After the PFMA

After the first PFMA (partner family member assault that I spoke about in my post about “The Beginning”) [L] and I didn’t speak for a few weeks. I was confused, I missed him, I was alone…. I couldn’t believe what had happened. I had a temporary restraining order put in place. I was scared, and wasn’t sure how to process when [L] slowly started sending me messages. He would “like” and then unlike a picture on fb, so I would get a notification on my phone but then the evidence would be gone…. Little things like that….. He sent a message that was a single period “.” Finally I just called him on it and he wanted to talk. There were certain personal matters that we needed to discuss anyways.

He was terrified when I met up with him. He was soooo afraid that I was sending him back to jail, he kept talking about killing himself, he was afraid of the restraining order, just everything. I didn’t plan on us getting back together, but we were both lost and confused about what had happened. He apologized, I was overwhelmed by other things going on in my life. He swore it would never happen, He cried, I cried…. I took him back under the understanding that he wouldn’t have contact with [BABY] until he was “better”. He had a whole list of things he was going to do and how he was going to get help and “fix” his problems etc…. Counseling, AA, therapy, he wasn’t going to work in a bar anymore…. As soon as I took him back though he threw all of those away. He had no reason to work on himself anymore, what was the point if I had already taken him back…. He had convinced me the charges would ruin his life and that he would never get another job, along with lots of heavy personal stuff going on in my life at the time, I dropped the restraining order and the charges against [L].

Things were hard, he slept on a friend’s couch for a very long time. He then managed to take over a lease for a different friend’s apartment when he was leaving town. I paid that lease as well as my own…..for months I paid both of our lease’s and made sure he always had a fridge/freezer full of food. He would come spend time with me when my son would visit his dad. It was a very stressful balancing act. Life, work, son, [L]; I tried so hard to juggle everything but [L] started to resent [BABY]. Instead of viewing the distance as his fault for his actions, he blamed my son for not being able to spend so much time with me.

It was hard, he had lots of fall-offs. I never knew if he was actually telling the truth or not about where he was at. He was spiraling more and more out of control….. That’s when he decided to move a few states away with some mutual friends of his. He claimed he wanted “distance” from [HIS HOME TOWN] because it was too toxic. We fought. I knew he was breaking up with me by moving, he swore he wasn’t….. All of this happened in a 2-3 day span, that’s all the notice he gave me that he was moving. It wasn’t a discussion he just told me, and that was that. He swore he wanted to still make things work and it was just temporary.

He was still signed in to his email on my computer, It was less than a day before he downloaded [HOOKUP APP]. It was pure chance I saw the confirmation email…. as soon as it was received I clicked on it and it was suddenly deleted….. He knew. I did something pretty childish; I completely admit it. I logged in and changed his bio to call him a liar and a cheater. I actually talked to one of the girls he was talking to and she was very sweet. Honestly she was so incredibly nice and here I was being the crazy girlfriend…. I never blamed the girls he cheated on me with, I’ve always had the opinion that he was the one that made commitments and promises to me not some other random woman. I’ve never blamed them…. I know how charming and persuasive he can be. I understand and don’t hold that against them. Only him.

I called him out on the [HOOKUP APP] account….. He tried to deny it even though, well before I changed it, his entire bio was written by him, likes, hobbies, everything was 100% [L]. At first he tried to say he had been hacked and that it was just made from his facebook when that was hacked….. then I called him out on the bio and he tried to tell me that one of the friends that he was living with made it for him while he was sleeping because they didn’t like me…… It was months before he admitted it was his account. Of course as soon as I got upset about it though it was all denial and him professing how much he loved me and how this whole move was about getting better so we could be together again….. I tried to leave, he screamed and yelled and called me names, it was so soon after he had left that fear was still pretty deeply ingrained in me.

So I stayed and we started talking, and facetiming every second one of us wasn’t working or busy…… It was a new safe version of our previous relationship. Some nights he would go dark and I wouldn’t hear from him but he would say he “fell asleep” and I would just go along with it. As long as I always had my phone on and answered his messages and calls he was happy. It was pretend but I felt like I had my bestfriend back. As long as I didn’t pay attention to the nights he wouldn’t respond it wasn’t too bad. I had the emotional closeness we had at the beginning of our relationship and I had the safety. The worst thing that happened was he would get mean and make me cry, but that was nothing compared to really being with him. Our distance worked…. ish.

I went to visit…. Once. A few months after he moved. The whole plan was that [BABY] was visiting his dad for a period of time so I was going to drive down spend a day or two to visit, pick [L] up and he was going to come back with me for a while until it was time for [BABY] to come home, and he’d go back. It was supposed to be time for us to rekindle our relationship and spend time together since the distance was so strenuous.

He let me know on my way down that his friends that he was living with didn’t want me there. After I was already on the road, in the middle of the winter, trying to make it there before the winter storm closed the roads. He convinced them it would be okay finally as I was driving. He had lied to me and told me it was okay weeks ahead of time. We had this all planned out, I had taken the time off, everything was settled. Nope, he waited until I was already on my way to even let the people that he was living with know that I was coming.

I got there early the next morning after driving through the night and things were tense, we fought about it at first but I was exhausted and we finally relaxed. We hung out that day and I asked what if he wanted to leave the next day or the day after….. He then admitted that he couldn’t come back with me. AFTER I had driven hours, spent money, time, energy, everything to get there. AFTER he told me that everything was okay and we had been planning this for weeks. I should have turned around when he admitted his friends didn’t know I was coming until I was already on the road…. I spent the next two days crying, I’m sure his friends thought I was dramatic. They were pissed that he would have agreed to it at all in the first place.I cried and begged him not to make me go back alone, I didn’t want to make the drive, It was horrible in the storm on the way down. I hated that he did this to me in the first place. The whole thing was devastating. I felt so used. He did what most master manipulators do best. He made me feel horrible about his lies like I was the one overreacting and being unreasonable and he made more promises to me to cover up his transgressions. This time the promise to marry me. I went home alone and cried most of the way.

[TWEEDLE-DEE] &[TWEELE-DUM]- my two pups

These stories are not sad like the last dog post I made about [BEAUTY], I promise. I just felt like if she got her own post then they should too. I love them both dearly.

[L] and I agreed after [BEAUTY] that Border Collie/Australian Shepherds were definitely “our kind” of dogs. They just fit us and our personalities and our lives so well. Smart, energetic, loyal, they were perfect. We also made an agreement that all of our dogs should be named after Disney characters… so while the redacted names aren’t their real names it felt only fitting that they be Disney names. Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dumb may seem a little insensitve but they really fit the two dogs I have now soooo perfectly! I couldn’t resist.

[TWEEDLE-DEE] has a pretty normal dog life story. We had lost [BEAUTY], the house felt empty so we started talking about getting a new pup…. not to be disrespectful but [BABY] missed her and would open the door and look for her still. The house was just empty, we needed a little more movement and life in the house so we agreed to start looking for puppies.

Naturally, for me atleast, I found a puppy that day and it was settled. I told [L] as he was on his way to work for the night that I was going to go pick up this puppy. He was wishy-washy but I was determined so off I drove…. roughly 3-ish hours…. to go pick up [TWEEDLE-DEE]. He is a beautiful long hair Austrailian Shepherd mix with super expressive eyebrows. He’s just perfect and soft and fluffy. [BABY] held him part of the way home and I held him the rest. He slept in the crook of my arm as I was driving just like a real baby. We went by [L]’s work that night so he could meet the new pup and then took him home and everything was great.

