The First Time

I haven’t written a post for a while. Mostly because I haven’t felt like I’ve had anything worth while to say. 

Today I do. Something I feel like I need to get out there. 


July 25, 2014. My husband hit me for the first time. 

We had been fighting, like always. Aboutbour puppies, Dundee and Harley, like always. We had very different ideas of raising pups. I loved and played with them, trying to teach them gently. While he thought it was ok to literally throw them. Sometimes I think about that and it’s worse than anything he ever did to me. 


I tried to leave him that day, like I had tried to do before. He went to the guest bedroom to get my suitcase. It was in the closet. He barged in and shoved me, I fell into the closet and hit my arm. I reached behind me to push him off and he grabbed me pulled me up and punched me on the right side of my head. 

I remember laying on the ground, my head in my hands, crying, terrified, thinking “now I’m in an abusive relationship” as of it were some milestone, some accomplishment. As if everything he’d ever done up to that point wasn’t abusive. But to me, in my mind, where I was then, him hitting me was the first abusive thing he’d done. 

He immediately apologized as if that would make it better. It didn’t, even then. I was scared and confused. I told him to leave me alone. He finally agreed but told me I only had 5 minutes. Even before that 5 minutes alone were up he came in the room with a bag of frozen hash browns and told me to put it in the side of my head where he punched me. I did. 

That was all that really happened. He told me to stop crying, I got up, then he bought me an ‘early birthday present’ a new wallet I’d been wanting. But really it was just an ‘I’m sorry I punched you in the head’ gift. 

The point I want to get across is that abuse looks different to different people at different times in their lives. At that time I ignored every red flag, until it hit me, literally, in the face. Today, I would have noticed the first red flag and I would have noticed everything abusive he did before hitting me. The way he talked down to me, the names he called me, he things he did to me, unspeakable things. Things I’ve still never told anyone about. But I ignored all of that. Until I couldn’t anymore. I let it go the first time, and all the times after that. If I had left the first time my life would be so different. But I’m not sorry I didn’t, I stayed for many reasons, not all good reasons but hey, they were reasons. I’m not really sure where I’m going with this now. I’m just rambling. But I hope I got my point across. 

Unapologetically Me

Being a victim of abuse, I always felt like I had to walk on egg shells, even in my own home.

Even before I got married, I never really found out where I belonged, who I was. I never felt like I fit in anywhere. After getting engaged to Chad that only got worse. I felt more separated from my friends and family than ever.

After having moved to 29 Palms I started working at Jamba Juice on base, I often worked until 9 or 10 at night, later on the weekends. I used to be terrified to go home at night. Chad was almost always asleep on the couch when I got home. And in those situations I could do nothing right. If I woke him up, on purpose or on accident, he was pissed and wouldn’t let me sleep in our bed, now was I allowed any blankets or pillows either on the floor or on the couch.

If I woke him up on purpose, say it was early and I wanted to spend time with him, he was never happy then either. He often forced me to do things I didn’t want to, that I was too tired to do. But I let him. It wasn’t until much late I  learned that this was rape. Marital rape. I didn’t know that as his wife, I didn’t have to have sex with him whenever he wanted. I didn’t know that I could say no.

If I came in and didn’t wake him up at all and just went straight to bed, one of a few things always happened. He would wake up in the middle of the night, realize I had gone to bed without him. He’d come in get in better and pull all the covers off of me, leaving me to go find another blanket, or worse, he’d come in and push me out of bed onto the floor and not let me back in bed.

I’ve never told anybody this before, mostly because I was embarrassed that I didn’t remember enough about the circumstances. One night I came home from work, he was asleep as usual so I came to bed. Sometime that night, in the middle of the night, I woke up with him hovering over me with his hands around my neck. I grabbed at his arms and tried to push him off of me while I was struggling to breath. I thought I was going to die, but out of nowhere he stopped, rolled over and went to sleep. I don’t think I slept another minuet that night. The next morning he didn’t say anything about what he did, and w never talked about what happened.

After leaving I struggled with figuring out who I was. Everything I thought I knew was a lie and everything I thought I was I either gave up or it changed on me. I knew my marriage wasn’t good but I thought my husband loved me. I thought I was a bad wife, but turns out he was a bad husband. I thought I was stuck, but it turns out I was stronger than I realized.

