love.

this is going to be a bumpy ride.

an “are we there yet” kind of experience.

my thoughts are here, there and everywhere.

LOVE.

man has found a way to put a label on everything.

has created words to describe the indescribable.

LOVE even has a definition in the dictionary as if it can really be defined.

LOVE…

  1. A deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person, such as that arising from kinship, recognition of attractive qualities, or a sense of underlying oneness.
  2. A feeling of intense desire and attraction toward a person with whom one is disposed to make a pair; the emotion of sex and romance.
    1. Sexual passion.
    2. Sexual intercourse.
    3. A love affair.
  3. An intense emotional attachment, as for a pet or treasured object.
  4. A person who is the object of deep or intense affection or attraction; beloved. Often used as a term of endearment.
  5. An expression of one’s affection: Send him my love.
    1. A strong predilection or enthusiasm: a love of language.
    2. The object of such an enthusiasm: The outdoors is her greatest love.
  6. Love Mythology. Eros or Cupid.
  7. often Love Christianity. Charity.
  8. Sports. A zero score in tennis.

REALLY?

man has even written a book.  called it the bible. and deemed it the right way to live.  the right way to love. the only way to truly know God.  and adherence to the rules within this man-made book is the only way to enter the pearly gates of heaven…as if there are iron workers in heaven.

each time i have loved. my definition of love has evolved.  each time i said I LOVE YOU. i meant it. i meant with all my heart knew of love, at that time.

i remember being five years old or so, and standing before my mother as she knelt down to fiddle with my scarf. she wrapped it in a way only a mother can. air tight. i knew that was love.  i remember asking her… “mommy, why do you let daddy hit you?” i knew that wasnt love.

funny though, i knew that wasnt love, but it was all i knew. and i would know it first hand.

before i knew i was gay.

before i knew what love really was.

before i had any business loving anybody.

when all i wanted was attention.

i loved him.

and he loved me too.

he told me so.

he said, “i love you so much.  I will break both your legs if you ever leave me.”

he said, “i love you so much.  I will kill you if you ever cheat on me.”

crazy, but it felt like love to me.  i thought wow… he REALLY loves me!

i was only twelve years old. and it was the only concept of love i had ever known.

he went to jail shortly after confessing his love to me.

when he came home from prison.  he found out something that i had done (another post).  he called me upstairs. he lived in the apartment above mine.  i ran up.  he greeted me by the door.  i dont recall him saying anything.  he slapped me hard across the face. it stung.  i was paralyzed. in complete disbelief. BAM….again, and again, and again.  i felt the warm stream of fear trickling down my legs.  he was yelling at me. but i cant tell you what he said.  i havent a clue.  when he dismissed me, i ran down the stairs. into my apartment. to my bed. and cried. he called me later that night to say he was sorry. i was happy to hear from him.

fast forward.

summer of 1993. i was fifteen. our one month old daughter was sleeping in the crib. it was about 4am.  we were watching a movie. i was eating   chef boyardee ravioli. he started questioning me about the same incident that happened back in 1991. a knot formed in the pit of my stomach.  and just as i had anticipated.  the ravioli went flying. my eyes became wide as i looked at the intensity in his.  he had this evil look about him when he became enraged.  he asked me questions, and ended each question with a powerful slap to my face. each one harder than the last. or maybe my skin just became more sensitive with each blow.  i backed myself onto the sofa and hugged my knees.  he punched my legs as i buried my head into my arms. he jerked my body out of the ball i had formed myself into.  and wrapped his hands tight around my neck.  crazy how your body reacts to intense fear.  its as if your brain goes into some kind of self preservation mode.  and it can no longer waste any brain cells on things like bladder control. i felt a gush of warmth escape me. it almost felt good. his grip was terrifying.  i felt my face. the horror that was all over it.  the look on his was worse.  blank. angry. emotionless. he took me into the room and held my face over the crib.  said some taunting things about me never seeing our daughter again.  pushed me into the corner of the room. and began punching me all over. twice in the face. my legs. my stomach.  when i keeled over in pain. he punched me on my back.  the sun had come up.  my mother heard the commotion and began knocking on our locked bedroom door. he told me to tell her to go away.  each time she knocked. he slapped me in the face and told me to tell her to go away. this happened several times until she noticed the pattern.  finally she stopped.  he told me to lay down. i did. he plopped himself down next to me. i cried and sniffled as quietly as i could. i told him i had to pee.  he gestured for me to go.  i held my head in my hands as i sat on the toilet.  i flushed and turned on the water. i stared at my reflection. bruised. puffy. red. scared. i left the water on and ran. i ran out of the apartment. and kept running. i was barefoot.  with nothing on but a night shirt. no panties.  i approached a man who was standing in his doorway talking to another man.  now in a panic with tears streaming down my face i begged him to use his phone. he pulled his friend inside and slammed the door. i just kept running.  i noticed someone in their kitchen, and knocked on their door.  i told them it was an emergency, and begged them to use their phone.  the man looked around for a minute and opened the door for me to come in.  he sat me down and his pregnant wife inquired silently about the almost naked hysterical girl in her kitchen.  he handed me the phone and she rubbed my back. it hurt but her touch felt comforting.  i called the police. the husband gave me a pair of shorts to put on. i wanted to stay with them.

