I'm not typing this from home, but from a location that I cannot legally disclose. I can tell you that it's a battered women's shelter.
Now, why oh why am I doing this? Do I work here? Nope. Am I visiting someone? Wrong. I am here because I have been abused by a family member; someone I live with and cannot escape from.
A while back, my parents needed a new house for themselves and their pets. There was a joint they wanted, but it was a bit on the expensive side. Me, creeped out by my perverted landlord, said I'd throw in the cash as long as I got my own space. So I did and got some office space and a room in the house that was bigger than some of my apartments in Toronto. I'm paying slightly more than my share but I'm cool so long as my mother gets a decent roof over her head. But with this arrangement came a problem.
My mum's sort of old man drinks. Every single night is spent getting absolutely blotto. To make matters worse, he's the only person I've ever met who gets extremely violent from smoking grass. So, when he gets drunk every night, he's very verbally abusive. This is an almost-every-night gong show that I really try to stay out of because my mother says she can tune Cunt Drunkula out. But he does go after me. My pop's been on the other end of the line listening helplessly to the mayhem while I'm hiding behind my locked door with a bat or hockey stick in my hand. However, he's not solely verbal with his attacks.
There have been times in the past when the world's strongest toothpick has gone after me. Well accustomed to my sister terrorizing the crap out of me, I can worm out of almost any skinny person attack without using violence. And that's really important because I abhor violence; the presence of it can make me freeze and I don't know why. With this guy, I think it may have something to do with the fact that , if I defend myself, my mum will never forgive me because I'm "crazy" and he only assaults me on the nights when she's passed out drunk or at least blackout drunk. A few years ago, he even tried to rape me and she insists it either didn't happen or was my fault. It was my private shame and has been so until about 10 seconds ago.
Cue to last night. My mum had quit drinking, but decided she wanted a beer or ten. I was exceptionally worried and even mentioned it prior to the boozefest. Like 99% of days when I'm actually home and not hiding out, I didn't drink a drop. Mum and Michael, now they got hammered. Cue forward a few hours.
My mother is falling down drunk and annoying. She decides she needs to use my computer to play online poker (hers died and Michael drinks away all her money because everything she earns is his too) I relent, but I'm not overjoyed with the idea. We get into a tiff over some spilled beer but I apologize for losing my shit and curl up with Mr. Dog. Dog needs to go out and I remember that I have a pan of ziti that needs to be put in the fridge. So, I'm rearranging the shit to try to fit this in, taking care not to put the food in any of the designated beer parts of the fridge. It's time for Michael to seize the day.
Michael bounds off of the sofa and pins me into the fridge, leaning over me. He's taunting me about my battle for food space. I ask him to back off. He replies with "oh, is that bothering you?" as if to antagonize me. I get away from him and put the container on the counter. He puts up his dukes, the former military boxer's sign he wants a scrap. I want exactly ZERO part of this and tell him to fuck off. In some twisted moment of hell, we have him punching me in the face-me trying to get away-him climbing on me and doing one of those MMA chokeholds from hell-me trying to get away-him biting me and somehow bruising my ribs and giving me a lump on the head- me finally shaking the bastard before he can render me unconscious.
So I get away and run to my room and recall that he had taken my phone the night before, possibly anticipating this, and refusing to return it. He's chasing me but I slip him and then get out of the house, him screaming dirty words all the way. I walked over 15 blocks barefoot to try to find help before finding a police station.
I finally spoke to an officer who took some photos of the damage done to me. An officer went to the house and both Michael and my mother lied and said nothing happened. While the police believed the sober and pleasant me, they decided not to arrest them because the men in this valley are so abusive that they have too many cases in the courts and this would be a very hard conviction.
As I was waiting for an officer to arrive, the cleaning lady was there. I mentioned to her as I was spitting out blood " he's white, he's never going to be arrested." I was right. The words of an alcoholic man who can tell lies so convincing that he, himself, believes them are more important than those of a sober victim.
So today we have me hiding out like a criminal, terrified of being found by someone who likes to beat on me. He even told my mum that nothing happed just like every other time. It's not the first time she believed him. I talked to her on the phone today and she basically dismissed it and then I explained things. In my busted-lip lisp, I told her that I am willing to forgive him if he seeks alcohol treatment and apologizes. She replied that it's not about to happen and asked me when I'm coming back. I responded that I'm done being a drunkard's punching bag.
The admission that you're being hit by a dude and can't stop it is a hard one, especially when people regard you as tough. In fact, I'm probably far more humiliated writing this than Michael ever has been during his multitude of arrests and complaints. For me there is shame, and for him there are rewards for his ego, bolstered by the fact that he managed to - once again - completely lie to an officer and get away with it. And as much as this fact absolutely stinks, I'm safe. I have no shoes, socks, phone or wallet, but I'm safe. If he had succeeded, I wouldn't be writing this; I would be starting to stink and attract wildlife. I would be dumped in the rainforest and never found. Instead of getting away with assault, Michael would be getting away with murder. It crossed my mind that he'd be at least jailed where he couldn't hurt anybody, but the reality is that he'd be able to dispose of me 50 metres from my house and, still, nobody would find me.
Last night, I lost the battle, but I won the war.
***p.s***If you're one of the few THOUSAND people who saw me walking down the street cold and barefoot, crying, with blood coming out of my melon and didn't stop to even offer so much as a phone call to the police, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Yes, I know, I'm a bald brown chick, but I was in real trouble. If you're one of the various people who saw me up close and gave me the stinkeye- you're a glowing example of the absolute inhumanity that plagues the little city we live in and you probably should seek counseling.