What Do You Do When It Hurts?


[Photo credit: 4ELEVEN Photography][Photo credit: 4ELEVEN Photography]

[Photo credit: 4ELEVEN Photography]

Written by PresidentELLA

I woke up shaking. There was a pillow under my head and the dog was looking down on me from above on the bed. “What happened,” was the first thought, but “where is he” was the next. I don’t think I can tell you who my alleged abuser is since they haven’t found him yet. He won’t come around either. I tried to get him to admit what he did to me over text but he denied it all. That hurts…

Still, I have enough evidence considering he was trying to pay me to drop the charges. But when he told me that $400-$500 “is a lot to give to someone,” I once again blew up. considering that he lived with me for 3 months and his only contribution was doing dishes… He literally owes me $1200 for his portion of the rent — and that’s less than half what the rent actually cost. We got cable and memberships to Six Flags, but he still found it necessary to charge things to my cards and steal my laptop from my house. I’d say that the most embarrassing thing about our relationship was the 40 minute video he recorded of himself having sex with a girl who seemingly only owns one lingerie outfit because the video was from August, but she sent him pictures in the same get-up in July. No, the most embarrassing thing about this  factual account of the hell I was put through was that it wasn’t the first time. 

I took the phone back from him the first time because, since I paid for the phone and the bill, I could see all of his calls. For a man with no job, who needed to ask me for 50cents to buy cigarettes, he was spending a lot of time on the phone with someone in the middle of day, while I was at work. My real issue was that when I would get home form work, at about 6pm, he was already gone. I had no idea he was riding around in my car all day until his friend dished all the dirt. You see, his homebody had hit me asking me to pay for some “lost” headphones. Those headphones were lost the day he decided to slam me up against my car and then choke me against the cement until he pried the cell phone out of my hands. Being the unfortunate soldier I am, I ran back up to him to try to get my phone back; he put his hand over my mouth and I bit down until I felt the skin split under my teeth. I will never forget what the sound of splitting flesh sounds like, because it echoed so loud in my head that I loosened my grip. I immediately felt bad.  He never did, tho. He flung the phone over the brick wall and into the bushes of Central Park. I cried while I looked for it. Bought him peroxide and bandaids. I cleaned his wound. And he repaid my by choking me until I passed out, and stealing from me after kicked him out. 

“You ever get your flip flops back,” his just-as-broke homebody texted me.

“No,” I replied. Do you know anything about my laptop?”

“Facetime,” he texted, to which I gave him the usual “For what,” because I knew he was trying to hit on me. When I finally agreed to facetime, there was my laptop. “But he gave it to me with no charger,” he went on.

“Like a crackhead would,” I unapologetically thought aloud. It took me two weeks to get my laptop back. I don’t know if dude was trying to find a charger, but he has text me and said that he no longer had it, until I went to the police and had them call T directly (we’ll call him T, until proven guilty in a court of law). 

My problem is that I never wanted to feel weak. I wanted to fix things. I wanted to escape the internet memes about having a new boyfriend and as I grow older and still have no ring on my finger… so I’m going to stop blaming this on myself. The only mistake I’ve made is to make exceptions. I have to start accepting the fact that I am better.

Too often I try to dull my shine for people who haven’t made the same decisions as me. In order to make them feel better about themselves, I dumb myself down. I try not to be so great, so that they can be great with me. I try to relate, but I shouldn’t — even if I do. The problem with most of my relationships (friendly and intimate) is that i act like I’m too good. Like I know better. But I do know better.

First and foremost, I’m never dating anyone without a degree anymore. Not that that “means” anything other than that I know they share the same values as I do. I’ll know that they person can take on a task and complete it on his own and also employ self-management. Before T, I dated an “entrepreneur” who’s account was overdraft too often for my taste. At the end of our relationship, he made me feel like maybe I was asking for too much… so I settled for someone with nothing. 

