Daily Post 0059: Not for the Faint of Heart

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Massive disclaimer: This is not a feel good post.

In fact this talks about some pretty not cool situations that very few people in my life know about, but which are currently relevant due to events on Monday.

Because of that I feel the need to write about them.


I know I haven’t written much. I still haven’t gotten around to my weekly saga, and last week was the end of February, so I have a monthly recap to do as well.

Between being sick, switching back over to a PM schedule, and my Monday afternoon I haven’t been up for the tasks.

Mainly the thing that has me so quiet about my days is that right now I am very introspective.

Warren #2 has popped back up in a way.

I don’t think I ever really explained him. I know I’ve mentioned him in previous posts. How he’s an ex, and how he was a negative relationship. But I don’t think I’ve ever fully explained the why behind him.

He was roughly two years of my life. He was the person I dated after Joe, who I wrote about here.

Warren was supposed to have been a one night stand. I had just broken up with Joe, and I wanted to prove to myself that I could “be just like the guys” and not have to have an emotional connection. I didn’t need the emotions, and I could have sex and have it just be that. A physical experience.

I wish I had known myself better. I understand now that I was hurt, and that I was lashing out and being mildly self destructive. I understand my personality type better, and that for me sex and intimate interactions ARE emotional for me, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just part of who I am.

I had just started taking classes for my degree, and some of the people I considered friends were going to a party, and offered for me to go with them. That’s where I met Warren #2.

He was super forward with me. At the time I didn’t mind that he was in my space. That’s what I wanted, so I didn’t view it as rude or inconsiderate, though I probably should have.

He ended up coming home with me, and never really left. He moved in with one of the friends who took me to the party. And since we both lived in the same complex Warren #2 was always over at my apartment.

There’s two years worth of events between then and the last time that I saw him. So many things happened, good and bad (though honestly there was more bad than good). But all of that is for a different post. I have come to terms with a lot of the things that happened, but to understand what happened Monday I have to explain certain parts of my time with Warren.

So while, yes, I acknowledge there were good times, I need to explain these bad times, so they tie into the bigger story.

Warren was / is a very mean person. While I was taking classes he would tell me how he thought college was a waste of time, and how my degree was a useless art degree. How I would never have a successful career, and how the money I was spending on school was a waste.

He yelled and cursed any time we had a fight. He thought that was normal and healthy for a relationship. Telling me to go fuck myself was ok, and he didn’t understand why I was hurt after our fights. Why I didn’t want to be around him, talk to him, let alone have him touch me.

If I didn’t want to have sex I was a bitch. He would get angry and more yelling would happen, which I hated. I only every wanted to make him happy. That’s the point of a relationship, for two people to be happy and to deal with the stresses of life together. Not to make more stress.

So I learned to not say no when he wanted sex. I learned that going through with it was the lesser evil.

I never realized until after our breakup that there was never cuddling, or kissing. There was never affection. Not even after sex.

He would always leave and shower afterwards, which bothered me. I wanted the closeness and affection, and not having that need met hurt. When I mentioned it he said it was because he didn’t like smelling like me.

That comment made me feel like I was something gross.

One of the things that I tried to share with Warren was my interest in BDSM. Warren #1 and I had an extremely heathy and functional life style relationship. It was something that I had for five years, and it was something that I extremely enjoyed.

It was something that I thought was ‘normal’.

Not normal as in everyone is into it. But normal as in, we’re not harming anyone, this is consensual, there isn’t anything wrong with having fun, type of normal.

Warren said that because of my interest in BDSM that I was mentally unstable, that I should be on medication. That the relationship dynamic that I wanted was dysfunctional, and that I had ‘daddy issues’.

Yet all of his sexual interests were acceptable and ok, even though by society’s standards they are more unacceptable than BDSM.

I felt his comments were unfair, closed minded, and shallow.

There is a BDSM establishment that we went to a few times. I had been there on my own for a few of the Submissive Safe Space meetings. Warren went with me a few times, to try to get a feel for being a more dominate partner, and to find a mentor who would be a person Warren to go to and ask for information, guidance, that sort of a thing.

BDSM isn’t all that hard or confusing, but it can be nice to have someone to talk to about it. That’s a completely different subject though, and not the point of this post either.

The main thing is that whenever we went to this establishment we would have a massive fight, and it was always an awful experience for me. After a while I stopped trying to bring the subject up. He wasn’t interested in meeting my masochistic needs, and he didn’t want me to get those needs fulfilled outside of the relationship.

