I thought of making a blog post about this subject, but I feel that it is going to be too long. I think that I should share this story, though, as it contributes to where I am now. I have always felt that I was intuitive, but I always chalked that up to being good at guessing or being able to read people by their mannerisms. But around the time that I met James, the intuition had started to ramp up, along with other things.
The year was 2007 and I was working in the construction industry, lighting and décor specifically, when I got divorced from my first husband. We married young and we cut our teeth on each other. We were competitive with each other and said and did too many bad things to each other. And when we had said too much and done too many bad things, we divorced. There was too much between us that neither of us seemed willing to let go of. We are much better friends now. My daughter and I moved into an apartment in Northwest Arkansas, where we had moved to a few years before so my husband could go to the university. After some deliberation, I decided I would stay there instead of moving back home so my daughter could be close to her father. Home was only four hours away, so I knew I could go and visit as I pleased.
I dated a few guys, nothing serious. In fact, I was a little jaded and thought I would teach these men a lesson and be like a man myself. I dated different men at the same time and was unavailable and aloof, just like they had been in my past. When someone would confess their feelings for me, I did as the men in my past had done and blew them off and hurt their feelings. I’d love ’em and leave ’em. For a short time, it was empowering. I felt like I was on top of the world. When my daughter was with her dad, I went out and had fun and flirted and sewed my wild oats, as they say. I had gotten married when I was a month from being 19, so I figured I was due some fun. It wasn’t that my husband and I didn’t have fun, but he was controlling and a cheater. I was 26 when we were divorced and felt like I was in the prime of my life dating all these guys. My father came into my life when I was still married, and through his experience with finding me, my father and I both go into the Law of Attraction and Esther and Jerry Hicks. I didn’t tell too many people how I felt about this, as I had encountered some skeptical folks when talking about it. I thought I could “will” things to happen. But seriously, I willed my hair to be curly and it started being curly (I always had had straight as a board hair). I willed all kinds of things and they happened. I didn’t know much about this and I was just happy that I could make things happen, even if it didn’t make any sense to me.
I met a girl named Tabitha at my apartment complex. She was a lot like me with her attitude and her dry sense of humor. We hung out, we were there for each other and we were the best of friends. I had heard her talk about her uncle before, and on Easter she invited me to come over to her uncle’s house so the kids could hunt eggs. I can still remember the first time I saw James, as clearly as if it were that day all over again…
Wow. It is harder to talk about this than I thought it would be…
I knocked on the door and opened it when I heard a voice call out, “Come in!” This huge Doberman was waiting to pounce on surely anyone who would walk in. She almost knocked me down, but she was sweet and I pet her and looked up to see this beautiful man standing there. I can still see him clearly, from the billions of scenes I have filed away in my memories. He was looking at the dog, calling her to him. He looked up, his face full of exasperation, and he ran his hand through his shaggy sandy colored hair. His beautiful face changed and he smiled through these wonderful eyelashes. I can still smell the smell of his house right now as his memory seems to swirl around me like some hologram. I swear my heart must have jumped several beats at this electricity that seemed to already exist between us. There are so many James moments that seemed at the time to go in slow motion, as they continue to do now. Some people might tell you that James is not that beautiful, but to me he was. He had the ability to smile at me with this smile that I would swear was just for me.
So anyway, fast forward through a whirlwind romance in which we decided that my daughter and I would move in. Oh, I guess I need to say that James graduated the same year that I was born. There were a lot of people in my life that would have something to say about the age difference, but I tell you that I DID NOT CARE. I loved this man. It was almost as if there was this unseen force pulling me toward him and we were meant to be. At this point in my life, I had never had a man whom I could look into their eyes at ANY time, all the time. I wanted to show him my words with my eyes. I wanted to see his emotions from his eyes. This seems way too personal to hold someone’s gaze this way, for extended periods of time. I could have looked into this man’s eyes forever. Maybe I had. There was no nervousness other than butterflies in the stomach. There was no being embarrassed about my body or hiding my emotions or my eyes during lovemaking. Looking back, I swear I must have known him in other lives. I have heard a lot of people talk about someone in their current life being from their past life. They feel so compelled to be with this person, even if it seems to not make much sense. To always have some pull toward this person no matter what. They are possibly pulled to that person because maybe they were lovers in a past life. Maybe they were brothers or aunts or cousins. I don’t think that this is too gross considering that when we are not in the physical body, unconditional and universal love don’t have constraints like incest and since there is no physical body, there just is. And love is just love, enveloping all of you, obeying no rules and knowing no boundaries. Of course, at this time I knew nothing of any of this just yet. All I knew was that I was absolutely and completely in love with James, so I tried to ignore the premonition of doom that seemed to linger in the air from the second I opened that front door.
