Beyond the Pane VIII (5 Months of Marriage)

I found calm in being a mother. When Chris was gone to work I really enjoyed my son, singing and playing, watching him smile and grow. I never raised even an eye to Chris while he was home. I never questioned, I just did.

We got married and all seemed fine from outside closed doors. He hit me less and less but the things he said always made me wonder. Why was he with me if I was such bad a wife, lover and housekeeper? Why did he marry me? More often than not I found it easier to just agree with him. I was not alive in his presence I was nothing better than his slave, his property that he sometimes took pleasure in and sometimes took pleasure in torturing. I didn’t even fear him like before, like a dog being beaten all I did was cower, and stay still, lowering my head, whimpering at the lashes. Funny thing about fear is we tend to be afraid because we do not want to lose something, people fear losing their spouse, some fear fire or old age. Some people’s greatest fear is poverty. What did I have to loose really?

I doubt if I could lose people’s respect for me, lose my family and friends he had already separated me from, my sanity, oh I know I should lose my vast wealth I had accumulated all these years. NO! I had nothing and according to Chris and most the people I have ever known. I was going to have nothing. There is point in a person’s life where reality just kind of hits you, where you ask yourself some real heart wrenching questions that will either make you stronger or destroy you completely.

Who am I?

Now for some, this is an easy question, they mark their value as an individual according to their success or what they have accumulated, who loves them and how many people they love. But I had none of those things. I was once told as a teen when I was trying to lose weight that there was no diet, no medicine or program a person can be put on to make them lose weight unless they first are willing to change. If a person is not wanting to better themselves then there is no amount of others will that will make it so.

Deep inside me flickered a light, it was sparked in me when I looked into my sons eyes and I realized I have given life to him and yet I have put him into a life that will only teach him how to control, beat and abuse. I know I had control of the abuse now, only because I have forced myself to be what he wanted. I chose to give up being me so someone could love me and that is not a life worth living. I loved my son and it was that love that kept me going and helped me to plan my escape.

At first I just thought about it, I wondered what I would do, where I would go, my plans where always on my mind. Like a cat I would watch the door waiting for my master to open it. I was nothing if not patient. Months later and many chances to prepare my reserves It happened. Chris came home from work, I was waiting for him like a happy little house wife. “Hi Hun, how was your day?” No sooner had the words left my mouth, was my mouth split open and I was on the floor being held down by my throat he hit me so hard that my nose was broken. I tried to fight back this time as I heard my son crying, watching while his father kept slapping me. He was too young to understand what was really going on, but the fact that he was there put fuel to my fire.

I kicked, I scratched, I grabbed a shoe and hit him in the head with it, I tried everything I had in me to make sure that he was the one with marks this time. My screaming and fighting back made him try harder to silence me as he held my mouth shut, digging his finger nails into my upper lip. With his elbow in my throat, his full weight on me and I couldn’t breathe through my nose, I pasted out.

I woke up on the bed necked, bleeding and sore in places my imagination dare not guess the things he did. I was face down while he was rapping me, fucking my ass, pulling my hair and calling me a bitch. He said I was not enough of a woman to be made love to in a proper way and I deserved no better than a whore….

Deep breathe, I have to stop an explain something to you that maybe you have not figured out yet. I am a very patient, and rational person, more so than anyone in this world I believe. I lived my life in the past driven by emotion and love. I also am a quick study, a cold and matriculated planer so when he was fucking me and I was feeling only pain and disgust. I was calling out “Yes, harder, harder, call me a bitch!” he stopped and pushed me away (Surprised) wide eyed and disbelieving as I sat up, whipped the blood from my lip LAUGHING and said “You should have finish killing me”

When he left for work, he took my pants, my shoes and the baby’s stroller. It was winter and he knew I wouldn’t dare leave the house half necked. I stood at the window, looking Beyond the pane of glass and into my own pain. I clenched the curtains as I watched him drive away. I cried at that window almost as long as he had just beaten me. I pulled down the curtains, wrapped them around me Like an Indian woman, grabbed my son and walked to the police station barefoot. I walked along the railroad tracks away from the road in case he decided to double back to check on me. I walked on ice, through barbs and broken glass, but I was never cut and my feet never felt cold. My son slept in my arms the whole time, God walked with me.

