Friday, October 12, 2012


Lupe Fiasco & Guy Sebastian "Battle Scars"

The physical may heal but the emotional will always have scars.  Some of them are faded while others are temporarily scabbed over and every once in a while, something or someone may do something to cause them to peel and bleed all over again.

The way you view a person, a relationship, a circumstance…all that happens when you realize the physical, mental, and emotional blows weren't like some eighteen second victory for Sheamus at Wrestlemania 28 but more like an Iron Man Match between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels.

But most of all, it changes you.  You don’t go in the same way.  You can’t easily predict how the pain will manifest.  You may become the very beast you didn't want to be.

There are so many who says, “I will never be that person who tolerated that type of treatment.”

It’s so easy to sit on the outside when you aren't going through it.  When you aren't close enough to the circumstances to know what was going on.  Yes, it’s easy to look down on the abused, and you judge, although it isn't your intention.  You just cannot pinpoint or understand why.

I remember when I actually traveled to California.  I was quite young, and it was around Christmas time.  Grandma and I were invited by my mom to come out there.  Plus, she had promised she was going to take me to Disneyland once I got out there.  I am a big fan of the Walt Disney characters and have always had dreams of going to Disneyland or Disneyworld.

One day, my mom and her husband at the time had gotten in this huge argument.  Grandma and I were sitting on the couch talking.  

I don’t remember what they were arguing about, nor do I remember what Grandma and I were talking about.  

All I could remember was when the blow came, and everything just went silent.  It only happened in a matter of seconds, but it seemed as if it were in slow motion.

I didn't get the Disneyland trip I was promised.

I can’t remember whether Grandma and I stayed the full extent of the trip.

After that trip, Grandma and I never visited California again.

It wasn't the first or the last time that my mom’s second husband laid his hands on her.  Although that marriage was the most volatile, it was the one she was in the longest.  It took a very long time for that relationship to finally end.  She would call sometimes to talk to Grandma, and Grandma would tell her that she needed to get out of the relationship.  I remember a few times, Grandpa even offered to pay for her way to come back home for a bit, since it wasn't a good situation for her and the kids. 

Yet, she stayed, and we were all baffled as to why.

I stayed baffled until I encountered it myself.  I knew I wasn't at my most emotionally healthy entering into the kind of union I did.  If I was, I would have stayed away. 

(deep breath)

Senior year of high school, relationship wise, was quite tumultuous.  The guy (reference to him here ) I was involved in wasn't good for me at all.  My grandparents, especially my grandmother, didn't like him at all.  I experienced a bit of rebellion, doing things I’d never done before, to the point where my counselor and the assistant principal intervened, saying it was in my best interest if he and I had nothing to do with each other.  I probably would not have been with the guy as long as I had if it wasn't for the opposition. 

He remembers our relationship being totally different.  

That doesn't surprise me.  

He wasn't on the overly possessive, emotionally abusive end of it.  

He wasn't on the receiving end of the mind games or being falsely accused of being unfaithful.  

He wasn't on the receiving end of not being believed that he was a virgin and discovered the truth once blood was shed.

If he had the memories of our relationship that I did, he would really understand why I would never want that relationship again; why I am so resistant to prolonged association and contact with him.

Or maybe he will not, since on and off, he keeps speaking of us getting back together…and our relationship ended a little over 16 years ago.

When the relationship ended, due to his infidelity, the best thing for me would have been not to have gotten involved in another relationship.  

Yet, three months later, I was in another one.  I have written about the story before as far as the origins…I’ll just place the link-------> background.

No, he didn't start off as abusive.  He was one of the most charming people I've ever met.  One could look past his size (and he was a huge guy); the confidence he exuded, his musical talent, his sexual prowess, and his charm were the things which made a woman want to be with him. 
I pinpoint the major shift occurring once he put the engagement ring on my finger.  I became more property and less person.  Requests became demands; if the demands weren't met, there were consequences.   My friends (especially my male ones) became threats to the relationships.  How I presented myself to him before was no longer acceptable to the image he wanted our coupling to be portrayed. 

In those moments, I could no longer say “never”.  The “never” got obliterated during my relationship with this man. 

However, unlike my mom, I didn't make any calls to my grandparents telling them what was going on in the relationship.

Matter of fact, I didn't advertise I had accepted his engagement, and since the ring didn't look like a “traditional engagement ring”, my grandparents didn't know I was engaged.  I figured I would tell them a bit later.  Later in the sense of hoping the relationship would get less volatile or when more time had passed because he and I hadn't known each other long before I accepted his proposal.

When my grandparents finally met him, he did and said all the right things, but my grandma pulled me over and said, “Something’s not right about him.”

These myriad of emotions going on inside me, yet suppressing it and pushing it back.  Then, when things ended, the shame washing over me and having thoughts I was better off gone than to continue living.  Yet, I was brought back to try and deal with everything.  The help I needed then I didn't get; instead, a Band Aid was put over a gushing wound.

Even, in my later years, although I tried not to think about it, certain events, even things which were said would cause me to go back there—to the 19 year old who felt she had no voice, no permission to really process the things which were happening.

I saw aspects and manifestations of my pain and anger (due to my failure to express back then) which did not fit my character and caused others anguish.  I started becoming the monster I hated.  Things were said which should not have been; however, they could have been handled a lot better. 

I was tired of being victim but the moments I should have fought back with that fire had since passed.  The perpetrator of the original plight was far gone….

Well, until I got a random message from him via Facebook almost two years ago.  

Like the guy I was with just before him, his recollection of our relationship is different.  He recalls mostly good times, similar to the other guy.

I’m not saying he and I didn’t have good times.  The beginning was quite beautiful.  Intimately, he and I were very in tune with each other.  I didn’t love him at first, but as he played the role of the “changed man who was different from the rumors others were saying”, I grew to love him.  I loved the way he presented himself before the changes.  Or perhaps those changes were his true character all along; that was the conclusion I ended up coming to, for I never saw the guy I caught feelings for in the early going much after things were falling apart.

He doesn’t remember a lot of the bad.  I wonder is it because he truly doesn’t remember it or if he’s trying to shut out what he did. 

I keep thinking about the last R.....

But out of all the people to forgive, this guy has proven to be the most challenging.  Even more than the things going on with my mother and me. 

It would be so much easier if he acknowledged or recognized what happened then.  However, because he has gone through this process of turning his life around, I don’t think he wants to deal with who he was then.  It doesn't fit into this new life he is trying to build, especially with the new female he’s getting married to. 

The physical has long since faded away, but sixteen years later, the emotional still remains.  

Yes, each year it does get easier, but something doesn't feel quite finished.  It’s like the door on the thing is still ajar; I just need to do the steps to close it and throw away the key.


1 comment:

Reggie said...

Forgiveness isn't just for those that we forgive, it's for us as well. I wouldn't want to go through life harboring a grudge against anyone.