The Curious Case of Catherine Hide(1)
“my hair” — too short says mom
First sign I was an introvert and serious child made fun of by mother. 3 yrs.
Tom boy. Switched to TKD.
5 yrs old. Not an excuse not to help when you see your mother crying late at night on the couch and she’s got a disney cup with brown cola in it but she drinks excessively, always sings along with cartoons with little sister. Little sister’s beautiful.
Daddy issue (daddy not around. Boo hoo)
Responsibility (mom issue)
Being five wasn’t an excuse to me
Summer Farm Life/animal lover (wolf, cat, alligator): grandparents
Oh jenna, you’re so beautiful and talented. You’re going to have a wonderful life and have a beautiful relationship. And Katie… you should go to college. Just don’t expect me to pay for it.
I’m just the other sister. Just the black sheep. Jenna is the beautiful, talented, sister…. I’m just there.
Mother remarried (volatile relationship)
Goth, theater, photography, creative writing, “mom”
Introvert in extrovert household
Lost virginity (16th bday)
Evan open relationship idea/break up
Without this, I might not have met Andy
Andy (quiet and unreadable)
First impression, intimidated, silence.
Could never read him as I did others. Always seemed like static when I tried to imagine his thoughts. Ice. Insecurity. How could he like me.
First kiss, bloody. Insecurity, surprise
Young adult (18-24)
At first wonderful and nurturing, then dark
“I love you… I know”
Pet awake. His hands were always cold. Always with that same cologne.
Couch choking exposure- almost like astral projection experience
Conditioned for submission: waiting in bed for him nightly
Tied up bondage experience (bed)
“lucrative opportunity back home, with a pair of twins” break up
Cheated: only oral, guilt, asked him to leave
He came back and I never told him- guilt
The forever mistake
Unaccepted, after year, still not girlfriend
Insecurity, low self esteem, lonely, but lots of sex
Phone interrogation – felt cornered and scared
In person interrogation – Choked
Cried in street when he drove away, friend carried me inside and tried to take advantage of me as I cried. I no longer trusted him. He was my closest friend.
Made friends with a writer
Edited for him. Became support and encouragement. A friend I still talk to today. Still talk to him years later. Helped him through mental illness and substance abuse.
Time passed and he returned, “willing to work this out”
“what would you do for the one you love?”
“show me how sorry you are”
The more you bleed, the sorrier I know you are
Afraid. Was my failure. Scared of him. Abortion. Friend’s mom was a nurse. She helped me.
Arguments (shoves, choking, then punches to stop my talking, my ribs shift now: always wonder if it was from him)
submission conditioning (only kind then)
sexual submission conditioning (was it the “r” word?)
fought but eventually gave in
forced substance use (morphine-I’m afraid of needles, alcohol, and ecstasy)
guilt: constantly reliving infidelity, constantly explaining
had me kill my pets-lack of companionship, test “if you love them more than me…”
Always felt like I had to protect him/his image from being associated. My instinct to care.
Rebelled: hurt: goal was to break me
Broke my wrist- crushed it
Bed beating (handcuffed and welts)
handcuffed to bed
chose my grandmother’s silver studded belt from mexico
beat me until I screamed
I thought at first it was going to be another bondage session until he didn’t stop
I became scared and riddled with pain
I begged him to stop he choked me and told me I don’t tell him when he stops
I felt dizzy and afraid and the pain was biting
no place was sacred
he beat me mainly on the back and buttocks but then the legs, the feet, and the face. everything stung
I felt like I might faint
he told me if I fainted, he would just beat me harder to wake me up.
I stayed awake, but only by force and through fear
He took a break and uncuffed me.
he sat down and appeared sad.
Then stood again and cuffed me. I made fists and the cuffs stayed loose
He beat me again and I took it. I was so conditioned, that I took it even when I could have gotten away
When he sat back down, shaking his head and upset, I took my hand out and crawled to him, in pain. He beat me as I crawled away from him and handcuffed me again to the bed.
I was in so much pain that I was convulsing and couldn’t breathe.
As he finished, he shoved a blade inside me and had the point rest against my cervix. He told me if I told, he’d push it through the cervix.
He uncuffed me and left.
I took a shower and the welts split and became bloody in the water.
First warning sign to me it was abuse (small part in my brain) when I made excuses for the bruises. I actually said I fucking fell down the stairs. My mother believed me. She never believed he was abusing me. When she saw later bruises, she thought I was doing it to myself.