I felt like an awful person. I went from a relationship where these needs were understood, to being told that I was ‘fucked up’. I started questioning myself. I had never thought my sexuality was bad or wrong. But now I wasn’t sure.

Maybe I was messed up. I met his needs, but maybe mine really were just too out there.

I ended up stuffing those wants and needs as far down as I could. I never brought them up again, and I accepted the fact that while I was with Warren I would never be able to express that aspect of myself.

One of the fights we had was about my submissiveness. I asked him what my submission met to him. And he replied with “Nothing. It means nothing.”

For my, my submission is my love. My submission is my time. I am doing acts of service for you because I love you. And to be told that my submission, my love, meant nothing was agony.

One of the nights we came home from the BDSM establishment wasn’t all that bad. We ended up on the couch. Him sitting, me with my head in his lap.

He was petting my hair and we were actually talking, not arguing. I felt safe and like we were actually communicating and getting somewhere.

He said that part of the reason he didn’t like the whole BDSM thing was because of the place we went to. He didn’t like the establishment.

For me that was odd. It was a ‘no sex on premises’ establishment, there was rules you had to follow, there were ‘Dungeon Masters’ to make sure people were safe. There was no alcohol allowed. Everyone was super nice and friendly and more than happy to share information. It was a really healthy community and what I felt was an extremely safe environment.

So I asked what about the place made him uncomfortable.

While he was petting my hair, while I felt safe and secure, he told me that the reason he didn’t like it was because he was embarrassed to be seen in public with me when I didn’t have my cloths on.

He told me that after I had just lost ten pounds. After I had been going to the gym every day for a month. He said that he didn’t believe that I worked out as hard as I said I did because if I did I would have lost more weight by now.

That is what caused me to be suicidal. The one and only time in my life where I seriously lost sight of any reason to live.

It didn’t matter what effort I was putting in to better myself. My very existence was an embarrassment to him. I didn’t fit the image of a Playboy bunny, and because of that he was embarrassed by me.

I couldn’t even cry.

I felt nothing, literally nothing, for days. I stayed in my room, in bed. I didn’t eat. I didn’t cook. I didn’t do anything. I didn’t go to the gym. I stayed at home, moving as little as possible because breathing was hard enough on its own.

I slept a lot, and when I wasn’t sleep I hurt so much that all I could think about was dying.

I thought about how I wanted to do it, but that would mean that I would have to get up. And, if I did, what would happen to Scarlet? It always came back to her. My cat. What would happen to my cat if I died?

It wasn’t thoughts of my mom, or my brothers, or Warren. Who would take care of my poor cat?

There was a night a little while after the ‘discussion’ with Warren that he came to my doorway. In a soft voice he asked if I wanted to go for a walk. I didn’t answer, but I made myself get out of bed.

We lived near a bike trail, and there’s a section of it that turns into a bridge that crosses over a busy street. It’s the same bridge that I talk about running up in some of my previous posts.

I was silent the whole walk. He didn’t say anything to me. He didn’t try to touch me, and I didn’t reach for him.

When we made it to the top of the bridge I stood there, my fingers laced through the fence running along the sides, and I looked out over the street, at the headlights driving by below us.

“What are you thinking?” he asked me.

I was quiet for a really long time. I didn’t want to talk. I didn’t want to talk to him. I didn’t want to be there. I didn’t want to be thinking at all. I didn’t want there to be this pain in my chest.

But after a little while I couldn’t keep the words in anymore. I wanted someone to know how I felt, and he was the only one there.

“I’m thinking that if the fence wasn’t here that I would jump. I’m thinking that everyone always comments about how strong I am. And that reminds me of an oak tree. I’m strong, tall, and proud on the outside. And that’s all anyone can see. But on the inside I am dying. I am rotting away, and one day I will fall, crashing down to the Earth and there will be no recovery. I will be dead.”

I never looked away from the street while I spoke, and I didn’t stop looking at the headlights after I was done. I have no idea what his expression was for any of it. But I remember what he said afterwards.

“That’s really emo.”

I didn’t have anything in me to feel worse. I was already as low as I could be. His words meant nothing to me. He meant nothing.

The thing that saved me from that consuming depression was Scarlet. There was one day not long after the walk that she jumped onto my futon where I was curled up and she meowed at me. And meowed, and meowed, and meowed, and would not leave me alone.

