Beyond the Pane XV (Beyond belief)

At the airport, I got there too early and sent the boys to the café for lunch, I was too nerves to eat. I just sat there and watched the planes taxi in, I knew his plane wouldn’t be for another hour so none of these planes carried the man I was so looking forward to yet be frightened to meet. I say meet because it is like I never knew him. He was nothing like the man I used to know. If I didn’t know better I would have sworn that the man I knew then died and in his place they put another, a bit older, some same features and similar accent.

Ruffo was no longer the dreamer, he had a rough life and seen a lot of things. His heartbreaks and disappointments had made him, in a lot of ways, cold and distant. The only reason I agreed to this trip was because I started to hear glimpses of hope in his voice, he had started to let himself trust me again. I could hear the smile in his voice.

I watched a very well dressed, business looking man step off the plane and I knew it was him, he stopped to talk with a pilot that exited with him and they exchanged handshakes. I wondered if he knew the pilot or whether he was just that social. I greeted him with a hug, like most the families and friends greeting their loved ones in the terminal, he felt hard and strong and if I had not been so self-conscious I might have let myself enjoy it, but it mostly just felt a bit awkward, the boys took his luggage, I couldn’t look at him, I don’t know what it was, maybe I was ashamed, maybe it was going to take some getting used to. I joked that I was just quiet because of my nerves but it was more than that. I was scared to death.

What if he was one of those “good guys” I had avoided like the plague, than I was looking at changing my life again to make room for him? And if he wasn’t who he said he was, if he wasn’t done drinking or partying, than what? I was opening myself up to a hell of a lot of drama for nothing. It was those thoughts that kept me on edge and even the drive back to the house I was preoccupied with my own thoughts. I know he must have been talking but I just smiled occasionally and nodded.

Back at the house he unpacked, I watched as he organized each piece of clothing perfectly in the drawers, every shirt with a crease “where had I seen this before?” he even straightened the bed covers to a flat wrinkle free surface before sitting next to me. I thought to myself “Odd, I know I have seen this” it took a few minutes of the way he walked, the way he sat and crossed his legs, he brushed his pant and straightened himself before looking at me and talking, like he was waiting for the picture (It was Chris) I tried all these years to forget his silly mannerisms, his pretentious air. Yet here I was face to face with the demon again (perfectionist)

Now let me give you a fast explanation why I cannot be with a perfectionist. I am not a slob, I understand that for health reasons that trash needs to be kept up with, I understand that an unsightly house makes for an unsightly life. I am an artist, and artist’s mind does not do well under restraints, I have to be free. If I want to cover myself head to toe in my work, frantic with creativity and fall asleep sitting at the isle at 4 am. I do not need a Man telling me to clean up my mess, take a shower and come to bed.

I spent my marriage ironing for Chris every day, I ironed his work uniforms, I ironed his Jeans, for God’s sake, I ironed his underwear. Seeing Ruffo’s perfectly ironed to a crease shirts alarmed me, I am not ironing his cloths! I tried to calm my unfounded frustrations; it is not like he was going to expect me to iron his cloths. He never told me “Oh yeah and Debby I am going to change you and mold you into the perfect little Martha Stewart house wife”. I had to remind myself that this was just one summer. He had first agreed to go to a hotel weeks ago, but as I felt more and more comfortable with him as his travel date drew nearer, we had decided to have him stay with us and he said that he would have more money to spend on more enjoyable things.

“Enjoyable things” I guess that definition has many alternative meanings. His thought of what was enjoyable wasn’t the same as mine, or my children. He bought “Wine” to celebrate and I told him no, I knew alcoholics should never drink, not even a wine cooler, not even a sip of wine at church. It didn’t even matter that it wasn’t hard liquor I knew from relatives and friends, but there was no detouring him.

In less than a week he was drinking and hiding the bottles. Ruffo was happy when he had already been drinking or when he was thinking of getting something to drink, but if couldn’t drink than he was not a happy man. He was cold, strict and angry at the world. He once spent 2 hours trying to teach, I mean yell at the twins on the proper way to make a military style bed. He actually flipped the coin on it and all.

He got a job after about a month, I believe he had drank his spending money, but I welcomed him being way from home for a while each day. I could relax and breathe for at least 5 hours before walking on egg shells again. I tried to not let people see my torture; I even hid how I felt from my family and my children. But I think everyone had an idea to my unhappiness. I stopped wearing makeup, I didn’t care what I looked like. My depression was deeply hidden but the symptoms were obvious.

I watched as my happy family turned into a nightmare, and if he wasn’t yelling at me for keeping a messy house than he was keeping me locked in the bedroom. Sex was the only thing that satisfied him when he wanted to drink. I will not turn this into a bashing of sexual skills, it is not my intention to say who was or was not good in bed, this book is not about sex, it is about the pain I endured for love. I believe that everyone has their abilities in some areas and others are much more skilled then some. Ruffo was bound by his obsessive compulsive tendencies.

I lay across the bed, waiting for him. He walked in the room from the shower. “Aren’t you going to take a shower now?” I said I just took a shower earlier, but he insisted that I take another. “Now lay straight in the center” I asked what difference does it make where I lay? Come on…. But he continued to get more and more obsessed to how I should lay, where my hair was, I could have been a doll and I do not think it would have been a difference to him, maybe he would have liked it better because half way into our intimate encounters he told me I was being too loud. I wasn’t allowed to touch his head or face; I wasn’t supposed to move at all really. I was also not to attempt oral sex… ever!

He had some unwritten set of rules that had to be adhered to in the bedroom or he just could not preform. I wanted to look past these quirks because sex actually wasn’t important to me anymore. Oh I loved sex and I had it quite often with (me myself and I) I really didn’t need anyone to please me. Emotions and feelings was the only thing anyone could offer me at this point in my life and let’s face it that was the only real department that he truly was completely lacking.

