Wednesday, May 27, 2009

He didn't mean it officer... he loves me

A couple of weeks ago Matthew and I watched the Will Smith movie Seven Pounds. If you haven't seen it I STRONGLY recommend you do. Fantastic movie. But be forewarned. You will cry.

In the movie there is a lady who is caught in a domestic abuse situation and won't leave because she is afraid her husband will hunt her down and kill her.

Last week I had the pleasure of being woken up at 12am by a blood curdling scream from the lady that lives in the apartment across the hall. As I shuffle into the living room I hear my boyfriend on the phone with 911 'I'd like to report a domestic dispute. Yes there is a woman screaming and a lot of bangs and crashes like furniture being thrown or knocked over'

This wasn't the first time the police have had to be called because the chic that lives across the hall and her boyfriend got into a tussle. This was, however, the first time that I actually feared for her life.

They were both 'recovering' alcoholics and she was supposedly on all kinds of anxiety & bi-polar meds and they got into somewhat loud disagreements rather often. On 3 previous times it had escalated to a physical level with them both screaming and assaulting each other at such a volume I called 911. The last time she had lied to the police and said he broke into her house (we all knew he had a key), but when they urged her to press charges and have him arrested she said no. She just wanted him to leave.

A few days later she caught me in the court yard walking my puppy and apologized. She said they'd both slipped and had started drinking again and that she'd stopped taking her bi-polar meds a few weeks earlier and flipped out and attacked him, but that they were both dry again, and she'd gone to the doctor and been put on a new medication. She basically said it was her fault he hit her because she was crazy and they were both drunks.

We stood by the door, me peering across the hall through the peep-hole, listening to crashes, bangs and screams for the next 13 minutes. At 12:15am everything went silent. She'd been screaming HELPPP for the past 2 minutes, and as much as Matthew and I wanted to barge across the hall and intervene we knew the best thing to do was wait for the police.

They finally showed up about ten minutes later. Ten minutes after everything went silent, twenty-five minutes after they were called. The police station is about 2 miles from our apartment. Matthew and I peek out the door and tell them what we'd heard and then continue to watch through the peep-hole.

The police knocked on the door and this is what followed...

"Sir, this is the police, please open the door"


"Sir, this is the police, we need you to open the door"

Muffled "Do you have a warrant?"

Mistake #1

"SIR! We need you to open the door NOW"

More mumbling - I couldn't quite make out what he was saying through the door this time, but whatever he said was not appreciated by the now 3 officers standing in the entryway between our apartments.

"Sir, we are not leaving until you open the door. If you do not open the door we will open it for you"

Muffled "You don't have any probable cause" followed by more mumbling

Mistake #2

"Trying to get legal is only going to get you in more trouble sir, you need to open the door NOW. We will not leave until you let us in!"

I should mention that the lady across the hall has a dog. It's a shar-pei-pit mix and has the disposition of Stephen King's Cujo. On a really really bad day. After a few minutes of hearing the dog bark and charge the door some comments were made about kicking the dog in the head, I think I may have heard that shooting it was an option as well.

After about fifteen minutes of trying to get the guy to open the door one of the officers makes a show of 'calling the team' to have the door forcefully opened for the loser across the hall since he seemed to have a problem turning the door knob and they decide to take a different approach. Note - they didn't really call anyone. I guess they hoped the threat would be enough for him to let them in. It wasn't.

Female Office: "Sir, this is officer so-and-so. Can you please open the door and let me in so I can see if I need to begin medical on the female?"


"Sir, please. Please open the door so I can check on the female and make sure she is ok"

There is a loud on the other side of the door, she jumps about 2 feet then runs down the 5 stairs to stand by the entry door. The 3 guy officers that were in the entry way suddenly get real business like. One takes position half way up the stairs to the 2nd floor, one is in front of the entry way door at the bottom of the stairs and one is on landing right to the side of the neighbors door. Guns drawn.

The next part was like a real life episode of COPS. The door opens a crack and things got crazy.


Two of the cops grab the guy and face plant him on the floor while the 3rd handcuffs him. They drag him out dripping blood from his face and all down the stairs. Which we (Matthew) had to later clean. Then I hear the female officer yell.

"Beginning medical on the female!"

She was unconscious on the floor.

It took them around ten minutes to get her to come to. During which Matthew and I used lunch meat to lure Cujo into our bathroom because he kept lunging at the officers and medics that had come in to help. Let me say the ambulance got there a hell of a lot faster than the police did.

