This is where I’ll tell everything

I’ve always wanted the chance to share my story, anonymously. Share the saddest details of what happened to me. Not to feel sorry for myself, but to tell people without having anyone feel sorry for me or treat me differently based on what has happened.

I grew up in the suburbs. My parents divorced. My mother was having an affair with her manager, or I think he was her manager. Regardless, he’s my stepfather now.

My first sad memory was waking up in my bedroom and noticing yellow rays of flashlights streaming through my curtains. I stirred, I heard knocking. I woke up and looked out the window to see dark figures of police officers asking me to let them in. I was only 7 or 8 maybe. My sleepy self lets them through the front door and I follow them as they search and ask “Where’s your mom?” I follow them and 20-something years later I can’t remember the images of the officers, but I can remember following into the living room of our Cupertino home, and found my mom sitting there staring into space, with the phone at her leg. She has tears and she was just staring. She was shutting down. I saw pills. I was too young to have the memory of what kind of pills they were. They pulled me away and told me to sit in my room. The officer stood with me and kept me company.I can’t remember the conversation they had with me.I can’t remember anything else after that. I just remember the moments up to finding my mom sitting there, obviously calling as a cry for help. Was she calling my dad? They’d been separated for a unidentifiable amount of time. Time was no concept of mine back then. What could have been months could’ve been only a week for me.

I had an abusive boyfriend in my early 20s. He was an alcoholic and smoked crystal meth. He was bipolar and self-medicated. I met him one day on the Caltrain, riding back to my hometown to visit my parents for the weekend. He was riding in the row next to mine, and he had this cool swagger about him. We chatted about dancing and raves and DJs. Genres of music were mutually admired. He asked me for a cigarette when we got off the same stop and for my pager number. My pager number- I think it’s hilarious to say that now. No one has EVER asked me for my number and I felt so attractive. The next thing I knew was he was sleeping over almost all the time in my college apartment. I thought I could fix him or maybe save him. So I provided shelter and food, and found him odd jobs. And then I stopped providing money for him to “borrow,” and instead he’d take my ATM card when I wasn’t looking and go withdraw cash and purchase drugs and alcohol. I used to think I brought on the punches and pushes from him.I thought I was smothering him and so he lashed out at me by punching me and throwing me against walls. That wasn’t my proudest moment.I dropped out of college for a year so I could work 3 part time jobs and pay for our rent and our food. My parents kept supporting me so I could afford rent. I lied to them to tell them I wanted to take a year off of college to “find myself.” The irony of it all, was I took a year off because I was slowly losing myself. The things he used to do. He used to go online and try to meet girls in chatrooms. He used to steal from me, and force me to do drugs with him.

The worst one was when I couldn’t take it anymore and I screamed at him to stop stealing my money, stop cheating on me, stop lying to me… and he slapped me so hard that it palmed my ear and I could hear a huge slap and pop against my ear. I screamed. I was so angry. I yelled back at him. He was already awake for over 2 days, and he had crazy dilated pupils. Big black holes inside his blue eyes. He grabbed my neck by one hand and used his other one to cover my mouth from screaming. He stared me down and his hands were so big that they were able to cover my nose and my mouth. I couldn’t get one vapor of air into my lungs. He put his weight over me and pushed me to the ground flat on the floor and straddled me by sitting on my stomach. He put his hand around my neck and started to choke me as his other hand continued to suffocate me. I don’t think I’ve ever opened my eyes so wide before. They were so big they were trying to breathe in air, I think that is what eyes would look like if they were screaming for air. My hands were free and sweaty. I tapped him weakly against his chest, as if saying “you win, I give up, please forgive me and let me go….”

He finally let go and I trembled and whispered, “you could’ve killed me… why would you do that?” He looked at me in terror and ran out the front door. I chased after him as if I was sorry he left. The pathetic dead version of me. That might’ve been one of the lowest points in my life. I’m not sure… there were some really low ones, but this one I felt like I could’ve lost everything.

So I am well-adjusted today. I have a husband who knows vaguely I had a rough abusive ex, and that I had drama in the family. I work a salaried full time professional job. I have benefits. I own a condo with my husband. I have a Masters degree. I am a runner, and I love yoga and dancing. I have solid friends and great colleagues. But…. there are times when I space out and stare off into space, and wonder — why did I do this to myself? And I see parts of my sad self come out when I am scared of something, or sentimental, or think of some dysfunctional part of my family, and then I start to remember all these things I’ve written here. And then I wonder, how do I ever explain who I am anymore… when it’s scenes like this that resonate in my head? When I dream I dream of these things. When my husband tries to be intimate with me, sometimes I want to be left alone. When I see my husband get too drunk when I am too sober, I get frustrated and self-protective, even though he would never ever do anythig nto harm anyone. If anything he’d trip over his own shoelace and hurt himself by falling onto his face. When we fight sometimes he punches his own hand to express anger but never would he punch me. We fight over chores, career anxieties, and how to deal with family matters- that is the only weight we fight over. Sometimes I think I am more complex because of what happened in my childhood and in my adolescent adulthood. Maybe that is why I often wonder if my husband really gets me or knows me. I am a suffering artistic soul. I am a stereotypical survivor. He is an engineer who cares about his 401k and insurance policies.

I hope I can share my complexities here and perhaps explain or express the gratitude I have for surviving all of it. Maybe even figure out how to organize all the shit in my head. Here I am in all honesty. No judgments I hope. Just a place to tell you my story.

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