I am healing. These deep wounds of mine keep coming to the surface. I have slept with a murderer. I was in a relationship with him for two years. 18 years have gone by and he STILL has an effect on me.
I remember him walking into the room that night. I was at his house for a party and he had just gotten off work. My whole world stopped. I was introduced and shyly shook his hand. My best friend at the time, knowing I was never intimidated by men, took one look at me and said, “Don’t even think about it.” But I did. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. Something about him drew me in, and I had to get to know him. I walked into his bedroom after him.
That was the start of a whirlwind of drunken nights, love and heartbreak and one of the biggest lessons learned in this lifetime. I remember the first night his control took hold of me. We were drinking and he opened up about his mother’s murder. He told me how his stepfather dragged his mother into the back yard and beat the hell out of her. He handed a shovel to the three children present and told them to dig a grave. He shot her in the head and made the three children bury her at gun point.
He continued on that night about a girl who was murdered in the town we were in. It was a small college town and I had only been there for about 6 months. I had heard the story of the girl’s unsolved murder over and over. She was a fellow sister in the sorority I became a member of and the death was still fresh. He spoke of her because he was her roommate.
I remember the chills coming up my spine as he told me about the grisly murder scene. How he was the first one to find her and was under fire from the police. The murder greatly impacted him and although he never admitted it, and was in a relationship with her best friend, I could tell he loved her. I felt this feeling I’d never felt before. I feared for my life. My gut told me he was guilty and that never went away.
The first time he hit me, I ran out the back door, down the alley, looking for help. He was in the army and quite fit, and tackled me to the ground. He held me down by my throat and told me he would fucking kill me if I ever tried leaving again. I had just found out I was pregnant.
I lost that baby. My first pregnancy. Doctors told me it was due to stress. Nobody knew how stressful everything was. I was too afraid to let anyone know. I knew my friends and family would try to make me leave him…..I loved him. I couldn’t explain why, but I did. I was deeply attached to his soul. Instead of running, I moved in with him.
Over the next seven months the abuse continued. He was smart about it and never left bruises. He would hold me down and choke me, smack me on the arms and legs, any surface that wouldn’t show marks. It was all carefully monitored, just enough that I didn’t have proof. He prided himself on this, telling me the cops would never believe me. The emotional abuse continued as well. Telling me I was never good enough for him, or telling me no one would want me. That I was too fat or didn’t fix my hair right. He broke up with me after I questioned the condom wrappers I found in our bedroom after I was out of town for a weekend.
I got pregnant during this time and lost the baby again. He told me I was worthless.
We stayed separated for two months before he re-entered my life. We dated long distance for the next two months and everything was great. He convinced me he had changed and I believed him. We moved back in together and the abuse started again. It actually got worse.
A friend of mine remembers him slapping me in the face and calling me stupid. Another friend took me to the police station after he pushed me down. I was pregnant. Again. A few weeks later, this pregnancy almost cost me my life. I was sent to emergency surgery to have the pregnancy terminated. I was hemorrhaging so badly that I had to sign a hysterectomy form. The doctors weren’t sure they could get the bleeding to stop. I was 19. Waking up in a hospital, not knowing if I was ever going to have children.
A few months later we had a fight and I ran to the bedroom and locked myself in. He screamed at the door for me to let him in. I was scrambling to pack my clothes and was about to jump out a second story window to escape. He kicked through the top of the door, unlocked it and proceeded to beat me. We hung a wall tapestry over the hole a few days later.
I met some amazing people in my life and started to open up to them about the abuse. We formulated a plan for my escape. I still remember my one friend standing at the door with a knife while another helped me pack my things. He moved out and I moved back into our apartment. He didn’t give back the key. I slept with a knife wedged between my mattress and a shot gun propped beside my bed.
That wasn’t the end though. He showed up again a few weeks later, and I let him back into my life. He proposed to me. I said yes. He was leaving for basic training and we were to get married during his break before active duty so we could get housing set up. That’s when I met my daughter’s dad and wrote a “dear John” letter.
I have done many years of healing around him. Lots of therapy and failed relationships. Lots of self blame and anger. My biggest breakthrough came a few years ago when I recognized my path as a healer. I realized my light was attracted to his dark. I stayed with him because I thought I could heal him. I loved his soul for what I thought it could be, not what it was. That was my first big lesson on being a healer: you can’t heal everyone. No matter how much you love them. It just won’t work unless they are ready.
I’m not sure why this is coming out now or why I’m feeling the need on THIS day to share all this. Maybe I’m just NOW ready, 18 years later to speak freely of it. Whatever the reason, I’m wise enough to not question it and to embrace it.
I’m not looking for pity or remorse.
I’m looking for freedom.
May my words free me.
May my soul find rest.
So mote it be.
Jessica Holden is a yoga teacher, mentor, writer and metaphysical practitioner living in Atlanta, GA. She has co-facilitated Breathwork events, led Sabbat ceremonies and women’s circles. She is passionate about Shadowork and bringing a balance to the Feminine and Masculine energies. She is a seeker and intuitive who enjoys healing others using her positivity and energy. Jessica has a degree in Complementary and Alternative Health and focuses on helping others achieve health and wellness on the physical, mental and spiritual levels. You can find her on social media platforms Instagram and Facebook under Regulus Wellness.