The Fight Part 2

47

Crunching me into the wall with the door, he made his way in. “Get out of here! You’re going to get out of this house right now, I don’t ever want you here! Get up! Get up now, Andrea!” His anger grabbed both of my arms yanking me upwards. I let all of my body weight fall so he couldn’t. But with all of that fire and determination he managed. I never had seen anyone like this. I couldn’t believe not only how angry he was, but what anger can get a person to do. You can turn into something I can’t explain, something mightier, if you will. His hands underneath my elbows, I’d made it to a standing position. “NO, DON’T!” I said. He mocked me. “You’re going to get out of this house and I’m going to make you get out if I have to!” He shouted.  And I remember thinking, jesus, I want out…I need out. What am I doing here? I’m finally getting what I wanted, I’d put up with him long enough, and now he wants me to leave, it’s the perfect remedy for the most imperfect couple. We were like a walking divorce. Today, I just put him off into one of the bad symptoms of my depression. He belonged in a category of stuff I guess I had to go through that I would’ve never have decided on unless my mind frame was in the condition it was in then. “You’re going home back to your parents, Andrea!” Too scared to realize he was still giving me exactly what I’d wanted…I just needed a ticket out. But I grew up in a world where you only marry once, and I was determined to punish myself for making this mistake, and at the same time to make the most out of it. So with each day, I looked at it as the marriage I wanted it to be, not the marriage that it was. When I was 6 my mom cheated on my dad with my swim coach and watching my parents go through that hell, is something I can’t explain. But they made it through regardless, and now they’re like soulmates. But my mom would ask me when I was a kid if she should get a divorce, and I’d tell her exactly how I *ahem, sort of, felt. Basically, I took the political road and told her, “This has to do with your husband, not my father.” But the truth is I wanted to tell her to get a divorce. Hell, all they did was fight. Everyone’s temper was incessantly on the ‘on’ button, I hated it. But either way, they made it through, and I was determined to make this one through as well.

I gripped the door frame as he kneed me in the back. He had to knee me I guess because at the same time he was using his hands to uncurl my fingers from the frame. I gripped tighter. “NO!” I mustered out, crying so heavily by this point and too scared to make a sentence. “Yes!” He exclaimed. “You’re out of here, bitch!””You’re going to your real home, where you’ve wanted to go back to all along!” And albeit I did, for some reason I couldn’t think of going home and admitting to a failure to one of the biggest mistakes of my life. I don’t believe that we make too many mistakes in life, because everything we do has some intent to it. It’s when regret comes into play that we call them mistakes, but we meant to do them in the first place so it doesn’t really make sense. You either regret or you don’t. You either screw up or you don’t. But a mistake one does not make when purpose is attached.

One by one, my fingers were getting peeled off, and as I’d try to re-grip them on, eventually I lost as his knee and other hand grew stronger with each breath. Once he had me all peeled away, I felt both hands on my back, thrusting me out the door with two shoves. I’d tripped over the step at the front door, making me take two steps outside the door leaving me hunched over. I could still hear him. “There, now get the fuck out of here, bitch!” I went to turn back to the door, and he slammed it inches away from my head turning to look back at him. Here I was in a city I hadn’t a clue about, so so far, away from home.

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The Fight

46

Curled in that ball in the bathroom. That’s where I sat crying wanting someone, anyone to burst in the front door to save me within that moment. I never thought I’d be one to accept violence into my home. I’m a fighter with a punch I’d only know once, to my future unfriendly gentleman who’d decide to be the fourth person to call me ‘fat.’ I’d simply had enough. Enough turmoil in my own world, I should only be courteous enough to accept so much from others. So, that night I’d stand there eyeing him for a moment, when ‘blam!’ I don’t know what came over me, but I ran like a little girl afterward scared of the police being called. I laughed as I pulled up to the front door and to the safety net of my home. The police would never be called that night, and on this night things were happening so fast yet so slowly I wouldn’t have time to think about calling them either.

I got married young, but felt so old at the time. Twenty one and I was getting hitched. But it all came fast and as I look back it wasn’t all out of love but more convenience I’d come to realize. He was going into the military and I was in college trying to figure out what it was I was meant to be doing. He didn’t get down on one knee, hell he barely even proposed over that phone one night, but either way I said yes, and kept my part of the commitment up. We had to move to a new city about an hour away from Seattle to Tacoma which was something I don’t think I was prepared for either…to not know a soul and start completely over. But we found an apartment in a town where one block would be really nice and then teh next street would be not so nice, even a little scary I’d say. Needless to say we couldn’t afford the nice places, so we had to settle for the latter.

