Bad memories – Story No. 1

Today, I’m gonna take you back into my high school years. Into one particular evening which started as a nice sleepover party at my friend’s house, but ended up as a nightmare.

My good friend, let’s call her Ana, had a pretty violent boyfriend (let’s call him James). He often came to school and threatened everyone that didn’t treat Ana the way he wanted to. You weren’t allowed to do any mistake if you wanted to be a friend with her. His threats weren’t just verbal, he carried a gun with him most of the time and used it for threads too. The police knew everything about him, but never had enough proof to put him into jail for a longer time.

Back to the party evening

We were planning to have a nice calm evening, nothing crazy. I arrived at Ana’s place and we talked for a while. Then we got bored and decided to go out for a drink. She needed James’s approval for everything. Every step she made, she needed permission, otherwise, he got violent. He stalked her too, or even send his friends to stalk her. Just to make sure, she’s “a good girl”.

He offered us a ride that evening and made us both a bit nervous at that time. He somehow liked me and approved my friendship with Ana, so I was safe in a way. But never felt completely that way.

We sat in his car. It was a three-door car and I sat in the back seat. The car never moved from the spot. James was getting all suspicious and started to hit my friend out of nowhere. They didn’t even have a fight, he just hit her. Again and again. I was surprised and in shock. I froze completely, because I couldn’t escape the car. There were no doors around me, but I also couldn’t hit him or make him stop because I was too terrified. I still feel guilty sometimes when I think about the event.
I could have saved her, but I could also get us both killed. We will never know.

The fight was going on for a few minutes at most, but these moments felt like hours. Somehow he stopped hitting her and let us out of the car. He gave me a brutally angry look and threatened me that I’ll end up the same if I’d go talk to anyone about this. Then he drove away.

I hugged Ana and helped her go back inside the house

She was terrified that somebody will see her and her only thought was how to cover the bruises and everything. She had no intention to inform the police, but thankfully her mother did the next day. Her face was so beaten up that no makeup could cover the damage.
Her mother took good care of her and I went home the next day.
I haven’t told anyone about this until I got the call from the court. Then I made a few words with my dad, but nothing personal, nothing about how I felt. I haven’t spoken about this in such a detailed way with anyone, until recently.

Even me and Ana never spoked about the event later. This event slowly separated us somehow, I still don’t know why. It was a both sided thing. No hard feelings, but many unspoken words. We couldn’t talk about it. It was too painful for both of us I guess.

I was taught that no matter what happens to you, you have to stay strong and just live your life like nothing happened. I know now that this doesn’t mean that you’re strong, but that you’re just protecting some bad people. If you want to be strong, you need to open up. We all break at some point and nobody can’t carry everything inside. It just hurts too much. Sometimes my whole body aches because I left so many unspoken words inside for so many years. Well, not anymore.
I’m not ready to share all of my horror stories, but I sure will release some of them. I’m also keeping some of them for a book. If I come to this some day.
I’ve created a new category Memories, so you’ll be able to find more of them there. Stay tuned.

We can’t change our past, but we can influence our future. I won’t finish this post with a question, like always, but just a simple wish to all of you dear readers and random visitors. And bots. I wish you a nice day and many many new beautiful memories.

It’s not easy for me to finally letting out these thoughts. I couldn’t do it without the encouragement from some very special people, which includes you too dear readers. Thanks for all the support you’re giving me, I really appreciate it.

28 thoughts on “Bad memories – Story No. 1

  1. If only we could delete those memories. They might weaken as time goes on, and the emotional impact might not be as powerful … but they never completely fade.

  2. I hope your friend “Ana” broke free in the end. It’s hard for people to understand why anyone would let another control them that way, but I know it is so. I’m glad you are letting your stories out. Letting go is so freeing.

  3. Its good that you finally shared. I can’t even imagine the horror of being a part of something like that. Opening up is the only way of letting go such memories.

  4. So sorry you experienced this via your friend. Memories are tough stuff sometimes. I deal with a lot of bad memories as we all do. I try to focus on the good ones because I have them too. I think writing them out and sharing them with this community will help you. But something I have learned about myself–I always felt guilty of doing something wrong that I could have done better–but while examine some of those memories I have realized that there were other circumstances surrounding the incident that caused me to react as I did or accept what I did. No excuse. But it’s caused me to be gentler and more forgiving of myself. That truly helps. I wrote a post titled “Haunted” if you would like to check it out. Just don’t give up. When bad memories come up push back. You do not need to be a prisoner of your past. It’s done and over with and its time to just focus on today and it’s blessings.

  5. Thank you for sharing. I’m glad that you’re sorting the truth out for yourself, and realising what is best for you. I wish you love and growth.

  6. When I read this I thought to myself, “I bet this is how my addictions felt for my family members.” That was really powerful. It also shows the absolute necessity of self-care. You did the right thing eventually extricating yourself from that friendship.

  7. I’m so sorry you both went though that. My bestie in high school had a violet boyfriend. He kicked me in the stomach once. She still feels bad about it and that saddens me. He was a royal ass hole.

  8. Speaking your feelings is a step, a needed step to move forward and resolve the emotions surrounding the events. This was a horrible situation for both of you and you had no other choice, I wish you well is sorting out your feelings of this and other events in your life. You are starting on the right track.

  9. I cannot imagine how damaging it must have been to your mental health to hold that in for so many years. I am glad that writing is giving you an outlet for your trauma. All the best to you!

  10. I appreciate your forthright honesty, bravery and vulnerability in the telling of this story. I feel deeply saddened by men who brutalize women. As a witness to this horrendous abuse you were as much a victim as was your friend, but in a different way.

    Painful and abusive memories can be altered by shifting our point of view and activating certain emotions that can be freeing. This takes work. Memories don’t really exist in the past but in the present and can profoundly affect how we feel about ourselves.

    The charge of emotions about your abusive memories can begin to be altered. Two kinds of results can happen over time with work and asking for help:

    1. Try to establish a safe space before you start – a trusted counselor, healer or therapist can be a good ally. Understanding how you felt in the situation with your friend. experience the emotions you felt then. Re-construction of the incident may include examining all the painful and paralyzing emotions connected to the memories and naming them. In this way you are making a cognitive map of the memories and gaining a small bit of distance from being consumed (or re-traumatized) by the memories. It doesn’t have to be done immediately in one step.

    Once your cognitive map is made (an by the way – it doesn’t have to be perfect or complete) then applying self-love, compassion and forgiveness for yourself is an important second step.

    2. Using your map you can objectively re-experience what happened from the safety of your witness within and begin to apply the positive emotions listed above to the woman you were in those terrifying times. The positive emotions are for you and not what happened to your friend or the man.

    There are more steps of course – but these may be good ways to start especially with a trusted helper.

    Having been a survivor of incest by many relatives I can say that I have reclaimed by body and feelings of innocence that I though would never happen.

    Risking feeling hurt is part of the strength of vulnerability. With determination you can recover from having been hurt and traumatized and live a more healthy life.

    Blessing for your journey.

    1. I never really went through traumatic events with any therapist yet (I named them, but no more than that), so this will come really handy. It’s difficult to open up. Thanks for all the effort you put into this comment.
      I wish you all best on your journey too. 🙂

  11. This makes me so sad for a multitude of reasons. ☹️ You must have felt so powerless to have witnessed that. And yet it’s good that you were there for her, and could validate her pain. And I’m glad her mom helped her as well. I never had that. What an arrogant ass her bf was. So discouraging. I hope everyone is in a better place now. Better relationship. Better frame of mind.

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