That first time is still right there, fresh. If I close my eyes I can feel myself being drug through the house, I can see the sheer rage and hatred in his eyes. I can see the looks on the faces of his brother and his friend as they watched without doing anything. As they turned their faces away while I screamed for help.
I don’t remember what it was about. I don’t really remember what ever set him off. I just remember the pain.
It was late October, 1991. We had only been seeing each other for a few days probably when I moved in. I thought it was wonderful how he couldn’t imagine being away from me, how he just wanted me there all the time, so he could take care of me. I craved that, someone to love me, to want me, to care for me like that, so in a way, it was almost like a dream. I needed to be loved, and I thought that was the truest love ever. I mean, he couldn’t stand the idea of being away from me for even a day. My friends and family didn’t understand, at least I thought they didn’t. They probably understood much better than I did at the time.
That first time is still so fresh. I remember how shocked I was when he grabbed me. When he called me those names. Then the next thing I knew, I was being drug through our apartment. He had me by the hair. My hair was really long then, all one length, down to my butt. He grabbed me, and I was being drug through the house on my back, on my knees. I was trying to get away, but it hurt so bad, and I was so scared. I remember I was crying, and begging him to stop. It hurt, how could he hurt me, he loved me, right? I remember as he pulled me through the living room I looked over, his brother and a friend were sitting on the couch watching tv. When I saw them, and they saw me, I remember screaming and crying to them to please help me, I remember that I said, “you know this isn’t right”. Both of them turned away. That was my first clue that it was me who was wrong. After all, if I was innocent, then they would have helped, right? That was my thought anyway. When we got to the front door, he threw it open, and pulled me out. The front door opened up to a concrete porch, and then to the asphalt parking lot. He pulled me out by my hair and threw me into the parking lot. I was crying, so scared. No one had ever hurt me like that before. I didn’t understand. Then, my clothes came flying at me from the front door. I remember thinking that I couldn’t leave. I couldn’t go back to my mom like this. So I sat there and cried. Then, I slowly began to gather my things and go back inside. I knew that if I could just make whatever it was right, it would be ok, and he would love me again.
10 years later, when their mom passed away, his brother apologized to me. He said that he remembered that night, and wished he had stopped it. At that point, I was starting to realize that the life I was living was not a fairy tale, that there was no happy ending in sight, that he wasn’t ever going to get better, and that it wasn’t my job to help him. When he told me that he was sorry, and that it wasn’t right for his brother to do that to me, it was just one more door opening for me to realize that I deserved better, I truly deserved love and happiness, and most of all, I deserved peace.