Sunday, June 5, 2011


There are days when I know things are getting better. Nearly a month with him completely cut out of my life, I feel less tied to the emotions I carried around for so long. But I worry it's not a sign of me "getting better" and simply I am growing numb.

I didn't notice it at first, I was just happy that the pain was receding. It was when I was out with friends, or watching something that should have had me howling, or in situations where I should at least be smiling, that I felt nothing. Sure, I would laugh and smile and jest, because that is what's expected of me (and what do I do best than pretend everything is okay?) but I just wasn't feeling it.

And it scares me.

When I was with him, I told myself how I need to build up walls, shields to protect me from his moments of cruelty. Because if I could take it, then I would be able to help him. That I would rather he took his rage out on me than our friends. I had convinced myself that I should be some sacrifice because... because what? I think, in the end, I think I deserved it.

When we started dating, we had been friends for several years. He knew me, as best anyone can from chat and phone conversations, but he knew me from a darker time in my life. I was in a loveless relationship which I didn't know how to get out of, and the friends I kept were not always the best of people looking out for anyone's interest but their own.

I'm not a great person. I've done a lot of mean things to people. I have let men love me only to turn around and laugh at them. I have lied to and about friends. I have been petty and cruel in my own right. And by the time I got together with him, he knew how terrible I felt for all the things I had done up to that point. I was determined to change. I was tired of hurting others. I was tired of being hurt. I just wanted to make things right.

And he supported that. He would call me out when I'd get petty about something, or lurk on websites that were the equivalent of grocery store rags. And I grew. And I got better. Or so I thought. The thing was, he did all those things and more.

As I was trying to grow, he would sit and stew and rage about the injustices done to him (never me, never our friends). At first I got sucked in. It's easier to defend other people than yourself, it seems less... selfish. But it just got to be so much. I didn't want to be a part of it anymore. When I started calling him out on the way he acted and treated others, I was met with such anger. It got to he point where he did nothing but break me down, to sink me back to his level.

I remember him telling me, several times, how I "came [to him] broken" and I started to believe it. I had issues, people on the internet and people who had never met me had poor opinions of me, so I must have deserved all of this. I was not a good person, we both would say to me.

Now I have to ask myself how such ridiculous, meaningless things mattered to me? Because, really, they had no bearing on real life. The friends and co-workers I had outside of this "scene" would scarce believe I was the person I felt I was. Why would my own boyfriend try to make me have such a low opinion of myself? Why wouldn't he want me to be a better person? The person everyone else seemed to think I already was?

It got to a point where all we could talk about was drama. I would want to talk about work, or news (which in my case is the same thing), family and friends or just life. He would sit at the computer and half-heartily listen to me. The moment I said, "Oh, did you hear about so-and-so going to this show and looking like an idiot?" I would have his full attention. It became a game, after some point, to see how ridiculous a story I could tell him, watch him eat it up, and then spread it around to all his friends.

See, even when I complain of abuses, I wasn't even that great in this relationship. I just didn't know what to do. Because when all was said and done, even after a fight where I would sit and be screamed at for a good thirty minutes about how pathetic, useless, uncaring, crazy, and a bother I was, I still loved him. We would calm down, take each other in our arms, say we were sorry and promised it wouldn't happen again.

It always happened again. Even after we broke up, even after the numbness started creeping in, even when all my fire went out and I just would let him rage and rage and I wouldn't even speak up in defense... it continued. I don't know how someone who claimed to love me so much could say such vile things about me. I never will understand that.

One of the last things he ever said to me was how I was "annoying." And I wonder, if that is something he had long felt even in the relationship. I know he complained to friends, good friends, mutual friends, of his unhappiness with me. They would say, "Why are you with her then?". I ask myself that too, why didn't he leave sooner? I gave him so many chances to get out of the relationship. I knew I wasn't strong enough to leave, but I would say so often, "If you want this over, then just say so." He would say, "No, I love you. We'll work on this." We never did.

It's not a nice thing to say, in any sense. But I guess when you are telling someone to "fuck off and die" that saying they're "annoying" is of little consequence. But it was that which has stayed with me.

When he said it, I just hung up. I was done. I had been screamed at, lied about, and assaulted verbally and physically enough. It was at something so... childish that I finally stopped caring about having him in my life.

I know the numbness has been there all this time. It's probably how I survived without truly going crazy. I know I didn't act like the better person sometimes. I would cry, have random outbursts for no apparent reason to the people around us, I would rage in my own right, and tell him how horrible a person he was when we fought. No one saw what was done in private. They never do, do they?

I also lied in my last post. I am angry with some friends who have chosen to ignore me in lieu of a friendship with him. I wish I could be numb about that.

But it sucks. It really, really sucks. To know all that has happened to me, and to some of his girls before me, and to be in a position in which very few people listen, and even less believe. I am thankful that what happened to me wasn't as bad as you read about with some people. I am able to walk away with my life, and a good bit of my soul intact. But I feel so strongly for those who have been victimized, brutalized, and are left to bare this burden alone. Even though my case may seem petty, and my friends who are by my side constantly remind me that these people are no better than him, if they choose to ignore what they have seen and hear and support him without even hearing me out. (And I can't help but laugh, bitterly, when a friend commented on how ironic it was that a group of people who did a film about abuse quickly turned their heads when it was happening to one of their own. I guess I'm not completely numb after all.)

I want to do more. Not against him. I know what type of person he is and there is little I can do that can make his life any more miserable than the life he makes for himself. I want to do something for women like me. I want them to know it's okay to speak out, and find a safe place where someone will listen to them. No one should feel alone.

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