I began this as an exercise to help me emotionally heal from past trauma, but what started out as a short exercise quickly turned into many hours and pages of writing with no sign of stopping. It just poured out of me.
I was a bit unprepared and really should have been working on my commissions, but the universe had other plans. I feel deeply that sharing my story will bring forth more healing than I could have imagined.
The result of my Exercise:
“Get in the truck!” Mike yelled at me from the doorway of my friend’s house.
He had driven his truck through the yard, and parked right in front of the porch. This wasn’t an unusual event. Mike parking his truck in the yard. His urgency and tone however were a surprise to me.
Everyone I knew used the yard in such the same way. The small property usually was filled with mud covered vehicles some of which were filled with 4-wheelers and beer packed coolers. The house was rented by two twenty something brothers and their female cousin. Located in a dry county this property still saw its fill of liquor and drugged induced parties. The brothers may have paid the bills, but the house was claimed by many as home throughout the week and late into the night on the weekends.
I first met the brothers of the house through my friend who dated one of them. How we as teenage girls became involved with guys more than 5 years our senior is a distant memory, but we quickly became a regular presence at the house. Mike was 8 years older than me. I met him through the brothers who lived down the street from Mike’s parents house. Dating underage girls was not the only thing that went on against the law in that house.
“Where are we going?” I asked Mike as we walked outside.
“Just get in the damned truck,” He snapped back at me.
I quickly heeded his request wondering what his intentions were. As I closed the door to his truck, he promptly demanded, “Pull down your pants!”
“What!” I look perplexed at him as quickly as I felt violated.
“NOW!” He yelled. “I fucking said now! Pull down your pants!”
He was so angry and I couldn’t conceive of why. I was pretty high at this point in the evening which may explained some of my dismay, but I had not done anything to deserve this kind of abuse from him. I had been given some money earlier in the evening by Mike’s parents. They had agreed to watch my daughter and sent me out to do some roaming just as their son had done earlier in the evening and many evenings before. They may have saw the discontent in me about my relationship with their son. They were first hand witnesses of our relationship since we had lived with them for more than a year now.
In hindsight dating an adult guy who lives with his parents might not be the best choice for a 17 year old, but I was naive and at the time the relationship worked.
I happily took the money from his parents, called my friend Cam, and made plans to hang out. I made the 20 minute trip from my house to Cam’s. Darkness set as I made the drive down the long country roads. I couldn’t have imagined where my night would have ended.
As I made my way down the curvy road to Cam’s house, I passed the street that led to the Farm. Thoughts began to swirl in my mind. Thoughts that could not be harnessed. I imagined and then re-imagined that feeling. That feeling was what comes over one when you take the first drag of a pipe loaded up with crack cocaine. It was the feeling of consummate euphoria. My mind supposes it is the feeling of divine union with God himself. The thought of that feeling made my heart race and my mind fill with emotions. I quickly assessed the time. I pulled over into a church parking lot not far past the road to the Farm. I couldn’t think straight. I searched through the console and then the glovebox. I didn’t have anything I could use to create a makeshift pipe if I could score some dope. I didn’t think. I immediately pulled back onto the road and made my way to the Farm. “Cam will wait. It won’t take me long,” I had thought to myself. I didn’t have much cash on me, but I had enough to get a good sized rock.
I made my way down the dark and narrow one lane road. There were no street lights and very few houses. That is until you make it to the Farm. The road is still one lane but the trees opened up. There was an eerie red hue from the brake lights of other vehicles being approached by runners. The runners were the guys who ran with the money and brought back the dope in return. They ran the dope to get dope in return. If one doesn’t know what they are doing the runner will take your money and never return. Sometimes they will try to pass off soap or peanuts as dope. Either way you will be at a loss. The runners have an upper hand. I slowly made my way around vehicles and spotted a runner I knew from previous encounters at the Farm. I rolled the my window down and shouted at him. He helped me score and then I asked him about getting hold of a pipe. Some runners kept pipes on them for trade. The runner suggested I take him down the road in exchange for use of a pipe. He showed me a pipe while explaining his plan. I hesitated, then I looked at my ashtray where I’d stashed my rock. I took a quick look around at vehicles entering and leaving. Fear comes over me. “Where is Mike tonight?” I think. He could have had the same thought as I and could be pulling up any minute. A question ran through my mind, “What if he catches me?” I didn’t have time to think. I agreed with the plan and unlocked the door for the runner. He jumped into the front seat. He was an older white man who looked to be about in his 40’s. His hair was thin and long as well as his scraggly beard. He quickly directed me where to go and thanked me for the ride. “You can’t catch a break, man, they all want a piece…ne’er leave a fella alone,” He lamented to me his problems with smoking his payments around the other runners. He then began to fiddle with the radio. I was a bit relieved. He reminded me of my dad with his short stature and lanky malnourished body. I relaxed some and followed his directions. We pulled off the road, through an open gate, and out onto a gravel drive. He assured me we won’t be bothered here and reminds me of his promise of pipe privileges. I again wondered if I had made a mistake. It was all a mistake. I pulled behind a fence of bushes off the drive and parked. My lights had been off for most of the drive to our secluded spot. He quickly loaded up his screen with dope and took a long slow hit of the pipe. Finally I was allowed to take my euphoric trip to another world. It settles my mind for those short lived seconds. Quickly I am back to reality as we took turns until all we had was gone.