Ruffo once told me when we were sitting outside one evening “You know Deb I had a good life, I had so much good times, friends and travel that people thought I would never settle down and have a family. And there you were to prove them all wrong. I can’t wait to tell them all I found my family” I thought that was a compliment, I thought maybe in some way he was commenting on us being a good match or that he really loved us. But IT WASN’T, he actually just meant what he said, he wanted to prove them wrong and that he could have a family, lord knows he wasn’t being the loving part of the family, but he fit well with the phrase “Master of the house”.

He said those three words, those words that I dread more than pulling teeth; I could live my entire life and never hear them again.

You guys guess what those words are….. and I will finish the writing.

Beyond the Pane XIV

At the beginning of this book I found the old postcard from Ruffo. The memories of a time long past and a life I had dreamed of having haunted me. I knew in all the relationships I have never really done anything deserving of the abuse and fowl treatment that I was given. I knew that it was of no matter, I wasn’t meant to be with them. Most of the torcher I went through was of my own ignorance, trying to hold on to men I knew were bad for me or didn’t fit. I was determined to make them fit. But Ruffo, He did nothing wrong and I forgot him like he was… nothing.

I never even wondered once were he was or how he had been. I was ashamed of myself for being one of “Those women” That would ignore the good men and run into the arms of bad. To add to the damage I had done, I thought I had just disappeared and that Ruffo had just stopped calling, but Talking to my Mother I found out that Ruffo had called one time and she overheard my frustrated father tell him that “Deborah is married with a son, I think you should stop calling”

I had written Ruffo a letter, simple and sweet really:

Dear Ruffo

I wonder if you remember me or the small city Evansville Indiana that you visited on your travels with the carnival in 1987.

My name is Deborah and we spent many months talking on the phone. I hope that I haven’t brought you any bad memories of the past; I know our parting was sudden and no explanation was given.

I was going through some boxes and seen a postcard from you, and just had to see how you were and apologies for disappearing so many years ago. I hope you are doing well, I assume you are married with 10 children, I know you always did say you loved children. I am enclosing a few pictures of me, my 3 sons and the post card. I just want you to know that I am truly sorry and if it is any consolation to you, I have suffered many times over for what I did to you.

I hope this letter finds you well and happy

Deborah Cavins

Ps notice the name has not changed, I was married for a few months and then quickly divorced

I do not know why I wanted so badly to write Ruffo. I could have chosen to forget him and never look that way again, but something made me wonder, had I left behind the love I was supposed to have? What if all of this drama and heart wrenching pain was never supposed to happen? What if I had just taken the wrong path?

I will be honest, just like most books and stories written I had an idea even with this auto-biography that there should be a happy ending. I wanted this story that was my life to have meaning; I wanted my fairy tale ending. Never once in all my life have I ever cried to god “Why? Why are you doing this to me?” I wanted to think that all the faith I held on to all these years should have some kind of reward.

With those questions in my mind I leaped with excitement at the letter post marked from Ruffo. I ran into the house and just sat there a minute. Hands shaking too hard to actually open the letter and I just stared at it. I cannot describe in words the amount of emotion I was feeling, I actually had no expectations, that letter could have any number of scenarios within it. I tried to ground myself by imagining him being angry with me, with curses and threats. I thought of all the bad things he would say to me and him asking why after all these years did I reopen a wound he had spent so much effort to heal.

I took a deep breath and opened it paying attention to every word.

Well Hello Debby

Wow it has been a long time, and you are just as beautiful as I remember you, maybe even a little prettier. I was surprised when my mother told me I had mail from a Deborah Cavins, I was just talking about you the other day to my friend. I wonder how you were doing. Yes, Deborah, I have always wondered what happened to you and whether you were happy in your marriage. I have had my share of difficulties, health problems and my father died 5 years ago.

My Parents were very support after we stopped taking. I did buy a house for you and when your father said I was too late, I was very devastated, but hey, life goes on. I have had several relationships throughout the years but none I felt needed to be permanent. I never married, I never had children, I would like to be able to tell you more but I am on my way to work now and wanted to send this letter to you as soon as possible. Here is my phone number and a few pictures of me now, hope to hear from you soon.

I still love you

Ruffo

What? He what? Oh my God! I was mixed between regret for hurting him, pity for his remembrance of me and not having a good life, or what if he had some devious underlying plan to get revenge. Who the hell keeps a flame burning for someone after almost 20 years? Opps that’s right, I would. Crap! Now I was all confused, I almost wish he had cursed me and swore his hatred of me. I emptied the envelope of its content and there, just as he had said, were two pictures: One standing proudly at the entrance to a movie theater in Chicago, joking with his friends and the other wearing a suit with his mother at what looks like a church.

I had forgotten how he looked, I never had a picture of him, I have only the memories of that carnival and his respectful, protective manor, he had long black hair and tan skin. We had talked for hours, everyday on the phone, when I was young, we planned a wonderful future, and those dreams were what I remembered. He seems to be much older in these photos, with all grey army cut hair and a broad smile. This man in the photos enjoyed life and had the scares to prove it. I wondered, he dressed nice and looked to have a very active life in the big city, would I even have the ability to keep up with such a social man?

I made the call. I listened to the phone ring, and then ring again. I watched the clock as it rang again there was no answer and just as I was hanging up the phone, I heard a faint voice ladies voice “Hola!” I said hello back and asked for Ruffo. “he is not here, you call later, ok?” I said ok thank you Madre.

“Debby? You call my Ruffo Debby? I so happy hear you again, Ruffo need you Debby, I call him and tell him you ask for him, Ok?”