[T-DEE] fit in perfectly, he was a super mellow herding dog compared to [BEAUTY] and and absolute snuggler. [BABY] loved him, I loved him, [L] loved him. We were all very happy together.

The only negitive thing that ever happened with [T-DEE] is that [L] always threatened to take him when we broke up. He wanted him and always said he was entitled to him since [BABY] was the reason he lost [BEAUTY]. (See that post to read about how the truth finally came out about that). I always disagreed that I had bought [T-DEE], I paid for everything for both [BEAUTY] and [T-Dee] and how dare he try to take a dog from a little boy! Nothing ever came of it [T-DEE] is my very much my dog and that was the end of it.

Then [L] moved a few states away, he wanted to take [T-DEE] the normal arguement insued I said no, so he left and didn’t have a dog. We discussed it many times when he was down there, his friends already had 3 dogs, it didn’t make sense for him to get another dog especially since the plan was always for him to move back after he got the help he needed and was safe to be around my son again. I didn’t like the idea of having 2 dogs, I was still in school etc. Naturally, he ignored me.

[L] picked up [TWEEDLE-DUM] on his way back to visit. He bought [T-DUM] the day he almost killed me, early that morning. We argued about it so much, I didn’t want another dog, why get a puppy when you’re traveling for a week. etc. He didn’t listen. He bought the dog anyways. I was angry that he wouldn’t listen to reason but I went out and bought all of the puppy essentials anyways knowing he wouldn’t have done it yet. Puppy food, chew toys, a harness, etc.

I didn’t know what [L] was doing before coming to my house that day, I learned this months later but being the inconsiderate ass that he is: [L] took the dog shooting with him that day before he came to my house. An 8 week old puppy, just taken from its mother, spent all day in a car, and then you go fire guns around the poor thing???? He finally showed up late, and where was the puppy?

I had gone out of my way to get everything for this pup, I was angry, but what else was I to do? HE LEFT IT WITH HIS FRIEND! I was livid. I had gotten everything this pup needed and was being as generous as possible about the situation and then he doesn’t even bring the puppy with him? Then to top it all off he tells me [T-DUM]’s name. It wasn’t a disney name. I know this sounds silly and tedious but we had agreed, it was a cute thing that was going to be one of “our things” that all of our dogs had disney names! It, in my mind, really just set up the fact that he wasn’t taking our relationship seriously anymore. I know I seem like I’m being dramatic, but it felt like a sign that he never planned on this dog being a part of “our” family because he didn’t fit what we had agreed on. He later defended it because Disney bought out Marvel, and it was a Marvel name but it still just didn’t feel right. [Beauty] and [T-DEE] had very classic old animated disney film names.

I didn’t actually meet [T-DUM] until months later. That night was the night [L] tried to kill me. I don’t remember what happened to the puppy stuff I purchased, I was so concussed and the time following that night is still so foggy I just don’t know.

A few months after my assault [L] came back to town. He had no where to live, nothing to do, no job. So I took [T-DUM] in. He moved in with a friend and couldn’t have him there, couldn’t afford his food, so [T-DUM] became my responsibility. [L] went back to jail a few months later. I called the poilce and asked what I should do since I have his dog, they advised me to “get rid of it”, I asked other people and the advise was always the same. “Technically he is your dog, you’ve cared for him with out any financial compensation, his owner is not capable of caring for him, he is abandoned so he is yours if you want him” but then they’d go on about how keeping him could be a risk because [L] might use him as an excues to come looking for him some day, it could put me in danger blah blah blah.

I listened and tried to re-home him once. I found a “sweet” lady who was willing to rescue him and foster him until I found out safe arrangements or she would be able to find a loving home for him if that’s what I decided. She had me sign over a release for him surrendering him to her “for legal reasons to protect us both” in case [L] ever came looking but assured me I could have him back whenever I found safe arrangement. He wasn’t neutered and I wasn’t sure if he had ever had any vet care at this point. Money wasn’t the problem with keeping [T-DUM] safety was so I paid for his neuter, his first vet visit, her gas to come get him, I sent him with a 50 lb bag of dog food, his favorite bones, his leash, treats, collar, favorite blanket. Everything I could. I loved this dog and only wanted the best for him.

A week and a half later I still couldn’t stop crying, I wanted him back and I contacted her. SHE REFUSED TO GIVE HIM BACK! She claimed she was afraid for his safety, and that he was doing “so well” whatever. So I lied, I’m not ashamed of it, I told her I was moving a state away and I would be taking him with me. I had paid for everything, I had the agreement that this was just a foster in our messages. She argued that I had signed a surrender. I was furious I had receipts for everything I had paid her, I had the messages, I told her I would see her in court if I did not get my dog back. That’s when the truth came out that she had already sent/sold(?) him to some couple in a neighboring town and that it would be difficult to get him back. I told her to figure it out. Finally she did and I went and picked him up a few days later, FROM A FILTHY TRAILER ON THE EDGE OF TOWN! They didn’t even have a fenced yard and were 100yds from the highway. I WAS LIVID. I went to pick him up, it had been a week and a half since I listened to the horrible adivse to get rid of him. When I got there the guy who had him, he seemed genuinely nice just maybe not equipt to care for a new dog, told me he had a sensitive stomach and was having a hard time adjusting to the new food….. I was confused what new food? He’s a medium size dog there is no way he should have gone through that much food already. I asked if they had the rest of his bones, treats, dog food. NOPE, nothing! This lady had taken the money for his vet visits, neuter, all of the dog supplies and dumped him!

[T-DUM] was sooo excited to see me. He jumped up and would not get down, not that I tried very hard, giving me all of the dog hugs he could. Had I not forced him to ride in the back seat with [BABY] I am sure he would have crashed the car with all the loves and kisses he was trying to give. He threw up all over [BABY] on the ride home which was a complete disaster but I was just sooooo happy to have him home safe where he belonged.

I have thought and debated about “outing” this rescue lady that I stupidly surrendered [T-DUM] too as a liar and a fraud…. I am afraid every time I see she has a new “rescue” on her facebook page. But, I have decided I also don’t want to have to deal with people knowing I ended up getting [T-DUM] back and it’s safer if everyone just pretend he went to a rescue so no one comes looking for him. He’s chipped and I have security cameras outside my house now. [L] is locked up, I don’t think [T-DUM], or any of us for that matter, are in any danger but it’s not worth the fight to take on a dog “rescue” with followers and supporters.

Back to [T-DUM] now, I love him. He’s 11 months old now but goodness he is still a wild little thing. [T-DEE] is such a mellow, sweet, snuggly dog and [T-DUM] is hell on wheels. They’re a little ying and yang duo but I can’t imagine life with out the both of them now. I can guarantee [L] is never getting him back, he is a part of my family and will be forever.

Anyways thats the much less sad story of my other two puppers, and our happy little life together. I can’t believe I ever tried to give [T-DUM] up, I was just so panicked and afraid of [L] I thought I was doing the right thing when I was in the middle of that fear and trauma brain after his arrest, but after picking him up I knew with out a doubt I had made the right decision. Life wouldn’t be nearly as complete with out the both of them together.

Thanks for reading!

[Beauty]-our first dog

Just another brain dump….Our dogs just feel like they played such a big part in our life together. I had [BABY] but we didn’t have children together. But we had the pups and they’ve all been wonderful spunky little things.

