This is dedicated to a very special lady. This is her story and mine. It’s a tale with a twist. It started with an ending before a new beginning…
It never ceases to fill me with wonder at the way that things work-out in life. I want to talk a bit today about things that I’m feeling. Don’t I always?
My fans write to me and thank me for letting them in. I found it curious that the last person I dated told me over and over that I didn’t let her in. Sometimes I found myself wondering what on earth more I could have told her or shared with her? Then I realize that some things are not meant to be and no amount of trying to figure it out, when it is over, is going to ever really help.
We often pray to God, or ask the Universe or “Cupid” to help us get the one that we have our sights on. We get brokenhearted when it doesn’t work and fool ourselves into thinking that it is the end of the world. The real truth is that those endings bring us new beginnings and we must be open to them or else we’ll miss them.
Sometimes if we are VERY lucky, we may get a second chance at something that we let pass us by. I believe that a second chance has come to me from my past because I wasn’t ready for her and I needed to learn some other things first. Now I believe that I can be there for her.
For a short spell, when I broke things off with the woman who always chose to remain nameless in my world, I felt guilty. I was ready to move on almost immediately. I’m kind of like that. It isn’t because I didn’t ever love the people in my past, it’s just that when I have finally reached the point to say good-bye to them, it’s because I have been slowly transitioning there for a long time. So while I feel bad for her, because I know that I did hurt her feelings and it blind-sided her when it shouldn’t have, I am moving on with my life. Why? That is what a survivor does!
As fate would have it, I was messaged a few weeks before Thanksgiving by “DJ.” I hadn’t heard from her in about two years. Let’s go back in time. I was living back in my hometown. A friend on my Facebook wall said I should talk to this girl, she was married to another woman but from the area and could probably show me around and introduce me to people. Next thing I knew, DJ sent a friend request and we talked. We talked and talked and talked. It came out that she was indeed married and not happy. Her girlfriend was over the top crazy, mean and abusive.
I consider myself a ‘gentleman’ – an old school butch. I don’t mess with anyone else’s woman, especially their wife. Still, this girl was in a lot of trouble and really needed a friend. I have never turned my back on anyone in need. I don’t see me ever doing so.
One night, while talking to me via instant messaging on her computer, DJ says to me that she’s being attacked (I knew by who) and suddenly she was offline. By this time, we were talking as if we had something to hide, even though we had not done a thing. It was sort of happening, even though we both fought it tooth and nail. We had never done anything out of line, but we’d both been developing feelings for each other. It was, at this point, harmless crushes.
As you can imagine, I was freaking out and didn’t know what on earth to do. I was miles and miles away – an hour drive. I did what I knew was risky, I called the apartment phone number. It rang busy … fast busy. Something was wrong. I didn’t know the exact address, so I couldn’t call cops. I waited and I worried.
FINALLY! A day or two later, DJ showed up on Facebook, posting photos of her destroyed laptop. Her ‘wife’ had yanked it away from her, for talking to me, and destroyed it on the floor. Now … I want to STRESS that we were not flirting, we had not done ANYTHING. We were only friends and I was there to listen to her. She was terrified of this woman she lived with. We chatted by phone now, off and on, when she could. I knew where she worked and though it was a long drive, I drove by on occasion to say hello and check in on her. She was afraid to talk to me. I was not interfering with her work and her boss didn’t care….but her wife and her wife’s family were actually watching her. They would sit with binoculars and keep tabs on her all night while she was at work. I started to wonder what in the hell I had gotten into, but still … I cared and I wanted to help her. Suddenly, one day I found myself deleted from her friends list. I knew that DJ didn’t do this. I tried to call her and the phone just rang and rang and went to voice mail. I tried a few times. Finally, I called the apartment. Her wife answered the phone. “Be cool,” I told myself. After all, I was not sleeping with DJ, I had never even kissed her or touched her in any way. I was only her friend. Just because this crazed woman thought there was more to it, that was her problem. “Is DJ there?” I asked.
“No. Who is this?” came the response.
“Just a friend. Do you know when she’ll be home?”
“No. I think she’s at the neighbor’s place. Who is this? Can I take a message??”
“Thanks!” – I hung up.
I got in my car and I drove the 50 minutes to get to her apartment. I drove by. DJ’s truck was there and so was the wife’s car. I couldn’t knock on the door with the wife there. What would I do? I had no idea. I drove past the apartments to the end of the street, went around the block and turned the corner. When I did, I glanced to my left and swore I saw DJ on the balcony at the neighbor’s upstairs apartment, which was across the street from her place. I turned my car around and I honked the horn and leaned out the window. Her face lit up and she said “What are YOU doing here?”
