*This article has been previously published for me by Scars Publications, for Down in the Dirt Magazine.
Hands that Hurt
I have been putting this talk off long enough I think. Yet I am nervous about seeking this person out and telling them exactly how I feel. We have been in a tumultuous relationship for some time now, thirty-four years to be exact. At first, like most relationships, it was carefree and full of fun, but towards the last two-thirds of it, all that faded away. Looking back on it in hindsight, I guess it was only ever good for a very short period of time. Hindsight is always 20/20, right? I wish I would have known then, what I know now. It could have saved so many heartaches.
The abuse started at a fairly early age I must say. I think I was twenty-six when my friend turned on me for the worse. Or at least that is when I realized that the love I was giving was no longer being returned. I remember that day like it was yesterday because I remember thinking, I wonder if he really ever loved me at all? Could I possibly have been that naïve and blind to a situation like that for all these years? Could I have had so much love for him that it blinded me to the fact that he really never even cared about me at all? Ya, I remember that day all too well, unfortunately. I had never felt so broken, alone, discarded and completely used in all of my life. I felt pushed aside, much like an empty cereal box would be at the morning breakfast table. I had given this person all of me, withholding none, and I got nothing in return. Nothing good that is!
I ended this nightmare of a relationship about 4 months ago, thank-you Lord for giving me the strength to do that. I could not have done it on my own, no way! Since we parted ways I moved as far away from him as I could afford to do. Mainly out of fear that he would hunt me down like a wild game animal and force me back to him. Yes, he is like that, very controlling, manipulating, and powerful! The kind of guy that says “if I can’t have you, then no one will.„ and laughs after he says it! A frightening fellow for sure. So I ran as far away from him as I could get, and for the longest time, I still didn’t feel safe!
I mean how could I, he has killed before. I didn’t know that then, but I do now, and come to find out, he’s done it more than once. It almost seems to be kind of a hobby for him, yet he never, not one time, has ever been in trouble for it! Ya, which makes me even fear him more. I have talked with a couple people who have been in relationships with him in the past and their story is the same as mine. The other person I wanted to talk to, I found out was his last victim before I started dating him, so we never did get to chat.
So now that I have had some time apart from him and been enrolled with a professional therapist to help me sort these thoughts out in my head, I am feeling much stronger. I feel a need to confront him in person and tell him how all those years of abuse made me feel. I want him to hear straight from my mouth about the nightmares I would have at night and the terrors that I felt by day. I want him to know exactly what kind of a person I think he is, and that I know about all his dirty little secrets! I feel I have earned the right to confront my abuser in this way. Yet it makes me still fear for my life!!
I got brave the other day and drove back to our old neighborhood. I just wanted to drive by the house and see if his car was there. I wanted to test my new found courage and see if it was really as brave as it was telling me it was. The house is a rustic sort of beat up two bedroom rambler, with an old coat of weather worn and chipped gray paint. One of the bedroom windows in the front we had to keep boarded up because the neighbor kids kept throwing rocks at it and breaking it. I guess it kind of looks like one of those haunted houses that you would see in one of those low budget horror movies they play on H.B.O. or something. It sits on the corner of You Got A Choice Street and I’ll Take Your Life Boulevard. Not a bad neighborhood, just working class folks, I guess you would say.
As I entered our old neighborhood from what would be the south, (the farthest point away from the house) I started to notice something peculiar. There were flyers posted on the telephone poles with a picture on them, and the word MISSING typed above it in red letters. I thought to myself, Oh no! Something has happened to one of the neighbor kids, so I stopped to take a look. As I approached the telephone pole to see what kid was in trouble I noticed it wasn’t a little kid’s picture on it at all, it was me!! With his phone number listed below it. He was looking for me, and I knew what that meant! I started shaking uncontrollably and could feel the urine begin to run down my leg as I ran back to the car. I was so terrified, it was all I could do to get back into the car and close the door. I fumbled for my keys, finally got them into the ignition, and punched the gas. As my car fishtailed left, then right, sideways and into the neighbor’s flowerbed, I regained control and sped home! Maybe in hindsight, it was a little too soon for this talk!