Today, two years after leaving, I still struggle with being myself. I constantly have to remind myself that I am who I am and i refuse to be in another relationship where i’m afraid to be myself. So I let me weird out, My goofy silly side. I only wear make up when I want to because I don’t care about impressing anybody. I am who I am, this is me. Take it or leave it.

I’m not perfect, very far from it. I eat nothing but crap, I’m impatient, and I drive too fast. I dont care enough about what I look like and too much about what other people think. But I’m a good person, a great mom, and a good-ish student. I think I’m pretty cool, I definitely think I’m funny (though I might be the only one). And that’s me, that and about a million more tiny details, some i like, some I don’t but that ok!!

And I won’t be sorry for it. I know one day someone will love me and all my weird quirks and corny jokes, my naked face and messy hair, for who I am and not who I pretend to be, who I think someone else wants me to be. I’m not sorry for who I am. I’ll say it again… Take me as I am or not at all because this is me, unapologetically.

 

 

Stand Up and Be Brave

One year ago today I did a thing I had thought about for a very long time. Something I never thought I’d be able to do, but at the same time I had dreamed about it for months.

Let me back track; In April of 2015, I was contacted by the JAG office. They asked me questions about my marriage and my husband. They told me they wanted to prosecute Chad. He was charged with 6 counts of assault and battery and a drunk and disorderly. After several months of investigations and making offers, and then counter offers, we finally came to an agreement. Chad took a plea deal, pleading guilty to the drunk and disorderly (which was irrefutable) and one of the six counts of assault and battery.

The morning of January 14th, 6 month old Jackson, my mom and I flew out of Lexington, KY before the sun even came up. This was Jackson’s first flight and he did so well, considering he was only 6 months old. We flew into Palm Springs, rented a car, and made the hour long drive ‘up the hill’ to Twentynine Palms, CA.

It was like a dream, being back in that town where so much in my life changed, it didn’t feel real, and sometimes still doesn’t. The next day, the 15th, a year ago today, i woke up ridiculously early, mostly because of the 3 hour time difference. Also because I was so damn nervous! I was about to see my soon to be ex husband for the first time in over a year, not only that, I had to stand up and speak to the judge in  front of close to a dozen Marines and USMC attorneys.

I dressed up in my nicest dress and sweater, trying to impress. And I felt good about it especially after seeing how much weight Chad had gained. This was the first time I really felt like I had the power. After a lot of talking and military jargon it was finally my turn to speak. I walked up to the podium, shaking. I stood directly in front of the judge, my back to Chad and both of our council.

“Good Morning Your Honor”, I began

I told him who I was, about my family and were I was from. I talked about Chad and I when we were young. “I attended Paul Laurence Dunbar High School where I met Chad as a 16 year old junior in high school. We were opposites, he was kind of a bad boy, rebellious and outgoing, and I wasn’t; I was shy and good and a little sheltered. We started dating towards the end of the school year and I fell for him hard, and he for me.”

I spoke about how i thought I loved him thus I was able to look past how he treated me. He was verbally and emotionally abusive our whole high school relationship, about 8 months, I finally found the strength to say enough was enough, and we broke up. A year and a half later, after he had joined the Marine Corps, we got back together and I really thought he had changed. I was wrong.  After dating long distance for some time, we got married in December of 2013. That was when things got worse.

“I moved to Twentynine Palms in April of 2014, and we fought from the start. It was usually just yelling but it wasn’t long before things started escalating. He started getting in my face when we were arguing, that led to him pushing me and throwing things at me. If I stood up for myself, it just made things worse. I’ll never forget the first time hit me. It was something I never thought he would do, but he did. The physical impact hurt, but the emotional impact of getting by my husband has left deeper bruises. I also never thought he would hit me a second time, or a third, or a fourth, but he did those times too. The third time he hit me is the charge to which he is pleading guilty. That evening was terrible. The hitting comes back in flashes, but I remember getting struck in the head by him and falling to the ground, I cried, and he kicked me twice. I felt his foot hit my head and back and after I cried out, he left the room. I laid there a couple of minutes after he left, trying to collect myself and regain some dignity. I had tenderness on my back from my shoulder down to the lower part of my ribcage. There were also some large knots on my head from where he hit me and from where my head hit the floor. Those knots lasted about a week, and I tried to hide them in my hair. I also had pain in my forearms from falling, but it could also have been from where he kicked me.

