Honey, Let Me Tell You Something! 9

“Honey I Should Have Told” 

Guest Writer:  R. L. Norman 

      I remember that day as if it were yesterday. I was stumbling down the street to meet my blind date whom I had met on-line. It was about 9 o’clock p.m. on a Saturday night in the middle of winter. There were about 10 inches of snow on the ground, as the whole town was a sea of white.  Actually, everything was white except for the red on my blood-stained white shirt.

      I didn’t want my date to see me like this, but I only had two options because I didn’t have a cell phone.  It was either not show up and keep him waiting, or go meet him and explain my appearance.  So, I did the latter.

      I was supposed to meet my date at a restaurant down the street from my home. I didn’t want him to come to my house for two reasons:  first, he was a stranger and I did not want him to know where I lived. And secondly, I didn’t want him to meet my ex-partner, just in case he was in one of his drunken drug-fueled rages.

     My ex-partner: whom unfortunately, I still lived with. My ex-partner: whom, at one time, was the love of my life.

     Oh yes, the love of my life, Craig!  Now, let me tell you about Craig.

     Craig and I had been dating for two years, and we’d been in a committed relationship for three. When I first met him, we had such a great time! We went everywhere together. Movies, plays, museums and even walks in the park. We even traveled to London, Paris and Italy.

     After two years, he asked me to marry him. We bought a house and moved in together. We actually had a white picket fence and two small dogs!  I was working as an engineer and he was a graphic artist. I drove a BMW; and him, a Jaguar. Several times a year, we threw lavish parties in what some called our “fabulous home.” 

     Life was wonderful!  I was truly living my dream.

     But then one night, in the blink of an eye, everything changed!  Craig punched me in my face.

     We’d had disagreements in the past, but never anything physical. Our philosophy was if we got that mad at each other, we’d go to our separate corners, so to speak. And later, we’d meet after we had calmed down.  And then, we’d talk.

     But not this night. 

     On this particular night, I came home late from work and Craig was really upset. And I didn’t understand why.  I’d called him and left a message saying I would be late. I even texted him. But he accused me of cheating on him . He was yelling and screaming at me; and during our heated argument, he punched me.

     I was shocked as I fell over one of the kitchen chairs, and then landing  hard on the floor. When I regained my composure, he was standing over

me–apologizing again and again.

    I just sat there, staring at him in amazement!  I could not believe he’d done that.  His expression told me that he felt the same way.

    He grabbed a warm towel and placed it on my suddenly bruised face. He kept apologizing over and over, promising that he would never strike me again.

    The next day at work, I told everyone that I accidentally bumped into a door.

    For a few days after that, everything seemed to be back to normal. But slowly, he became more and more agitated. He would get upset over the littlest of things.

    The arguments became more and more frequent, just as the bruises on my body and my excuses to my family and friends did.

    I covered up everything as best I could. When he twisted my hands and broke one of them, I told people I fell while running to a meeting. When he  hit me on the back of my head with a pot–which produced a gash–I told the hospital that I’d accidentally fell backward against a window of a metal gate.

    When Craig pushed me down the stairs, I told everyone that I accidentally fell.  And when Craig’s mother popped up at our house for a surprise visit, Craig told her that I was the one who’d trashed the office, throwing stuff everywhere–even smashing the computer.

     Craig told everyone that I was the “crazy one,” always yelling and screaming at him. His family and friends believed every word! And my friends and family didn’t know because I never told. Or should I say I never admitted anything, even though they knew something was wrong.

    Come to find out that Craig was an alcoholic and addicted to crack. It was a deadly combination for the both of us. I assumed it was the pressures of life—(and of course) me causing him problems that made him do it. And I didn’t want anyone to know that I was living in my private hell.

     But I loved him.

     Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore!  I told Craig that I was leaving him, that our relationship was over. I’d packed my bags and was going to move on the following Sunday.

     The Saturday night before, I’d made a blind date. I’d been on-line for a while; of course, behind Craig’s back. I normally don’t meet men on-line; but this was my first date since I broke up with whom I had considered to be the love of my life.

    And this night, I made a date with Clarence. He seemed to be a nice, well- established gentleman. And single–which was a plus!  I’d been out of the dating game for years, so I was just jumping back into the swing of things.

     The only problem was that Craig could not accept the fact that we had broken up. He just refused to believe that I was leaving him! He kept telling me that I was ugly, no good, and that no one would want me. All the while, he was beating me. 

     He broke down my self-esteem so badly that when I looked in the mirror, I didn’t know who the person was staring back at me.

     I’d lost myself.  

     Well that night, I left the house and walked down the street relieved that Craig was asleep–or so I’d hoped. I hated for him to know that I was going to meet someone else.

     As I got closer to my destination, with each and every step, I was becoming more and more nervous. I had not been on a date since I met Craig, so I felt like a fish out of water.