[L] bought a dog right shortly before he moved in with me. A beautiful little Border Collie Australian shepherd puppy. He named her [BEAUTY]. We had so much fun on the trip out to get her. We drove over an hour and talked the entire way, It was a very happy and exciting trip. We got lost with no cell signal on the way to this little farm to pick her up. It was sooo much fun. We truly had a blast.

He had to work that night and was going to leave her up at his house in a crate while he was working. She was so little and sweet and snuggly there was no way I wanted her to be alone on her first night away from her mama and littermates. So I, of course, insisted she just stay the night with me. He agreed. and I think she (maybe) spent the night at his house a total of two? times before he moved in officially. She was such a sweet but very very energetic little pup.

[L] had been working late nights. He had started to get very angry when he was woken up. He knew I had a child, and now we had a puppy, and he knew what he was getting into working at a bar until 3am most nights (after cleaning). He wanted to be able to sleep until 2-3 pm without interruption and he started to get downright nasty whenever he was woken up. Rude and hurtful…..

One morning about 11 am I went in to take [L] breakfast. We had fought the night before I was trying to be sweet and make up. When I went in I had my hands full so I didn’t close the door behind me so shortly after I went in both the puppy and my son came running in. They jumped up on the bed, he was grumpy and frustrated but trying to hold it together because I was being nice by waking him up with breakfast. [BEAUTY] was being extra wild. She was 9 months old and a herding dog, of course she had a lot of energy!! So, he yelled at her to get off the bed, she didn’t, so I ordered “[BEAUTY] off!” and he kicked/shoved her with his foot.

Her leg got caught between the foot board and the mattress. It was the most horrible sound I had ever heard, she “screamed” I don’t know how else to explain the noise. We rushed her to the vet, on a weekend, and her femur was broken all the way up by her hip joint. I don’t believe his intention was to hurt the dog, just push her off the bed because she wasn’t listening (the true significance of this comes later). There was no way to cast it, she needed surgery to pin in back together. She had emergency surgery the next day. $1600. I loved that dog, my dad offered to help us with the deposit on the surgery. She healed and was doing well.

A few months after she was all healed up from her surgery she was back to her energetic self. She was almost impossible to contain, she climbed our chain link fence like a ladder and would simply hop the fence next door to go play with their two dogs. We would call or whistle and she would hop the fence and come back home. We had to monitor her time outside so she didn’t get bored and wander off but we could see her in the neighbors yard from the window, and they didn’t mind her coming to visit their dogs at all. One day I heard that horrible “screaming” noise again, I instantly knew what it was. I went running into the bedroom, woke [L] up and went running outside. [BEAUTY] had been outside without me knowing and had been hit by a car. She didn’t make it. I was holding her crying by the time he finally made it outside…. Her gums were completely white. She kept licking me. There was a little bit of blood but clearly she was fading fast….. I agreed with animal control that she wouldn’t make it and needed to be put down. She wouldn’t have survived long enough for emergency surgery. I loaded her up in the back of the animal control car and that was the last time I saw her. We had her cremated.

From then on I assumed [BABY] had let her out when I was in the kitchen I was racked with guilt. How could I have missed it? How didn’t I notice she wasn’t under my feet? towards the end of our relationship, once [L] started to resent [BABY] he would blame him a 3 year old at the time for her death. He would use it as one of the horrible things he said about my child, which he often did once I cut off contact between the two of them. (I’ll write a seperate post about that later. )

Some time after we got our next dog [TWEEDLE-DEE] we had a conversation one day about [BEAUTY] how well they would have gotten along, how they were opposites in so many ways. We brought up the broken leg and how horrible it was, how I had finally finished paying that off. He never paid any money towards that surgery. He made a comment that still gives me goosebumps. It was before he had ever hit me but looking back it was one of the scaries red-flags, and I didn’t miss it when it happened, I just was too dumbfounded to respond. He said it was my fault [BEAUTY] had broken her leg right? that I had pushed her and that’s why I was so adamant on the surgery and why I freaked out so much, because I felt guilty? he stated it all as a question but like he was telling me he knew…..

I was sooooo horror struck. I just said no, I just loved her and couldn’t imagine putting her down over something like a broken leg…..but I was soooo confused. I remember what he had done pushing her before she fell and her leg got caught. I just hadn’t ever said anything; because obviously he must feel guilty and that was never his intention to actually hurt her, I was sure. No point in placing blame on a horrible accident…… but months and months later he had twisted this on me, and tried to say I was the reason for the broken leg….. He was actively twisting this story to blame me….. Stating it as a fact. Like somehow I would have just forgotten or wouldn’t be brave enough to call him out (which I wasn’t) but I certainly wasn’t going to admit to something I didn’t do. It was scary, It really made me start to question things more, the lies he told that I didn’t have energy to argue with. But this too of course I quickly put out of my head and moved on, but it was one of those defining moments that often creeps back in later.

Years went by, right before [L] went to jail for the last time, we were having a very open conversation because he was sober, he was in therapy, he was working through things….. and we were talking about all of the horrible things he had said about [BABY] in the past. We talked about his resentment and where it came from and we were having a truly good honest conversation and finally, after years of me feeling guilty, he admitted to me he was the one that had let [BEAUTY] out that morning and then gone back to bed. She was bugging him while he was trying to sleep. All of those times he blamed [BABY] he knew it wasn’t even true. It was just a way to hurt me.

The night [L] tried to kill me

This is the post I have been most dreading. This is the night that is the source of the worst parts of my PTSD. This is the night I still can’t process. TRIGGER WARNING: This is a very graphic account of the worst night of abuse I survived. This is the night I struggle with the most, this is physical violence and can be very disturbing to read to anyone, but especially to those who have lived with physical violence in the past.

After the first PFMA, I wrote about in “The Beginning” [L] could no longer have contact with [BABY]. I knew he was dangerous, too volatile, and couldn’t continue to expose my child to him. [Baby] had never seen any of the violence but I couldn’t risk it. I was in no way giving up on [L] yet though. I thought I could still fix him and he would be safe to be part of our family again one day. During this time [L] moved 2 states away with some friends of his. We continued to do long distance, things were ultimately much better and much safer for me. He was working as a bartender again but said he had managed to get his drinking under control now that he was out of [his toxic hometown] where I still lived. He was still controlling and would freak out and threaten me whenever I didn’t answer my phone immediately or if I was busy with work or school. The emotional and mental abuse continued but I had distance and safety. It still affected my day to day life, I was still at the whims of his temper but things were okay.

[L] came back to visit one weekend with his friends he had been living with. We had been fighting and our relationship was very strained. The plan for the weekend was to spend one last weekend together and see how we felt, see if it was still worth being together. We were talking about the real possibility of breaking up and calling it quits after this weekend, and that conversation led him to accuse me of cheating and believing that’s why I didn’t want to be with him anymore, because I had found someone new. One thing most don’t know, that I truly didn’t consciously admit until after this, was that the most dangerous time in an abusive relationship is when you’re leaving.

He told me he was going to have them drop him straight off with me and then they had things to do, that was the plan. He told me he was just getting to town around 3pm that day and would be “home” soon. [Baby] was having his first sleepover with his best friend for her birthday. I was all set up to spend some much needed time together. I started asking when he’d be here around 4pm. He said soon. He finally showed up at 6:30 and had been drinking. I was a little worried but he was so lovey and excited to see me he seemed safe, and he had told me he had it under control. He was full of excuses about how he got stuck going to one of his friends’ family things and just had some drinks with the family…… turns out, I found out months later, he decided meeting up with some buddies and going shooting and drinking outside of town was more of a priority than coming to see me. Even though I was “supposedly” the whole reason for the trip (I always came second to his friends).

