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Your Face Is Not An Ashtray

I want to drink my supper tonight. I probably won’t, because I tend to be more responsible than that, but I might have one or two to calm my nerves. You know why? Because when I was walking into the grocery store, I thought I saw him walking out. Instant panic.

My heart drops into my gut, it pounds in my ears. I feel like I go dumb and don’t know what to do; keep walking, or turn around and go the other way? But it’s not him, I realize. This guy looks similar to him, but it’s not him. But it makes no difference. All of a sudden my confident walk changes. My demeanor is different. Once again I can’t look anyone in the eye, and I play avoidance and try not to attract any attention in the store.

I still live in the same town with one of my abusers. I wish I didn’t, but I own a home here, and up until this year, my son went to school here. I have family and friends here. I don’t want to let him run me out, but in a town of less than 50,000 people, I knew that sooner or later, I was going to run into him, and I did, a couple of months ago.

I live near a convenience store, only about a half a block away, and often I will walk down there to grab a bag of ice. One Saturday I had walked down there, went inside and paid for my ice, and went to the cooler outside to grab it. I had noticed the truck sitting right in front of the cooler when I walked past it the first time, but I didn’t notice the person sitting in it. By the time I got up to the cooler to get the ice, I realized who it was. Same thing—heart into the gut; grab the ice, or just walk past and get home as soon as I can?

I grabbed the ice and tried to pretend like everything was cool. I got around the corner of the building and walked home as fast as I could, feeling like my heart was going to pound out of my chest. My worst fear after seeing him, was that he would start harassing me again. Thankfully he didn’t, and knock on wood, it has been almost a year now since he has, but in the past him seeing me would’ve begun a string of phone calls and text messages, and professions of love.

Why am I so scared of him? I’m not sure. There was only one time he got physical with me, though he threatened many times to kill me, and that was when he put a cigarette out on my face. But that burn was nothing compared to the psychological and emotional abuse I suffered from him. Those scars go deeper, and they seem to be the kind that never heal. They haunt me. Everything will seem to be going along just fine, and then out of the blue something will trigger that feeling of panic and the anxiety will set in. I wanted to be free of him for so long, but even though he hasn’t been physically present in my life for three years, he still causes that panic in me.

Do you know I used to wish he would hit me? I looked at it as a way out. Isn’t that crazy? I wanted the proof on my face. How else do you prove to the world what’s going on? Because by the time I was that deep into it, he had me convinced I was so f***** up, that no one would believe me. So yes, I wanted it. I wanted a black eye, I wanted a busted lip. I wanted to be able to look in the mirror and see those things, and know that I wasn’t the sick one.

The guy I am talking about in this post obviously isn’t the one I just kicked to curb, but he is the one that got me started down a road I never wanted to, or thought, I would walk. I struggled writing this post. Right now as I sit here writing it, I want to cry. It’s just that I didn’t want to write it, because by doing it, I have to admit I am a victim of domestic violence, and most days I just can’t deal with the reality of it.

Written by Fat Bottom Girl and re-posted from:

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