When I can’t think of a title, I always use the date. Always have. Probably goes back to those notebooks; I dated every entry.

I have stuff on my mind. I’m sure writing would help ease the burden…but I hesitate. I’m mindful of the public forum here. I have a hard time really talking to anyone, too. So it’s all inside, and I think it’s behind how shitty I’ve felt recently.

I’m not even sure how to start…which is obvious from the procrastinative meandering I’m doing. Is procrastinative even a word??

Things are strange at home. And I don’t know if it’s just me. My partner and I don’t have any mutual friends anymore, so there’s no one else to see any of this stuff. That’s another weird thing, maybe, but that’s probably another piece of writing.

My partner comes home a different person after he spends a couple hours with his work friends. Like with a completely different personality. And I suspect he’s doing more than drinking with them. He has a history of dabbling with, well, substances. Medicines. Stuff that is stronger than booze or weed. He comes home completely wasted, and mean.

It’s not just that. He’s not really even a partner. I mean, I don’t feel that way. I didn’t always feel this way though. Things used to be different.

We had our problems; everyone does. My turning point was the summer of 2012. It’s kind of a long story. The husband of a couple we were friends with thought it was ok to grope me and proposition me. I told my partner how uncomfortable it made me, and he blew me off. I was afraid of this guy. I mean, one night I actually slapped him, and my partner called me out for it.

One day the husband cornered me at their house, asserting his right to “feel those double Ds mashed up against me,’ and my partner happened to see it. We ended up leaving the party, to a chorus of name calling. My partner said nothing. Not a word. My partner then expected me to return to the house for another party a few weeks later.  After I explained how it all made me feel-again. How afraid of this guy I was. My partner couldn’t or wouldn’t see it. I tried playing sick, but my partner more or less forced me to go back there. I told  the wife what had been going on and how it made me feel. I actually downplayed the things he did and said to me. She stuck up for her husband, which ended our friendship. No one stuck up for me.

Now, five years later, now that all of this assault and harassment shit is coming out, NOW my partner apologizes to me. That apology felt hollow though…like an afterthought.

My partner continues to maintain a friendship with this couple. Betrayed doesn’t cover how I feel. I feel violated all over again. I never gave this man permission to touch me-I hit him, pushed him, said NO every single way I knew how, and he still felt that my body was his property. Other women, I later learned, suffered worse; like the friend he climbed into bed with, naked, when she was too drunk to realize what was going on.

Part and parcel of a life partnership is to have your partner’s back. To defend and protect them if needed. He doesn’t have my back. He destroyed my trust that summer. And I really think that opened my eyes, and maybe even changed my attitude. It had to have. I put up a wall to protect myself. And now I sit in my little fortress, inside a gilded cage of sorts. I’m Rapunzel.

I’m also very alone. And sometimes, like today, it is really REALLY hard. A partner is supposed to share the burden, at least that’s what I thought. Or help row the boat.

I’m rowing the damn boat alone and my fucking arms are tired.