Over a lifetime of bad memories, probably the worst one that stands out in my mind happened the day before he left.  Holly and I were leaving to ride horses at the barn. She picked up her saddle and her dad casually asked her with a huge smile if she wanted help putting it in the car. She responded “No thanks dad, I got it.” As the door closed behind her, he turned to face me. My stomach instantly tensed and I braced myself. I will never ever forget the horrible black mask of evil his face wore or the way he looked at me. He leaned in close to me and like a dementer sucking the air and happiness out of you in a Harry Potter movie, he pointed his finger at me. Then, in an icy cold, menacing whisper he threatened ” I don’t care where you go, I will find you, any place, any time, I will find you, and I will hurt you.” Then he walked into the kitchen and I hurried out the door and left. I was more shaken than I had ever been. I think the reason it affected me so much  was that he didn’t seem to be in a manic mood or bipolar state.  It was just a pure evilness that emanated from him. The difference was every other time, I knew it was his mental illness.  This was something I had never felt or seen from him before.  In that moment I realized everything I ever knew about him was a lie.  He wasn’t at all who I thought he was. He was a master craftsman at his trade of manipulation. I was a perfectly groomed victim.  For months after he left, I walked around terrified.  I had panic attacks. I was paranoid. I had the locks changed to my girl’s apartment.I visited the gun store and picked out a  Smith and Wesson .357 revolver with a 3 1/2 inch barrel.  I didn’t actually go through with buying it though.  Guns make me nervous.  I have never liked them. The point is he really, really scared me this time.  He still haunts my dreams, turning them into nightmares.He chases me, I hide, he breaks my legs so I can’t run, he chokes me.  I might go a month, then a nightmare hits me and I walk around in a state of fear and anxiousness for a few days until it starts to fade.  When I am rational, I really don’t believe he would drive twenty hours or more to hurt or kill me.  Sometimes though, especially at night, those fingers of fear spread through me and make me cold and sweaty at the same time, like having your whole body covered in Icy Hot. I don’t let the fear rule me because if I did, he would win….again.  I not going to let him control me ever again. I am going to go about my life, and live, be normal, and most of all embrace happiness.

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