Courted

Trigger warning: This post discusses abuse and rape.

After my minor medical procedure, C, her husband and I had no time for lunch. It was court time. We stopped on the way and J got me an Arizona  tea and a Reese’s stick. He knows what I like. Unfortunately, my body wasn’t having it that day.

We drove to the courthouse and I changed from my pajamas into a sheath dress. I’m glad I chose a dress, I don’t think I could have managed buttons.

It’s hard to write about this without feeling like I am plagiarizing. The talented and hilarious Aussa wrote a much better post regarding all this here. Feel free to read that instead of, or in addition to, this post.

I was already feeling sick. I hadn’t seen A since our incident. I had moved out in a panic the next day while he was at work. I do wish I had been able to see his face when he got home from work and everything I owned was just… gone.

The injunction had taken me seven hours to complete. A lot had happened in our two years together. The people at the courthouse had to sit me down and talk me into it. It was a bad relationship, but I didn’t want to ruin his life. I still felt bad for filing against him. I only wanted to feel safe.

And I was afraid. Afraid the judge wouldn’t believe me. Afraid that since I didn’t leave him that time he pushed me, or the first time he sexually abused me, or the first time he intimidated or manipulated me, or the first time he told me I was crazy and stupid and worthless, that I deserved what I got. Afraid his lies would be more believable than my truths.

We walked up to the metal detector. I had my stainless steel water bottle. They asked me to drink from it, in case it was acid that I was going to throw on someone. I somehow still managed to make a joke; “What if I had wanted to drink acid today? Then the joke would have really been on you guys.” I don’t know what I was thinking. I blame the drugs.

I was nervous. My stomach hurt. I couldn’t tell if I felt so shitty from the procedure or from worrying. I scanned the parking lot, trying to see his car. The car I had given him.

The elevator doors opened and I checked to make sure he wasn’t on it before getting on. We got to our floor and all I could do was sit, staring out the window, waiting to see him. Wanting to get it over with and wanting him to not show up at the same time.

I started feeling really sick. C took me into the bathroom where I vomited back up my candy bar. I started crying. I wasn’t sure I could do this. I was freaking out. My heart was pounding which was upsetting me even more. Was I having a panic attack? Was I having a stress reaction? Was I having another heart episode that would mean more surgeries? I was a mess.

I was on hyper alert. We walked out into the waiting area and he came in. I had never seen him dressed up. He was in a full suit. He was with a woman I had never seen before. I assumed she was his lawyer. I didn’t have one. Turns out, neither did he. We never figured out who she was. Probably a new girlfriend.

We went into the courtroom. I never looked directly at him, but I knew exactly where he was the entire time. My body stiffened when he scratched his nose, or turned towards me, or shifted his position. At one point C went to the bathroom and he got up and left the room as well. I freaked out and insisted J go out there with her.

After four hours of waiting on a hard wooden bench, C finally asked the bailiff if I could go next due to my medical procedure that morning. I was in agony. The bailiff looked shocked we had waited so long.

We were called up. The judge could not even finish reading my injunction before I was bawling. I answered her questions as best I could. He had written a point by point response to all ten pages of everything I had said.

He offered up several gems during our brief hearing. Things so awful that his defense made even the judge, stenographers, and other petitioners audibly gasp.(He really should have gotten a lawyer). Things like how pushing someone isn’t abuse. And neither is calling them names. And how I only took his rape threats as a threat because I was conceited and thought everyone wanted to rape me. (That last one brought the gasps).

At one point I was crying so hard, C handed the bailiff a cloth handkerchief from my purse (that’s right, I’m classy as fuck). So I could at least blow my nose.

The judge was fair. I had no proof of my allegations. I had stupidly deleted many of his texts (lesson learned). But he was ordered to never contact me again via any means at all for any reason. And was ordered to not contact anyone in my family either.

We walked out of the courtroom, they let me leave first, I guess so he didn’t try to murder me in the parking lot. The bailiff leaned over and told me that they were going to hold him for a long time, so I would have extra time to leave.

In the elevator I turned to my two friends. They were looking at me with concern. I smiled and said “I’m so conceited; always thinking everyone is trying to rape me!” They laughed.

And I had assumed he would not contact me. A restraining order would mean he would lose his job and never get another one in his line of work. But he apparently cared more about harassing me than having a job.

He continued to email me. He didn’t think I had “the right” to end our relationship without his permission.

And I had to go back to court and do it all over again. Four more times. And each time I got that same apprehension walking through the parking lot. Looking over my shoulder, wondering where he was. Feeling sick, wondering if the judge would believe me. Wondering if he was going to show up. Wondering if he was going to show up with a gun. But he never did.

There is no resolution to this story. He was never served the second set of papers. The police department doesn’t know where he is. He hasn’t contacted me in six months.