I couldn’t figure out what was wrong, then I had the first real thought I had had since Warren’s first comments. She most likely didn’t have water. Or food. Maybe for days. No one had touched the litter box I was sure.

I could neglect myself. I could try to kill myself through starvation if I wanted, but it wasn’t fair to neglect Scarlet.

She’s the one who pulled me out of it, because she needed me to be there. After I took care of her food and water, it was easier to make the bed. It was easier to see that I needed to shower.

Life still went on. And I could go on too. Not for Warren, but for Scarlet. Because I loved her, and she loved me and she needed me to be there for her.

There was a time when Warren and I were fighting and he stormed out of my room, so I shut the door so I could get space away from him. We had an agreement that he wasn’t allowed in my room unless he asked permission. My room was my space, it was what I was paying rent for. My area.

When I shut the door he came and opened it. He didn’t come in, just sort of threw the door open like he was offended that I had closed it, and the stormed off again.

Super pissed, I closed the door and locked it, so he couldn’t open it again. I went back to my computer, fuming inside my head, but not really doing much of anything.

Not a minute later, Warren picked the lock to my door, came into my room, and pushed me out of the computer chair onto the floor. I was scared. I was pissed, and I knew if I stood up that things would escalate further. So I stayed on the ground while he yelled at me.

Another time we were fighting and somehow we ended up on my futon. He was above me and I was trying to push him away. Our hands were tangled together. His hand slipped and hit me in the jaw.

I seriously do not think he meant to hit me. He didn’t even seem to realize that he had. But it had hurt, and shocked me. It was the first and only time I had been hit in the face. I stopped fighting back. I was still crying, but I stopped resisting. I never said ‘no’, but I didn’t want the events that followed. And when he was done, he left the room as if nothing had happened, as if I wasn’t still crying into my pillow.

He went and played Team Fortress 2 and I stayed alone in the dark, my one space, my room, desecrated.

All of those things, and more. And still I stayed with him for two years. We broke up and I went back to him. And I could never justify why.

I always made excuses for him.

He didn’t really mean it that way. I really was being overly sensitive. I was emotional and overreacting like he said I was. It was my fault. I was doing things wrong, and not thinking about his feelings. I was the one who was selfish.

I believed the things he told me. I felt the way he told me I should feel, and I stayed with him. For so long.

I don’t write these things for sympathy. I write them because they factor into Monday.

After the breakup I didn’t talk to Warren very much. He would message me every once in a while. He missed me and wanted to hang out. But hanging out always meant sex. And even after all of the horrible things he said and did to me, there was part of me who missed him, and so I would go to his place, and I would hate myself afterwards.

There ended up being a girl that he wanted me to meet. Ashley.

We hung out twice. We both really liked each other and thought we could be friends, but Ashley was going to start dating Warren and thought it might get awkward, so we agreed that we wouldn’t hang out. It was a mutual choice.

A few months after they started dating Ashley messaged me and asked of Warren had ever been physically abusive. I answered her honestly, explaining what my experiences had been.

I told her that my experiences might not be her experiences, and that I wasn’t saying to stay away from Warren, but that she should listen to the little voice inside her head, because it wouldn’t steer wrong.

That was the last time I talked to Ashley until Monday afternoon.

I had been at the gym, literally, had just gotten done running another solid half mile and was feeling super proud of myself, when I got a text message from a number I didn’t recognize.

The person said they were Ashley and they were trying to reach Jen.

I said that I was Jen, but that I knew several Ashley’s. Could they be a bit more specific?

She explained who she was, Warren’s girlfriend.

I was so happy to hear from her. She really is a cool person, and it made me warm for her to reach out to me.

I said that I remembered her, and asked how things were going.

She said bad. That things had gotten so low, and blew so out of control, and that she really needed to talk to someone who would understand.

I immediately went into care taker mode. I knew how bad things could get with Warren because I had been there. I knew she would need someone to simply be there to listen. To let her know that she wasn’t crazy, or a bad person, or doing the wrong thing by leaving. I knew she needed someone to listen to her tell her side of the story. Someone who would believe her.

So I dropped all plans for the rest of the night, even aikido, because I didn’t know how long this would be, and it didn’t matter.

I would be there until she felt ok.

So we arranged to meet at a park. Somewhere out in the open, away from people.

