Don’t play chess with Death

Mistrust and Abuse. Since writing that post yesterday I’ve had the evening when Evil-Ex tried to kill me on my mind. I need to get it off my mind and the best way I know to do that is to write it down and let it go. So hold on, this is going to get a little rocky.
Cast of Characters:
Evil-Ex … Malignant Narcissist. Need I say more?
Cutie … Met Evil-Ex around the same time I did. He lead her on, pursued her, they dated briefly and turbulently. When they broke up he created elaborate schemes to get revenge on her, make her life miserable and ruin her reputation. He tormented her in a way that made her feel like she was the one going crazy and he was really on her side all along. Sound familiar? It certainly feels familiar.
Doc….  Evil-Exes best friend who was slowly coming to the realization that there was something truly wrong about his friend. Went out of his way to open up and protect me. He tried to do this for Cutie as well and developed a very meaningful relationship with her. Eventually they started dating in secret. All in all a really good guy.
Blondi… One of Evil-Exes lackeys friends that also had a crush on Cutie.
…and of course, Myself.
This particular story starts around Thanksgiving 2008. Evil-Ex and I were ‘solidly’ in a relationship and living together. Evil-Ex was trying to pass Cutie off onto Blondi. He and a lot of his little minions treated women like objects; something to be passed around and handed off when they were done with them. Cutie was trying valiantly to be friends with our group despite all she had been through. Unbeknownst to Evil-Ex, her and Doc were getting pretty close and she was interested in him. Evil-Ex was done with her. Evil-Ex decided that Blondi should have a shot with her so Blondi felt entitled to her. She wasn’t interested in sleeping with Blondi. Taking a true page from Evil-Exes playbook, he felt like he deserved this and not getting it, wanted revenge. Evil-Ex, being the ingratiating friend that he was, offered to do this. What was the revenge? Blondi wanted a picture of her crying for his birthday. Evil-Ex was more than happy to do this. He started talking to Cutie more and more; hanging out with her when I was out of own visiting family or with my own friends. He always waited until the next day or so to let it drop, trying to make me jealous. He actually told me what his intentions were, about his little game. I was sickened and nearly told her. He got to her first though and managed to play us against each other for a while. He told her a slew of lies about me to make her hate me. He told me she hated me for bullshit he had made up and let me believe she was trying to get back with him so I would be jealous and not want to help her.
This built up slowly for two months before The Party.
About a week before The Party (@Blondi’s house) Doc called me and told me that he was bringing Cutie, but not to tell Evil-Ex. I don’t remember if he knew what Evil-Ex was up to, but he didn’t want to give him the chance to prepare something to hurt her. I asked him if she hated me and he assured me that she didn’t. We decided it would be best to clear the air altogether.   
The night of the party rolls around. It was a dark, snowy night. We got all dressed up and fancy. About an hour after we arrived and started drinking Doc and Cutie show up. The look on Evil-Exes face could have melted glass. His anger was barely contained, but bubbling just below the surface I saw some anxiety when he glanced at me out of the corner of his eye. He’d been feeding me a steady stream of lies and smear trying to keep me from ever speaking to her again. He was paranoid that we’d confer and really be able to dig up the dirt on how truly terrible the deeds he pulled were. He was reasonably sure I believed him, but I’ve never been very predictable. This time was no exception.
As soon as he left the room, before he had time to think of anything further, I walked over to Cutie, asked her if I could talk to her for a few minutes and pulled her down into the den away from the party. I completely threw caution to the wind. “Look, I don’t know what you’ve been told, or what’s going on here, but I don’t hate you, I don’t even dislike you, I just don’t know you that well so I don’t know what to believe and what not to believe. I wanted to talk to you and get your side of the story. This is what he’s been saying to me…”  and told her what Evil-Ex was conveying to me about her.
We quickly got to the heart of his lies and uncovered the truth of what was really going on. I let her in on his game for Blondi as well, thoroughly ruining his ability to cause her more misery. Instantly we were allies.
As soon as Evil-Ex noticed my absence, then hers, he started looking for us. He barged downstairs, plunged between us, and dragged me back upstairs. Anytime we stood too close, sat too close chatting in a circle, he would wedge himself between us so we couldn’t ‘conspire’. There wasn’t any plan to do anything except figure out the truth. But that was enough. He was harsh, made jabbing comments, demeaning and cruel with almost everything he said to me. We drank more. And more.
By 1 o’clock I was well and thoroughly smashed. He made yet another verbal attack and that was as much as I could handle at the moment. Another of our friends took me into the living room where I sat crying onto his shoulder. He was being awful to me, to her, hell! To everyone! They just couldn’t see it. I didn’t deserve to be treated like this. At some point Evil-Ex came up behind us and sat down on the couch. As soon as our friend noticed he got up and left me to talk to him. I sat down next to him. He accused me of betraying him. I told him I just wanted the truth and I didn’t deserve to be treated the way he was treating me.
<Blur>
I don’t remember how he got me on the floor. That part of my memory is a black void. But there I was, flat on my back, lying on the ground with him on top of me. His hands wrapped around my throat, smashing my head into the ground. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t see. The room was spinning maddeningly from lack of oxygen and about two dozen too many shots of vodka. But my hands were free and my instincts from 15 years of martial arts took over. I was able to get him off of me. We collapsed lying there.
“I told you I can snap. See what happens when you push me?” This was all my fault? Apparently. Shame. Shame is what I feel now thinking back on this because all I wanted at the time was to make everything better. I wanted to fix it. He said he was going downstairs to sleep this off. I wanted nothing more than to curl up with him, have him wrap his arms around me and tell me we could figure this out. He refused and I didn’t push it. That was the first night my future Boring-Ex and I really hung out. He kept me company afterwards so I wouldn’t be alone. Treated me like a human being.
The next day we went out to breakfast with everyone who spent the night, pretended everything was ok. I actually thought it might be. When we got home we sat down to talk. Evil-Ex decided it was time for us to ‘take a break’. I agreed, reluctantly.
This was the beginning of the end for us. And possibly a blessing in disguise. We agreed not to hang out, not to even speak to one another for a while. I stayed away from our house as much as possible. Every night I went out with friends I hadn’t seen, or hadn’t had the freedom to see whenever I wanted. It took me about a week to realize what I had. Freedom. Every night I was going out with people that wanted me around. I was seeing people that treated me well. I was starting to laugh again. Enjoy my life again. Three weeks later he broke down, wanting me back…. But that’s a story for a different day.
Through all of this, I don’t feel like a victim. He tried to victimize me, but at no point did I completely roll over and allow it. It may have taken me a while but I always managed to fight back and look for the truth in what was happening. Ultimately, despite how horrible of an experience this was, I learned from it. That knowledge has made me a stronger person.  
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11 comments on “Don’t play chess with Death