“Chad’s violence was not just limited to me, unfortunately. He also demonstrated that kind of behavior when we went to the VMU-1 Birthday Ball. The night of the Marine Corps Ball started off rough. We were supposed to have out first marriage counseling session that day, but we cancelled at the last minute and he was upset because he to work that day when he was supposed to have the day off. Regardless, we decided to go to the ball, and he quickly began to consume liquor. I knew that I had become the designated driver by default. I didn’t mind, and this turned out to be a good thing because I was likely pregnant at the time, but only for a few weeks at the most.

“Chad continued to drink heavily throughout the night, and gather our group to leave at around 0130. Everyone else changed into civilian clothes and wandered around, but we were finally able to get everyone in the car. About halfway home, Chad started to cough and gag, and I realized he was vomiting in the car. I pulled over on the side of the road and the other Marines in the back were all asleep, but they woke up once I stopped the car. Chad finished puking, and wanted to go back to the hotel. He got violent with the other Marines and started throwing punches at the right on the side of the road. One time, he was laying on the ground with two Marines on him and he was able to break free. This really scared me because I was seeing how strong he was compared to others. My only measurement of his strength had been when he hit me. About 10-15 minutes passed by when another car pulled over with a Marine Staff Sargent and a civilian working with the unit inside. The civilian, a woman names Stephanie, Kept me company, and we both got scared when Chad took off running into the wind turbines and then returned with a wooden stake. He threatened to stab Stephanie while she was keeping me company and I was afraid for myself. Chad kept trying to talk to me, he ran over to me and opened the car door, I was terrified. After trying to talk to me, he ran off directly onto I-10 but was pulled off the road by another Marine. Fortunately there were not many cars around at 3 am, but I was still afraid he would get hit and die. Eventually the police came and everyone decided that Chad would go back with the Marines and not stay with me that night.

“Because of Chad Poole, I live in constant fear. The physical and mental abuse he inflicted on me, escalating over a period of more than a year, has scarred me permanently. I left Chad, returned home to KY when I found out I was pregnant, vowing I would never put my child in the situation in which I was living. I am now raising my son Jackson, as a single mother. I am sad to be in this situation, but I believe we are much safer without Chad in our lives.

“The situation I was in impacted me greatly. I realize now just how strong I really was to be able to leave, but I left for my son’s benefit and not just mine. I was in a situation that I felt was almost impossible to get out of, and now I hope the court brings a satisfactory conclusion to this episode in my life. I had to do what was right for my future and the future of my son. Knowing that Chad is admitting to at least part of what he did to me with the pre-trial agreement and is receiving consequences helps with closure. I’m very grateful for the opportunity for my story to be heard and for all of those here who have helped me through this difficult process, thank you. I’m thankful you stood up for me”.

I thanked the judge for his time and went back to my seat. My council told me what a good job I did but it wasn’t until after a brief recess my council told me that the judge spoke to him and commended me personally on what a good job I did, and how prepared I was. He also spoke to me personally about being from Kentucky, mostly about basketball and bourbon.

Because of my statement, Chad got an extra 6 months on top of the 2 months he agreed to. The extra 6 were only to be served if he got in trouble while in prison.

This experience, while incredibly stressful, was one of the most liberating, empowering things i’ve ever done. After standing before the highest ranking Marine Corps judge West of the Mississippi and giving a statement against my abusive husband, I left like I can do anything. It also goes to show that standing up for yourself is always worth it. Though it may not seem like it at the time, and it may take a while, but it’s always worth it. You owe it to yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Good Times and Bad, Til Death Do Us Part

3 years ago today I was on my honeymoon after having been married days before. December 14, 2013.

All I can think is ‘well that was dumb’

But really, I don’t regret it. That marriage and all it did to be, made me who I am today.

At the time we got married, Chad was living in California and I still in Kentucky. I would have done anything to make things work with him, but it just wasnt working, not long distance. So I married him and 4 months later moved to California with him. I ask myself all the time how I could have been so naive to think it would be better living together. But I know myself! I never would have given up on the relationship without doing absolutely everything I could to make it work. That’s exactly what I did, and it almost killed me. I wish it hadn’t come to that but it did. 

I don’t really know if I should celebrate this time, the anniversary of my wedding day, or be sad about it all. I currently feel both, I’m happy because it happened, I got out and I got the best thing life has ever given me. But I’m sad too because nobody goes into a marriage hoping or thinking they’ll get divorce.

