Today, I’m linking up with Things I Can’t Say for Pour Your Heart Out Wednesday.
If you’ve hung out here before, you know that I still struggle sometimes with the effects of domestic violence from six years ago. My ex stalked and harassed me; and after two attempts at a restraining order, the justice system failed me too.
A lot has changed since then. I’ve had a new phone number for many years. I’ve had two different cars since that time. I moved to a different state for two years. I have a different last name. Yet, sometimes I’ll see a face that resembles his and it’ll stop me in my tracks. I don’t feel terror anymore when that happens, but I carefully scrutinize the person before moving forward.
Last weekend on my way to the bachelorette party, I had to drive through my ex’s hometown. It had been two years since I’ve had to drive through that town, and I didn’t know if it would have any effect on me anymore. In fact, I didn’t even think about it at all until I got there.
Then it hit me. That feeling deep in the pit of my stomach. Terror. I hadn’t experienced it in a while, but in a terrible way, it was familiar.
My hands gripped the steering wheel tighter. I glanced at every car on the road, certain that he would be in it. My mind raced. What would I do if I saw him? Would he recognize me?
I wonder how many more years the terror will linger. Will it ever subside? Will I ever stop seeing him in the face of a stranger?