This is my experience with bad relationships between ages 17-19.
When I was young, I felt all grown up. Now that I’m over 50 I know how much of a child I really was.
The first guy I met once I was on my own, was Victor. He was a nice guy who had issues of his own. He needed me maybe even more than I needed him. I was pregnant and he was happy to be a dad to my child. We lived together in an apartment above his mother’s store. I had my baby and we played house together.
One day, someone came to visit us and brought over their friend, Tracy. I was attracted to him. He had this magnetic personality. I couldn’t help myself. I ended up leaving Victor for Tracy. I had such strong feeling for this guy. Gradually he started showing his jealousy and over protectiveness. He would have an angry outburst but then be so sweet and sorry.
Tracy introduced me to drugs. He seemed so responsible about it thought. He would only let me try speed once as he knew it was addictive. However when he tried to get me to use hash I declined.
It Got Pretty bad!
So there we were lived together and I was on assistance and I had very little money to pay rent and feed my child. I found myself begging for food to feed him. I remember having nothing but a bag of potatoes in the house at one point.
Eventually I became afraid of Tracy even though I loved him. He would physically abuse me but mostly it was emotional abuse. He would violently throw things and punch walls. He started hitting my son. I didn’t know what to do. I was afraid. He made me feel as if I couldn’t leave him. I also didn’t want to be alone. I loved him and hoped he’d change. All those excuses we battered women come up with.
Eventually our community Child Care Services became involved and I lost temporary custody of my son. I never lost contact with Victor during this time and I ended up getting into a relationship with his older brother. I really felt I loved this man and wanted to stay with him for the rest of my life. “Could it be that due to his age he was a father figure to me?” It turned out that he was not ready for another relationship as he was going through a divorce. “I just kept picking winners!”
I moved and got a court order against Tracy and was giving my child back. We were doing well. We had lots of agency help and despite having money and health issues, life went on, until…
Here we go again
He showed back up on my doorstep. He knew the exact buttons to push and weaseled his way back in. He of course got violent again and I finally told someone. Things were so bad that I was considering putting my son in Child Care custody to keep him safe and check myself into the psyche ward.
I talked with my social worker and had people come home with me so I wouldn’t be alone with him. But he’s a smooth talker and convinced all of us that he would get help for his violence and that he and I would not live together until we both got our act together. This would never be true.
I needed a babysitter as I had an appointment with my counsellor and Tracy was the only one available. I didn’t want him to but agreed. Then I went to my friends’ house and ended up having her babysit. I left Tracy a note. I spent some time at my friends’ house and got to know a boy who was staying there, Scott.
I found out that Tracy was trying to find me and was at my house. He told me to come home or else. Not wanting any trouble to start, I went home. He had to report to his probation officer and ended up being held on a warrant for failing to appear in court. He called and asked me to visit him in jail and I did. He asked me if I’d wait for him and I tried to say no. He asked me to wait until he got out so we could talk and I said yes.
When I got home I enjoyed having my freedom back. There was some of Tracy’s beer in the fridge so I invited Scott over for a drink. He had to go back to my friends’ house to babysit and I decided to go with him and stay the night. The following night I went home and the next day Tracy showed up as he had gotten out on bail. Now the situation got much worse. I had to tell him what happened to his beer and when I told him about Scott he went crazy and hit me. He finally calmed down but then Scott called and he went into another rage, worse than the previous one. I tried to stand up to him but it just got worse.
I went to my support meeting and broke down and told them all about it. My social worker got involved again and said either both of us go to a women’s shelter or I stay with Tracy and my son goes into Child Care custody. I chose my son and we went to the shelter. My worker escorted me home to get things from the apartment and Tracy was there. He wanted me to choose him and place my kid into care. I said no, that I was going to leave, and he started to threaten me and my worker. He also threatened to kill all my friends. I believed him. He told my worker that if he tried to help me leave he would jump him. So my worker left and returned with the police. By then he had me so worried about what he would do to my friends that I didn’t go with the police. So they took my child into custody.
The next several days he kept me by his side and didn’t allow me to go anywhere. Then I had to go to court, Children Services was asking for a one month adjournment hoping that Tracy would be in jail and then I could have my son back. So I went to the shelter and waited to get my child back. It was so hard to be in that place and not have my boy. It didn’t happen. I had to wait until court and have the judge decide if and when I got him back. My worker was helping me get him back. It would involve a supervision order that would state that I can’t associate with Tracy. I decided that I was not going to go against anything Child Services said. I was so depressed that my son was not with me. I did get visitation but that was difficult for me as I thought he would not want to leave but he was fine with it. I took that to mean he didn’t love me like he used to. I was a horrible mother.
According to my landlady, Tracy left with bags of my stuff. I went to court and signed the supervision order and got my baby back. I was so happy to see him, but I was still depressed. I hadn’t had a counseling session in a long time and my past was bothering me. I still had daddy issues. “Why do I keep going through this stuff over and over?”
I was told that Tracy was getting out of jail. He managed to get off of a previous charge of armed robbery. He had another charge of breach of probation but knowing him I figured he’d get off on that one too. I was scared I wouldn’t be able to move before he got out and found me again. I dreamt every night about him coming to get me or sending someone to get me. I came home and expect to see him at my door or even in my house.
I got a call from a police officer asking me if I would testify against him in the matter of the threats against my social worker. I told him I didn’t really want to as I was afraid of him. I was worried he’d come after me if I testified. The officer told me he would try to keep me from being subpoenaed but wasn’t sure if they could or not.
Victor stayed by my side off and on during this whole ordeal. I was torn, he was a good father to my son but he was too needy. I wanted to be able to meet other guys.
Things went on like this for a while. Tracy come back, weasel his way back into my heart and I’d be in over my head and trying to figure a way out. Luckily I had plenty of support. In the end we went to the shelter again. After a long gruelling time he stopped coming around, I moved and he went to jail. The last I heard from him was a letter from jail. I never replied.
After being alone for a while I finally met my husband. But that’s another story.
I have since learned that my poor choices in men was due to what happened to me.
What ‘wrong’ men did you get involved with?