Friend’s birthday party: planned to go
He told me “you’re only going so you can whore yourself out”
Planned to go anyways
Came and drove nails into my legs (thighs/above my knees) so I couldn’t walk
Nails driven in by his hand with the heel of one of my shoes
“if you can walk now, you can go.”
“if you feel so bad, just kill yourself”
Finally gave up: told him goodbye
Bought 5 bottle of sleeping pills
He came over that night
Took one bottle
Talked to him
He suggested I take more
Made me write a suicide note
Convinced me to take two more bottles of pills, suggested I slit my wrists too
I blacked out
Woke up the next day hallucinating
Hallucinated about him and about my little sister (two separate things)
He forced me to live: I wasn’t even allowed to die
Walked back and forth through the carpet in my room feeling something wet, but not aware enough to know it was my own vomit. Found it later with the little blue sleeping pills in it.
Depression, helpless, hopeless, will-less
The abuse worsens
Mostly only addressed as whore
Convinced me to carve the word into my torso
Convinced I was still cheating/nothing would keep me from it. Convinced I would perform oral/have sex
Convinced me to cut at my tongue, gums, and inside of my lips: Only way I wouldn’t according to him.
Text message from him that night asking if I was alone and to come out to the guest bedroom
I get dressed and come out, thinking something is wrong.
I get out of my room and head for the guestroom.
He comes out of the shadows of the bathroom, drunk, covered in blood spatter, and holds a knife to my throat. I can’t react. I just shake and look stunned at him. He releases me. I clean up the blood, spattered in micro droplets over his white shirt.
I have nightmares for the next week about walking out to the next bedroom and being attacked or corpses
Demands that I find him girls to sleep with to “get even”
Had to convince women to sleep with him and pretend I was okay with it
He was always kinder to me before each one, appearance that it was a hardship he went through for us. There never was an “us.”
He tells them what I did, insults me in front of them and sometimes while he fucks them
I’m hurt if I seem anything but positive
He sleeps with my best girlfriend in my bed and records it for me to find
I forgive him, thinking I did it first, even if I didn’t go “all the way”
Comes over another night, brings a friend of mine over (same one who tried to take advantage of me)
I tell him privately of his attempts: “well I guess he figured he’d try his hand at you since you’re a whore.”
Abuses me in front of him: he doesn’t help.
No friends, no hope
I go out of town with family for the holiday with bruises on my body and cuts opening on my legs
He brings a girl over to have sex
Somehow, something broke in me and I became true to my irish heritage, or at least that is the rationalization I give. I got angry. I told him to leave my key and never come back. I told him I was done. Straw that finally broke the camel’s back.
Weekend after thanksgiving
I take my shower
I put on a robe and answer it
Its him. I thought he was returning the key, so I let him in.
Went to kitchen, took kitchen shears
Something felt wrong, I backed away and tried to run upstairs to my phone to call for help
He chased me down
I made it to my doorway
He held me down
Opened my robe, leaving my chest bare
Pinned me with his knees and weight
Cut at my chest
Cut off my areola and nipple of my left breast: I felt him cut through the visceral layer. Felt it vibrating in my teeth
I don’t remember screaming. Why didn’t I scream? I stopped fighting. I don’t remember the pain. Thank you, shock.
He sat down on me when I stopped fighting and fell in and out of blacking out
He cut off the other one
I felt him grow aroused
I watched him kneel and unzip his pants, then mound my breasts together to fuck the cleavage. Then he decided to penetrate the hole in my right breast after fingering it first.
Felt him shudder as he withdrew.
He stood and took the pieces with him back downstairs. I heard clanking.
He returned with a dish, knife, fork, vodka, and the pieces of me. Sat in my great grandmother’s chair. Same chair he sat in for oral sex. Same chair he watched me sleep in. Same one he sat in, convincing me to take more pills.
Silence in the house, not even echoes: except for the sound of the knife and fork on the plate
I watched him cut the piece of me apart on the plate, floating in vodka
He stared at me as he pierced the cut piece of me with his fork, heard his breath as he inhaled and placed the piece of me in his mouth and chewed silently. Just staring at me laying on the floor bleeding.
He cut a second piece and pierced it with the knife. He leaned down to me and put it in my mouth.
He told me to chew and swallow
I chewed and swallowed.
My meat tasted sweet and coppery
That’s the last memory before I faded
I woke up hours later. I woke feeling cold, wet, and sticky.
