shrapnel

February 27, 2009 at 5:37pm

hey m,

today i swam with sharks! real live ones! and it was amazing. i got to go snorkeling, and the ocean is beautiful. everything is so slow paced- everyone drives motorcycles or mopeds, and no one gives a fuck. they feed us booze for beakfast, lunch, and dinner! it rules! our room is amazing- i wake up and have a perfect view of the ocean. it smells of spices everywhere i go. today i went on a cruise and drank rum in the ocean. we got to dance to bob marley and it was perfect.

everything here reminds me of you.

elle
xoxo

i was going through old emails and stumbled across this one- the only email i have between me and m in four years of bullshit. i left in the winter of 2008: the first time his drug-fueled rage took everything over the edge and he became physically violent. i say violent because that’s the only way i remember it… so awfully painful. so terribly angry. we briefly reconnected that summer, but there was no trust and the stress of forcing myself to care about him became too much. we parted ways again, only to reconnect in the winter of 2009- two days before i left for my very first trip, to the dominican republic. he came back into my life as quick as he always left. while i should have been enjoying my first vacation in the sun, surrounded by people who loved me… i spent the whole time stressing over whether or not i wanted to go there with him again. it’s weird- how simple emails can remind me so vividly of exactly how i felt back then. so broken, so hopeful, so fucking vulnerable. i haven’t gone back any further to see if there were more from him…

when i got back from my vacation at two in the morning, i had barely dropped my suitcases on the floor before we were on the phone together. i spent days with him in bed talking, as he cried and cried. we both did. i don’t ever want to feel that kind of sadness again. i don’t ever want to be put into a position where i know i have to leave someone i love. it took me three years to walk away forever… what the hell does that say about my strength? fucking nothing.

this april will mark the two year anniversary of our final separation. it will mark the two year anniversary of the day i woke up, walked to his work, ordered him into a back booth, and ripped him apart. the two year anniversary of the day i called him a monster to his face, told him to eat shit and die, and that if he EVER attempted to contact me again, i’d call the police. it marks the two year anniversary of my sobriety- sober from his sickness, sober from mine.

two years of freedom.

in some ways it feels like such an accomplishment, such an insurmountable feat. in other ways it all still seems so devastating, so tragic. half the time it doesn’t feel like my own story. i have this awful way of remembering him before the drugs, before the partying, before the anger and abuse. he was so young, so pure, so innocent, i thought. i know now that i was blinded by youth, by young love, by the haze of a world i was spiraling into so easily. i was conned, and he knew just what he was doing from the very beginning- and that’s the scariest part. i see now, how calculated our love was. how conditionnal. how ugly. how sad.

so very, very sad.

in any case, he’s gone now. lost somewhere in the muddle of this city. shamefully hiding from everything- all the bridges he’s burned, people he’s fucked, friendships he’s destroyed. i’m okay with that, too. i’m okay with him being here because i know he’s so unwelcome.

i’m not even concerned about how awful and alone he must feel… and after two years of running, of hiding, of living in fear… i’m no longer concerned about what kind of person that makes me.

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speak out

there are some things i do not tolerate.

rudeness towards people in the retail/restaurant industries, pt cruisers, the presence of cucumber in my vicinity, loud gum-chewing, bad manners, lindsay lohan, bullying- to name a few. i get cranky, and pouty, and i sulk until these things go away…

but there are other things, other more serious things, that i must speak out about.

there’s nothing i hate more than knowing physical, emotional, or sexual pain was inflicted upon someone i love, someone i know, someone i care about- hell, even a total stranger. the poison that must run through the veins of the people capable of inflicting such violence is dispicable. but the courage that it takes to actually speak out (and get out) of an abusive situation is admirable. i’m lucky enough to know some of these brave people, and i’ve never been more proud to call them my friends, and family.

i stayed.

i stayed for three years longer than i should have. (i wrote about some things here, here, here, and here .) i was young, i was naive, and i’d been beaten down so much for so long that i thought i deserved everything m did to me. i was so blind before he came into my life. the most important lesson i took from that relationship is to never ever judge. i didn’t realise the extent of how seriously fucked up my relationship with m was until i finally stepped out of my selfish little bubble, and saw the pain he was not only inflicting upon me- but the people in my life who loved and cared about me. i look around now, and i see a younger version of myself in the eyes of people i know, and it breaks me. it tears me apart to know that these people won’t realise the danger they’re in until it’s too late. it hurts to know exactly what they’re feeling inside, and know that they won’t break free until they’re ready to.

