Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Haunting Memories

We all have ghosts and skeletons in our closet, right? I got rid of all mine a long time ago or so I thought.

It’s strange to me how certain people who had once been in your life can still affect you even years later. I guess maybe affect isn’t the right word, but something about them haunts you. Don’t get me wrong, these are not mushy feelings towards this person, its more like “What the hell kind of lesson was I supposed to learn from this experience?”

Basically what started this was today I came across a photo of this person. A certain online community website that sends you ”people you may know”. Random. Of course, I’m talking about an ex. Actually she was my first girlfriend. The first few months were good…really good. Then something changed and then in the blink of an eye it was not a healthy relationship by any meaning of the word. I noticed I stopped hanging out or talking to my friends, she was jealous all the time, had to know where I was at all times, controlled everything, thought I was sleeping with all my friends and the fights…one in particular I remember because it was my first Pride parade, and I was in it. Fighting and screaming (on her part) til about 5 o’clock in the morning. At one point, I thought it would turn physical. Actually, I’m amazed that it didn’t. The worst part was that her best friend was staying with us, knew what was happening and did nothing even though she saw how hysterically upset and scared I was. Needless to say, Pride was a blur that next morning since I had about two hours of sleep. Honestly, I don’t even remember what we fought about that night, but I’m sure it was over something ridiculous…it always was.

After that night I knew I had to leave her, but I also knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Over the next couple of months I slowly started getting my things out of her apartment while she was at work. I remember trying to get the items to my car and hidden in my trunk as fast as I could because I had become so paranoid, that even though I knew she was at work, I was afraid she’d catch what I was doing. And I didn’t want to know what kind of explosion would happen out of that.

I remember one of our last fights. Driving in her car, fighting about who knows what. It got so bad that I was visibly upset and she was trying to kick me out of the car. We got to a football game that her nephew was playing in. I remember this part so vividly. There was a woman there who was tied to the family. It was common knowledge that her husband beat her regulary. But no one in the family did anything about it of course. I remember looking at her with this “help me” distrought look on my face. As she looked at me, it was like we spoke to each other and knew what was going on. It was then that I knew this wasn’t me and I needed to get out of this situation.

Finally, with my self confidence and self image being totally shot, somehow I got the courage to tell her it was over. And if you’ve been in a similar situation, you know what comes next. The anger, the begging you to stay, the “I’m sorry’s” and on and on and on. Nothing was working. I knew I had to lie to her to get her pissed at me enough to where it would keep her from wanting to hang on. This was a big risk for me, because even though we lived in different cities, she wasn’t really that far from me. So, I told her that I had met someone. I said nothing other than that. She flew off the deep end with that one. As expected, the threats came flying…physical harm, destruction of property, and inaudible screaming. Even at one point she got her sister in on the “we’re coming to beat the shit out of you” threats. I was terrified. I thought, “This is it. Something is really going to happen to me this time.” I had the police to my house in 10 minutes. Thankfully, she was smart enough not to come to my house. I changed my phone number and eventually moved.

So, I suppose its only natural that when I came across her photo, it sent chills. As a human being I hope that she has changed and I hope that if she is in a relationship that she treats them with respect and dignity.

That’s all I have to say about that. Thanks for listening. If you are in a relationship that makes you afraid, or in a situation that its not safe to be in, reach out to your friends and family. Tell them whats going on. You don’t have to go through it alone.

Here are some resources that can help:

LGBTQ Domestic Violence

Breaking the Silence Project

National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence (1-800-799-SAFE or 1-800-787-3224 TTY))


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