Friday, May 15, 2009

A Codependent Fistfest

I was fairly young-in-body but old-at-heart when I was 23. I met a lovely lady who seemed very into me, so I asked her out. Denied.

I'd see Nise from time to time around town. Neither of us lived in the area we'd run into each other in. I won't lie, I liked running into her, but at one point it became a little too coincidental. So I called her on it, was she stalking me? "I thought you were stalking me." I laughed and said no. So she said since we go to the same places all the time, we may as well go out.

I guess that was an in. Our first date was decent, fun, but she didn't give me the physical reinforcement that she was into me. Not one casual touch or glance. She didn't watch me when I went to wash my hands or use the head. At the end of the date, I kissed her and she accepted, but there wasn't a lot of warmth in her. I wasn't going to ask for a second date, but she shared her email address and I shared mine.

A few weeks later, with no contact from me, she emails me out of the blue. "I'm sorry if I seemed cold, I am just getting out of something. You're a great guy, want to try it again?" I waited a few days then accepted. No one special was in my life, no one local at least. I was sort of seeing an older woman in Portland, but it was very on-and-off. Mostly sex, little communication. My project in Portland was ending, so I figured that would die with it. She wasn't one to go visit for a $600 flight booty call.

We went out again and had a better time. She was slightly better this time; a few glances of my elbow, a little more laughter. She was quite beautiful but there was a darkness over her eyes. I caught her in microscopic lies that didn't amount to much. But I liked her physical presence and I liked listening to her talk.

We slept together on date #3. It wasn't that good. In fact, I think it was awful, for both of us. My caresses tickled her. I didn't fit too well in this 5'4" woman, the angles were wrong, and the friction was minimal. She was wet, but I don't think she was orgasmic. She faked hers, I faked mine, and a few hours later I left. Our sex was really inconsistent.

The dating was OK, but nothing special. I was going through a little phase of feeling ugly on the outside, so I guess I swung at the first pitch thrown at me. Eventually, she started staying over at my place. We didn't fight, we didn't get particularly romantic, sex was consistent but humdrum. What was I doing?

One night, I went out with some buddies to a bar and told Nise, where and when and with whom. She was tired, she stayed in. At the bar, I was taking to my friend's sister (I was invited to be in her wedding party). Out of the blue, Nise walked in, asked me who she was. I told her a friend, and she punched me dead in the face. I have very fast reflexes and will usually respond to an attack without thinking, putting the enemy down so I can clarify the situation. I can very close to knocking her 110# frame on the ground as my guy friends held me back.

Ever heard the phrase don't hit a woman? It's untrue. Never strike a woman. If an animal attacks, I will attack back with more force to keep the situation in my control. Is it a negative aspect? No. I've beaten down guys twice my size defending a friend or a woman from an attack. I've wrestled a woman much stronger than me down when she went into a psychotic episode and needed to be restrained. A human is a human, and an animal is an animal. Those who strike out of anger need to be kept at bay.

She left, I was bruised. She called me the next morning crying, saying she was drunk and got jealous. I forgave her, being the ultra-forgiving man that I am. Two weeks later, she went to a show that I didn't want to go to. She didn't come over after. I was a bit worried (she didn't have a cell) so I dropped her a phone call at home. No call back in the morning.

Not being much of a stalker, I didn't push. Maybe she was done with me. She showed up later that night with some bruises on her arm. I inquired, she didn't make an excuse. A few nights later my friends told me she was hanging out with a guy from the band she saw and left with him. I confronted her gently, asking her if we were seeing other people. She said no. Later I would find she saw many other people.

A few times, I would wake up and she would be pulling my hair, hard. Not drunk, but in a stupor. Sometimes I'd come back to my home and she's tear her nails into my arms and rip skin straight out. One time she also bit my hand, taking a chunk of skin with in.

This was not a woman, this was a crazy, useless animal. She had problems, but no adult of 23 should be getting into relationships, spending thousands a year on alcohol and drugs, and pretend they don't have time or money for psychiatric help. This is not my responsibility, but I felt like it was. I stuck around.

