They are Masters — A Story of Abuse

We all want Love, we all crave it, we all need it.  Some Love is good, some is incredible, some is life changing, some is like nature and given freely, some Love destroys and sucks the life blood out of you.  Love is a basic need in Life, very fundamental to our existence.  The desire to be held and touched is the most basics of forms.  It has been proven that babies who are deprived of love, contact, and comfort, can grow up psychologically damaged.  Most of us confuse happiness in life with the need for Love, a Love that is pursued by the ego and the flesh.

I was modeled Love by my favorite two.  Mom and Dad provided me with lessons that live on and are at their strongest right now, this very moment in my life.  It took a long way to get here to this understanding as I took a corner that was dark and full of danger.  This corner teased me with the unknown, a force that once drove every aspect of life.  The corner teased me with fun, pleasure, excitement, being needed, touch, and sexual bliss, flesh.  All false and all very deadly.

The power lies within, as we are
Born with unique gifts, we all have
Being the Center, being you

Craving touch, craving attention, craving pleasure, craving ecstasy, my flesh wanted it all.  I asked for it and I received.  Intense it was at first.  My skin, my ego was rocked and sent to new heights I had yet to know or feel.  I was pleased, my ego was pleased as was my skin.  My life was good, I was happy.  Darkness was setting as the sun was shining.  My life was bright and it moved at a fast pace that was sure and steady.  It was exhilarating and it was pleasing to the senses.  I was alive.  My soul was slowly starting to decay.

It starts out like a slight of hand as those who abuse are Masters at what they do.  It is very subtle, it is very quiet.  So quiet, a church mouse would be nervous.  He preyed on my good nature quickly and without noise.  He needed me badly, he needed me to survive.  He had no job and he blamed everyone else for his failures.  He required pity and I gave it to him.  I was his savior, I was his life.  I loved him and I cared for him.  We all need to care for someone, it is a basic, fundamental aspect of life.

The power lies within, as we are
Born with unique gifts, we all have
Being the Center, being you

He stroked my ego and pleased my flesh.  His jealousy was cute as it showed his false devotion and it went unnoticed.  I came home happy and I went to work happy.  I was needed.  The brain washing had begun.  “I cannot live without you”, “You are my entire world”, “I need you”, “You complete me”, and “I would be lost without you.”  It does not happen fast, it is slow and methodic.  Months will pass until you have swallowed and once they see you have, the daggers start to fly.  Daggers come in the form of words just like the brainwashing.  “You do not love me”, “I am no good for you”, “I am to stupid”, “Why do you want me” … as a river flows from his eyes my heart is aching and my eyes are sore from wiping them.  The guilt is played, it is his second move.  Telling me that he Loved me was his first move.

Then, hardcore jealously kicks in.  The mistrust.  The feeling that I love work more than I love him.  This is deeply rooted in his being.  I must love my family more than I love him begins to takes its’ toll on me.  He starts to beat me down more and more and it is still with words.  Each time they are more harsh and more devastating to my psyche.  After each instance, it is flowers, dinner, being showered with kindness, the guilt of him needing me.  The vicious verbal cycle has begun.  He demeans me in front of friends.  When I would be telling a story at a party, he would cut me off and say “Honey, no one wants to hear your stupid stories” and then laugh it off.  He accuses me of looking at other guys.  The belittling of me in front of others was his third move.  It is calculated and he hits the mark each time.  There is no arguing as he is always right or he lets you feel you are right and you do not feel it because of the guilt.  Guilt and pity are his biggest weapons in the verbal attacks.  The damage is done.  He cannot survive without me and I let it happen.  My flesh likes the contact.  There is always contact after an incident.  This is how he keeps me and heals the damage he has inflicted.  My ego loves the ecstasy and yet my ego wants to fight back.  My soul is dying and the ego cannot live without the soul.  My soul is dying fast.

The power lies within, as we are
Born with unique gifts, we all have
Being the Center, being you.