Ok. Don’t get too excited there is still more.
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Beyond the Pane VII (Melvin revisited and Chris Kills me)

Coming back home was difficult. I had some real mental problems, I do not remember actually living, it was the closest to the definition of a zombie that could be. I walked, I talked but I was soulless. I was just a memory of what I used to be. My days were full of unforgettable memories; in the dark I relived a horror movie of abuse and torture. It was called post-traumatic stress syndrome, I jumped at loud sounds, and people startled me at every turn. I looked at knives and thought only of grabbing them and finishing the job. I truly belonged in the mental ward, but my parents assured the hospital that I was not a danger to myself and that once I got out of the abusive environment I would be fine. I was fine, I was away from him. He couldn’t hurt me again, but who would stop me from hurting myself?

Then why couldn’t I forget his words? Even now I hear them “I love you and I refuse to live without you, I refuse to let you live without me”. I used to sit outside in the country, after everyone went to sleep, I would look up at the stars, and wonder if there was anyone out there for me. I was too scared to relive the nightmares that came to me when my eyes closed, with every car that drove down the dark gravel road I wondered if it were Chris, coming to get me. My thoughts wondered to whether he would steel me away, or would he just kill me. More than the fear of him that affected my life, I was afraid of myself. I still loved him! I didn’t trust myself and my own decisions, I refused all calls, I never left the house, I never talked, too embarrassed that my words would tell people I really just desired to go back with him.

I had been home for about a month when I started to actually think again in a normal rational way. I was having dinner when the phone rang. It was Melvin.

Melvin hadn’t known I was back home, the last he heard I was living with a man and that I had gotten an abortion, He was calling looking for my sister to find out If I had indeed aborted, he had spent so much time hating me for killing his child. He was surprised to hear my voice. We talked for hours, and when we had finished the conversation he knew what had really happened and I had forgiven him his indiscretion. I mean how can I blame him, we never talked of marriage; we hadn’t really put a label on what we had. I was miles away, he was a single man, and we were young and just finding out how we felt. I set up to see him and we met in town at a hotel.

It was a lovely moment we shared, we talked about feelings and how distraught we were when we last saw each other. I was enjoying being with my friend again, even without sex I loved him, the sex was nothing, I long sense separated myself from that act. I was trained by Men to just be an actress when they lay on me. I would close my eyes and think of better days, of being alone in the woods near my childhood home. I walked those woods; following the creek letting my feet dip in the cool clear waters, as the fish tickled my toes. It was my “happy place” yeah I know a bit cliquey but none the less. Any sexual experience caused memories I choose to forget and better I just not be there when those moments happened.

Melvin didn’t want to hurt me, he wasn’t a bad person, I knew he had a lot to think about, I mean here he was again thinking of being with a woman that was pregnant with a child that was not his. I knew in many ways he was just like me. He loved too easily, too intensely, without a need to hold anything back. There was nothing to protect against the pain. And we were destined to be hurt. That night I went back home finding myself dreaming of trusting again. I wanted to live, I wanted to love. I was so excited when Melvin called I thought he just couldn’t wait to talk with me again. It was his friend calling “ Deborah, when a woman calls you, asking if Melvin came and saw you tonight, you have to tell her it was ME that met you in the hotel and that Melvin just dropped me off” Looks like Melvin was living with a woman and she was pregnant with his child. I was the other woman this time.

I never got the chance to tell her the truth, She never called me but when I did get a call from Chris I took it. It was his court ordered psychiatrist, wanting me to come in a talk with him so he could better treat Chris. But regardless of why I decided to put myself in access of Chris, I do not think it was because I was mad at Melvin, he was what he was. I just was ready to give up, what was there left for me, more pain? I had a world of men that wanted nothing from me but sex, or wanted nothing from me at all. At least he wanted me, He wanted me to the point of insanity, and deep down inside I knew I deserved no better. I was nothing.

