Realizations and Bad Habbits

I made it back from the West Coast to Texas and thought I’d be free of Paul. I was pretty depressed of having to return home and being without a job. Recovering from an abusive relationship but not acknowledging that you were abused is a tough thing to push through. I allowed myself time to read, draw and do the things I wasn’t able to do while under Paul’s controlling leer. My Relationship with my family was rocky but they all expressed how happy they were that I was back.

First thing I did was continue my friendship with Spencer. He would be in town for a while longer until he went off to complete a film he was working on. He introduced me to Thomas. Thomas invited Spencer and myself over and Spencer got desperately drunk and started to sing and cry and talk about how much he hated his beautiful girlfriend. How she was manipulative and angry and evil and empty. I drove him home that night but he didn’t leave without kissing me. It was a drunk kiss that didn’t last long but it was a cry for help. I pulled away from Spencer and told him that as a friend i loved him very much and if he really felt this way about Brenda then he needed to break up with her.

Spencer had left his phone in my car so the next morning i had a million missed calls from Thomas. I called Thomas who relayed the information so I drove up to the burger joint not far from my house and returned Spencers phone to him. He hugged me and apologized for his drunken behavior to which I shook my head and told him it wasn’t a problem. A few Hours later Thomas called me and asked to take me on a date. I didn’t want to turn him down but I felt it was a bad idea. I politely declined saying I had plans that weekend. He fired back with when would be a good time. I said “to heck with it.” and told him Friday would work for me. I drove to his house and we took his car and drove for over an hour to a small town that had a very nice independent movie theater and a very nice town square. We watched that movie with Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams, Midnight in Paris.

Afterwards we went and got gelato and walked around the square that had a huge fountain. We talked about his acting career and Spencers self destructive relationship. He talked about his family and asked about my relationship with the opposite sex and the type of friendships I had. He was charming, dark skin, dark hair, green eyes and dressed well. He was attractive and charming. By the time we were on our drive back home we had gotten into deeper topics and I confided in him the truth of my past relationships and how I didn’t make good choices when it came to men. They were either manipulative and crazy or I just got what i wanted from then and then they left or I left. He explained that he was seriously detatched from relationships and that’s why they never worked. (That was his way of telling me he didn’t want a relationship. He just wanted some ass.)

We went skinny dipping in his pool at his house. We made out and fooled around in his pool. He took me upstairs to his room and we had sex. It was not extraordinary. It was not mind blowing. It did however feel amazing to have mutual, consensual sex. We fell asleep in his floor wrapped in his sheets. The next morning I twisted my hair into a messy bun, put my clothes on, used some of the mouthwash in his bathroom, gave him a hug and he kissed me pretty passionately before I left. That week he went back to school in New York. I never heard from him again. I delted his number and decided to forget about him.

Truth is that was a HUGE wake up call for me. The next two weeks i spent trying to find a job I was actually loosing my mind because i realized the sex that i had had with Paul was not consensual and it was not right. I always thought as a “girl friend” I HAD to have sex with my boyfriend. It made me realize about Patrick and how I shouldn’t have laid silently on the couch and let him fuck me. I should’ve screamed for help and let my dad beat the shit out of him.I found a Job working at a craft store and one day while working the cash register a man walked up and laid a chocolate candy bar and an art pad on my register. When I looked up it was none other than Paul standing there and smiling at me.

Solving a Problem by Creating a New One

Rehashing through my sexual history can seem amusing or entertaining to most (sometimes to me too,) but quite honestly it takes quite a mental toll on me. 

I’ve been busy fucking up my relationship and trying to keep it together. Quite the hypocrite aren’t I? ( not really fucking it up, I’ve just been PMSing and shit has been rough my depression blah blah blah trouble in paradise.) 

ANYWHO my brain had to take a break from Paul. I don’t think about or talk about him… So yeah I needed to set that aside for a little while. Writing helps me sort through things. Sift out the tiny details that I missed or make sense of a situation I was too close to to understand. When I wrote about my past and my experiences it’s not always pleasant. It needs to be done though, it does help me ventilate issues I won’t talk about. 

One of the major issues in my life besides my taste in men and my skanky decisions, is my eating disorder. I suffered under its reign from 2005/2006 (that would have been my eighth grade year) till current (2015). I must admit, my eating has gotten better in the past two years but I still struggle and have bad months every once in a while. 

