I spent two months in the arms of a man who was so mentally disturbed and a threat not only to himself but everyone around him. I beat my brain into submission to the point where I had convinced myself that his incessant ramblings of pain and violence were actually his being deep and passionate. I persuaded myself into believing that his obvious need for attention and love by anyone who would give it to him was actually his desire to love me. And I bent the fact that we had the same scars, the same pain, the same unhealthy desire to someday be somebody but nobody at all, into finally finding someone who understood and who could be there for me in a way no one was able to previously. Instead of seeing it how it was, a dangerous downward spiral of feeding off each others mental illness to make it ok. I never spoke about Matthew to him. I never had sex with him sober. And I never told him that along with my desperate need to find attention to distract me from the pain I was going through, the irrational desire to ‘save’ him or ‘help’ him gave me an unhealthy obsession that I let consume my life.
While looking back on my time with him I am left with an overwhelming sense of luck. I feel like I was so lucky to snap back into reality for even a short amount of time that allowed me to get away from him. The event that woke me up from my self destruction could have turned into the worse nightmare a woman could ever experience. Near the end of our affair together I found myself fourteen days late on a period that would mean life or death. I didn’t notice I was late until I fourteen days had already past. Being so caught up in my pain, in the unhealthy distractions I had all around me, my cycle was the last thing on my mind. And when I finally did realize that fourteen days meant two weeks late, and two weeks late could mean the beginnings of an entirely new nightmare I worried myself so sick I threw up. I didn’t take a pregnancy test that day. I couldn’t. I couldn’t process what this could mean. But as all women do when they are put in a situation that means life or death I made a decision before I ever knew if I would need to use it. If there was another being inside of me, it wouldn’t be there for much longer. There was no way on this planet I was going to birth the child of a man so insane and unstable, someone I barely knew. Someone whose lies I doubted on a daily basis. If I were pregnant I would make the decision that woman are lucky enough to be able to make in this country. I came to that decision and I was confident in that decision. Of course, I ended up not being pregnant and started my period the next day. Was it the stress I was under that delayed it? Was it the lack of nutrition and sleep? Or was it a sign from someone higher that I needed to wake up and realize what could come from the actions I was making. Either way it worked and I never slept with him again.
I feel like I dodged a massive, fatal bullet of a life filled with hard drugs, abuse and a dead end life that would end just that. Dead. At a very young age. If I would have allowed myself to get lost in him and what I thought could have been a passionate relationship whether that passion was good or bad I would have sentenced myself to a fast life with the potential to kill me. But I did get away from him, and while I am more grateful for that then I can ever explain there is a part of me that looks back on what we had with a sense of appreciation. It was an experience that I lived for a short time that I wouldn’t take back. It was a learning experience of life and
love lust, and self control. A part of me will always think of him fondly with memories of hot July days, chain smoking in the grass and the sound of his voice singing to me in the night. But all of me, as a whole, will forever be grateful my experience with him lasted only two months, not the rest of my life.
After things ended with him I was still in contact with Matthew. Most of our contact consisted of screaming fights and anger being thrown at each other. Though on few occasions it seemed as though we could rebuild what we had lost. We took a spontantious mini road trip together. Had a great time that I felt could begin the healing process, however when we returned and he saw that I was no longer wearing his ring on my finger his demeanor changed completely and that ended any hope of having even a friendship with him. One evening he came over for a reason I cant remember. I showed him my home and offered him something to drink. We talked on my bed which was the only thing to sit on at the time as I didn’t have any other furniture, and out of character for him he laid me down with him and he held me. There was no kissing, nothing sexual, no lust we just laid there and he held me like he had for seven years and I cried silent tears facing away from him not wanting to ruin the moment. We laid like that until he finally got up to leave and I watched his back as he walked out my door, leaving me just like he had over and over before.
Shortly after this happened I made a decision that was made in pain and loneliness, in need and irrational hope. I called late at night and he came. I so desperately wanted to feel some inkling of the familiar touch I knew so well. But instead he came and we had sex in the coldest manner I’d ever experienced. His lips felt strange on mine and he was rough with me when I wanted him to be soft. Halfway into it when all the emotion I was trying to beat down couldn’t stay down for any longer I started crying and he stopped. He asked me if I was ok and his tone was sincere. I pulled myself together and told him to continue, knowing that this would be the last time we would ever be together like this. He finished, he dressed, he hugged me awkwardly and he left. And I was left with a pain so great inside of me I drowned it with booze and pills to get it away from me. Out of anything that happened between us, I think that this is the one thing I regret. I regret sending that text to get him to come to me. I regret letting him in my house and I regret letting him into my body when clearly neither of us could handle it. Weeks later, he would apologize to me. Unprompted and sincere he apologized. He cried to me and told me he had never felt worse about himself. I cried and I accepted that apology. But that is a memory that I have to live with forever that I just wish I could forget. A man has never made me feel like that, and I hope to never feel like that again.
Five months later, I lost my job. I was sat down and given an option but no option at all. You can leave today, or you can finish out your week. They gave me three weeks pay and continued my insurance for two more months. To this day im not entirely sure why they were so nice to me during that time. There was no reason they owed me this, I knew that what I had done over the past few months was not able to be mended. I put myself in a hole that I was not able to dig myself out of, not that I particularly wanted to anyways. I left that day with tears streaming down my face and fear tightened so hard around my chest I thought I might strangle myself with it. I had been with this company for three and a half years. I started when I was 18 years old and grew up in it. I considered a small few of my coworkers to be mentors and friends. I achieved what not many 18 year olds cannot do, and in six months it was gone. I no longer liked the job, that is not what I was upset about. I was terrified to be alone and have no income. I was terrified because if I had lost my apartment, I had no where to go. I was terrified because this was one more change on top of all the others. My car had broken down the month before and I had been riding the bus back and forth two hours to work. I was 21 no job, no car, and a mountain of responsibilities that I now, had no idea how I was going to deal with. Losing my job was another kick down the hill that I was so desperately trying to climb up.