This is most likely going to be dark, and part of me wants to apologize for that, while the other part wants to remain true to my initial response to this prompt.
Fair warning, this is not for the faint of heart. This will also be sexual in nature.
I’ve written about him a few times. Warren #2. I’ve mentioned how he was emotionally abusive, and in two instances physically abusive. I mentioned how he was the only relationship I was in where I became legitimately suicidal.
I’ve mentioned a lot of things. But there are several things I haven’t mentioned because remembering them still brings back those emotions. I still sometimes get flash backs to those events and it’s as if I’m there all over again and I lose my connection to the here and now.
I feel it on my skin as if it’s happening again. I relive the emotions.
I’ve actually avoided those event. In my mind, in conversation. As if they never happened, or happened to someone else. I have tried to block them out, put up walls around them because I honestly don’t know what to do with those emotions. I don’t know how to bleed that poison out because every time I try I can’t maintain my grip on my present. I haven’t been able to do this alone.
I think I can brooch this subject now, though. I think I feel safe and secure enough with Zane to at least being to peek at these emotions, from my own perspective, and try to let them have their peace.
I have mentioned the event I’m about to revisit, but I have always done so as if I were an outsider looking at someone else’s life. I have never gone back to this event as myself, and if I am honest, I’m scared. I already feel the adrenaline and anxiety of going back to that room. I’m worried I’m not strong enough, that I will never be strong enough, and that some part of me is fundamentally broken because of this event.
I have been sexually involved with every person I have dated. During those times there have been instances where they have wanted sexual interaction and I have not. They did not rape me. I willingly made a choice to please my partner, even though I didn’t get much out of the overall experience. I got cuddles afterwards, we would fall asleep together. Sometime we would go out for food, or watch a movie together. There was some form of closeness, so no, it was not a negative experience for either of us. My own sexual gratification has never been a focus for me. If my partner is happy, then I am happy.
Warren #2 was the same way. Except there was never cuddles afterwards. There was never kisses and hugs. There was never affection and warmth. There was this feeling of coldness afterwards as he left to go play Team Fortress 2 or talk to his friends online.
As our relationship deteriorated, as we fought more, as he lied to me more, as he cheated on me, I wanted him to touch me less and less. I wanted to get away, but financially I couldn’t. I needed a roommate, we were on the lease together. When I would bring up the fact that I wanted to break up he would counter with how I wasn’t trying hard enough, how relationships take work. I was being childish and trying to run away. I needed to grow up.
And I convinced myself that he was right. He was the one being wronged. I convinced myself to stay with him even though the only thing I wanted was to be away. Alone. I didn’t want anyone. I didn’t want to hurt. I didn’t want to feel worthless and cold and unloved anymore. I didn’t trust anyone. No one could be trusted. If Warren #2 could say such horrible tings to me, and he supposedly loved me, what would everyone else be like?
There was one night where we were fighting. He was yelling at me. Cursing. Nothing new to be honest. I could feel his energy, hot, angry, like lightening against my skin. Being in the same room with him hurt because there was so much anger. I don’t even remember what he was angry about. He would be fine one minute, then out of no where we would be fighting. I hated it. I never knew what to expect. I never knew when he would swing into a rage. But I could feel it the second before it happened. I could feel the wall of anger hit me before the words left his mouth.
He was in one now. A rage. He never actually listened when he was like that. So I learned to stop talking. Which would make him more angry because he wanted to fight. He wanted someone to yell back at him and I never did. He would try to get a response out of me, and my one act of defiance, the one thing I could do, was not react. I didn’t want to sink to his level. It was my way of proving that I was better and that he would never be able to break me becaue I felt like that was what he was trying to do towards the end.
During this fight we ended up grappling. We ended up on the bed. He was above me. His face was red with anger and from the exertion. It was contorted with effort. It looked vicious and mean, and it’s the face I associate with him now. Not the warm smile with bright eyes. This dark, malicious expression is what I see when I have dreams of him.
I was fighting back, trying to get him to go away. I didn’t want to hurt him. But I didn’t want him touching me. I didn’t want him in my room. It was my safe space. It was one of the things we had agreed on. He wouldn’t come into my room without permission. He wasn’t welcome, why wasn’t he going away? Why wasn’t he keeping his word?
His hand slipped and hit the side of my jaw. Hard. It hurt so much. The shock of it made me stop fighting back. I couldn’t see anything but white. I couldn’t hear anything except ringing. There was nothing else except this pain in my head. I had never experienced anything like it before. I had nothing to compare it to.