I never had a good body image or good self confidence. I was always the strawberry blonde, freckled, fat kid. I didn’t really become “attractive” per say until I reached my senior year of high school. (That’s my own opinion. I’ve been told otherwise.) My parents were going through a tough time after my eighth grade year. My grandfather had passed away whom I was very close with and my sister was off at college getting DUI’s and failing classes and spending lots of money. Plus my parents had their own issues. 

My dad would drive me to school in the morning and bitch about my sister and my mom. My anxiety and the pressure from listening to a 40 year old guys problems crippled me and a lot of times I’d throw up once inside the school. I always thought it was nerves or my anxiety or whatever but once I realized how much better I felt after throwing up I started to make myself throw up whenever I felt an anxiety attack coming. (I later learned it was a coping mechanism and sometimes a trigger for anxiety attacks.) 

Then after school my mom would pick me up and is listen to her. I was always back and forth between the two. A owl, a messenger a tennis ball being belted from one player to the next and crashing against the ground only to be whacked again. 

When a girl and her friends in the hall at school made vomiting noises at me after I came out of the bathroom I knew my habbit had gotten worse. 

You’re still fat,” I remember her saying the further I got away from her the better. But her words clung to the back of my brain like a leech and I’ll always remember that. I started making myself throw up more. Even when I wasn’t having anxiety. I was hiding it at home. I’d turn on the water in the bathroom and throw up. When that became a problem I learned how to throw up almost silently. 

By the end of my freshman year every time I threw up it felt worse and worse until one day I threw up blood. It terrified me so bad I stopped puking for a week. The next time I forced myself to puke my throat felt raw and tired. “I can’t keep doing this, what if I die,” I remember talking to myself. That was the first time I thought dying might not be so awful. 

A friend Tara, cut herself a lot and when she was trying to stop or ran out of room to cut herself in places that could be hidden she used a tight hair tie to snap her wrist when she felt the urge. Conditioning yourself to stop. It worked a little for me but I found the best way was not to eat. If I didn’t eat I’d have nothing to throw up. 

I had “solved” one problem and created another. How did I deal with my anxiety? I started cutting. It was easy to do. It made everything in my head go dark and quiet, like laying your head on cool tile in a dark bathroom when you have a migraine. 

By my sophomore year I had lost a significant amount of weight and had been rollerblading everyday at my brothers football practices. I got a lot of response from my family and friends and people at school. “You’re so thin,” “wow you got skinny so fast,” “you look the best you ever have,” “I was worried you’d turn out like your sister.” 

It only made me feel better. Reinforced my need to grow thinner. Vain. I know. Then it became so much more. Every time my parents would fight or use me for a councilor I wanted to disappear. I wanted to hide. I didn’t want anyone to talk to me about their problems because I could barely manage my own. 

My sister had gone to school out in west Texas and got a warrant out for her arrest for writing a hot check. I remember my dad blowing up. He was never happy. He made my younger brother cry. I didn’t want to talk to my dad, I didn’t want to exist when he was around. I was painfully aware of my parents financial situation. I knew how much they paid for everything. In stride, I never asked for anything. 

So when Kathleen told the people she told at our church who then told my parents they were ready to send me off to a inpatient treatment center. I felt so selfish and awful I didn’t deserve to recover or get help. It was too expensive. I objected till the final day that I walked into the facility and my parents turned me over. It felt as if I were punishing them financially for something I was doing to myself. 

I really hated myself for it and sometimes when I think about it, I still feel guilty for letting them try to help me. 

** image used with this post is not my own. It was downloaded from the interwebs. 

Nightmare in Disguise

So I meet this guy at my work. I’m like 18. He’s not super attractive but he’s good looking. He looks maybe 30? I remember the first words he ever said to me “So is there like anything fun to do around here? Or like a club or something?” And it started from there. 

We started talking and he asked my opinion about some computer software and movies and we talked for an hour. Before he left he made sure to give me his number. He came back into the store a few days later and asked me more questions about my interests and then asked me why I hadn’t texted him or called him. I told him it was because I was busy so he had me text him so he could have my number. 

