I was watching Sons of Anarchy earlier – the episode where Gemma gets badly beaten by Clay. Every punch that made contact with her face on that TV show, I felt. It made me flinch. It made me very uncomfortable. It’s funny really. I don’t think I’m ever going to get over what The Hubby did to me.
I know I talk about this topic a lot sometimes and one half of me wants to apologise for that. However, there is this other part of me – the part that thinks that this SHOULD be talked about. So I AM going to talk about it. And for those of you that don’t want to read it, just quit reading.
I don’t think that you ever forget an episode of domestic violence. Fighting with other girls is something that I often forget. However when a man hits me, the image gets so embedded in my mind I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.
The night he punched me in the face is something I will never forget. I will never forget that moment where I looked into my hands and saw a pool of blood that I honestly thought had been my own tears. I will never forget that beat my heart skipped as I looked down and saw that much red in my hands. My face was streaming blood like a tap turned on. I remember the fear that propelled me out of that apartment. The way my shaking hands struggled to turn the handle at the front door as I rushed to get out before he could get his hands on me again. I will never forget my horror as I ran down the stairs and saw the trail of bloody hand prints that my palms were leaving on the wall, or the splashed blood that hit the front door of my downstairs neighbour’s apartment (Number 26) as they threw the door back and welcomed me in. They had heard everything.
I’m never going to forget that night. I was drunk but still I remember every heart-breaking second. He had hurt me before but he had never actually punched me before that night. That night he crossed a boundary in himself, and also a boundary for me. That one punch broke me. And right now I’m still broken.
There’s a point with domestic violence I think, that changes you as a person. That night was that point for me. I get nightmares even now, and I left him years ago. Whenever a man punches a woman on the TV or in a movie, it makes my heart stop for a split second and I flinch. If a man raises his voice at me or shows me aggressive body language, I can feel my heart speeding up and my breathing gets fast – this is when I get a panic attack. Even now as I write this, I am fidgety and I can’t get my mind to think straight. I’m clasping my hands in between writing sentences that are proving almost impossible to write. I talk about it in such a way that it’s almost as though it didn’t happen to me, but talking about that night gets to me in ways I don’t even know how to explain. I wish I had the balls to turn around and tell him this stuff – tell him how much his actions still affect me. He wouldn’t care enough to listen, I don’t think, and I don’t have the strength to ever face him again.
I went to a party this past weekend and at this party, I was invited to a girl’s night out later on this month. We would be going out in a town near to where I live – it’s where The Hubby is now. I agreed but only after a moment did it dawn on me that I would be out partying on a Saturday night in the same town that The Hubby lived and partied in. Bestie has seen him out when he has been drinking in this town. I can’t go. I’m already thinking up my best excuses and I think I’m going to go with having to work the next day. My biggest fear right now is bumping into him on a night out. I’d be drunk and he would be drunk and that was always a recipe for disaster. I don’t know how I would cope bumping into him. I haven’t seen him since before we were both in the War Zone – I left before he had a chance to come home. I ran away like a coward but I’m not ashamed of that – I had to get out when he wasn’t there otherwise I never would have left and either he or I would be dead right now. And I whole heartedly believe that too.
I don’t know if I’m scared of seeing him because I’m scared of his reaction… or mine? I know he would be angry but I don’t think he would come up to me. I think he would leave in all honesty. However, the side of me that remembers him beating the shit out of my face reminds me that he is capable of anything and I realize that I do see him coming up to me in the club, in my mind. He would be furious. I left him and broke his heart – that’s how he tells the story anyway. I didn’t even have the energy to correct it.
My reaction is what I’m afraid of the most. Would I get angry and make a scene? Would I run in fear? I like to think I’m stronger than that now but in all honesty, I don’t really know. Would I remember that I loved him and never, ever said goodbye and want him back? Would we clash? Which one of us would make our move first? Which one of us will leave or stand our ground?
I loved him enough to stand by him through all of the things that he did to me. Would that love be strong enough to still affect me if I were to see him now? We never had a real ending. I never said goodbye. He never saw me pack my stuff or storm out. We aren’t even divorced yet because we can’t have a long enough civil conversation to say yes and agree how we will pay. Which brings me to my next point – I really need to divorce this guy and get him and his name out of my life. We need to have this ending. It is time now. I am ready to stand up and make the final stand and you know what else – I’m going to pay for the whole damn thing myself too, as long as he doesn’t contest it. I’m going to do one of those quickie divorce things that everyone seems to be getting these days. I want my name and my life back. I need him forgotten and that’s not going to happen all the time I see Mrs. on every piece of paper that is addressed to me.
I still have the bottle of champagne that was given to us by his Father and his wife because they couldn’t actually attend our wedding. I took that as a sort of final “fuck you” to him. I wish I had taken a whole fuck load more too. I can’t wait to have a divorce party and crack open that bottle. I want to pop that cork when it’s just me, my Mama and my Lil Sis. I’m not sure why I want it like that but that’s how I want it.
I’d love to wear my beautiful white Louboutins to that party too – to symbolise the final goodbye to The Big Love. I’m hoping to be over him enough to do this when it happens. It would be the perfect goodbye to a couple of amazing adventures. I wouldn’t ever want to forget them of course, but it would be nice to finally say goodbye.
So there you are – that’s where I am tonight. I talked about it. I feel better now.