“Checking on you. You aren’t answering your phone and I’m not on your friend list anymore.”
“Ugh. Yeah, ***** did that. My phone is in pieces too.”
Right about that time, the stalker wife comes out into the middle of the road and starts waving her arms in the air, shouting, “Really, DJ? REALLY?” Obviously in a huff that she was talking to me at my car window.
DJ to me, “You wanna park your car and come up and sit with me and Leo? We’re having a few beers while she cools off over there.”
I parked and got out. The wife was still screaming and carrying on across the street. We ignored her. It seemed best. “Did she really destroy your phone too?” I just couldn’t believe this.
“Oh yeah, it’s in little pieces. Like my laptop and the home phone.”
We drank a few drinks with Leo. He was a nice guy. When DJ disappeared to use the restroom once, he told me she was a nice girl and deserved someone better than the psycho across the street that she lived with. He’s seen a lot of things happening over there.
A little while later, as it had turned dark and we were just talking and laughing, trying to make the most out of a bad situation, suddenly the door across the street flew open. DJ’s possessions started flying out onto the sidewalk. The ‘wifey’ was going nuts. It appeared to me, at that time, that this woman was sincerely nuts. Now DJ gets up and runs across the street and it turns into a full blown scene.
I didn’t get in the middle of it, though I would have if I felt like she needed me. I watched DJ clock her wife’s male cousin right in the nose for helping to throw her stuff out. Apparently he had shown up while we were enjoying our conversation with Leo. She punched him right square in the nose, full force. I was proud of that little Army brat right at that moment. It showed me that she was feisty for sure!
She had been in the reserves, so it wasn’t like she was a weakling. She’s about 5’7, but only about 120 pounds. Her wife was shorter but built like a linebacker – typical butch chic. The male cousin made no attempt to hit her back, but he called the cops. He tried to charge her with assault. Great. Now it was a real scene. I stayed out of it and watched from across the street. I really couldn’t afford any trouble.
When all was said and done, about an hour later, the wife, advised to do so by the cops, left to go spend the night at the cousin’s place. DJ didn’t get in any trouble because the officer said she had a right to tell him to get out of her home and protect herself and her belongings. He had no right there. When the police left, I was still across the street and DJ had locked herself in her apartment. I knew she was upset.
I walked across the street and I gently tapped on the door until she came and opened it. I stepped one foot inside the door and she fell into my arms. She cried on my shoulder. I held her for what seemed like forever. She said to me, “Now you know my secret. My dirty little secret that I didn’t want you to know. Even my family doesn’t know. I live with an addict. She drinks and she does drugs. She spends all our money on drugs and this is my life.” She sobbed on my shoulder and I wanted to steal her away to another world, another place.
I did nothing more than hold her and help her carry her things back in that night. A few days later, I showed up with a friend and a van and I BEGGED her to leave with us. “Come on, you don’t have to come to my place. I will take you anywhere you want to go….to your dad’s place…anywhere but here.” I begged for over an hour. She wouldn’t go, but she had a hoodie pulled up over her hair. It had all been shaved off and it wasn’t exactly a nice haircut. “Did she do that to you?”
She nodded without looking up or looking me in the eyes. She was like a dog that was afraid to make eye contact….so beaten down. ”She said now no one else would want me.”
No matter how I begged, she just wasn’t ready and wouldn’t leave. She was so terrified. I had tears in my eyes again. Her eyes looked so hopeless and so sad. I hugged her and I held her again for a few minutes, because I really did understand. She was terrified and brainwashed to believe that she couldn’t get away.
A few days later, I went to a dollar store and I bought a cheap cell phone. I drove by her job, after hiding the phone and the charger in a Styrofoam cup from a convenience store, and I handed the cup to her. I said, “It’s not a drink, it’s a phone. You hide it. Keep it on silent. Don’t let her know you have it. In an emergency, you can call for help now.” I drove away. A few minutes later I got a text, “I am not sure which is crazier…you bought me a cell phone…or that you gave it to me in a cup?” I smiled and drove home. That was a Thursday.
That weekend, Sunday night, I received a text message from her, “Can u call me right now please!”
I called her. She was hysterical. **** had gone out and gotten too drunk to drive home. DJ had become the designated driver to get her home. DJ was driving when the wife started punching her. God only knows what was said or what they were fighting about, but DJ told me that I needed to come get her right away. She had stopped the car and kicked her wife until she had gotten out of the car. DJ had sped away, leaving her on the side of the road drunk. She was now at their apartment and scared to death. “When she gets back here…I’m dead. She will have her cousin come get her and then they will come straight here.” She sounded completely terrified.