His next move is deeply psychological.  He starts to test my love.  He goes out and drinks without me.  He calls to tell me he has been in an accident and gives me the address.  I fly out of the house at 3 a.m. and he is no where to be found.  He does not answer his cell and I drive around for over an hour.  Up and down streets, rights and lefts, getting out and looking around, and he is no where to be found.  I head home scared for him but do not know what else to do and I find him in bed.  I ask why and he replies “oh honey, I just needed to know that you cared and loved me.  I like that you care and love me that much.  Thank you Baby.”  I lay awake wondering what the hell is going on.  The next morning it is like nothing ever happened and he makes me forget very quickly.  He is a Master.  This is his fourth move and he does it over and over.  I feel like I want to leave and he makes me feel that if I leave he will just shrivel up and die.  But this is exactly what is happening to me.  I am slowly shriveling up.

A few years go by, the cycle happens in 2 to 3 month periods.  Then it gets violent.  I have parent/teacher conferences.  I get home later than expected.  My clothes have been ripped, sliced, torn, and thrown into a pile.  My antiques are destroyed, paintings are slashed, and sentimental photos are ripped up.  “Oh Baby, I do not know what I was thinking, I thought you were leaving.  You are Late!!!  I just went crazy with rage, I was not myself, I am so sorry Baby, please forgive me?”  He falls into my arms, sobbing and shaking.  I stay awake all night and finally fall asleep at sunrise.  He lets me sleep for a bit and then wakes me up to go for a walk and a nice lunch.  I am being psychologically brainwashed.  I am being controlled with sleep deprivation, and being made afraid of his anger and his violence.  My anxiety is running high.  He knows this and pushes the alcohol on me to relax me and numb me.  It works.  I am numb because of him and numb because of the alcohol.  I start to gain weight and I do not like myself at all.  I am no longer happy and I am under his control.  I now realize the control and instead of leaving, I fight back and this is my mistake.  I do not fight with fists or objects.  I try and fight with actions.  It does not work.  He is the Master.  He puts me in the hospital one night.  The night before I am supposed to take students to a district contest.  We are sleeping.  He gets up and leaves and I hear this.  I look at the clock, it is midnight.  I fall back asleep and he awakes me a short time later.  “Drew I saw him leave.  I know you are cheating on me.  I sat across the street and watched the whole thing.”  I am shaking my head with disbelief and my body is shaking with fear.  He has a knife.  I say “honey you left at midnight, it has only been 30 minutes, what are you talking about?  You can see I have been sleeping.”  He takes the knife and jabs it in my chest and hits my sternum. That saved me.  He then pulls it out and jabs me in the arm and hits bone.  He leaves it in for a minute and then as he’s pulling it out, I am screaming “Don’t the blood will just gush.”  He does not listen and pulls it out and blood goes every where very quickly.  He starts to cry and grabs a towel and rushes me to the emergency room.  The next day it is “I was climbing over my fence and slipped and the metal rod went through my arm.”  I am now really good at excuses.  So I think.

The power lies within, as we are
Born with unique gifts, we all have
Being the Center, being you

A part of me tries to fight back with a vengeance, I will not be controlled.  I continue to fight back with action and words. This makes it worse.  I needed to leave but could not.  I felt like I was frozen in time.  He fights back with alienating me from my family, making me write letters that were not so nice, and with more physical abuse. His rages are mind blowing and out of the blue.  I walked through the door one day after going for a walk, and he held me against a wall with his hand around my throat.  He punches me in the mouth, busting my lip.  He is a crazy mad man.  He has snaps more and more.  He now has me at my deepest despair.  I am scared because the physical violence is more frequent.  This was his fifth and final move.  I was scared for my life.  “Oh my god Baby, I am so sorry, I did not mean it, I do not know what came over me?  I get so scared at times when you are not here.  I am so afraid you are going to leave me.  Baby I cannot live without you.  You are every thing to me.  I promise I will never hit you a gain!  I would never hurt the man I love.  Please forgive me Baby?  Say it, please say it!!!”  I do, I am totally afraid and living in fear.  This is now the norm.

