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The questions ranging from fairly acceptable (how many drinks I had that night) to mildly questionable (the prescription medications I take daily) to flat-out unacceptable and embarrassing (my sexual history with the defendant).
All these questions were asked in a public courtroom.
We didn’t become involved until after my placement finished because I didn’t want to be perceived as unprofessional. He was easy to talk to, he was nice, he wasn’t afraid to act like he was interested in me, and everything was easy. I decided to stay with her at her apartment just in case. After repeatedly saying no, I relented, but I took my phone out to be ready to call 911 if something happened.
Unfortunately, things disintegrated faster than I could get a grip on. His “ex-girlfriend” and I figured out that he was seeing us both at the same time. She stepped out onto the landing and kept telling him that he needed to leave. His speech was slurred, and he wasn’t making sense; he wasn’t even forming complete sentences. He left me with deep bruising on my left hip that took over 6 weeks to heal as well as red hand prints around my throat where he had grabbed me and held me over the railing.
But for the first time in my life, my toughness was given the ultimate test. I graduated high school early and I’ve lived on my own since a month after I turned 18.
I carry copious amounts of pepper spray, I graduated college in the top 5% of my class.
I fall off one horse, get up, and get myself back together for my second horse.
I noticed that his family began to realize the same thing.
His parents who originally had no problem glaring at me in the courtroom, stopped looking at me altogether and refused to make eye contact in court. They happen closer to you than you realize, more often than you realize, and you are more vulnerable than you realize. Someone who knows where I live, that I live alone, and my basic schedule.
I fought with everything I had to prevent being portrayed as a drunk, blonde slut or a crazy ex trying to seek revenge.
They tried to craft the story that he had strangled me in self-defense because I had attacked him first. Then where was his bruising and why did he run away when I called 911? Yet I was the one subjected to harassment by his lawyer because I didn’t know that it would have been a good idea to have a lawyer at a protective order (restraining order) hearing.