recognize. Or was he always like that?

 

Eventually all his financial malfeasance surfaced.

UTTER SHOCK.

That doesn’t begin to describe your feelings when you realize your spouse has destroyed you financially.

 

When it first erupted into violence, I was FEARLESS.
I’m from New York. If you’re gonna hit me with a shovel, I’m going to hit you with a bigger shovel.

We might have beaten each other to death, Mad Max Thunderdome style, in my garage, had my then 4-year-old son not wandered in. I saw the fear in his eyes, and stopped.

I threw my son in the car and got on a highway. Drove to my NY BFF’s house upstate New York.

I filed for a restraining order and threw my husband out.

 

One night I received a phone call from my gym, which is affiliated with a medical center. A child in the playroom had been diagnosed with bacterial meningitis – the fatal kind. They were contacting every family who’d recently had a child in that playroom.

My son had come home that day with a fever and a stiff neck. I was told by the nurse on the telephone to wake him up immediately and bring him to the ER. I argued with her that to do so would terrify him.

SHE TOLD ME THAT IF I WAITED UNTIL MORNING, HE MIGHT NOT BE ALIVE.

Our conversation was interrupted by the ambulance she had dispatched, screeching into my driveway.

My son screamed in pain and fear for hours while they ran a battery of tests on him. Around dawn my husband showed up and my son calmed down. Daddy was here.

Maybe, if I had family or friends nearby.

Maybe, if I thought I could handle parenting my son alone.

Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.

The next day, my husband moved back in.

 

For the next few years I accepted his outbursts of violence and told no one.

We accept the love we think we deserve.

 

Then, more crushing debt surfaced. Reluctantly, I decided to tap into my son’s college fund.

There was no money in that account.

There was no money in that account?

 

BETRAYAL.

That doesn’t begin to describe your feelings when you realize your spouse has emptied your entire life savings.

Gone.

 

I started the fight that time, punching and kicking him.

He smacked me away, and caught my lip, which opened and bled.

I tasted the blood. And got up in his face.

“IS THAT THE BEST YOU CAN DO, BITCH?!  IS THAT ALL YOU GOT?!

BRING IT, MOTHERFUCKER!!!”

 

BOOM!

I literally flew across the room.

He’d full-on punched me square in my chest. His 220 lbs to my 110.

My heart stopped beating.

Every time I tried to sit up, excruciating pain tore through my chest.

 

Slowly, painfully, I put my 6-year-old in the car.

And got on a highway. Fled like a thief in the night all the way to Boston.

I made up an elaborate story to my college BFF about my injury.

 

It was a dislocated rib cage. But really?

 

THAT WAS THE DAY MY HEART BROKE. FOR GOOD AND FOREVER.

 

 

 

I’ve had to file for bankruptcy. The house I broke my back saving the down payment for – is lost.

It’s just a house.

It was my first ever backyard with a swing set and trampoline and everything my son deserves and will no longer have.

 

 

My Ex erupts into violence frequently. I’ve been advised by my lawyer, my therapist and the police to keep a bag packed at all times. Store it in the trunk of my car. Have a place ready to flee to with my son.

 

I’VE KEPT HIS ABUSE MY SECRET FOR YEARS.

 

One night, he flew into one of his irrational rages.

He smashed my laptop. He grabbed the extension cord and began hitting me with it. I tried to diffuse his rage, hoping to not wake up my son, dodging the blows that were opening up cuts on my arms and legs.

He wrenched our child out of bed. My son was crying and terrified, and I was screaming at my Ex to get out.

Madness. Dysfunction. Chaos.

I ran for the bedroom and locked us in there until he left.

 

Just a few minutes later, my phone buzzed. Lizzi was Facebook messaging me.

And in that moment – I needed her desperately. Her kind words; her gentle voice. Her beautiful soothing English accent. Her humanity.

We skyped.

Never before had anyone seen me like that. Broken and bleeding and bruised.

We spoke until daylight.

At last.

 

MY SECRET WAS OUT.

 

And now I need to tell it. If even one woman feels less alone, then writing this will have been worth it.

 

I want this story to end the way other domestic abuse stories do.

With hope.

But even with him out of my house, and locks changed, I don’t feel safe.

You think the police can protect you from an irrational person who wants to harm you?

THINK AGAIN.

 

It’s not even me I worry about. What toll is this taking on my son?

And should I end up dead? What will happen to him?

 

The height of irony is my Ex accusing me of wanting to be with another man.

I will never, EVER allow myself to get close to someone again.