I made the trip back to drop off the runner. This time, though, while turning around to leave, I see a familiar truck. It was the truck of one of the brothers. He immediately spotted me, got out of his truck, and came running over to my car. He scolds me for coming to the Farm by myself. I wondered if he saw the runner get out of my car. He made certain to let me know that he did not approve of my actions. Him, here to make his own score, did not approve of me. We argued for a few minutes. I pleaded to him to not tell Mike. I promised to leave and never return. He seemed amiable at that point and promised not to say anything. I quickly return to my previous night’s engagement.
Cam and I spent some time at her place and made a trip to town. We of course ended up at the brothers house. Nothing was ever mentioned about my trip to the Farm.
I was a bit relieved at not ending up in the horrible perpetual cycle of scoring, getting high, then scoring again, getting high, then wanting more dope.
I was pleased with myself for showing some restraint.
This had been the first time in a long while that I had scored some dope. After moving away from the town and beginning Vo-tech classes, I had sworn off getting high. I was on a clean road to becoming sober. I had begun a full-time job at a local dollar store and had begun planning to make something of my screwed up future. I looked at this score as a minor set-back, but I was definitely showing signs of more control.
“What for!” I question Mike as he begins pulling at my shorts to unbutton them.
“Because I said so, you fucking whore, that’s why!” He retorts.
I am at a loss, but I did it anyways. I pulled down my shorts and underwear in the front seat of his truck. He reached over and grabbed the fabric between my legs.
“It’s fucking wet. Who’ve you been fucking tonight, you fucking whore?”
I was speechless as I embarrassingly pulled my shorts back up. I knew the brother reneged on his promise and that Mike apparently knew nothing about female anatomy. In that moment I felt like a helpless child. There was a sunken feeling in my chest. I just sat there frozen.
Mike pulled away from the brother’s house. My car was still parked in the driveway. “I’ll get it later,” I thought to myself.
Mike continued to yell questions and profanities at me as we drove down the road. I tried to argue my position. I tried to explain his parent’s generosity. He didn’t believe anything I had to say. I knew that I had done nothing wrong in regards to our relationship. I had never even thought about cheating on him. Nothing I said could calm him down.
He reached over and slapped me on the left side of the face with the back of his open hand.
“Shut the fuck up whore. I know what the fuck you were doing.”
My heart sunk deeper. I hadn’t done anything in my mind. I did do some drugs, but that didn’t hurt anyone but myself. My child was being cared for and he was out doing stuff too, but I knew the life I was living was not right. I knew I should have never went to the Farm. I wondered why I couldn’t control myself. At this point I was more disappointed in my lack of willpower than I was with the man that just degraded me in so many ways.
I felt disgusted on so many levels. My face hurt, my heart hurt, and my spirit hurt.
We had been together for about a year, and my daughter was only a few months old. That night was not the first time Mike had hit me, but on some level I felt as though I deserved the punishment.
Coming from a home of corporal punishment, it wasn’t a far cry from what I had been used to. From a very young age I had been yelled at and hit when my choices were deemed incorrect.
No matter what my choices had been, though, I had not deserved the degradation that I had received.
I can’t claim to know the first time Mike hit me, nor can I recall every circumstance that he did. I have some difficulty with recollection these days. I can’t say for sure why this is. Was it the drug abuse or the physical abuse? I do know that there were many times that Mike caused traumatic brain injuries with his explosive rage. He claimed, usually through tears, not to remember what he did during the worst attacks.
I’ll never know his side of the story, or what his childhood trauma was.
This January will make 13 years since I last smoked crack cocaine, and 14 years since I finally had the courage to reach out to my family for help. I had seen myself as a failure for so long, that admitting my mistakes was a very difficult task, but I knew that my future and the future of my daughter depended upon it.
Many times I have questioned my soul’s purpose here on earth. And I still do not full understand why I am existing now. I lived through so much trauma in those days and tried committing suicide numerous times to alleviate the hell I felt trapped in those 2 years.
I do not hold ill will against my aggressor. We were two lost souls who crossed paths in the no so best of circumstances.
Our eyes were jaded by poverty and drug abuse.
I have many good memories alongside those atrocious ones.
We celebrated the birth of my first child. I shared my first moments of parenthood with that man. I went through the process of moving into and decorating my first home with him. Together we took many trips and had numerous happy memories. I will not allow the tragedy that beset me make me forget the good I found in him and our time together. It is that hate/love that made it so hard to let go in the end.
I have learned much about myself from reflecting upon those experiences and the reactions that I had to them.
I am today who I have allowed myself to become despite my experience.
My daughter and I last fall.