love isn’t supposed to hurt.

all i can do, all any of us can do, is be there. don’t ever give up. every single person in my life supported me the entire time, and i know for a fact that i’d still be stuck in that mess had any of them left my side, stopped calling, or not helped with a way out.

i never know how to go about writing these kinds of posts without offending someone, being too bold, or sounding pretentious. i have a hard time telling my story, or speaking out without flying into a rage. sometimes the easiest way to cope is to forget.

but what does that say about me as a human being? what does that say about the bravery of my survivorship? the horror of once loving someone like m eats away at me every day- it went against everything i stand for and believe in. and although it may not be as severe as some of the awful stories i’ve heard- it is still my reality. i never had broken bones, and i never called the police. i didn’t need a safe-house, and the bruising was minor. but i know what i lived through every day with that man, and i can finally say i’m safe. safe from him, safe from myself.

i recently ordered the empowerment ring from avon, and it finally came in today

i didn’t know if i wanted to buy the ring- let alone wear it. but it sits comfortably on my ring finger on my left hand. instead of starting my life with this monster… i spoke out, i got out, and i haven’t been back since april 2009- that’s over a year. i felt embarrassed at first, but my friend told me: no, wear that ring. wear it proud. you deserve it.

and he’s right.

i do.

how you drove me off

i’m tired of being the interesting one
i’m tired of having fun for two
just lay yourself on the line
and i might lay myself down by you
but don’t sit behind your eyes
and wait for me to surprise you

     – a.d.

not being with someone has never been more exhausting. i don’t know whether i’m trying to convince myself i don’t want to date at all, or that i just don’t want to date him. the prospect of having a boy message me at 4am because he wants to come over and kiss me on my birthday, or the fact that a friend told me i was pretty (no, but for real, kidding aside, so pretty), those things… from those different people, still have me on my toes- wanting more.

i feel like i’ve been hiding. when i moved out of me and andy’s house, i spent four months drowning in drugs, sex, & alcohol (and had the time of my fucking life) and now i feel so far gone. i pulled myself out, found a place to live, and got back on my feet. sometimes i worry that i spent so many years feeding my demons that i’ve lost myself entirely. do you ever feel that way? like you’ve spent so much time being bad that being good seems to involve too much effort. that’s how i feel. i see the bad in people because i know i’ll break whatever good that’s left inside of them.

i don’t want to be responsible for that.

when m. was gone and i was living in our attic apartment alone while he was on his coke binges, i used to come home and passout in bed with my shoes on, listening to records really loud. i wanted to remember what it was like to care so little about things that would normally make my skin crawl. like wearing boots in bed or falling asleep to the angry slur of subhumans. when m. would finally come home i never had anything to say. i would anger-fuck him until my legs went numb and then i’d get drunk when he’d leave again. was it simpler to just be ignored, and live my life as a single woman until he’d come home again? fuck, sometimes i don’t even know. did he damage me with the abuse? or did i damage him because i didn’t give a fuck?

my best friend left the city a few months ago. the weekend before he left we spent the afternoon in bed snorting k and listening to morissey. i don’t even fucking like morissey. but i remember thinking this was the last time i’d ever have him this way. he was so pure, you know? i never loved anyone the way i loved him- without ever having to do anything at all. we just laid there and laughed. i felt my whole body go numb- i couldn’t even cry if i wanted to, and i remember really wanting to. when the sun finally fell we walked down the street to pick up beer and we drank until we forgot.

you see that’s just what i mean.

i get so angry with these people sometimes, i just want to forget. i want to forget how to cook a decent meal from scratch, or sort laundry like my mother does, or hold someone until they fall asleep. i want to forget how to meet families, or hold babies, or love someone so hard my insides shake. i want to forget because it always gets ripped from me.

it’s so much easier to stay out until 4 in the morning than it is to get everything done that needs to get done before 10 o’clock on a wednesday. it’s so much easier to fuck dudes you don’t have to call back than it is to invest yourself emotionally in a person who will likely fuck your best friend or pin you against a wall and scream at you for being useless. it’s so much easier to fall asleep facing the wall than it is to try and find someone who actually meshes with your body- someone who just fits when all you want to do is sleep. it’s so much easier to flirt with all of your friends because you all have so much in common, than it is to find someone who genuinely wants you- only you, for exactly who and what you are.

despite everything.

despite everything.

i’m trying.