I hadn’t realized what she was saying was more than her broken English (Ruffo needs you) was really what she was attempting to say. Ruffo did call me, he was so happy, I tried to stay grounded, but at the same time, I really enjoyed talking about old times. I heard all about his life, the places he has been and how he helped raise his best friend’s son. He seemed so educated, he spoke so fluently and wise it was hard for me to understand the next part of his life. He tried to nicely but truthfully tell me how he was so upset over loosing me that he gave our house to his sister. He had started drinking and just never stopped. While I was suffering from one man to another he was suffering the bottle. He was able to maintain a few jobs but wasn’t able to actually make a carrier of any of them.

He had stopped drinking after his father died but not before he had done liver damage and now had diabetes. He has occasionally fell off the wagon and had been hospitalized for his binges. He assured me that those days were past and that he has been trying to straighten his life. What could I say? I knew that my past was what it was, it had done its share of damage, and I expected others to overlook my past and my mistakes. I felt like I had an obligation, I had been what caused him so much pain that it plummeted him into the depths of alcoholism. Even if I had not been the cause, maybe if I had been there for him he would have had something other than the bottle to look forward to.

Months of talking on the phone and getting closer and closer to him, we made plans for him to come and spend the summer (he called it his vacation)

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Beyond the Pane XIII (Good bye Melvin, Hola Hidalgo)

My relationship with Melvin had always been rough to say the least; I bounced back and forth from completely irrational worship to self-preservation more than a few times in the 10 years we spent together. I never married him, no matter how many times he had asked and pressured. My explanation was “If you can ever go one full year without cheating than I will marry you” that year never did come.

I never wanted to hurt him; I knew he did enough of that by his behavior. After he left us he lived on the streets for a while, I worried about him especially in the winter and called his cousin several times to make sure he was ok. I knew not to talk with him or try to interfere in this lesson he needed to learn. I still miss my friend, I chose to separate myself completely from him, even as I drive my sons to see their father today I will drop them, not look in his direction or say a word; not from hurt, hatred or shame, but because I love him, and I had to learn that just because I love him doesn’t mean I have to be with him.

The fact of the matter is that because I love him, I should be without him. I needed to let him learn from life and stop trying to shelter him from it. Every time I took him back, every time I forgave him I was doing him a disservice, I was keeping him from learning that for every action there is always an equal reaction. He needed to learn that there are reproductions for bad behavior and just because he hid behind an addiction didn’t mean he was blameless for his actions. I left him because I loved him and because I love myself more. I hadn’t expected to waste so much of my life, though.

This could easily be the end of the story. I can walk away now and have given you a powerful lesson that you have learned from and be a better person either by giving thanks for a nice calm existence free of the torchers I have self-imposed all these many years, or perhaps I have taught you the importance of loving yourself enough to see yourself as a gift that should be treasured, respected and placed upon a pedestal, but that would be too easy. That would be much too cookie cutter, sunshine and rainbows.

No, that is not at all how life works. Once we have learned the lesson, we are tested and then only if we pass those tests do we consider ourselves wise. I had to be tested to prove to myself I am wise, I needed to be tested to see if this person I have created has the ability to trust my own emotions.

I got AIDS tested first! Actually me and my best friend from across the street got tested together and we both were excited that or past didn’t in fact catch up with us. To celebrate we went out dancing. Well, we went out every Saturday that we were now alone, single and ready to live free. I had already had it set in my mind that although love was fun it also had a lot of responsibility. Not having a man to “answer to” was liberating. I liked having the connection to friends again.

I would work all week, go to school and look forward to the weekend. I felt like I could do it all, and no one to stop me. My sons were growing and all was good. The incident with the cell phone and jewelry box was becoming a distant memory much like the pictures I placed in the box. I was finally being me again. I put on make-up not to get a man but to be something those men had no chance at all to get.

My friend and I especially loved, of all places, a small Mexican bar, hidden away from site and traffic, I loved playing pool and there was always a table open. There was always music playing and a man buying my drinks. I didn’t mind the fact that men liked me, I didn’t care that they spoke to me in a language I didn’t understand. In pool a shot was a shot, and an ass slap meant the same in any language. I didn’t need words.

Hidalgo was an older man, still very attractive and the way he looked at me, well made me feel good, he was even a bit disgusted at the other men that said rude things to me and my friends. He acted like he wanted to “protect” me, he would shake his head “no” from across the room when a man wanted to dance, he didn’t approve of, and smiled ear to ear when I would heed his warning. He never got jealous, he just continued to pool with his friend.

I was absolutely confused. Did he want me, did he just want to be friends, or was he trying to play like my father? I only knew I enjoyed our (non- time together) I loved our (un-talks) so much so when one weekend he brought an English speaking friend we spent the whole night talking about things we were not able to before. I learned he was married and had kids back in Mexico, that he once loved his wife but when he had a chance to come here and work they decided that, him being gone for a few years might be better for their marriage then him staying.

He said he liked me very much and has wanted to be with me sense he first met me, but had no way of telling me. I was blown over. What does a person say to this information? I said what needed to be said, I thanked him for his time spent with me, I told him I liked him to and yes I thought several times what we could have if there was less a language barrier. I stay in control of my feelings and I smiled a lot. We were stuck in time. Staring at each other and locked in our worlds unable to cross.

The following night was Sunday and I got a phone call… He spoke Spanish and I didn’t understand, so an Asian man got on the phone. “You like Hidalgo? You meet him at his work? You come here at 11 and he takes you on a date, Ok?” I stuttered for a minutes and then said “Ok?” The date was less a date and more a following to his house and get banged affair, I really didn’t mind, think about it, what were we going to talk about, really? The few words we knew took about 15 to say. But spending time in his bedroom well took much longer.

Problem was there was no time for cuddling; talking about each other’s feelings, in fact the moments after wards always seemed “awkward”. Whether I saw him at the club or not I knew just to stop by his place and I could get some one on one time together. But I never had closeness with him and when he seemed to have less and less time for me well I took the hint. I knew he was done. He wasn’t of course and when I didn’t come by after a few weeks he got upset. He had his friend call and ask all kinds of questions, he came by my house and wanted to know “Why I not come in?” I had no way of telling him that there was no way my sons would understand. I just would rather let our thing be our thing.