I was definitely having some psychic moments at this time, although I didn’t always know what to do with them, or if they were accurate. I still don’t know if I just didn’t know how to interpret what I was seeing or if this was some kind of reality anomaly. It sure seemed to be like some sort of an alternate dimension. I had immersed myself so much into his world that it felt like some hazy other place; one where I was experiencing this different way of life. We did the things he liked to do and we listened to the music that he liked. I happened to like some of it and we had a good time.
When the slightly controlling behavior started, I dismissed it because he covered it up by being sweet about it. He would call and say he was looking at the chair next to his and it was empty and he had realized that he wanted me in it. “I miss you. Come home,” he would say. I had this feeling that he was tape recording me during the day while he was at work because he seemed to know about specific things I had said in a phone conversation or if I had gotten onto his precious dog. He would say the dog told him. I remember looking at that dog and sending her messages from my mind to hers to quit doing that crap. He seemed to know when I would leave to go to the grocery store and he explained it by saying that so and so had driven by and didn’t see my car. I was paranoid about this, but for some reason this didn’t seem to be something I felt like I should leave over. There were so many wonderful times that seemed to outweigh the weird behavior, but it remained in the background and I would ponder it at night when he had fallen asleep.
Summer came and we spent a lot of time hosting his family at the house for barbeques and jello shots and beer, which somehow James always seemed to get me to foot the bill for. After all, I was living in his house and paying half the bills. Why not pay for entire barbeques every weekend and sometimes during the week? I didn’t seem to mind taking care of my man and I found myself serving him his plate while he sat in his recliner. I don’t remember him ever asking for this; I was just so proud to do for him whatever I could. I would almost kill myself cleaning and cleaning. Again, don’t remember ever hearing him ask for me to do that. I just know that when I hadn’t finished everything early enough, I would get very nervous when I knew he was on his way home. You could set your clock by him and I didn’t need a clock. Even when I had everything perfect, my siren in the bottom of my stomach would tell me when he was getting close. How could he have me doing things I had never done before for any man without even telling or asking. Maybe it was mind control or beautiful man hypnosis. Maybe he could will some things of his own to be done at his bidding. I still don’t know quite what happened there.
We spent Thanksgiving together and then Christmas came. I went to visit my family for a few days, but for all intents and purposes, James, my daughter and I were a little family of sorts. I can recall several happy times around Christmas. He went and got this beautiful tree and we decorated it. He sprayed that fake snow all down in my pants and after that we were all fake snow fighting, spraying it all over each other, laughing and singing around the tree. Even though things were going pretty good, there were still these times that the siren in my gut would go off. What is it in a life path that makes one ignore these warnings? Why not take heed and leave while the getting is good?
We had quite a few fights. He was pretty jealous, although he would not really show it always like a normal man would. He was a classic case and I read him pretty well. I learned to anticipate a lot of his moves. He was playing the I’ve been hurt and I push people away role, and I played the dutiful It’s going to be different with me; I’ll make you see role. Of course, what kind of woman doesn’t enjoy that role every now and then; restore the bitter man’s confidence in women. And you can do this, you tell yourself, because you are different. The only problem is that you are not anticipating that this man in stuck in this perpetual relationship regurgitation. He gets the same thing from all these different women because HE is not changing. He bends the women to his will, they fall under the same pressures and here we go again – things may never change for him. Upon realizing this, my views did not change. This was still a war I had to fight for this man. He had a sad side and I figured what he needed was to work through these issues and talk them out. I thought if I could ride this out, I would win him and then he could finally be happy. I did not seem to have desires to be as happy as that which I wanted for him. I guess if I had, I would not be able to see this particular path through. I think I was dealing with some kind of karma I had brought with me to this life. After it was all said and done, I realized that maybe I had finally broken through. But more of that later.