A few days later Chris called me, we were supposed to meet at the doctors after the 4th of July weekend, he was excited that I would talk with him, and he had months’ worth of things he wanted to tell me, how he stopped using drugs, stopped drinking and knew that he was wrong to have treated me the way he did. He said. “Please let me prove to you that I do love you and I never want to hurt you again”

I met Chris at a place we both knew and when we saw each other I didn’t see the man that told me I was nothing, I saw the man that used to hold my hand and tell me I was everything. I wanted a chance to start over and forget all the crazy. Maybe we could be a family. We spent a wonderful 4th of July. I don’t know how he could so easily be this person that was caring, considerate and in touch with his feelings but that day he was everything I ever wished he could be. Several times I noticed him sitting just staring at me smiling.

Back at the apartment things had changed, it was clean and organized. He wanted to wait on me hand and foot. We made the most beautiful love together, so sweet so marvelous I could have cried. We finished and lay spent holding each other when he said he was thirsty I told him I would get it! But he said “no, no you wait right there I have something I wanted to show you anyway”

When he came back and was standing in the door way he had his hand behind his back. I thought maybe he would ask me to marry him; I was worried about what I would say. I was still worried about saying anything at all to upset him, what if he were so crazy that he could return to being Mr Hyde. Then I realized as he held a gun in his hand that I was just with Hyde. “Now I am not going to ask you twice, and I want you to think long and hard on the answer you want to give me. I already know the truth and just need you to fill in the details. Who was the man you had sex with at the hotel last weekend?”

My eyes never left the gun. I heard the words and knew what he wanted but I never looked away. In my mind I felt two things: One was that he just had the best love making with me than we ever had in all our time together and it was all an act. He knew when he lay with me what he was going to do, how cold, how manipulating and insane he must truly be; and two, what answer could I give him to keep him from killing me.

I thought of denying, maybe it was a bluff, maybe someone he knows said they thought they had seen me, but maybe he had me followed, Oh shit I am dead, I am cold hard put a tag on my toe and call my mother to identify me DEAD! I thought, I thought, I screamed to my brain to think of something to say!

The calm flowed over me. I was at a state of acceptance. There was no need to lie and cry or try to talk sense into craziness. “It was Melvin, we met to talk about getting back together and he was not interested in me because I was pregnant with your child, he has a woman he is having a baby with” I left out the 4 hour sex-a-thon we had before actually discussing our desires outside the hotel room.

He walked over to me and with his free hand he placed it beside my face and said softly as he rubbed my check “I told you Jean, I will never let anyone have you but me, even our child will not let you leave me” I looked up at him and I told him with every ounce of actress in me, as the tears streamed down my face “I Love You, Chris” and he lifted the gun and slammed it beside my head, over and over again, he kicked me as I screamed for help and tried to crawl to the door.

He grabbed my feet and pulled me back, I tried kicking loose; I thrashed and threw my weight around and tried to roll over so to better fight him as he dragged me down the hall. He moved on top of me and started beating my head again, this time hitting mostly my face. I do not remember how long he beat me. I blacked out after several really good blows. I think that might have been what saved me though. Maybe he thought he killed me, but I woke up with him frantic, yelling my name and throwing water on my face. I couldn’t see, my eyes were swollen shut, and I coughed up blood as I woke. He did kill me in a way, I had lost all love for the man that day. He helped me to the bathroom, apologizing that he didn’t know what came over him. All the words I have heard before but this time meant nothing to me.

I took a glance into the mirror as he washed the blood from my face, I stopped him and took the rag, dobbing at my eye that hurt the worst, and spitting blood into the sink, he kept saying stupid things like “It isn’t that bad, it will clean up, you will see, it will be better tomorrow” I was disgusted at what I saw in the mirror. I slept for 2 days and when I did finally sit up, all I did for 2 weeks was stare at the walls, I refused to listen, or talk day after day all I did was stare with a blank mindless gaze. Chris started to worry and wanted me to be back to being me again….. But there was no me.

We came and got my things from my parents’ house while they were gone and left a message for them that were going to try to make it work. I was glad they were not home because I hadn’t been sure that the makeup had actually covered all the bruises and in truth if they had asked me if I was going with Chris willingly I would have to have said no. I had no will.