As the cycles become more frequent and more vicious, others are noticing but not saying anything.  The cycles escalate to higher and higher levels.  Every month I have new bandages on my face and body.  More bruises that are bigger and last longer.  I am missing more and more school to recover.  Each time is a new excuse.  “I tripped over my dog and fell down the stairs; I bent over and stood up and hit the cupboard; I tried to break up a fight with my neighbors and got hit accidentally; I was changing a tire and the tire iron slipped and I hit my lip; lie after lie.  Boy I was good.  Knife wounds on my neck, knife wound in my chest, knife wound on my arm, gashes in my head, split lip … it all took its toll.  My principal called me in one day in March after 5 years of this.  “You need to get help!  We know what is happening, the kids are talking and afraid for you.  We cannot let this go on for their safety.  He has threatened people here at school and he has threatened you!  Either get help or we are going to have to let you go.”  I leave that day and go to a shelter.  I think I am safe, I am scared, I am frightened, I get no sleep … I am lost.

The power lies within, as we are
Born with unique gifts, we all have
Being the Center, being you

The shelter is the absolute worst.  I do not view it as a safe place, it is hell, I am alone and i cannot handle it.  He calls me four weeks later.  “Baby I went to get help, I am better.  I am so sorry Baby, I have learned what I did was wrong and I am healed.  Let me prove it to you?”  I believe and I let him back in.  We decide to move out of State.  A fresh start and a new beginning is exactly what we need.  All is good.  Within a week of being in a new city and a new State, I end up in the hospital for stitches.  This one happened because I replied to a former co-worker’s email (whom he knew personally). It was just about “How are you?  We miss the two of you.”  I forgot to tell him but left the email open for him to see.  That was not good enough.  He thought I was cheating on him and he started beating on me and took a knife and slashed my arm again. Deep enough so blood was just gushing out.  I am in a living hell.  Five years go by slowly in this new State and I do not remember much except at the end.  Walking on egg shells takes more energy than my brain can handle.  I forget a lot and I do it on purpose.  He gets more and more paranoid about every action I take and everything I do.  It comes to a head one night.  He bursts into the bedroom and starts to beat the shit out of me and kicks me out of the house.  All the time screaming “I knew you cheated on me!!!”  Over and over.  I had my phone and keys.  I was was in shock.  I drove to the gas station close by and just sat in my car crying and bleeding.  I am totally in shock and shaking with tremendous fear.  I see lights on a cop car go speeding by.  I get out and sneak in the darkness to the townhouse.  They are at my door.  I call my neighbors to go talk to him after the cops leave.  My phone rings “He slammed his head into a wall and said you beat him up and the police have placed an arrest warrant out for you.”

I call the police and turn myself in.  I am done, it is over.  I go to jail and spend 3 nights.  The only thing I know at this point is I am safe and I do not care if I leave.  I want to stay in jail.  I did not eat any food, I slept, I was angry, and I was not going to live like I had been anymore.  I was finally released on my own recognizance and as I was walking out of city jail, I realized I had reached my breaking point.  I thought I could save him, help him, that he really did need me and that he would die without me.  I could change him.  I had this power.  NO NO NO NO!!!!  This was all going through my head as I was waiting to be picked up from jail on a Monday morning.  School was starting in nine days.  I packed my bags and left.  I had to, I had to end it.  I slept in my car night after night for three weeks.  I washed up and cleaned up at school and sometimes slept on the floor in my room as I was paranoid he would follow me.  I had left him and yet I was still scared.  He came to school one day and walked into my volleyball practice.  He came to tell me he had AIDS and that he was dying.  “I DON’T CARE!!  Leave or I will have you arrested for trespassing.”  He was lying about AIDS, it was a desperate move.  Night after night he called and called.  I didn’t answer.  I knew if I did, I would go back.  If I went back, I would either kill myself or he would.  I did not answer.  It had been three agonizing weeks of sleeping in my car, at school, and now it is a Saturday.  I am at Volleyball practice.  My neighbor calls “You better come home right now, he is dead.”  My heart sinks and I fall to the floor.  My friend, my colleague, my fellow coach, picks me up and knows.  She drives me home.  I am completely numb yet I had my family on my mind.  I make the call to them all and to his family. My last call is to my oldest sister.  I am sobbing so much I can hardly talk.  We talk for a bit and she ends our conversation with, “He just committed the ultimate form of control by committing suicide.  You need to know this.  I Love You and I am here for you!”  This is the purest form of Love.

