We Can Protect You

The following, submitted by Rae of I Will Not Live in Vain,  is the follow-up to the post from Tuesday of this week.  As always, please show her the wonderful encouragement and support that the Stories That Must Not Die community is famous for.

He stood in the middle of the front yard yelling at God. That in itself is not so crazy, but then he started to have a conversation with God. He was fighting back at God, answering back as if he heard what God was saying. As I sat on the front step, I started to seriously wonder if there really was something wrong with him. That night it was my job to talk him down. That night he directed his anger at me.

When I had arrived, he was already angry with me. Before I had a chance to get in the door, he grabbed his keys and threw them at me. The keys hit me in the chest and he told me to get in his truck. Instinctively, I bent down to pick the keys up from the front step as he informed me that I would be driving him to get more beer; he had been drinking and didn’t want to drive himself.

Silently obeying him, I followed him to the truck and got in. Before I even had the chance to start the vehicle he grabbed my hand to stop me turning the key. Clutching my hand tightly, he screamed at me about a perceived offense. I apologized for my minor role in what had upset him – even though I had done nothing wrong. He put his face as close as he could to mine as he snarled at me, the sarcasm dripping, “Oh, you’re sorry? You think that makes it alright?!”

I apologized repeatedly; I begged him to calm down and told him I knew I was wrong. After what felt like several minutes of berating me, he calmed enough to allow me to drive us to the store. Once there, he commanded me to stay in the vehicle to wait for him.

We arrived back at the house, but David did not want to get out of the truck yet. He was no longer screaming, but he was still upset. We sat in the driveway for several minutes talking; he was not ready to be inside around other people. That’s when the police showed up.

The officer gestured for me to roll down the window. He asked us where we had been and what route we had taken. Then he asked us to get out of the car. Supposedly there had been a hit and run involving a vehicle just like the one we were in. David asked the officer if he knew how many black pickup trucks were in this neighborhood, let alone Clarksville, TN.

The officer saw the beer on the floorboards and asked if we’d been drinking. David was upfront and said “Yes sir, I have been drinking – but she has not, and she was driving the vehicle.” David knew how to switch on his behavior, even when he was drunk. He knew how to be respectful and hide his inebriation, and he displayed this talent for the police officer. I don’t think he was ever too drunk to control his behavior if he wanted to.

The officer alluded to the possibility that we had just switched seats, to keep David from getting in trouble. Personally, I found this ridiculous. If we had been trying to hide a crime, we would have put the truck in the garage and ran into the house instead of hanging out in the driveway.

I think that possibly he could tell I was on edge and perhaps under duress, so he took me aside while another officer spoke to David and the others that had come out of the house by this point. He said “Look, I can see the officer decal on the truck. I know it’s not yours. I know it’s his truck. You could get in a lot of trouble for lying for your boyfriend…”

“He’s not my boyfriend. He’s just a friend,” I said as I stared at the ground.

He didn’t look as though he believed me, but said “Okay.” Then he continued on saying, as he glanced in David’s direction, “If you need to come down to the station to speak freely, we can arrange that. You don’t have to talk about it with him around. We can protect you.”

I scoffed at that. Yeah, right.

The officer told me that the witnesses heard a man and woman arguing in the vehicle in question. David’s window had been down when the officer arrived and apparently he had heard the tone of how David was talking to me. He asked me one more time if I had anything I needed to report to him. I ignored what I knew he was insinuating.

“Seriously, Officer, I was driving. We didn’t see anyone walking on the road, let alone hit them. I am sure I would have realized if I had hit someone.”

The police started to inspect the vehicle; they were looking for any sign that it may have been involved in the incident. They pointed to some areas where the finish was smudged – hand-prints mostly. It seemed to me they were clutching at straws, and I made a mildly sarcastic comment about if David had only kept his car clean we wouldn’t be in this situation. He glared at me and then responded through his clenched teeth fake smile. He was obviously pissed at me and trying not to react in front of the police.

By this point David had called his NCO to come help him out. Even though David himself was an officer, he apparently called the NCO because he didn’t want his chain of command to know what was going on. I wonder if this was the same NCO that had tried to call my husband to smooth things over as well.