“Maybe the neighbors will hear him yelling and call someone,” I’d thought. I needed help. This situation was new to me, before this all my husband would do would be to come at me really fast and then hurriedly stop, like he would be flinching he was really going to come up to me. Then pull himself back with the same amount of speed. I knew he had a temper. I continually make all of these excuses for him, not realizing I am actually becoming one of those women. One of the ones thrust suddenly into the world of domestic violence and exhibiting all of the signs. If he were showing signs why didn’t I see it, when I know looking back that I did? I still give justifications as to why I stayed. In a world back at home I could’ve been, with all of my friends but still feeling the loneliness we all feel without having someone to love. I think that scared me more, was that loneliness. But as I see now, I was lonelier than I ever could’ve imagined out there with him in a city I knew nothing about. I wasn’t between a rock and a hard place, I was just between a rock and a rock. And rocks aren’t fun. I wanted to be somewhere where I wanted to be, I just couldn’t foresee how to get to the unseen.

“No, no, NO!” I’d scream again as I could feel him burst open the bathroom door. The more he opened it, the more it crunched me into the wall where I was curled up. I tried putting my hand to the door, mustered all of my strength into that one arm to hold it shut, but his anger was fierce and when you mix it with determination you’ve got a lethal combo. I though his yelling at the door before hand might be all of it. Maybe if he knew I was upset, he’d stop, I’d think. But for some reason it was fuel to the fire. “What are you crying in there? Crying like a little baby, Andrea.” “Your just a baby.” “BOOM, BOOM, BOOM,” his pounding fists and they’re echo made me wince. And when he’d make me wince before this day, like when he’d fake coming at me, would leave me so angry that he’d be threatening, I always would come back at him and do the same. He knew I was a fighter and I don’t know what angered him more. That I was in here sobbing, or when I’d fight back. I’ve always believed that no one gets to take you. No one gets the privilege of taking who you are, but I’d lost that when I let the guy that got me pregnant come and go warping my mind as he pleased. Is this a male thing? I’d wonder. I hope it’s not a people thing, because that is when I want out.

 

Far From Home

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“No, no, NO!” I screamed as he was coming at me. With each step that got firmer and firmer I grew more scared. “Get out of my house!” He screamed. “Don’t ever talk about me like that again!” I’d said something about him being like his father and he didn’t like that all that much I guess. I suppose this was his ‘hot’ button. Chris had many buttons however, and they all seemed to be quite hot.

I’d grown to be afraid of being in my own home which was the first problem I’d had with being in this marriage. But a marriage it was and I was for some reason so determined to see it succeed. I’d only planned on getting married once in life. And that once in a lifetime was my ‘fairy tale,’ supposed to emerge. But if I only knew better. I feel if I only knew myself better, I could’ve also weeded out the assholes much more easily as well. I didn’t know what was in front of me, behind me and to the sides of me because A) I was too young to tell, B) I was too far into my depression and C) just always hoped everything would turn out for the best. But alas the best it was not and the best was only something I have in my inmagination as I would turn into my own worst enemy, and then my husband’s. I don’t think that he loved me and I think also that I could have loved anything that showed me any attention. I was floored when we first started going out, so when he asked me to marry him *ahem, over the phone, I smiled wide and gayedly said ‘Yes’. What was I thinking? You might ask. I did think I was in love with him, and I know now that I was so desperate to be loved that I would’ve gone to any length. I just did’t realize that any length is the road I was headed toward. I don’t know at this point why I said yes, but then I thought it was my ticket. My ticket out, my ticket to a new life away from all that was bad, and my ticket to my fairy tale. I laugh at that kind of thinking now but then, at 21, I had everything to look forward to in a new marriage.

Flipping backwards I could feel my breath deepen as I grunted directly after he’d grabbed my legs from the crossed legged sitting position I was in. I’d been sitting, not to be politically incorrect, but Indian style if you will when I’d made the comment about him seeming like his father. He bolted up from his position, yelling at me until I could feel the grip of his hands on my calves. Deepened was his grip as if he were grasping for life and onto something I never realized until just now. He was grasping with all of his might for everything he lacked as a person…which was a lot. His grip went even tighter into my legs.  I flew into a backwards summersault. I landed and immediately turned into fight or flight. I should’ve picked flight a bit farther away but I flew to the bathroom because all I could think of was getting into a room with a door that would shut. None of ours had locks and we’d recently moved from Seattle to Tacoma where I’d had nervousness about as well. It was nighttime as I slammed the door shut and curled into a ball in the corner of the room, he still outside yelling about how I’d disrespected him. I remember thinking to myself that it’s ironic, I sitting in the bathroom after what had just happened, crying my eyes out because I didn’t know how to show him respect, being I had no idea what he would do next with anything I ever did anyhow. I thought I’d seen hell with my depression but the angels of death looked as I realized I was being taken to a new level in a home I had no idea about, which couldn’t be farther from my family back in my real hometown where my heart of hearts always had been.

