I don’t remember much of my childhood like I should. I remember bits and pieces. I have good memories, and bad. But the majority of my memories are just not there. My therapist says that I have repressed memories. I cannot recall significant time periods because of trauma. I guess that makes sense.
I remember one night, when I was living in Winder, Georgia in Barrow County; my abuser and I were making love. This time, it was consensual, although that was not always the case.
He played music, rock music in the background. He lit candles and something happened to me. I had a panic attack and felt like I couldn’t breathe. As he was making love to me, I looked at him and saw my step-father’s face. I don’t know what the trigger was. It could have been the music. They both liked the same types of rock music.
Who knows. It was uncomfortable, to say the least.
There was just something too familiar about my abuser, something that I could not quite put my finger on. I still can’t, really. I mean, I think I have a pretty good idea, but I don’t know.
Something just wasn’t right.
He was abusive the entire relationship. It got much worse after we were married. He would say things like, “your mine”.
I felt like a piece of property. Little did I know, the day I said, “I do”, meant that I would be giving up all of my rights as a human being. I was no longer a person to him, and I probably never was to begin with.
My abuser first introduced his “girlfriend” as someone who just needed help getting back on her feet. She worked in his office at a Used Car Dealership. I was warned about her by a friend of mine, but I shrugged it off.
She asked me all kinds of questions. I found it odd that she was able to at any given moment verbalize what I was actually thinking out loud, and it was always right. She studied me. She studied the dynamics between my abuser and I.
She was intelligent, to an extent.
I’m not sure why, but I feared her. There was something about her too, that was off. She told me she “loved” and “cared” about me. I mean, I love all of my friends, you know. But the way she said it, was just flat out strange.
It was almost like I was being “gave away” like they did back in the old days, where your father would choose your husband. But in this case, it was like my husband chose this girl to somehow fit into our marriage.
I was expected to be respectful of this; but I wasn’t, which made everything so much worse.
I tried to object, but he would tell me “it’s too late“. It didn’t matter how I felt about anything.
I think overtime, I just really got used to giving my abuser his way to avoid being hurt. It just was easier that way. Even though I really didn’t feel a certain way, or even though I was opposed to certain things, I just started to really give up on myself and everything I ever believed in.
He would give me addictive substances oftentimes. I believe it was to maintain power and control, and to have something to hang over my head. There are many things that I’ve done that I’m not proud of. All of them that I can think of, has been influenced by my abuser.
I take full responsibility, though. I have my regrets. But I also learned. I learned a lot.
My true self, however, would emerge in ways he could never phantom.
He took both of us to the mountains in Bryson City, North Carolina on one occasion. This time, we did not have any children with us. He was irritable. It was late and we could not find a hotel for the night because of an event going on. We had climbed the mountain, rolling all the way down trying to get back to our car before sunset.
Sunset can be a little eyrie, as that’s when your more prone to see a wild animal, such as a bear. I love photography. I took my iPhone 6 plus with me, and snapped pictures of flowers, the mountain itself, rivers and rocks.
I just kind of did my own thing, you know?
My jeans were dirty from sliding down the mountain.
After finding a hotel it was late. He was so nice to me in the very beginning- like for about a week while she was there. He didn’t show his true self until later, when feelings between the two of them were strong.
Then, it was like- he really didn’t care. I thought if anything, it would push her away and out of my house, but no.
They were a team.
She gave me a significant amount of medication that night, and told me not to tell my abuser. I took it. I wasn’t eating very much either. I was dehydrated.
Within a few minutes, I felt like I couldn’t breathe. My chest was tightening. I remember thinking that I was going to die that night.
I could not speak. I couldn’t move. My heart was beating out of my chest. I was sweating profusely and felt extremely sick.
I had overdosed on what she had given me.
My abuser was annoyed. I think that’s the best way to put it. I felt like I needed an ambulance, but if it were up to them, that wasn’t going to happen.
I laid there and prayed. I thought about my boys, my job, my life. I thought, I can’t die. Not here, not now.
This would happen to me about three times that I can remember over the course of the next several months.
I felt uneasy as I watched her sit and stare at me. She tried to give me more medications to “calm me down”. I rejected whatever she had.
I tried to get my abuser’s attention. I thought maybe if I could show him what she was trying to make me take, that he would look it up on his phone to see what it was and realize that she is being harmful, not helpful.
He didn’t care. And I couldn’t speak to tell him. All I could do was lay there. Lay there and gasp for air.
This went on for what seemed like an eternity. At some point, I must have passed out, eventually.
I woke up the next morning feeling very sick. Too bad though. It was like waking up for boot camp. Time to walk a million miles and shake it off!
I felt betrayed.
I was hurt. I was miserable. I was ashamed. I still am, very ashamed. I’m ashamed of some of how quickly influenced I was during that time. I really am.
But I’m stronger, smarter, and tougher now.
That night, I realized that this girl did not have good intentions. None at all.
When we got back home, I waited for them to leave for work, and I began to go through her boxes. I read through paperwork of hers, that concerned me a lot.
I knew, there had to be more to her story.
Overtime, she just took completely over. My abuser thought he was something else. He thought he had the best of both worlds.
I began educating myself and my escape from my abuser did not happen overnight. In fact, it took me several months of careful planning.
I knew that my environment was dangerous. I knew I had to get out, but timing was everything.
My abuser would force me to Uber all night long, while he shacked up in my bed with his “girlfriend”. I would be made to drive to Atlanta until five in the morning, or so. I’d eventually Uber in Athens, which wasn’t as bad, but still wasn’t for me.
My abuser was so wrapped up in his new love life, that he forgot about the two little boys who begged for a bedtime story or any attention from him for that matter.
I find it ironic that after everything, still- he tries to insult me saying, “Glad to be able to listen to this song again and smile from its memories finally… someone can only take happy memories from you for so long before you realize that you should never feel bad about having been happy and having fun with a person with good intentions“; in reference to the song, “Bad Girlfriend“, by Theory of a Deadman.
See, the thing is: there were no “good intentions“.
Intent is everything.
I believe they knew what they were doing to me. Actually, I know this.
Whether it was death by overdose, suicide, or murder; one way or another- I was a liability to them.
I knew too much; I still know too much.
No one expected me to gain my voice, not even me.
But I’m glad that I did-
Because, now- that puts me back in control.