I was sore when I tried to sit up. I looked down and saw pieces of me sticking out of my chest from the holes.
I felt a roll of shock. Like my body was somersaulting
Dizzy, I rolled onto my side and then to my hands and knees. I stood and went to look at myself in the shower. Blood ran down the sides of my body and my body stuck at the back to my robe from blood. I had to peel it away, growing paler with each movement.
I remember only desiring to close it up and cover it up. I went to the garage and found fishing line and a sewing needle. I sterilized both in the vodka that had been left upstairs… left by him. The same vodka he used to flavor my meat. I grabbed the sheers that were left in my room. The shears he used. I brought it all back to the bathroom.
I poured my contact saline solution on my chest. I watched in the mirror. I couldn’t feel my hands. I felt like it was someone else.
I pushed the bits of me that stuck out of the holes back in. It wouldn’t all go back in. I cut off extra pieces of my insides/breast make up in order to be able to close up the holes. I sewed myself up with the sewing needle and fishing line. It worked. I took a shower. The blood flaked off and melted off in the shower.
I added pads over my chest sutures and placed the bra on. Compression, yay.
I went about my day
That was the last I saw of him
Never love someone more than they love you.
They healed extremely slowly because of the lack of tissue and constant pulling out of stitches. I had to keep redoing it.
The scars took about three months to really heal
They healed and the last scab was healed over by my trip.
Told mom about my chest scars. She argued with me. Said I did it to myself (she knew I was a cutter). She liked my ex, thought he was good for me because I was no longer rebellious since him.
Italy march 2009
My escape/recovery time
Venice, Florence, assisi, pompei, Sorrento, pisa, and rome.
Confessed my past to a priest
hid in a bottle
drank with monks
Vivaldi concert: communion from pope
Australian army boy: rebound
Drunk night with girl with me on trip
Confessed to her my scars: only girl I ever showed them too. I was drunk.
New beginning to come back to.
Blue eyes remind me of my abuse. His eyes staring at me while he ate me. Didn’t date someone with blue eyes for years.
6 mo in reaction
Every anniversary of my scars still affects me
Multiple sexual partners
department of mental health volunteer: confided in supervisor
sexual encounter where I was turned down after seeing my scars
loss of confidence further. Felt like a shadow or just not seen. Not important. Not worth paying attention to.
Was offered help. Supervisor suggested I contact an abuse help group. I did, shakily. Safety in telling behind a screen. They offered to fund a reconstruction surgery. I thought I was stuck. Unable to be helped. Alone. I went to the doctor, since my scars looked like scars from a partial double mastectomy. He told me he could help. I cried. All that pain, I could deal with. Blood, abuse, etc… but someone give me kindness and, what the fuck is wrong with me? I did the surgery. It helped minimally. Added a little dimension.
Bones in my wrist shift, so switched from high impact work out to lower impact. Switched from lifting and martial arts and such to dance.
Ballroom class August 2009
Signed up for class offered through my university. Learned frame (kept at a distance): functional touch with partner. Felt so awkward: I felt like I was terrible. There was a guy in the class I was comfortable with. He was unassuming. I wasn’t foolish enough to think that all men were abusers, I was too aware for that. Teacher suggested that I could to extra credit and go to an event in the area. He suggested swing dancing. It was a lesson and dance for $3, and the dancer I knew was a swing dancer, so I would know someone there. My first dance was from a tall, skinny, smiling guy who reminded me of a terrier when you ask if he wants to go for a walk. “dance?! Wanna dance? Dance?!!” I went to a lesson, and then another, and another. I went to my first live band after open connection (only through the hands and shoulders). I enjoyed listening to the band. And I was asked to dance by a guy. I agreed; he seemed harmless. We danced and then he pulled me into close embrace. I was shocked and froze. This was the closest I had been to a man. My first instinct was to tense up. I was conditioned to think that being close to a man was to expect pain. There was no pain, just rhythm. I went along for the ride. I was too stubborn to admit something was wrong or to give away that I was… affected. I felt emotionally and close to tears. That was the moment I fell in love with dance. Italy was my escape and dance was my first step to recovery.
