Desert daze.

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My birthday came around 7 days later but nothing happened. No celebration. No surprise. He would typically buy me flowers, books, tools, or items he could use as well, such as a hand vacuum, or the Chirp wheel. I was still feeling ill. For my solar return, I wrote him a note and dedicated a post to him. Fast forward to seven days later, June 24th, I got notified by the attorney that my settlement had been granted. We picked up that check later on that day and deposited it. Emergency funds sent by parents had been used up; that check showed up at a time when both our bank accounts were practically drained. We cashed out close to $7000. Per settlement agreement, I am not allowed to discuss the resolution in details. Pedro wanted to reinvest it right away in his business deals. I had been looking to purchase a truck for my business but he thought it was best to postpone a bit longer. I diverted about $500 of it to plan a trip so we’d celebrate those 3 milestones: our wedding, my 30th birthday, and the settlement. I booked a wonderful airbnb for us. Paid extra fees so we could take Maya with us as well. On our way there we got into an argument, in the car. We were on the freeway when he started casting aspersions on the artist we were listening to. Of course… I was the one playing music. I guess I must have been annoyingly enthusiastic. He had nothing but criticism to deliver and I felt they were unfounded. I highlighted a number of the artist’s achievement over the years and his indisputable contribution to the music industry; an MC with wordplays that are unmatched. He lowered the volume down and went on to argue with me aimlessly about the silliest details. I turned the volume back up. He snapped. Said he wasn’t done talking. Said I was rude. He instructed me not to touch his stereo and mess up his settings. I got angry and asked him to calm down, pointing out that he was being nasty and childish. I spoke my mind and we began fighting. I ignored him and attempted to turn up the volume again. He smacked me. I smacked him back. That’s when he hit me twice on the side of my head, harder, shoving it against the window. The seatbelt dug into my neck as I bounced against the passenger side. I then hit him several times. Harder too. In doing so, I slammed my right hand onto the steering wheel with great might and my middle finger flipped background. I was horrified. I looked at him and paused to stare at my hand. Without thinking twice, I just flipped my dislocated finger back into place. I looked at it, then looked at him, only to notice he had that strange look on his face again. A smirk. He didn’t ask if I was okay. Adrenaline pumping… Things escalated quickly into a full blown cat fight, while he was driving. Maya was freaking out in the backseat but was strapped. We swerved into neighboring lanes and almost crashed. A car which had been driving behind us picked up on what was happening and began tailing us. He noticed it and exited the freeway. The car followed. We drove around and into a parking lot. The car was still following. He mentioned it to me and said it would be my fault if the police was called; that I had almost caused us to wreck his car. He called me “dumb” and “insane”, showed no regard for the state of my hand and the pain I was likely to be experiencing from the sudden injury. I had done it to myself. He drove for a bit and parked in a spot. That car was now gone. I shut up and sank into my seat, looking the other way. The adrenaline was subsiding and the pain was now radiating all the way down my wrist. I held my hand, bit my tongue. He got very calm, started the car and got back on the road. We drove for a couple of hours into the desert, not saying a word to each other. I was crying in silence the entire time. We didn’t visit a hospital, urgent care, or pharmacy. We drove all the
way to Joshua Tree and he dropped me off at the house. I checked myself in and Maya came inside with me. He stayed in the car, with the engine running. I didn’t even have time to grab my stuff that he took off and left. My phone was nearly dead and my charger was in the suitcase. I gave myself a tour. Not knowing if he’d be coming back, I just waited outside, by the pool. He eventually did come back, with food and supplies from the store. I went inside to grab my charger and the argument started again. He had bought some ice. I quickly filled a glass with it and stuck my finger in it. The glass was too short for the base of my finger to be immersed fully. By then, it had doubled in size and I had completely lost my range of motion; I couldn’t bend it at all. No ice pack in the freezer so I did what I could with what was available, mindful not too dip it for too long and risk experiencing another frostbite. I had no medicine so I isolated myself by the pool with maya. He followed. Kept on harassing me, shifting into a mad beast. I asked him to stay away so he started pouring ice water all over me, throwing ice cubes in my face. He chased me around the pool. I found refuge inside but was frightened. I was left alone. We spent the entire time in separate sections. There were several bedrooms and living areas inside the property so I secluded myself in the lounge room and cuddled up with maya in front of the TV, holding my breath. I was completely out of it, and I was stuck with him. That night he knocked back an entire bottle of tequila. I could hear him raging on the other side, and pouring himself more drinks. I was just praying he wouldn’t come back to assault me. Later that night he walked outside to explore the surroundings, or so I was told. It was a picturesque area with boulders and stunning rock formations. He was obviously intoxicated from smoking and drinking the entire evening. Maya followed along to check on him. Her instinct is always to protect. I was worried she would possibly get lost but they did come back late together. I couldn’t sleep until he was passed out. The next morning, I woke up bright and early, in a lot of pain. I spent a few hours outside with Maya taking pictures and resting by the pool. He slept in until check out. It was time to leave and I was already packed; made my way to the room and woke him up. He looked deeply ashamed and his energy seemed leveled again. He didn’t know what to say. He was hungover, disoriented… I asked him to get out of bed and follow me outside; I wanted to show him something. He also needed to get ready quickly because of how late it was. Time was running out and the property was booked again for that day; we had to head out soon. He stepped out without resistance and moved into normal, mellow, content mode. I was so confused. Dazed. I couldn’t even name my feelings at the time. I snapped a couple of pictures of them, we grabbed our things and left. A horrifying trip… The injury took several months to heal. I was wearing a protective wrap well into September and had not yet recovered my full range of motion.

