Monday — October 25, 2021
He Just Needs Help
by: Brittany Williams
I met him through a mutual friend. My friend told me that he was extremely outgoing and friendly, and everyone loved him. He seemed nice, so when he asked me to dinner, I said “yes” without hesitation. He picked me up from my house, gave me flowers and opened the car door. "Wow! He's too good to be true." I jokingly said to myself. He was so sweet to me the entire night. He was a little rude to the restaurant staff and even snapped at our waiter, but aside from that, the rest of the night was perfect. We sat at a bench in the park and just talked for hours. He told me about how abusive his childhood was and how he vowed never to be that way when he started his own family. After just one night, he said he knew I was the one.
It was a whirlwind romance. We spent all of our free time together. I wanted him to spend time with my friends and family, but he said he preferred it just being him and I. I really liked him, so I went along with it. He started calling me and texting me throughout the day to check in on me. I felt so special. No one had ever cared enough to check in on me that often. He wanted to know where I was and who I was with at all times. He said he just wanted to know I was safe. I loved how much he loved me.
One day I forgot to check in, and he yelled at me. I cried. He said that he was sorry he yelled, but it was only because he cared so much about me, and he just wanted to make sure I was safe. He was right. I should have checked in. I apologized and promised I would never forget to check in again, and I never did. Even though I always checked in with him, he made me share my location with him so he would always know where I was. I did not like that he did that. "Maybe I'm just overreacting," I said to myself. I tried to be perfect for him, but nothing I ever did was good enough. I apologized for making mistakes, and I tried to be better, but nothing I did worked.
One day he came home from work, and dinner was not ready. I explained that I had lost track of time. He punched me so hard I fell to the ground. He told me that he was sorry and that it would never happen again. I knew that he was just stressed from work. I should have had dinner ready. I believed him when he said it would never happen again. He loved me. The following day, he surprised me with flowers and breakfast in bed. Looking at my black eye, he apologized again.
The black eyes kept coming, and the ER visits began. After a while, the apologies stopped. I knew that the man I had fallen in love with was still there. I made excuses for my injuries. I told my family and the doctors that I was just clumsy. When he broke my ribs, I told the nurse that I had tripped and fallen down the stairs. The nurse looked at me with such worry. Everyone knew I was lying, but I covered for him because I knew he just needed help. He blamed me for making him hit me. “If you had just listened, I would not be forced to react violently,” he said.
During an ER visit, a nurse handed me a mirror. I sobbed as I looked at a reflection I did not recognize.
"He just needs help," I repeated.
National Domestic Violence Hotline