He wanted to go out so I got ready. It had been wet outside the past few days and not very warm for the season yet. I remember debating between a dress and flats and just casual jeans with a t-shirt and boots, I put the dress on before deciding it would be too cold and my feet would get wet in flats so I decided to change, thank God I did. The dress could have cost me my life, flats are hard to run in.

We went to a few different places, we played a game of pool, and then we went to a local bar that had a show that night. We had both had a few drinks, he had taken a few shots with old friends, we were both still just enjoying finally being together again. The bar was starting to get packed so we went and sat down somewhere else and I was lounging against him when I got a snapchat from a male friend, he saw the name pop up on my screen as a notification. I had never had any history with this person, it was a mass snap he had sent out to many people at once. [L] freaked, took my phone and threw it and threw me on the ground. This was in a crowded room of people, everyone saw. He had never been this violent in public before. The police were called, someone had said I had a restraining order against him from the first PFMA (but I had dropped it at this point). They took him away in the police car and I asked what I was supposed to do, he had my keys, he had my money, my ID, my debit card….. they basically said oh well. As most girls know our pockets are small and suck so I had handed my stuff off to him early in the night to carry like so many of us do with our significant others.

***I had to take a break writing this, This is hard for me to relive even in the safety of my own home to be able to write this all out, But I am determined so here we go again, IF YOU HAVE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE TRIGGERS STOP READING HERE! PLEASE!***

[L] Started calling immediately after they dropped him off. Screaming threats, telling me I had to come get him or he was going to hurt me and my child. He was belligerent. I didn’t have a way to get back inside my home. The police were not helpful about my belongings so I felt I had to go get them. Not the best idea in the world I’ll admit but I had a few drinks and was desperate, embarrased, hurt, and wanted to go home and I was afraid of what he was going to do if I didn’t go down there. My next decision, the one I truly honestly believe, saved my life: I grabbed one of [L]’s friends. We were barely acquaintances, I knew his name, I said hey I need you to come with me. He was pretty drunk and confused but kind of shrugged and just went along with it.

The cab ride to where he was at took 10 minutes. I was shaking and crying when we got into the cab. The cab driver was telling me not to go and offering alternatives to try and get my belongings back but I was already trapped inside my fear brain. I felt like I needed to do what he said otherwise I would get hurt. He called several times on the drive there screaming obscenities and threats, I put it on speaker just so the driver and his friend in the car knew what was going on. We finally got there and he was standing in the shadows of one of the apartment stairwells.

I got out of the cab and so did [FRIEND], He decided to hang back while I tried to get [L] calmed down. I approached him and he was breathing heavily and looking a little wild. I was talking softly, I finally got close enough to touch him. I put my hands on his chest and he started to breathe and calm down more and more. I kept reassuring him “I’m here, It’s okay, just breathe….” he started to come around more and more. I was pretty skilled at calming him down during his episodes of anger at this point. He calmed down and gave me a hug, it was a really long hug and he seemed to kind of relax and melt into me. This was good, this felt safe, finally safe enough that I broke the hug and looked at him and said okay I need my stuff now. His eyes flashed and he took a step back and threw his wallet at me, harder than necessary but not dirrecly aggressive. I took a few steps back because I could see him getting worked up and tried to find my ID and Debit card. I was still shaky and trying to find my cards when I said “I need my keys too” without looking up.

Thats when he lost it. He started screaming about how I was stealing his money, he was holding my cash for the night at this point too, but I wasn’t even in the money pocket of his wallet, I was looking for my cards still. He ripped my phone out of my hands and smashed it. He launched at me keys in hand and started beating me. My keys were on a small paracord loop lanyard so I could connect them to my backpack at school. They had a large, heavy metal commemorative/memorial bottle opener attached. It was 1.5 by 1.5 inches approximately and solid, made to last. He was holding my keys by the lanyard so the mass of keys and bottle opener were hitting me in the face. I curled up on the ground in the fetal position. I couldn’t get up. He was above me still beating me across the head, arms, and face with my keys. I remember feeling my tooth on my tongue, realizing it was broken. I vividly remember thinking “Swallow your tooth, You need to scream”

[Friend] came running up and pulled [L] off of me, but [L] was a big guy [FRIEND] couldn’t hold him. I rolled away and got up and started to run, I made it about 4 steps and was wrenched backwards by my arm and thrown to the ground but I was already in flight mode at this point. I jumped back up and [Friend] was still intervening and I ran.

I ran across a main road and into the country club area of our town. It has a brick wall running all the way around it, I jumped the wall, I was in someone’s backyard and [L] was after me. I jumped into another backyard and then another fence and I was to the street. I don’t know when I started screaming for help but I know I was screaming as I took off down the street finally able to openly run. “Somebody help me, Call 911, Help”

He was still behind me. We were both winded at this point, running and screaming doesn’t go well together. I was slowing down and so was he. He called out behind me “are you finally going to stop being crazy and talk to me?” I turned around under a streetlight to see how close he was. He saw me, He saw my face, He saw the blood, He saw my eye…..

He said “Oh shit….” and lunged towards me again. I turned and ran like hell. I saw lights, finally I saw something that looked like there were people there. It was the country club, they were having a wedding reception.

I ran into the wedding reception. I don’t remember it but someone later told me I yelled “He’s chasing me, he’s going to kill me” or something to that effect. Some of the women pulled me off to the side and sat me down. I think they got me Ice? They called 911 and told them where I was at. The police had received several calls of me running yelling for help but I was always ahead when people came outside to help (so I was told, I have no idea).

-I did not know this at the time but when I yelled that and went running inside some of the grooms men went running outside into the parking lot. During this time they chased [L] for a few blocks and tackled him and held him until the police could get there. [L] had to get stitches in his knee and it was always a little messed up, I don’t think he’s had any further treatment yet but it seemed like he needed it.

Anyways one of the bridesmaids sat with me until the ambulance arrived, she asked if I wanted her to come with me to the hospital, I said yes. I didn’t have a way to get a hold of my parents or anyone, my phone was broken. We got in the ambulance, I remember the flashing lights while the back doors were still open and they were asking me questions and the police were asking me questions. We made it to the hospital and they put me in a room and the doctor came in and fixed my lip. I had 3 punctures through my bottom lip from where my teeth had gone through it and one tooth broken off down at the gum line. I had major trauma to my right law, right bottom lip, left eye and orbital, and left temple area. Basically a straight diagonal line across my face from where he had hit me repeatedly. I had other bumps and bruises. My whole body hurt. They did x-rays and a scan of my head of some sort (I don’t want to call it the wrong thing).

I used the bridesmaids phone to call my mom, and then to finally take a selfie to see what I looked like and to send that to my mother. I was numb, I looked at my face and couldn’t believe it was me. Mom told me her and Dad were leaving that second and on their way. The doctors tried to get me to stay overnight but I was adamant I needed to go home. They gave me pain pills and let me leave.

