This whole fiasco started, really, when I was about 25 years old and worked for my chiropractor in New York City. That's where I met this person who eventually tried to kill me. I'll call him Steve because that's his name. He was charming! He was a gentleman and a funny guy! He asked me out repeatedly and even though I had a boyfriend, I went out with him a few times. Mostly, however, we became friends. He moved to New Mexico eventually and I continued with my life, graduating from college and getting a job. Throughout the years we stayed in touch and he'd call to say hello and I'd do the same. We got together periodically to have dinner or lunch and to catch up. Over time I got to know his family and he mine.
By the Summer of 2006 I was living in New York and was a real mess. I always liked parties and drinking but somewhere along the line I crossed the point of no return and my drinking was totally out of control. I drank around the clock because if I didn't, the symptoms that began when my blood alcohol level dropped were horrifying. My blood pressure would rise so much I felt my heartbeat in my ears. Due to my consumption of booze, I had acid reflux, so I'd begin coughing so hard that I'd throw up. My eyes would get bloodshot and runny. I felt antsy and couldn't sit still. I was obsessed with my next drink. And I shook. Badly. Every morning I looked in the mirror and said to myself, "You have to get this shit under control, Amy! What the hell happened to you? You're an alcoholic." I'd swear to myself that I wasn't going to drink but when those symptoms began I knew what cured them. Booze. So I began drinking, again. I'd pass out, come to, and start over. It was a horrible, vicious cycle that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.
Around this time Steve began calling me and found out just how bad my drinking had become. He was living at a friend's house in a little town on Maryland's Eastern Shore. I was so out of it at this point in my life that I didn't ask many questions. I have no idea why he was there and not at home in New Jersey. He always worked in the hospitality business and was not employed at that time. In retrospect, I should have asked what was going on but I was in no way capable of that. I was making every decision in my life through the fuzz of alcohol.
Steve offered to help by inviting me to come stay with him and get away from everything that was causing me to drink. I NOW know that changing location was not going to change my drinking, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. What was causing me to drink was alcoholism, not anything else. I had problems because of my drinking but I'd have told you I drank because of my problems. Since I was unemployed at the time, I went to visit Steve in October, arriving in Rock Hall after dark. I woke the next morning and had a feeling come over me as I looked out the window of the house: I was home. I loved Rock Hall from the moment I arrived. I loved it so much that I went back to New York, packed my stuff, and moved. Steve and I decided to try our hand at having a real relationship.
Life was good! For a little while, anyway. Life got really crazy quickly when I realized that Steve not only had a drinking problem, but also was addicted to crack cocaine. I also discovered that he had been diagnosed with bipolar and borderline personality disorders. Fun, right? Wrong. It was terrible. I'm too embarrassed to go into the details of how we lived, but we didn't have heat or hot water and that was the least of our worries.
My life was already spiraling out of control quickly when the relationship became abusive: verbally, emotionally and eventually physically. There's not too much more to say about that except the first time I was physically abused, his apology included my beloved dog, Sushi. I always say that it was such a stupid gift! Here I was a raging alcoholic who could barely take care of myself and now I had a dog to care for? Little did I know she would be instrumental in changing my life. (click here to read my previous post about my baby girl.)
The next time that the abuse became physical something happened to me and I had the good sense to leave. I packed up my dog and a few of my things and got the hell out of the house. I did not go back. I called the police, pressed charges, and followed up the next day by getting an order of protection.
End of story?
Not even close.