The power lies within, as we are
Born with unique gifts, we all have
Being the Center, being you

It was three years of depression.  I did not go out and I did not live.  I went to school and came home and slept on the couch.  I spent every weekend on the couch.  I spent three years on my couch.  I cried a lot till I could not cry anymore.  I asked one and only one question all the time “WHY?”  I never got an answer.  At the end of the third year, I just wanted to call it quits.  I was close to ending my existence.  It was so dark and I was so lonely.  I was on Facebook one day and I happened upon a former athlete of mine when I coached at a former school a decade ago.  This former athlete was living in the same city I was.  He reached out to me:  “Lets get together and chat and have a beer.”  I said yes for some reason and we met at an English pub.  That took a ton of strength to leave my safety zone.  We had a beer and some grub and chatted.  We went to city park and started to walk around.  He sensed something was wrong and asked me what was wrong.  I said nothing.  He looked at me “You were there in my darkest hour in high school and you saved me now let me return the favor.”  I unloaded and unloaded.  He was crying, I was crying, and I said “I just want to know Why?”  He said “Your answer is 6 feet in the ground, you will never know why.  You can ask that question all you want and you will never get an answer.  So you can decide to live or die.  What’s your choice?”  That is all I needed.

It has been 6 long years since he took his life and it has been 14 long years since the abuse first started.  I have come a long way since that first night we met.  I am almost back to the way I was before that night.  I spent an entire week by myself near the Canadian border this summer.  No electricity, no phone, nothing to distract me.  Just me, my thoughts, and nature.  I was happy, I felt alive, and I felt blessed.  There have been a lot of lessons in the last 3 years.  When I thought I was over it, I would have a set back here and there.  I will never be truly healed from this.  The damage is deep but I can learn to live a fruitful life and be good to others.  I am not afraid to tell my story to strangers and to friends, or family.  It helps with the healing.  The more I talk about it, the more I heal.  Talking has big my biggest lesson.  I thought time would heal, but it is what you do with that time that heals.  Time in itself does nothing.  Time only provides the opportunity, one has to take the opportunity.

I often get the question “Why?, you are a smart man, why did you let this happen?”  or “Why did you stay and put up with the verbal, mental, and physical abuse?”  You cannot tell someone the answer when they have no knowledge of what it is like or what you go through.  You read the word “Master” right?  They are Masters at what they do.  They are Masters at brainwashing and control.  I was not a strong person like I thought I was.  I was very weak and I craved to be Loved.  He preyed on this and I let him suck my soul out of me.  I have stopped asking myself “WHY?”  I decided in order for me to be healthy and to be able to be in a healthy relationship, I needed to forgive myself and move on.  That was very tough, forgiving myself.  I needed to live in the present.  I will say my biggest ally was “ME”.  I did not allow myself to lose myself.  Almost, but not quite.  I do know my biggest mistake.  This was making someone else the center of my universe.  I am my own center, I have the power, I am unique, I am, I have it …  For someone else going through this right now, “You have to be the Center of your own Universe!”  It takes one step and a ton of courage, but you can do it. You owe it to yourself.  Do it!!!!

The power lies within, as we are
Born with unique gifts, we all have
Being the Center, being you

I carry a heavy burden that gets lighter and lighter as each day passes.  I am still learning.  I am enjoying life and my life is getting more intense and more intense.  I express myself through photography now.  I have also just met my ‘Muse’.  I used to look for one but realized from a fellow artist that one cannot look they just fall in ones path.  I serendipitously met this incredible young man only a little while ago.  He is driving my creativity to heights I have only dreamed about. He inspires me with every text message, every phone call, and even when we do not talk.  The world is about to see the results of this inspiration very soon.  My every day life is already feeling it. There is no holding me back now.  My ‘Muse’ has unleashed me and unlocked the door and I am breathing.  My passion is alive!!  I am very grateful for him and I will never be able to repay what he has done in such a short period of time.  I am very excited about the future and what we will accomplish.  The World is about to see!!!   Life moves along and I am in a good place … But most importantly, I AM MYSELF.

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