I was concussed, now on pain pills, had been drinking a few hours earlier, and it was about 12:30am. The assault happened about 945 ish? I think? anyways. No one told me they had caught [L] I had learned from the previous assault that if they don’t arrest the offender within a short time window then they have to go through the warrant process and it is much harder. He also lived in a different state at the time so I knew he would be leaving town as quickly as possible. In my mental and physical state I was determined to make sure he was arrested that night.

I went up to the bar he usually frequents, where his friends usually hang out. When I arrived I was looking for one person specifically. I ran into someone I knew, and asked if she had seen him. She instantly freaked out and was like “OH MY GOD what the F*** happened to you????” I repeated my question, she hugged me and pointed me to a back room. I walked in and, sitting around in a circle, were 5-7ish of [L]’s good friends all talking about how they were going to pool money together to bail him out. They all stopped and stared, we ended up in a group hug where I kept asking them to find him and they kept telling me he was already in jail.

One of [L]’s best friends was skeptical. He kept asking me to explain what happened and I finally said “Call [FRIEND]! He was there, if you don’t want to believe me that [L] did this then f***ing call him and ask what happened”. The skeptical friend went and made his phone call and came back and confirmed that [L] was to blame for my broken face. The guys kept hugging me and apologizing for not believing me after the first PFMA. They were his friends, and they believed him. I get it.

Finally I knew [L] was in jail. I was safe. My parents were on their way. I went to get [BABY] in the middle of the night, he slept through it all, and I took him home. I needed to confirm that he was safe. I snuggled up with him and fell asleep waiting for Mom and Dad. They arrived not long after, record time down some sketchy dark highways, to make it to me that quickly.

They knocked on the door and my dog, –ugh I just realized I’m not going to be able to use the dogs names even!– [TWEEDLE-DEE] has never been aggressive in his life. That night when my parents knocked on the door he hit the middle of the window full on attack mode. He knew I was broken and the knock had startled me awake and he was going to take care of us.

I was terrified by that knock, everything from earlier came back all at once and my only thought was “Oh my god its [L]” (irrational I know) I jumped out of bed, and went to the door where [TWEEDLE-DEE] was doing his best rottweiler impression. As soon as I heard my dad’s voice I knew I was safe.

[L] bailed out just a week later, and I still went back to him, even after all of this.

Thank you for taking the time to read my experience,


**This took a lot out of me to write. I cried a lot. It took several different sessions and breaks and many hours to write. Self care is important so taking breaks when I got overwhelmed was required for my mental health. If you are triggered by this post please take the time to do your own self care and make sure you are in a safe place mentally**

This story is hard and it cuts deep, but it also gives me courage and I hope it gives someone else courage too. I survived. I lived. I outran. [L] was physically bigger and far stronger and more fitness oriented than I am, I don’t know how I made it, but I’m so glad I did. But most importantly, there were people willing to help!

Trauma Bonding- Why I stayed

I’m not a psychologist, I’m not a doctor, or a health professional. I’m just a survivor who has spent countless hours trying to figure out why it’s so hard to leave. Why even when it was so bad I feared for my life at times, I didn’t want to leave. When I did leave It mentally and physically hurt, I felt even less in control than when I stayed.

My therapist described it really well one day when we were talking. She explained I was on this emotional rollercoaster constantly going up and plummeting back down, my brain got used to this pattern like we do with anything else in our lives. This meant that even when I cut him off and left, my brain was still doing these wild ups and downs leaving me feeling so confused. I should have felt better after cutting him out of my life. Why did I feel so crazy still?? why did I feel even more off balance?? because I was now feeling crazy for no reason at all!

She explained it’s very similar to bi-polar disorder. My brain is still stuck in these crazy extremes, throw some PTSD on top of that and any trigger could send me spiraling in any direction. In that chaos and spiral, I wanted [L] again. He had isolated me from everyone at this point so he was also the only one I thought I could go to for comfort, he was still my grounding point. He had lived the crazy with me up until the time I left. He had seen the highs and lows already, taking him back and at least having someone to hold onto felt safer than being on the rollercoaster alone, or inviting someone I didn’t know or hadn’t spoken to in years to join me on the rollercoaster. I thought surely no one else in my life could possibly understand.

My brain was physically addicted to these ups and downs. It didn’t know how to stop the rollercoaster much like a drug addict doesn’t know how to live without those chemicals in their brain. It wasn’t drugs my brain needed but the dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin that would pull me out of the dark places; after the cortisol, adrenaline tore me down. I needed the next “up” to pull me out of the spiral I was in, and the one who was supplying those “ups” for so long, my “dealer of choice” was [L]. He was my “bipolar medication”, when he was being good and nice and kind, that is, he was the one who could pull me out of those deep holes. He could help me feel whole and sain again…… until the next time he shoved me back down.

The dopamine trap- Dopamine is a happy hormone! Dopamine is the happiness that comes with sunshine, finishing a task, a good caffeine boost. Dopamine is also tied to the reward center of our brain. When something good happens to us our brain releases dopamine, when something unexpectedly good happens our brain releases more dopamine. I’ve been in healthy relationships before that begin to feel stale even though the guy is generally sweet and things are going okay, it just starts to feel blah. With [L] things were never blah because I was living on this constant rollercoaster of emotions. Unlike the healthy relationships I had been in my brain never knew when to expect good things to come, he was always so hot and cold, so when he did something nice and sweet finally my brain released more dopamine than it would have when a previous partner might have done something for me. Because of his unpredictability MY BRAIN would actually reward his good behavior more than it would other peoples who I expected good behavior from. Essentially I would be happier due to a love note from him after a whole week of fighting than I would be from the daily affirmations my friend was sending me that entire week trying to help me get through it. The dopamine release with him was larger, it would shove that rollercoaster back up into a climb way faster than the smaller ones my brain was used to….. and Life was always good when the roller coaster was on its way up.

Oxytocin– Mama’s bonding with their babies, the warm fuzzies after really good sex, the nice peacefulness that comes with a good cuddle session at the end of the day. The love hormone. [L] and I had a very active physical connection, on the days he was “being good” and nice and loving. On the days he was playing that dopamine trap he would also be overly affectionate. He was doubling the happy hormones, a dopamine jump from the unexpected kindness, and an oxytocin spike from the physical closeness that came with it.

I’m not saying that [L] was some mad neuroscientist and knew that he could create physical neurological needs in my brain by using this pattern. But it is a pattern most narcissists use because it works. It uses our brain chemistry against us. This is how codependents are created.

**I will continue to add to this post as time goes on and I learn more. I know a lot about cortisol and adrenaline and PTSD but I’m not sure how I want to frame them within the terms of this post as I am still learning more every day.

An Intro

Hi I’m [NAME REDACTED] I am a domestic violence survivor.

I am creating a blog as a way to process my experience and hopefully someone else can gain some insight by this whole thing. I am going to be ambiguous about a few specifics on purpose, I don’t want this blog to be all about me (haha I know that sounds silly). I want this blog to be one anonymous story. This could easily happen to your little sister, your daughter, your best friend, any woman you see or meet anywhere. I want readers to be able to put someone in these shoes because they’re not just my boots I was running for my life in. They were every girl everywhere who has run for her life, or even feared for her life in a domestic violence relationship.

I chose the name [NAME REDACTED] very purposefully, I was a victim. I have the legal right to anonymity, but I live in a small town so what a joke that’s been. Everyone knows who the girl in the police reports and news articles is, but my name is redacted. It gives me a sense of distance and security, someone later won’t google me for a job interview and find my trauma but it also made me feel like they were removing my identity from the crime. Some faceless girl; she had a broken face, a broken smile, one eye that didn’t open, but can you really see that if she doesn’t have a face to begin with? I also am still living in fear so….. I’m protecting my anonymity by using this name and removing some identifying details but I hope it lends some power to my story and experience overall.