I only have a few pictures from our wedding and honeymoon. I kept them in case Jackson wants to see them later. (Ignore the fact that they’re screenshots from Timehop)

Independence Day

It’s Independence Day, y’all! 

No, it’s not July 4, you’re not crazy!!

It’s December 1, and it’s my Independence Day. The anniversary of the day I made the hardest, and best decision I have ever made. 

Rewind *errrrreeeeeeee* (those are rewinding sounds)


2014 was the hardest most challenging year of my life. I left all my family moved across the country with my husband. Soon I realized he wasn’t the man I thought he was. We fought constantly, he started hitting me, kicking me, sexual assault and held a gun to my head. 

November 27, 2014 I found out I was pregnant. I wanted to bad to leave him but I didn’t know how.

For months I had been praying that something would happen, something would change, I wanted to find out he cheated on me. I felt that I had let so much abuse slide for so long that it wasn’t enough reason to leave anymore. I prayed that he would cheat on me. 

December 1, God answered my prayer. 

It was a Monday, the day started as usual. That evening, I went to study with my closest friend in California, Allsun. We had finals the next week. I had been using Chads laptop for my school work because a few weeks before he smashed mine into pieces (nice, huh?). While on the internet, do research for a paper, I came across a link to something on Facebook. Facebook opened and I saw that I was logged into Chads profile. 

Curiosity took over, and also spite. I mean he is constantly wanting to look at my Facebook and my messages. Why can’t I look at his?! So I did. And I found messages, he initiated, soliciting a ‘friend’ for sex. Because apparently “sex with me was boring” bull shit. 

I was pissed. Allsun knows how pissed I was. But I was also incredibly relieved. God had answered my prayers, this was my chance. Allsun and I left the library, we went back to house, I stayed there that night. I told chad I was leaving him, I told him what I found. First he lied some more, told me it wasn’t him. Then he was sad, cried and begged me to not leave. I almost gave in. But then he got mad. Piss drunk and so angry. He threatens to kill me, to kill our puppies, to hurt my family and finally, threatens to kill himself.  I could hear him through the phone breaking things in our house. So I called 911, they came got him, the police took him to the hospital for a psych evaluation. 

I barely slept that night. 

My mom caught the first flight she good to California. I hadn’t seen her in 6 months and I couldn’t have been happier. 

I’m so thankful for leaving that life, there were many times I never thought I would get out of that house alive. But I did! Two years and one week ago, I never thought I had the strength to do what I did December 1, 2014, or in the two years since then. But I did!!! We all have more strength than we realize. And the only way to find you strength is to overcome something you never thought you could. 

I was a victim, but now I’m a survivor. 

Thankful Day

November 27, 2014. 

It was Thanksgiving Day.

It was just over a month since my husband tried to kill me, since he threatened to tie me to our bed and hold me hostage so I couldn’t leave and tell anyone what he did. 

It was 2 weeks since the Marine Corps Birthday Ball where my husband drank an entire bottle of whiskey in the matter of 6 hours, passed out, vomited on himself in the car and proceeded to have a roadside brawl with 3 of his best friends who were trying to help get his vomit covered uniform off, on the side of 1-10 at 2 in the morning. 

November 27, 2014 I found out I was pregnant. 

So many thought were racing in my mind. I was rapidly going from excited to panic and back about ever 30 seconds. It was what I’ve always wanted and also my worst nightmare. 

Chad made me stop taking my birth control months before because “it made me an even bigger bitch” and also because he wanted a baby. I thought we should wait, I wanted to finish school and get our lives in order. But no, he wanted me off the pill so I got off the pill. Since then I had been hoping I wouldn’t get pregnant. A baby was the last thing we needed in an already abusive home. But that morning I tried to not think about that, I tried to be thankful, after all it was Thanksgiving. I never would have imagined just how thankful I would be for that little plus sign. 

Two years later, I have a perfect 16 month old, born exactly 8 months after I took that pregnancy test. We’re safe and happy and he is so loved. I don’t have to worry about Jackson walking in to his father beating me, or calling me names. For that I’m thankful. 

I never would have left it I hadn’t been pregnant with Jackson. I would have gone back to him even when he did cheat on me. And he would have killed me. Jacksons appearance in the would couldn’t have been at a better time, though nothing about it was or is easy, he saved my life. He may or may not really understand that but I know that I’m only here because of him. Thank you Jackson, I love you more than you could ever know. I’m so glad to be your momma! 

