Opened up a box of you / piece of paper or two / with my name written on it and a question mark / Who is this girl that I’ve made? / I’ve been kept in the dark / and I’ve seen you once / in the fear of your belts and leather / and you were just about to tempter / There was distance / you’re my spout resistance / and I cant believe that you still don’t know me / I am a mystery / So I separated all the things that I have hated / with the victories I’ve won / and the biggest one was you / these are things you should know / Knocked the breath right out of you / but what’s a brown-eyed girl to do? / when her future lies on chasing paper / and I just cant hide my frustration…
Of the people in my life, few know me at all, and the few who do know me very little. I can easily say that in my entire life, I could count the people who truly have known me on two hands- and that’s a generous estimate. People have known moments of me or aspects of me, but that has ultimately meant little. One can’t tell what the picture will be, or is meant to be, with a few stray pieces that don’t even fit together. People sometimes forget the life I came from, because I have worked so hard to move beyond it. As much a contradiction as that might be, sometimes I choose to remember so that I don’t forget all the reasons I stand up for myself, that I am tenacious, that I am unwilling to back down or be railroaded, or take anyone’s shit. I have. I spent my life being forcefed ideas about how I was meant to behave and what I was meant to do and who to be. Following orders in the interests of others never paid off. I wasn’t even treated well for following through. Most of the time, following orders became a strict demonstration of how easily manipulated I was. Years of beating and sexual abuse came from following orders. Nobody was looking out for me.
Thus, in life, I’ve somehow always managed to attract these types of people: manipulators and controllers, liars with extreme charisma. Monsters. The people around me, the people pretending to be protectors, people whose job it was to preserve my right to a childhood- innocence- they were bleating sheep. They were easily manipulated, sheared naked and led to slaughter time and again by people. And in the end, too often, it was me and my siblings who paid the highest price. Even now I wonder how I manage to meet these kinds of people or allow them a presence in my universe. I fear this sometimes about my spouse. He is agreeable. But with everyone and not just with me. The conflict- any conflict, is a last resort. He would almost sooner lay down and sacrifice a limb before having to say no, or get mad, and stand up for anyone- even himself- even when he should and it should be easy and obvious.
Everything is going to be different now. I hope so, at least. In all honesty, I don’t even know where to begin explaining this all to you, except from the beginning, and this has been a 5 year uphill battle. I first met David (or this is the name I’m giving him, for safety sake) in the summer of 2006. My Mom accompanied him to the mainland to visit and we took my niece to the aquarium. I was 21 and in a long-term common-law marriage that at the time I thought was happy. Sometimes I look back on this period in amusement, because I was hearing stories about David and Shadow, not realizing that I was hearing the name of my future husband (Shadow). I find it ironic to this day that my Mom once lived in a house just across the highway from the house we own now. I look out my living room window and I can see where it used to be.
Anyhow, after I was diagnosed with type 1 (LADA), I lost everything. We’ve discussed this. I came here to start over, and my Mom was giving me a place to do it. Fast forward 5 months and I’ve started dating Shadow. Well, to give me an excuse to visit his home, which he had acquired officially only three months after I moved here, by buying it with David, he took my computer and insisted that if I wanted to use my computer, I would have to come over. Before anyone had a chance to blink, I had keys to the house and was over all the time. The usage of my computer was severely underestimated. Within a month it became clear that living with my Mom was totally pointless. I never went home anymore. I’d come home from work, change, go to my computer, sleep over, go to work, rinse, repeat. By January, I was officially asked to move in. It was moreso a decision made for me by Shadow and my Mother. I didn’t feel I had much of a say and I also didn’t know if I was prepared for that. That and David and I had never talked about it. However, everyone seemed fine with it and life continued on.
Over the next year, David became a too-present presence in my life. If something went missing, I was not asked if I’d seen it, but very pointedly accused of stealing it. If a towel was found left in the basement laundry, I must have put it there. I didn’t realize there was towel etiquette. If a plastic cup was left in a room, I must have put it there. If weather stripping came off of a door jamb, I must have “intentionally vandalized” the house. I felt like a crook in my own house- someone generally up to no good and completely unable to get by without trouble following me. As a result of this constant barrage of accusation, I became a really huge hermit. I avoided getting out of bed until nobody was home, I slept all day and stayed awake all night so that I would have the safety of personal space to get up and eat and enjoy myself. This avoidance, this feeling like I was walking on broken glass all day, this fear that the tension would come to a head grew stronger every day. Even when there was no reason, no obvious indication, I could feel the tension so thick that I was nearly choking on it. Finally, Shadow got a job out of town and for a few months, we left entirely. The commute was too far to do every day and we’d been doing long distance despite sharing a room in the same home for almost 12 months. That four months was pretty great. I loved the new city, I loved our new friends and my job. Sadly when the recession hit, we were both forced to go home because of finances. Rent and a mortgage and no job just weren’t going to hack it. So we were both out of work and unable to find it. We were trying, even going through employment retraining seminars for months to keep our EI going and the search for work fresh. Nothing helped. Jobs were scarce and the pay sucked.
