His tight death grip on my arm as we left the barbecue…
His crazy accusations at the top of his lungs…
The twinkle in his eye at my fear when he almost veered the car into the median….
Even now as I write this, just thinking about that look of imperceptible glee on Dex’s face makes me sick to my stomach…
Over the weeks that passed after the incident, I tried, tried and tried to forget about it but my mind kept flashing back to that day. The one and only other time I brought up “the incident” after the coffeeshop, Dex accused me of harbouring resentment and purposely choosing not to get past it.
Stupid me tried even harder to prove him wrong and put more effort into showing him just how much I loved him. I won’t lie to you. I willfully ignored how our minor disagreements easily blew up into major blowouts on his end.
We settled into a ridiculous pattern of him accusing me of antagonizing, followed by me trying to convince him that it wasn’t the case. Then, Dex would say something hurtful about my family, my lack of common sense or the weight I had gained (from my stress eating). I would get upset and refuse to speak with him, sometimes for days, until he begged for forgiveness and morphed back into the man I had fallen in love with.
And when he morphed back, it was like when things were good between us. Each and every time, we would make up with amazingly crazy and wicked good sex that felt awesome in the moment but left me feeling hollow deep in my soul.
It was a dark and hollow vicious circular pattern.
You see, my gut knew better but my heart didn’t.
I know what you’re thinking – How could I be such an idiot, right? Why would an intelligent professional woman put up with his shit?
Yeah, I know, I know – I asked myself those same questions at least a thousand times after I smartened up for real. But like a fool, I thought that my love for him could conquer all. But it didn’t.
Love DOES NOT conquer all.
It was only until later that I realized I shouldn’t have overlooked his demeaning criticisms whenever he was mad. I shouldn’t have ceased, desisted and let him have his way. I shouldn’t have watched my words when I wasn’t sure what kind of a mood he was in.
I should have bailed when the stress of it all started playing tricks on my mind.I truly thought that I was losing my marbles…
When I brought up certain conversations Dex and I had had, he would tell me that he had no clue what I was talking about. When I bought us some fancy peanut butter and chocolate covered pastries for dessert one afternoon, he accused me of not caring enough to remember that anything with peanuts could kill him if he didn’t have his epipen handy. He stormed out when I insisted that he had never ever told me about it. I went from being a highly organized woman to someone who misplaced important items like my cell and my car keys. I would search high and low for them, only to have them reappear in the weirdest of places that I was certain I had already looked.
But I really knew that I was losing touch with reality when my birth control pills vanished and I couldn’t find them for days. Dex and I had a huge blowout because I refused to make love without that added layer of protection. Was it strange coincidence that he started insisting that we stop using condoms altogether because he didn’t like the “feel” of them anyways?
“Stop being so uptight! What’s the big deal? We love each other. Would it be so bad if we had a happy accident?”, he insisted.
I held my ground and refused to have sex with him until I could refill my prescription. But I never needed that refill. You see, my pills somehow magically turned up in the medicine cabinet – a place where I never put them but had already checked.
That was the day I suddenly realized that I had absolutely no one to talk to. No friend to call and get it out of your system. No one to grab a coffee with and just pour out my soul to.
There was no way I could talk to my “old-country” parents and get an earful of “I told you so’s”. It was bad enough that I had “shamed” them by buying my own condo and moving out without being married first. Yes, “shame” because to them, moving out as a single woman could only mean one thing – I had plans of not only having a revolving door of men in and out of my place but also in and out of my lady parts.
I had let all of my friends fall by the wayside for Dex. Samantha was like a stranger to me now. I had isolated myself into my own little world of Dex, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week because he demanded no less than my full attention. And I had given it to him.
As I write this, I can’t even think of one of Abuela’s sayings. I mean, I don’t think that any of her advice could fit how alone, isolated and incompetent I felt at not being able to make Dex back into the good man I knew he could be.
Continuation: J is for “Jealous”
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All Rights Reserved ©2018 Marquessa Matthews. Graphic above created with Canva.