Welcome to My Cycle of Violence 101
Updated: Feb 6, 2019
I hate to admit it, but it wasn't all bad...and that only makes it worse. Someone recently shared this graphic with me and I felt a little attacked! The phases and descriptions were dead on for what I experienced over and over and over again, and I know that it's a relatable cycle for many. The problem is I would hang on to the honeymoon moments like that's what our relationship really was, because that's how it started out. Over time, the honeymoon phase was shorter and shorter, sometimes literally only a few hours. At first the tension building cycle was very low degree. Despite being hurtful or offensive, they were just small comments and jabs here and there, that could be easily brushed off. And they were. Being the longest phase is what made the state of tension so normal. Eventually being spoken to in that way for so long, I got really good at tuning it out. I knew what to say and what to watch out for to avoid an argument or aggression.
The explosions were always scary, but never physical, initially. It mostly consisted of screaming, telling me hurtful things like I'd be nothing without him, or no one will ever love me if I leave him, or how if I ever left I'd be sad and alone forever just like my mom (who btw isn't sad or alone just because she's divorced. Lives a very fulfilling life, travels the world and has no interest in dating. I just have to talk her out of adopting more dogs sometimes). He didn't seem satisfied if I wasn't crying and broken at the end of it.
Then the honeymoon phase would circle back around. He NEVER apologized, but he did always promise that he'd try harder. He'd try to drink less, he promised he quit using/selling drugs, he promised to prioritize our relationship...and would "prove" it by taking me out to a beautiful, luxurious date night. Of course, he would just get obliterated drunk, and it would be a matter of time before something would happen all over again. Every date night would look great on paper. We'd post a great photo of us cheers-ing a glass of champagne before dinner, and some photos of the food. By the time we were driving home, it was always a different story. Knowing how he could be, I could never let my guard down, even on what was supposed to be a fun night out. I'd never have more than one drink so I could stay alert and I would just go along with whatever would happen...but this isn't the direction I planned on this story to go. I'll let more of those juicy goods out in some other stories. What I wanted to focus on was the good stuff. The Honeymoon Phase disguised as a happy relationship.
He worked in the food and beverage industry...in this tourist town, it's a bigger deal than it sounds. Servers here are all Sommelier's with refined palates for things like caviar, and other crazy things I had never tried before. So going out to dinner wasn't a night out to Olive Garden. It was a $3,000 meal AFTER the comps, with half a dozen courses because you "know people". We would go on ski trips with friends and family, opening day at the horse races, baseball games all over the country, trips to wineries, and canoeing excursions in Alaska. One of my first memories of us going out was to a concert...for bands I knew nothing about! Him, his friend and myself all went and had a great time, but I was under 21 at that time. The venue put hilarious, giant, black X's on my hands to make sure I never had a drink. After the show, we went back to his place and were drinking vodka orange juices! His friend made my drinks way too strong, so I ended up spending my night with my head in the toilet bowl. I woke up with my now-ex opening the door, trying to encourage me to leave the bathroom and go to the guest room or at least the couch to sleep. I refused to leave. So he brought down pillows and blankets for me, and himself. He slept on the floor in the hall so he could look after me, just in case. How sweet right? But that was just Dr. Jekyll at play in the beginning.
Wanna hear how he got drunk and ruined a Justin Timberlake concert? Or how he got in a fight with my family on a trip to Italy? Or just something else? Choose your own adventure bitches!