me too

I no longer instantlly start shaking, or have to fight off a panic attack when I think about you or when I see a vehicle that reminds me of yours.  I have, intentionally avoided any face to face interaction with you since March 2007.  Some days, that isn’t long enough.  An etenity would not be long enough. It’s been 10 years.

I can usually have casual conversations about having been married.  But the timing is of my choosing…  the other days, once in a blue moon, something catches me off guard.  In the past, being caught off guard, I could feel myself sinking into that dark pit.  The pit that would makes me shake inside, the pit that would I could feel myself choking on the bile in the back of my throat.

While catching up on personal emails, one email from Task and Purpose stood there, just blinking at me.  The subject line, an article I had already seen pop up on facebook, I was ignoring.  I knew what the article would say without reading.  I knew how the author would feel without knowing her.  I knew the panic.  The fear.  The embarrassment…

kept my abusive marriage a secret because marines are supposed to be tough

But you’re tough, that doesn’t happen to tough women. 
Yes it does.  It can happen to any of us.

I wonder if her family had spousal abuse issues. Not recognizing the drinking and violence as completely unacceptable suggests growing up in just such a home.
Really?!  Actually, I think those of us who did NOT grow up in such a home are at even more of a risk for these relationships.  Because unlike the girls who watched their mothers (or fathers, it happens both ways) beaten on a regular bases.  We don’t recognize the warning signs, nor do we normally attrack these men; in fact I would venture to say the majority of these men seem above average normal. It’s not until you are in the middle of it, do you realize just how bad it is.

Women are equal. They are totally equal to men. That’s why the President had put them in combat units like the Marines and Rangers. Under that logic, there is no way for a woman to be abused. She can equally fight and defend herself as good as any man. …..welcome to equality
What in the actual fuck… God I hate social media and the ability to share your jackass opinion.

I’ve been sitting with the “share to facebook” window open now, for the past twenty minutes… All the things rolling around in my head, all the things I want to say.

I was tired of pretending. 
I was tired of being made to feel like I wasn’t good enough. 
I was tired of being made to feeling guilty like it was my fault the things he said.
I was tired of being made to feel like I would not emount to anything without him…or that I was not strong enough to stand on my own. 

I’m tired of feeling like my family choose him

Yet none of it do I have the courage to type and post.  I know we still have mutal friends on facebook, tons of Army buddies.  Every once in a while I see a comment to him, even though I have him blocked.  I got to a point I wasn’t going to hide on social media anymore, but I also couldn’t deal with him.  I couldn’t deal with the fact that half my family wants to be social with him, welcome him into their homes at Christmas or Thanksgiving…. The first year that happened I threw my phone so hard across the room that the Nextel cell phone I had came to rest in the drywall of my mother’s dinning room.  Sorry mom. It happened again last year, I didn’t know until Christmas evening.  When my brother called my mom and then proceeded to put my 11 year old daughter on the phone. Surprise!! You can not begin to imagine my feelings.  My brother’s response, you need to just get over it.  My dad says he wants to have a relationship with his granddaughter, my father’s wife -oh don’t just DON’T get me started on that woman, let’s just skip her all together. My sisters avoid the conversation at all costs.

It wasn’t until one of Kyle’s particularly scary benders left me alone in our apartment, searching for places to hide our ammunition that I realized something had to change.

God if only I would have realized this when my ex walked around our Fayettivelle apartment with a pistol in his hand after a night of heavy drinking and tequila on base.  I couldn’t tell you all the details of that night.  I could tell you we argued, over what, who knows.  Probably some random guy I didn’t know said hello to me, or I was friendly with someone in line for lunch.  I stayed too late at work. The list goes on and on. Instead, I thought I could fix it, could fix us, could fix him.

I wasn’t rare or special in my attitude — women in the military are particularly vulnerable to abuse due to geographical isolation from family and friends, and the potential for social isolation within military culture in general. Evidence shows that violence against women is a pervasive problem within the military-connected community, and it is an extremely relevant issue for active-duty servicewomen. Among the branches, the Army consistently has shown the highest rates of domestic violence, followed by the Marines, Navy, and Air Force. In one study of active-duty military women, 21% of the women surveyed reported being on the receiving end of domestic violence incidents. VA studies show even higher reported numbers of 36.6%.

After the military we moved to Southern Illinios, were our daughter was born.  Just over a year later, we moved to Arkansas.  Neither location did I have family or friends; both locations I contemplated leaving him.  Each time, I thought, but where am I going to go?  I have no help and no where to go, I am completely isolated. When I finally walked out in the middle of the night, after we had been arguing for several hours.  I called a friend, she was on her way to Arizonia from South Carolina, she said I’ll met you in the next major city.  I have almost no memory of that drive or the following week.  I was terrified.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, or where I was going to go….but I knew I couldn’t go back. In fact I walked out at roughly 2am, at 2:30 am my own father was calling me telling me to get back home.

Anytime I have been willing to discuss the verbal and emotional abuse suffered; the majority of my family has shut me down and literally told me I just needed to get over it. To move on. Let me say just getting over it or just moving on doesn’t happen that easily and frankly it’s the worst thing you can say to anyone. In fact, I would say it makes the anger and feelings of betrayal even worse.

Forty-five minutes, the share to Facebook window is still open.  Why?  In the back of my head, I still hear, someone is going to tell him….One of your mutal friends is going to tell him. 

I’m not paranoid.  This shit happened immedatly after we seperated and even the first year of our divorce.  Cyber stalking, whatever you want to call it.  He contact the new friends I had made, would blow up my cell phone and even tried to call my Lieutenant a few times.  I specifically remember the night I muted his calls during our divorce proceedings. The sergant on duty saw me do it, he saw the look on my face, the deep inhale I took.  I still remember sitting in dispatch when I did it, with shaking hands.  I remember the sergant looking at me with a comforting look, “I’m proud of you, that’s a big step.”

There are still tons of things I don’t want to discuss and even the idea of putting it into the blog… nah, I’m good.  Maybe I’m not ready to face those demons yet.  Maybe I don’t think they need to be aired, even in a blog. This past August, was 10 years since our divorce.  It doesn’t haunt my daily life anymore. Five years ago that was a different story. Only once in a while, like reading this article do the old memories surface.

Your hair isn’t long enough, you look like a boy.
You look like you have leprosy (referring to my psoriasis, that at the time was horrible)
Why do you need makeup. Who are you trying to impress. 

There is so much more to talk about, so much left unsaid that just floats around inside my head.  One day I’ll have the courage to put it down on paper, to put it out on social media and not just quietly whisper it when the memories are too much.  When I don’t feel myself desprately clinging to anything to avoid those memories.  To avoid sinking into the pit.

It’s been a long while since one of those moments hit me, and even when I could feel those familar feelings, I look around and remind myself how far I’ve come.  How good my life is, without you.

 

Hour and a half later… the window is still there.
*click*
Now it’s on my facebook.
I can feel a pit of guilt in the back of my throat.

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Author: boxerjeep

I am a mid 30s pawrent to my babies Reese (boxer) and Grimm (pitbull). A tattooed Army veteran, yogi and strength athlete. My second loves after my pups are tattoos, my Jeep, random music, real books, ancient history, the outdoors and art.

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