Eventually, they brought the girl that had been hit – lucky for her she only had minor injuries – and her friend that had been with her. They looked us over from the police cruiser and then told the police officers that it wasn’t us that had hit her. That was a relief, but I had been more relieved that David had been yanked out of his aggressive behavior for the time being.

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24 thoughts on “We Can Protect You

  1. Powerful words, thank you for sharing them.
    It’s kind of sad that as we age we lose the faith in police as our protectors and see them as the frail humans we all are, and then even sadder when we realize they are just a business and behave accordingly…
    I’m glad the people were able to clear you so the false accusations/interest didn’t go any further.
    As to protection? It’s a nice thought, but the police aren’t really in that business are they? I know the motto is “protect and serve” but that is only true on a community level and not an individual. If that makes sense.
    Anyway, thank you again for sharing your stories with our community here. We appreciate you and your words.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Why would you be friends with someone who acts like this? I guess I am a little confused. I too am glad he was yanked out of his aggressive behaviour, and wish that you were not friends with someone who would treat you like that.

    Liked by 3 people

    • It’s hard to explain… but we had been friends for two years without incident before this. I had seen a little of somewhat concerning behaviors before, but nothing that seemed serious at the time… and nothing that was directed at me. I guess around this time there was a lot going on and I made excuses for him in my head…. He was about to be deployed for one… I’ve been sitting here for a couple minutes trying to think of other excuses and I know I just can’t excuse his behavior, not really… but I will say that I dated a guy that treated me very similarly for two years when I was a teenager and this night I reverted to my self protection behaviors – apologizing for nothing… making excuses for him… that kind of thing. It’s harder to recognize in the moment when your first boyfriend treats you that way for so long and it becomes ingrained in you

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Now, first I must clarify, I am not a doctor or licensed therapist.
    However, I do have some experience in dealings with aggressive or abusive individuals..and I have to say, this person sounds like someone that eventually graduates to physical abuse.

    I really hope this person is not still in your everyday life. Feel free to check in with us, Rae. We have resources here.

    Liked by 2 people

    • No, thankfully he is not in my life anymore 🙂 I live far away from him and we have not spoken since 2008 when the last post occurred. It’s a small world so I sometimes dream (and fear) running into him again… (my husband almost took a job at the next post he apparently went to after TN, but I talked him out of it for fear of running into David again) But it’s been seven years so I am all good on that front. Thank you for your concern 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is really interesting. When we’re used to this kind of abuse people don’t understand why we just drop our heads and let it happen. But I totally understand this. I’m so glad this man is no longer your friend.

    Another thing I found very interesting was this line “He knew how to be respectful and hide his inebriation, and he displayed this talent for the police officer. I don’t think he was ever too drunk to control his behavior if he wanted to.” – It’s absolutely amazing that a person can be that drunk and abusive and seemingly ‘out of control’ then ‘switch’ when they want to. This is classic abuser behavior.

    Well done to you for writing this xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much for your kind words 🙂 Yes, he had a talent of switching his behavior whenever it suited him, drunk or not. I definitely reverted to behave the way I used to with an ex that treated me similar… taking blame on myself for whatever had upset him and apologizing, accepting that he was ‘just upset’ and allowing him to take it out on me. Anyway, glad you found this interesting 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Such people breed and grow on weak, soft and vulnerable people. If they knew that the person before them is powerful and can be a trouble to them, they will behave even if they are drunk or in their insanity attack.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you’re right. I wrote a post shortly after this published over here about why he thought it was ok to treat me the way he did. I’m positive he saw something in me that he saw as weak/compliant/intimidate-able and knew he’d be able to get away with acting that way with me (but not the police)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A very-well-written piece, with just the right amount of edge. Makes a guy wonder why/how people get themselves into these kinds of places. But I guess we’ve all been in these kinds of places on some level or another. Thanks for sharing your human-ness!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. For anyone that may be interested: I will be publishing a new book sometime within the next month or so. It is all about my realationships and will include the whole David story, among several others. The title is “That Boy Gave Me Cooties” – keep an eye on my blog for the announcement for when it’s published 🙂

    Like

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