i arrived back at the house to find him putting our infant daughter in his car.  he drove off.  i ran after the car with every ounce of strength  i had.  i could hear the sirens not far behind me.

he was arrested.

the day was long after that. painful. i had never in my life been hit before.  oddly enough, my father NEVER struck me.  he slapped me one time when i got a little too crazy playing rough with him.  he whooped me with his belt another time after i had run away for two days.  but it was funny to me. didnt hurt. i could tell he didnt want to.

i didnt press charges. he stood away for a while.  talked about moving to north carolina. but he was back home in less than two weeks.  he made me destroy the photos of my black eyes and bruised body.  i stood nine more years. and suffered many more torturous episodes. only difference was, i think he realized, the less evidence the better. so he stuck with mostly throwing me around, fear tactics and choking.

i remember one time he was angry with me about some shit.  i was in the bathroom using a curling iron.  he snatched the cord from the socket that was above my head.  and the metal part of the plug hit me in the face.  on the soft skin right under my eye.  i flinched and instinctively shut my eyes as it struck me.  when i opened them, there was this single red stream of blood pouring down my face.  as if i was crying blood.  he sucked his teeth and walked away. he felt stupid because he hadnt intended to go that far. but was too much of an asshole to comfort me.

i just stood there staring at myself.

with all i knew. and didnt know.

i knew this wasnt love.

Vanessa xoxo

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10 Comments.

  1. That *was* a bumpy ride…both for the reader and even more so for you , but putting it down can be cleansing, healing in some ways in fact. I can picture the curling iron incident, with the appearance that you were crying blood, almost too well…and it breaks my heart. I’m so glad you are out of that kind of situation–so, so many haven’t made it out. No, sweet V…that was definitely not love.

  2. thebookofjoshua

    =( . wordless. truly indescribable.

  3. you take your readers on a vivid, emotionally-charged journey through such a tumultuous time.

    you deserve more because…well, simply put, everyone does. love is not defined by what you experienced. rather, it defines itself juxtaposed to it.

    i wish you true love experiences to always follow this, the one you escaped from…this, the one that will, on the fortunate end of things, make you both wiser and stronger in the end.

    thank you for sharing.

  4. Yes my dear that was indeed a bumpy ride!!!
    i cant imagine going through that kind of turmoil for 1yr far less 9 plus years!!
    But i am glad that you are at a point in your life where you can share this horrible( for lack of a better word) experience to somewhat cleanse the soul/brain!!!!
    i’m happy that you made it out, you deserve better and it’s good u knew that was not love!!!

    Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  5. You, being born a woman who has been on a journey of discovery and rediscovery of what love is and isn’t have risen above countless times. This makes you extraordinary, like my mom who endured for 10 years, maybe more, the ups and down and mental and physical reflections of what love was and what it had eventually become. Self destruction. Your trials are reflected in tbhe strengh and power you bear. Those hurdles you had to overcome make you stronger than anyone who ever tried to make you feel less than, because you never were. Not once. Fear, that thing they seek to invoke in you is the very thing haunting them.

    I am glad you are at this place where you can share your story and share your beautiful spirit. Keep shining, V.

  6. thank you guys so much for your comments. your words are always uplifting and inspirational! i know my posts have been a wee bit long lately, so you taking the time to read means a lot to me. *hugs*

  7. You rip the tears right out of me. God bless you woman. I’ll send you Angels, they always respond.
    And you’re correct, no labels will satisfy the heart: only love can do that.
    Therein lies the flaw in organised religion.

  8. Vanessa, I want to say that you are a good woman for not pressing charges. But I am curious to know why? Was it forgiveness? Was it fear?

    Nonetheless, I lament the fact that you ever had to go through something like that. But you have such a beautiful gift in releasing these disastrous experiences and placing them on a page. As a reader, I am there with you in every struggle, every moment, and I want to hug you, if only for a second, and tell you that it will be better.

    I, too, will pray for you to find the true definition of love…

    • Fear. Fear that he would be out in a few days, and knowing that a flimsy piece of paper wasn’t going to protect me. Fear that he would keep his promises. Just fear. And that fear was paralyzing!

      He was genius at instilling fear in me. He once had me face down on the bed, as he sat over me holding my head as if he was going to snap my neck. He knew exactly how to keep me where he wanted me.

      Thank you for reading, and caring! *hugs*

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