Blank Space

22

I hate that something happened when I outlasted the good parts of life into the bad. I can’t stand that I’ll even have good days but I’ll look back later and think that they were awful. That’s all that I remember anymore. The awfulness takes the fun out of each memory and I wonder where to. Is there a mental dump somewhere that my mind loads up and takes out every Wednesday? I just don’t get it. Most of this blog is about the trials of life with mental illness but there’s a lot that I still don’t understand. Like days when the pressure gets really bad I can’t stand that one either. And people realize how bad your OCD can get when the pressure is on for you to be at your best. Oh, who am I kidding, the pressure is just natural from having to act like a normal human being. I must smile as if I enjoy everyday, instead of looking like I feel. If I had physical symptoms of all my mental problems, I’d be in a coma by now. At least I’d be left alone finally. And every time I put pressure on myself I wouldn’t have to look at the center of everything. People think I’m just staring at something but the reality is that I have to look at something four times or in the exact center of it. Phew, what a process. It takes so much time! And it makes me so mad because the medications I take make me gain weight too. And that shouldn’t be the most awful thing today because people could just think, oh well, at least you’re on your way to being happy. But the truth is A) you don’t know that this will work and B) I’d never realized how mean people could be. I’ve been called fat by at least 5 strangers. One of which I punched in the face. He made such a rude comment about my weight that I just wham! punched him in the face/nose. I’m so sick of people being judgmental! I’m a human being for crying out loud. Don’t call me things when you have know idea what it’s like. To all the skinny people out there, I’m jealous of you. Not only is it sooo hard for me to lose weight, it’s so easy for me to pack it on! Be aware of serequil for one people. That is a medication used for so many things including anxiety but it makes you super hungry and makes you gain weight starting yesterday. Oh, how I hate having this.

I am a human being. A fair minded, light hearted, clumsy, yes, easy going kind of chick. I walk at 5’6″ and my rule of thumb every since I can remember is to “walk tall.” I’m the most self conscious person I’ve ever met. I’ll wear sweatshirts in the summertime in 199 degree weather, inside of work, sweat dripping down my forehead, kind of conscious. DO people think I’m weird? Probably. But that could also be because I am a little weird and do weird things. I’m for the most part just curious Andrea just a little less curious with every inquisition. I mean if you’re going to sit on a bench and french kiss your bf, I take things like that as an invitation to come and snuggle in as well. I mean geez, how can you not?! I just sit, extra, extra close to one of them and maybe give a little back rub, you know? No harm done. And maybe next time they’ll get a room. Or the woman who, with her kids, threw an empty water bottle underneath a car to get rid of it when there was a trash can right there. I quickly goes under the car to retrieve it. “Ma’am, I think you lost this.” As I caught up to her. “What?! No that’s not mine.” She exclaimed. “Well, I distinctly remember watching you throw it underneath that car and if you want to throw it somewhere it should be in the garbage.” I giggle running off like a little kid. When you let your arms flail about and you can just let them loose. It’s the only time running can be fun.

Fighting

25

There was so much fighting in that house it was a lot to take. And then I’d start to notice patterns of the way my parents would talk about their parents and it was the first sign of the cycle beginning. And I could never figure out what it was over. It would just start and explode with stones at the glass house and no one realized it. But my brother and I were called unfortunate names and at least for me, I took them with me until a couple of years ago when I finally somehow let it go. I knew I resented them growing up for certain things. Like, she shouldn’t have come to me to ask whether or not I felt they should get a divorce. Huh? That’s your question? Shit. “I don’t know,” I told her. That’s not between my mom and dad, that’s between your husband and you. But I could never get that question out of my mind. What DO I think? The fighting really had gotten that bad. There was always name calling to each other and to my brother and I. “How could you be SO stupid?” was one. “You’re helpless,” and “hopeless,” another. It was to the point that I was convinced I was stupid. Then when I was in high school both of them told me they had something to tell me when I got older. I had a feeling I knew what it was but it wasn’t my place yet. And it shouldn’t have been my place to choose who I was going to live with. They shouldn’t have declared divorce on my birthday. It got to the point where on one hand things were a great time, in a great family. And there were times where I felt like I was around the drill sergeant. I always knew when to talk and when to shut the hell up. Suddenly, I became my mother’s shoulder to cry on. It was a time I was so thankful to have my brother, though. Then, right as the depression was hitting, him and I got close but then pulled apart. The apart world, is where we’ve been ever since. Sometimes you don’t realize how much you miss someone until you realize you need the chance you once had to miss them in the first place. But I just want to scream that I’m not myself. To wait for me and when I come back you’ll see how different I can be when I’m normal again. I’m always impulsive, I’m sleepy and I think things that are harsher than what they should be. There’s things about depression that doesn’t go in a handbook. No one talks about the fact that you’re so lost that even when you have everything, it can feel like nothing. And my nothing has become my everything.