What I learned through all of this is that I’m still here. T choked me out because I reached for the phone to call one of his friends to calm him down and he thought I was calling the police. I should have called the police. Instead, I called friends who, unfortunately could only tell me that they they had been through the same. That’s why I don’t pick up the phone anymore. It wasn’t until a month and a half after T and I broke up (I broke up with him, he fake went out of town but moved in with his ex-girlfriend), that I told my mother what happened. That night, she immediately told me to go to the police, and I immediately did. On October 4th, a warrant for T’s arrest was issued because I lost consciousness and technically, he tried to take my life. I don’t know why I didn’t see it that way in the first place. 

Unfortunately, every time I even hint on what happened to me, drones of women come forward and tell me that they’ve been through the same thing and that is what hurts the most. We shouldn’t relate to that. 1 in 4 women are victims of domestic abuse. 25% of us. That’s not right. It should not be common. I truly think that people who are charged with domestic violence should be recorded into a system just like sexual abusers. I wish I would have known. When I told the police the name of T’s new/old girlfriend, they gave me her last name. If there a records, I would have wanted to know. We should all want to know, because I am someone’s daughter. And whoever T is trying to live with next is also someone’s daughter. The fact that none of my friends told me to go to the police bothers me. Either that means that we accept our sons’ violence or we accept our daughter’s victimization. 

I’m writing this because writing heals me. And you can see how long its been since I’ve been able to do so. I’ve had too many people in my life lately pretending to be everything I need — grown, hurt boys. I’m writing this to tell myself (and you) that you do deserve better, as long as you are better. I have the right to expect the things of my partner that I expect of myself — in real life. As an artist, I’ve run into so many man who people don’t actually know. These men have so much support from people who have never dated them that they have no idea how incompetent or undeserving they actually are. These are my feelings — right or wrong, they exist and I’m not going to sit on the phone with someone and complain, I’m going to use my outlet because the people I’ve been on the phone with don’t relate, even if they do. They don’t tell me to do better. 

I’ve taken my life back into my own hands. I go through periods where I think I’m a woman who needs a man. I still have faith that God will put the right one into my life, but the moment I think he’s not the right one, he’s not. I don’t have any children so I shouldn’t have to raise anyone. I should be loved like women are loved in movies — by my equal. And you know what? If I never find anyone, that’s ok, too. Some people end up alone, like Jesus (lol, sorry for the blasphemy, but it’s real). Sometimes I think we (I speak for women and generalize) put too much emphasis in being acknowledged and trying to find someone who relates to us and loves us… whole time, we haven’t figured our own selves out. We haven’t learned to love ourselves. I believe the entirety of life is a learning experience, with both highs and lows. I still believe that my purpose here is to tell the truth no matter who it hurts, and even if it hurts me…

When it hurts, I try to come back to center and remember that I am strong. But I have to be strong enough to handle the pain. Most times, I suffer in silence and let the world think I’m the mountain I present myself to be, but even mountains break when the earth quakes. I think I allow myself time to both feel my own pain and I try to heal myself. As I’ve said a million times before, I rarely write in the moment… I be processing, y’all. And some shit just takes longer to process in that others. I have all these thoughts running through my head that I’m trying to sort out like any other being. I’m trying to love and heal and progress and learn and strive and hope and inspire and eat and be human all at the same time. When it really hurts, I tell you all what happened, because I know I’m not the only one. I might be the only one to tell you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth (so help me God), tho. 

And this is why I don’t pick up the phone anymore. I’m busy with me. 

Right or wrong; just what I’m feeling at this time…

-Ella


 

 

3 thoughts on “What Do You Do When It Hurts?

  1. You deserve better, I’m sorry you went through that and you had no one to talk to about it to tell you that’s not normal. Not everyone is good at giving advice; (I happen to be) those friends who didn’t know what to tell you are not to be trusted because they failed to realize your life was in danger. Stay career driven as you have been. And watch the signs men usually have signs that they are no good and I’ve seen too many women ignore those signs.

    Like

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