About Life After My Assault Three Years Ago
It’s been three years today, since I was assaulted. I thought I wasn't going to write about it because every time I did, it was just shit writing. But today, it started spilling out.
I was assaulted by my partner’s wife and I did not deserve it. If you’re the type to say, “Well, what would you expect? He’s married. That shit happens all the time.” to that I say, you can fuck off. I did not deserve to get beat up by my partner’s wife. It would be one thing if I knew that she wasn't okay with it and still went along with it (still not okay but perhaps more understandable). But I asked and was told in response, on several occasions, that she knew what he was doing and that she didn’t want any part in it. So, I continued on. Down a spiral of more deeply loving a human that refused to be treated well or look at his own darkness. A coward and a manipulator. She set us up to be caught that day. It was no accident. She created the situation to use me as a spectacle in their sick relationship. I was an object to be destroyed among many others as a means of control.
He was also abused by her. Now before you go on with the argument that many abusers will claim that their partner was the abusive one when in fact, it was them (which is usually true), I did actually know this person pretty well. He was also abusive. His abuse was manipulation (a form of control) and through that, lying. I was usually able to see his manipulation from a mile away and call him out on it or just ignore him. But I still got sucked into it on numerous occasions. Other than his manipulation (which is still not okay), not once did he ever lose his shit at me. Not once did he get physical, threatening, domineering or yell at me. When we spoke about emotional stuff, he wouldn’t manipulate those conversations or talk down to me or gas light. Abuse is still abuse. I am not making excuses for him…but perhaps more for myself for sticking around for so long (“it wasn’t that bad”..).
After all the shit went down and we were able to escape the apartment, I made him tell me what the fuck was going on because this came as a bit of a surprise. Come to find out she didn't actually care if he fucked around. What she did care about was if he got emotionally close to someone. And he did. Still doesn't mean that I deserve to get beaten up over it. Or even him for that matter (but the PS4 is a different story..).
I ended up in the ER with a possible concussion and other wounds. I filed assault charges on her (which she was essentially able to get out of). I was in shock quite possibly for a few days over it. And yes, I still talked to him after that. Their relationship went awry but didn’t end.
I had severe anxiety after that. I don't even know for how long. I lost twenty pounds in about a month because I couldn't eat. There wasn't much I felt like I could do except the life bare minimum. We stopped seeing each other for a minute and then he wanted to come back (within a month). I really had no idea what to do with myself or all the anxiety and in a strange way, he felt safe to be with. I didn't like it but it was true and what I was able to do at the time.
My life sort of blew apart in that time. I had to move 2 weeks after I was beaten up and I didn't know for sure where I was going until the day before I moved. He ended up kind of living with me at the end of my two months in the next place. Normally I wouldn't have done that. I would have talked to my room mates about how much he was around and see if they were even okay with it. I wouldn't have just let the guy move in like that. But I didn't know what to do with myself and he was consistently wanting to be around me and it was hard to be alone and I loved him.
Fuck this is sad right? But..it’s all true.
That winter was one of the hardest I’d had in years. I was living on a sailboat for part of it and in and out of other housing situations, looking so hard for something stable that fit me. I was legit suicidal that winter and made it through with the attention and care of a very small handful of close friends. I stopped seeing him again (and even dated someone else for a bit). But somehow we worked our way back into each other's lives (typical..).
A part of me is still angry at myself and him for how much shit I put up with from him. How much he lied (I’ll never really know..) and how much I wanted to believe him. How much he used that to his advantage. How much I hated him for that and how much I loved him for almost everything else. I was proud of myself at some point for really (yet slowly) getting him out of my life.
I don't know. Honestly, the part of me that trusts and honors my guts and is actually really good at reading people, knows that he did love me and that he actually did try the best that he could to stay away from me, after I asked repeatedly, because he wanted to give me that. He tried to set me free. But..he couldn't. He doesn't know anything other than manipulating to get what he wants/needs. And he seems to have done little to no personal work to see how much that behavior effects his life or the people in it. Not making excuses for his shit. Nor mine. This is simply the way things are sometimes.
He couldn’t set me free. I had to do that. I had to set us both free. After several tries, I had to cut cords and say "no", no. matter. what. He still cant set me free and I still have to keep that door closed. And you know what, the fucking truth is that I've considered reopening that door a time or two. (“NOOOOOOOOOO!!!” you all scream) Ya..well…I'm being fucking honest. Lucky for me (not so much for him..?), he is currently in jail (nothing to do with me) and has been for over a year. So…a giant wall with barbed wire, armed guards and several hundred miles between us keeps not communicating with him pretty easy. But..he has still tried a few times. And I have denied. I don’t wish him any harm and I’m not actually happy that he's in jail but I’m certainly glad he can't easily communicate with me .
So..here is what is hardest for me about all of this at this point, when I consider being in a relationship with someone again. Something I want deeply and with every fiber of my being, know that it's here for me. And yet, when I meet someone I actually really like (few and faaaaaar between), at some point, I get flooded with despair that he will probably lie to me, manipulate, cheat on me and..not really think much of it (that’s the kicker). And godsdamnit do I want to believe so badly that there is someone for me that is just old fashioned enough AND self aware AND understands my profound need for personal freedom AND my strong inclination to just be with them (like hang out a lot and do nothing together and are friends and all that shit). And when I do my best to put that feeling in my body and understand it, it works great until I kind of like someone and want to maybe have those feels with them. Then my fear brain eventually works its way to the pit of doom where no one is happy or fulfilled and I feel constantly betrayed…before anything actually happened between the two of us. Self sabotage at it’s finest folks! The imagination can be a bitch sometimes eh?
As far away from this relationship that I am, it still has some lasting effects that I didn’t quite understand their depth until recently. The bright side of that is that these fears are shedding light on several areas within me, that I have kept dark. And I get to look at them, pick them apart and remove the choke hold that they have on me so I can relax and breathe (and probably get some great songs out of it).
This wasn't an easy post for me to write. I can mention my assault and aspects of this relationship without it getting at me. However, digging into it all a bit more does can be difficult because it is still a wound. There is still healing around it to do. I wrote a song about our relationship not long after the assault, after we had split and then got back together. I was on the floor, in the hall of his apartment while he slept. It was one of those songs that births itself from me after 3am tears, that I absolutely cannot hold back, nor would I want to. I shared the lyrics with him later and he sent me his own lyrics back. He is actually on my album spouting his lyrics in the song (some people think the dichotomy of style in that song doesn't fit but I think it's brilliant and beautiful…or maybe you had to be there to full understand it). Every time I perform that song, I have to go back to this place. This place where I was sitting at 3am the place my life was when I wrote the song. I cant do it without going there. You wouldn’t feel the song otherwise. And it's fucking exhausting. But it's fucking real and always worth it. You can watch one of my performances of In Your Hall (with accompaniment) here.
Thank you so much for reading! 🖤