Things changed the day after she ripped the skin from my arms and bit me. I went to a business meeting, about 25 guys and 5 women. A few people asked what happened, and I said it point of fact: My girlfriend beat me up. There was a hush from the 10 people who were near me. A woman asked if I was ok. A man said he didn't know women did that. I looked around and I saw 2 guys ashen. I noticed their own hands had scars, their wrists had scrapes. These men get beaten, too.

The meeting went as planned, but afterwards I received a few emails from men there. They were abused spouses or boyfriends. It was a secret. A woman from the meeting also emailed me telling me she used to be that way, that she was hurt as a teenager and it took years to repair. She still wigs out on her loving husband, a man who put up with her insanities for years.

I got the courage to leave this woman later in the week. It was hard, she cried, I believed her. I thought I wanted her back. When I didn't, she went on a rampage, sleeping with half the guys I knew in 4 weeks. It didn't hurt me. I didn't have pity or sympathy.

When I started dating someone else, she wouldn't leave the new girl alone. She would tell her stories about how I beat her, how I tried to rape her, how I had a history of it. That girl decided not to see me. It was her loss, not mine.

It didn't make me feel better about myself, so I went to talk to a professional about it. 3 weeks of 50 minute sessions and I realized that I had slipped into codependency: thinking that you need another person to survive, to feel handsome or pretty, to engage in life. That was my first codependent relationship. It was my last.

Now, no woman puts her hands on me in aggression. If a man does it, I will lay him flat with no warning. If I woman does it, I will warn her to back down. If she continues, I will respond by reducing her to a weakened position and call the police. I've helped train women to defend themselves against aggressive boyfriends. Even small women can do this. I've helped train men to defend themselves against any aggressors.

I'm a peaceful man. I don't like fighting. I detest war. I don't like to use force against others. The more I've talked to people: abused and the abusers, I've noticed that it is the abused person's responsibility to defend themselves and move away from the situation. Any other option means you are accepting the punishment and pain. I was, for a few months. I stopped.

I still see her, from time to time. She's gotten worse. She's aged at double the speed, and still wastes her life on hard drugs, hard men and hard living. It's sad, but it's not something I sympathize with. She's had so many opportunities to fix herself, but she refuses. She's an adult, and her moods are her own responsibility to deal with. Not mine, not her man's, not her friends.

Never again will I deal with a psychopath abuser. The human in the has been pushed underground so the animal will respond. This is not a person for a relationship. This is not a person to love, until they love themselves. It took me a long time after to love myself, nearly half a year. Imagine if I would have stuck around?


MindfulMama said...

I definitely did not see the direction this story was moving in! I thought "fistfest" and was intrigued but horrified ;-)

Celine de Chicago said...

Are any of your facial scars from her? Or the big one on your arm? So sorry, very sad :(

ChicagoSane said...

MM: People asked for more negative stories, so that was one I was considering. There are many, many more, but not always the fault of others.

CdC: The scars are my face were acquired from years of aggressive extreme sports and some fights where I had to defend a friend or loved on. Those aren't from her.

The one on my arm was from an accident (explosion). The ones on my hand are from her, but they're not too evident unless I tan. Then they show up as pink.

ms. bliss said...

haha same as Mindful Mama I saw fistfest and thought something COMPLETELY different...I'm sorry you had to deal with this but it sounds like the experience taught you your limits...sad that abused men don't get more empathy and help...still that stigma that a man cannot possibly be abused by a woman

J said...

I saw the title and thought about the scene in "Chasing Amy" where Alyssa talks about how two women have sex with real penetration.

This is NOT what I expected at all. Any abuse is wrong - but isn't limited to physical. That is only the most obvious and perhaps easiest to get away from. The emotional abuse is harder, although it may not kill you.

Andy said...

Whoa! Bite me! (Got it?) Sorry, that was inappropriate.

Ouch. She seriously has serious problems. Anyone who BITES has serious problems.