all my exes live in . . . new mexico?

last night i took a particularly hard call on my rape crisis center shift. they are all hard calls. but this one lasted more than an hour, and was so parallel to some of my own experiences, that it hurt me deeply. . . it invaded my dreams. she said that she'll never be the same. she's dead and he killed her. i know.
i see his face on a lot of people. every couple of weeks i will freak out and think that he's found me and lives in albuquerque. i'll search the internet trying to find a trace of him. i'll panic and cry and deal, and forget. then he pops up again, and i'm back where i started. i've learned to shelve away my reaction when this happens. it's PTSD, and it's a fuckin bitch, but i can't flip out everytime i think i see a man that looks even remotely similar to him. this morning anna and i were walking to the grower's market, and a yellow vw van drove by slow as hell, and the guy in there was staring at me. i thought it was him, for sure, this time.
but i brushed it off and we cracked hilarious hippie jokes and continued on, and had a really wonderful day. we went to the grower's market, picking up fresh garlic and shallots and potatoes. i got this amazing goat cheese, and a loaf of moist, delicious bread from my client's friend's french bakery. we went to the library and picked out photography books for the art group i will be starting in august. we looked through vogue pattern books and i got a library card-FINALLY.
my heart was racing from my morning iced java and lack of sleep, so i cleaned all day.
i made little cheesecake mini bites. i had a ham and cheese wrap from punk rock pizza for dinner.
vic and i watched "night of the creeps".
and then i remembered. vic suggested i look him up on the metro court web site. nothing. i looked him up on the district court site. fuck. my heart slammed around in my chest, and i couldn't breathe for a few seconds.
he's in las cruces, dudes. . . he's here.
i'm terrified.
vic asked me gently, what i thought would happen if i saw him. he brought up good points, like how long it's been since we were together, and that maybe nothing would come of it.
his charge is a felony for drug trafficking. last month. nothing's changed.
i knew it, i KNEW i had seen him somewhere. i have felt him, like i felt him at my grad school commencement 2 weeks after he had almost killed me.
and it's not even that he is still in love with me, or anything like that. it's not about that. it's about control- it's about his totally fractured state of mind- and it's about the fact that he probably wouldn't be able to handle seeing me, just like i can't handle seeing him. two different reasonings behind that, but it's a shared truth.
he could be a sober, married, religious, and fucking reborn man, and i would still be terrified. that is what someone takes away from you, when they violate you and abuse you in ways you would never tell ANYONE about- your freedom, your ability to walk down the street without fucking flinching at the thought of them. . . i wonder if i will look over my shoulder for the rest of my life.
i hope it wasn't him. i hope i will never see him again, and i'll abandon my treatment over incarceration stance temporarily so that he rots in jail, for a long time. the heart of me knows that he needs medication and serious mental help, but it's not my fucking problem. i just want to be in my house and marry my boyfriend and LIVE. for years i have quietly believed that he would kill me one day. most women who come out of similar situations live with that dread lurking in the back of their minds, putting a damper on the happiest days; it resurfaces so forcefully sometimes. i'm a fucking survivor and it's going to take a lot to bring me down. but it's always possible.
they move on to the next victim, the next girl they will treat like garbage and defile and destroy. they lock up the precious memory of us in their box of filth and remember us when they want to- maybe to relive a particularly memorable moment we shared. WE don't have that luxury.
we always remember. and we're never gonna be the same.


Becky said...

Fuck. I'm so sorry. For him being there, for you having to go through this, and for not ever realizing the true gravity of this situation. I can't believe I was ever nice to this piece of shit. I know you're a tough lady, but please be extra safe. Fuck, fuck, fuck. Of all the places he could show up. You'll get through this, Sheil. You always do.

sheil said...

thank you becky!! you were the first person who asked me, "do you feel safe" when we were breaking up, and i always appreciated that moment because it freed me to speak a little bit. can you believe it though. . . sigh

MLe said...

wow. I am catching up on your blogs now, and my heart is with you. I admire your strength for letting yourself fall in love again and to not give him power over you.