Frightening Flashbacks

Reminiscing the events of my life has really allowed me step back and see just how much I have been through.  I know that out of my circle of friends I’ve probably had the most traumatic marriage. Of course, every one has something they can complain about that their spouse does wrong. Funnily enough, some of what they consider to be a negative about is a positive for mine. So when I listen to their stories a part of me thinks…my complaints aren’t all that bad. That’s only because I’m not telling them the full story. All they hear are surface complaints…”He calls me 20 times a day.  He hasn’t finished painting the house.” Etc.  None of them have any idea the depth of my anguish.

This whole blog writing thing was just a way for me to get everything I’ve been through out of my head.  It’s been bottled up for so long it would’ve been no time before an explosion…or implosion. Only one of my friends knows the real story. My all…my everything. The only person I truly trust and can vent to in the times of despair and who always has a calm and rational way of talking me off the ledge.  Who begs for me to leave while I can but also understands my need to prepare and not just “escape”.  We should all have such a caring, non-judgmental voice of reason by our sides.

During this journey, I have expressed the big events that have shaped my life and caused me to be where I am at this moment in time.  What I wasn’t ready for was all of the little things to creep back into consciousness, the flashbacks to the little things that went on in between the big things.  I guess after being through so many traumatic experiences it is inevitable that the little things would creep back in.

One such incident was in the early days, when my husband had gone out after work.  He worked the late shift and in reality had only been hanging out for three hours after work. But to me, at the youthful age of 19-20, it was 2:00am and my husband wasn’t home yet. So I kept paging him (no cell phones in the 80’s/90’s – only beepers) and he wasn’t calling back. As a woman, what kicks in automatically is that he is with another women.  In that mindset, it means nothing that he abuses you (at least not in the early years), I automatically kicked into being pissed off and now waiting for him to get home so I could start an argument.  How amusing.  So I can start. What was I thinking?  He came in about 2:30am and went NUTS because I kept beeping him.  He was out with the guys and they must have been laughing that I kept trying to reach him. Who even knows…but he flew up the stairs in a rampage screaming and threatening me and of course…I ended up on the floor and he was over me holding a knife while he was clearly beyond drunk. I remember feeling like that was it. I am going to end up brutally murdered.  Instead he tears off my shirt…with the knife…and throws me on the bed.  Now I remember thinking…holy shit…he’s going to rape me!!!  Can he be that nuts?  I’d much rather take a beating then be raped…no less than by my own husband.  I can barely remember how I got out of that.  I just recall kicking and screaming “get off me” and he did.  Possibly less to do with realizing what he was doing and more because of the need to violently throw his guts up due to the amount of alcohol he consumed.  In my head, I can still see the shirt I had on and the sheets on my bed from that night.  He, on the other hand, has no recollection of it.  I had brought it up many years after the fact and he had no idea what I was talking about and thought I was making up a story to use against him. Amazing.

Another memory that popped up was either from the same night or not too long after this one probably due to a similar incident, but I remember tying sheets together and trying to climb out of the second story window holding my daughter.  She was probably only around two years old at the time.  I remember throwing the sheets out of the window to make sure they reached the ground.  I had secured my daughter to my chest by wrapping her blankets around the two of us.  My fear was not that I might break my ankle or leg while escaping this way but that I may drop her.  The window I was coming out of was right above the awning of the house that covered the main stairs to enter into my apartment.  It was in the middle of the night and so no one was outside to see what I was trying (I remember subconsciously hoping someone would see so that they could help me).  I sat on the windowsill and held onto the sheets and put one leg out the window.  For a split second I recall thinking how insane has my life become that I am actually contemplating climbing out of a window?!  Obviously, I did not carry through with this plan.  I’m not sure what I was more afraid of, getting hurt or getting caught by my husband.  So I tried the staircase. He was sleeping in the living room next to the steps and I remember getting on to the second step and it creaking and him shifting around in his sleep.  So I gave up.  I went back to my room, untied the sheets, put my daughter back in the crib and laid down crying myself to sleep.

