It’s easy to get fallen “into the deep”. Been there. Done that. Trust me,
There are a lot of things I remember. Things I try to go to in detail and then people turn their heads because they can not handle hearing about it. I sometimes feel like I should not tell my story. Some things deserve to be left in the past, maybe saving for that day I have enough courage to write that book I keep thinking of getting to writing.
Life gets in the way of pursuing one’s dreams. Now I sit here as an above middle-aged mother who has not much not to show for herself but some medals in a Nike shoebox and a closet full of blue uniforms that I hate.
I should be prouder of the medals. I have a bit of them. But they also represent my downfall. My spiral into demise.
If I would have stayed “in” I would have been retired by now. Probably fairly high ranked and had seen a lot of shit I didn’t want to see. (I saw too much shit not even going to war).
I spent one night riding around with a woman in a police car (I was the police) and not being able to tell her that her husband had just blown his head off with a shotgun.
He blew his head off because he got caught molesting his two daughters and knew he was going to military jail.
The woman did not know how to act. She said this man she had loved had “maybe” died (I was not allowed to tell her) and she was happy because he was a monster who abused her children.
All night I spent with this woman. She and I drove around through the desert and the little neighborhoods of the base.
She asked me.
Me not being able to answer.
All night long.
When she finally got the news, she put her arms around me and cried.
And I stood there and let her feel everything she was going through while being ice cold and maintaining a facade that “this was part of the job”.
Maybe I should have put my arm around her, but I couldn’t. Instead, after she let me go, I went over to the older soldiers and heard how she was crazy for crying.
My night was far from over.
As exhausted as I was, I had to go home. An ashtray is full of smoked cigarettes. A ton of beer cans were scattered all over the place and my husband lying on the floor passed out next to the CD player.
Those were scattered all over the place too.
Holes in the wall as I walked around the cans and start picking them up. Emptying the ashtray, and ignoring him as he lies there on the floor.
I never did love him, he never did love me. We decided we did not want to live with our roommates in the barracks because they would have sex with each other all the time.
We told the people at the apartment complex we were engaged so we did not have to pay two security deposits.
Then our platoon leader (who is devoutly Catholic) was very upset about us living in sin. Pressure. Pressure. Then one day after our company picnic we got a note posted on the door; “If you don’t get married you have to pay the deposit.”
We sat on the sofa and calculated. It was cheaper to get married.
So in shorts and sandals there we were getting married.
We went to the shopping mall. I bought the wedding rings. We went to the grocery store and bought frozen pizza.
He wasn’t physically abusive in the beginning. He was abusive to himself. But that was long before we even lived together. He could drink A LOT.
After a while, it was the pressure to have sex when I didn’t want to. He was good looking but he was sad, a drunk, a loser. He would get aggressive if he didn’t have sex.
So I would do things like look at the TV or read a magazine while he would take me from behind over the couch. It felt so crazy. So wrong.
Then he would start telling me slowly after I progressed in the ranks ahead of him, that I did not do it because “I was good”, but instead that “I gave blowjobs to people higher ranked” than I was.
Every award sparked anger. He would hit walls. He would yell.
I tried to fight it. I went and told. We had a friend that was a police officer. He did nothing when he saw the holes in the walls.
I would go to my boss in tears and try to explain to him what was going on.
He was a master manipulator. He got everyone to be charmed by him. I didn’t have a chance in the world.
He would compare me to other women we worked with and say I was much uglier than they were.
The more and more verbal abuse kept coming. He would play like the good guy out in the open.
One time I got carbon oxide poisoning from a gas heater that was next to my cot in a big tent we used. He played like he was concerned.
He would have been fine if I had died.
Then the powers that be, the chatrooms got me to escape. I pushed the envelope, first bisexual (he wanted a threesome) then sneaking around to the gay rooms.
I met someone from Sweden. I got my revenge because I invited her to come and visit and made him go stay in a hotel for a couple of days.
When I came back from vacation, I was lying on the couch.
He put his hands around my neck and squeezed.
I saw his eyes turn black.
He wouldn’t stop.
Your life doesn’t flash by. I was there lying still and thinking “This is where it is going to end. I am going to be a statistic.”
He removed his hands and looked at me.
“You are not even worth it you stupid bitch.”
I kept this a secret for a long time. I just needed to find out where to escape to.
Sadly, that ended up being worse. But I will leave that story for another time.
People get silent when I try to tell this story. It makes me a bit sad. It makes me wonder what they would have done if I would have looked at them for help if I was in this situation.
So I have trimmed the story down.
“I married a guy once. I was young. He was a very big alcoholic.”
They just get silent.
Would they just be silent if it happens to a colleague, friend, or even a parent or loved one?
Or is it just that the past doesn’t matter?
I own my story. And it wasn’t until recently that this and 50 thousand other stories I went into detail about in therapy.
It’s like ripping a band-aid off really fast. Except you are not healed under the bandage. The wound started bleeding again, and it haunts you after you had stored it away for a really long time.