Nov 27, 2016. Decorating the Christmas tree

The Great Drowning Monster: Anxiety

Do you ever feel like you’re being swallowed up by overwhelming blah? Or one minuet you feel everything, every feeling and emotion, at once then with the flip of a switch nothing at all? Sounds a lot like anxiety.


Anxiety is a horrible thing I wish didn’t exist. And why does it? Why do our bodies, our own minds turn on itself and do this to us? I mean it’s almost like we hate ourselves and just want to be miserable!

For me, sometimes my anxiety is more like panic, complete with cold sweats, shaking, and feeling like a 200 lb man is sitting on my chest. Even now, all I can think is “get me out of here!!!!!”

But sometimes it’s different, most of the time when I’m anxious I can’t get out of bed even though I know that I have hundreds of things to do. I just can’t do it, it’s easier not to try than to fail. It’s easier not to make any decisions at all than to make the wrong ones. 

And when it gets really bad. I wish I didn’t exist. Now I’m not saying I want to die or am in anyway suicidal so please don’t think that and freak out. It’s just sometimes, I want to disappear. These times I often wish I could go back in time, before Jackson and before I left, and I wish Chad would have killed me. Just taken me out so I wouldn’t be left feeling this way. 

But he didn’t kill me, im here. And I do have Jackson, who is the most wonderful boy on the planet and I’d give anything for him. But it’s hard! It’s so fucking hard to keep my head above the water that sometimes I want to quit trying to swim. 

But I can’t quit. I have the best reason to keep fighting, to keep trying to swim. And even though most days I’m barely able to keep my head above the waves of anxiety and depression that keep trying to pull me down, I do it! 

October 27, 2016

My son, Jackson, is 15 months old today! He’s growing up so fast and I love it! I love watching him learn and figure things out. He’s so smart and it amazes me! 

He’s my favorite thing in the world, I have a connection to him different than most other parents would have with their kids. 

He saved my life. 

I’ll write a whole post about the day I learned about Jackson, but to sum it up, when I found out I was pregnant with him I was in a horribly abusive relationship. I felt so stuck and so scared. 

Jackson is the reason I left. 

And I know if I hadn’t left his dad, I wouldn’t be here. I’m very confident that I’d be dead. 

I owe Jackson my life. I’m not sure if he’ll ever understand that, even when he’s grown. I’m not sure if I ever want him to. 

But here I am, perfectly alive and well(ish) on Jacksons 15 month birthday, not thinking about the day he was born as much as I’m thinking about one year ago, when he turned 3 months old. Life has changed a lot for us in a year. 

Last year, I was a full time, stay at home mom with postpartum depression. I was nursing Jackson what felt like every hour and he never slept in his crib. He would nap in my arms and sleep in my bed. I was in love with my baby but I was also exhausted and scared, as Jacksons dad was still a Marine in California, free to come find us if he wanted. 

Today, I’m a full time college student, Jackson goes to daycare everyday and loves it! I still have depression and anxiety but I’ve learned to manage it. 


My point is, life gets better!!!! Maybe not tomorrow, or next week or even 6 months from now. But it gets better!! And you may not even realize at first how far you’ve come until you look back at where you were. But look back, remember the hard times when you wanted to give up, because those memories will keep pushing you further towards your goal.

Oct 25-2 Years

Fall is my favorite season. But it’s also a hard time for me. The cool weather brings back a lot of memories I’m not always excited about remembering. Especially days like today. I’m not really sure how to write this, as this is my first blog post ever. But i feel like I need so get this out there. I want people to know, in detail, how manipulative my ex husband was, how many people liked him, believed him, and thought he would never do the things he did.

October 25th, 2014 was the worst day of my life. It was a day I had been looking forward to for several weeks, we were supposed to be doing fall pictures. While we were living in California, Chad and I had almost no pictures together, so I wanted some to commemorate our time in the desert. He had reluctantly agreed when I asked weeks before.


