"You live and you learn. It happened for a reason. I can't do anything about it because it is now in the past. One mistake can scar you forever."
We were celebrating our three year anniversary. I wanted everything to be perfect. We went to a fancy restaurant. We then went to a wine tasting bar. It was quickly becoming one of the best days we had spent together. As the night was carrying on, I suggested we stop at the local video store and pick something up to watch later that night. She agreed. While we were walking around inside the store, a person caught the corner of my eye. I heard “Tara” sigh deeply and walk quickly away from me. Shawn walked up beside me and said hello. I tried to avoid talking to him but he continued to blurt out useless babble about everyone I used to be friends with. He then saw the ring on my finger and went silent. I asked him if something was wrong. He grabbed my hand and said “What's this shit? You're not actually going to marry her are you?!” I don't know what it was, but I lost it. I told him to stay away from me. To just leave me alone. I pushed him against the wall and walked out. “Tara” never seemed so turned on. I felt proud of myself, but on the way home I started to feel like shit. Shawn was my best friend. He was there for me when others weren't and I just pushed him against a wall. I needed to talk to him.
Fade to black.
When we got home, “Tara” decided to take a quick shower. I sat down on the couch and lit up a cigarette. I picked up the phone and dialed Shawn's number. He hung up on me the first couple of times. I finally got him to stay on the phone long enough for me me to apologize for what I had done. He didn't accept my apology. Instead he told me how stupid I was being, that I needed to wake up and realize that she was never going to change, and that she nearly killed me and it was only a matter of time before she went crazy again.
It was around the middle of this portion of the conversation that “Tara” came walking out of the bathroom. She asked me who I was talking to. I put my finger up to tell her to hold on. She walked over to me and asked again. I mouthed the words “Hold on a second.” This pissed her off. She grabbed the phone from my hand and shouted into the mouth piece “Who the fu%# is this?!?!” When Shawn replied, she threw the phone at me and stormed into the bedroom. I told Shawn I had to let him go. He refused. He asked me why should I run every time she flipped out. He wanted to talk to me and if she couldn't handle something so simple as that, then tough. I stayed on the phone with him for a few minutes longer before she came out of the bedroom and told me to hang up the phone. Shawn told me to ignore her, so I did. She waited a few seconds for me to respond. When I didn't, she screamed for me to hang up. Shawn told me to continue to ignore her, so I did. I put out my cigarette in the large glass ashtray I stole from my parents house when I visited last, one that had an Indian head carved into the center. That’s the last thing I remember really. Me staring at the face of that Indian as I rubbed my cigarette into his glass face. Everything else afterwards was pieced together by EMTs, first responders, ER nurses, doctors and police officers.
Putting the pieces back together.
I suffered a linear fracture across my temporal and parietal bones in my skull resulting in an epidural hematoma. They had to drill a hole in my head to allow the blood to escape and relive pressure on my brain. The EMTs told me later that when they entered my apartment, “Tara” was on top of me covering my mouth with a pillow. This was something I remembered months later. They also said I died a couple of times and needed to be brought back. They told me how lucky I was. All I wanted to do was sleep, but they wouldn't let me. If I wasn't being moved to yet another examination room, I was being hit with questions from every direction. My head was spinning. Right when I started to remember something, they would give me another shot. A week went by in the blink of an eye.
As told by...
I remember waking up in the middle of the night, alone. I had to piss so bad it killed me. I was so lost and confused. I had no idea how I got there, and when I tried to think back on it, all I saw was a swarm of images in my head. None of it made sense. I tried to call out for anyone, but my mouth was so dry that it hurt even to try to whisper. I lied there for what seemed like forever, fumbling with my hands looking for that damn “Nurse Call” button. When someone finally walked in, it took them a few minutes to even notice that I was hanging off the side of the bed. They rushed to my side and pulled me back in. She told me to hold on and I nodded. When she returned, she had an arsenal of people and one person I did not expect to see in tow, my next door neighbor.
They came in waves. The doctors explained what had happened and asked if I was fit enough to speak to the police. Then one of the EMT drivers came in and explained in great detail what had unfolded that nearly fatal night. She was very sweet. I remember that the most. She actually cried and asked me what I had done to deserve that. I couldn't remember at that time. She told me that “Tara” must have hit me in the side of the head with my glass ashtray. That she hit me so hard that the 5 pound ashtray split into pieces. When the cops finally arrived, she bid me good luck and kissed me on the forehead. She laughed and said “I was too good looking to let some twig mess up my face any longer.”
I laughed and it hurt so bad but felt so good. The cops surrounded me and shut the door behind them. They tried to help me piece the events together, but I couldn't help them. The same officer who spoke to me all that time before was now strangely in my corner. He begged me to remember. Told me that “Tara” came very close to killing me and that according to the EMTs she succeed in some sense of the word. After an hour, they finally told me where “Tara” was at that moment. They told me that she was in the county jail and should be out on bail that morning. They advised me to stay away from her. I agreed. They told me because since they didn't have solid proof that I was dead when the EMTs arrived, they couldn't charge her with attempted homicide. Plus because I couldn't remember anything in order to give a written statement, she wasn't currently charged with anything besides a “Domestic Violence” charge and even that was loose. Before they left, they wished me luck and to get better soon. They begged me to get in contact with them as soon as I remembered anything. I seriously tried but could not. After they left, my neighbor came walking into my room.
