Visitors and Strangers
- TRIGGER WARNING -
This article contains a memoir about sexual assault and violence, miscarriage, depression and suicidal thoughts, which may be triggering to read for survivors or people suffering from depression.
We're only visitors. We're only allowed inside temporarily, in these complex systems with many links that work together very well, seamlessly.
Sometimes there is a deviation. Today I am that deviation. Although thinking about it, how many travellers does this motel get? I'm a visitor. I think the man could tell though. He had kind eyes that had seen too much to not understand the simple signs of complexity. Whether the whole made sense to him or not did not seem to matter. His name is Karel. He was quiet last night, while we sat down with the shopgirl and other employee of the gas station. Karel didn't talk much, he just sat still and listened. This morning, when I left the motel to have breakfast at the diner, he walked up to me and paid for it. A small kindness I struggled to understand, but it felt rude to not accept it. Karel and I couldn't make sense of each other very well due to the language barrier. It doesn't surprise me that while I'm sat on the porch of the motel, he walks up to me and offers to pay for my dinner later tonight, with his company card, which I politely decline. He tries to tell me more about the world I entered yesterday afternoon. I should close my door after 7, because there are "gypsy bandits" around, especially during the summer. It's autumn now, so I probably don't have to worry. Better be safe than sorry though. Apparently the foreign cleaner is an idiot too; why exactly I don't get. I wonder if he dislikes foreigners, but I can't really tell because my German isn't that great. He leaves to go back to work again, and I go back to writing. I'm writing down what's happening around me, so I don't have to stay inside my mind.
The shopgirl was bored with her nightshift last night. The other man at the table, told me how his wife was working at the other gas station across the street. They had been together for 44 years, with a 20 year break in-between. Four kids, and a new grandchild born in September. He had a "kleine Amerikana" now, since his son was in the army and lived with his family in the USA. The people I sat with knew each other, and their lives here, very well. I'm but an outsider, allowed a peek inside this system and how it works, within this greater system I am part of.
Back in my motel room, I need to sit down on the toilet for a long time. I remember I had a similar event in Sofia two weeks ago; on the night when he got very drunk. The bleeding was heavy too during it. I think I spent two hours on the toilet that morning. The next day I even bled through my pad. A ten day period, two weeks after a two week period. A two week period, one week after a one week period, after I quit the birth control pill because it wasn't affecting me great mentally. It can't be good that I'm bleeding again. Almost 2 months ago, around the time we went to England in September, I recall I spent an afternoon in bed, in severe pain. It was a stomach pain similar to the pain I had felt one morning, when I was 19. Exactly 9 months after that morning, my son was born. When I was pregnant with him, I didn't experience bleeding in the first weeks. Unlike when I was pregnant the first time, weeks before my son was conceived. During my first pregnancy, there had been regular bleeding as well. That pregnancy turned into a miscarriage. Is that what's happening here too now? I can't imagine life to survive this flood.
Besides, who says life would want to live in a world like this? Where nothing means anything according to your father, and your mother just wants to sleep forever, because she doesn't want to speak anymore? Yes, I can imagine life not being too thrilled to join a family like that.
When he shook me, when he screamed at me, when he penetrated my body while I didn't want him to, were you there?
I don't want to know, for this is not how it's supposed to go. A few days before it happened, my ex-boyfriend mentioned how he might wanted to have kids with me one day. A sweet remark that deflated once he touched me. How can someone say that and then do what he did? Why has this turned into a nightmare, in just two weeks time? Did I miss something? If so, what? Have I been living a different life? I have no idea what's real anymore.
He said all these lovely things, but he did all these horrible things. Why?
If only for a moment, I could understand. If I could just hear what he's thinking, many miles away. I wonder if I would recognise him, if I were to see his mind unfold in front of me. Maybe I'd see the soul of a complete stranger. Someone who wears a mask on the outside, at all times. The inside might look like his character. Maybe Exurb1a is his true face; an obsessed alcoholic and narcissistic cartoon, who's angry mostly, but occasionally has a deep thought about the universe. A character who treats complete strangers better than the people close to him. Someone who thinks there's no meaning below the surface, and who needs a grand audience to feel okay about himself, and will do anything to keep his crowd. Who far will he go though?
I said I couldn't stay silent. It's not in my nature to stay silent. Bad needs to be outbalanced by good. People need to be protected from someone who uses and hurts people. If I stay silent out of selfish reasons because I don't want to go through more hurt (because some people might not believe me), I'm giving an abuser a free pass. If I pick my well-being over the well-being of a whole lot of other people, I'm a shitty human who doesn't deserve friendship. If you can stop more bad things from happening, and you don't, you're not on the good side of humanity. When you're not, you definitely don't deserve to be seen as a good person.*
* I'm sharing these thoughts to show what destructive thought patterns you can have during a depression, and how a depressed mind can start to rationalise suicide.
