In 2012 I called the police on my now ex-fiance. I didn’t tell anyone about the incident apart from my mother and his mother. Somewhere in my codependent brain I knew how bad this situation was and I couldn’t handle someone forcing me to face the reality of what happened. I haven’t been ready to talk about it for a long time, but I’m ready now. This is what happened on the night I called the cops.
For some background, my fiance had been getting into drugs. He was smoking pot, doing whippets with a whip-cream canister, and taking spice. He was not just doing this casually. It would take up all of his time when he wasn’t working. Around this part of our relationship he was either asleep, working or high. He had also passed out about the week before and hit his head on a metal box, giving himself a concussion. The doctors couldn’t find any medical reason for it, so it was probably a result of his drug use.
The night before I dialed 911 we had a fight. But it wasn’t much of a fight. I don’t remember how it started, but it was about two hours of him screaming, swearing and berating me. I ended up crying and trying to fight back, but he was on a rampage and I was no match. The next morning he awoke and told me that he had a dream that we had had a fight. I told him that no, that had actually happened. But he didn’t seem to believe me.
The night in question, it was already dark when I become bored. I had been downstairs on my laptop, watching a movie. Something that we did every single night. He was doing whippets on the couch and completely ignoring me. Finally, out of sheer boredom, I went upstairs and picked up some books and started to tidy some things. I’m not sure what part of this bothered him; the fact I left his vicinity or the noise or what, but he started shouting at me again.
After about a half hour, I had had enough. I decided to go back to my parents’ house, about an hour away. I started to get dressed and he started trying to stop me. I’m no lightweight and I certainly wasn’t back then, before my surgery, so we struggled with each other. He put his hands on me in order to restrain me and stop me from dressing. I managed to get dressed, growing every more concerned that he was becoming exceedingly irrational.
Once I was dressed, I tried to get upstairs. He was crying now and took my purse, with my keys in it, and my phone. I was now cut off. He told me that he would kill himself if I left him that night. By now I was terrified. I felt that it was only a matter of time before he hurt me. I decided since I couldn’t get into my car or call for help that I would go to the neighbors’ across the way and get to safety. I screamed as loud as I could, and trust me, I am very loud, and ran towards them. He caught up with me and tackled me to the ground. I continued to scream as much as I could.
Eventually, the neighbor, Shawn, came out to see what was going on. But it was clear he had no interest in helping me. I asked him to call 911 and he refused. I told him that I no longer had my purse or my keys or my phone, and my fiance, in an effort to look like what was going on, wasn’t going on, gave me my phone back. I called the police. While I waited for the cops to come, my fiance spoke to Shawn and told him that I was bipolar. Shawn talked to his wife over the phone and told her that I was just upset.
Finally, the police arrived. And made it quite clear that they didn’t believe me. They separated us, keeping me outside while they took my fiance inside. The cop asked me what happened and I told him through tears what gone on. I omitted anything about his drug use. I knew he had all kinds of drugs and paraphernalia around the house, but I didn’t want to get him in trouble, so I just left that out. I had no marks or bruises on me and the cops acted as if they had no concern for me whatsoever. Inside the house, my fiance had completely regained his composure and told the police that I was bipolar and having an episode. Like a master manipulator, he got the cops on his side.
When the officer who talked to him came out to talk to me he mentioned that I was bipolar, as if that had any relevance to what had had happened. In the end, it was agreed that my fiance would leave for the night. He told them that he was concerned about me driving home in the state I was in, so he would do the noble thing and sleep at work. He left and the cops left and now that I was alone, I called my mom and his mom to explain to them what happened.
After I got off the phone with them, I went back upstairs to try to get some sleep. My fiance then called me. He berated me for overreacting and told me that he wasn’t going to sleep at the plant. He was stopping by McDonald’s and then going to come home. At this point, everyone had acted like I was blowing things out of proportion and I was in no danger whatsoever and I was so upset that I just agreed. Because what had happened clearly wasn’t a real issue, was it?
He got his McDonald’s and came home. That night we slept in the same bed together. I wrapped an arm around him to snuggle up, all still concerned that he was indeed going to hurt me. I had no more fight left in me at that point. I just wanted the night to be over.
Over the next few months, my fiance made it very clear that I had been the person in the wrong that night. He told me that he had a hard time trusting me now because I called the police. He told me that I had never been in any kind of danger and I was silly for thinking that I was. During a couples therapy session he went on about my problem and inability to cope with my illness until I was in tears, telling him and the therapist that I was genuinely in fear for my life.
Of all the things I put up with in our relationship, I have the most trouble forgiving myself for this. I knew something was wrong. I knew I was in trouble. I still couldn’t leave. Somehow what happened to me that night seemed better than being alone and I’m not even entirely sure why.
But this incident did show me that if you ever have to call the cops on a loved one because you are afraid for your safety, you need to leave. There is no excuse for what he did or how he acted afterward. That night was one of the most terrifying nights of my life and the people who should have been there to help me only reinforced his abuse. There’s no logical way I can explain why I stayed after this. All I can say is that I learned from it.