  1. The only difference between a victim and a non-victim is whether or not they were taken advantage of. It doesn't matter if they came out on top, or are a better person, or overcame the abuse. It doesn't matter if they have the 'scent' or not, because those are just perpetual victims.A man treated you like shit. He tried to kill you when you were drunk. You're were a victim.Nowadays you're a victim of your own mind.

  2. @TNP… maybe you're right, but I survived. I am a survivor. And I'm intelligent enough to have learned from my mistakes and recognize how to prevent that from happening again. Which it won't. Part of my point too, was that for as abusive as this situation was, it's possible to overcome it. It may take a while to move on but something like this doesn't have to define you.I know very well the trappings of my own mind. Some things I can't help, but that's not going to stop me from trying to change what I can and live a better life.

  3. @Anon… He kept me around for as long as he could. He even managed to convince me to get back together with him. He couldn't maintain the new and improved mask of good behavior though and as soon as it started slipping again I was done. I left him and didn't look back.

  4. I find it fairly bad ass that you fought back. Good on ya mate.And to think, after all of this time, I am only now finding out that you are not just a sith, but an ass kicking ninja sith. You get awesomer (not a word, I know) every day.

  5. I don't really believe you, Haven. I think you're capable of doing, or not doing things that defy your default. I know I can. Does it suck? Yes it does. But at the end of the day, I'm alive, and I'm not in prison.Worth it, no?

  6. TNP What's not to believe? It is worth it to defy those default settings. It really is. I don't want to just change my behavior though. I want to actually be healthier.

  7. It's good that you're starting to open up and share your personal experiences. It is very encouraging especially for people like me who aren't sure if I have a right to stand up for myself or not and to know that you did and do gives me the courage and ability to maybe do it too. Thank you for sharing this.

  8. @Maasiyat… You always, ALWAYS, have the right to stand up for yourself. This is the only life you have and you have EVERY right to fight for it. No one has the right to take it from you. No one has the right you make you miserable, or unhappy, or uncomfortable either. You deserve to be happy. Don't ever let anyone take that away from you. ::love::

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