Just a mirage..

There was a time when I was really thirsty…I allowed a mirage to deceive me into thinking my thirst would be satiated.

The blind date didn’t start well. Mac came to my house to pick me up with another couple. Once we got on the road, I noticed that they were drinking. They were nervous when a cop passed by and stopped at the nearest gas station long enough to drop off their empties.

It was the early 1990’s…I couldn’t call for a ride home..we were planning on going to a bowling alley, but it was closed. We drove around aimlessly until the driver was almost out of gas. When he went in to pay for gas, his girlfriend went through his wallet. She found the number of another girl and freaked out. She got behind the wheel and pulled recklessly out into traffic. She pulled over on a side road and tried to smash the windows with her purse. Then she ran off into the night. We spent the rest of the night trying to find her…It was awful and I told Mac that I didn’t think there would be a second date.

But Mac pursued me relentlessly. He was charming and it was flattering at first. He made me feel like I couldn’t live without him. He was going to rescue me from my troubled home. It wasn’t long before we moved in together. I knew that my family wouldn’t approve.

Things went well at first, although Mac was into gambling. There were nights we went out that he just had to stop at the casino. He said he would be a few minutes as he left me in the car taking the keys with him. It was cold sitting there what seemed like forever in the winter. Security came to the car a few times asking if I was okay..Really, it will be just a few more minutes..

One night Mac went to the casino most of the night, but had to be to work by 7:30 AM. I left early that morning for school, then I went to work. When I got back home it was 7:30 PM. Mac was still sleeping. He thought it was morning, but he missed a whole day of work. Apparently, it was my fault.

It started slowly at first…a shove, a push..Then he started to say mean things…words that even my daddy didn’t say to me. I threatened to call the police. He told me that he would tell them that I stole money from him. He gave me his work checks to cash. I didn’t place the call. It wasn’t that bad anyway…just a little bruise.

He was threatened that I was going to college. He thought that I would leave him so he tried to sabotage me in any way he could. He told me that my papers were stupid. He cut down my ideas. He even deleted a paper that I wrote right before I had to turn it in to class. Thankfully, I always wrote out a rough draft on paper first.

Things got really bad. Mac grabbed me by the neck and threw me against the wall. I spent a lot of time hiding in the closet crying. It reminded me of growing up. There were times that I was kicked, punched, scratched, bit, or hurt by my brother Matt every day for a long period of time. I started having what seemed like flashbacks. I sat in the closet with my arms around my legs terrified.

I wasn’t allowed to feel angry about what happened to me growing up. Matt couldn’t help it. I was lucky because I was normal. I couldn’t retaliate. This is how I became numb to all feelings. This is when it began.

I told myself with every punch and bruise that it was making me stronger, like I was lifting weights. That’s how I convinced myself as a child that it was good for me. It was my mantra that helped me survive.

I didn’t want violence in my life anymore. This was no oasis in the desert. I had to leave Mac.

Mac read my journals. He tore out pages from them and threatened to send them to my family if I left him. Most of my relatives were very traditional minded, all law and no love. Anything less than perfection was not tolerated. There was no doubt in my mind that I would be disowned by my family. I had already lied to them about ‘shacking up’ with Mac. I was screwed.

He also used my journals to blackmail me in other ways. I bought new tires for his car after he wasted his paycheck at the casino. I had to leave.

One winter day while Mac was at work, I packed my things and left. But Mac didn’t leave me. I would wake up in the morning to flowers left under the windshield wiper of my car with notes begging to take him back. He would come to my house while I slept.

A few months later, I moved in with a friend a block away from Mac. He started hanging out with my roommate. She fell for his charm. He got back into my life again and we became friends. One night he invited me to a party with our old neighbors. I remembered the fun times we had.

When Mac walked away for a few minutes, an old neighbor came up to me and said…I know what he did to you…Leave and don’t come back..

I left.

Several months later, I received a package in the mail. Mac returned all of my scandalous journal pages.

It was finally over.

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