Tuesday, January 14, 2014

K is for Knock

P.S. Writing this paragraph after I wrote the entire post, but think it belongs at the beginning - this one took a lot out of me. I enjoy writing and think it is therapeutic, but this post has raised my anxiety to a level at which it has not been for a long time. I'm borderline panic attack. After you read this, you will understand why my heart is still pounding and my stupid eyes won't stop watering. I haven't really dealt with any of this stuff. Just pushed it under the couch with the knife.
That last winter we were together, Ex was working out of state. His visits home grew farther and farther apart as he became more enthralled with his life away from home. See "F is for Faithful" and you can guess why. Enough said. Ex had just moved his mother to our city and stuck her in a nursing home. I wanted her to come and live with us, but Ex was adamant that such a horrific thing would only occur over his dead body. So. Nursing home.

Ex's mom moved to town one weekend and Ex came home for the occasion. He was also back the very next weekend and then said he would have to stay out of town for a long time. He said maybe a month or so. I remember the mixed feelings of sadness because I wanted to be with my husband and relief, because I was scared of him. Oh, my.

We lived in a fairly decent neighborhood at the time, but, tragically, there was a serial rapist running rampant. A few weeks before all of this, he had started his reign of terror on my back deck, trying to break in through a window and running off when I turned on the deck light. I saw him jogging down the street, called the police, watched as they wandered around for a bit and then said they would keep an eye on things. The very next night, news vans were everywhere. He had come back and attacked the woman who lived on my corner.

I didn't think this would make me cry. Shows what I know.

Anyway, ugh. Haven't gotten it together yet. Wait.

I try to forget the sleepless nights on the couch, clutching a knife under the cushions and jumping at every sound. I installed one of those motion-detector lights that is on dimly all of the time and then brightens when there is movement, and we had big raccoons who could trigger the light. I jumped all night long until around 4:00AM, when I would fall into an exhausted doze. I didn't sleep for weeks. The guy was raping women all over the neighborhood and always struck around three in the morning. I was a nervous wreck.

(This is not the story of the hours that Ex spent yelling at me on the phone when I told him what was going on and asked him to come home for the weekend. I told him it would be nice to have a man around the house and he got extremely angry and yelled for over three hours. But this is not that story.)

Back to the main story - Ex, working out of town. His mom, recently moved to town. Ex, saying he would not be back for a long time and just departed. Okay.

So, I'm lying on the couch, jumping up every time the light brightens and peering out fearfully through the blinds. At 3:00 in the morning, someone knocks on the door. I almost died of a heart attack right then and there. I wasn't asleep, but I wasn't really awake, either, but I tell you what - I woke up fast. I ran to the door, phone in one hand, kitchen knife in the other, heart racing, eyes wide with terror, not breathing. Looked out....
...only to see Ex standing there, scowling in at me. Wanting to know why the storm door was locked. Mad because the door was locked at three o'clock in the morning with a rapist on the loose. Had come home "to surprise me". Mission accomplished, fool. He really came home to see his mom. I'm not an idiot. (Well, maybe. You'll have to read the latest "I" post and decide for yourself.)

After Ex left that Sunday, I randomly checked doors. He had left the back door, garage door, and door between the house and the garage ALL unlocked. Doors that we never left unlocked. Unlocked. I love you, too.

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Don't make me talk to myself, yo.

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