~Monday, October 15, 2012

Exposed

I remember reading this post about a girl who disclosed her abusive past and her weird sexual habit that may or may not be related to it. And the comment section just broke my heart. There is so much judgment from all sides of the story. Someone is judging the girl. Someone else is judging the boyfriend. Someone calls a commenter a "Yakety Sax of rape."

The comment that I found myself agreeing with though was:

You see those pictures of trees that are bent in weird angles because of something that happened to them when they were saplings? Well, they are perfectly fine, strong trees now, and no need to think they are weak just because they got bent went they were young...

If I were her friend, I would tell her she unfortunately should have kept her mouth shut. She should practice saying, "My childhood was really rough. I don't talk to my father/parents/family anymore." And then drop the conversation, unless it's with someone who can handle knowing it. And just because someone loves us, doesn't mean they can handle it.

Just because someone loves us, doesn't mean they can handle it. But of course about 200 other people claim that could never be a healthy relationship. I disagree.

The reason I decided to tell Abraham was because it was starting to affect the two of us moving forward together.

***

I stripped off all of my clothes and crawled into bed. I wanted to be naked when I told Abraham the truth. I wanted to be exposed. Nothing between us.

Abraham instead went into the kitchen and ate a late dinner. I waited. Eventually I heard him turn out the lights and lock the door.

"Mmm," he said as he saw me unclothed in bed.

Abraham stripped down and joined me. He turned on his side and gathered me in his arms.

"I have a story for you," I began. It was a nonchalant opening for what would come.

"A story!" he said playfully.

I nodded.

Abraham watched me. "It's not a good story, is it?" he pieced together.

"No."

"You're shaking," he observed.

I stopped. I was. From head to toe, my entire body was quivering like I had been dunked into icy water.

"I'd like to tell you about the boyfriend I lived with once."

Abraham was quiet. He was listening.

"He was an alcoholic. And not the kind of alcoholic people accuse each other of being in college. He was a real alcoholic. The kind who threw up and shook if he didn't drink enough of it. I grew to hate the sound of the aluminum-can pop top because I heard it 24 hours a day.

"We weren't supposed to live together. My apartment had a terrible leak in it, and water would fill buckets every time it rained. It was summertime, so it rained a lot. They kept trying to fix the leak, but the plaster would fall on the counter with a great splat and water would pour through. Every time. They decided to give me a new apartment.

"Then my grandfather died. Instead of picking out the new apartment, I was out of state burying him. My boyfriend worked with the leasing company and reserved me a larger apartment. And when I came in to sign the papers, they wouldn't let me sign without him. I cried to the leasing agent. I didn't want him on my lease. I told her that my boyfriend didn't live with me. He has his own apartment. He gets mail there. And I think if I had any other leasing agent, things would have been fine, but she told me I either had to have him sign the lease or I had to move out of the apartment complex entirely, giving me only three days to find somewhere to live. So I called him and asked him just to sign the damn papers. I wasn't even worried about it. I always paid my bills on time so this wouldn't affect him.

"He lied. About two weeks after he signed the papers, he told me he was being kicked out of his apartment by his landlord. I now know this was a lie. He had broached the subject of living together before and I turned him down. But he said his landlord found a new tenant, and he had to be out and he was already on my lease..."

"How long had you been together?" Abraham asked.

"About four months."

He cringed.

I took a deep breath. That was the easy part.

"He didn't have a driver's license because of all the DUIs he had gotten from driving drunk. I told him he couldn't take my car because if he got into an accident, I would be liable. It didn't stop him. I had to sleep with my car keys under my pillow, or else he'd take my car in the middle of the night. And if I didn't put my purse under the bed, he'd go in there and take money. One time I came home and found a basket with 50 DVDs I had had been pawned.

"And he drank. All the time. He would get delirious and angry when he drank. He used to spit on me, like he would collect spit and project it on me, and tell me he hated me."

Abraham gasped in horror. Like that had been the terrible part.

I told the story the only way I knew how, by telling it exactly how I had written it.

I told him this.

And this.

And then this.

As I was telling these three stories, I felt no emotional connection to them. I felt like I was reciting a script that had been written by a roomful of writers. This was a story that had been written for me; it was not my life.

As I finished the last story, my voice began to crack and tears slipped down my cheek. It was  time for him to respond.

"That's a long time to keep a story like that," he said.

"It's not a story you tell just anyone."

He nodded in agreement.

He told me I was strong for getting out of the relationship and going into therapy and doing all of the work myself. He said he was confident that I had learned and moved on.

He said he wish he knew sooner. He would have just held me tighter all of this time.

I wept. I was so embarrassed that this was my story. I was embarrassed that there was even a story to tell him.

"I'm sorry I'm not perfect for you."

"You are."

He then made a joke. I wish I could remember it. It was light but touched on what he just heard. The joke was perfect.

I laughed.

"I'm glad I can still make you laugh," he smiled.

"Do you still want to live with me?" I asked.

