BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

ON SUNDAY EVENING, I WAS EMOTIONAL. I HAD SPENT FOUR YEARS WORKING TO FINISH MY DEGREE WHILE RIDING A ROLLER COASTER OF LIFE. THIS MORNING, AFTER READING A RESPONSE, DENYING MY “ALLEGATIONS” OF A LIFE CHANGING MOMENT, MY EMOTIONS TURNED TO ANGER. BUT WHAT DID I EXPECT? AS THIS SITUATION IS ALL TOO COMMON IN THE WORLD, NOT JUST THE WORLD OF SPORTS, BUT THE WORLD. A PERSON WHO IS ABUSIVE DOES NOT REALIZE THEY ARE, OR THINK THEY ARE. ESPECIALLY, WHEN THE PEOPLE, FANS, FAMILY, AND FRIENDS GLORIFY THE PERSON FOR A SKILL THEY SPEND THEIR LIFE PERFECTING. AS I AM WAITING TO HAVE MY FORMAL MEETING WITH THE COMMISSIONER’S OFFICE OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL, THE ONLY THING I CAN DO TO CHANNEL MY RACING HEART AND SHAKING HANDS IS TO WRITE OUT MY EXPERIENCE. I WILL NOT LET THE MEDIA OR ANY OTHER AVENUE ALTER MY EXPERIENCE. IT CANNOT BE ALTERED, MY EXPERIENCE FOREVER SHAPED ME AND NO AMOUNT OF DENIAL WILL CHANGE THE NIGHTMARES I HAVE, THE INSECURITIES I HAVE AND THE PASSION I HAVE, TO HELP THIS NOT HAPPEN TO ANYBODY ELSE. A SICKENING AREA OF THE WORLD WE LIVE IN NEEDS TO HAVE MORE LIGHT SHED ON IT. AND I HOPE TO DO THAT. I HOPE MULTIPLE WOMEN CAN READ THIS AND GET OUT OF CONTROLLING SITUATIONS, ABUSIVE SITUATIONS AND MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY DRAINING SITUATIONS.
BEFORE I RELIVE THE NIGHT THAT CHANGED MY LIFE, I WANT TO REITERATE SOMETHING. I WAS DEEPLY IN LOVE WITH DEREK. I STILL FEEL LOVE IN MY HEART FOR HIM. I WISH I DIDN’T, BUT I DO. I STILL HAVE NIGHTS WHERE I THINK ABOUT US FIRST MEETING AND HOW I STAYED UP ALL NIGHT JUST TO TALK TO HIM ON THE PHONE. WE STARTED DATING WHEN I WAS 19, AFTER A HARD, LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP, WE SEPARATED FOR ABOUT A YEAR.  WE RECONNECTED AND SHORTLY AFTER, GOT ENGAGED. DEREK WAS NOT A LOVEY DOVEY, EMOTIONAL TYPE, BUT HE WAS FUNNY. HE WAS THE MOST AUTHENTIC PERSON I’VE CAME ACROSS, NOT CHANGING HIS PERSONALITY FOR ANY PERSON, REPORTER OR FAN. HE WAS WONDERFULLY SARCASTIC AND HE WAS THE HARDEST WORKER I HAVE EVER MET. HIS CAREER WAS HIS LIFE, AFTER GAMES, HE WOULD STAY UP STUDYING FOR THE NEXT ONE. HE WAS DEDICATED, DETERMINED AND FOCUSED. HE IS AN EXTREMELY TALENTED ATHLETE AND SPENT HIS WHOLE LIFE TRAINING TO BE JUST THAT. NOBODY SHOULD EVER TAKE THAT AWAY FROM HIM. THE LAST YEAR OF OUR RELATIONSHIP WAS NOT A GOOD ONE THOUGH, A LARGER CONTRACT WAS SIGNED, MORE PRESSURE TO PERFORM WAS PLACED ON HIM AND MORE PEOPLE HAD OPINIONS ON EVERY ASPECT OF HIS LIFE. IT IS FUNNY, EVEN AFTER BEING TREATING WRONG, DISRESPECTED AND PHYSICALLY ABUSED, I STILL FIND MYSELF MAKING EXCUSES FOR HIS ACTIONS. MAYBE IF I JUST DIDN’T WAKE UP AND CHECK ON HIM THIS WOULDN’T HAVE HAPPENED. MAYBE IF I WAS A LITTLE MORE FUN AND LESS UPTIGHT I WOULD HAVE WANT TO STAY UP AND HAVE DRINKS WITH HIM. MAYBE HE DID THIS BECAUSE HE WAS SO STRESSED, HAVING AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF PRESSURE ON HIM. MAYBE HE LOVED ME SO MUCH, HE DIDN’T WANT ME TO SEE HIM DOING SOMETHING SO HURTFUL. MAYBE WHEN HE IS DONE WITH BASEBALL, THINGS WILL BE BETTER BECAUSE HE WILL HAVE A DIFFERENT LIFESTYLE. SO MANY “MAYBE’S” TO TRY AND CHANGE A TERRIBLE NIGHT.