So my story, the quick overview, I’m a college student (almost done with an engineering degree) so I’m educated which is not the normal picture the media portrays about victims. I am a single mom, I have a beautiful boy who I will refer to as [BABY] throughout my posts. [L] is my offender, obviously, and there will be a few other casts of characters broadly described throughout some of my posts.

I was in love with a man who tried to kill me, more than once. I went back, more than once. It took me a long time to extradite myself from this situation and I am left with lasting trauma bonds (basically the new term for Stockholm syndrome) and PTSD. My recovery comes in waves and I’m hoping to show that here with my posts. I’m going to try my best to not over edit and not over think and just share my process as organically as possible. This is all being written after he was sentenced for his crimes against me, so it is not in chronological order but I hope it will make sense and have some flow with the categories above. I’m not trying to write in chronological order though because that’s not how my brain is processing it’s still very much all over the place. I am using this as awareness for domestic violence but first and foremost I am hoping if I can start pouring all of my experiences and that part of my life into this blog maybe I an finally quit carrying the weight of it around with me.

The crimes (that he was formally charged with):

-Felony Assault with a weapon

-Felony Stalking

-Temporary Restraining Order Violations (2)

-Partner Family Member Assault (2)

-Contempt of Court

-Criminal Contempt

This is not a place for judgement. I will explain how my decisions to stay were made. Domestic violence crosses all races, religions, socio-economic boundaries, and gender. I will be writing about my experience as a woman in this situation but I acknowledge and feel for the men too, I just don’t feel I could do their story justice within the scope of my experience. I will do my best to portray my experience in abuse and in recovery. I am flaying myself open here for others to see, but I can say I only could do my best. There are going to be times if you join me in this that you’re going to think “Oh my god, I never would have done things that way, what the f*** was she thinking” there are times when I look back and condemn my own actions, but I won’t do that here, I ask for grace. I will explain the mechanics as well as I can but I was doing the best I could, at whatever particular time I was in, with the experience and knowledge I had up until that point. The reason I won’t condemn my decisions to stay is two part. (1) Another woman reading through this might be reading what she is currently going through and I will never shame a woman for being right where ever she is at in this journey, she might still be with her offender and by condemning my own decisions (and her’s by proxy) we are only taking power and self-esteem away from her when she needs it most. (2) I am learning to love myself again. I am learning to have confidence and re-analyzing my past and the “shoulda-woulda-coulda’s” won’t change it. My recovery is a process that started before he ever hit me and I will not be ashamed for any step in that process because it brought me to where I am today; and that’s a person I’m learning to really admire and trying hard to love.

EMDR-In case it works

EMDR: Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing- A letter to [L] (just incase it works)

They tell me EMDR is the answer, EMDR will make me not love you anymore. EMDR is the pixie dust that makes it all work. Faith, trust, and EMDR; I’ll live happily ever after in never-ever (again) land. It will make me a better student, I won’t be so obsessive, I’ll be capable of healthy relationships….. I will want healthy relationships? I will be a better mom, I’ll get out of bed EVERY SINGLE DAY. I’ll be a better person, friend, daughter, sister, all at the price of giving you away. 

In layman’s term EMDR is f***ing hypnosis at the physical brain level. They rewire your past, they put you in a REM (dream) like state and ask you to relive memories, pull up pictures of past traumatic events: “You’ll see everything much more clearly than you remember it on your own right now”- just like nightmares and dreams feel so real compared to daydreaming- and they change the way you feel and think about your most defining moments.

But I still remember your face, your eyes, your sneer. I remember thinking: “just swallow the tooth, get it out of your mouth, you need to scream so someone hears you.” I remember seeing you, see my face under the street light. I had turned around to see how close you were, I was running out of energy and things were moving slower and all you said was “Oh shit”…. you started running faster towards me again- I wasn’t sure if it was because you realized what you had done and wanted to save me or if you wanted to finish what you started- I ran like hell. I remember what you did enough, I don’t need anymore remembering. I remember enough and I still love you…….. But they’ll fix that, they’ll take that all away, I’ll be “better”.

They’re going to rewire my brain, they’re going to take away my love for you….. AND I’M…..going to let them. I don’t think; no I know, I don’t have a choice. I’m in therapy because I need help getting away from triggers, and the desire for toxic things in my life. I’m in therapy so I can learn to get out of bed and make it through a day without chewing handfuls of [ANXIETY MEDS]- and then calling my doctor crying that I’m out of [ANXIETY MEDS] so she’ll give me more in the middle of a melt down. I need therapy so I don’t keep letting myself be abused by you. I need therapy because my problem of letting you abuse me “because I love you” can’t be fixed by you getting better- Even if you do get better and I truly hope you do- I need therapy to fix the parts of me that allowed you to continually hurt me and still came back. That’s why I’m in therapy, and they say this is the next step, I’m at a stand still. I’ve resisted, I’ve said “but I had a recent concussion” and “but I’m not ready to not love him yet” they say we’ll use a hand held device and me saying I’m not ready is definitely a sure sign that it’s time. Therapy and talking isn’t enough for me. I need EMDR to get rid of you…… EMDR will make me not want to take you back, I’ll be safe from myself. EMDR will dissociate you and love. It will put you=bad in my brain. It will de-stimulize sexual arousal and you. It will make me see the real you. It will take away the broken crumbled pathways in my brain and replace them with a whole new way of thinking-hiking trails to sidewalks. It will take away my idealized version of you and replace ‘you’ with the truth about the things you did to me. I say I know the truth, they say I don’t feel the truth yet. The real truth is I don’t want to.

EMDR is my way out of the trailer park that is my life, the constant tornados of feelings tearing it apart. It will take away my magnetic pull to chaos and turmoil; It will put me in a dusty school basement somewhere, it will “keep me safe”, with all the other dusty old things, afraid of the screaming wind- but they don’t see how I love the swirl of water, wind and power. They’ve never started into the unknown future with tears rolling down their cheeks and hair whipping around their face. But they say It’s unhealthy that I live for the calm before the storm, the moments of clarity in the eye, and the triumph of surviving on the other side: having seen beauty where others only see the aftermath and destruction.

They don’t know that being broken and fragile can be a magical thing, people who are grounded and whole are too heavy to get swept up in the life going on around them, they don’t dance on the bar and kiss in the rain. The fragile bird with a broken wing might be swept off the line and ripped apart by the storm, it’s happened to me once or twice…..and damn did it hurt- but that same little bird could be carried to new heights never explored by “grounded people” and they can’t tell me it’s not worth it; not until you’ve basked in the glow of the church on [RANDOM] street; lit up on a clear night by lights and a whole lot of ecstasy. Not until you’ve dodged fireworks exploding on the ground instead of the air-until you’ve been the firework too excited to wait to show the world what you are so you go off a little to early…. but then maybe they’re right……being up close is beautiful, mesmerizing, but people get hurt when you explode before you reach the sky.

