CJ and I first met in 6th grade through mutual friends when I quickly became the token girl of an all male circle of friends. Although we never spoke about it at the time, we somehow knew that we had come from similar backgrounds of abuse an neglect. My way of dealing was to be silent to the point of invisibility and CJ dealt with his issues via attention seeking behavior. Loud, obnoxious, attention seeking behavior.
Fast forward 2 decades or so and after 2 failed marriages, several tours of military duty in Afghanistan, and one tumultuous, abusive relationship later, and CJ came to stay at my house for a while. If you want to really mess with someone already of a fragile mental state, send them to Afghanistan to watch the murder of families and children. Needless to say, CJ became my very own wounded warrior project. The first time, he stayed for a month then left then re-entered the abusive relationship he had been trying to leave.
The second time, he stayed for a week, then attempted suicide. I tracked him down and saved his life and for weeks he seemed to be doing better. He got a job, started saving up for his own place, and asked if I would make him a list of chores to help out around the house. Then he just dropped off the face of the planet.
When I texted him to make sure he was feeling alright, he would always reply but would never reveal his location. He went to court for charges his abusive ex has pressed against him and then called me at work to tell me that the court mandated he must talk to his ex. I asked to speak to his lawyer. After CJ’s suicide attempt, I told him he could stay with me on one condition: he must cease contact with his abusive ex because I will no longer tolerate self destructive behavior. CJ refused to allow me to speak with his lawyer. I knew something was not right about the story.
Why would the court mandate he see an ex who had pressed charges against him for all manner of things he hadn’t done? Why would the court mandate that he see an ex who had punched him in the eye, scratched his face, and ripped out chunks of his hair in a fit of rage? I have no doubt he was shouting at her when she chose to assault him, but I am certain he did not retaliate. CJ has always abhorred violence toward women, children, and animals.
I began to suspect he was sneaking off to spend time with his ex. He told me he was at his aunts. If he could stay with his aunt, why had he been living with me? He was sneaking off to see his abusive ex and making excuses so I wouldn’t evict him.
Yesterday he announced that he had gotten back together with his ex. Yesterday, CJ was evicted from my home.