ON OCTOBER 20TH, 2015 DEREK AND I WERE AT OUR HOME IN WICHITA, KS. WE HAD BEEN SITTING OUT ON OUR PATIO AND DEREK HAD BEEN DRINKING. AS IT GOT LATE I WENT TO GO TO BED AND DEREK WENT DOWNSTAIRS, AS HE WAS STILL DRINKING. I REMEMBER WAKING UP TO HIM KNEELING AT THE BED TELLING ME HOW PRETTY I WAS AND SINGING “SLOW JAMS” TO ME, BUT I COULDN’T KEEP MY EYES OPEN. I WOKE UP A LITTLE WHILE LATER. I’M NOT SURE HOW LONG IT HAD BEEN. I FELT THAT SOMETHING WAS NOT RIGHT AND I WENT DOWNSTAIRS TO FIND DEREK ON THE PHONE. HE SEEMED STARTLED AND STARTED TALKING “SPORTS” TO THIS PERSON ON THE PHONE. I TOOK THE PHONE AND HEARD A FEMALE’S VOICE STATING, “ARE YOU GOING TO TALK TO ME”. I KNEW WHO IT WAS BECAUSE I HAD SEEN TEXTS AND CAUGHT HER CALLING DEREK BEFORE. I TOOK HIS PHONE AND WALKED UP OUR STAIRS TO TRY AND GET THIS GIRL TO SPEAK TO ME. I APPROACHED OUR KITCHEN ISLAND WITH THE PHONE IN MY HAND AND DEREK APPROACHED ME FROM BEHIND AND PUT ME IN A CHOKE HOLD. AT THIS TIME, I THOUGHT HE WANTED THE PHONE. I THREW THE PHONE ONTO THE KITCHEN ISLAND AND TRIED TO GET AWAY. DEREK THEN GRABBED ME BY THE BACK OF MY HAIR TO PULL ME BACK TO HIM. HE EVENTUALLY LET GO AND AS I TURNED AROUND HE GRABBED ME BY MY UPPER ARMS SO I COULDN’T LEAVE AS HE TRIED TO DRUNKENLY EXPLAIN THAT HE WASN’T TALKING TO ANOTHER FEMALE.
AFTER THIS I TRIED TO GO TO OUR BEDROOM TO GET MY PHONE TO CALL MY MOM SO SHE COULD COME HELP ME. HE STOOD IN FRONT OF ME CORNERING ME SO I COULD NOT GET TO MY PHONE. HE KEPT TRYING TO TALK TO ME AND DENY WHAT HE WAS DOING. I EVENTUALLY COULD GRAB MY PHONE AND GET INTO OUR GUEST ROOM AND LOCK THE DOOR. I GRABBED MY SUITCASE AND CALLED MY MOM SO SHE COULD COME GET ME.
MY MOM AND HER HUSBAND SHOWED UP AND TOOK ME BACK TO THEIR HOME. DEREK CALLED MY MOM AND WAS TALKING TO HER ON THE PHONE. HE CALLED HER AGAIN ONCE WE REACHED MY MOM’S HOUSE. I DON’T KNOW DETAILS OF WHAT THEY TALKED ABOUT. I DO KNOW THAT HE WAS SO UPSET BY THE SITUATION THAT HIS PARENTS CAME OVER TO THE HOUSE TO BE WITH HIM AND TALK TO HIM.