Memories like this really put things into perspective.  The amount of shit I have been through is just astounding.  And even though the physical abuse is pretty much nil at this moment in time, it existed. It was prevalent enough in my life that some days I preferred to be dead. Why was I with such a violent man and have not been killed yet?  Something was keeping me alive. I didn’t really understand at the time what it could possibly be.  I believed we are on this earth for a purpose and my purpose had yet to be completed.  At the time, I had never heard the saying “If God brings you to it, he’ll bring you through it.”  As an adult, I know it now and must keep the faith and believe that after all the bad…good things are still possible.  And I’m looking forward to it all.

Never did I anticipate all of the commentary and support I have received from strangers reading my story. It’s brought on a new level of empowerment to my spirit. I feel more full of possibility now than ever.  My time to leave is not today or tomorrow…but it is near and I can see the end closer now than it’s ever been.

14 thoughts on “Frightening Flashbacks

  1. i know, i know. you’re thinking “ah shit, that guy again. doesn’t he have anything else to do?” actually, i do, but the comment about god bringing you to it, and will bring you through it is a bit of a problem for me. bad fucking luck brought you into contact with this asshole, not god. not sure where god was, but if he’s the one i hear everybody talking about, well, he failed you. and you, not god, are bringing yourself through. it is your own strength and determination to withstand and conquer what you have. when people say “god has brought me through”, i want to ask where he was in relation to all the ones that never made it through. please don’t read that of me being critical of your post, just the overall mindset that god is control when bad shit is happening to good, good people. and with that, i’ll back off. be safe.


    • It’s funny, Bob, when I was done writing this I actually went back and added that sentence in. I knew you would have a comment about it. I am not one to bring religion, politics or money into a conversation because I was taught that those topics would always be met with the possibility of debate. And even with blogging, I am careful to use the G word because that is not my intent for this blog. And I know how you feel and understand how you feel. I am not overly spiritual/religious but I have to believe in something bigger than me. I think a lot of people do. It’s not to say it’s real or not real but some people need that entity to blame or thank for whatever reasons.

      I am proud of the type of person I am to say I do not judge the beliefs of others. I could care less who believes in and prays to God, a dead actor, a rock or scientific mumbo jumbo. Whatever floats your boat. What we should all have faith in is that someone somewhere is on our side, whether it be a friend, a neighbor, a stranger in cyber space, an alien in outer space or a God we cannot see. Hopefully, one or all of those things will give us enough strength to get through this life.

      As always, thank you for reading and your commentary. It’s always a pleasure.


      • yea, i know that came off wrong. i believe there is a god, i just don’t believe we can blame, or give credit to god for everything that happens in the human mess. it’s like when i hear someone look at a handicapped person and say “there, but the grace of god go i” (my own dad never tires of saying it) i think to myself, does god’s grace somehow not apply to that person because of their handicap?? i’m sorry that came off so offensive. please forgive


      • No way. You did not offend me at all. We’re all a product of our own damaged life. We can’t blame the next person for their way of thinking. Believe me, it takes A LOT to offend me.

        On another note, “There But For The Grace of God Go I” is an awesome disco song. 🙂


      • you are so kind and gracious – one more reason to like you. probably won’t search for the song as disco appeals to me about as much as the aforementioned phrase about god. peace


  2. So intense. It’s crazy how you can forget slews of memories but something like your shirt and sheets from that night stays with you. That story was so intense and awful and I hate that you even had to have that fear. I can’t wait to someday read a post that says you have left him. Keep on keepin’ on and thanks for writing


    • I’s so bizarre the things we remember. No worries, you will one day read my stories about the joys of silence and breathing fresh air free of his stench. I’m heading in that direction. It will take a little more time but I’m on the right path. Thanks for reading.


  3. I just found you tonight yet it says you are a follower. But, I am so sorry for what you have been through. I helped start a shelter in the 70’s. Worked there along with my job as a psych nurse for twenty seven years. Yes, I am older than you are. If you haven’t read my DV articles this month, please take the time to do so. Saving you is important but saving your child/ children is vital. Violence repeats itself every generation. Find your local shelter and make an escape plan. You can use it Friday or a year from Friday. You don’t control this situation so you must be ready to get out and save your life. Feel free to write to me. I am here every day. Many blessings and peace, Barbara


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