First, I want to say that the following post is not something I discuss openly, but it sort of came up in conversation today…so I thought I would try and share. ‘Try’ being the operative word.
Second, keep in mind, this is probably one of the very few things I never thought I would be blogging about…so…just keep that in mind…
Third, I realize that I am infinitely lucky, because this story could have ended a lot worse for me.
My first real boyfriend was a complete psycho.
I was 15 and he was 19. He was really good at pretending he was normal but it still only took about three weeks before it was painfully obvious that I was either going to have to go into hiding or shoot him in the face to get away.
At first, everything was perfect. And in my innocent, naïve, little fifteen year old eyes, I was pretty sure things would work out just fine for us. The only problem? He brought with him a whole lot of crazy that I couldn’t handle. It started out slow, with just a few questions that seemed a little off the wall and started, more and more, to seem like accusations. I laughed them off. I ignored them. I convinced him that he was wrong.
Then he started showing up at my job. Every day. And sometimes, he would just walk by, peering in, making sure I was actually there, where I said I would be. That I wasn’t talking to anyone I shouldn’t be.
Gradually, he started getting angry. Jealous. Harder to deal with. There were accusations. There was yelling. There was just a little bit of force. And by this time, no one would believe me. He had everyone snowed. He was the nicest, most respectful, most intelligent boy I could have found. Nevermind that he was insane. Nevermind that he used the fact that he was bigger than me to change my mind. Nevermind that time a guy talked to me while I was at work and he swore he would kill us both. Nevermind that.
The “big one” happened a week before my sixteenth birthday. I had been trying to break it off without angering him, but to no avail. He showed up more and more and insisted that I let him take me everywhere. So, that Saturday after work, he picked me up and brought me to a mutual friend’s house. We met up with a group of people and went driving around town. We decided to stop near the river and get out and just walk around. It was the middle of December. It was cold. I had left my coat in his car when we someone else decided to drive. He was walking several feet in front of me, talking with a friend.
When A asked me if I wanted to wear his coat, I took it thankfully but as soon as HE saw that I was wearing it, a fury built up in him that I’d never seen in anyone. He demanded that I take it off. And how could I wear someone else’s coat. And didn’t I know that I belonged to him. And didn’t I have any sense. He ripped the coat off of me and pulled me all the way back to the car by my arm. I was scared. I was cold. I was crying. It was a coat.
He slammed me against the car and just stood before me, waving his finger in my face as he called me every name he could think of.
I felt so small. I barely spoke the rest of the night. I walked behind him. Silent. Humiliated. Scared. And then he brought me home.
That night, he slept with someone I had known since elementary school. The next day, I showed him the bruises on my arms and told him to go fuck himself.
For weeks, there were flowers waiting for me when I got up for school. I saw his car in the parking lot when I got there. Next to the dumpster in back of my job. Across from my Grandparents’ house, when it got to be that I couldn’t stay at home anymore because he was always waiting. He had started to follow my father (who had started picking me up from work when my mom finally didn’t know what to do) so that he would know where I went when I didn’t go home. There were phone calls to my friends.
Then I found out that he had done this before. And had been arrested. And accused three times of rape and been sent to a halfway house before he was even eighteen. And then I realized how lucky I had been. The problem was taken care of. Mostly.
He showed up on and off until I was about twenty-one. He was always able to find me on the anniversary of the day we met. He even ran into my mom and grandma once when they were visiting me at work on that day. I want to think it was coincidental, but the last time it happened, I couldn’t really buy it. I worked at the mall. He had come into my store a few days before, but I didn’t think he had seen me (and he couldn’t have known I worked there, I thought), I had run into the back and watched the cameras until he was gone. But then he came back. He walked by right before the mall closed, looked inside the store, made eye contact with me and smirked. And it seemed like it all happened in slow motion. I had a friend in the store across from me who had to walk me out and when I got to my car, there he was. Parked right beside me (even though, as far as I knew he had never seen my car), leaning against another vehicle. Whistling. Like a threat. Like he was taunting me. Just show me that, I couldn’t keep him away. That he would find me. New job, new car, new home. It didn’t matter. He could find me.
I had a friend (a PI) check him out. And it turns out, time hadn’t healed him. He was worse than ever.
I feel foolish talking about it, even now. I never mention it to people who don’t already know because, even though it wasn’t my fault, I am too humiliated by it still, to talk about how weak I was. How stupid I was. How much I let him take from me. But I promised myself I would never let it happen again. Thus, Cold Hard Bitch was born.
Still trying to find a happy place in between.