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I Finally Understand

Less than two years ago, I still believe that my relationship with Cody was mutual and I was a consensual partner in the relationship. But today, I know, I finally understand that when Austin sexually assaulted me at my 17th birthday party, in front of Cody, I formed a trauma bond with him (with both of them). I thought he was a victim like me on that day because of that, I believe, I was trained to run to him when something very bad happens to me. I ran back to him twice when I was sexually assaulted (July and November 1998). The first time, he managed to increase the abuse and invited his friends, the poets, to help with his chaos until I broke up with him. The second time, I came to him for comfort and I realized he wasn't caring anymore. As I was pouring my heart to him, he went to sleep. I left. I didn't want to be near him again. I wished it ended there, but in 1999, days before xmas, I ran into Cody and Austin in a department store. They cornered me in the quiet area of the menswear, and they sexually assaulted me. A few months afterwards, Cody managed to steal my phone number from my sister-in-law's place, her babysitter was dating Austin. He called for a long time but every time he tried to convince me that he would be better, I told him the things he wanted to do for me Kirk already does that for me. The last time I was in the same physical space as him was quite satisfying because, sometime in 2000 he was taken out of the nightclub (where he hurt me on the dancefloor) by two police officers. The last time I saw his face in person, I was walking to the movie theatre with my partner, Kirk and my best friend, Kate. I was about seven months pregnant. This was the first time, he was seeing me with my new family. He looked broken. It was the best movie ever, even if I missed a bunch because I was very pregnant and sitting through a long movie. I bought a pin that I adore, it's a huge circle pin that reads Survive Out Of Spite. That is why I am still alive. I have been so sad, so messed up for years, but I keep living because he wanted me to die, he laughed at my misery. He will never win. He tried to control my hairstyle, my social circles, my social life, and I fought him every fucking time.

Below is an image that helps me with the vocabulary for the actions I experiences from someone who claimed they loved me and I was blindly mislead by his evil intentions. The paragraph below is a recollection of the night at the nightclub when he requested our song.


​​I was sipping on my diet coke, looking around the crowded dance floor then the adult section at the night club that was hosting an all ages event. I'm looking every where but Cody is no where to be seen. Then the DJ reads out a request from Cody to me, and the song is our song, the crowd makes that awwww sound when something sweet is done. But he's no where to be seen. Our song is playing, the crowd paired up, everyone is swaying to the beautiful melody, tears are starting to build, I've waited for this moment all year since I started falling in love with Cody, and now I have this second chance at love with him, I know I can do this right for us this time, he agreed with me over the phone last during our conversation about us. I sent him a mix tape for his birthday, he called me last night once he was able to hear my tape and read the letter I sent. I asked if he'd like to go dancing at the club, he said yes. Our song is playing, it's half done, he's still not here. My chaperone was looking for him, she could access the adult section, since I was 18 years old. Once she found him, she grabbed him by the scruff and walked him to me. We slowed danced the last few lines of our song, he wiped my tears away, promised to never hurt me like that again. I stayed.

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