Friday, February 15, 1985

So long ago

 The bad guys often win. Today was the day I drove up to see my girlfriend and found she had moved in with a man 20 years older than her who had been stalking her at her school and who she said had raped her. 

There were mental health issues before that - she had a pain in her abdomen that seemed to be psychosomatic and when we were together once it got so bad she had to go to the hospital. First she wanted to go to her friend's house but she was having trouble driving. I couldn't drive a manual transmission so some police who stopped behind us drove her to the house and carried her in, but eventually we ended up going to the hospital and nothing physically was wrong with her. In high school she told a teacher she liked she was taking drugs (she wasn't) and spent time in a treatment centre with serious addicts. She also told me once she had terminal cancer, which she didn't.  

She said she had been raped in an earlier relationship and that I believe.

She was funny and kind to me too. I felt something cold dripping on me as I sat down at a dance she took me to. It was her dripping water on me from a glass!

She'd asked me for help to get the guy to leave her alone (I didn't learn about the rape until later). She knew I would be there, confirmed the day and hour on the phone, but didn't tell me not to come. Later on, and I shouldn't have had anything to do with her after that but I did, she told me she'd had a fight with her mom and left the house and said she couldn't go anywhere else, although she knew I'd stayed in a motel that was only $15 a day, she had friends in town and she could have even slept at her school. He did well out of it, two kids and a good job  that being with her got him, even though he still beat her. 

She called me three years later when she was ready to leave him. She had one child with him she didn't want and he wanted another. She stood by the baby's crib and told me she didn't love or want this one, and didn't want another. She wanted to leave or for me to father the next one so she'd have less reason to have anything to do with him afterwards. I didn't want to father a child because it would be with a violent man. Then she changed her mind. She finally left him some years later, but still dated men like him, guys who moved in with her and took over her life  for a while. One did it before he even learned how to spell her last name right.

I saw her one last time after that, by accident. She was a sad woman walking a Bichon Frisé. I didn't want to talk to her.

It's hurt me ever since.

I heard a story on CBC radio from a Cree man about a man who was on his way home when he was shot by a stranger with an arrow. Instead of going home he pursued the man, if only to find out why he shot him. Instead of getting treated for his wound at home, he died of his injury in the forest. I did the same thing. 

I kept thinking she'd call me to say sorry. It was silly to that was going to happen. If she felt guilty about it, it wouldn't have happened in the first place.

I just drove around pointlessly along the St. Lawrence for a long time after that, usually through the night, hoping to find my way back.

She warned me not to love her, even said 'shouldn't we stop this?' on our first date. (I thought we were just going for a walk together, but it did turn into a date) but I thought she was just saying she was damaged from other relationships and she'd just need some patience.

She did well in her career, important jobs, and retired early but still was hospitalized over mental health issues.