We were together for six years when things started going bad. He lost his job that he had since he was sixteen and it devastated him. I tried to support him as best I could but every time I hugged him, he literally pushed me and said, “Get off of me!” It crushed me as I just wanted to be there for him.
Two weeks went by and I tipped toed around him. I didn’t call him, text him, or make any attempt to hug him when he was home. I looked the other way when he used my money to buy alcohol and candy. I looked the other way when he started to get aggressive with the way he talked to me. I tried to let him get it all out so he could move on.
A month later, I decided I was done with this. I was done being his punching bad and it was time for his ass to get out there and find another job! I snatched the money he took from my wallet from him and said, “No more!” He looked at me with a look that if only could kill. He didn’t say anything when he put both hands on my chest and shoved me so hard that I fell.
My head hit the wall and left a dent in it. I was dazed when he kneeled down and asked if I was ok. All I could think was, “Really? You shove me and then ask if I’m ok as if you’re really concerned?” I got up and told him I was done.
He asked what I meant as if he really didn’t know. He picked me up and placed me back on my feet like a doll. I told him he knew what I meant and that I wanted him out. He got on his knees and hugged me. With his head pressed to my stomach he said, “I’m sorry. I’m just going through a rough patch.”
“Sorry isn’t enough.”
“I’m not leaving. This isn’t over!” he yelled to me. He held onto me as if I would suddenly have a change of heart once I was in his arms. I pushed him off of me.
“Fine. Then I’m leaving.”
I packed my bags and the whole time he stood in the doorway and watched me. He didn’t say a word until I was getting ready to exit and I realized he was blocking my path. He just looked at me and stepped to the side so I could get by. “If you leave, I’m going to kill myself.”
We stared at each other for what felt like forever. I thought about a lot of things. I thought about what it would truly meant if he really did it. It would mean that his life was tied to me. If I was gone then so was his life. My happiness needed to be thrown away to keep him alive in this world. Why me? Why was I the person who had to suffer so that he could live?
I could no longer have my own life. I could no longer live the way I wanted because the slightest misstep could kill him. He gave me an ultimatum. I could go live my life as long as I knew he was dead because of me. Either way he wins because I feel guilty forever if I leave but I’m miserable if I stay. No. I wasn’t going to do that. My life is my own and so was his.
I walked past him and loaded the bags into my car. When I came back for the rest of my things, he was holding the largest knife we owned. He still didn’t say anything to me. He just looked at me like he was saying, “You think I won’t do it?” I again, walked past him and loaded my things into my car.
Finally, I was done getting my things. I didn’t own much to begin with. When I was walking out the door, he yelled for me to wait. I think up until that point, he really thought I was going to chicken out. I turned around to see what he wanted. “I’m really going to kill myself if you leave me!”
Again, I thought about it but I didn’t think about staying. I just wondered why he felt that he needed me to live his life. I then wondered, would he really do it if I did leave? If I left, would that mean I killed him if he really did it? “I hope you find yourself,” I told him. “I hope you understand that you don’t need another person to live, you just need you.”
I got into my car and I never even looked in the rearview mirror as I drove away.