(when) love hurts or No Fairytale by © JC Harding June 2010
It’s hard for me to actually pinpoint the moment when everything in my life changed from being blissful to a living nightmare. All I dreamt about as a young girl growing up in betwixt meddling with my mom’s makeup and sweeping back the curls in my hair was fantasying about finding my prince. At 24 years old I believed I had actually found him.
How do you describe the complete feeling of love? I could because he was everything I wished for all the adjectives – caring, romantic, and considerate with sincere family values. I was the envy of the girls in the town. We had a fantastic chemistry. My heart raced every time I saw him.
We had been seeing other for over a year. Although he’d suggested that we considered moving in together. I was happy to keep living apart. I explained to him that I wanted to save up as well as continuing with my night course at college. But he saw this as a rejection of him. He thought for some bizarre reason that I wanted to see other people. This was not the case.
Over the next several weeks things on the surface appeared unchanged in our relationship. But the atmosphere between us became a little stifled especially when we were out at social occasions. He would not leave my side. He constantly questioned who I was talking to and even attempted to read my texts.
One night sitting in the comfort of his one bedroom flat I asked why he was acting so insecure. He said I was imagining things. I persisted. He told me to drop the conversation. So I did. We spent the remaining part of the night snuggled together on the settee watching one of his favourite movies we had watched several times before. He always got excited as if it was the first time he was seeing it. I quietly laughed to myself as he ate the pack of popcorns and scrambled to find his drink edging to fall off the table as his eyes were transfixed on every dramatic scene.
Later in the night lying in bed my mobile phone rang with the caller ID appearing withheld. Upon answering the caller hanged up. Within a few seconds the phone rang again. Still no reply. I ended the call. The disturbance woke my boyfriend. Sleepily he asked, “who called?” I told him I haven’t got a clue. He became agitated and started to question me about the context of the call. But I could add nothing more. He then snatched the phone from my hand. Surprised by his actions I asked him to stop behaviouring in such a childish manner. He suddenly pushed my head against the metal bed frame, his face contort with anger, his voice raised – stuttering and hardly managing to articulate himself: “You are beginning to annoy me with your lies. You’ve got your lover calling you. I’m not stupid.” For some reason I laughed. Maybe because of what he saying was so ridiculous. Except my reaction seemed to heighten his mood. “You laughing at me?” he accused. At this point I was beginning to feel threatened because he looked unrecognisable. He was acting out of character. I asked him to let go of me. I tried to push him away. His hours spent at the gym with piping biceps had paid off. I could not move him. He was like an elephant. I felt like a tiny mouse. He purposely ignored my pleas. I began to scream out at him. He eventually let me go.
Staring hard at him in disbelief, pointing at him I yelled: “what’s the hell up with you? I don’t know who called at this hour. I haven’t got a lover… I’ve had enough I’m going home.” I retorted. This made him worse. He ran over to me saying: “that’s your excuse you are going to meet him”. I climbed out of my nightwear into my jeans struggling to put the rest of my clothes on – my top was inside out but I didn’t care. He stood by the bedroom door with my car keys dangling teasingly in his fingers. Somehow I managed to grab them away from him. Accusingly he said: “So you’re leaving me for your lover.” Then I felt the warmth of his hands across my face not once but over and over again. I cried out. To stifle my cries he coldly turned up the iPod playing in the background. He then held me, very close begging me not to leave him. Claiming it was all a mistake. The only mistake I made that night was to believe him. Stupidly I ended up comforting him!
He was very remorseful after it had happened for about 6 months. Aferwards at a summer barbeque I was talking to some old college friends who I introduced him to. He was all smiles. Later returning to the car he asked whether one was of the guys fancied me. I told him no. He said that we were openly flirting with each other. I didn’t answer. I couldn’t answer because he just punched me in my mouth and kicked me to the ground. Apparently as I fell I hit my head then was unconscious. I was taken to the A&E department of the local hospital. I awoke with the stale smell of the barbeque embedded in my clothes mixed with the blood of his warped insecure love and my tears running down the innocence of my youthful body. His broken promises fooled me but I’m fooled no more. I sought support from Women’s Aid as I have never came across domestic violence or thought I’d be a victim of such hideous violent behaviour by someone who I loved with every heart beat.
I was a carefree young woman with a cool boyfriend – with plans for a bright future. That’s all over now. Unfortunately jealousy reared its ugly head. The only way he could express himself was in a aggressive way. He tried to control me was with his fists. I’ve since found out that one in 3 people will be affected by domestic violence in some way or another. I didn’t think it could happen to me but sadly it did.