My neighbor...what's his face...
I never spoke to this guy the whole time we were living in our new apartment. He was middle aged and looked scared just to be near me. He asked me if I remembered anything. I said no. He told me the cops haven't left him alone since this started. I asked him if he knew what happened and what he said next shook me to my core. He told me he heard her shouting. Then for about ten minutes it went quiet. Then she was banging on his front door. When he opened his door, “Tara” was there frantic. She begged for him to call the police. She said I had a seizure and hit my head on the coffee table. He grabbed his cordless phone and ran across the hall to my apartment. When he walked in, he instantly noticed that we did not in fact have a coffee table. When the 911 operator came on the phone, he tried to explain the situation. “Tara” was holding me down while I was apparently having a seizure.
He continued to explain to the operator about what he thought was going on. He noticed the ashtray and the blood and told the operator it looked like I was hit in the head with a glass plate. When “Tara” heard this, she screamed at him to get out of her house. She forced him out the door while he remained on the phone with 911. He said when the door shut he heard me moaning, almost screaming. Then he heard “Tara” scream “SHUT UP!” and then a muffled sound. He then begged the operator to send someone quickly! He wanted to kick the door in, but the operator advised against it even after he told the operator that she was “killing me.”
He was shaking. He was visibly torn up over this whole experience. I told him I was fine and he just kept looking me dead in the eyes. When the doctor came in, I had no idea he was death gripping my hand. The doctor walked around the room allowing him time to sit with me. When the doctor said it was time to move to another room, my neighbor leaned in and gave me a hug. He told me he was glad to see me alive. I thanked him and when he pulled away he told me my landlord had kicked us out of our apartment. He said he could help me move as long as I didn't bring “Tara." I told him he didn't have to worry about that at all. He looked at me dead in the eyes again and said “I hope you're not lying to me. Or hell, lying to yourself. Just stay away from her...just...just stay away from her forever.” He left me alone in the room with the doctor. I lied there for a minute and finally broke down. It hurt like hell to cry but I couldn't stop. I wasn’t crying out of pain. I was crying because I couldn't believe it came this far. I couldn't believe she was capable of something like this. I just couldn't believe any of this was even happening.
Four months later I was living with Shawn. I was healing nicely and seeing a therapist weekly, not only for my injuries but for my hidden mental damage I suffered over the past 3 years. I wasn't going to go, but after talking to the doctors and the lovely EMT driver, I decided it was for the best. At first I thought it was all bullshit. Them telling me I fell for these types of women was largely due to the abuse I received from my mother pissed me off. How could they say that? Those were the worst years of my life! Why would I want to relive it? They were right. I was damaged for a long time. If I could admit that, I could break the chain and learn how to heal. I continued to go and I started to heal. I felt good about myself. I was awake for the first time ever. I no longer had to be someone's personal punching bag.
Hvae faith in your judicial system.
I pressed charges against “Tara." There was no official trial. No witness testimony. Hell, even I wasn't allowed to speak on my behalf. She was charged with "Aggravated Assault" and ordered to perform 40 hours of community service and 1 year unsupervised probation. I would say I was shocked, but in our small town, I was not in the slightest. After that day in court, I never saw nor spoke to “Tara” again. I spent a good year of my life thereafter explaining this story to friends. I've told it so much it made me sick. People would constantly tell me the new horror stories from “Tara's” life and I would try to ignore it. She beat up so and so, she was in jail again, she was pregnant with so and so's baby. Nothing worth hearing. However, just like everything else...”Tara” too had passed. Before long she was a fading memory. I had officially moved on.
The scars are all that remains.
As I sit here typing this, the memories come flooding back. Honestly I don't like it anymore than my wife likes me shaving my head. She hates seeing that scar there right above my right ear. She doesn't like it when I have to lie to my son when he asks how I got that scar on my head. I catch it while I'm shaving and just look at it for a second. Every time I do though I say a little something in my head. “Just think...it could be worse. So thank God it isn't!” I broke the cycle of violence. I grew from all the negative shit that happened and learned to love myself first before I loved anyone else. I learned to never let another person lay a hand on me. I learned that even though I'm a man and I have suffered domestic abuse that didn't mean I was less of a man. I learned a lot. Because of this I have become a better man. This scar isn't a reminder of all the hate I overcame and survived. This scar is a reminder of what could have been if I didn't get the help from all those people looking out for me. So always remember, you are never alone. Please get help if you're suffering from any form of domestic abuse.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse and feel there is nowhere to turn for help, remember you can always reach out to me here on EdenFantasys. I will try to help any way that I can. Just know you are never alone in this, and you never need to go another day living in fear.