We hugged when we met, but she was so frail, so different from the person from two years ago.

She told me mostly about the past two months since that was when things started getting super bad. But she told me lots of stories about things Warren did over those two years. Stories that made my heart bleed.

For as bad as some of my experiences were, Ashley went through so much worse. The police actually got involved and were trying to get her to press charges.

She said she didn’t want to. She didn’t want to do anything other than to have Warren go away, to leave her alone and be out of her life.

I know those feelings. I was there. Where the only thought is to get away. Far away. So he can’t hurt you anymore.

I told her that if she didn’t want to press charges because she seriously didn’t want to, that I understood and respected that. But if it was because she didn’t want to stand alone, that I would stand with her.

I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I don’t think she will do anything. Warren isn’t staying at the house with her and her other roommate. So there’s that at least. The locks have been changed, and I think the situation has been made public enough that Warren wouldn’t try to do anything like break in.

That leaves a room available for rent at Ashley’s place. It would be $250 total, for everything. It is closer to school then Monica’s place, and a bigger room. So I am going to be looking at the room in the next few days just to see if it is an option I want to explore further.

Ashley was going to go to aikido with me tonight, but that ended up not working out. My phone got dropped in water on Monday, so it’s been acting screwy, and we weren’t able to get in touch with each other tonight. So she opted to stay home instead.

I don’t blame her. I would have done the same thing. Mostly because we’re both INFJs, which might be why we get along so well. We understand each other’s brains.

I don’t know really where I was going with any of this.

I know that I am a much different person now. I know a lot of that has to do because of Warren. After Warren I was single for a year. The was the longest time I had been out of a relationship since I was 14.

I went from Warren #1, to Joe, to Warren #2, to Corey, back to Warren #2, to single, to Jarrett, then Sir, and now back to single.

That year I healed a lot, but there are still things that I need to work through.

One of the moves in aikido is a pin where one person ends up on their back, the other person is leaning above them, on their knees, and their hands are pressing the other person down onto the mat.

I can’t do that move. I just can’t yet.

And the reason I can’t is because whenever I am in that position the only thing I can think of is Warren being above me, and what it led to afterwards, and I haven’t worked through that yet.

I can practice that move with any of the female members of the dojo. I might even be able to practice it with Sensei Jan. But I almost lost it when I tried to practice with Sensei Mike. Even after almost four years, there are memories that I haven’t made peace with yet.

I have a very good idea of what Ashley has gone through, and what she will go through now during the healing process.

But if it has taken me this long to get to where I am at, how long will it take for her, when it seems that her situations were so much worse?

How is this not in some way my fault for not pressing my own charges against Warren?

And what about now? If we say nothing now he’ll just go on and do this to someone else, maybe even worse, since his trend seems to be one of escalation.

I don’t know what to do. Maybe there is nothing to do other than to be there as the support that Ashley will need. She’s going to have to find herself again. She’s going to have to forgive herself. Love herself.

That was really, really hard for me. And I think it will be really, really hard for her.

I’m glad that she is out of the relationship. I’m glad she is safe. And glad that she wants to explore aikido, and that it may help her find confidence in herself, and surround her with a group of people who want to build her up and be positive influences in her life.

I think she needs that right now. More than anything she needs to know that there are good people in the world and that not everyone is darkness like Warren.

I don’t know what else to write. This has been the main thing on my mind. The past, the present, the future. I’m tired. It’s 5am. And I am here in my room, with Scarlet. But there are all of these confusing emotions, and I don’t know what I really feel.

Sad, hurt, happy, relieved, worried, guilty, scared.

I feel I need to meditate on this.

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10 thoughts on “Daily Post 0059: Not for the Faint of Heart

  1. I read this before I got ready for work this morning, and you’ve been on my heart all day. There was a time when I didn’t understand how women could involve themselves in abusive relationships, especially ones I considered strong and independent. Then I tasted emotional abuse for myself and I found myself making excuses for him, apologizing to him, blaming myself, wishing I could be better, wanting to please him, believing it would get better, and that all we needed to do was talk it through.

    But the truth was that he was an over-critical asshole, and I was a train wreck recovering from a divorce. He latched on to me when I was vulnerable and I couldn’t shake him. We fought constantly, but I didn’t want to accept any kind of confirmation that I couldn’t make a relationship work.

