You Can Recover From Abusive Relationships

You can recover from abusive relationships

I want to tell my story to give hope. I feel like many people look at me and see a strong and independent woman who is assertive and blunt. So how did someone like me go through something like this? It can happen to anyone. And you can recover from it. I am not a meek and scared person because of it. Sure, I have an overdramatic startle response and some insecurities, but over all I think I have come out of it pretty good. And you can too! If not going through something similar I’m sure you may know someone who is or has. Often people wonder, why didn’t she just leave? What was wrong with her that she stayed? My hope is that my story will give you some insight into what it is like to be in such a situation so you may have understanding and have compassion for those who continue to struggle or you have struggled to understand.

So I am going to start writing about the golf club…which seems like an odd way to start this conversation, like did I need to walk myself through that?

Again, I want to reiterate that my memories are fuzzy maybe due to time, maybe due to the intensity of the situation.

I remember it was right after Christmas because my purse was full of Christmas money. My grandparents always sent Christmas money and my dad always gave us some cash on top of our gifts. I don’t know how much it was but that is really besides the point.

I remember being down in the basement of his parents house. I do not remember when it was, but I would imagine that it was some situation where I had likely snuck out of the house and was picked up by him and his friends because I don’t think he drove, but he always had someone driving him around. If this was in the evening, I probably lied to my parents about where I was going and then went to his house. I had two friends that lived nearby and so would often just go over to his house after I was dropped off there. If this was the middle of the night, again, I probably snuck out of the house. I did this a lot. My room was right next to my parents bedroom. I guess maybe they slept deeply.

I would walk out of my room, down the hall, down the stairs to the basement, and out the basement door. Then I would walk around the deck and up the driveway where they were waiting to pick me up. I would go to his house or drive around for a bit and then be taken back home….or be picked up by the cops if my parents woke up.  

I was an idiot. I was damaging my relationship with my family for a piece of shit that was using and abusing me. As soon as my mother told me that I was not to be around this person anymore, I did whatever I could to see him. It was exciting when I would get away with it. It was also very scary sometimes because as you have noticed he wasn’t always nice to me. Most often probably not.

On one of these nights, again, I recall being in the basement of his parents house. Who knows where they were. Of all these years I never really knew them. I was just a girl hiding out in the basement most of the time or his bedroom. And for some reason he was always sneaking me around at his parents house. I was either shuffled in through the window of his bedroom or sneaking out the door when no one was looking.

I’m not sure what that was about as he clearly did not care about rules or authority. His room was full of drugs and guns. They did not seem to come around much. Often times he was yelling at them and cursing at them and threatening their lives from what I overheard. They seemed fearful of him. There was obviously not a lot of discipline in that household.

Back to the golf club…again, I am in the basement. I remember him dumping out my purse on a table and taking my Christmas money. Even checks that he couldn’t obviously cash.

I remember vaguely…. That perhaps I was attempting to fight back because I was obviously not happy about him taking my money. Money was important to me. I had a job since I was 12 and maybe I was more willing to fight back for the fact that it was my Christmas money. Who knows.  I remember running out of his basement door terrified as he was threatening me with a golf club. I remember one of his friends was there. I couldn’t even tell you who it was if I wanted to, but I know someone else was there. He usually threatened me in such manners when he had an audience.

I remember running out of the white paneled basement door and down the short, yet small hill of a driveway, running. I remember I had jeans on. I do not think I had a coat on. I ran in fear to the neighbors house across the street and down a bit on the right side of the road. He was chasing after me, but as soon as he realized what I was doing he started apologizing and then begging me to come back. I made it to the neighbors door and was banging on it. I remember yelling that he was trying to kill me. He probably was not, but that is neither here nor there. I felt that my life was in danger. I mean…he had chased me around with a gun?

I could not tell you whether that was before or after this event, but if it was before, maybe that is why I felt as though this situation was pretty intense. Who knows. It is hard to look back on this when you do not really remember much. It is weird the things you remember. I feel like there was a glass storm door with gold trim and a red door with a gold knocker on it. I feel like the couple answered the door in surprise and alarm and I think i remember telling them never mind because at this point he was apologizing and telling me to come back.

I was 13-14ish and he was 15-16 ish. What I would not give to have my journals from back then that I never hid well from my mother. She was the only one who searched my room. Did I leave them in an easy place because I wanted them to be found? I would love to have a better understanding of what exactly I went through. I still recall from time to time memories out of the blue from my life that just pop into my mind and I think, “oh my god, that happened didn’t it?”

I could not tell you how that night ended but I could guess.  I am sure that I walked my happy ass back to him like the naive and vulnerable teen that I was, telling myself that he wasn’t really going to hurt me, that he was just kidding, that he didn’t mean it.  I don’t remember what happened to my money, he probably kept it, who knows.

I realize there are more holes than Swiss cheese in this story, but I don’t want to pretend that something happened that I don’t remember. I only want to report what I experienced and what I remember.

I’m sure many of you are reading this any wondering why? Why didn’t she leave after that? Why did she stay with him? Why did she let him take her money? Well, the best answer I can give you I did not feel capable. And even I to this day struggle to understand women I know are in unhealthy relationships and still question. It’s so easy to see solutions from the outside. It’s so easy to judge others for the decisions that they make. But you never will understand until you are in that position. Where the person you grew to trust and idolize makes you feel little, so little you think you do not matter without them. That you are nothing without them. That’s how you stay. You put up with the bad because you feel like you wouldn’t matter otherwise.

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