It’s come up a few times, they want it to be known that they disapprove of the slapping. Officially, so do I. But it’s not like that.

First of all, let me tell you about the beginning of our relationship. Within a month or two of meeting, Brian had taken to pushing me around, so violently that at one point the neighbors who witnessed it called the police. He would throw things at me, or throw my stuff down a flight of stairs, he’d grab me. At one point he pinned me to the bed and brought his arm back, fully ready to punch me in the face. I saw the moment he came to in his eyes, and he collapsed and bawled his eyes out instead. I had done absolutely nothing to incite it. He makes up reasons to be angry in his head.

That was to be our relationship for the entire first year, whenever we were together. I didn’t lay a hand on him once, didn’t push him, nothing, not even in self defense.

It wasn’t until after the Great Freeze, well after, around the time of his last birthday, that I would shove him back. This era was extremely violent and he retaliated to my retaliation by pulling me to the ground by fistfuls of my hair, throwing things at my face, and choking me. For the latter, he was finally arrested, and spent three months in jail.

He’ll tell you I tried to kill him by hitting his head with a very hard object. Okay, that kinda happened. He woke me up and was already being a huge dick and I told him to leave. I pushed him, he pushed me, refusing to exit. Repeatedly, he knocked me over or wrestled me onto the bed. I was drunk as fuck and tired of the bullshit and I wanted him out of the place he had no right to be in. So eventually I got the upper hand and he was in the kitchen, which was right in front of door. Hotels are often designed that way. Not about to lose my position, I screamed some more that he should leave and when he lunged at me again, I grabbed whatever was close by and I hit him with it. Once, not repeatedly. Once. The mother fucker got the point and cowered his way out the door.

Not exactly the story you heard, I’m sure.

After his arrest, he stopped putting hands on me for a while and I continued somewhat in the pattern he had laid. For this, I’ll refer to a conversation I had recently with a client.

I too denounce physical violence, far preferring peace and respectful resolutions. But there are things called boundaries, which we have and are entitled to have because they protect us from harm. I don’t have enough of them, in fact, but when one is violated often enough or severely enough, I call this a trigger. When I am triggered, a slap is my reflexive response. It’s unconscious and automatic completely and comes about as a response to the psychological violence which precipitates it.

This client mentioned that this is healthy that we SHOULD have this response to severe attacks on our psyche. No, I shouldn’t be hitting anyone, but no one should be violating my boundaries, no one should be pressing those triggers in the first place. Leaving wasn’t working because he always came back. Shouting was exhausting and futile anyway, talking never worked because he never stopped to hear what I had to say, writing it down was equally as ineffective. Putting up with it was unacceptable and my last and final resort was a slap. Not ideal, no. But in context, healthy and unavoidable.

In the end, his aggressive streak saw a full resurgence, and he began hitting me, usually with flying objects, first and at the slightest frustration. Well, that’s a no-no, cuz if you put your hands on me, we’re gonna fight. I make no apologies for that, and when the situation is reversed, I fully expect the same. Even if my slap was justified, and his shoves never were.

So there ya go. The only thing I could have done on my end to prevent it would have been to freeze my bleeding heart and let him freeze outside in the just passed winter weather. Let him sleep in the snow. Its only because I am a good person that he can make me look so bad.

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