Little Things

Watching the movie Little Things. How is Denzel Washington elderly? Where has time gone? He’s right though; it’s the little things that will get you caught. It’s also the little things that will get you through the day. I was in an abusive relationship when I was 20. Before I knew better. I’d known him in grade school and he had been a short, sweet boy, almost too pretty for his own good; mercilessly teased. When we met again during college he’d obviously lived at the gym and curated a tough exterior but I still saw the shy 10 year old with foot long lashes and rosy cheeks. Blue eyes for days. Add in a terrible home life and I was hooked. Girls are trained from birth to fall in love with potential.

Thankfully it took less than a year to see his true colors. I could write off the screaming, pushing, slapping, emotional warfare because he never really hit me. But when I saw him throw my 5’0 90lb friend, who had jumped in front of me for protection, against the wall, I left the next day. Thank god I had my own money and car; many women don’t. That was 21 years ago and I never saw or spoke to him again. Periodically I would search social media, to make sure he was nowhere near my area. 3 years ago he popped up; he was about to get married. To warn or not to warn his innocent, 15 years younger, fresh faced fiance? You’re god damn right I did. I wish someone would have warned me.

I’ve been thinking about contacting you for several months. I know if someone had come to me with a message like this when I first began dating ——– ——–, it might have made a difference. As women, we have to look out for each other. Maybe he’s changed and you can just delete this and live happily ever after. I dated him for 9 months; he was charming and cute and sweet. He’d had a pretty rough upbringing and lots of life challenges. He had talent and vision and a ton of potential. He also had an explosive anger problem; that I didn’t see for the first several months. It didn’t come out until we moved states away from my friends and family. He was extremely possessive; everything I did or said was “wrong”. It began as just screaming/yelling; we had the police called several times because the neighbors were worried. Then it got physical. There was pushing, kicking, slapping. I tried to fight back but I was no match. He was terrifying; getting one inch away from my face and screaming, slapping me or pushing me into walls. It gradually became normal; I did not see the situation clearly until he hurt a friend. When I saw what he did to her, I finally left. I’m writing to you in case you see this side of him and have no one to tell and no one to turn to.

It didn’t stop the wedding. Hard, ugly truth is no match to an abuser’s charm. But I got word yesterday that she is finally free. After suffering the same way I did. It makes my heart happy to know that. When I worked at the animal shelter, we had a do not adopt list. If anyone had ever abused or neglected an animal, their info was in our database. Tell me, why do we not have a database of abusive men so that women can be better protected?

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