A WEEK LATER DEREK’S BEST FRIEND WAS GETTING MARRIED AND DEREK WAS IN THE WEDDING. I WENT TO THE WEDDING, I ROAD WITH HIS PARENTS. ON THE WAY, THERE, I ASKED IF THEY HAD ANYTHING TO SAY ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED BETWEEN US. HIS DAD MADE COMMENTS SUCH AS, “I DID NOT RAISE MY SON THAT WAY.” HIS MOM MADE THE COMMENT OF, “THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING DEEPER GOING ON.”
I MOVED BACK INTO OUR HOME SOME SHORT TIME AFTER. BUT THINGS WERE NOT THE SAME. I REMEMBER CALLING DEREK’S MOM BAWLING MY EYES OUT THINKING “I HAD SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME” AND THAT IS WHY DEREK AND I HAD ISSUES. BELIEVE ME, I STRUGGLED WITH ANXIETY, DEPRESSION AND AN EATING DISORDER. I DID AND STILL DO HAVE THINGS WRONG WITH ME. BUT, NOTHING WILL EVER BE SO WRONG WITH ME THAT I DESERVED TO BE TREATED IN SUCH A WAY. EVEN AFTER DEREK HAD LAID HIS HANDS ON ME IN SUCH AN AGGRESSIVE WAY, I WANTED TO DO WHATEVER I COULD TO FIX US, TO MAKE THINGS BETTER. I WAS HOLDING ON TO A LOVE AND PERSON THAT WAS NO LONGER THERE. THAT IS WHAT MAKES DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, PHYSICAL ABUSE OR MENTAL ABUSE SCARY. IT IS DONE TO US BY THE PERSON WE LOVE MOST IN THE WORLD.
THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS TOO OFTEN. WOMEN START IN A LOVING RELATIONSHIP AND FOR WHATEVER REASON, WORK, FAMILY, FINANCES, ALCOHOL OR STRESS, THE RELATIONSHIP CHANGES. BUT, BECAUSE OF HOW WE ARE TALKED TO AND HOW WE ARE TREATED WE FEEL WE CANNOT LEAVE, WE FEEL WE CAN CHANGE THIS PERSON, OR WE CAN CHANGE OURSELVES SO THE PERSON WILL LOVE US ENOUGH TO CHANGE THEMSELVES.
WHEN I WROTE MY POST ON SUNDAY EVENING, I FELT EMPOWERED. I WAS SO PROUD OF GETTING OUT OF A RELATIONSHIP THAT WAS NOT RIGHT FOR ME. I WAS PROUD THAT I LEFT WITH NOTHING AND COULD BUILD MY LIFE OVER. I WAS PROUD I COULD FINALLY FIND THE COURAGE TO SAY THAT I WAS HURT, DAMAGED, SCARRED AND SCARED BUT STILL FOUND A WAY TO CREATE A LIFE FOR MYSELF. ALL I WANTED TO WAS TO SHARE THAT. I WANT MORE PEOPLE TO KNOW, THEY CAN CHANGE THEIR CIRCUMSTANCES AT ANY TIME. I STILL FIND MYSELF HESITANT TO SHARE WHAT HAPPENED, BECAUSE, “IT WASN’T THAT BAD”. I DIDN’T BLEED, I DIDN’T BREAK BONES, I WAS NOT HIT, KICKED OR THROWN TO THE GROUND. I QUESTION, IF MY EXPERIENCE IS POWERFUL ENOUGH TO HELP WOMEN. IS GOING THROUGH THIS WORTH THE OUTCOME? MY INTENTION IS NOT MAKE THE MAN I LOVED, AND STILL HAVE LOVE IN MY HEART FOR, LOOK LIKE A MONSTER, BECAUSE HE ISN’T. LIFE CHEWED HIM UP AND SPIT HIM OUT JUST AS IT DID TO ME. I AM SURE IF HIS WORK, FAMILY, FINANCE AND STRESS SITUATIONS WERE DIFFERENT, THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN DIFFERENT. BUT THEY WEREN’T, AND I HAD WORDS HURT ME AND HIS TOUCH HURT ME. I WILL FOREVER HAVE THAT SHAPE WHO I AM. ALREADY, WOMEN HAVE REACHED OUT TO ME LIVING IN SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES, MANY MUCH MUCH WORSE THAN I COULD IMAGINE. WITH THOSE INTERACTIONS, I KNOW, THAT PUTTING MYSELF OUT THERE TO SHARE WILL HELP OTHERS TO FIND A WAY TO LEAVE, START OVER AND CREATE SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL.

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