It was his turn to laugh. "Of course."

***

The following week I signed the new lease. My move-out date is in six months.


18 comments:

Dawn said...

I completely understand why you told him. I just hope that you didn't still feel that you were telling him "who he was going to be living with" but, instead, were just telling him "what happened to who he was going to be living with." Know what I mean?

That "S" shit was no reflection on you as a person, although, perhaps, it made you the strong person you are today.

Either way: SIX MONTHS!!!!!!! Woooo hooooooo! I'm thrilled for the both of you.

Sarah said...

I see the difference now. Also when I was telling him, I said things like, "He stole my car for the eighth time, so I yelled at him," etc. That is an okay thing to yell at someone about. I wasn't a nag and didn't have an anger problem (reasons not to live with me). Like my therapist pounded into me, I was responded in a normal way to abnormal circumstances.

MissM said...

Its good that you see that. S was not in any way a reflection on you as a person.

KingofHearts said...

I went through the same thing kinda with Jenn although we both had things/secrets we'd kept. It was therapeutic for each other to know these things.

I think that's half the battle, finding someone who understands and doesn't take what you've said for granted.

Breeza said...

I agree with MissM. Glad you found Abe.

propertyofj said...

This took courage...which you have an abundance of. I am excited for you and Abe.

obx said...

I'm glad you told him, Sarah. I think you'll feel even closer to him now and vice versa. All your cards are on the table and he loves you no matter what - because he's not S. Because he's awesome.

Juanita said...

I'm so glad you found Abraham and that you've finally found such happiness.

Readyandfading said...

YAY! I am SO proud of you. This is such a HUGE step.

musingsfromtheashes said...

This actually made me tear up a little. A very happy emotion I promise you. Because I didn't expect any less from Abe! :)

Je m'appelle Danielle said...

I wouldn't have expected less from Abraham, I think he handled this information quite well. As Dawn said, it wasn't a reflection of you, it was something that happened to you.

Six months is going to fly by!

cd0103 said...

So glad. He can handled it.

Englandia... said...

So very excited for you. I mean, I have been reading your blog for so many years. I remember being single and, uhm, jealous, when you wrote about the time you came home from vacation and that dipshit was there and you jumped into his arms....don't ask me why, but I still remember that blog post probably due to your fabulous writing;) and I remember thinking "I want that" without giving the guy a hernia since I am not a Warrior Runner woman like you.

Anyway. I digress....and then you came through so honest and clear later on as things unraveled.

I always say Therapy saved my life in very real terms.....and dude, you are phenomenal. You went through something you should have never had to go through, that was so unfair and awful and now you are with someone who embraces and gets you for who you are....So happy for you.

Peach said...

babe, you rock, your man rocks and I love you both - of course especially you for all your troubles and all your strength to keep going, to better yourself, to rise above and beyond, to keep the faith even when you had none and to have ever trusted again and been rewarded appropriately with a HOT and sensitive wonderful man... I am almost in tears, I am so so proud and chuffed (this means proud in rubbish english/london speak) for you, I really am.

When you get married, I'm coming to the wedding and if I'm completely understandably not invited, given we've never met and I live in the UK, I am coming to the wedding party because I just have to meet you and hug you and tell you that I think you rock, in person.

said it before but "way to go Paula" and cue Love Lifts Us Up music a la An Officer and a Gentleman.

Sarah X

Charlotte Klein said...

Oh, first? *HUGS* Because that's not an easy story to share, but it took much courage to get through. And you shared it with Abe because you see a future with him and sometimes that means evaluating things that have happened in your past. This is NOTHING to be ashamed of, as I think you realize. It's just a part of your history.

You are obviously making decisions now that are affecting your life in a positive way and embracing love in a way I don't know that you did previously (I obviously can't say for certain; but this kind of honesty indicates a level of comfort that you have established with your bf).

Also, YAY for 6 months! So very happy to hear this news from you :) :) :)

Blog Deleted said...

Sorry to reign on this estrogen parade but the last time I checked, addiction is a disease. I have been an occasional reader from Day One. Your manipulation of the facts disgusts me. And for you to open with an analogy to long-term early childhood sexual abuse is egregious and offensive. Yes, we all know you went thru hell w/ S. Where is your culpability for your CHOICES?! You, who spent your first night w/ your precious Abe after puking all over his bathmat. Girlfriend, you need a f*cking reality check. Pot, meet kettle. Kettle, this is pot.

Arwen said...

I agree with all the comments that it is not who he is living with but what happened to you and I have to say that I am SO PROUD OF YOU.

And, as for the comment immediately prior to mine...just because a person has a disease does not mean that individual is not responsible for the decisions s/he makes. Sarah has done her time for her choices and you should be happy she has been able to move on...and was able to tell this story to someone that cares and loves her.

thetalove said...

You are such a strong woman, I'm glad you've found a man to compliment you.

 

© 2005 - 2013 He Loves Me Not
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

template by suckmylolly.com