The last time I saw Hidalgo I came to just talk, and try to see if there was something there other than a physical attraction. But when he got amorous and I didn’t have a condom, he mentioned something that made me think. “Why you always want that? I want baby. You no want baby? I think you would like be a mommy again. You can have one more baby for me” I laughed and backed out of the house. I was done collecting baby daddies ….” No mass, Hidalgo!”

That was the end, I never saw him at the club and I never went by his place again. It was months later that I got a phone call, this time he knew a little more English but I know the words were not his, even if he had memorized them. He had no way of knowing or understanding the words I said….“ I can’t be what you want me to be, I am not that woman.” It didn’t matter to me if he wanted a child and thought I was the woman he wanted, he was married, and I didn’t even get insulted at the thought of him only wanting a child here to get his green card. I wanted a real Husband, a real life and playing house with Hidalgo was fun but when things started to get serious and “permanent” I was the one that wasn’t ready this time. I knew the difference between love and lust. I was not going to settle for anything less than the real thing.
I finally knew the difference between me loving someone’s interest in me and me actually loving someone… I didn’t love him, and yeah I liked that he wanted me but that was a path I chose to not continue on.

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Beyond the Pane XII (love addiction)

Have you ever stopped smoking, or tried to lose weight and just really wanted to have what you knew was bad for you? I mean all the rational thought in your head told you not to want it, but it didn’t stop you from craving it, even controlling your thoughts, your actions, and your very relationships around you. Well guess what? My addiction was no different, I didn’t crave the man, I didn’t need the sex but I had to have that feeling again, that feeling of being wanted, of being desired. I fully expect that if I had been thinner growing up I know I would have been a stripper. I needed to see in men’s eyes that they wanted me. I mistaken this desire for them loving me. With Melvin being gone I didn’t have that anymore and I was scared to look for it in someone else. Diseases, abusers, and rapists kept me locked in fear of men I didn’t know.

No, it didn’t take long for me to call Melvin back, I was going to have the twins, I already had one son that had no contact with his father. I knew it was just better if I learn to either be a better partner with Melvin or accept his cheating. The only problem with this theory is that there was nothing more I could do to be a better partner, and Knowing his sexual habits (he never wears a condom) I couldn’t in good conscience accept what needed to be done.

He always had a cycle to his cheating; it didn’t take long to figure it out. I tried to let my intuition guide me, when I felt like things were a bit off is when I usually found a small clue to his infidelity. A phone number in a pocket (he would say it was his buddy’s), A woman would call asking for him (she was asking about his brother) and he would be gone all night after arguments.

The things about arguments is there are always one waiting to happen, a person can pick a fight on any subject really. So when Melvin was planning a night out with a lady friend, well, he would pick a good enough fight, say a few things he knew would upset me. Funny how I could spend so long being alone, recreating myself, finding that strong woman that didn’t need anyone and had learned to love myself enough to never listen to what other people thought of me. He knew what to say to make me angry and to flash me back to days I could never forget, “Whore, slut, lazy bitch, fat dirty, good for nothing”. I would either kick him out or he would storm off. Either way he was not technically cheating than, we were broke up and anything he did was in his mind acceptable. I didn’t know at the time that these things were happen. At the start of our relationship I had assumed he was just extremely moody and that all this improprieties were just a result of him not knowing himself how he felt about me.

I was wrong. He knew very well what he felt for me. We were always going to be wonderful friends. The problems we were having in this relationship had nothing to do with the love he felt for me. He did truly love me. There are degrees of LOVE. I lay somewhere in-between “I care for you and do not want you hurt” and “I would die for you” but the reality was that no matter how much he loved me, he was selfish enough to put his love of sex and excitement above me and his family.

I followed him one night, I watched him enter the bar. I stood in the dark alley across the street, it was hot, bugs crawled all around and I was 7 months pregnant. I settled down for my long wait pulling up a wooden crate to sit on. I could hear the loud music blasting, and peoples distant conversations and laughs. Crack struck the pool balls. It seemed a very happy atmosphere too bad with every giggle my temper rose. I sat there all night, hidden from everyone’s sight but seeing everything.

Hours later the bar was closing, I saw people stumbling out laughing, grabbing each other to keep from falling. Women hanging all over ugly men, I wondered why anyone would want to live like that. Out walked Melvin, my heart relaxed as he stood alone smoking a cigarette. Maybe my fears were for not. I wanted to think he was up to no good but maybe all he really needed was some time away. I understood how much stress he must be in. His exact words that night before he stormed away was “I will never see another pay check again”, as he signed his name to the check marked “rent”.

I worked and made good money but all of it went for car and utilities, his only responsibility was the rent. I knew that soon I was going to have to take off work for the pregnancy, I had no problem working, my job was not physically demanding at all but I was pregnant with twins and it was difficult for the other employees to see me, he might have been thinking the same thing. He might have been more worried about the fact that he had no money saved for when I would be un-employed, I actually felt sorry for him. I knew not everyone thought the same as I did. Faith was something I do not often talk about but the feeling of no matter what happens, everything will be fine, is a thought you have to have instilled growing up. Maybe Melvin was never taught to have faith.

All of that sympathy fell to the dirty alley floor and so did my heart when a woman walked out the bar’s door and wrapped her arms around Melvin and he put his arms around her. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t breathe I just watched like seeing a horror movie. I was not hurt, I had no feelings at all as I watched them kiss and walk off together. I had all night to think of what they were doing, it was well into the morning when he did unlock the front door.

