Thursday, September 27, 2007

Stop the Abuse!

When I was 20 years old, I lived with a girlfriend of mine and her family. She was dating a guy who was physically abusive. The first time I actually witnessed the violence, we were at a party with about 30 people and he got really upset with her. They were standing in the street and he picked her up by her throat and was choking her. I immediately ran over and tried to pry his hands from her neck. He let go and literally tossed me aside with one hand (I was a tiny thing back then). I picked myself up from the pavement and tried again to break things up. In hindsight, it's unbelievable to me that there were so many other people at that party that just sat by and watched it happen. Why was I the only one to try to stop it? Anyway, he let go and we got in her car to go home. He jumped in the backseat and wouldn't get out, so my friend proceeded to keep driving to her house. I don't remember much about the drive, other than being completely terrified. I do remember that when we got a block or two from her house...he grabbed the control and threw the car into neutral. My friend got out of the car and ran the rest of the way home. I stayed in the car and was yelling and cursing at him telling him what an idiot and coward he was. I don't know what possessed me...what a stupid thing to do. I can't remember much after that from that night, but I think he must've eventually gotten out of the car and I must've driven it to her house. After that incident, I definitely encouraged her to get out of the relationship and also told her that if she decided to stay with him, I would still be her friend, but I didn't want to be around him.

A couple of months later, she broke up with him. One night shortly after that, we were driving around in her car. She and I were in the front seat and two of our guy friends were in the back seat. Her ex-boyfriend saw us and started following us. My girlfriend sped back to her's a wonder we didn't wreck. When we got there, she jumped out of the car and ran inside. I didn't really think he would do anything to me, but I reached over to lock her door just to be safe. As I leaned back into my seat, he put his fist through the window where I was sitting and broke it and opened the door. I tried to climb through to the other side and I opened the door and was almost out of the door when he pulled me by my hair back into the car and started punching me in the head. The two guys in the backseat told him to stop, but that was about all they did. He finally stopped hitting me and I was able to stumble into the house. He left and we called the police. While the police were taking their statement, he called her house. He told her mom that he was going to kill me and their daughter and that we better leave town within two days.

The next morning, we went to the police station to file a restraining order, but were told that it wasn't worth the paper it was written on. We packed up our things and moved that day from Wichita*Falls to Arlington, Texas. We moved in with a friend of ours, who also happened to be an ex-boyfriend of hers (although could not be more different from the abusive ex). I had very long hair at the time, but it had been falling out in clumps where he had pulled it while he was hitting me. I had a piece of glass from the window stuck in my toe for months afterwards, and it was a constant reminder of what had happened. I was so happy when I finally got it out. I felt like I could move on. My girlfriend apparently wasn't completely over the abusive ex, because we found multiple calls to his job on our phone bill.

Life is strange, and I never would've guessed that I would end up back in Wichita*Falls, but I did about a year later. I moved into a maternity home there, and after giving birth to Ryann, we moved into our own apartment. I was out one night with a group of my girlfriends, when we ran into the guy who beat me up. One of my girlfriends, who knew the whole backstory, but lost any sort of intelligence when she was drinking, spent the night flirting with him. She lived out of town and was spending the night with me that night. At the end of the night, she told him that we would take him home. I was furious and told her that we would not, but another of our friends was driving and he did end up in the car with us. I let them know how uncomfortable I was with this and asked them to drop him off first, because I didn't want him to know where I lived. The next morning, when I got back from church, another of my friends informed me that the guy had been in my apartment while I was at church. Apparently, my "friend" invited him over. My "friend" ended up moving to town, working with me and dating the guy. Once she started dating him, we stopped talking. She got pregnant and called me to cry on my shoulder and I tried to be there for her. She ended up having a miscarriage, and broke up with the guy. We ended our "friendship" a couple of years later when she went to NYC on business and kissed K, who was my fiancé at the time. That's a whole other show!

I'm not quite sure how to wrap this up. It's a little surreal to think back to those times and I can't begin to tell you how much I've learned from those times or since those times. I think I could've handled it all a little better, but I'm proud of myself for standing up to him. It's mindblowing to me how common abuse is. It seems as though almost everyone has endured it in some form or another. It hurts my heart to see people or animals get bullied and abused! Let's put an end to the blame the victim mentality!

See Vodkarella for details on Blog Against Abuse day!


Jenny said...

Wow. Wow. Wow.

What an amazing and terrible story.

How do things like this happen...and how do we keep them from happening to our children?

Jessica said...

That's what scares me more than anything. How do we keep this from happening to our children? I wish I knew!

Margaret said...

Is it wrong for me to say "ditto" to what Jenny said?

Wow-o-wow my dear....

Jessica said...

No, it's not wrong at all! Is it wrong for me to take so freaking long to respond to comments? Yes, yes it is!! =)