October 25th was a Saturday, Chad had to work really late Friday night so being the good wife I was, let him sleep in. Our photography appointment wasn’t until the evening anyway. Apparently that was the wrong decision. When he finally woke up after 1 PM, he was pretty pissed that I didn’t wake him up sooner. Chad refused to shave, really just to make me mad. He didn’t want to do the pictures after all and not shaving was one of the ways he was protesting. I tried to bargain with him, I did allot of things for him I wouldn’t normally do. That’s not true, they were things I let him do all the time, even though I didn’t want to do them. I tried to convince him, begging even. I told him I didn’t understand why he couldn’t do this one thing for me. After a long time trying to please him into shaving his rough stubble, I gave up. I told him fine. He won.

Still, this wasn’t good enough. Chad got even more mad, started yelling at me. I got scared. Grabbed my keys and wallet and left. This was the first time I actually made it out the door without him stopping me or taking my keys or wallet. But where do I go? I’ve asked myself this question many times. I’m 2,000 miles from home and I don’t really know anybody that well. Chads best friend and his wife lived just down the street from us so I get in my car and drive the 2 seconds it takes to get there. It felt much longer though. I was constantly worried and checking my mirrors to see if Chad was coming out of the house behind me.

I spent about an hour and a half there at the neighbors house. I told our friend Iman about how the last few months had gone for me and Chad. The first time he hit me, the time he held a gun to my head. She wasn’t surprised. She said she had seen the bruises but felt it wasn’t her place to say anything or ask any questions. That was the first time I ever told anyone what had been happening.

Iman’s husband Carl came back, he had gone to my house to talk to Chad. He said that Chad was fine. He had calmed down and that I could go home. I should have listened to my gut and not gone. i didn’t trust that Chad had calmed down that quick. But I went back to my car and slowly drove home. I waited and watched the front door, expecting Chad to come out yelling. But he didn’t. I walked in the front door, and everything looked the same. It was quiet. Chad was on the patio, right off the kitchen, cigarette in hand. I cautiously went out and sat down across from him. We both stayed quiet for a while. I spoke first. I simply told him I couldn’t do it anymore. Neither one of us were happy. It just wasn’t working. I stay calm, thinking that was the best way to talk to him about it, not getting upset. He said nothing, I got up and walked inside.

That was when hell broke loose. I remember the next hours so clearly. I was standing in the kitchen, chad kept trying to take my cell phone. I told him no, it was my phone that I bought and that my mom paid for. In no way was it is. He grabbed my arms. Held them and twisted while he grappled for my phone. I wasn’t going to win so I threw my phone. Not hard but I tossed it away. Immediately chad, who was already behind me, grabbed a handful on my hair at the back of my head and slammed my head into the side of the kitchen cabinets. He then threw me directly backwards into the kitchen table and chairs. 

From there I crawled just across the hall into the bathroom in an attempt to get away from him. 

He followed me. I couldn’t even get up off the floor, I just sat there and cried. I panicked. I thought I was going to die. I started screaming. Screaming for help, praying to god a neighbor would hear and call the police. Chad laughed. 

I hear it now it my head and it gives me chills. It was like when the villain laughs in the movies, the camera is low to the ground, looking up at this evil man. It’s dark and there’s probably lightning behind him as he cackles, watching the super hero die. It was like that. Except without the lightning, and I’m no hero. 

He laughed at me, sitting there crying, screaming for my life. He laughed and told me that nobody was going to help me. That this was the reason we lived off base, because our neighbors don’t care. He told me he was going to tie me up in bed and I would never leave the house again, all so I couldn’t tell anyone what he had done to me. 

I sat there in the floor and cried for a long time. I begged him just to let me go. I just wanted to go home, leave him. I promised I wouldn’t tell anyone what had been happening. I just wanted to go. Of course he didn’t believe me after I was screaming for someone to call 911. 

He baracated me in the bathroom for what felt like hours. I don’t know how long it was but by the time he walked away it was getting dark. Eventually I think he got tired. He told me to come to the couch but not to try to run. I did what he said, and sat down on the couch with him. 

He started crying, saying how sorry he was. That he was such a monster. How he saw his parents doing that to each other while he was growing up. I didn’t say anything. I agreed with him, he was a monster. But he was my husband. And for some damn reason, I still loved him. 

I told him it was ok. That he wasn’t a monster, that we would figure it all out. He got up, walked to the bedroom. After a few minutes I followed him, and found him sitting on the bed holding his pistol in his hand, pointing at his head. He kept crying to me saying how he was a monster and he was so sorry. And for some reason I believed him. And I stayed.