I’m sorry this post wasn’t funnier. This is the most anxious I have ever felt about sharing something I’ve written. Let us never speak of it again.

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32 thoughts on “Courted

    • I’ve never heard that expression “holding space” before now. I looked it up and I love it! Thank you. I am going to start using that expression, I hope you don’t mind. I journal a lot, so I am used to writing about hard and personal things, I just don’t usually share them with the world.

      • You are very welcome 🙂 It’s one of my favorites, full of meaning. Totally don’t mind if you steal it. I stole it from someone else 😀 We can just call it passing on the love.
        I understand; for a long time I wrote very vague blog entries because I was afraid to share personal things with everyone. I still have to watch that sometimes. It’s really hard to be courageous and brave enough to actually say some of this stuff.

  1. Scary shit. Luckily my exes would avoid me like the plague than stalk me, including the one that gave me a black eye (but he wasn’t technically an ex…).

    I salute you. That’s something I don’t think I’d ever be able to follow through on.

  2. Oh God. You are so right about our stories being similar though he is a truly sick fuck for making that statement about rape. It has only been six months since your last contact? I suppose I am sitting at right about the same timeline. Maurna, thank you for sharing this story. I know how hard it must have been to write… but I think that it is good to add your voice to that collective middle-finger that we are sending out the world, letting other people know that they aren’t the only ones who have experienced these things, that no– we aren’t stupid because we didn’t leave the first time and no– we didn’t deserve it because we chose to stay. Telling this story is an incredibly brave act and I know that when I first started telling mine I felt absolutely SICK and in a panic. I hope that you aren’t feeling anything like that right now but if you are, please no that you’ve already had such an impact on several of us and there’s no telling how many more.

    • Thank you for saying this. I think you wrote about it very eloquently. And if you knew my past this rape statement would be even worse. But I think you can figure that part out for yourself now.

  3. Aussa brought me here. I am truly sorry this has happened to you. For anyone to terrorize or victimize another person in this way is deplorable. I really admire how much courage you had to face him in court, and also for telling your story here.

    • Thank you. And thank you for coming over and visiting. I was scared about people reacting poorly to this story. Especially since I know people in real life that read this. But everyone has been lovely so far.

  4. *sigh* Rape is rape… I don’t doubt why all in the room gasped. I would, too.

    I was falsely accused of rape. Arrested, detained, but eventually released… as the charges were false. Long messy story, but that’s about as close as my experience comes to yours. I didn’t experience much abuse in my relationships– when I did, it was… different.

    • I am sorry you experienced abuse in a relationship. I know it can be very difficult for men to come forward and admit. Especially due to our society’s expectations of men. And there is nothing more despicable to me than false accusations of rape. I am sorry you went through that.

  5. I agree with Aussa, Maurna. You are incredibly courageous. Incidentally, a colloquial definition is “scared to death, but willing to step up and do the right thing anyway.” Also, I cannot believe the gall of that stupid jerk. He must have some nerve. You are well shot of him. Now, let us hope you can finally find some peace.

    • Thank you. He was pretty unbelievable. Sadly, our relationship wasn’t the worst I have ever had. Just the most recent and that one in which I finally said enough is enough. Now I am in therapy. And going to court, despite it being ultimately useless against him, made me feel like a whole new person. Standing up to an abuser for the first time in my life was the most important act of self care imaginable. I proved to myself that i wasn’t going to stand for being mistreated anymore. And that made the whole thing worthwhile.

  6. Well holy shit. I’m amazed that you can even write this down. I’m 23 and luckily I skipped right past the abusive relationship stuff and found a good one. Unbelievable. It’s hard for me to imagine how someone could become that twisted.

    • The worst part is that he was actually the best boyfriend and the best long term relationship I have ever had. I did cry a bit while I wrote it. But I feel much better now that it’s out there.

  7. I’ve never understood the whole stalking thing. If a relationship’s over, it’s over. Why some people go out of their way to make someone else’s life miserable, or worse – sometimes much worse – is beyond me. That said, I don’t have any words of wisdom because I’ve fortunately never had an experience such as this. I will say I admire you for having the guts to put this down and to stand up for yourself.

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  9. I read this post after you referred to it in your most recent post. You are such a brave, brave person. What an absolutely horrendous ordeal. I have such respect for you.

      • God. You have really been through the mill with it all. So sorry to hear all this happened to you. But look at you, you’re still here, still writing, getting on with your life. That is such an achievement after the ordeal you’ve been through.

      • Thanks. I appreciate you saying that. But it really wasn’t that bad. By the end of all those court visits I was kind of let down. I just wanted a resolution one way or another. But I guess life doesn’t always work out that way.

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    • I always feel like that ‘like’ button just means you are here reading and supporting me. Not that you like what happened or even what I’m saying. And I appreciate it.

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