A long time ago (like last century), I dated a bloke who was nice enough. Until the day he raised his fist to me in anger. Fortunately, he was seriously drunk and I was equally sober. I saw it coming a mile away, stepped out of his way as he landed on the floor, where he started to get even more angry at me (for moving out of his way, I think). Then he passed out. The hardest part that night wasn’t him taking a swing (Blind Freddy could see *that* was on the agenda.) But I wanted him out of my house. Now. My neighbour helped me push him into my car, I drove him home and pushed him out into his back yard. I left him there.
It started off well enough, the night he tried to hit me.
I was going out with my house mate and a couple of friends for some quiet Sunday drinks. I don’t remember why he ended up coming along, he really wasn’t invited. It wasn’t going to be a big night, it was supposed to be two or three drinks and home by ten. But he either showed up there or showed up at ours just before we left. But come along he did, and he was already drunk. I wouldn’t have been surprised if they didn’t let him in – but they did. He propped at the bar, alternately slamming down drinks and hurling abuse at me. Nice. Telling me I was a real mood crusher and a bummer and I was just spoiling everyone’s fun and I should just leave. After about an hour, we did in fact leave. With him in tow.
He fell asleep in the taxi, so I told the cabbie his address and my house mate and her boyfriend were going to drop him home (it was on their way). But he woke up and followed me inside where he started with the abuse again. On and on about how I was the one who spoiled everyone’s fun and how dare I spoil everyone’s fun. You need a good slappin’ you’re just a useless bitch. Then he swung at me – and you know what happened next.
I still remember it though. In detail. I can tell you what he was wearing, even. (Thick white jumper, blue shirt, jeans, high heeled cowboy boots). Apparently, he went inside about three hours later and told his mate what a bitch I was (I was his mate’s boss. It’s how we met). But when I called him the next day to tell him that if I never saw him again, it would be too soon – he really did not know what I was talking about… According to him.
The thing with this chap was that he was really quite nice when we first started dating. We’d met through a work colleague of mine at a party. He was all considerate and lovey dovey, and always surprising me with little gifts or dropping in to mine with takeaways (I didn’t cook). He took me to theatre, he took me to dinner in restaurants with menus and cloth tablecloths. The first time I noticed something strange was Christmas. He thought I’d be going home with him for Christmas to his parents who lived 3-4 hours away. But we’d been together for three months at that stage, I was having Christmas with my family. He showed up at my parents place for lunch.
But the Weird started maybe a couple of weeks later. I went with him to his home town to some cricket game. He got drunk and he got mean and started abusing me in “French”. Wasn’t French. It was jibberish. And aggressive. And had I not been in the middle of bloody nowhere, I would have gone home there and then (and solved myself a lot of grief). But I wasn’t sure of the address (this is before the mobile phone was invented, so I couldn’t even call for help), I wasn’t actually sure of the town I was in. So I stayed.
After that, he was contrite and apologetic and it was like nothing had ever happened. For a week or two. Then the niggles would start again. I broke my nose at some point in this period and the cross examination from his mate was sorta weird, especially when I told him I ran into a door (I actually did run into a door). He’d started just dropping in casually – coming around after night school. Waiting outside my house after night school. Calling into work (I worked in a secure building. He couldn’t get in. He’d wait out the front). He had to go away for work for a couple of weeks, and told me I wasn’t to speak to his mate while he was away. Bit tricky seeing as I was the mate’s team leader. His suggestion was for me to kick him out of my team.
Weird. So I thought I’d drop him. Then he’d have a disaster, so I’d not drop him until the next time he got weird. Then he’d have another disaster…
In the space of six weeks he:
- Was involved in an armed hold up
- Got dropped from the winning cricket team
- Nearly got evicted
- His car got stolen
- He got his car back but it was wrecked.
So for six weeks, I’m trying to break up with this guy and he was all disaster after disaster. Then he took a swing and pfft. Did not care that he just lost his job. That was a deal breaker and he was GONE. Sort of.
He owed me money – I’d loaned him slightly more than I could afford to lose to prevent him getting evicted. He kept paying me back, $20 here and $20 there. And kept up with the “oh, just passing through, pop the kettle on will you? By the way, here’s another $20”. After a couple of months or so of this, he still owed me the bulk of the money he borrowed, they got evicted anyway – he somehow found out that my house mate had moved out. Oh, so you’ll be looking for a tenant will you – I’m looking for somewhere to live.
Ah. No thank you. Just pay me what you owe me and LEAVE ME ALONE. He did eventually give up though, although he still owes me about $200. Small price to pay for having him gone though.
But it was still hard to get away. I should have said “fuck off” right after that first time, but I still hung in there for another few months. No kids, didn’t live together, didn’t even like him all that much, let alone love him. And I still couldn’t get away.
How would it be for someone who loves their abuser, has children, lets it go on for longer than the six or so months I put up with him for…