EMDR will take away the little Dory in my head that sings “We see the undertow and we say: LETS GO!” and I wonder what adventures I might miss out on….. What if  the person destined to teach me to speak whale is sitting on the highest [LOCAL SIGNIFICANT STRUCTURE] waiting for me to climb up into the lights. People who get out of bed ‘every. single. day.’ don’t stay up all night to watch the stars fall and see the sunrise. Who will I miss out on, what won’t I see. She couldn’t remember and I can’t stop remembering, every little thing……

I imagine this will all seem silly if EMDR is “successful” so I needed to write it all down before hand. I’m terrified of losing you but I’m more afraid of losing me, the only little part of me that I still love, that’s still alive…… they say suicide isn’t about dying, it’s about not hurting anymore. To me EMDR feels like humane suicide: I won’t hurt anymore, I won’t hurt anyone anymore, I might just fly high after all, but there’s no promise of sparkle and shine, and that’s what I live for. But here we go…. tomorrow is off to never-ever (again) Land.

Forever and Always, I Promise, Love

PS-Hey, maybe at the end of all of this I’ll actually like my whole name and won’t cringe at being called “[ME]” anymore. Maybe [ME] can be a who new person, and if you’re really finding God in there: say a prayer that she still has a little bit of sparkle……..

**Disclaimer- when I wrote this letter I was very very uninformed on what EMDR was and how it would change my life. I almost didn’t include it in my blog (I wrote it pre-blog) because it frames this as such a scary process. But for the sake of being authentic I believe you probably needed to see this. I was also terrified, and manic, and very very much inside my trauma the night I wrote this. I wanted to go back and edit it so badly before I posted it “erase some of my crazy” but if this is truly going to document my journey…. you need to see the ugly part of healing too. So here it is.

Bravery- an open letter

[L]- Maybe today L is for Love (I probably wont ever call you that again),

Today you were moved, a new facility, new people to meet, new professionals to fool, new assessments to figure out and ace. I bet these counselors are better at spotting a narcissist and addict, do you think you’ll convince them you’re not like you did [ADDICTION COUNSELOR]? [NEW COUNSELOR] seemed to see through you, but you learned how to throw off those sessions pretty quickly too……. Who will you laugh with when you tell you have them fooled, like it’s a joke and not your life? Did you know the counselor at the jail felt bad for you? My therapist oversees him, he’s still new. So when she went to him one day and asked about you being back in his response was “oh yeahhhh poor guy……” according to him you always are so sad and depressed and laid back….. So go ahead and add another one to your score card.

God it was only this morning, but also…. I think I’ve looked at the new booking images of you at least 100 times, they’re already permanently burned into my retinas. The jail called me twice to make sure I got the victim notification, they heard “I was displeased” about not getting a call last time you got out. I have to wonder, are you afraid? Is being transferred out of your hometown and into a correctional facility where your family doesn’t have sway scary? You look at ease but you look tight, you have tells, that even show up in photographs. I’m worried about you today. I learned to read you a long time ago, you only ever got away with a few lies truly, I just gave up in the end on calling you out on them, I wasn’t up for the fight.

Things are getting better again, today shoved my focus back onto you with the updates, but….. overall It was another brave day. It comes in waves, if you asked me yesterday… yesterday was not a strong day, it was a crying day. I know I’ve told you this but I want you to know this is the strongest I’ve felt in a very long time. I’m getting farther and farther in therapy. I’m able to push you back into my “brain container”–new coping technique– and that’s been pretty huge for me, it’s pretty, a vase, with a big latch like my cookie jar from Gram; solid and sturdy, it closes with a click. It seals everything inside and you can’t even smell the cookies until you pop the latch and it all comes flooding out, that’s about like my emotions right now. It’s all a new EMDR technique….. I hope you get the chance to do EMDR again with your traumas. Today’s bravery was more tangible, more motivational, I WILL NOT let you back in. I’m getting better at my own positive affirmations. I guess that’s kind of why I wanted to write this letter, I’m hoping I won’t even want to write to you soon so it seemed like a good time to get some of this out while you still had a few strings on my heart.

I talk about bravery and recovery like it’s such a sure thing but tomorrow you could have a death grip on me again. I’m never quite sure how I’m going to wake up feeling about you. I blame the dreams I can feel as confident as ever in waking life but the dreams still f*** me up every night. Sometimes they’re about you, sometimes they’re memories, sometimes they’re made up future scenarios, sometimes you’re not even in them but they’re just general fear and chaos; and I’m always losing my f***ing teeth in my dreams. That’s how I’m starting to wake up from them. I know if I lose a tooth it’s not real. How sad is that? But that also means you can’t ever knock another tooth out or I’m just not going to believe it’s real. I think that would really mess with me to go through again after all the bad dreams. That’s the one common thing in every single one. The worst ones, surprisingly, are the ones that are good dreams; sometimes good memories. We’re laying in bed or laughing in the kitchen, or the worst– kissing, and my teeth just start falling out.

The brave days may come and go, but I have faith you’re not long left for my heart, and by long I mean…. you maybe have a few months left some days; years left, others….. If I’m being honest. The thing that keeps me going though is even though I have bad or neutral days in between, sometimes even crying days, the good ones are getting stronger. Remember when [NEW COUNSELOR] constantly asked you where do you feel it in your body? she was trying to get you to associate your feelings with physical manifestations of the emotions….. Well I hope this description helps.

My bravery feels so big in my chest, it’s like a bowling ball sitting right under my sternum. It forces me to stay upright, to not hunch, shoulders rolled back and down. It forces me to breathe into my belly because my chest doesn’t have enough room, it’s physically uncomfortable. I’m not familiar with bravery anymore, but I like it. It’s a new weight which isn’t expected, I thought I would get lighter in this process, not heavier, but it’s a sturdy weight. It keeps me planted firmly down, I’m not so flighty. –Remember my pre-EMDR letter I wrote you? I think I’ll post it here (no matter how misinformed it is), because it shows how desperate and afraid I was to get rid of you, it talked about being a bird in a storm– Bravery takes away that flighty-ness. I guess what I’m describing is confidence? oofta that’s a hard one but I have confidence in myself for the first time in a long time, so long it feels foreign, but it also feels soooooo good.

Love [not always and forever, I promise],


PS- It’s tomorrow now, I still feel brave……

The Blanket

I’m feeling sentimental today so ‘the blanket’ gets its own post. I love that god damn blanket. I still sleep with (both of them) when I’m feeling lonely and missing [L] (because yes I still love him, and miss him very very much at times)

I made a blanket our first year together. I crocheted it out of this marbled blue, super fuzzy, chunky, blanket yarn. It was a huge blanket. It took over $80 of yarn and 15+ hours of work from start to finish. [L] was not a small guy and he slept with it most nights. It covered him completely at 6’1 from head to toe and was proportionally wide. It was soooo cushy, folding it up even makes for a nice pillow. He loved this blanket. Through all of the breakups and all of the heartbreak he begged for this blanket every time. He wanted it, for whatever reason it was just a very sentimental blanket to both of us. I think for me it was definitely a gift of love, with all the time and effort I put into it and it reminded me of the happy times. I gave him the first blanket before any of the abuse started.

Everytime we broke up he would want the blanket I wouldn’t want to give it to him (because F that mother F’er he doesn’t get something I put so much time and effort into that’s not fair) but mostly it was an attachment item of his that I just never wanted to give up. I gave him the first (of 2 blankets) back in 2017.