The fighting got worse and it appeared that the issues James had seemed to also run in his family. There was endless turmoil and gossipy phone calls. So and so said this and that and he would call them all up to tell them everything. They seemed to feed off each other, and they let their feelings about me be known. Looking back, I had a lot of things, people and situations trying to lead me away from James. I would hear none of it and I hung in there. This was not a horrible place to be, as we did have a lot of fun. We were the same type of people and the banter between us would get hilarious. We played together and did everything together. I was so proud to be seen with him. This seems weird now. When we would be out together, we would get interested looks. I never wanted anyone to mistake me as his daughter. I figured this would bother him. So I would hold his hand or something so that the context was obvious. I just remember being very happy to be seen with him.
Not long after this I moved out. I can’t even remember what started the fight, but I think I had come home too late on a rainy night. He met me at the door and wouldn’t let me in. He was yelling and seemed as if maybe he were possessed. I think I was drunk, and I pleaded with him to let me in. I had been with my friend, Julie, and he seemed to think I had been elsewhere. He shut the door in my face, locking it. I bang on the door, crying and shivering from my now-damp clothes. I am thinking he will let me in soon and I can feel the hot shower now. Instead, he opens up the door and dumps a bucket full of cold water on me. There is a second in which I find this comical. I mean, is he really dumping this bucket of water on me? It knocks me back, and now I am really shivering. Somehow, I turn into some sobbing crybaby who begs men to let her inside. There is a time I would have clawed his freakin’ eyes out. He is hitting on a very sensitive childhood trauma issue I carry around. I definitely have security issues and he is not letting me in the house! All of my things are in there! I need those things to feel safe! I run straight to the door to block him from shutting it again. I beg to him to let me in. I tell him he is being unreasonable. I put my foot in the crack of the door and he looks down and it and slams the door very hard. I am barefoot at this point, sandals lost somewhere in the yard. He has hurt my foot! It finally registers that my foot is throbbing. I sit down on the rock stairs that led down to the door. I start crying at this point. Words are exchanged and he ended up spitting on me! I don’t know that aside from an occasional spit mishap, if I have ever been spit on. I am livid now. He runs in to the house, locking it again. I guess I was supposed to wait around to get another bucket of water thrown on me, so I do. I get the message then, as he’s yelling, “Go away!” repeatedly to me. I cannot even remember where I went that first night.
I felt that my security was threatened and as my usual behavior would dictate, I would take of business myself. I secured myself a weird little apartment above a hair salon. It smelled of perm and freedom. I had to tell anyone that I was a business if they asked, and I quickly figured out that my landlord was renting me a commercial space for an apartment. It did have a little kitchen and a bathroom with a shower, so it would do. I assumed James would let me have my things back once I got this place for myself. He seemed confused that I had actually moved out. In fact, he was acting like he didn’t want me to go. Things really hadn’t changed other than a few awkward days where we didn’t really talk about the water fight. There was no way I felt like I could back down now. I was lucky my daughter hadn’t been there for that night. I would go over there after work, and when the time came for me to get my things, James let me move out my daughter’s entire room, and then he locked the door. He started taking pictures and was acting very strangely. I decided to call the police. They wouldn’t do anything for me to get my things back. They said that the property was in his house and there was nothing I could do about it because I now lived somewhere else. Weirdly enough, we continued to see each other kinda. He would tell me that he felt I owed him money and until I paid him back, I couldn’t have my things.
I had changed jobs right before Christmas and met a man I can only describe as some angel. We will call him Jonathan. I haven’t had contact with him in quite some time, but the attraction I felt for him was very primal. He was very much a protector that I have tried to have relationships with in several past lives and this has just never worked out; star-crossed lovers if you will. The desire is there, and the timing is always wrong, I feel. And I can only tell you this because it was very obvious to me. There was a sad tone to the relationship, that we might lose each other at some point and we knew it. We were very different people, but he accepted me as I was and with this quiet voice he would talk to me about a problem I was having. Jonathan was already trying to hash out other issues in this life that took up quite a bit of time. But when we had the chance, we would meet up at my almost empty apartment at lunch. My breathing became very rapid when thinking about this!!! I said primal, and I meant that. There was this animal attraction; an instinct so strong that you know you will not escape this. You don’t want to anyway. So there was this side relationship. We worked together and talked out our other relationship issues. Jonathan definitely did not like James and let me know this. I did not have issues with having both of these relationships at once. There was a must-do aura that hung over both of these relationships; already charted or something.