I spent the whole pregnancy in a state of helplessness, he worked 2 jobs and I was never asked to do the house work like before, he was a little concerned I think of my mental state and he even feared what I would do even without his abuse. I was starved for food and he didn’t have any money, he would bring me home a lunch at 3 before he left for his other job, so I lived off of one meal a day while being pregnant. So when I did have Christopher (our son) I looked like a 12 year old, thin and frail. The baby was healthy and long, no real birth defects and he was strong. If I accomplished nothing in my life up to that point, I at least gave birth to my son against all odds.
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Beyond the Pane VI (Chris)

I have thought long and hard on how to explain this relationship to you. I know in my heart why I made the decisions I did. I know that every step I have taken has been just another step to being me. I always believed that everything happens for a reason and if in some way God has a plan for this experience being for the good of all I hope at least my words can help others. I will admit now as I type that this is by far the most painful and the most regretted.

I was so impressed with Chris’ loyalty to me. He never wanted to leave my side, we spent a lot of time together and when I was feeling better our relationship just happened. I cannot clearly remember everything that happened in our time together. I never saw things getting out of hand, but they did. He moved in with Mary and I, helped pay the bills, but when I wasn’t home when he wanted me he complained that I really didn’t make enough money to keep my job. I was told to quit and he reasoning was a bit irrational seeming the circumstances. We had known each other just a few weeks, and already he was living with me, sleeping with me and now deciding things for me.

I quit my job and when he found a less demanding job that paid more I took it, only for him to ask me to quit that one a month later. I relied so much on him and when Mary lost her job Chris decided that if he was going to pay all the rent than it was going to be in a much nicer part of town. He worked as a head Chef at two different restaurants and made really good money. We moved without Mary and I was so torn, the man that said he loved me and wanted the best for me or my sister, I felt like I was choosing between them.

Chris and I had many conversations of how I was supposed to behave, how I was supposed to look. He picked out my cloths by merely telling what I looked much better in. He had a reputation to uphold but he had two different lives I found out in our life alone that he was more than a chef; two separate reputations and one I had no place in.

Chris was a drug runner, he was from Michigan and he transported drugs from one state to the other. He worked a little less now and his friends that visited the house were here to either pick up or drop off. I was told to never talk with them. I was to be a respectful and obedient woman. I always just waited, kept quiet and when things calmed down Chris would return to the chef when they left. The more time past the more controlling he got. When I questioned his rules?

He started asserting his authority; he would beat me for anything he didn’t approve of. Sometimes he would beat me just because, either stress at work or problems with the dealers. The harder I tried to make him happy the worse it got, the more tragic the feelings, and disappointment in myself. He would leave in the morning and there would be a list of things he expected for me to do. If I hadn’t finished the list I would get beaten.

If he suspected I left the house I would be beaten. If I said anything to anyone about him and the things he did, I would be beaten. I dare not tell my family, I dare not leave him. If I left he had told me many times. “If I cannot have you than no one will have you”. He made it quite clear that he knew people that owed him favors and I would not live long without him. I do not know why he wanted me so badly. I had no idea why, when I was so unruly, ugly, fat and lazy? I was told I was nothing, I was stupid and good for nothing. These are the things I saw when I look in the mirror; this is the person he created. I was no longer Deborah, he even called me by my middle name. He was determined to make sure I knew there was nothing about me that was to his satisfaction, not even my name.

One day the Dealers came, they usually stayed for a bit but never long enough to say it was a party. This time they came with Drink and Porn. I felt uncomfortable and I tried to leave to the bedroom, but Chris had one of his “talks” with me, he told me that I was his woman and that I had a duty to do as he asks of me without a question. If I didn’t think I could, to tell him now and that he would make sure that I found my way home, “But not before …” he held tight to my neck and squeezed harder as he whispered in my ear, “I’ll leave a mark on you so you will never forget me”

My place during the party was at his feet as he pet my head like a dog. After the beer and drugs were gone, half the guys lay about watching the movie, others passed out. One lay on the floor not to far from me, moaning that the room wouldn’t stop spinning. “Jean, go lay down with him” I tried to question Chris’ logic, but as he raised his hand, I jumped to the Drunk and reluctantly lay next to him.

