Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Summer I Turned Twenty by Jody Casella

my boyfriend hit me.

I was home from college and living in that uncomfortable twilight zone space between the girl I was in high school (shy, clingy, desperate, afraid to be alone) and the woman I was on my way to becoming (outgoing, confident, fun and fearless).

That summer I was whip-lashing between the two and I want to tell you that the night my boyfriend hit me, I broke up with him.

But I didn't. (Because he didn't hit me that hard and it was really nothing but a quick smack, unexpected, and he'd never done that before; although, we did argue a lot and had dramatic break ups filled with lying (him) and tears (me), and anyway the slap didn't even leave a mark. It only stung a little. Really.)

We were hanging out at my house with his friends, because I'd cut all ties with my high school friends, listening to music, drinking, no parents at home, but my little brother off somewhere, probably barricaded up in his room.

And then it was late and my boyfriend was getting ready to leave and I knew he'd been drinking too much to drive and I took his car keys and hid them and flash forward to

the two of us in the front yard, him yelling at me to give him his keys, him throwing my purse across the lawn, spilling out the contents, him shaking me by the shoulders so my teeth rattled together, him hitting me

until I gave him his keys, threw them at him actually, and he drove off down the dark street, a squeal of tires as he swerved around the corner.

I want to tell you that I didn't cry

as I picked up all of the crap that had fallen out of my purse. I want to tell you that my little brother wasn't watching in the window, calling down to me, Are you okay? I want to tell you that I didn't yell at him to shut up and leave me alone.

The woman I was to be, the one who zipped up her battered purse and paced around the front lawn, enraged and embarrassed and defiant, who thought, over and over, he hit me, he hit me, who would break up with this troubled boy-- eventually-- hadn't fully emerged.

The girl I still was trudged into the house, picked up the phone, called her boyfriend in tears, told him:

I'm sorry.  


15 comments:

  1. Hugs to you--the girl you were then, the woman you are now.

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  2. Oh, Jody. Thank you for you willingness to dig deep for these posts and share what's in your heart with us. xoxo

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  3. Thanks for sharing what was a very painful, but defining moment.

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  4. We are all in between who we are and who we will become. But sharing this story is brave and illustrates so much of who you are. Thank you. <3

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  5. Thank you all for reading and for your kind words. This happened so long ago that it really does feel like it happened to a different person.

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  6. Hugs to you. You made a brave decision, to withhold his keys. His own response points to the person he really was inside, unwilling to take responsibility for his decision to drink, then drive; as well as to hit you. Much worse might have happened to you had you not relented and given him the keys. He's lucky he did not (I assume) hit or kill anyone, or damage any cars while driving home.

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  7. I think it's crucial for us as adults, as parents, as jury members, as the court of public opinion, to remember all the things we justified to ourselves when we were young, all the powerlessness we felt, all the things that happened to us "on our way to becoming" as you so perfectly put it. This post is a wake up call. Thank you for being brave enough to share it.

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  8. You were brave then and brave now. Thank you for sharing this with us. xoxo

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  9. You're amazing. Is he still a shit?

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  10. Amazing post, Jody. So real and raw. Thank you for sharing.

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  11. I can relate, Jody, although I want to tell you that I can't and would also never stay after that. Thank you for having the courage to write about it.

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  12. Oh Jody! My heart broke reading this...so honest, brave, revealing, and raw. It's sharing like this that helps so many of us to also be brave, like you. Thank you so much for sharing this intimate piece of yourself. <3

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  13. Y'all are lovely. I don't feel brave. I feel happily far away from my old self and grateful that I am safely on the other side and able to write about it.

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  14. What a brave post, Jody! And, yeah, congrats on making it safely to the other side.

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