I didn’t know what I was going to do. I had spent hours imagining what I do, but I also imagined the police being called and me giving birth in a hospital cuffed. I just stared at him and calmly told him he needed to find his own place. He never even argued, in the past he might have wanted to, but what could he say? Especially after I told him that I knew that he went home with that woman from the bar. He never even asked how I knew. He never came home that next night either so I assume he found his new home.

It is hard to remember all the times he left and came back, how many times I kicked him out and had his things on my porch. There seemed to always be a reason, the more he cheated the less I loved him, slowly but surely he killed our love and I became wiser to him. Less and less of his money went to our bills. After the twins were born He tried to be a good father and partner, we even discussed actually getting married but I was suspicious to just how long he would remain deserving of my trust.

2 months after giving birth I became very ill, I had several test done and after another month of pain and close to death they found that I had to have my gallbladder removed (thank my German heritage for that) I was in the hospital for 3 days and when I returned home with the instructions to rest and not doing any lifting, he seemed angry, like it was my fault I had gotten ill. He had no problems with going to work, I know because my mother watched the babies while he was at work. I didn’t understand why he was so upset. He left at 6pm that evening to go to the store and he didn’t come back until 6 am the next morning. He never got the food he had left to get, so when he had returned I asked for the keys so I could go to the store. I went straight to the store, came back with the things that my oldest son needed. And then left before Melvin even knew I had returned.

The doctor had said for me to rest and no lifting, I had just spent a sleepless night taking care of the twins alone, lifting and all. I checked into the hotel with a smile on my face determined to get worry free, undisturbed rest. I called my mother and told her if my son called worried to just get him and explain to him when she had him alone.

The purpose of my disappearance was to rest without him calling me or trying to tell me lies, I had 24 hours of healing and the added punishment Melvin experience was completely a bonus. He was absolutely traumatized. I on the other hand I had room service, movie channel and a softer then believable bed. I took a long soothing shower, noticing the incisions and looking in the mirror at the stitches. (The full length mirror) I had a good scrutinizing look at myself, here only 3 months after having almost 15 lbs of babies and gaining a proper but unflattering 40 lbs I had lost what womanly shape I thought I had only a year ago prior.

My insecurities about the way I looked had a lot to do with my need to continue my relationship with Melvin, I truly didn’t see myself deserving any better than him, regardless of whether I believed he did or didn’t love me, whether I thought I was capable of raising now 3 sons without a man or if I even wanted to think of having a life worth living or being happy, I chose to stay. I regularly questioned what he did, had him followed, tapped the phone, even met the women he cheated me with, we compared notes and couldn’t even come close to understanding why he felt a need to have other women.

We went to counseling and every excuse he gave was unfounded. I always gave him sex; I never even once said no, I put little to no stress on him. I always involved him and we often talked. So whatever was said meant nothing to me. I even worked and made 2 times the amount he made. I paid my own bills and didn’t ask anything from him. All I ever asked was for him to love me, love me like I was the only one, like I did him. I wanted to be everything to the man that meant everything to me and I was afraid that I saw something in him that just wasn’t there. The counseling was at the Faith and Family services so their whole point was to keep the family together but I knew what needed to be done. The counselor wasn’t going to tell me to save myself, we just needed more counseling. I didn’t need more words of encouragement and thoughts of working together for the good of the family, I needed to get a backbone and stop thinking about what I wanted and start making plans to what I could actually have.

I knew I couldn’t have Melvin’s loyalty, his commitment or his unconditional love. I could however have love of myself and that was not going to happen as long as I was with a man like him. Me actually taking the time, coming to that conclusion was “enlightening”

Remember the 12 step program? “Admitting your disease and your ½ way there to recovery”. I was recovering.
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Beyond the Pane XI (sexual addiction)

It is hard to describe what I was thinking when I saw Melvin again, It had been 5 years. 5 years of “almost” celibacy and of being almost love free. I had my moments or relapse but I in general stayed strong and still able to find release in my fantasies. Tempting myself and desiring but refusing to let myself have. A felt my heart beat, he looked the same, but had he changed? Part of me wanted to walk away, my strong side was at battle with this romantic thought of fate.

We spent time calling each other on the phone, he still lived a distance away and I no longer had transportation so perhaps that was best anyway. He started coming to see me on the weekends, and we revisited our sexual memories. I was a little self-conscious because of the weight I had gained after the divorce but he reassured me that it was never my looks that he loved. I enjoyed having my friend back. I mean no matter how much time that lapse I still felt a connection with him.

We were so much alike, his cheating was just translated from his desire to be wanted. I felt that in my life just in a more emotional level. I never felt a need to step outside a relationship to get my addictive fix; I was self-satisfying when it came to sex anyway. Melvin needed sex, I got that side of him, I understood his addiction. My mistake was thinking that I could have ever been enough for him. I at least had upbringing, the value of loyalty and honesty to always keep me faithful no matter how bad the relationship had gotten. I am afraid to say that I was getting ready to make another grave mistake. I was looking at a relationship knowing that there was something wrong with him, and I still thought I could change him.

He moved in with me and the first few years were awkward, but so much fun, he worked, I worked, we spent every night in each other’s arms and all was wonderful until I found out I was pregnant, and then soon miscarried, I think he was hurt more than me, because he remembered the baby years ago that wasn’t to be. When it happened again a few months later he questioned my ability to carry his child. He worked hard but he never was able to find a job better than minimum wage so we had no insurance. The added stress of knowing that he could never really support me and my son always made him feel like less than a man I know.

He started to become distant. I had heard rumors about places he worked, employees messing around after hours but I never once thought he would have been one of them. After 4 years of what I thought was a pretty good life together I was asked a question that concerned me “Deb, you ever had sex with a woman?”