They all laughed and decided they would rather watch the real thing as they turned from the porn and cheered, licking their lips wanting to be next. He rolled over and put his arm around me, he started touching me, rubbing me, pulling my shirt up. I looked up in fear at Chris. He just smiled and pointed back down motioning for me to do something. I lay there with my eyes closed, listening to the crowd yell things like “Come on, get her clothes off, hurry up, we want our turn”

I threw him off me and made a run for the bedroom, locking the door behind me, I searched the room for a weapon, something heavy, something I could use to protect myself and keep them from me, maybe I could make it to the door. On a dirty dish on the dresser sat a paring knife and I grabbed it and held it tight. I stood at the door waiting for him to knock it down. He yelled and threatened for a while, I never heard a word they said, my thoughts were louder than their noise.

I realized that it didn’t matter if I got away or not. He was going to get me, if not that night or tomorrow. He would eventually find a way to get me. A simple thought of whether or not I could hill him was all it took for me to decide that there was nowhere to turn as I plunged the knife into my own stomach. I didn’t feel any pain; I didn’t shed a single tear. I just lay back on the bed and watched as my once white shirt turned red.

Death didn’t come for me that night, even though I welcomed it with open arms. No, I woke up with Chris beside me in a pool my blood. He must have figured out how to pop the lock but was too wasted to notice all the blood. I called my mother and told her I needed her to come get me, there was an accident. But she called the police instead and they were the ones at the door when I heard the knock. I tried to tell them that I did it, but when Chris walked out of the bedroom covered in my blood. Well, let’s just say that there wasn’t anything I could have said to save him.

He went to jail and I went to the hospital. I found out I was pregnant.

Beyond the Pane V (Melvin)

I continued to see Keith for several months but slowly just lost interest, I believe it was the fact that there was nothing more he had to teach. I mean I was comfortable with sex; I was comfortable with myself enough to not really need an emotionless relationship to keep me going. I no longer needed him to approve of me. I had proved that I was a woman and not a child. So I just stopped coming by, and he never once called me or asked about me. It just ended.

Mary has started seeing a guy in Kentucky and she was asked by the guy’s cousin if there were any more like her at home.

Of course I really wasn’t much like her at all. But I guess she felt I was a good match for her boyfriend’s cousin, so here I went again being set up on another date. I just went along for the ride really. Melvin was funny; I was not really much into kissing ass and being proper. Why did I care if he was looking for a sweet little happy tart willing to do anything to look good and make that perfect first impression? I decided to speak my mind and he loved it! It was fun spending time with him.

I replaced Keith in every way with Melvin. I would drive an hour and a half every week end, we would call every night even if it was just to say “I miss you, stupid” We were like best friends and when we were together we laughed and had fun and sex was emotional and romantic, it was completely different then what I had with Keith. I even let myself love him. He wrote on the back of a picture he gave me “Lovers by choice but friends forever by fate”

There is one life lesson I learned when dating Melvin. “No matter how much you think you love a person, make sure it is really a love for him and not your love for what you think he is”

I decided to come and surprise Melvin on a weekday and as I drove up to his door I saw him standing in the drive way holding another woman, saying goodbye. I just sat in the car staring. I was unprepared, I was shocked and hurt. I truly didn’t see that coming at all. He came up to my car and asked what I was doing here, and when I went into a screaming crying fit of “who, what, when how long?” he just walked away. They went back into the house together, I do not remember how long I sat in the drive way, I can’t even tell you why I was still there. It was dark when she came up to me and asked if I wanted to talk.

WHAT?! Why would I want to talk to her? I mean I want to know things, I wanted answers but I didn’t want to be friends with her. She told me that she was pregnant and that although the baby was not Melvin’s, he promised to raise the child like it was his own. I do not know where the next words came from or why I would choose to say something like that, perhaps I wanted to hurt him as badly as he hurt me. Maybe I wanted a reason to stay in his mind. “Well, that is good, because he will not be raising his own” as I grasped at my stomach and drove away. I backed out so fast I nearly hit Melvin who was walking towards the car. I heard him yell as he jumped out of the way. I just kept thinking I wish I could have hit him. I wished I was pregnant, I hope he has a terrible life with her.