We went without work for the entire year before we got married. About two weeks after moving back here, David started throwing bills in my face for what he expected me to pay a premium for his having to endure my presence. There were no discussions, there were no questions asked. It was instantly assumed that neither Shadow or I were making any attempt to do anything or even leaving the house. Not too long after, we decided to have a night of gaming, and my Mother came over. She sat at my computer and insisted I use David’s (she had permission to use it). He came home during our monster gaming session and flipped, running up and down the halls screaming about what a hobo I am. Naturally, trying not to cause an inflated situation, my Mother stood up and tried to leave before she started biting his head off to defend me. She had to try to squeeze between him and the door frame, and he just lost it. Before even figuring out what was going on, he grabbed her by the collar of her shirt and lifted her clean off her feet. He tore a rather sizable hole in her shirt while screaming in her face to “get the f*ck out” (of a house he only owned half of), and she, being one of his closest friends, was so terrified that she begged me in tears to move out immediately.
I did. For four months. Of course, once Shadow and I got married, living apart wasn’t going to work. So I moved back in. Fast forward a year and I found out I was pregnant. This has been a particularly hard battle for me, as I had miscarried two years before and didn’t think I could get pregnant. I was celebrating and happy, and as my sister had just dealt with an unwanted pregnancy and received heaps of support, I thought I would, too. Wrong. Literally the day after I found out I was pregnant, I received a threatening text that basically threatened to throw my pregnant ass out onto the street. I was going to have nowhere to go. I spent two days barely able to speak. I talked to a counselor, I was scared and my Husband was so caught in the situation that he didn’t defend me, he just shut down.
I felt enormously alone. I couldn’t go home. Not where I didn’t feel safe or welcome and not to a partner too stupid to stand up for me and tell me to come home at the moment I needed him more than ever. To know he would protect me and his baby. To know he was even happy we were pregnant. To know I mattered at all. For two weeks I didn’t go home. For two weeks he didn’t ask me to come home. For two weeks I felt like the miracle of finally getting pregnant despite all of my health problems and not miscarrying… I felt like all hope was lost. Had I conceived a baby I would have to raise alone? Was I ready to do that? Was my marriage over? Would I be a good Mother? Eventually I went home. I can’t remember if I was finally asked to come home or I just felt like it was time to face the music.
The time since has been just an endless nightmare. David moved out, and shortly thereafter refused to pay a cent toward his debt to the house he insisted on buying. Our debtload doubled, and then David started logging into the bank accounts and taking the money for the mortgage before the bank could, or bill payments could be deducted. We were having to go behind him and close old accounts and open new ones to stop him from doing it again. This put us $1500 into the red and we still haven’t managed to pay that back to the bank (we had to take out a loan to pay the mortgage after our mortgage payment was stolen). David, using the keys to the house despite having moved out, would let himself in unannounced and steal from us, or “inspect”, sometimes while I was laying naked in bed sleeping, or showering having no idea he’d let himself in. He would walk around and photograph, or take video and then threaten to sue us later if we didn’t mow the lawn or do a load of dishes. He walked in on me sleeping in bed at least once, and did the same to my roommate on a separate occasion. When he wasn’t coming into the house, he would walk into the yard and peek into the windows, and take pictures and video. Other times he would drive past day and night to see if we were home and what the house looked like. We began receiving threatening emails 24 hours a day, texts at all hours of day and night much to the same effect, and eventually I started calling the police. I had a high risk pregnancy, diabetes and high blood pressure. All I needed was one too many stresses. Well, we know how that turned out. I had told my doctors several times about what we were going through. I was going to my OBGYN and having ultrasounds weekly, blood tests twice a week and a diabetes consultation weekly. 3-4 days a week was doctors appointments, and eventually their fears over my anxiety forced them to hospitalize me.
On three separate occasions I have had to involve the police, one of which had myself, my roommate and my Son and Step-Daughter huddled under a window hiding while I called 911. Each time he has been told to leave and reminded that he is not welcome to bother me, or be here, ever, without my consent. I had to file a stalking case against him and even then, they were technically only able to enforce it when I was alone because at the time, he owned half of our house. I was told not to contact him unless completely necessary and to change the locks. The police, my doctors, my lawyer and a slew of people have personally witnessed this psychotic fuck in action.
My Son almost died. And worse, this evening, I’ve found out that while my baby was hooked up to a ventilator, while a machine was breathing for him, while he was covered in wires that dilated his blood and injected him with platelets and lipids so he would get better, while tubes were feeding him, David was telling people he wished my baby would die. What a disgusting fuck. We still don’t ultimately know if my baby will be okay. He might have developmental problems, or be blind in one eye. We still don’t know for sure. How could you wish an innocent being, just a baby, to be dead? How could anyone be that much a monster?
David should not be allowed within 100 yards of a child. He has malicious intent toward every last one of them. And he’d better not cross my path or darken my doorstep ever again. If you are his friend, his whole being is an act. His charisma, his almost drippingly overdone friendliness, his desperate personality, the way he twists everything to his favor and wriggles out of the responsibility for anything should be red flags. Being anywhere near should make your fucking blood run cold.