He was saying something. He was doing something. But I couldn’t focus. I couldn’t make things make sense. I was crying, silent tears. I could feel them on my face. Wet, running down. One of the tears ran into my ear. I’m not sure why I remember that, or why it matters. It seems so normal, so mundane, in relation to everything else. Even while something terrible was about to happen, even while a nightmare unfolds life was still going, still turning. Stupid annoying things are still happening, so things will be ok. Things will go back to being normal. It’s ok. It’s ok.
I wanted it to stop, for him to leave. I didn’t want to fight anymore.
I started being able to focus on the room. On myself. I could understand what was going on. He was taking off my pants, and I knew what was going to happen. I didn’t have it in me to fight anymore. I didn’t tell him to stop. I didn’t say no. Instead I did what he told me to, and cried as quietly as I could because it felt like no matter what I did that it wouldn’t matter. It was easier to close my eyes and to try to escape to somewhere else. It was easier to pretend that it wasn’t happening to me. It was someone else. Some other person. It wasn’t me. It wasn’t me.
It didn’t last for very long. At least I don’t think it did. He left afterwards and as he walked out of my room, leaving my door open, I curled into a ball on my bed holding my pillow to my chest so I could bury my face into it and silently scream. I screamed and cried until I couldn’t anymore. Until my chest hurt, my body ached, and I had nothing left inside of me. I felt like a wounded animal. Like I was dying. Alone. In the dark. So horribly cold and alone.
I remember waking up. It was still dark outside. It was still dark in my room. The apartment was silent. He was sleep. It felt safer. Like the darkness, the silence would protect me. I had somehow wrapped myself up in my sheet. My giant, purple, sheet. I stayed in bed for a while longer, listening.
I felt empty. Detached. The events were facts. They happened. They were logic. There was no emotion. The few twinges that I felt I crushed, mercilessly.
I would feel nothing. I felt nothing. There was nothing.
Eventually I got up and showered. In the dark. More tears. But I could only feel them for a second before the water washed them away. They, like the emotions, didn’t exist. There were no tears. There was no hurt. There was simply washing. And then there were chores that needed to get done. And work in the morning.
There was nothing. And for a long time that’s how I functioned. That’s how I as able to cope.
I don’t regret any of the experiences I have had in life. I feel all of them go into making me who I am. But if there is one thing I could change, one thing I would have happen differently, it would be this event.
So many of my insecurities are associated, or compounded from this one event, that I often wonder who I would be if it hadn’t happened. What type of person would I have turned into? Would I be stronger? Would I be less empathetic? Would I cherish the people in my life as much as I do? Would my outlooks, morals, and values be different?
Would I be more trusting in my relationships? Would I love more? Would I love easier?
If I could change it I would have this event not happen, or I would have left him afterwards rather than staying longer, or I would have pressed charges so Ashley wouldn’t have experienced the same situation. I would have stopped her experience from happening.
There are so many ways it could have been different, but because I did nothing, it played out the way it did.
I wonder what would have happened if I had been stronger. And that’s what eats away at me. Every time. Even now. I blame myself for weakness. I blame myself for being scared and doing nothing. I blame myself for staying and justifying what he did.
There is still all of this anger and hurt inside. Self-loathing. Contempt. There is still this broken, scared girl who wants to hide under the purple blanket and pretend that the monsters aren’t real and that they can’t hurt her.
But they are real, they do exist, and they can hurt you. And the most horrible ones are the ones inside your own head. The ones whispering lies to you. Lies that you believe for years. The hardest monster to fight is yourself. The hardest thing to do is to forgive yourself.
And I guess that’s where I am right now as I sit here and try to type through new tears. I’m trying to understand that it wasn’t my fault, and that’s so hard to do. It’s so hard to believe when you have part of your very soul scream that it is your fault. If you hadn’t deserved it in some way it wouldn’t have happened. If you really were a good person it wouldn’t have happened.
But for the first time, even with the screaming in my head, I don’t feel broken. I don’t feel shattered by these facts. I can feel myself still because I haven’t escaped away to some far off distance place in my head. My Ice cave where nothing can hurt me. I’m still here and able to feel. And though I feel sad, and hurt. I don’t feel weak.
For the first time I am able to take that frail, vulnerable part of myself and embrace her and hug her and finally say that it’s ok. For the first time I actually believe those words in regards to this situation. I truly believe that it really is ok. That I’m ok, and that I will be ok.
I don’t regret who I am. I don’t regret my experiences. But I do think it’s human to wonder ‘what if’ some times. And this is one of the few moments in my life where I am left wondering what would have happened if events had been different.