That he is resenting me for him having to go to the Partner Assault Response Program.
That he is blaming me for it.
That he feels or will say that I don’t care about his pain.
That he feels that I did it to HIM.
That he feels that I screwed up his life by calling the police when he had me by the throat.
I have felt the fear of having made a mistake for months and am not always able to come back to sensical thought because the anxiety and guilt surge through me like a tidal wave.
I have felt defensive for no reason. In the face of people that asked me ‘why didn’t you just leave in that moment?’
I am a smart woman. How could I not have the answer to that question?? Because guilt was/is more of a natural reaction to doubt than simply remembering how it happened…
It only occurred to me after people asked me that question (as though that might have been the better option than calling the police…!?!) that it happened – he pushed me up against the cupboards by the throat – when I was TRYING TO LEAVE! So I didn’t try to leave AGAIN! He had already reached around and pushed the door shut, he had grabbed me by the arm so that it hurt and I there was no way I could pull free. He already put his hand around my throat so that I couldn’t breathe. My head already banged up against the cupboards… I therefore didn’t try AGAIN to walk out the door…
It’s (not) funny how i have been conditioned, in a past of people discounting or ignoring my feelings and experiences, to forget the reasons why I protected myself the way I did. When someone asks why I didn’t do something differently their doubts and skeptical sexist presumptions flood my mind as though their imagination and G’s ‘defensive’ story is the reality of that night. As a result, all I feel in the moment of being asked why I ‘didnt just leave’ is fear, stupidity, and guilt. The feelings someone should feel if they actually tried to mess with someone else’s life on purpose.
I think it makes perfect sense that I didn’t try to open the door to leave a second time. He had threatened to beat the shit out of me and murder me on other occasions. And at this particular moment he was between me and the door and he had just grabbed by the throat. Why do I feel there is any doubt…?
Why would anyone think I would not have reason to be scared for my physical well being, let alone my life?
Hold on a second, no. Why would I!? Me!? Why would I doubt my own actions?!
But wait… Do you know what is probably the most guilt inducing…? Not that people doubt whether my actions were justified. Rather, that I knew it would get worse and I stayed for months even after I had realized that. I knew that he had been arrested for guns and producing counterfeit money, that he had been jnvolved in ‘gang’ violence and violence since his teens probably, that he had physically abused and threatened the mother of his kids, that he had been violent as though it was a past time.
The guilt and the fear come from knowing that about myself. Not having the humility or emotional reasoning to realize that if he did nothing to change it, no matter how many times he said he wanted something different with me he was going to play it out exactly the same.
Its difficult to know that myself, let alone to know how other people see it. That I stayed. That I thought out relationship would be incentive enough.
That is where the guilt comes from. And the fear is from not trusting myself and from knowing that others will not think I am entitled to protection, safety… because I stay despite what I knew. My naive hope and irrational self sacrifice make me deserving in the eyes of the people out there. That is a cruel world, and by fearing it I empower that bent reality that so many people are trapped in.