Content Warning — contains swearing, domestic violence & drug references
Someone I Thought I Loved Almost Killed Me
Back in 2001, I met this guy I thought was pretty cool. He had a bad-boy bravado that attracted me. The night we met, I was at his place with a group of friends having drinks and taking a cocktail of drugs, as you do. A girlfriend that I worked with introduced me to him. She had been dating his roommate for a few weeks and told me about her fling’s single mate who, for some reason unbeknownst to him, had a lot of bad luck with relationships.
That should’ve been my first red flag!
He walked in the door about an hour later, while we were having a random game of cards. Music played in the background. All eyes on my friend who was doing a striptease to a Madonna song, I can’t recall what it was. My eyes glued to this guy like he was a target I was aiming for. We instantly hit it off. Staying up most of the night talking, listening to music and, well...I’m sure I don’t need to paint you a picture. We spent the night together and then he took me home in the morning.
In the beginning, as with most of my relationships, he was kind, sweet, attentive, and I was taken in by all of it! He was the bees knees as far as I was concerned!
He sold himself with the tagline — “I’m the most trustworthy, untrustworthy person you’ll ever meet!” Second red flag.
I know — I should’ve run there and then.
I should’ve seen that he was completely wrong for me and that we couldn’t possibly have a future together. I decided I was just going to play it cool and if he contacted me, I’d make excuses and avoid him. Unfortunately, ignoring him, made him want me more. Being young and naïve, I obliged to meet him for drinks at the pub the following evening. What harm could it do? If nothing else, we could be mates.
We’d been together for about a year when we had our first fight. It was full on! Yelling, crying, he threw things at me, all the while making me believe that everything was my fault. My heart sank, my chest felt tight and I felt that horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach, emptiness! I’d grown up in a domestic violence environment, so reacting and blaming others was what I had learned. (I now know just how toxic this was) Whether people want to believe it or not, experiencing things like this, and learning it while growing up, has taught me how to accept that other people’s negativity is nothing to do with me & everything to do with them. It works both ways, when I’m negative, I react. If I’m positive, I’m more relaxed, rational and kind. It’s not rocket science!
So anyway, where was I….the day I almost died…
At this point in time (2000-something), we were living in a bungalow out the back of someone’s house and we were both doing speed on a daily basis. We were both in full time jobs as well. So we had more than enough money to fund our shared habit! I don’t recall how the fight started (it was probably drug-related), but I do remember being pinned down on the couch with him on top of me and his hands around my throat. At first I felt scared that I was going to die, and I fought to stop him from choking me, but the longer it went on and the more he degraded me, the less I felt like living. I was accepting, in a way, that I might die from him strangling me and so I tried to make myself go limp — after yelling at him “Come on CUNT! Fucking KILL ME!! Go on, do it!” Somehow I managed to break free.
I ran towards the front door, which opened into our kitchen, but he was already behind me bellowing at me and threatening to kill me. He slammed me against the kitchen wall, one hand around my throat again, and one in a fist aimed at my face. Before I could blink, his fist made contact with my face, maybe twice, while simultaneously pushing me firm against the wall. (some details are a bit sketchy due to years of blocking it out) I managed to break free again and grabbed the first thing that I saw — a porcelain dinner plate. I picked it up in one hand, and smashed it over his head. The shattered porcelain pieces fell onto the ground all around him. Then I saw blood coming out of tiny wounds all over his head and neck, and a couple on his shoulder and chest. Despite this guy having abused me physically, emotionally and mentally, his reaction to my defence, and the blood made me feel empathy towards him. Until he started yelling and abusing me again.
Thoughts raced through my mind; “Oh shit, he’s bleeding, can he bleed out? Is he gonna die? Am I going to jail?”
I realised we weren’t fighting anymore when he was in the bathroom cleaning himself up. I decided to call my friend who lived 10 minutes away, to come and save me. She turned up with her husband, who was also his best mate, and they tried to diffuse the situation - we’d started yelling at each other again in between. There was no fathomable way that I could see we would ever get past this and stay together, it was a dangerous and scary situation. I ended up getting a restraining order on him and moving back home to my parent’s place.
But that didn’t stick for long. Stupidly, and perhaps naively, I’d kept in touch with him and he had talked me into going back to him because — he’d changed, and things would be different this time. (that old chestnut)
I don’t know if he was genuine in the beginning, but after almost 12 years together, I decided it was time to leave (again).
Once I left, I felt a huge weight lifted from my entire being & existence, and I was capable of achieving everything that he had held me back from. In hindsight, if I had dealt with my past issues and been strong enough, I could’ve realised that it wasn’t him at all that was holding me back, it was me trying to keep hold of someone who wasn’t capable of giving love due to his own issues. I was scared of being alone and I’d stayed in the past because I felt intimidated and weak. I felt like I couldn’t leave, that it wasn’t a choice, even though I left so many times, I kept going back.
But I finally walked away and I’m appreciative of having learned the lesson & I’ve been able to face my issues in a loving and supportive environment without having someone telling me that I’m an attention seeker or stupid and that my feelings don’t matter.
My advice to my younger self would’ve been to deal with my own issues before getting involved in any relationship, but I guess you gotta test the waters some time.
If you or someone you know is experiencing any form of Domestic Violence, or recovering from a domestic violence situation, please search for help in your local area or reach out and talk about it.
Wishing you all hope and healing xx