1 yr anniversary
Matthew May 2010
Dancer in the group. Cute. Sweet smile. When he asked me to dance, he had that smile. His dancing was sweet, respectful. I was interested, but I thought he didn’t have an interest. I ignored my own interest in him. I had had my fill of rejection. I talked to him about learning more. He told me about latin dance. He told me about free lessons. I told him about me going to try it. He showed up for support my first time. I didn’t know anyone there. We ended up getting kicked out because it was a private lesson. Turns out he left his own get together to see me at it. He invited me back and I joined him. I ended up making friends, spending time with him, learning how to make a long island iced tea and getting him drunk.
Drunk Matt: Japashcans, fucking Russians, fuck schrod. Cat, Mario song, “so you wanna go out for brownies sometime?”, teach physics drunk, throw up in bathroom, lock himself in bathroom, come out throw up on him, I clean him up and take off his shirt w vomit, force feed him water and bread, he throws up down my dress, have to fight him off from taking my phone (hold him back by holding phone away with one hand, holding the other hand back with my other one, and holding his other hand in place with my teeth), We fall asleep side by side on the couch. I wake up and leave. I get a text from him later asking what happened (woke up with bite marks on his wrist, vomit on his shirt and his pants unzipped.) I explained, he offered dinner to apologize.
We kept going on dates. First kiss cuddled up on couch. First kiss that meant something to me in years.
My confession to him about my scars
Dance exchanges: first exposure to blues 6 mo in. True therapy
Made life friends with common love of dance. Blake, Olga, Shanley, Soo, Val, Laura, Jim, Mojo, etc
Yet another relationship that I’m never called a girlfriend for.
Excused it away as how we weren’t sure if it would last, so why become public just for it to fail. Then we realize it’s a year later. At that point, why bother? Trusted we were exclusive, but didn’t feel secure….again. Restless and unhappy.
Long distance relationship with dancer, Ryan.
Grandfather got sicker
I made plans to move closer to him
loaded up my grandfather’s truck (he let me borrow it for the move)
transferred work down to Jacksonville, florida
Broke up with Ryan.
He wasn’t stimulating… too simple
dated around and made possible connections.
Hard to connect to people.
Didn’t feel emotionally connected.
Sexual connections as substitute for emotional connection – realized
Grandfather passed away
Change in priorities
wanted children (ex took away the chance for me to feed my own children)
Anthony was a contract soldier marine friend of mine. Started talking to him and started to date seriously. Went for a deployment. A friend brought his ashes home.
had military friends here
they’ve since deployed.
They brought a friend by on a night I cooked for them.
He was a Chinese and Cambodian mix named Sambut.
Met a marine
one deployment away from ending his contract.
he offered to become my workout partner.
I needed one.
Worked out a couple times.
He asked me out to dinner.
Our first kiss was after our third date after ice skating and working out and at a hookah bar.
It was a soft kiss.
That was the only physically soft thing about sam.
He informed me that he would be returning to LA after this last tour.
We fizzled out
Fling with dom
When he showed less dominance, he fizzled out.
Blue eyes. Loved a man again with blue eyes with sunbursts in them. Central Sectoral heterochromia
Asked me out after talking. We went to have a drink. Fireball funny. He was sweet, considerate, generous, open, kind, very disarming. He asked me back to his place. The bribe of a cat, game of thrones, and more alcohol was too much to resist. I went. We kissed. That kiss led to about a two hour make out and I felt comfortable with him. I gave in. Had sex the first night and it didn’t feel unfamiliar. Horrified, I left that night and assumed I would never hear from him again. I heard from him the next day. The next few weeks we had more dates, more sex… more sex, and more dates. We weren’t official, but I had no interest in anyone else. I blew off other offers. My coworker, AJ, called us out on dating before I admitted it. I was too afraid to consider it a relationship, having the past I did and the noncommittal history. Three months in, he asked if we could be official and later cemented the status change with bribing me with a kitten. Wash. An orange and too smart for his own good tabby who would later become a maybe 5 lbs alpha to a 17 pound fat ass derpy but affection cat. He lost his job and I became moral support through his struggle in the search for a new one. I began to argue with myself about my feelings for him. Denying it was love. It became an all consuming thought. He moved into a new apartment with a new roommate and he got drunk at his housewarming party. We went into the bedroom to make out a little and to get something, I forget what. Our conversation went as such “Now, I’ve been wanting to say something to you for a while.” “Oh?” “Do I have to say it first? Okay. I lo-“ “-oh look, here’s more alcohol. Here’s another kiss. Let’s get back out to the party.” I didn’t want him to say it drunk. It might mean less. A few months later, sober, and he hadn’t said it. I held back and fought saying those words, over and over again. Afraid that he didn’t. Afraid that the only reason he almost did before was because he was drunk.