I do not even remember how I got home. I was not paying attention to anything. I stopped at a gas station just before leaving Kentucky. I just sat there crying, I never got out, I really didn’t need anything, I sat there crying uncontrollable when a knock on the window startled me. A man stood there asking if I was alright. I said yes I am fine I am sorry. “There is no reason for you to be sorry, maybe the man that hurt you should be the sorry one” I smiled a bit through the tears, “Maybe” he got comfortable at my window, crouched down placed his elbows on the door. “Listen, you tell me who made you cry and I will see if I can make him cry for ya” I laughed hard and straightened myself up. Funny when I said the Melvin’s name and what happened, he knew exactly who I was talking about. “Listen, you consider yourself lucky you got away from those folks, they are not anything and they won’t be anything, that girl saved you from a bad life.”

I think I felt a little better, I mean the guy was able to make me put things into more perspective. I was driving back and forth for what? He wasn’t going to better himself. His town had little to no job opportunities, and he hadn’t a desire to leave, all of his family and friends were there. He was 20 and loved his grocery job.

I wasn’t over the loss of love, the feeling of having someone and belonging but I was able to think realistically. I wanted more for myself; I wanted to be more than a poor country wife waiting for her husband to come home from work smelling like meat blood. I knew I wanted better.

Mary and I moved in together that week. We found a nice big house in a little troubled area of town. I didn’t worry about my safety; I was working and really didn’t spend a lot of time there anyway. Mary tried to be there for me emotionally but let’s face it, I had to deal with this myself. I thought several times of going and seeing Melvin again, calling him but what would I say. I wanted to ask why? I wanted to know what it was that I had done wrong? In my mind I always imagined the answers and they would have never been enough. I knew the answer I wasn’t what he was looking for and whether I liked the answer or not he was never going to be what I needed.

It had only been 2 weeks since I drove from Kentucky crying, and I had long sense stopped crying. Mary had met a Guy and his friend from out of town when she was shopping in the Mall and you can imagine what happened next. When mentioning that she had a sister and lets double date I was yet again dragged into another blind date. I tried to make excuses why not to go. The night of the date I was so nervous, I had already stated feeling ill. I was trying on cloths, putting make up on and hating my hair. I even cried a while alone in my room, upset that I was being so typically feminine. “GREAT!” I started my period!

Why couldn’t I be careless like before and just be myself, take me or leave me? When I saw Chris He was well dressed, smiling and very, very polite, he was tall and very dark, with large handsome eyes, he opened doors and carried on conversations like he were well educated and came from money. His friend that was there with my sister was nice looking but a little more rough and loud. He laughed a lot and we had a very nice night to look at us.

Something about my date scared me. I don’t know what it was; he never gave a hint to being a bad guy. I mean no one would have seen he had any bad intentions towards me. I wanted to get out and away from him almost the moment I met him, I was panicked and sick to my stomach. I put on a good act and asked to go to the restroom and as I was walking to the bathroom I became faint and light headed, Mary had been following me and stopped me from falling. When I got to the bathroom, we found out why all the feelings of illness. I miscarried Melvin’s baby in the bathroom that night; it was not a typical period I had started. I hadn’t even thought I was pregnant and I must have only been a month or so along. I thought I had been lying to that woman that took Melvin from me; I never thought for a second that I was, we had always taken precautions.

Forget the Whys or Hows. Now what? How do I explain to our dates that instead of the movies our date would be relocated to the hospital? Mary had told the Guys that there was a problem and that we were going to have to leave, but Chris wouldn’t have any of that. He insisted that he come along, hold my hand and console me. I thought it was sweet, but unnecessary I was scared and looking rather ratty; having a potential romantic interest share an embarrassing moment like this just made things worse. He kept reminding me that he was raised by woman and this is just something that sometimes happens.

I cannot say I felt the loss that other women felt when they miscarry, I hadn’t even known I was pregnant but I know I learned another valuable lesson that day “Never lie, fate will make lies come true”
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