Not Long after I turned 21 years old, I used the breakup with Craig as a crutch to get close to a man named Graham Mathews. I always complained about the abuse of Craig and Graham was a great listener and showed a lot of empathy for me. He was very protecting of me and at first I thought the man of my dreams. He said and did everything just right, made me feel like I was the most important thing in his world (except for his two kids).
Graham, I thought, was the one that was gonna make a difference. except, after a few months things started to change. He wasn’t coming home at night and money became a huge issue for us. I offered to get a job many times, but he insisted on me not working and that he was the man, so, he would be the one to put the food on the table. I was always home with his two kids, my son (on the weekends), and no vehicle.
It wasn’t until I was doing laundry one day and there was tin foil that hit the floor that had fallen out of his pants pocket. I really didn’t think anything of it at the time, I just picked it up and threw it in the trash and continued with the wash load.
I’m not sure exactly the time, but it was well after I had put the kids down for bed and I was lying in our bed watching TV. I heard the door open and close and his footsteps walking towards the bedroom. When he opened the bedroom door he looked at the chair in the corner and asked where his pants were. I said, “I washed them”. His facial expression showed nothing but pure rage. I was completely in the dark of what was happening. He stormed off to the laundry room and was yanking the clothes from the washer, yanking clothes from the dryer, and screaming at me to find his pants. Before I could get anything out of my mouth to respond, his hand caught the side of my mouth. I was so confused and scared, all I remember saying is, “What did I do?” He finally took a deep breath and scooted down beside me on the floor. He said, with a very calm but demanding voice, “Where is the tinfoil that was in my pants pocket?” I pointed (still holding my mouth) to the top of the dryer.
To make a very long story short, I found out where his money had been going. I worshiped the ground Graham walked on, right up until that night and he knew it too I think, because he never treated me the same again. It was like he changed overnight. Slowly our sex life started to not be intimate, it was more demanding and forceful even though I was willing (if that makes sense). He even convinced me to sleep with some of his friends to earn a little extra cash, and told me that if I truly loved him that it would make him happy. Sometimes he’d join in and tell the man or men involved that I like it rough right before pulling my hard enough to make me want to cry. With Graham crying was a sign of weakness and no girl of his was going to be weak.
I stayed with Graham for two whole years. Right up till Christmas eve night. By this time, I drank so much and was into everything Graham was. My mom I believe thought I was a lost cause. I wasn’t able to see David anymore because of everything I was doing and hiding (guess I figured others didn’t know). Mom was right with her suspicions, even though I denied it every phone conversation we would have, denial I guess.
Anyways, on Christmas eve Graham and I asked my sister who lived upstairs of our apartment to watch the kids for us that night so we could go bar hopping, Graham wanted me to meet a couple of his friends. Then when it was almost time to leave for our night out, he said he didn’t feel good and kept running to the bathroom saying he thinks he caught something. He kept insisted that I go out and fun for a night without him. I kept resisting but Graham had a way to make sure I did everything he’d ask of me. I did go, and after a few beers and a couple of games of pool, something bothered me about the whole night and circumstances leading up to me being there on my own. It wasn’t until a friend of mine at the bar stated, “Wow, Graham let you out of his sight, at a bar, and unsupervised?” It wasn’t till that moment I knew something was wrong.
To Be Continued….