dark and dirty secret

When I was 19, I fell in love. His name was Nick, he wore a red plaid flannel shirt over a black t-shirt pretty much every day, and he had mutton chop sideburns. Only six months older than me, he had a five-year-old son with a much older woman. He was dangerous and dirty and, I found out later, mentally unbalanced. He dealt drugs and made me complicit. I didn’t argue – I was in love! 

My parents hated him. My mother forbade me from seeing him. But from more than 125 miles away, what could she really do? He cheated on me; we broke up; I took him back. He was verbally and emotionally abusive and once it became physical. I didn’t leave. I could change him. He had a good heart. I was sure of it.  After two years of jealousy and suspicions and wondering whether or not I could live like this forever, I decided I couldn’t. I threw in the towel. Shockingly, he was devastated. Late that night, he came to the house I shared with two roommates. I was home alone. He pushed his way in, grabbed a knife and began to cut himself repeatedly, in the arm, stabbing his side, professing his love for me.

I remember screaming over and over and pushing him out of the house. He came around to my bedroom window and put his head through the glass. I called the police. He left. There was blood everywhere. I got an emergency restraining order, but when it came time for the real thing, he contested. Eventually it was resolved that he had to stay away from me unless we were in the same classes. He spent time trying to figure out what classes I was in so he could take those and see me without violating the order.

Finally, I graduated and moved away to graduate school. He began sleeping with my best friend. She is no longer in my life. After graduate school, I took my first job at a newspaper in southern Indiana. I was there about six months when I began getting messages on my answering machine, first hang-ups, then one taunting message about how easy it was to find me. I was terrified, again.  But that was the last of it. It’s been nearly eight years since that phone call. I’m married and a mother and at least somewhat successful in my career. I’m happy. So, why do I still think about that night? Why am I still looking over my shoulder? Is it paranoid or smart? Obviously, I made a lot of mistakes in this situation. But I think I learned from them.

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8 Responses to dark and dirty secret

  1. Sarah says:

    Wow, honey. I mean, seriously.. WOW.

    You still think about it because it’s worse than any tv show. I’m so sorry for you. But you seem to have bounced back marvelously!

    I’m a firm believer in karma.. in what goes around coming back around. I hope it works in his case.

  2. noodle says:

    I don’t think it’s paranoid at all…of course you would. Hopefully sharing your story will help someone else.

  3. Christina says:

    Oh man, I cannot even imagine the fear you must have felt that night. I am so sorry you had to live through that.
    I don’t think its at all suprising that you think about it after this time has passed, this was a very tramatic ordeal.
    If you can teach your child about the dangers of any sort of abuse and the warning is heeded, maybe then it will make since for you? I dont know, I like to think most things happens for a reason but that guy was F’ed up!!!
    I

  4. Erin says:

    I think it’s totally normal to think about it….I mean, we learn from history, right? I dated a creep in college….but everybody thought he was “such a nice boy”…and he was, in public. In private he was a verbally abusive asshole and it took me almost three years to grow some balls and dump him. And then he went nuts and followed me around campus, called me so often I changed my number, and slashed the tires of my car. I still think about it and while it pales in comparison to your story, I think that it made me (and you too) stronger. Continuing to recognize those scary things in our past keeps us aware of how quickly things like that can escalate into a bad scene. I think my most favorite niece is lucky to have a mom who will raise her to be strong and vocal! 🙂

  5. Christina says:

    I had an experience like that for four freakin’ wasted years of my twenties… I am not sad about it now but I was for a long time and I punished myself for a time after it all but now I look back it and how far I’ve come. I was stronger for leaving – I am sure you feel the same way. I am also a better person today and can totally understand where you are coming from. I had a few e-mails from this man here and there and simply blocked them. I refused to give any information on myself with my real name in public Internet forums (and I doubt he was smart enough to use them…) If he came knocking today I would crush him plain and simple and really the truth is he will not coming knocking because I think he may know that now. Hopefully. At any rate, you are a brave woman. Kudos for sharing. I should share my story too – it is sort of funny little secret I keep from people in some ways… many know but don’t know. That is also odd.

    BTW, I live in B-ton IN!

  6. I’m sorry this happened. It tends to happen to the nicest people. Hopefully he moved on to torture someone else – that’s kind of the best you can hope for in these situations.

  7. Pingback: Lede Me On » Blog Archive » Stop the Abuse

  8. Pingback: Party like its 199….8 « Lede Me On

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