Now please understand that I had never actually had actual sexual contact with a woman, even when I was with my friends before, it was the act of me being there and watching that was my fantasy, if I got close to hold a hand or kissed a shoulder I quickly restrained myself. I didn’t want to be gay. I was worried that Melvin had heard different, perhaps someone that “knew” me had broken a promise and told him what I had done.

He reassured me that he was just wondering if I had ever wanted to be in a 3some, “some women like it a lot” I asked him if he had ever had two women and he said no, but that had always wanted to. I wondered if he being distant could have been a sign that he was thinking of leaving me, was I becoming boring. We talked several time about the subject and when I had thought about it long enough we started looking for a woman that could fit the task. Every woman he thought of felt wrong, I mean I was worried about diseases, and then I also wanted to feel comfortable with her. I had to trust her. The conversations often turned to arguments and when he had left angry I found myself sitting alone wondering what I would do for “Love”

sorry guys as much as I would love to put this information, it is too graphic, I will see about how I can either word it better or get more comfortable in posting. I believe I will be able to put it the book though.

I never knew what he was going to suggest next, he was a “Freak!” You name it we tried it. No really, we probably did it, drugs, porn, bondage, and thrill sex. I wanted so badly to keep him happy; I couldn’t stand the idea of him leaving me. It was sad really, all the time I had spent teaching myself I didn’t “need” a man disappeared when I thought of saying goodbye to him. Every time he said “I want to Experience this with you” I fell victim to my fears of losing him if I didn’t.

When I found out I was pregnant (with twins) things changed. The fun stopped for him and the night mare started for me, he spent nights away from home, he drank too much and stayed distant from me emotionally. He said it was stress but all I could feel was pain. I was ill, depressed, lost and mentally unstable. My whole world felt like it had stopped. We wanted a child earlier, we both were disappointed when I repeatedly miscarried but it was only when we had stopped trying and embraced the freedom that I had actually gotten pregnant. It was no big surprise when a woman came knocking on my door, asking if Melvin lived here, she had seen the car sitting outside and wondered why he was in her neighborhood, he said he lived on the west side. I was told a story that I didn’t want to believe, but she was more upset then I.

That night he was knocking on the door all night begging to be let in and he slept on the porch amongst bags of his belongings.

I would like to say that was the end of Melvin… do you think it is?
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Beyond the Pane X (when I was a whore)

I would like to say that I enjoyed the time I spent alone, finding myself and being the strong self-reliant woman I needed to be, even exploring my own sexuality without a man as hindrance. I had no problem functioning by myself, I had my son and I was always willing to spend time with friends. I lived in Mt Vernon for a while and I had a few “one night stands” with guys that were interesting but no way what I wanted for more than one encounter.

Really, why not? Men were ever so willing to use me; I had no problem at all using them. I was big I had less problem finding guys being” Large” than I ever had being thin. It was about the attitude. I was me, I didn’t “need” a man to be happy. I really had no “need” for a man at all. In fact the whole thought of love made me very uncomfortable. I wanted to have my way and be left alone, but the guys were getting attached so I decided celibacy was the best option.

I knew I was being wrong to my nature. (I am an extremely loving person) and I knew that was the problem. I could not control this emotion. I loved so completely, so deeply, that I never worry about the “what ifs” what if he mistreats me, what if he leaves me, what if he doesn’t love me back? I was never prepared for getting hurt. So I chose to just turn it off, I mean if I never let them in, I never have to worry about them leaving. Up went the walls.

I started to get a bit of an attitude and when one of my friends reminded me that I was not doing my child any favors refusing to let him have a father figure in his life. Well I started to think I was being selfish. I was not looking for love! I was looking for someone to be trusted and a companion. But while I waited to meet a “good guy” I still had so much fun fucking with the bad guys (maniacal laughter)

Hanging with my friends was very entertaining. I would get all dressed up not to go out but to play cards and sit on my friend’s porch on the south side. The high point of my evening was a “Damn Girl, let me holla at ya” and flirting with a house of men that lived next door. Even though we were more friends than love interests and no way even close to what I was looking for, they got to know me and all had to deal with my man hating. “See this line right here” as I motioned an imaginary line on the ground in front of me “That is my personal space, don’t violate it” we would laugh and relax but they knew I was serious.

My nick name was 3D for my bra size and the porn movie Deborah Does Dallas, relax! Not because I had sex with them but because of our open talks and my ability to never be embarrassed. “Deborah, you give head don’t you?” Yes, been told I am the best but I am not getting on my knees to show you. Get a job; grow about 5 inches and get a haircut and we will talk. I did on an occasion get offered a banana and I absolutely enjoyed seeing the looks on their faces…… I was good! If I gave them a moment of pleasure then why not, that was all they were getting.

Yeah, they knew too much about me. One evening I came over to my friend’s house to play cards and there was a man I had never met before sitting at the table full of smiles and liked to talk. He talked about being an artist (I am an artist)and loving animals (I grew up on a farm), he played and would look at me smiling a little and then let me win, I knew what he was doing during the games, every conversation seemed pointed at me.

I almost growled how dare he be nice? How dare he like me? He joked with me out on the porch that he had wanted to talk with me for about a month, but I was too busy shooting down everyone else that tried to talk to me that he was too scared to even say “Hi”. Now that I thought about it I do think I had seen him before, maybe I was scaring off the good ones. We talked for hours, he seemed to say all the right things, and when he needed to leave he asked if I needed a ride.

Well what do you think happened? If you have learned nothing about me so far, do you think for one second I was going to say no? The guys next door knew I would say yes. If given the right information at the right time, a man coached, would have found me an easy mark. Yes I took him home and gave him everything you could imagine and more. He was a good guy don’t get me wrong. He never wanted to hurt me, he just wanted a chance to meet me and when he paid the guys in the crew next door $100 for an introduction and the secret to my weaknesses, well of course they took advantage. “Mother Fuckers pimped me out!”