I began to make it my mission to get my property back from James, so I continued having this f’d up relationship with him. Jonathan was married and he did not seem interested in keeping tabs on me all the time, so I still spent a great deal of time with James too. There is one day at his house that will forever stand out in my mind. My daughter is begging him for a ride on his four wheeler. He has taken her for rides around the large yard several times, and he relents, her getting on the seat in front of him. She’s just turned eight at this time, and I hear her laughing as he heads down in the lower part of the yard. It is breezy and my long dress sways around me and I decide to sit down and watch them. He drives around for a minute and then stops. I can tell he’s showing her something and I have a video play in my head. This happens a lot, but this video just so happens to look like right now. I stand up to get a better look, not sure if I am seeing reality or the video in my head. James and my daughter on the four wheeler. Something happens and the four wheeler flies in the air and they fall off of it! I realize in a split second that I must have seen the future because now they are just sitting there, him seemingly explaining something to her. I yell at them to warn them, so strong was this premonition! Just then, the four wheeler revs up and it does, in fact fly straight up in the air. The only was I can explain these next events is that some sort of an intervention occurred. I felt as though I teleported myself from up on that hill to the bottom, as my bare feet were not cut up as all those rocks along the way would have cut the crap out of my feet. And then I was there, and my daughter was just standing there, and I swear this beautiful light surrounded her body and she looked liked an angel. I didn’t know if she was dead. She almost had to be, the way I had seen the four wheeler land. I gingerly touched her, and when I felt this solid body I was so relieved! She was alive! I grabbed her up, searching for bruises or gashes and none existed. Not so much for James and his beloved four wheeler. He cracked ribs and the four wheeler had no fenders on it anymore and he was very upset at my daughter for pushing all the way down on the accelerator when he allowed her to “drive”.
Now James had something else to hold over my head. He felt that it was my fault that the four wheeler had been wrecked and he continued to hold my possessions at his home. It was a weird situation because we were kind-of seeing each other. He had no claim to the property, I felt, as I had purchased every bit of it before I met him. Arkansas law is strange because they had considered it his property until I took him to court. When I had left, I never considered that he wouldn’t have to give me my things. I had always thought the law would stand on the side of the person who was correct. I was very wrong about this. I wanted those things back, and I let it consume me. Jonathan would talk to me about it one day while we were working. He said he would go break unto the house and steal my things back for me. He was serious. I could not let him do this, as he was divorcing his wife at this point, and had enough troubles going on. I would bide my time, I told him. It never occurred to me that he would be able to keep it. I just knew I’d get it back.
This will be the hardest part of the story to tell. My equivalent to hitting a brick wall; when oneself is going so against the grain that they cannot go against it anymore. I remember a whole lot about this particular night. It was June, I believe, and a Friday night. I had gone with my friend Julie to have a drink after work. I remember having two margaritas, I got some take out food for James and I headed toward his house. I was probably planning to stay the night, as I did most weekends when I didn’t have my daughter with me. He was in a good mood when I arrived, two friends over from down the street. This was a mother/son combo that James had known for quite some time. I had always had a feeling this woman was in love with James, but she was married and we didn’t hear from her very much. She would come down sometimes, and we had become pretty good friends. They were drinking and a few hours later we went outside to enjoy the night air.
