Yes, I’m going to write about this.
No, it has nothing to do with my Woodsman (my husband).
I’ve written openly about my past childhood trauma. But I haven’t really blogged much about the self-destructive path that that trauma, unaddressed, set me upon…
At the age of 18, I had my first serious boyfriend. He was a broken person, much like myself at the time. Normally, I wouldn’t have dreamed of hooking up with someone like him, but one night after work and countless strawberry daiquiris, we got carnal. I guess. I can’t recall as I was too drunk to…
What you need to understand is that my 18 year old self spent the entirety of her pre-pubescent and pubescent years in what is referred to as “The Purity Culture”. If you’ve ever read Josh Harris’ treatise, “I kissed dating Good-Bye”, you know exactly what I’m referring to. If you haven’t, read Libby Anne’s post on the subject, at Love, Joy, Feminism.
Somehow, someway, I took Harris’ message about seeing every sexual partner as akin to someone pulling off the petals of a rose, to heart. After recently leaving my college because of a date-rape, I was very sensitive to becoming the rose that was only a stem. So, what did I do? I started dating a guy that had sex with me without my expressed, cogent consent. And then, I moved in with him.
I was going to keep my petals, damn it!
(And… After my Mom took away my house key, I didn’t really have much in the way of an alternate choice…)
The very first argument we encountered, I was so scared of this screaming, tantruming man-child (he was 2 years older than I) that I locked myself in his bathroom, and called my Mom and her new live-in boyfriend (how’s that for a mind-f**k?! My formerly conservative, homeschooling, patriarchal thinking mother cut ties with all things conservative Christianity when she divorced my Dad two years before… But, I digress…And, I Love her anyway, so, you know…)
The truth is, this newly minted boyfriend of mine, didn’t behave all that much differently than my father did. Lack of consent, stormy emotional state, violent reactions… They even shared the same Zodiac sign! (Scorpio, if you’re curious)
We played house, and had epic falling- outs, for nearly a year. I was way over my head in dealing with the baggage of what would eventually be diagnosed as cPTSD, and my only coping skill then was alcohol consumption. As he too was a lover of alcohol, we were well suited to each other. Except for the fact that he was on probation for numerous criminal charges– including substantial battery, and pending legal issues with ‘intent to distribute’– and was forbidden to drink. (Yup. I lived with a sort-of-reformed drug dealer, and almost-ex gang member. How’s that for a teenage rebellious stage?)
He never actually hit me during that time. He broke stuff, threw stuff around, punched holes in walls, and generally tried to convince me that I was actually the scum of the earth… But, he wasn’t really abusive. Or so I thought at the time.
Then, one night, after a work Christmas party, he got actually physically abusive with me. He was sloshed out of his mind, and angry over some imagined affront. He proceeded to grab me by the back of my head, pull me to and pin me to the ground– and holding me in that position, he repeatedly spit in my face. Most of the injuries I acquired were sustained in my attempts at fighting him off of me. My first thought was that he was going to rape me, and I’ll be damned if I was going to let that happen to me again.
I’m a strong girl. Unexpectedly so for my size. I was able to free myself, and run for the phone… Only to have him rip it out of my hands, and then completely out of the wall.
I ran, he gave chase. He got hold of me again… More holding me down by my wrists, straddling me and spitting into my face. I managed to get loose again, and ran, he gave chase… He tackled me in our kitchen, where I grabbed a handful of his hair and pulled as hard as I could…I got free and had enough of a start to make my way back into our bedroom and lock the door behind me.
And then, he left.
But I was certain he was coming back for me… Maybe with a gun. Or a baseball bat (his former weapon of choice that earned him a felony).
Continue to part 2.