I went to court hoping to hear that my abuser was in jail because he was arrested for public intoxication and that triggered a probation violation. Unfortunately, that’s not what happened, he’s picked up a new domestic violence charge.
I’m having a very difficult time understanding how I feel right now. Logic says I should be impassive, but I’m not. I’ve moved away from the county where this occurred, which means I had a one-hour drive to court after writing my last post. I called my mom during this drive and was surprised when I burst into tears because I was afraid he had abused another woman. Had I aggressively prosecuted him, had I called the police every time he hurt me, he would have been in jail (most likely state prison) and unable to hurt anyone else. My misguided tender heart (let’s be real, it’s full-on co-dependence) attempted to help and comfort him without regard to my safety or the safety of others. I’m angry with myself.
Arriving at court I was also surprised at all the physical symptoms of anxiety I was experiencing, In fact writing this is producing them all over again. I experienced tightness in my chest, my feet were bouncing, my stomach was fluttering … and I was edgy.
Domestic Violence Court is a S-L-O-W process. It took two hours for him to be called and my tension continued to build. He had a fresh haircut and was clean-shaven, but other than that he looked pretty weak, a state that in the past would have made me feel the need to help or protect him. On Wednesday it just disgusted me, I recognized it as the manipulation of an abuser.
He’s been in and out of treatment for two years with better access to mental health care than I have, I’ve done more than I should have to help him feel safe and loved, to provide stability. Truth be told, I focused on him, more than myself. There are people that would give anything for the opportunities he was given to better himself but he is choosing to play the system and continue to abuse himself and women.
My anxiety skyrocketed as the prosecutor read the police account of his latest domestic violence crime. It was almost exactly the same thing he did to me the first time. He was drunk, they fought verbally, he tried to get control of her phone and grabbed at her. She hid in her room and called the police telling them she thought he was looking for a knife. Leopards don’t change their spots.
I updated the criminal restraining order and spoke in court. Again, I was surprised to find myself bawling as told the court that I wanted him to stay in jail. That he’s a predator and I told them of his records in other states.
I’m sad that it ended this way. That I’m still getting hurt and that another woman was abused.
Yesterday, I sold the keyboard he treasured (that he conned me into paying for under the premise it was a short-term loan). Today I’m going to his revocation hearing where they will decide his sentence. I want the judge to be looking at me and my tears when he decides. As for what he feels. That’s his journey, not mine. I’m learning I cannot control his desire to get better, or if he’ll put the work in. I am only in charge of my own life. Tough words for a recovering co-dependent.
If you are being abused, please get support!. The Domestic Violence Hotline or 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) 24 hours a day.
Pro-tip, use an incognito browser when you research help options.