Well, it has been published, or part one has been. They broke it up into two parts and as usual I feel I could have done better.
How on earth do you condense 10 years into 2000 words or less? An isolated incident maybe. How do you break through the preconceived beliefs of society to show that women or men who suffer domestic abuse are not weak, flawed people who secretly enjoy the abuse? You can’t just speak of the abuse without explaining why you were there to begin with, because the abuse starts long before it is evident. Each episode of abuse has a build up to it and then the aftermath. You can’t look at the punch to the head without talking about why you stayed. And how do you explain that in most cases you had no idea the abuser was plotting and planning his every move like a professional chess player plays his men. How he anticipates the victim’s reactions and what their next move will be and what move he will make in response to that. How do you explain how he uses your emotions against you and how your mind refuses to accept what just happened, how you WANT to be crazy. It is so much easier to accept that it was some horrible mistake or that somehow you could have prevented it than to accept someone you love with all your heart, and planned to spend the rest of your life with, could want to harm you.
And how at the time you don’t see the sequence of events because you weren’t expecting it and could never think like the abuser thinks, you can’t predict something your mind won’t even let you acknowledge. It took years for all the pieces to fall into place over the one incident when WOSPOS ambushed my son and I, and 4 years of no contact for it to actually sink in in its entirety and then the magnitude of what transpired grips your gut.
If it was a movie I am sure the audience would be screaming, “Don’t go in there.” because they would be privy to the behind the scenes planning of the abuser. But the victim never gets that advantage. I can see it all so clearly now. The WOSPOS worked for a solid week putting expensive spot lights all over his truck. It annoyed me because I thought he was stalling for time because he had been told to get out.
The night of the attack when my son and I pulled up and I saw wospos’s truck parked with all the spotlights on and pointed out away from the truck my first thought was how inconsiderate he was, he was always pissing off the neighbors by making noise in the middle of the night or having bright work lights on keeping people awake because they were shining in their bedroom windows. I thought to myself, “Great, all the neighbors are going to be complaining tomorrow, why does he have to be so dang inconsiderate all the time?” It didn’t even hit me when I squeezed between the truck and the lattice work, all I thought was, “Typical, he is so inconsiderate, not leaving room for me to get in the trailer.”
I still had a feeling something was not right, something else was out of the ordinary. It was not until I got inside the patio area that I realized, the mini white lights I ALWAYS left on, weren’t on. Again I thought it was him just being difficult. He was striding across the patio to his truck and I thought it was strange he had his cowboy boots on, he always wore runners, his cowboy boots weren’t that comfortable. I noticed because they were loud on the concrete. It wasn’t until the next day when the neighbors all huddled in the street talking that someone mentioned that they had looked out about midnight and thought it was strange my white lights weren’t on. He must have turned on his spot lights after I called to say I was almost home because no one remembered them being on earlier. The reason it took so long for anyone to come was when they looked out to see what all the racket was about they couldn’t see anything because the spot lights blinded them and the wospos had started his truck and it was loud. With the truck running and parked so close to the patio entrance the sound didn’t travel like it would have normally.
I told the cops but they never even went and talked to the neighbors. I thought it was just a coincidence, could he have planned to blind people with his spot lights? a week and half in advance of an unexpected fight?
When he came home with contact lens and made a big deal about trying to get me to put them in his eyes for him because he couldn’t do it himself. I didn’t like him without his glasses on anyway and I sure didn’t want to be putting my fingers in his eyes. I thought why bother if it is such a big problem for him, I had told him I liked him better with glasses and he was the last person who should have contacts. He was a mechanic who always had dirty hands, working in dust is the worst thing for contact wearers. He was not careful with his stuff and contacts have to be kept sterile. It made no sense to me at all.
But after the fight when my son and I were locked in the trailer I heard wospos out on the patio talking to himself. I looked out and he was crawling around on his hands and knees mumbling, “My glasses, I can’t find my glasses.” and feeling the patio with his hands like a blind man. My gut instinct was that it was an act. It wasn’t until over a year later that I found what I thought were his glasses on the fridge. The contacts were long gone, he had never asked me to put them in again, so how did he manage to leave the house without his glasses? he was blind without them. I took them down and realized there was plain glass and not prescription lens in them and my mind flashed back to the picture of him crawling around on the patio. Could he have been that evil to plan it in such detail that he would anticipate losing his glasses in the fight so he wore contacts and phony glasses so he would have the advantage?
It was 9 years later when his son was living with us that he came out of the bedroom angry with his son wearing his cowboy boots and kicked the kid right in the ass with the toe of his boot. He even remarked to me that the kid must be pretty tough because he didn’t say a word and didn’t stop walking. I thought maybe he didn’t kick him that hard but I flashed back to the night years prior and wondered if those were his fighting boots.
And later when he cried and begged me back, admitted fault and pleaded for one last 2nd chance I didn’t think it was because he was planning on altering my statement to crown counsel about the attack. He moved in with me and everything seemed great and then one day I came home from school and he had packed up everything he owned and some of my stuff and was ready to pull away when I got home from school early. I would have walked in and discovered he was gone. It wasn’t until years later that I was looking for some paper to write on and found old papers that had photo copies on them and discovered he had changed my statement and photocopied my signature on the bottom. then it made sense why he left so quickly. He had accomplished what he set out to do. No……… could someone actually plan that, cry real tears, admit fault and not mean a word of it? I had never heard of a narcissist and psychopaths were in the movies, not in my bed.
And each and every episode of our relationship was like that, always behind the scenes subplots going on, smoke screens, slight of hand, gas lighting. There is no way you can write about it in 2000 words. My God there aren’t the words to describe the horror you feel when you realize the truth. My mind still battles it.
Someone commented about forgiveness today and said that I needed to forgive my ex and I argue that I don’t know how you forgive someone for bringing that kind of terror into your life and then not letting you get on with your life. I forgave many times and I kept my promise to forgive and never bring it up again. But when it is plot after plot, lie after lie, I asked the commenter how many times does a person forgive? and when the abuser keeps trying to ruin your life even after years of no contact how many times do you forgive?
Forgiveness is for when someone accidentally hurts you. I have fallen out of love with men and I was really sorry I hurt them and I hope they forgave me because I certainly did not plan on hurting them. I have had friends share a secret I asked them not to and they felt really bad and I forgave them. I am a forgiving person, in fact I have had some pretty shitty things done to me in my life and I have not held a grudge against anyone. I have forgiven the unforgivable because I know I am not perfect and have needed a person’s forgiveness many times. Like my son forgives me for being with wospos, and I am so thankful for that forgiveness and when I say I am sorry I mean it with every fibre of my being but he didn’t have to forgive me. But I certainly never intended to hurt my son.
Anyway you will find part 1 of my article for Canadian Centre for Victim’s of Violence ….. here.