One would think that the police getting involved would help. One would think that “the long arm of the law” would shelter someone who had been through what had just happened to me.
Unfortunately, I guess it don’t work that way in ShitFuckTown.
Apparently, if there is no visible physical residue from abuse, there is nothing the police can do. They can’t arrest, question, or otherwise get involved unless there is physical evidence. At least, that’s what they told me. They offered that if I wanted to stay in town for three months, then perhaps I could press charges.
Needless to say, I didn’t want to.
PK and his brother showed up every night after that. PK would stand in the street while his brother climbed up on the fence and shouted at me for two or three hours.
“See what you’re doing to him? He loves you! He just wants to talk to you! You bitch. Look what you’re doing to him!”
Can I explain to you, my beautiful, innocent boy, what it’s like to love someone, hate them at the same time, and hate yourself for loving them? Love is about conflict, but the worst is when you love someone who wants only to hurt and control you. Can I explain to you what it’s like to be afraid to leave your house because you’re terrified of being stuffed back into a strange vehicle like some runaway puppy? I don’t think I can.
The drive home, this time, was populated by long silences and few dreams. I was…blank. I knew that this time, it was over. For good.
Months passed. I moved into a section of my grandparents office, with a box spring and mattress on the floor and a dresser in the corner. That was the sum total of my possessions.
I think the best way to describe my state of mind is to say that I was numb. I didn’t cry, I didn’t feel anything at all – just totally shut down. I’ll skip over the gory details, suffice to say that I was a good deal luckier than I deserved to be, in emerging physically unscathed from the months after I moved back here from ShitFuckTown.
I didn’t get involved in drugs, I didn’t drink or anything, the most I ever did was marijuana and I did quite a bit of that but that was it. The pressure that I was feeling, depression, fear, maybe a kind of shock, I guess, could only lift when I was out of my mind on weed.
This went on for several months, three or four at least. I wasn’t working, I wasn’t doing much of anything productive at all, just mostly in limbo. I dated, a lot. But I never got close to anyone…I was on a sort of emotional, emotionless rampage. It wasn’t personal – I didn’t hate the guys I just didn’t feel anything. And I tried to make myself feel something by meeting new people, having new experiences. Needless to say, it didn’t work.
Finally in October of 1995, I finally started to come out of it sort of and got a job at Safeway in Overlake. I worked there and at the Taco Time up in Crossroads. I had reunited with a group of friends that I had known from before… before Utah, before Job Corps, before my life exploded into something I didn’t even recognize.
I moved in with a girl named CrazyBitch. It worked for a while, we had been friends since freshman year in high school. She was very much a project person she liked to have friends with problems – one, so she could help solve them and thus feel important and needed, and two, because it gave her a sense of superiority to someone to have them have as many (or more) issues than she did.
We lived in a little apartment in Crossroads. My first roommate and my first apartment on my own. I did OK, meeting rent, partying, having fun. I met new people, the start of my climbing up out of the pit that I had been in. I re-met a guy named PassiveAggressiveTheSecond, who I had been in love with since high school (who married one of my friends), and through him met other good people, among them TJ, and Batman. I am still friends with Batman today.
TJ was my best friend. We did everything together – we were always hanging out. There was nothing we couldn’t (and didn’t) talk about. He probably knew more about me and more importantly, understood me better than anyone else ever has, with the possible exception of your dad. He knew about PK, in a very detached way I had been very matter-of-fact when telling him about it, not really getting into the guts of it, just keeping to the highlights.
One weekend we went to go see Jerry Maguire, which turned out to be event #2 that changed my life.
Jerry Maguire, in case you haven’t seen it, is a movie about a single mom who meets a shallow, materialistic guy (a sports agent) that is desperate to change his life. He marries her, thinking that maybe respect and affection are enough to keep things going – and through her, realizes how little his life has meant up until then. He learns to love, through her and her son.
Theres a part in the movie where Renee Zellweger’s character breaks up with Tom Cruise’s character, because he just doesn’t love her enough. I wanted to be that woman someone who valued herself enough to let go of someone she loved, because he wasn’t giving her what she was worthy of. I started crying…and didn’t stop for five hours.
After we left the theater, I just couldn’t stop crying. The tears just kept coming. Finally I had to pull over and let TJ drive because I couldn’t see. He drove me around for hours…I was sobbing. About everything – from my dad, to leaving PK, to life in general. It was just a total purge of everything I had been holding in for so long. I can’t even begin to imagine what it must have been like for TJ – I’m sure he was freaked out a little, it might have seemed that I was just losing my mind.
At any rate, eventually I stopped. After that things were a little easier, but I still felt just plain empty. It’s hard to explain – there was so much inside that I still refused to think about or to face, that I was just turning numb. A counselor I talked to this week called it flat-lining: where you retreat inside yourself so much and so far that you can’t feel anything at all…no joy, sadness, nothing.
This continued for a while, until I applied for a job at the Cinnabon home office. It was my first office job. I had no idea that it would be event #3 to change my life.
Next: chapter fourteen.