The moment we broke up, I didn't need to protect him anymore. When we talked about breaking up, I didn't mention this. I wanted to give him a chance, but not be influenced. I wanted him to prove to me he was truly sorry, and that he wanted to fix the hurt he'd done. I wanted him to know though, that what he did was bad. It wasn't okay. It's trust- and relationship breaking. Unless he showed me he was truly sorry and wanted to better himself, I wouldn't stay with him. I told him he had abused me and that I was drawing the line, right here, right now. He said he wanted to fix things. I said I'd give him time to think.
While I lost myself in confusion, he lost himself in alcohol. Instead of thinking about his actions, instead of talking to me to make sure I was okay, he got drunk every night, and during the day, he focused on moving into his new apartment.
I felt hurt that he wasn't showing me how sorry he was, so I wrote to him. About how he'd hurt me. About how he broke my trust, and that all I ever needed was for him to show me he loved me, and cared for me. I wasn't doing okay, and he wasn't there. I didn't know how to deal with what happened that drunk night, but all he was worried about was his next video and apartment. As if it didn't happen. As if I was but a robot without feelings. Not a person, with actual emotions. Where was he? Why did me put me in this position, why did he not just show me it was a stupid drunken accident and that I could trust him to do anything in his power to make it okay?
I sent the message I wrote to Exurb1a in a file in October 2016. In January 2017, Exurb1a lied and accused me of making up the abuse (video of this will be online soon) because we couldn't get back together. He did this while I was hospitalised, and harassed me for hours about it. I never mentioned this file in which I describe the events, because a print screen of a file someone received, is no evidence, since nobody can see what's inside the file. Only a few weeks ago, I found out I talked to my friend Jørgen about what I had sent Exurb1a (I completely forgot I had) around that time, in a Skype conversation in which I copy pasted the text. Below, you can see some parts of the message. Jørgen has agreed to publicly talk about what I told him about what happened between Exurb1a and I, a conversation which will be featured in my online livestream soon, to prove I didn't come up with the events in January (which Exurb1a claims).
I think Exurb1a got so scared of me calling him out and finally standing up for myself, the only thing he could do was run. I became a dangerous person. One who had seen his true selfish nature, and fought it.
The code in my brain changed when we split. My morals started to almost outweight my personal feelings. A boyfriend doing bad things I could rationalise protection for, but he wasn't my boyfriend anymore. He was a complete stranger. Do you protect a stranger if they did bad things? No, one normally goes to the police. One in general should already go to the police, if someone does something bad. We need to point out harm in order to protect others, and to change the abusive nature of those who cause harm. They need to better themselves. Why didn't I go to the police? Love makes you do stupid things. When my love and morals crashed, fighting for the first place in my brain, I didn't know what to do. I didn't want to hurt someone I loved. Hurting them would hurt me. Them hurting others would hurt me too though. What is more important? I don't want to answer this question, because that would mean I would have to make a choice. None of these choices will bring me any good. Staying silent will hurt me and possibly other people. Speaking out will hurt someone I love, and me. I'm a useless mess already and my presence will only cause more hurt to the people around me. Nobody will win. Maybe it's best if I take myself out of this balancing game. If there's nobody to make that choice, nobody will get hurt but the person who'd make that choice. One person getting hurt in all of this, means a lot of other people won't. Can I be that selfish? If it helps other people, yes, I think.
The ceiling is white and I've been staring at it for hours. I'm somewhere in Germany, and I don't know what to do. I just want to melt into the pastel bedsheets and disappear. Fade out. Not be alive.
I hear the shadow of a very fragile voice between my ears. It's me, but I sound very far away. Something is wrong with you, my voice tells me. This is not you. Don't do anything stupid.
I sit up straight, and try to silence my mind. If this is my reality, who can I trust? Can I trust myself, if I've judged things so wrongly? I need to find someone I can trust, to talk to.
But who can you trust, if the one person who was supposed to love you and care for you, can't be trusted already?
Timeline of Events Inside the System
Inside the System is a blog series about mental health, being hospitalised, and pretty much everything I've experienced these last few months. From naked patients crawling through the hallway, to having your medication dose raised 4 times in 6 weeks due to your ex boyfriend threatening you. From being publicly shamed online for speaking out and being called a liar, to what actually happened, and how and when I will press charges against my ex. So, a lot of mental vomit will be thrown on my blog upcoming weeks. The Inside The System series is part of Project Blue is a Wave.
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