Instagram caption:

There is so much more than meets the eye. It’s good practice for one not to assume that one knows what goes on in someone else’s life based on what that individual may or may not showcase on social media. Some people wear masks of deceit while others settle for delusions in order to get through the day. I was most the latter; grievously delusional and utterly disconnected from reality. This photo is of a trip I once took. Coincidentally, it was one I focused on and posted about a lot in a desperate attempt to cling onto fictional memories that never saw the light of day although I so desperately wished for such memories to be made. Those events were never addressed frankly and responsibly. The violence which tainted that trip was never openly discussed and resolved. Instead, I was gaslit into integrating the notion that I had caused harmed to myself. I was irrational. I was violent. I was out of control. I was hard to talk to. I was a fool. None of it would have happened if I wasn’t such a complainer. I guess I could kind of see how I might have caused myself such a blow. With Maya being my sole witness, and the facts being systematically distorted, I eventually gave up. In fact, I elected not to think about or remember any of it for it made me feel so defeated. How could I, if we were to try and move past it? It was easier to pretend it didn’t happen. At least not in the way things did unfold. Perhaps it was a misunderstanding somehow… Perhaps I could have done something different to prevent the hostility? Of course, things get a bit trickier to reconcile when presented with the same excuse after being chased out of the shower and slammed face down on the hardwood floors, naked and wet, resulting in a fractured front tooth. Likewise, I had also done it to myself that time when I got hit on the left side of the face, again, leaving me with a broken jaw to heal on my own. These are excerpts from the courrier I sent my attorneys when seeking legal advice. Took me a couple of weeks to flush out a full blown novel relating only the main events for writing about it would trigger violent stomach breakdown and other physical reactions similar in intensity. Sadly, there are many more stories like this one. Too many. Why didn’t I leave sooner? Who knows… Never thought I’d be that person until, all of a sudden, I was that person. How one comes to admit it to oneself is yet another story.

#InstagramVsReality #TraumaBond #CoDependency #CognitiveDissonance #CopingMechanism #RepressedMemories #DissociativeAmnesia #ChronicStress #Depersonalization #Hypervigilance #Denial #CPTSD #Scapegoat #Devaluation #Blameshifting #Gaslighting #Hoovering #Projecting #Fauxpology #FlyingMonkey #NarcissisticInjury #NarcissisticRage #NarcissisticSupply #PersonalityDisorder #ObjectConstancy #ClusterB #CovertNarc #MalignantNarc #PervertNarc #EgoTrip #DomesticViolence #EmotionalAbuse #GrayRock #ChooseYourself

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