Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Where I've Been

In the last 2 years or so I haven't written much to post. Scribbles, mostly, in half a dozen composition notebooks, stuffed with scribbles on the backs of envelopes and shelved.

I've always written, I remember writing stories in the third grade, poetry in the 4th. Didn't matter if it was good or not, it let me say my piece and stay sane, stay alive. When I was old enough, I wrote love poems for my lovers and break up poems when it was over. I learned to edit, to keep the poem relevant years after it was written and to never ever use a proper name.

So the last few years. Mostly heartbreak and mourning has come out. When Sandy died in 2011, we were weeks away from moving in together. The horrendous shock of her death by accident, and then the treatment by her family pretty much erased a year or so there. I did keep the scribbles, managed to form them into a non fiction piece that was published and released in an anthology of local poets and writers. Once again I was writing to preserve my sanity, and there is an entire chapbook length pile of poems for her, called Vodka and Rose Petals. It doesn't matter to me if I ever publish it, and the grief is still so raw I'd be a difficult author to edit. I submit writing only to those editors I trust to reject me with kindness if they reject me at all.

The whole time I was dragging a giant elephant around with me wherever I went. And really for years before that. The giant elephant was an abusive relationship with a man who had started as a dear friend, became a lover, and then moved it.

Hindsight is 20/20. But domestic violence creeps in as slowly as molasses in winter. Stealth is it's primary means of insertion. All his friends knew of his domestic violence arrests. All of us knew he got off because his wife was "crazy." He was everyone's reliable friend. I keep saying I should have known, I should have not let him back after the first time, I should've, could've, would've. But I didn't. I loved him and somehow held onto the belief he would stop.

He did not. Which resulted in his removal from my home by court order, a restraining order, a violation that lead to a year of court appearances and one and a half years after his arrest, his release from probation. It only took 2 months for the stalking to start, and now I'm finding holes in the blocks I set against him and closing them one at a time, screen shotting every email, every social media follow before I block it, every bit of evidence of his continued obsession with me. Into the folder with all the other evidence.

The really telling part I only noticed after he was removed. I never wrote him love poems. I never even wrote him a break up poem. Everything I wrote was steeped in fear. Even the notes I kept, dated, radiate fear.

I am not publishing his name YET, or the case numbers. Maybe I'm stupid but I do keep hoping he will go away and leave me alone. Which in reality, will not happen and it will be me who gets to move away, once again, and change phones and change friends and live in hiding for the rest of my life. The difference is now, I understand the judicial system, which is stacked against the victim.

So I'll try to write again, I will stay in hiding, I will keep the brick dust on my doorways, and the mirrors facing the windows and dimming spell in place.

Oh, and the troll I thought I had, it's him in an alt.


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