I was mad, I was angry, but I was more hurt that my friends judged me; I mean they were right there, didn’t they see it coming, better yet maybe everyone had some stupid side bet on whether Deborah was going to put out, more than likely not but I never liked the way I was blamed for being tricked. I later found out the guy was even married “Son of a Bitch!” NO MORE SEX, I don’t care what the guy says or does I am done! And I lived that promise for a few more years.

I spent less time on the south side and more time with a good friend of mine that just got married, also a bad idea. Ok I came to the conclusion that I attract married men. Everywhere I turned it was married men that saw me as the things their wives were not. I was strong, confident, and HONEST and well… I was different; a few of my friends around this time had asked how they could be like me. I told them the secrets and that was usually enough, told then some sexual trade secrets to and that always did it.

A few times I got so close to a couple of friends that I would spice things up for them, and watch them while being “intimate”, tell them what to do, and why. Oh the men LOVED it and my friends trusted me enough to know that I would not touch their husbands.

People have asked me if I were bi-sexual. That is a hard one, I am attracted to women, I think women are so sexy and through an artist’s eye I see the softness, the curves and movement, I like the feel of their skin and flow of their hair. I have many times realized that I lust women as sexual beings, yes. The key here is would I choose to pick a woman’s loveliness over the rough strong body of a man? “No” I prefer a man’s beauty, BUT I fully enjoy when my lesbian friends are interested in me and I usually flirt just as hard with women as I do men, because it makes them feel good, and I love to make people feel good.

What? Is that wrong? Think about it, when someone tells you that you look good how does that make you feel? The rest of the day, you smile, perhaps even walk a little lighter and it gives you a sense of worth, especially if your spouse doesn’t take the time to appreciate you. I like being told I am beautiful, or even sexy by the men I trust to say it with taste. I am doing a service to tell people what I think, whether that is “nice hair” or “Damn you make me what to get a sex change! Are you sure you’re straight?” I was just beginning to realize who I was. What I wanted and why I did the things I did.

When……………….. I saw him again.

Heheheh I know I am bad! There is more don’t worry there are 11 more years to cover.
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Beyond The Pane IX (Divorced or Dead)

I filed for Divorce after leaving him, and although I was scared he would try to hurt me I knew at least I didn’t need to worry about wanting him back. I no longer feared myself and the insanity that was battered woman syndrome, I was more than done. I realized that no matter what anyone said or tried to do to me. I was more than someone’s opinion of who they thought I was. I had always worried about what other people thought of me and listen to other voices other than the voice inside of me, I think mostly because it just wasn’t strong and loud enough to be heard.

I moved in with a friend I met in counseling at the abuse shelter, all was well and with my new found freedom it was a life full of laughter and new friends, I had a chance for relaxation. I didn’t have to answer to anyone. Us girls would stay up late and watch the happenings of the neighborhood from our front porch. I met a few guys but really wasn’t interested in having a relationship with anyone. Robert was a little different, well about 6’5” 400 lbs of muscle different.

Yeah I was smitten but tried not to get much attached. I just liked looking at the big guy. And he also was in the middle of settling here in Evansville. I do not think either of us was really looking for love, it was more like companionship, and I had become good friends with his bothers wife so we spent a lot of time together.

The divorce ran smoothly, Judge gave me custody and Chris got visitation, starting that day. “OMG!” did the judge not get the memo? He was an abusive husband! The judge felt that Chris’ jobs and responsibilities were enough to prove he was not a flight risk and that his history of abuse was isolated to me. Supervised visitation was reserved for parents that were abusive to their kids or neglect them.

My roommate waited with me at the apartment for Chris to come and pick up my son, I stood at the door not letting him in but had everything ready for him. Chris was happy to see his son and happy to have in some way won. He reached out to hold him and I wanted to stop him. I wanted to scream and take my son back but I forced myself to stay calm. I told myself “It will be ok; he will be back in 6 hours”. He drove off and my roommate got ready to leave to, she had to be at work and wished she could have consoled me, but really, this is just another something I was going to have to deal with on my own.

I was straightening the house after she left when there was a knock on the door. I thought maybe it was Robert or maybe my sister. The thought never accured to me that it was going to be Chris, but as I opened the door I had little time to regret not looking out the peep hole first, he pushed his way in the door as I tried to force it shut. He grabbed me by my hair and just started dragging me to the car. I saw Robert and his brother standing by their door just watching, no expressions, not even surprised on their faces as he shoved me in the car and shut the door. Child proof locks in the back door kept me from opening it and I struggled to kick at the door and window. I just kept thinking someone would call the police….. No one called the police.

He took me to his empty house he had rented in My Vernon when we separated and I noticed that among the trash laying around were a knife, duck tap and a lot of chemicals. I was screwed. He was going to kill me. Well, not just kill me that would be easy, too simple really, no he planned to torture me and he did for hours. I was tied and raped, beaten and threatened. He told me with each blow that he would kill me and with every kiss he swore he loved me. I do not remember most of what happened. I know there were several time he threw water on me and a few times that I woke with him shacking me. But I do not remember the pain, or any crying and begging. It was like watching a movie. I saw what was happening but it didn’t feel like it was me.

Chris left me in that empty house, I believe he left thinking I was dead, he took my son and ran with him to Michigan. I woke in the dark, crawled to the door and fell down the stoop where the neighbor saw me and called for help. The police had their hands tied, with Chris leaving out of state and not having proof what direction he went. it was hard to say who to contact. The judge had given Chris visitation after all, maybe he would return, but without a testimony from a witness that I was even taken against my will, the court was stuck in legalities.

