Saturday night he had gotten drunk and violent. He threw things and threatened to hurt me. He was acting literally like a monkey, jumping on top of the couch and tearing the cushions off. He cycled between yelling, rocking back and forth on his hands and knees on the floor crying, throwing things around, and talking to me in that low, threatening voice. He also spoke to people who weren’t there.
I tried to help him. I had never seen anyone like that before, much less someone I loved. I tried to talk to him, soothe him, and give him something to throw up in. But he threw it back at me. When he went to the bathroom, I ran quietly up the stairs and away from him, shutting a door in between us. I didn’t want to leave because I still thought somehow I could help him. But I didn’t go back down until the morning.
On Sunday morning, I told him what had happened and he couldn’t remember any of it. He readily promised me that he wouldn’t drink at all if we were alone together and he would just drink with his friends.
Monday night he brought three double-size beers over to my apartment. I don’t know what they are really called, but I know that each one was the size of two normal beers. I was in shock and fearful.
“You can’t drink those here.”
He was immediately angry, “it’s just beer! It’s not that much!”
“You promised me you wouldn’t drink when it’s just you and me.”
“I had a hard day at work, I deserve a beer!”
“But there are three of them, and they’re gigantic. Just have one, ok?”
“I’m a grown man.”
He sulked and acted like a two-year-old for the next few hours, while I was a ball of tension, wondering what I should do if he got drunk and violent again. In my own apartment there was nowhere else to go, no one else to help me. I could put my cat in a carrier and just leave, maybe go to my parent’s house and hopefully he wouldn’t destroy too much of my stuff.
Finally, we got to the moment when he might have one of the beers and I said, “You know, it’s just that you promised. You gave me your word that you wouldn’t drink and now you’re breaking your word.”
I knew that would get him, since he’s always going on and on about how honesty and ‘his word’ is so important to him, even though he was still able to cheat on me and go out with other women while I was still lying in his bed.
He didn’t have any of the beers and he took them with him when he left. A good idea, since I would have poured them out.
Before we broke up, we had a couple other uncomfortable nights with his drinking. Once when he put his arm around my neck in what maybe his drink-brain thought was affectionate but felt to me like a choke hold. Thank god for that self-defense class.
He told me once during these awful nights, “The biggest reason I know we won’t make it is because you don’t trust me. You’re afraid of me.”
Well, asshole, maybe you should behave like someone who can be trusted.