Gets job offer
“I love you” coffee mug.
Congrats on the new job gift: “Oh, it’s a mug, and it has words. That’s so sweet. It’s—really? Really? That’s how you tell me?”
I wrote it first, I made him say it first.
6 month obliviousness: key
Drunken friend’s party: Hey, you’re awesome. I love you. You know what else is awesome? Three ways. You’re friend is pretty hot. You don’t need to worry about me leaving you for her because I would never ever ever leave you. I would stay with you…foreeeeverrr.
Visit family for Christmas
Asked me to move in with him: agreed
Apparently 31 looks very different than 30. Got drunk. Asked if his friend’s fiance’s ring was a big enough carat. Tried to sing “it’s a nice day for a white wedding” to me. Started thinking that every song was by the band Journey. Took him home. Tried to discuss rings in the car. “Oh, maybe we should talk about marriage after you actually have a ring” “Oh, I can get a ring” (sounded almost like a threat. Ha). Made him take a shower, sat on the floor of the shower, was too drunk to stand well. I got in and washed his hair. He had a drunken happy look on his face. The look on his face said “well, while I’m down here….” He tried to propose and fell over, nearly taking the shower curtain with him. Pillow talk: types of rings.
Devin’s drunk progression: I love you. Three ways are awesome. Is that Journey playing? Marry me. Sometimes not in that order
Mine and Devin’s relationship: Comfortable, familiar, laughter, nerdy, contagious, in love.
Devin text, I received it in the hallway at around 2 am at a dance exchange in charleston: I thought I knew what love was. What I knew before wasn’t true. I thought there wasn’t a difference between love and in love. I’m in love with you.
In love: like an infinite number of stairs in darkness and you’re holding a limited flashlight. Stair lead into a pool. With every step, you feel the water more. With every step, you feel the weight. It’s comforting and warm. Only a small view of what is ahead. You think you’ve reached the bottom, that that is what love is. And then he does something that makes me take another step deeper, falling more in love. With every step, the weight becomes heavier, crushing, with the weight of the amount of love, but it’s comforting and warm and familiar.
Only time close to a fight/was more hurt: tried open relationship since I wasn’t into threesome
We moved in in august
We want kids
I want to spend the rest of my life with him
Stressed, suicide attempt (black lives matter bullshit. I wasn’t thinking race when I saved him) held his hand, it was limp, it conveyed his hopelessness at what his life was to him and what his life was by the voices that told him to kill himself. The good points make it worth it. Feel like my job makes my issues more acute. Brings them forward since I have to talk about issues in group therapy for them.
Even years later, I still have nightmares. Tonight is the anniversary of my scars and I’m afraid to go to sleep. Afraid of how vivid they are. Most of the time my nightmares are of being chased down, held down. That fear that is so potent that that I’m paralyzed. Years later, I’m angry that I was beaten and I fucking crawled to him. I’m angry that I was strong enough to take care of my family, but I was broken by him. I’m angry that I didn’t leave soon enough. I’m angry that even with my degrees, my stubborn will, my supportive friends, my healing hobbies, and after multiple relationships, I am still affected. It’s technically ptsd and I hate to burden Devin with it since I know how terrible that feeling of helplessness can be. I’m angry that even when I know what happened, that he conditioned me, that it wasn’t me, but that he was a sociopathic narcissist, after years, it still has a hold on me. I’m afraid it won’t go away. I’m hoping to purge here. I bottle it up.
I’m now the type of person that after experiencing this much pain, that I am an adaptor and can survive any storm. But show me kindness, and that cuts me. The exception being tonight where I cried because I was afraid to go to sleep because of the nightmares I might have. It’s now 3am.
All I can do is tell myself that it’s over. If he comes near me again, I can shoot him. Maybe if I shot him in my dreams it would make it all go away.
Confusion about still enjoying bdsm/rough sex. Warped brain where had it for so many years that pleasure centers in brain switched to like it or predisposition towards liking it before abuse? Why ok with it even after associations?
My coworker asked about me wanting to marry him. I said I did but that a wedding and marriage to me was more about the tax break and the symbolism/gesture we make to each other. I’m already spending my life with the man I love. That doesn’t start with marriage.
All I can do is smile and be in love and grin broader knowing that I’m spending my life with the man I love.