The Man That Took My Everything

by Jane Fish
(Ontario, Canada)

I fell in love in an unconventional way. I met him through a friend and began talking to him online shortly before going through a rough patch in life. Like a lost my virginity and had a pregnancy scare - my best friend almost died in a car accident - my friend and high school crush quit speaking to me - my parents almost lost the house - rough patch. And he was there for me through all of it. He understood my messed up head, and I could tell him anything even if it didn't make sense. We continued to msg for four years. For most of that time, we chatted every day. It was the first time I had ever felt like I was wanted by a man or by a friend.

Other firsts followed. He became my first boyfriend, the first person I shared a bed with (like we owned a bed together lol). The first person I ever leased an apartment with, moved to a new city with, spent more time with than I spent alone (other than my parents when I was little but shhh lol). It was also the first time someone that close ever hid their drug use from me. The first time someone ever got mad at me during sex. And for the first time I wasn't allowed to talk to my male friends, I wasn't permitted to look at other men. The first time I ever really hit someone, and the first time I ever got hit hard enough for it to leave a bruise.

It always seemed to me like abuse would just be black and white. You know, of course, men who hit women are evil duh, and the women are poor defenseless creatures. What you don't hear, or at least I didn't anyway, was how being in one pushes you to your limits. You see the worst parts of yourself and find yourself doing and saying things you thought you never would to another human being. There is much more. But I'm tired now. For another time.

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