Things finally wrapped up around 2:30am. She declined to go to the hospital, I returned her beast of a dog to her and she once again apologized and begged me not to go to the apartment manager and tell them what happened because it may get her evicted.

I did though. Even though he could have killed her and had actually knocked her unconscious I knew that if left up to her he would be back. I didn't want to get her kicked out but I knew he wasn't on the lease and there had to be a way to get him out for good.

So I called our realty company and told them what had been going on. I told them that the people in the apartment above me had actually moved out because of the constant fighting going on in the apartment across from me. I told them that the police had been called at least 3 times in the past 6 months and this time the guy was arrested, the girl was unconscious and we'd had to clean up blood from the entryway. (I later heard the female officer tell the lady across the hall that the blood was from the officers slamming the guy on the floor. She'd asked if they should take pictures of the blood for evidence in case he came back.) I told them that while there was nothing I could do because the guy hadn't assaulted or threatened me, I knew they could take steps to have him banned from the property. The lady said she'd talk to the owner, make some calls and let me know what they could do.

She called me back later that day and said that a restraining order was being placed on the guy and they'd talked to the lady across the hall and told her he was not under any circumstances allowed back on the property. They told me to call them AND the police if I saw him again. He showed up with his mom two days later to collect all of his belongings. After being beaten unconscious the woman still helped him carry his stuff out, crying the entire time, then hugged and kissed him goodbye.

I spent the better part of a year watching my mom get pushed around and abused by a worthless piece of shit alcoholic. He threw my little sister across the kitchen once and threatened to throw me through a plate glass window. I stood up to him and although he talked a lot more crap after he didn't directly threaten me again. Then after swearing that I would never let a man hit me, I spent the next 3 years in an abusive relationship. So when a woman says "but you don't know what it's like... he doesn't mean to do it.. he loves me, you just don't understand..."

I get to call BULLSHIT. I've been there.

If you are with a man who abuses you in ANY way, verbally, mentally, emotionally or physically LEAVE HIM. And I say in ANY way for a reason. My ex-fiance only really hit me one time, but thanks to tactical training with a swat team he was quite knowledgable in inflicting pain in ways that never left a mark. He also beat me down mentally and emotionally until there was almost nothing of the strong woman I once had been left.

I don't care if you drop kick a guy in the face, no REAL man will EVER lay a hand on a woman. Granted if you do something like that you certainly deserve to have your ass kicked but that doesn't mean it's OK for a man to hit you.

You may think,

if I leave it means I failed at our relationship
if I try a little harder he'll stop
if I just don't mess up as much he won't get so angry
if I really love him I'll stay and 'help him' with his issues

There is no reason to stay in an abusive relationship. None. Ever.

In the beginning my excuse was that my ex-fiance had endured horrific things during childhood and just didn't know how to deal with them. Then I couldn't leave because I'm a perfectionist and leaving meant I hadn't been able to make it work, it meant I failed. After that it was that no one else would love me, and it wasn't always bad.. most of the time he was really great.

The number one reason women stay in abusive relationships is fear. Fear they won't be able to make it on their own. Fear that no one else will love them and they'll be alone for ever. Fear that the guy will come after them. Fear that they're actually not worth being loved and may really deserve being abused.

Well let me share something with you that surprisingly enough not many people know.

The opposite of love isn't hate. It's fear.

When you decide that you deserve love, and when you decide to love yourself the fear will go away. It may not be easy and you may have to bust your ass to get back on your feet, but you will make it. Trust me... I've been there. I ended up in a domestic abuse shelter because my ex threatened to blow up the house of the people I lived with. It was all hot air, but they believed him and kicked me out. I had no where to go. But instead of crying in my oatmeal and lamenting about how hard things were and indulging in the 'poor me' syndrome, I sucked it up and decided to take charge of my life, and I made it.

So can you.

3 People who coughed on a furball:

This is Me. said...

Wow...thank God you called the police. I too have been in an abusive situation more than once (I hate to admit that) but, I am a survivor - no, I like the term "fighter" and won't be there again.
You did a great job of hitting it home and I truly hope this post reaches out to at least one person who NEEDS to read it.

Clever Elsie said...

What an excellent post! Thank you for telling it like it is and sharing your own story so openly. As someone else who has firsthand experience with abuse, I give a great big thumbs up to every word of this.

Anonymous said...

Wow this is insane any
guy that ever puts his hands
on a women is a real S*O*B
any guy that abuses a women
emotionaly is a real S*O*B

I did crack up though on
you luring Cujo into the bathroom
with lunch meat lol