R L NORMAN NEW COVER DESIGN

     As I was trying to get my nervousness under control, suddenly someone jumped me from behind! I didn’t see who the person was because he was on top of me so fast, punching and clawing at me. At one point, I couldn’t see anything because my glasses had been knocked off in the tussle.

     Punch after punch, he beat me up. I tried my best to defend myself; and at one point, I got the better of the person. I was on top of him, punching him until he lay lifeless in the snow. I was so scared that I didn’t take the time to see who it was or try to find my glasses.

      I got up and stumbled down the street. I decided to meet my date instead of going back to my house just in case Craig was awake. I hated to explain where I was and with whom.

     As I approached my date, who was standing in front of the restaurant, he had a confused look on his face–as did other people walking in and out of the restaurant.

     “Clarence?” I asked, as I approached him.  Slowly, he took a step back as I got closer.

    “Yes” he hesitantly replied, as I’m sure he noticed that I was disheveled with a blood-stained shirt, no coat or glasses.

     “My name is Norman.”

     “Oh my gosh,” he replied.  “Are you okay? What happened?”

      “I was mugged.”

      “Well, you have to call the police,” he insisted.

      “No. I can’t. No police,” I practically yelled at him.

     I didn’t want Craig to know I’d left the house. And I didn’t want the cops investigating my personal life because they would find out the truth about my life in hell. I loved Craig so much that I had to protect him. He was in my heart. I thought, “He didn’t mean the things he did. I was the one that made him upset. And this would have definitely made him upset.”

    “Well, you have to at least go home and get cleaned up.”

     Clarence, a perfect stranger, was so concerned about me!  It felt good to have someone genuinely care about me. It had been so long.

     He convinced me to go home get cleaned up–and then we’d continue our date. I agreed, but I asked him to wait outside while I changed clothes. We got into his car and drove to my house.

     The events that night prompted me to write this poem: 

     I met him, I liked him, I wanted him, 

     He’s in my heart. 

     We dated, we went to movies, we went to plays, we went to dinners. 

     He’s in my heart. 

     I wanted only him, I wanted him to always be in my life. 

    He’s in my heart. 

    We moved in together, we got married, we brought a house. 

    He’s in my heart. 

    I was in heaven, I was on cloud ten, I was loving my life. 

    He’s in my heart. 

    But then he cursed me, he belittled me, he chastised me. 

    But he’s in my heart. 

   He kept me from my friends, my family, my loved ones. 

   But he’s in my heart. 

   Then he slapped me, he punched me, he cut me. 

   But he’s in my heart. 

   He said he was sorry, that he will never do it again, He said he LOVES ME. 

   He’s in my heart. 

   I forgave him over and over again, I could not leave him, I LOVE HIM. 

   He’s in my heart. 

   But my family and friends told me to leave him and I finally listened. 

   He’s not in my heart anymore. 

 

   You see, the person who mugged me was Craig! When I walked in the house, he was waiting for me. And of course, another fight erupted and my body received several more bruises.

   I wish I had reported the abuse to the police or the hospital earlier. But at this point, who would’ve believed me?  Besides the fact that most of my bruises were below the neck.  He had everyone convinced I was the abusive one.

   And before that night, I told myself that I loved him and could not live without him.  Or should I say he convinced me of that lie.

   But no more.

   I moved out of my private hell into the sunshine of heaven. I finally left the man who abused me for years.

   And even though I am happy now, every once in a while, I think about the fact that he might be abusing someone else. I think about the fact that…. 

   I should have told……..

   LGBT domestic violence is vastly underreported, unacknowledged, and often reported as something other than domestic violence.

   Domestic violence is defined as a pattern of behaviors utilized by one partner (the batterer or abuser) to exert and maintain control over another person (the survivor or victim) where there exists an intimate and/or dependent relationship. Experts believe that domestic violence occurs in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community with the same amount of frequency and severity as in the heterosexual community. Society’s long history of entrenched racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia prevents LGBT victims of domestic violence from seeking help from the police, legal and court systems for fear of discrimination or bias.

   Abuse is never right. If you are in abusive relationship… tell someone.  If you know or suspect that someone is in an abusive relationship…tell someone.

   YOU SHOULD TELL. 

   For more information or to get help, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE, and the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE.


R. L. Norman is a writer, performer and author of the popular series of novels entitled, “Honey Let Me Tell You.”  The fourth and latest installment is “Love Is Complicated.”  The sizzling sequel, entitled “Honey Hush…Don’t Ask & I Won’t Tell,” drops soon.  As well, he performs“Norman’s One Night Stand,” a one-man show he conceived and wrote, showcasing the main character of his series.  R. L. also is writing a play based on “Honey Let Me Tell You.”  And catch his Podcast, “Honey Let Me Tell You Something Else, on iTunes.  All of these endeavors are part of his production company, Honey Let Me Tell You.  You may reach R. L. at his on line home, www.rlnorman1.wix.com/honeyletmetellyou; by email at: rl.norman@aol.com; on Facebook at RL NORMAN; on Twitter, @rl_norman; and on Instagram: rlnorman1.

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