I guess it’s about time I talk about some of the stuff in my life. I’m not yet ready to talk about my own health issues that I am currently dealing with. I feel like putting them out in the open would make it more real. And I’m not ready for that. Yet. So I will pick another topic that has been buried inside me for the last two weeks. I feel like it is eating me alive. And maybe, I hope, that getting it out will help me deal with some of the emotions. Quantify them. Break them open into the sunlight.
I have had thoughts of killing myself for more years than I can count. It is a known feeling to me. It is not out of the ordinary and I have come to know the feeling well. But I have never known the feeling of wanting to kill someone else. Now, please, understand I do not mean that in an absolute literal sense. You do not need to call the police or think that you will see me end up on the nightly news. But, hear me out. These emotions are new to me and I am struggling to find the words for them.
I guess I should start from the beginning. In a story that is not truly mine to tell, but I am a character in nonetheless. I am not a central figure, which is why I have never written about it. But it has become a part of my life and something that can, at times, consume me. As my emotions are not always my own. I’m sorry if this is going to end up being a long post. But I feel I need to get all of this out. Maybe in order for anyone who is reading this to truly understand. Maybe so that I can understand as well where these emotions come from.
The story, well, it probably starts when I was a kid. And my sister first entered my life. I was 8 years old and she was 6. Our mothers became best friends and, in turn, we became family. I have been protective of her from the beginning. I have always fiercely defended her. When I was 10, I punched a 12 year old boy because he would not stop making fun of her, even after I asked him to stop. I have never fought for myself. But I have always fought for her. Always.
Now that you understand that I can jump ahead quite a bit. My nephew’s father was a highly immature man and so he left the picture when Austin was only six months old. Which, in all honesty, was for the best. But as a fairly young mother, my sister was terrified of being a single parent. And so the first man that came into her life, she clung to him as if her life depended on it. In the beginning, I had no real issues with Adam. He was good with Austin and seemed to believe in the concept of family that we had. I didn’t have a good feeling when I was around him, but I chalked that up to me just being protective of my sister and not wanting her to settle for less than she deserved. Adam was quite a bit older than her and had a really good job so I went along with it because she seemed to be happy. At first.
Adam and my sister rushed their relationship fairly quickly and, within a year, they were married. There was just something about Adam that none of us liked, but we put up with it because he seemed to be what my sister wanted. Then, slowly, all of the truth about him came tumbling out. Finding its way to the surface for all of us to see. He was an alcoholic. He was addicted to gambling. He was emotionally abusive. He was controlling. He had nothing to his name, even though he had a six figure income. He hated us. All of it came to light. Slowly, then all at once we began to see him for what he truly was.
I can’t even count how many times I have received calls from my sister in the middle of the night. Hearing her cry breaks my heart. Every single time. I have had to go pick up her and the kids in the middle of the night so that they could get a night of peace at my house. I have held her as she cried. I have listened to her pour her heart out. I have seen the fear in her eyes. The words unsaid in what she does tell me. There have been countless threats of her leaving him. Of her wanting to break free. Of her wanting to get out. At one point she actually did leave him for a couple of months. And during that time, she became the person that I remember her being. Because that was the other thing, while she has been with Adam she has become someone different. Submissive. Dependent. For lack of another word, a victim. But when she left him, I saw some of her independence coming back. Her motivation to have a better life. But it was only short lived. She wanted to give her marriage “one more chance”. And so she returned to him. About a month later she got pregnant with my niece. And that’s when things really went downhill.
My sister then felt that she was “stuck” as she now had another child to feed. And she was completely dependent on Adam. And he, in turn, became even more controlling. The situation became even more of a nightmare.
A month ago there was yet another huge fight and we thought that this would finally be it. That my sister would finally leave. But, yet again, she said that she wanted to give it one more chance. She told me that she needed to know that she did everything she could to make her marriage work. That she wanted no regrets. And so all I could do was tell her that I would support her. But in my gut, I had a bad feeling. I get those sometimes. Just really bad feelings. And I never know where they come from. But they’re there. And I only know afterwards why. And I know now.
A week and a half ago, just as I was getting ready for bed, I noticed that I had four missed calls from my sister. Never a good sign. But it is also something I have become used to as she will do that when they get into a fight. So I called her back a couple of times, but she didn’t answer. I started getting really worried. I called one more time. She answered. Through tears she told me that she would need to call me back as she was with the police. My heart started racing. My adrenaline pumping. Fear raging through my mind. Was she ok? Were the kids ok? What the hell was going on?
She finally called me back. Adam finally crossed the line that I was hoping would never be crossed. To be perfectly frank, he beat the shit out of her. Mostly in the face. Punched her at least ten times. And attempted to strangle her. She was attempting to leave. And he finally did it. He finally had nothing more to lose. And he crossed that final line between emotional abuse and physical abuse.
So here’s where my emotions come in. I want to kill him. No, I’m not going to. But I have so much hate towards him that I can’t even think about it because I can’t control the feeling. Like I said at the beginning, I have always protected her. With no regard for myself. But this, this I could never protect her from. Over the last three years I have listened to her. Tried to give her advice. Tried to get her to see the truth of her situation. But as I looked at the bruises on her face, the bruises on her neck, her eyes almost completely swollen shut, none of that mattered. I had to walk into a back room and close the door so she could not see or hear me break down crying. I have known heartbreak before. But nothing like this. To see her so damaged and broken, it broke me. I could not stop this. And so the emotions course through me. And when I try and think about them, to break them down into their components, I find that I can’t. There is just too much. I have never known anger like this. I am not naturally an angry person. But this, this is something else entirely. I know anyone would have trouble if they were faced with this. But me, I can’t control the emotions. The rage. The hate. The pain. The sadness. It’s all a mess inside. And nothing about this is ordinary.