I doubt he would ever connect these like I did but the night he broke the first blanket was the first night he broke my heart. We were in Colorado, I had BEGGED him not to take the blanket with him but he was adamant he wanted it and I BEGGED him to be careful with it. A road trip just isn’t the best place or a handmade blanket, but it was fairly sturdy so whatever I didn’t push it too much. That night we got drunk with his friend that we were staying with in Colorado and he tore it while being drunk and wrestling around with his buddy, they pulled on it and it ripped, there was no fixing the hole I tied it off well and kept it from unraveling but the damage was done. I could always see where it was torn and where the weak point was.

That night, also when he was drunk was the first time he called me a whore, a slut, a skank and told me I was lucky to have him, no one else wanted me. I told him if he ever talked to me that way again I would never speak to him again and he threatened to leave me in Colorado. HAH (I stayed another 2+ years through far worse than this but that was the first time he had cut me down like that and hurt me) Our relationship just like the blanket was never the same after that night. I tried to be brave and I even flirted with the bartender at the bowling alley that night, just to show [L] I could, he bought me drinks and asked me if I needed somewhere to stay the night. I played a brave face but I was terrified. I was surrounded by his friends, in a town I knew no one states away from home, with no way to get home, and he was threatening to leave me there. Just like the blanket I could never undo that initial hurt, and he now knew where my weak point was. He knew he could hurt me, he knew he had the power and I was at his mercy that night I had no choice but to put up with his words or be abandoned in a very scary situation, and that’s where it all started to unravel. The following years were all about knotting back together the frayed ends of our relationship as much as I could for as long as I could to try and pretend it wasn’t as broken as it really was. I still wonder if we hadn’t been in a strange town and I hadn’t been so powerless that night when he first verbally abused me if I would have stayed….. Would I have spent years knotting together a relationship? I truly can’t say.

Anyways, that was the first blanket. The second came after May of 2019….. By then the original blanket had holes the size of basketballs in it. Holes I had tied together and fixed with bits of yarn but once a crocheted blanket starts to unravel there is no fixing it completely (correct me if I’m wrong). I never found a way to weave it perfectly back together, one stitch seamlessly going into the next one row on top of another, I always felt a little like Frankenstein (yes the Doctor) trying to piece it back together. I still have the original blanket though, It’s in a box, I pull it out sometimes to cuddle it. But like our relationship it’s just not fit for this world anymore. It’s too fragile and broken so it usually stays in the box.

So, Back to May of 2019. [L] was sitting in Jail at this point. Felony assault with a weapon (there’s a whole separate post about this night) and I was healing from severe mental and physical trauma, and a broken heart. I looked at the blanket and decided I could start new, I could have a do-over. I started to remake this blanket, stronger this time the same stitch just slightly tweaked, It had vertical ribbing to help prevent the stretching and breaking that happened with the last blanket. This new blanket was therapeutic for me, It was calming a steady 4 count of stitches repeated over and over. The progress was slow. This blanket was the same size as the last but I tried (and ultimately failed) to make it narrower than the last, it actually turned out wider, like I said I was pretty concussed and the yarn was curling in on itself until there was enough bulk and weight behind it for it to lie flat. However, the goal was to make it narrower, I didn’t want him to be able to fit two people under it. I knew we were at the end, or I thought it was going to be the end at that point *spoiler alert-it wasn’t* so I wanted him to have a reminder of something he could hold and love but I didn’t want him to be able to share it with another girl. Petty I know, even in my healing and letting go I couldn’t imagine him sharing what was a labor of my love with someone else.

So this second blanket is beautiful, It’s perfect, it’s even better than the original– and Good God I did not know how sentimentally attached to these f***ing blankets I was until after I started writing, hence why they became a separate post– but they represent what things really were like vs how I wished they were, the relationship I had deluded myself into thinking I was in vs the real ugly reality of my home life. How I wanted it to be, how I hoped I/we could heal and be even better and stronger and more beautifully in love than before and the truth.


Holidays with an abusive narcissist were the worst. [L] and I got together in the summer of 2017. Christmas of 2017, he got me a pressure canner (I’m 24 going on 80 and I LOVE my pressure canner). That Christmas was good, it was great even. I went home for the holidays to spend it with family so we exchanged gifts after I came home but it was such a fun time together. The next holiday was of course Valentines day, This was our second holiday/significant day together….. and the last time in our relationship that he didn’t completely sabotage every happy day we had. That valentines day he got me a little stuffed animal and a heart “Mom” necklace from him and [BABY] (I still wear it today, because fuck him, he can’t take away that happy memory with my son). This was February of 2018, that was the last present….. I stayed with him for 2 years after this……

His Birthday was in March, I made a big deal out of it. I love holidays. I love special occasions in general, anytime I can be over the top and loving and make someone feel special I do my best. I’ll admit my depression sucks away some of that in the day to day life when things get bad but I always try to go big for special occasions to help make up for that. I never missed a birthday, anniversary, holiday, significant day of his. Not ever.

My birthday was a few months after his. He dumped me. He left me on my birthday and I went up to the bar where he was working and he was BELLIGERENT drunk…. he said I couldn’t leave, and then yelled at me to leave. So I did. Then he called to tell me I didn’t love him (on my birthday remember?) so I went back. Then he screamed at me and called me crazy and a psycho bitch and all sorts of horrible things. He was black out. I told him I’d just wait in my car until he was off. His boss (not the super loving type at all) told him off because of how he was treating me. Finally the bar closed and I was half asleep in my car still not knowing what to do when [L] came out and apologized and told me to go home he’d get a ride home from [BOSS] and see me soon. I obliged because I thought he had sobered up and come around, NOPE! He walked off as soon as I left and went to his ex-girlfriend’s house. On my birthday.

–you see [L] is a narcissist…. he can’t handle things that are about other people, if the center of attention or the point of the day wasn’t about him, he would sabotage it. I still don’t know if he did this knowingly or subconsciously….. but every single time without fail he tore me down.

The next christmas 2018 [L] called me so completely F***ed up that he was hallucinating. He screamed all sorts of horrible things into the phone earlier in the night, convinced I was cheating, convinced of God only knew what….. and then we had a phone call I’ll never forget. He was convinced Dr. Strange was after him (yes I’m talking about spiderman here) he had to leave me because they would use me to hurt him. **insert a lot of hysterical crying and some random mumbles about a gun** and then I couldn’t get a hold of him until the next morning. I was up all night freaking out and crying scared for his life but hours away in a different city on Christmas eve with my family so there was nothing I could do. When he woke up the next day he called me, He had woken up in my Son’s bed with my THANK GOD unloaded 357. I hid the guns when I got home.

Still that same christmas, we had agreed we were going to do presents after I got home from being with family like we had the year before, I spent a lot of time and money coming up with the perfect present, It was an assortment of things he wanted and needed all put together in a super cute stocking, Over $100 in total with everything in it, I had actually used some of the gift cards I received as christmas gifts to help pay for parts of it. Things were pretty tight money wise, I didn’t have much but I had been saving and collecting things over the past few months, plus I was paying his rent and my own at this time because he was no longer able to live with us and somehow never had the money by the time rent was due…. His present to me? He cleaned up some of my house….. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful here but He always had chew, he always had booze, he worked constantly, but he couldn’t afford a present? So his present to me was picking up around the house and helping out with chores. I was a “spoiled brat” and “proved I didn’t even deserve a present” when I cried because my feelings were hurt.

Christmas 2019, Our last christmas with contact I’m sure I’ll write more about in a different post…. I think that was the most hurtful christmas of all.