I drove to meet her at a convenience store. She was wearing a hooded sweatshirt, pulled way up past her face. I walked up to her and ripped it back. Her eye was swollen shut and black. Again, I had tears in my eyes. She got back to my place with me that night. I gave her a cold washcloth for her face and some ibuprofen. I tried to get her to sleep in my bed and I offered to sleep on the couch. She wouldn’t move and would let me move either. She had a grip on me. I could tell she was honestly terrified. She slept on top of me, on the sofa, all night. The next morning, she told me she had to go to work and she was going to take care of some things.
Within a few days, we had her moved into her parent’s home. I helped her pack things into her car and my car and got it all to her mom and dad’s house. Things were very hard for her every step of the way. Her wife sold her truck without her permission. The state called it ‘community property’ because they were legally married and deemed the sale legal.
She got trespass warrants and more. The ex walked right through them. She violated the writ within the first week by calling DJ. The harassment continued. DJ and I continued to talk. One night, she met me at a StarBucks and we had coffee. We talked for hours and I held her hand. She showed up in the sexiest dress I have ever seen a woman wear for coffee. It was well after dark when I finally walked her to her car. We kissed for the first time, there in that parking lot. I remember it like it was yesterday. Beyond the shadow of a doubt, it was a kiss that is second only to the very first kiss of my life – only because you never really forget your first kiss. This kiss was electric. It was meant to be, as if we were both right where we were supposed to be in that one moment of time. Looking back on it, I remember every detail of that night as if I was living in a fairy tale.
Then it happened, without warning …. she started seeing that woman again. She felt sorry for her abuser. Slowly but surely, she opened the door and let her right back into her life. I have read about this behavior. It’s common but I couldn’t take it. I just couldn’t take it. I didn’t react very well at all. I was hurt, angry and I let it show, I admit it.
DJ, also being temperamental (remember she’s feisty?), didn’t take my temper very well and words were exchanged. The words that stung me like no others were, “****** owns my heart and nothing is going to change that!” I was done right then and there. I had to be. I still cared and it all hurt me very much, but I had to move on because I was going to be hurt more if I stuck around. I could see it coming.
I made a difficult decision; I walked away and I left her behind while I traveled to Missouri and then on to Florida the following year, to try my luck with the woman down here. We never really fully connected and something was always lacking for me. You know what I mean? Some relationships are just okay…but that spark…that thing…is just missing.
A few weeks before Thanksgiving, DJ found me. We talked, just out of the clear blue. She told me about going to school now, how her life had moved on, how she was free and finding herself again. I made it clear I was seeing someone, out of respect for that person. I didn’t tell DJ that I was really very unhappy. Then, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, ‘she who remains nameless’ said something so stupid to me that I just couldn’t take anymore of her naivete’. I told her I really didn’t have any desire to see her anymore. It felt good to be basically free again. I mentioned it here and there, because that’s me; I’m pretty public.
Three days later, DJ contacted me again. She made it pretty clear that the door was still open between her and I. I suppose it was all very unresolved the way it ended before, and it shouldn’t shock me that I’d still have feelings for her? We’ve emailed back and forth several times. I can tell that she’s changed a lot. She’s different and it shows. She’s more upbeat and positive.
She’s also made more of an attempt to tell me how she feels. She told me she’s scared. She doesn’t trust easily. She is still dealing with some harassment from the ex but hasn’t lived with her in a year. She told me how much she regretted not leaving that day with me when I brought a friend and a van. She told me how abandoned she felt when I wasn’t there anymore and how much more crap she had to endure after that. This made me feel truly awful.
I really want her to know that I admire her. I want her to know that I really ‘get it’ all and I understand what she went through and how she still suffers. She lived through some of the worst things being done to her that a human being can endure. She lost her freedom, she was a prisoner, she was brutalized and emotionally damaged. She’s fought ten times harder to have her life back than most people ever have to fight for anything. She’s a good woman and she’s winning her fight. I understand her needs and I know how fragile she is, but I also know how strong she can be too. I cherish her for all that she is. I want to celebrate her accomplishments and raise her up now …. never to bring her down.
Today, I’m thankful that what I wanted here in FL didn’t work out, because maybe that closed door allows room for this one to be opened again? Maybe unanswered prayers are much more of a blessing than any of us ever realizes? Who knows? I can’t predict what tomorrow will bring, but I’m very happy to have DJ back in my life and I just hope that she realizes what it means to me and how special she has always been to me. I am not certain why she’s back in my life, but I choose not to question it. This is me, surviving life. Isn’t this what we all do?