I’ve started this post a few times but couldn’t finish. I am embarrassed. I am ashamed. But I am human, and sometimes we just want to be known. Sometimes we just want to turn to someone who knows us, so we don’t have to explain.
I’ve built a wall, and it just gets thicker and thicker as the years go by. That’s why I need this space to be open and honest and completely vulnerable. To keep that part of myself intact.
I was with my ex about a month ago. I won’t go into detail about how it happened or why I turned to him; I’ll only say the following: There’s one thing he said that keeps playing and replaying over and over again in my head. “You left because you think I hit you. Do you really think I would’ve hit you in front of all those people? It just doesn’t make sense.”
It just doesn’t make sense.
It just doesn’t make sense.
It doesn’t make any sense.
It makes no sense.
Domestic violence makes no sense, guys. It doesn’t make any sense because my first thought was, “You’re right. Why would you have done that? It doesn’t make any sense. You’re kind of a normal guy. I know that you’re not, but it feels like you are. It doesn’t make sense. Why?”
I spent our whole relationship and the entire time afterwards asking myself exactly that question: Why? Wouldn’t it be easier if you just didn’t? Can’t we just be happy?
It doesn’t make sense.
One of the first times he hit me, the first time I was forced to acknowledge it, we were at an airport among so many people, including the police. The police came over and arrested him and he said, “Jess, you know it was an accident.”
I know it was an accident.
It had to be an accident.
Maybe this is the closure that I needed. Again. I don’t know why I needed closure again.
A man walked over and said, “I saw the whole thing. He hit her. It wasn’t an accident.”
And yet, when the police told me I had to sign to have him locked up because it was a private arrest, I said, “Let me just call his mom. Let me just call his parents. I just have to talk to someone who has his best interest in mind.”
I was there, and I didn’t trust what I’d seen. I didn’t trust what I felt. I didn’t trust what I knew. I didn’t even trust that I had his best interest in mind. At some point, he’d gained so much control over me that I didn’t trust my feelings, my experiences, my reality. It didn’t feel real.
So, back then, when he said, “It doesn’t make sense,” I’d think to myself, “You’re right, I don’t know why I thought that.” And when he said it again, less than a month ago, I thought, “Wow, you’re right – it doesn’t make sense. How could I have thought that happened that way? How could I have believed all this time that it wasn’t my fault?” And then I thought, no, it didn’t only happen once. And, I accepted the different excuses every time — it was an accident, I provoked you, it wouldn’t have happened if you weren’t drunk, if only I had done more to keep you accountable and to help you stop drinking then it wouldn’t have happened; I was so ready to take full responsibility.
And somehow, knowing what I know now, I was almost ready to take responsibility again. I think I even apologized. I think I even apologized.
Today, I know,
it doesn’t make sense.
It will never make sense. And for anyone reading this who may be or may have been in an abusive relationship, I’m so sorry that it doesn’t make sense. I’m so sorry that it’ll never make sense. I don’t know if you’ll recover. I don’t know if I’ll recover. I lay next to men, and I feel nothing. I lay next to him, and I felt nothing — someone I must have once loved. I must have once loved him, right? Right?
Nearly two years of my life, and I have nothing to show for it but a bunch of photos of places that I’ve traveled that I probably can’t show anyway because he’s in so many of them.
It’s weird when there’s a piece of your life, a piece of your past, that you can’t fix. I try to do it so often with my family because I can’t accept that there are some things that you just need to let go of for good.
Sometimes you just need to let go.
Sometimes when you’re depressed, you just need something or someone to blame it on. Maybe that’s why I called.
Or maybe it’s because I wanted to see his humanity. Maybe it’s because I wanted to forgive him. But: forgiveness is not the same as giving someone the power to hurt you again.