At first he wanted me to take him out to eat. Which is fucking weird. What fucking guy tells a girl to take them out??? Then it came to let’s just hang out once, after we met up and had coffee and stuff he found out I was 18 going to be nineteen soon. He freaked out. He told me there was no way I was that young (I guess is act a lot older than what I am.) and demanded to see my drivers license. 

After it was confirmed he told me how old he was and then it was my turn to ask for his ID. This man, this guy that I had become enammored by was almost 20 years older than me. BIG MISTAKE NUMBER ONE.

“But Phoebe, age is just a number.” I can’t remember how many times I told myself that? ITS NOT JUST A FUCKING NUMBER. I should’ve run far away but what did I do? I got closer with him. I enjoyed his company and how important he made me feel. He wasn’t creepy and he wasn’t ever mean or disrespectful. He took me on dates and bought me presents and let me paint while in his company and watch movies. Paul was a nightmare in disguise. 

At this point in my life I was very involved with my art. My friend Felicia encouraged the relationship and we planned a art show together at a small venue. I told my parents about my art show. I also told them about this guy. Paul. They hated him. Instantly. My relationship with them, my parents, was rocky. My eating disorder was out of control and I didn’t want to be in college for a business degree and I was severely depressed and Paul made me feel special. Important. Good. Amazing. 

So naturally I rebelled and told them I was with him weather they liked it or not. To further imply their disapproval they did not come to my art show. I was devestated. (My parents have never been supportive of my art in a way to provide for myself. They supported it as a hobby and enrolled me in art courses and classes when I asked but anything further they disapproved of.) 

It really broke my heart at the time that they weren’t giving Paul a chance and that they had disrespected my passion and what I wanted to do with my life. So I left. Over the course of a week I moved only the important things out of my room and Paul shipped it to the west coast where he lived. 

My parents agreed to have dinner with him in a public place. They hated him. Told me I was stupid. We had dinner again at my parents house with my grandmother and aunt present and my dad begged me not to go. Screamed at me on the front porch. Told me I was stupid yet again. So I left with Paul. We got on a plane the next night and we left. 

At first… Paul was the same. We went to ikea and got furniture for upstairs and got me some new clothes since I didn’t bring a lot with me. I put in a transfer request to work for the same company. Things were going smoothly. Then everything changed after two weeks. 

He wouldn’t let me drive. I was never allowed to be alone. My phone and computer could not have any passwords. He had access to my bank account and social media. I had no friends there. It was hard to have friends. He would go out drinking every night. Would come home and grab me, force himself on me even if I was asleep. 

He usually would start off saying “you don’t love me as much as I love you. You don’t care about me.” And then it would turn into “you’re fucking selfish, you don’t do anything for me. I hate you.” And then he would cry and apologize to me and beg forgiveness and then would be angry again and call me a slut and a whore and would have sex with me. 

It became impossible to sleep. I was terrified for when he would come home. Sometimes he would want to slap me or hit me and other nights it was just verbal. Sometimes he wouldn’t go out he would stay inside and smoke weed. We’d play video games and I would try to draw or paint and he would become jealous. 

You care way more about your art than you care about me. You don’t even want to spend time with me.”

We shared a room. We shared a bed. We showered together. We cooked together. We are together. We did EVERYTHING. Together. I didn’t have any breathing room or space. It was very scary. He tried to cut off my communication to my family and that’s when I asked to fly back home for Farrah’s graduation. 

He accepted and I went home. I spent a lot of time with Farrah. I had missed her. I told her of Paul’s verbally abusive behavior and how we were fighting a lot. While I was there spending time with her Paul and I got into a fight and it became terrible. I had made up my mind not to go back to him. 

I went home the next day to my parents house and things were awkward but I was trying to get a feel of the whole situation. That night my dad and I got into an argument and I was reduced to a puddle. He had never made me cry like that. Never called me names or made me feel how he had that night. 

In my mind, I would rather a kind of stranger, be cruel to me than my own father. So I got a plane ticket and a taxi and I left at 4am without saying goodbye. My dad called me that morning and sounded like he was crying. He told me I am always allowed back home and that he was sorry. 

I wouldn’t talk to my dad for another month. 

But within that month I would undergo some of the worse abuse I’ve ever experienced.