To show or not to show?To share or not to share?After deliberating, it was a no brainer for me to show other women (and men), just SOME of what I have been through.Yes, a picture tells a thousand words.But why did it happen?What did “I” do to cause it?Was there any domestic violence prevention that could have been done?Why did he do this?Many women ask these same questions.
Sometimes there are absolutely NO “logical” reasons why things happen.Sometimes there are logical reasons.But none of them make us physically, emotionally, or mentally feel any better after they happen.
Was this the only time?Well, I would love to tell you it was.But that wouldn’t be the truth.And the truth is why we are all here, right?To find the truth and seek our own solutions to get out.
Were there red flags?In reflection, “Heck, yes!”
He was so nice at first.A gentleman, seriously.Then we moved in together.BIG mistake.By then, financially, times were difficult.A few months after we moved in, I was laid off from my job.The man who hired me kept me employed until his wife came back from pregnancy leave, then he let me go and she took over my position.He never mentioned his plan to only keep me until she returned.
The strain financially did not make my boyfriend happy.We started getting into disagreements.Then one night the yelling started.So I went into the bathroom and packed a bag to go and stay at my girlfriend’s house.Ahhh, THAT is when it started.He threw me across the bathroom and I hit my head on the sink and fell between the toilet and the sink to the floor.I remember staring at my legs and arms.They were not comfortable in the contorted position in which they landed.But I was in shock mostly that he so effortlessly pushed my chest and I literally flew across the bathroom.
Instead of hearing “I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to do that!”, I heard, “You’re not f@#$ing going anywhere!”Obviously, I stayed home.
Things seemed to calm down, and he even “allowed” my friends to come over to our place for the first time in the 6 months we had been living together.I wanted things to go so well, I worked very hard to get the food and drinks ready and cleaned diligently.
My boyfriend was a recovering alcoholic and was clean and sober for 7 years.When my friends arrived, I served the drinks.He said he didn’t want one, but I said it was okay for him to have just one.I didn’t want him to feel awkward or left out.
Okay, you get it, right?That’s where I messed up.And having no previous knowledge of what a serious alcoholic was about and thought having a couple drinks wouldn’t be such a big deal, I certainly learned my lesson.
(It took 3 days for my eye to open just to see if I was blind from the injury.There was cornea damage, the thank The Lord, I still had my sight.)
I served everyone drink after drink that night, and everyone, including my boyfriend, had a fantastic time!
When everyone was walking out the door was left open, and I noticed my dog, Pebbles, got out.We lived right on a main road, and I was frantic and asked him to get Pebbles right away.I can’t recall what his reply was, but he didn’t go outside to look, so I said it again, “Pebbles got out, we need to get her now!”
I was cleaning all the beer bottles up all over the coffee table, and I was standing right next to the couch.All I remember is being thrown into the couch on my back and held down. His knee was pushed down on my chest and one of his hands was squeezing my arm.I couldn’t move at all.
Then it began.What seemed to last hours probably only lasted a solid 60 seconds and about 20 or more punches.I will never forget one punch, it sent my eyeball crashing right into my head!It hurt so badly, I thought my eye was gone.I felt my eye being shoved so hard into my brain it was brutal.
(This was taken more than 2 weeks after the incident.)
But he didn’t stop.I weighed 115 pounds and was 5′ 6″ tall.Hardly a match for a guy, even though he was shorter than I was.
The punches to my face, neck and chest continued.I remember saying “I’m sorry, please forgive me.I’m sorry.I’m sorry.I’m sorry.Please.I love you.”
Then he stopped suddenly!He took a beer bottle and broke it over his head.(A sudden rush of guilt came to his mind?Who knows!)
No time for making up or worrying about HIS head, I ran as fast as I could out of the apartment!
I ran to the convenience store area which was in our parking lot. Apparently the store owner saw me bleeding and yelling for help and called 911.
At just that moment, all of my friends came back and looked at me like they saw a ghost.Only about 15 minutes passed by since they left.It turns out they took my dog, Pebbles, as a joke.It didn’t turn out to be so funny though.But she was okay, so I was VERY relieved about that!She was my pride and joy!If you seriously want unconditional love, animals don’t let you down! :o)So I won’t let them down, that’s for sure.
5 police cars, 10 policemen.Searched the vicinity, never found him.When they left, he showed up.He looked at me and started screaming, “Who the hell did this to you!?”I only had one eye to look at him with and disgustingly looked at him while all my friends were there and said, “You did.”
He didn’t believe it.He said he went into a “blackout.”Well, my opinion of whether or not alcoholics actually do go into “blackouts” is neither here nor there.But something happened that was never fully understandable, that’s for certain.
What happened to him?Well, this was a while ago, and California didn’t impose strict standards on domestic violence abuse the way they do today.That’s too bad, isn’t it?
He got 30 days of picking up garbage on the side of the road.BUT, since he had a doctor’s note saying he had a bad back from a car accident, he actually only wound up doing 15 days doing desk duty.He would leave early because the woman running the program said he was a hard worker.
Trying to get a job (remember, I had been laid off) looking beat up was impossible.I didn’t even leave the house for two weeks, and he shut off the phone so I didn’t have anyway to even make phone calls to get a job.
There’s more to the story, but this gives you an idea as to how quickly domestic violence can happen.Or was it quickly?
If you see red flags, get out now while you can.My story doesn’t get happy, and things didn’t get much better, not for quite a while.
Please don’t repeat my mistakes.Because you will end up with a very difficult, unhappy, low self esteem, codependent life like I have lived for far too long.
Trust me, You DO Deserve Better!
P.S. – These pictures were taken 2 weeks after the initial incident. I can tell you this, makeup doesn’t hide these injuries.I went to the supermarket because I had no food, so I tried to look decent.I had two people come up to me and ask to take me to the emergency room and wanted to know who just did this to me.When I told them it happened two weeks ago, they didn’t believe me.
Visit Adrienne’s website, Domestic Violence No More, for more stories and a wealth of information about relationship abuse.