Weight for It

26

I’ve never had good self-confidence. Growing up I was always looked at as a little chubbier and was the tomboy, so I was always with the guys as well. Personally, I feel like I grew up like an ugly swan who simply came into her one at a certain point and now has lost that again. I mean, I had to have braces twice, luckily the headgear was at night, and was always watching my best girlfriends getting the boys attention, which I was fine with to a certain extent, but wasn’t overweight when some of the guys at school definitely noticed me more when I worked my ass off and lost 25lbs that was too much to lose. And I was too young at this point to realize that a lot of what your parent shows you, they endured as a child and a lot of what you endure, you may give off when you are a parent. Being asked to lose weight when you’re 11 and 12 years old can be confusing for the one being asked. I was too young to think about my weight then, even though I did anyways. But hearing that confirmed my idea that I must be ugly and I all of the sudden felt morbidly obese instead of with a few extra pounds. And later I’d come to realize how much pressure my mom’s mom put on her as a kid and how life really does come full circle. When I became 16 I grew tired of having extra weight so I decided to work out on top of my swim workout and looking back I see how unhealthy I was becoming. Weighing myself at least three times a day, if I were a pound up that day then I’d drink a ton of water to try and get it off. I felt like I was allergic to myself all of the sudden. But one guy made a comment that I was cute because I was losing weight and that was enough for me. So I put up with the allergies. Then one night I ate pie and regretted it so much I tried to get sick. It never happened but, the binge eating was there all the same and I didn’t see it like that at the time. Being a kid is hard enough, and I know everyone says that but it’s so true. If you start out your worst enemy it’s such a long tough walk over the bridge to being happy with what’s inside. Actually, that’s such a crock! Being happy with what’s inside, is huge but you really need acceptance of the whole self and that can be a lengthy process of understanding. Even as a little girl I was never happy with myself and just wanted to make everyone else feel good.

There’s Three Sheets to the Wind?

30

It didn’t take me long to feel the unease of the first drink I’d ever had, or maybe I should say the ease of the first drink being it felt so good…too good to be honest. But being young and not knowing any better I kept up with it pretty well, too well I’d realize later. I hoped everyday that I wouldn’t wind up having a drinking problem, even from a younger age than I already was at 17. But that was one of the biggest problems was the denial of it all. For so long I didn’t want the signals I gave off of being the real scared me known until nighttime when I became the real drunk me and I’d forget about it. When they say you battle an addiction they are so right in it’s terms of battling. Everyday I’d wish that I wouldn’t drink that night only to not be able to handle being in my own skin without sleep until I’d relentlessly go for the six or 12 pack. When the party finally did end, and yes it had to, I felt about as horrible as my fears would allow in the years prior. It was always my secret battle that I never talked about because, as it seemed, everyone around me was always doing so well I had no idea where to fit in anymore. And that was the thing, I wasn’t me anymore. I was this girl whose priorities seemed to shift from school to drinking and that was all that I cared about in the next few years. I feel terrible about it now, because there’s not really a real sounding board for an alcoholic who feels alone all of the time and stubbornly pushes away the people who get in the way when intoxicated. No wonder I felt like people pushed me into the corner and walked on by, I practically forced them too. In looking back beyond the haze of the hangovers, you can really see the destruction alcohol can do especially over time and the things you had to be willing to forgo in order to keep up denial. I had some of the nicest friends that would take care of me on the nights I couldn’t drive which were adding up to be too many. Once the headache wears thin and you slowly come back to reality all people would see was my smiling face that hid all the secrets within. I had to get out of the denial but shame would bring me back into the ring time and time again. When you wake up every single day dreading the time that comes that you usually drink….people that don’t suffer from addictions have no idea how hard it is to get through 24 hours without your fix. I’d always thought mine was something attributed to growing pains, but the hidden secrets that ooze out of a bottle would come to my desires of just not feeling this way, too many a time. “Bored,” they would say. “You’re just bored,” enabling just the thing I’d want. And, “yes,” I thought. I was bored. But boredom is supposed to be fixed with something healthy to do, or anything to do that doesn’t require the shame shift time and time again. You shouldn’t feel guilty about the things you do when you’re bored, and my guilt was ever surmounting in all of the times I’d hear about my boredom, all the while knowing that one day I’d probably have to come to terms with the reality of the word addiction.