    Like an emotional ninja, he used my strength and my loyalty against me. I had to leave the state to get away from him, and even then, the phone calls and messages still kept coming. It wasn’t until I blocked his Facebook, deleted his messages and his number and stopped answering the phone that I was finally free of him.

    I felt like a coward for doing that; like I couldn’t handle it. But I couldn’t! He treated me like a victim and I played right into his hand every time. I had to build a block wall because he wouldn’t respect my fences.

    As far as supporting someone else in pressing charges, I can only tell you that I found myself in a similar situation about a year ago (different guy). It made me feel like an unforgiving, ruthless bitch to support someone turning him in. But I had to do it. I had to do it for the people that might come after us.

    I tried to imagine having another conversation down the road with another victim. With the evidence stacked against him, I couldn’t think of how I could possibly explain to them why I never said anything and how I ignored someone I could have supported when things got worse.

    I’m probably going out on a very lonely limb to tell you any of this, but I wanted you to know that there’s someone who understands and supports you and wants the best for you. You’ll be in my thoughts.

    Like

    • Thank you so much Mama Spike. (I totally hope you don’t mind me calling you that. I smiled so much when I read your post where you used that title, so it’s kind of how I think of you now.)

      Thank you for sharing something so personal, and for being supportive.

      I could never explain why I stayed with him. I would tell people snippets of what happened. Never the whole story, and ever details, in fact I would gloss over most things. But if I’m asked a question I always feel compelled to answer honestly, and so I would say as little as I could in as positive a way as possible, and still they would be left asking me, “Why are you with that guy?”

      Or he would do something while we were hanging out with my friends and they would later say how they didn’t want him around anymore because he was a jerk and they didn’t approve of the way he treated me.

      There were so many red flags, so many signs, and the people closest to me could see it. Heck, it was so bad I could see it. I knew it was a bad relationship.

      But I stayed.

      And it’s just like you said. I felt like one day I would wake up and everything would be fine. He would finally understand what I was saying and would start treating me well. Treating me like he cared and loved me, because he said he did.

      It would be like the good times we had, only it would be continuous rather than the random few days I was lucky enough to get each month. He would magically turn into the nice guy that I first met, and he would stay that way rather than turning into Mr. Hyde.

      When I would try breaking up with him he would say I wasn’t trying hard enough. That I was giving up. That relationships were work and I was being childish. That I needed to grow up.

      He knew exactly what to say, and when, to break my resolve and crush the self-esteem I was trying to build for myself.

      And that’s exactly what he did to Ashley, too.

      It actually was really hard for her to find my contact information. It had been erased from her phone and computer. We think Warren deleted it early in the relationship, so I’m extremely grateful that she was able to find me at all.

      I don’t know what will happen with the charges. I know Ashley doesn’t want to do anything because she is scared Warren will use information against her. She’s scared she’ll go down with him, sort of a thing. Which I totally understand and get.

      I don’t know if I would be able to do anything since my events are from so long ago. I don’t know if it is too late to do anything, especially when even at the time it would have been my word against his.

      There isn’t evidence. It’s not like I had a broken bone or a doctor’s record or anything. It is emotional abuse, invisible scars. And I know some people will think that I’m just a bitter ex who wants to ruin his life, when it’s not about that at all.

      I know there are people in Tennessee, where he lived before we got back together, that went through the same thing. That’s why he left Tennessee, because he was basically kicked out from his parents’ town.

      I think right now it’s best to wait a little bit and give Ashley some time. I agree that something needs to be done. But I would rather her be supportive of any action that is taken. I don’t want her to feel pressured or responsible or obligated to anything.

      The only thing I want for her is to feel safe, and to know that she has people she can trust and turn to.

      I wouldn’t feel like a ruthless bitch for pressing charges. I feel like it’s the right thing to do, and if Ashley can’t do it herself, then I owe it to her to try to do it for her.

      I feel like I owe it to everyone who came after me because no matter how you paint it, part of this is my fault. I may have ‘warned’ her by telling her about my experiences, but I let him get away with a lot of stuff. And because I did he was able to be cruel to other people.

      I feel like if I’m really the warrior I say I am, that I feel like I am, then I should be fighting for the people who can’t defend themselves.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, I started beaming when I you called me “Mama Spike,” so I guess that means I love it 🙂

        Every situation like this is so unique. I believe in your good judgement, and I have faith in Ashley. My prayer for you is that you will continue to have wisdom and courage to face what’s next.

        Liked by 1 person

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