My name is Lee, and I am 19 years old. Well, I am writing this letter because I don’t know who to turn to. I am out to my family and my friends. They are all very supportive! I couldn’t be more thankful because I know that not many people have this support. However, the problem I am having has me barred from talking to them. I currently have custody of my younger cousins. Joshua and DeeDee are 6 and 5 years old. They live with me (2 years in March-since their parents went to jail) and my boyfriend Jason. I have been dating him for 5 years.
Well, I came home from work late last night, and Jason had already cooked dinner for himself and my kids. However he left the dishes all over the place, the house was a mess from toys, and the laundry was backed up. He didn’t do anything all day, but he had already went to bed. I had no intentions to bother him because he stays with my kids all day with no complaints. Well, I had already ate so I wasn’t bothered by that either because when I work late then I eat at work.
I guess I was just frustrated because I am the only one working and he couldn’t have just washed the dishes or cleaned the house. Anyway, I let my anger get the best of me because I started banging the dishes around while I was washing them. I woke him up, and of course we got into an argument. Some things were said that I didn’t mean, and it escalated to him throwing dishes all over the floor. He stormed off, and I went after him apologizing trying to calm him down. I cut my feet on the glass and tracked blood down the hallway.
The kids woke up and started crying because they heard the fight and they saw blood. I told them I had broke some dishes and cut my feet. After I got them calmed down and I got them into their beds, I went upstairs to the bedroom. When I opened the door he punched me in my chest, and I hit the ground. Then, he kicked me and started yelling that I needed to leave him alone. I was shocked, and I didn’t know what to do. I just sat there on the floor with tears in my eyes. He told me to shut up and that I whine to much. He said he was tired of me and that he wanted me to sleep on the couch. I told him that I pay the bills and that I would not sleep on the couch.
He got even angrier and he pulled me up then he pushed me against the wall and put his hand around my throat. He told me to shut my mouth and that if I didn’t then he would make me. I pushed him back, and asked him what his problem was. He told me that I was the problem and my kids were another problem. I reminded him that he was the one who said he wanted a family and that he was the one who told me to get custody so that we could have one. He said, “I love you and those kids, but I need space and I need time.”
He apologized to me, but asked me to leave him alone. So, I went to my kids room, and I slept on their floor. Watching them sleep and knowing they are finally safe, it was the only thing that I could get to calm me. I haven’t slept right since this happened, and he hasn’t talked to me much. He plays with my kids still, and things seem normal, but my heart is hurting me badly right now.
I have started cutting again. I have been cutting since I was twelve. This was the time that I had actually discovered my sexuality. It got worse when I was 14 and my oldest sister died. Jason was there for me everyday. He held me at the funeral. He stayed at my house for three weeks and helped me take care of my mother,my older brother, and my other older sister, and he helped take care of me without us asking.
He did it because he cared about me. That is the person he has always been. I have known him since kindergarten. We were best friends. I haven’t cut myself in years. I promised him I wouldn’t do it again. He cried and he talked to me about my feelings every night after he found out about my cutting. I love him more than I love myself. I want this to work. I need this to work. I don’t know what I will do without him I have dated him since I was 14 and he was 16. I don’t want to throw this all away, but I can’t live with a man that hits me. I have my cousins, my kids. I have to put them first. They will miss their Daddy Jason though. That’s what they call him. I’m just Daddy.
I just don’t know. I have absolutely no idea. I have no clue. I don’t know if I should give him another chance. I don’t know if I should file a report. I don’t know what I should do. This has never happened before. Am I over analyzing things? Part of me is saying we are both men and that I just need to stop whining and get over it. Then again he is bigger than me, and he is stronger than me. What if it progresses? I can’t fight him off. Who is to say this is really the last time. I just don’t know. Is there any options that I have to keep the relationship?
Please help me!!!
Letter submitted by:
I am so happy that you wrote. I am glad we can be here for you. It sounds like you are dealing with some extremely tough situations. I am sorry about everything you’re going through right now. I have to say, I think you are amazing for taking care of your 2 cousins, holding down a job to support them and your boyfriend, and everything else you are doing. Many people twice your age can’t do all of that, so you are really, really amazing. You have my total admiration and respect.
Whenever one person hits another, it is a problem. It sounds like you already know that. However, people make mistakes. You didn’t mention whether your boyfriend’s abusive behavior was a pattern, or a one-time occurrence? From what you said, it sounds like this was a one-time outburst. That doesn’t make it right, and it doesn’t mean it’s OK. No person ever has the right to hit another. However, if it has never happened before in the 5 years you’ve been together, then, you need to decide whether you think it will happen again, and whether you can feel safe with him again. It sounds like Jason has some major anger issues, and that he should be in counseling to work on his anger issues. It’s important that he works out the anger so that you do not become the target of his anger. If you can talk to him about this, and about your feelings, that might help. But you need to judge whether that is safe for you. The outcome of your conversation with him, and your gut feelings on this should be what makes the decision on whether you can continue the relationship.
As for the cutting – you’ve come a long way from the person you were when you used to do that, and there’s no reason to go back. All the things you’re dealing with are extremely stressful, and you are right to look for a way to relieve that stress. But, cutting is not the way. For one, think of the example you will set for you 2 cousins who look up to you as their daddy and role model, and will do all the things you do. Even if they don’t see the cuts, sooner or later they’ll see the scars. And cutting can be fatal – it’s very easy to accidentally go too deep or nick an artery, and bleed out. It can happen very quickly. Sometimes people who cut can find alternate ways to relieve stress – beating up a pillow, doing a boxing class, snapping yourself with a rubberband. There are lots of possible ideas. But what is important is to not harm yourself. Hopefully, if you can talk things through with Jason, the stress will improve.
I want to let you know that we are here to talk, anytime you want – 24 hours a day, every day. And, next time you’re thinking of hurting yourself, or just having a really hard day, or a have had a fight wit Jason, or anything else – call us! We would love to talk with you and help you through this. The number is 866-4-U-Trevor (866-488-7386). If talking isn’t your thing, we also have an instant messenger chat, which you can talk in real time with us. That’s available through our website (TheTrevorProject.org). And, there is also a hotline specifically for people who have difficulties with cutting: 1-800-DONT-CUT. Also, if you feel you need advice specifically regarding your safety with your boyfriend, or how to talk to him about his anger and his violent behavior towards you, there is a website that offers many resources on this: avp.org and/or thehotline.org (AVP is specifically for same-sex relationships).
I hope that you this helps you. Like I said, I am so impressed and amazed at everything you have done in your life. I hope you give us a call sometime.