I’m fine were two words that came easy to me but two words that were a complete lie, but those I would say in the hope that people would understand that no, I wasn’t fine.
Whenever I was with him, he would make me feel so inferior to him, as though he were the adult and I the child. Some days I never ever took my eyes off him and I would watch his ever move, from him looking at every single female he saw to every man he glared at who he knew I’d had some contact with during my past.
One day we were in the pub together, I was drinking pop as I was pregnant, I remember sitting with both my hands gently resting on my bump, I always felt so proud feeling my bump. He was always look around and talking to anyone other than me, when in walked an attractive woman and her partner. I can’t recall if he knew them or not but they sat on the same table as us. She had a cleavage to die for and his face almost fell into them as he flirted with her. She seemed lovely, really standing up to him, telling him she didn’t dress for him and how he should pay more interest in me, than her. I had no idea who she was but I wish I had her courage to speak to him that way. He continued to flirt with her until she and her partner left, she wished me all the best and then she was gone.
He continued to whisper to his mate sitting next to him, talking about what I can only guess, about all the things he wanted to do to the woman who had just left. I can remember his friend saying, nah man that’s out of order when your missus is sitting next to you, and looking at me with such a I’m-so-sorry-for-you face. He looked at me and said, but she knows I love her.
I shrugged my shoulders, gave a little smile and as I took a sip of my drink I simply said, I’m fine.
I wasn’t. I was never fine during those 3 years, I was far from fine. I just expected people to look at me, see how broken I was and just fix me without me telling them what was wrong.
Obviously that never happened. I just continued to say I’m fine. It was just easier.
Another time when we was in a different pub, I sat down without really noticing who I was sitting next too, whilst he went to the bar to order our drinks. He was always a while doing these things because he was always busy talking to everyone around him.
Out of the corner of my eye I could see I was sitting next to a couple and as I looked at them both, I realised that I knew the guy I was sitting next too. He used to go out with my best mate from school, but they had gone their separate ways and now he was with someone else.
I should have known better really. I should never have looked at him. I guess for a minute I let my guard down and even though he was at the bar, he was still watching my every move.
It all just happened so quickly and my guilt set in when he hit him with the bar stool. Someone phoned the Police, then an ambulance arrived. He’d hit him with a bar stool because I foolishly spoke to him.
He was looking at a prison sentence and it was all my fault, from that day on he made me feel so guilty about it.
If only I hadn’t spoken to him.
And that was pretty much what our relationship was like. One rule for him and another for me. The only different was, I would have to pay the consequences.
I learned how the only women he respected was his mother and grandmother. He absolutely loved the ground his mother walked on and always told me if I could be a proper woman like her, he would marry me.
His mother was a huge part of our relationship, whereas I phoned my mum in secret through the fear of the consequences that would often follow. It became normal for me to go upstairs, put Tegan to bed in her beautiful white cot and phone my momma and have a conversation in a whisper with her. She quickly learned it was always easier for me to contact her, she knew how these conversations could be short and sweet or end abruptly.
Whenever she asked how I was, I would always reply with, I’m fine.
How could I possibly tell her what was really going on. That if he found out I had called her, he would break my phone as a punishment but it was okay to visit his mum or pop in to pick up the shopping she had done for him whilst he was sitting in the pub.
My life completely changed, whereas his stayed the same because he was always in control and I was just fine.