I got a phone call from Chris, I assume he was hoping to get an answering machine or perhaps a grieving family member that would inform him of my demise but I answered and his surprise silence was enough to give me the upper hand. I told him that we were in the process of getting all the evidence to charge him with kidnapping, attempted murder and child abducting. I of course was bluffing, I had no idea what charges were going to be made, I just wanted to plant thoughts in his mind that I would make sure he never lived a normal life with my child. “Just give me our son back and I can make it all go away”

Now on saying that, let me express a belief I have. When there is nowhere to turn there is always faith, if not the faith that good will happen to good people there is always the faith that bad will happen to bad people. I had paid my lawyer cash, but Chris had left not paying his lawyer a dime, so with two lawyers on my side and a judge that now was embarrassed that his very statement of not feeling Chris was a flight risk was wrong. The added guilt of seeing my battered face standing before them, they were able to give me paperwork I needed when I went to Michigan showing that I had sole custody and Chris had no rights. But it was all for nothing if I didn’t know where he was.

In the one year from giving birth to havening him taken from me and attempting to get him back I had gained a total of 100 lbs. I never questioned how it happened (I ate). Why I let it happen only surfaced years later but I think is important to this part of the story. I gained weight so Chris and other men would not want me anymore. Chris and felt it was necessary to tell me he never wanted me to be big and I always did battle with a big hipped shape. It was easy to become large and there was a little bit of satisfaction in knowing Chris’ attempt to keep me thin even at pregnancy horrible failed.

After almost a month of talking on the phone and getting his agreement that I could come and get my son, he was not about the leave the safety of his state. I took a bus to Lansing Michigan and waiting him to bring our son, but he never came. Only hours later when I started thinking I was going to have to call the police and start the search the hard way, did he show up. His excuse was that there was a time difference, but I knew the reason, he wanted to make sure I was alone and not a police ambush waiting.

He didn’t bring our son, and he insisted that I come and stay the night with him at his aunt’s house. He said I could leave tomorrow. I reluctantly did so, I was told, before I had gotten the proper paper work that I needed to have physical, hands on custody to get my son back. I didn’t know that changed when the lawyers made up a new custody papers. I stayed there for three day waiting to be left alone with my son. They never did and when I had my things stolen, and my paperwork. Chris made it quite clear that I was no longer what he wanted and there was no way we were going to be a family nor would I ever have a chance to take his son from him. I gave up and called the police, only to have him and our child be gone when the officers got there. They took me to an abuse shelter.

I waited for my mother to fax another copy from the lawyer’s office. But there was an advantage to staying at Chris’ aunt’s house. I knew the name for everyone that lived there and there was record that I was picked up from there by the police.

Meanwhile my stay at the shelter had is moments. The day I checked in a woman’s wallet was stolen, and even as I sat in the office they stared at me and whispered. “I didn’t steel anything, I have nothing coming in this place and I will leave with nothing!” I laughed a bit to myself when they suggested I get strip searched. I knew they could not force me but then again this was a building full of women that thought I was a thief, better I just ease their fears and accept the search.

The day Manager of the shelter took me in the bathroom as I stripped in front of her, I handed her my cloths piece by piece and I asked her if she needed to look in my cavities. She laughed it off and gave me my cloths back “They don’t pay me enough for that” you are good.

I stood in front of them all and looked each in the eye. “You don’t know me, I am not from here and I did that because you needed proof, but I am not a thief and if you learn nothing about me, you at least know that” they all slowly left the office, some lingered to apologies other still started like I was an outsider but I didn’t care, I wasn’t going to be there long enough to worry about making friends. I was given the rules and responsibilities, told when my chores were to be done and handed a set of sheets and a cover. I was given a short tour and showed my room that I shared with one of the women that stared me down only moments ago.

I chose not to talk at diner, I kept to myself, I listened while others spoke in group counseling, and that I night I couldn’t sleep. I had gotten the papers sent to the shelter and with their legal aid counselor’s help we called the police. The officers took one look at the papers and had issues on whether it was the jurisdiction of county, city or state police.

SO THEY ALL CAME!

They waited a few blocks over and had me call the house to see if he was home and he answered the phone, I could hear my son in the back ground crying while the officer listen on the other line. I heard him give the ok and in seconds the whole block and surrounded blocks was fender to fender police. Some even were off duty and just came to join in the fun; they all stood around laughing and comparing why they wanted to see this. A female police officer stood by me and reassured me all would be fine, that “they didn’t really need this many officers”.

The story had gotten out through all the departments of what he did, and what I had gone through. She put her hand on my shoulder when I saw him step out of the house with my son; she asked “Are you ok?” I looked away feeling ill at the site of him and when I looked down I saw the officer’s gun, unsnapped in her holster, just inches away from my hand……

Oh tell me you were not thinking the same thing, tell me right now as you read this you aren’t wishing to hear I took that gun and shot him dead. I wanted to, I wanted nothing more than to take that gun and shot him once for every time he ever hit me, called me a whore or a bitch. There were not enough bullets in that gun or in all the guns from all the officers packed full on the block that day to appease this desire. I stilled myself and watched him getting arrested and the officer walk to me with my child.

Back at the shelter everyone fell in love with my son and they made sure and took me to a storage room full of cloths and toys that had been donated, I found cloths for him and me, a suit case and few toys. I was willing to take a bus home in a week but my mother drove 14 hours to get us. It was a long trip back home I felt guilty for all my parents had to go through because of me. I remembered how I heard some of the women in counseling had no one to support them. They were in the relationships because many came from the same abuse since childhood. I had no excuses, I was never abused as a child, I had a wonderful childhood and never wanted for anything. Any problems I had with self-esteem were all in my head. I was the only one to blame for the troubles I got myself into. I am not going to say I wasn’t to some extent a victim of circumstance, but aren’t we all?

We live our lives according to the test we are faced with. How we react to these tests determines pass or fail, and what lessons we learned. Had a pasted this test? Or did I just get by barely from a fail. I was 21 a single mother, uneducated with no real skills and no self-esteem. I had a lot against me.

There is more to come.
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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.