I don’t remember what James said or what I did, but whatever it was caused him to go completely crazy on me. All of a sudden, and very surprisingly to me, he was hitting me! Calling me various horrible names, he was hitting me on the head and I remember trying to get away from him. My clothes were torn as he pulled me closer to him with my shirt. I could taste the liquor on his thumb as he forced it into my mouth, in an attempt to fish hook me in the mouth with his hand! He used so much force that I had to grab onto his arm and lift myself up, as I was sure he was about to break right through my cheek. I remember getting away and running to the bathroom, looking for my purse along the way. I was trying to think of an escape plan, and I certainly wasn’t concerned with getting my property now. I just had to get out of here. The lady friend of his followed me to the bathroom, helping me get cleaned up. I was crying hysterically, as I have never been beat like this before. She whispered to me to shut up before he tried to kill us both. I kept telling her I didn’t understand what was happening. She whispered, “He’s crazy, honey,” and then motioned for me to hush up. I figured I would just walk out of the house, get in my car and leave. He had been rummaging through my car when I was in the bathroom. I could see him through the open front door. Oh great! My heart sank as I realized I had cashed my check that day and had $700 worth of cash in my car. He was surely taking that right now, I thought. I saw his phone on his coffee table and I decided to break it in half so that he would have no way to call anyone. I knew he wouldn’t come after me because he had been drinking, so I figured if I could just leave…
He had my keys and I had to get them away somehow. He saw what I had done to the phone, so that got me 17 (I counted) blows to the head with the TV remote. I pulled the keys from his hands, and he held on very tight. We literally pulled the keychain apart until I got my car key; the other keys went tumbling off and I grabbed my apartment key from the floor and he then pushed me into the couch and began to choke me. How is this woman not helping me? She seemed to be my friend, but now that I am about to die at the hands of this crazy man she is NOT HELPING ME!!! I was saying my goodbyes to myself when he finally let up and I could breathe again. This voice in my head, a guide or God or someone yelled, “GO!!!”, with much insistence in his voice. I decided not to take any chances and I jumped up and ran as fast as I could toward my car. He was right behind me. I could feel him. I knew I only had a few seconds over him and if I didn’t make it to the car, he would kill me this time.
I made it just in time to jump into the car and lock the door before he was lunging at the car, cussing me. I remember wondering how I had gotten to this point with him. I started the car and began to back down the driveway when he threw a rock at my windshield and busted it. I finally got out of the driveway, but turned my car too soon and hit his mailbox, which tore into my bumper. My car! I had worked so hard to get this car; a secure, dependable vehicle and he was just bound and determined to have me leave with nothing but my life. I drive down his street, not sure if he might still be running after me. I could barely see through the tears as I searched desperately for my cell phone. My car was trashed from his robbery of the car. I wanted to call the police right away, but was afraid that I might get in trouble because I had been drinking and now here I was driving. Sure, I had to get out of there, but I wasn’t thinking clearly. I called Jonathan and I am sure he had no idea what I was saying. In his usual calm, non judgmental way he told me to meet him right down the street from where I was. “Hang tight, Juliet, I will be right there,” he said. We considered ourselves somewhat of a Romeo and Juliet story, minus the suicide. I felt a little better at that point. I knew I did not want to be alone, and I really didn’t know even how to explain what had just happened to me. But I did know that he would rescue me, as this is what we were to each other. We rescued each other when we could.
I will never forgive myself for the look I saw on Jonathan’s face when I emerged from my car. He looked so sad as he tried to piece my shirt back together. He ran his hand over my swollen face and said he would follow behind me in his car. We were to go to his dad’s house, where he was staying during his divorce. I lay down next to him, finally, when we had arrived and told him how sorry I was. I tried to sleep, but I think I was in and out of consciousness. Maybe I should have gone to the hospital, but I was in this alternate dimension; the one where things like this do apparently happen to me. I needed time to lick my wounds. Jonathan just held me as I cried throughout the night. He was like an angel. It was as if our entire relationship had been leading up to him being there for me at this moment. And I remember thinking that he had done this before. He had rescued me before. Maybe we always did this in our past lives; maybe we had always tried to make it work, but things got in the way. I know I had gotten in the way of this time, but that didn’t change the fact that we were there now. I remember crying like a baby, half asleep, all the way heartbroken. I felt like I had let Jonathan down. He had told me not to mess with James after he kept all my stuff. Now look what I had gotten myself into. In the morning, the bruises were much worse and the thumb sized hole in my cheek was really hurting. If I pushed on my head, I could hear these weird air sounds coming from my scalp. The earrings I had been wearing the night before we gone, pulled from my ears I guess. My rent money was gone from my car, just as I had suspected. I hurt all over, much worse than the night before. I guess the adrenaline wouldn’t let me feel this bad before; I had just needed to get away from James.