If I suspect someone likes me, I make sure to drive them away.

If I’m intimate with someone, I keep feelings out of it.

We accept the love we think we deserve.

 

People often tell me that I’ll heal when I find the “right person.”

For what? To strip me of my worldly possessions and my self-esteem?

Happily ever after isn’t REAL.

What’s REAL is that I spend my life looking over my shoulder.

We accept the love we think we deserve.

 

I have that bag packed in my trunk.

I’m ready.

 

Some day, I’m just going to get in my car.

 

ALONE.

Get on a highway.

And just drive.

 

Drive…

and drive…

And keep on going.

 

AND NEVER COME BACK.

 

 

*This post was originally published on Sisterwives. It is dedicated to all of my SisterWives, who supported me in writing this. Thank you. I love you.

 

Do you have a story about domestic abuse?
Talk to me. I’m listening.

Record 3 edited

Released in 1963. I did NOT make up this post title. I wish I had.

 

When we said the SisterWives blog was Unashamed. Uncensored. Unafraid.

We meant it.

I’m finally telling the story of why my marriage ended. It’s not a pretty story. But it has to be told.

Please join me here to read about it.

 

I’ve been wanting to tell all of you, that you are an amazing group of loyal friends. I want to bake each and everyone of you a batch of Christmas cookies this year. (Impractical, so I won’t. But it’s the thought that counts.)

Thank you for showing me so much support. I know it sounds cliched. But I truly feel blessed to have you all in my life.

I’m closing comments here, so you’ll comment on the SisterWives blog.

 

Namaste,

Samara xo

 

 

howwp (1)

PART 2

The Real Me sent Pretend Me on a mission: go through the motions of my life. Phone it in.

The Real Me was back in time, drifting through
“The Land Of Horrible Ways I’d Fucked Up My Life”

Welcome back. So good to see you again.

Would you like some drugs?

—-

College BFF got the pathology report back from the surgery.

“What do you mean, Stage 3 aggressive? You said Stage 1!”

I argued like a petulant child.

She stayed calm, like I was the sick one.

“Yes. But there was another lump in the lump they removed.”

“What does that even MEAN?”

It just meant she was much, much sicker than we thought.

—-

The Ex is professionally unemployed. He watches our son while I work, but not for too often or too long. He lacks patience.

One day I came home to find Little Dude crying bitterly. The Ex had kicked him.

My son’s favorite hobby is torturing us. BUT. DON’T. HIT. MY. CHILD. 

EVER.

Two days later, we sat opposite my son’s absurdly overpriced ADHD therapist.

He’s the best in the state – particularly with keeping his eagle eyes trained on the clock. Your time is up. So sorry if you’re caught with your life down around your ankles.

I said, “You need to learn how to deal with him without putting your foot up his ass.”

Dr. Interloper says, “You kicked your son?”

“Yes.”

“I’m going to have to report you to Child Protection Services.”

The Ex handled it well.

Called me a cunt, threw my car keys at me and stormed out of the room like a maniac.

I begged Dr. Interloper not to call CPS. I just knew the fallout would be epic.

I waited for the inevitable, walking around with a bruise on my left cheek from where the keys had landed.

Just like old times.

—-

The next night two social workers appeared in my driveway, out of the dark.

They rematerialized, like from a Star Trek transporter.

They were wearing government pins that resembled United Federation of Planets Badges that read,

We look harmless but we’re here to destroy your life.”

They spoke with my son alone, and he charmed and reassured them. They looked at every room in the house.

They inspected my refrigerator.

I’m guessing they didn’t mind that there was only heroin and tequila; no food.

We passed inspection.

Have a good night, and don’t let the door hit you on your cloaking device on the way out.

—-

A few days later, the call came.

I was under investigation.

They had asked me if there had ever been any domestic abuse in our home.

I lied.

I said there hadn’t been.  I was floating somewhere back in my failed past.

I didn’t realize they would check this out so thoroughly.

The local police department had records of domestic violence.

Two emergency room visits.

I’d had a restraining order against The Ex five years ago.

I had lied. What else had I lied about?

I was now under investigation.

They informed me that, for the time being, he could stay in my custody.

I stopped breathing when they said “stay in my custody.”

This isn’t happening.

Please tell me this isn’t happening.

They arranged to interview his teacher.

The guidance counselor.

His pediatrician.

His dentist.

His mother fucking dentist.

 

I wondered how far back they would investigate; what would they find?

Oh my God, the things they could find if they poked around enough.

