I was trying to remember the first time. The first time he was violent towards me. And I can’t. I have plenty of memories of incidents in my mind, but the first is not there. I got to wondering why that is. Maybe I was so stunned the first time that I blocked it from my memory? Maybe I thought it was a one time, fluke sort of thing and therefore wasn’t worth remembering. I don’t know why I don’t remember the first time. Or why certain events stick out more than others. I suppose nobody really knows why we remember what we do.

I remember one night we had been arguing. And as usual, I have no idea over what. I had left and I remember sitting in the parking lot in my car-bawling. I don’t know if the argument had turned physical before I left or not. Most likely yes, or at least there were threats of violence. What I do remember is getting out of my car, crying and saying a prayer because I knew I would probably die if I went back in that apartment. I’m trying to find the words to describe the feeling and I can’t. It was a combination of terror, relief, and resignation. And yet, believing that I would be killed, I still went in. I don’t know why. It’s almost like I wasn’t even scared. Maybe it really was resignation that if I die, then this will finally all be over. Again, who knows? When I did enter, I’m not even sure what happened. Clearly I didn’t die. But that feeling, that awful, soul consuming feeling still haunts me every now and then. That’s what I remember. But honestly, I have to even call it a memory. Because it’s so real. I swear sometimes the feeling courses through my veins even now- years later. So it’s hard to call it a memory when it’s still here.

When I do think about my past and these situations. My mind always lands on trust. Every. Single. Time. When you get married and give your heart and soul and body to someone else. Which, when written down is incredibly terrifying really. I did my job and I cared and loved so tenderly. It used to be unfathomable that that wasn’t what I would get in return. You’re not supposed to have thoughts of getting killed. You’re not supposed to genuinely believe you will die at his hands. You’re not supposed to be told by him “I will end you” or “You are finished”. The person you are supposed to trust the most isn’t the one you’re supposed to be afraid of. There it is. Trust.

I can forgive him, and I have. But, forgiveness doesn’t change what happened. And he is working on his issues now, but it’s not enough. Too much has been taken. Too much trust has been broken. I just hope someday that someone will see these things I have been through and love me even more because of it. I can heal from this, and learn from it, and grow from it. But it will always be there. Always be a part of me. And I am slowly realizing that that’s ok. I believe that there is someone out there who won’t break my trust. Someone who will love me and care for me and keep me safe. I know it may take me a while and the trust will not be so freely given. But I will. I will trust and love again.

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