I keep imagining those little clips after a tv show had a cliffhanger. “Last week on _____.”
The end of 2008 I wanted to start school again. My dad had a Master’s degree and dammit, I wanted one too. I fought hard to convince Mike that I can go to school, go to work, and focus on him. As I look back, he never had concern if I could take care of my girls at the same time. I received my Bachelor’s in Computer Science and my Master’s in Computer Networking. For every time that I needed to do homework, I had to have sex with him. He wanted sex so much that we would do it 8-10 times a day. He said it was normal and everybody wants and has sex that much. He took it into account that Kevin was my only real boy-girl relationship and said that I was very naive and inexperienced. He would want sex even when I was sick or on my period. When I didn’t want it, I would get hours of lecture on how I just don’t care and others would feel lucky to have what I have. In the later years, he would start becoming more verbally and physically aggressive whenever I didn’t want sex.
In the years following, things had gotten more difficult. He became more aggressive and physical. He would be more easily irritable. Whenever he did something it was my fault that he did it. That somehow it was because of me that made him the way he is. I really started questioning my own sanity. After a bit, I started seeing similarities between his behavior and my mom’s. Whenever we were out, I played the buffer between him and everyone else. I would apologize for his behavior. I would be the peacemaker when he would try to start a fight with someone. I became more isolated than I already naturally am. I became more depressed. More stressed more anxiety. My skin was breaking out in hives, I was getting sick every month, I was having mental breakdowns. Mike would tell me that I’m crazy and in need of psychiatry but that he didn’t see that anyone would help me but him. I tried breaking it off several times, but he had become more violent after each time and he would threaten to kill himself.
By 2013 things were getting far worse than I could handle. He would throw temper tantrums at the mall if I didn’t buy him something. Scream that I was ruining his life, that I was spending my money on someone else. His hold was getting tighter. I had to text him when I got to work, on my breaks, I had to call him during lunch and text him when I was off. I could not go anywhere without him. I fixed my schedule early on so it would never change cause I would be questioned if there were any change, like having an extra day off. He was becoming more violent. I’ve been thrown across the room, I’ve been thrown into a treadmill, had multiple things thrown at me. I could not look at my phone or be on the internet unless I was doing my homework. I started talking to my cousins in the Philippines and was accused of cheating on him with them. Fights were daily. Towards the end, he was trying to trade in my new Beetle so he can have a Dodge Challenger. That never happened since my credit was awful.
The end of this whole ordeal happened because I had help. I had to get help at the end. Mike wanted to sell the house and take us and run away to another state where no one knew us. The cops did come to the house. He didn’t answer the door, but after the police left, he left the house and stayed at a friend’s house. I naively thought the ordeal was over. It wasn’t. I just had my tax return, to which he used some of it to pay for motel rooms for the next three weeks. After that, he said he was coming home. He said that I had to be lying about the cops patrolling the house cause his friends said no one was around. So he came back. He showered and tried to have sex with me. Then the doorbell rang. The police had come back. I asked Mike what I was to do. My hearing impairment helped me since I thought he said to let them in when he really said to not let him in. I let the police in and he was taken to jail.
Again, I thought this was done. He had me try to bail him out. Again, my credit was awful so that wasn’t happening. After a week things weren’t looking so good for him. They gave him a court date and he told me that I needed to hire a lawyer for him. I told him I couldn’t afford that. He started screaming at me over the phone that he will come after me if I don’t get a lawyer. So I got a lawyer. The lawyer told me what I had to do, I had to get letters from his family and friends about how he was this great person who helped me over the years. I found that he didn’t have any friends. All those times that he told me that his friends would come after me and hurt me. After he was sent to jail his “friends” disappeared. Court day came and he was sent to prison for a year. I was secretly happy. The lawyer apologized to me, but I let it go. Now I needed to pay him $5000. I had already paid $2500 for my tax return.
I told Mike that I can’t keep paying for the phone calls. He had me set up an account where you basically set up a ‘fake’ phone number that someone incarcerated can call that is connected to your personal phone number that you pay for each month. The account was set up to my landline number. Yes, I was old school and held onto my landline for as long as I can. He also wanted me to send him $200 a month, write him a letter a day, to tattoo his name around my ring finger, and to get married so he can have conjugal visits and a home to go to after he gets out.
My anxiety was getting worse. So bad that I went to a doctor and put on anxiety medication. These medications were bad. I could barely stay awake. I was just so tired. The thing I don’t understand is that these people are in prison.. how the heck can they be allowed to use the phone so much?! Mike was calling me all hours of the day and night. He knew what time I got off work. The second that I was off, my cell would ring. He knew that I wouldn’t pick up from my cell cause it isn’t connected to the account I set up, but he would keep calling it and calling my landline till I picked up. I eventually would turn my cell off and mute my landline at night so I can sleep. I threw my answering machine away. He threatened to take all money and wanted to see all receipts after I told him that I couldn’t buy him speakers for his birthday and was livid when I told him that I took my girls out for their birthday. He pressured me to come visit him while he was in jail. I went once. That was one of the most terrifying experience for me. He wanted me to see him on Mother’s Day. I told him some story that my car broke down. A week before June I just couldn’t do it anymore. I canceled my landline (and paid the fee for early termination), blocked the prison number to my cell, canceled the account set up to my landline, stopped writing, cut off communication with him, threw all his letters away and went to a realtor and said I have one month to sell my house.
I then quit my job and spent a month packing. I was nice enough to get a storage unit for his things. I did not want to have any legal trouble in that area. I did not want his things. I paid for the storage for a month and then his family took over on the payment after. I was able to sell my house in a month. I left about a third of the furniture and offered to clean up that and anything else that needed to be cleaned from the house with the money I had from selling. I also used that money to pay off the lawyer and the back property tax that I owed. Then with friends help, I moved myself, my kids and animals to another state. I took care of his dog, Jasmine, till she passed away from old age. I felt Jasmine needed a better life and I wanted to give her that. She had a chance to chase the bunnies and even gave a few chickens a heart attack after she tried to make friends with them.
So now I’m here working to get my sanity back. To feel more “normal” I guess. To not feel that I need to constantly watch my back. To not have nightmares and feel that I need to be in hiding. Relearning what I was supposed to learn while getting my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees since I was dissociated throughout most of it and can’t seem to remember simple things that I should already know.
I’m exhausted right now. Stressed. I feel like I need to find myself again. I’m getting there.