I had stabbing panic attacks constantly; unexpectedly, vicious ones.

 

I called the case worker. I groveled.

Where my kid is concerned, I’m not above groveling.

I dialed her office. “I was the class mom 2 years in a row.”

Called again. “Did they tell you I run the PTO Trunk or Treat bake sale every year?”

I stayed up all night, searching through photos and keepsakes.  

Tears streamed down my face as I looked for evidence that I was a worthy mom.

I found pictures of the party I threw when my son started kindergarten.

We had invited 24 complete strangers, and their parents, to our home for a “Welcome to Kindergarten Party.”

I’d enlisted students for face painting, tumbling lessons, toy fencing lessons, quad rides around my backyard.

Little Dude and I had painted a banner that read:

WELCOME CLASS OF 2022!

welcome 2022

At 2 am I texted the case worker the picture.

It didn’t go through. It was an office number.

I texted it over. And over. And over, all night, anyway.

—-

I had constant pain in my chest.

It was my heart breaking.

One night, my student said, “Um, Samara? You’e not making any sense.”

I went home and took my temperature. 104. The pain in my chest was bronchitis.

The doctor gave me antibiotics. But my body refused to get well.

What if they took my son away? He’d never survive a group home. I was such a piece of shit.

 

The investigation continued.

I was reliving the past, only the more intense version.

The one where you lose your child, instead of your dignity and self respect.

 

One night my heart ached so badly, it shot through my rib cage to my back.

I couldn’t breathe without terrible pain.

I thought, “This is what Kurt Cobain must have felt like right before he shot himself. Utter heart break.”

And then I fainted outside the supermarket, and the shopping cart kid called an ambulance.

 

The stabbing pain was pneumonia.

I must have looked BAD.

If the hospital got my insurance to approve a 4-day stay, I must have looked like Samara from “The Ring.”

 

My other dearest friend came to me. My New York BFF.

She’s a writing professor. And a gifted playwright.

She left her family, and her classes, for 4 days and watched my son because we have no family nearby.

She is extraordinary.

So is my son. He’s asleep upstairs.

As soon as I’m done writing this, I’m gonna go smell his little sleepy head.

CPS decided I was an okay mom after all.

—-

People often do what feels good in the moment. A fleeting connection – it’s all good, right?

But: what if that brief encounter jams something horribly loose in the other person, and rolls around inside them like a stray bullet?

And damages a vital organ?

Their heart, maybe?

And they bleed out?

 

I live in an area where I don’t particularly fit in.

And I SO want to connect with others.

But. I cannot be someone’s entertainment for the week.

I’ve felt unsafe most of my life – and I suppose, I’ve always searched for that safe haven.

Sometimes my search has taken me to all the wrong places.

 

There’s a light in my eyes that’s gone now.  Little Dude says, “Mama, sometimes, you look so sad.”

I lost something last fall that I’ll never get back.

I keep going back to find it, and it’s not there. Because it never really was.

I’m going to get a new light.

 

I’m a survivor.

I’ve survived addiction. Sept 11. A horrible childhood. Domestic abuse. Rape.

I’m a single mom to a soulful, brilliant child with a fuck load of issues.

The Ex has done damage to me; divorce does that to the best of us.

And right now, I’m fighting to keep my best friend of 27 years alive.

—–

I’ve made mistakes with my son, but I’m still the best mother I know.

No one can take that from me, no matter what 4 out 5 dentists say.

I am not just someone’s favorite new person.

I am not the number of followers I have.

In homage to myself, as a writer, I will never again let anyone quantify my talent.

I can’t look back at squandered opportunities anymore.

I HAVE TO BELIEVE,

I MUST BELIEVE,

THAT MY BEST WORK IS AHEAD OF ME. 

What other choice do I have?

 

This is “All Apologies,” Nirvana, Live at Leads.

Considered to be one of their top 10 all time best shows.

I loved Nirvana live. This is classic Nirvana; Kurt Cobain is so high he completely forgets the lyrics to the second verse.

I love this video.

Look at the closeups of Kurt Cobain’s face. His eyes.

Despite his fame, he looks like a lost, frightened child.

There are worse things than blowing your career after going on a tour, like I did.

Like blowing your brains out before you even make it on that very same tour.

Which is what Kurt did.

 
And I’m still here.

 
I’M STILL HERE. 

 

 

Do you know what it’s like to  rebuild your life after a fall from grace?
Talk to me. I’m listening.

 

Part One Click here

Enhanced by Zemanta