I did call the police and they almost didn’t arrest him. The woman from down the street showed up and told the police that I was lying. I felt so betrayed by a fellow woman. How could she have just watched him beat the crap out of me and then lied for him the next day. If it weren’t for James letting something slip about what he had done, he would have gotten away with it! I was sitting in the police car, watching as this man I had once loved made me out to look like some liar. Hell, I still loved him at this point, I think. I wasn’t sure what to think. I had never thought he would do these things to me. He actually showed the police officer this scratch he had on his forehead. If that was all he got, he was lucky. They finally put him in the other police car, and the officer I was with took me to the hospital. There were some tears in my throat from the choking that could have led to air going somewhere bad, so they wanted to keep an eye on it. It was an awful two days. James’ family turned on me. I don’t know what I had expected, but I guess there is a part of me that wants people to err on the side of what is right, even if their relative was the one who did this. My family basically said that they had warned me about messing with this older man. Couldn’t they see that I loved him? I didn’t know this would happen! But maybe a part of me did. I certainly had seen the signs.
I remember wanting to see James. It was very hard to stay away. The restraining order I had put on him said that we both had to stay away from each other. I did call him once. I blocked my number so that he wouldn’t see my new number. I don’t know why I called. I do want to say again that I was heartbroken. I wanted to know WHY. Why had he treated me like this? When he answered, I started to cry, but tried to keep quiet. “Hello?” he said again. I knew he knew it was me. There was a long pause and I could hear him crying. “I’m so sorry, baby,” he said. “I don’t know what happened. I am so sorry.” We both sat there for what seemed like forever, both crying softly. I almost thought about chucking the whole restraining order and rushing back over there. Was I crazy? I surely must be. I hung up after a few more seconds.
My Papaw died a month later, and this gave me the jumpstart I needed to move back home. When trying to look for some meaning in why I went though all of this, there were so many things that ran through my mind. I made sure that the police pressed charges against James, and he did what he could to try to talk me out of it. I think they would have charged him whether I said to or not. After the doctor’s report and whatever other investigation they did, they found he was in fact responsible for what happened that night. Why would I want to be with someone who had done this to me? Was this something I had done with him before? Did we full this pull toward each other because we had been something in a past life? If this had not happened, I would not have moved back home when Papaw died. I would also have not met my husband, who possesses everything that James and every other boyfriend did not have. I felt like when I moved home that I was in the right place, finally. But before I moved, like the idiot I am, I went to James’ house. He was outside doing something and saw me when I pulled into the driveway. It was like a movie or something. We ran to each other and hugged very hard, both of us crying like babies. He said over and over how sorry he was. It was very hard at this moment to get back into my car and drive away. I think a part of him still thought I would come back. I left him standing there, all of my things still living in his house. I had only ever gotten my personal effects, my bed and my clothing. I think he had wanted to use those things to hold over my head; to make me stay. But I remembered that voice that had warned me to leave. I wanted to know what that was all about. I would no longer ignore my instincts and I think the universe intended to show me that horrible night just what could happen if I did go against what my true self wanted.
He ended up getting half a lifetime of community service and he relented to let me get my things back. My one condition was that James not be there when I went back with my brother to get them. I felt him there when I was at his house. I think he was upstairs, watching from one of the windows. I never went inside. I never have stopped thinking about him, either. I don’t rehash all events of that night anymore. I don’t try to make sense of it all anymore. I am where I want to be now and I owe at least that much to him, but also to myself. I don’t want any woman who is in an unhealthy relationship to think that it is ok to continue to stay there. I played with fire and I got burned. I do not suggest it and I do not envy someone the pain and heartache it causes. I am only sharing my personal experience. It is what you can take from the situation; the end justifies the means and all. I equate what happened to me with hitting a brick wall. Maybe at this point, there were only two possible ways for me to go and my higher self wanted me to run, run as fast I could away from James. And when I didn’t listen to the millions of hints I got along the way, maybe James became enraged for reasons even he couldn’t tell you today, and then he did what he did. I don’t believe in coincidences. I do believe that when you choose to turn around and go another way, that you will never know what might have happened had you stayed where you were. We have to be okay with that. I try so hard not to think of the what ifs and the regrets. You make the decisions you make in the moment for a reason and you should never try to think about what might have been. I don’t feel like a victim anymore. I am glad it happened.