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The first time..

I was only 16 years old when I met him. He came out of nowhere and found me…little me only 3 years after my father had passed. I was young, lonely, naïve and emotional during this time. I had no clue who I was at that age, and even less about what I was about to be put through….. But I thought I had it all figured out when he came into my life. I still remember the first time I saw him. Nothing else mattered. I was full of emotions and I found myself being curious if he noticed me as much as I noticed him. Damn that local grocery store!! I would see him almost every week as I walked in with my mother…. The first few times, he didn’t notice me but I sure did notice him. Then one day, he said hi. That’s all it took. A simple hello and I was hooked. We exchanged numbers and began speaking on the phone. Our conversations would last for hours, sometimes all night. We would talk about my father and his passing, school, friends, and work. He would talk about being kicked out of his parent’s home, how hard it was to be on his own at 18 and not finishing school, etc. In some weird obsessive way, I felt obligated to take care of him. This came quickly after our first few conversations. He sounded so excited to talk to me on the phone but so lonely all at the same time. I was drawn to that. Some call it the “Jesus syndrome” and I guess that’s what you could say happened to me. I wanted to protect him, take care of him, and save him……

Quickly after our first few conversations, I learned he drank a lot. I mean, it wasn’t just a beer here and there, conversations became “cries for help.” I’d be woken by late night phone calls from him completely wasted. He would cry on the phone and say he has nothing and that he needed me. I gave him comfort. This was all familiar territory to me… as my father too was an alcoholic and I can remember hearing him say the same exact things to my mother. The same things that kept her in that marriage for 8 years. Once my mom and dad separated, problems continued downhill. We saw less and less of my dad. My two little brothers didn’t think much when he left, or should I say when mom finally had enough…. but being 8 years old at that time, I wanted my daddy in my life. I wanted him to love me. To hold me. To WANT to see me. And I would force it even if he didn’t want to. He chose alcohol over us and I still loved him anyways. And at that moment on the phone, I knew I loved “him” because he needed me, just like my daddy needed my mom too….

Soon after I discovered I was dealing with a damaged and toxic interest. We went on our official first date. It wasn’t the normal dinner and movie… it was a small party… A small gathering with a few of his friends at an apartment complex near my home. When we arrived, I saw beer everywhere and I automatically knew this was going to be a long night. The night started out fine. He was very flirtatious, attentive, and sweet. But within an hour… yes, HOUR, he was already becoming drunk. I quickly realized not only is he an alcoholic, but it doesn’t take any liquor to get him wasted. Beer would do it, and that was freaking me out. He probably had only 3 by this time. It’s weird as a 16 year old to know the difference between what a beer can do or straight alcohol can do to a person in a short period of time. He became clumsy and slurred his words as we spoke. I remember he had to go into the bathroom, so I stayed outside with his friends. I was so embarrassed and I felt so out of place. I remember one of the guys asking me if I was ok, and I whispered, “Yes”. He could tell I was saddened by his behaviour and knew I wasn’t having a good time at all. Next thing I knew, the minute I turned around, out of nowhere, I was being ran into like a line backer tackling someone. I found myself being pulled and drugged by my hair across the parking lot into the field across from the apartment complex. I was kicking and screaming and yelling, “Please stop”!!! He yelled saying “Who told you to talk to other guys”?!?!?! At this moment, I was begging him stop. “I just want to go home!” I cried while being pulled by my hair and drug over a concrete road and onto dirt and then to grass. Every part of my body was hurt. I was scared shitless. I closed my eyes and started to cry so hard. Out of the corner of my eye I saw his friend run over and push him off of me. I looked up to see some of my hair in his hand while his then friend was yelling and asking him what the hell was he doing!? He looked at me and spit in my face and said I don’t even know why I started to talk to you anyways… “You’re a piece of shit” he said, and then he walked away leaving me bruised, cut, scared, and hurt. This was the beginning of a living hell….

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