I should have known better than to think things might get resolved or end amicably between us. I’d put too much on the line for what we had to end any other way than with a bang, when I look back now that much is easy to understand. The last few months had been a rollercoaster of emotions and the final two we’d have to endure living together for our notice period weren’t going to be any different.
My temper can certainly be compared to being caught in a storm. You usually know when it’s coming, you can sense the shift in the atmosphere. Perhaps never quite sure if it’s going to be a gentle rumble or ‘end of the world’ hellfire. I was trying, but the frustrations were getting to me.
For starters I knew I was being lied to, I could just feel it. I was never going to get the answers I needed to move on or find any peace and I was trapped inside an apartment where I couldn’t escape those realities. It was even worse when Megan would come home from work and act like nothing in the world was troubling her at all. Every day was like receiving a slap around the face. I didn’t mind spreading the misery.
I had assumed that when Megan delivered the fatal blow to our relationship and offered to give me some space and spend time staying with her friends that it wouldn’t suddenly be a problem if I needed to ask for it. We’d been blowing up at each other often and it wasn’t healthy, days had passed since she’d made the offer. I had hoped it’d make sense to her, the arguing wasn’t going to stop. Not if she couldn’t bring herself to be honest about what was really going on, her absence was all I wanted now. I’d given up on getting answers.
It had looked promising to begin with. When I had arranged to have a couple friends visit she had promised to stay away (it had been planned before the break up and I didn’t cancel the plans) but mid way through their visit and after I had filled them in on the break-up Megan showed up. I couldn’t figure out if she had forgotten about our arrangements or just didn’t care anymore, it certainly got very awkward very quickly.
That night I also noticed how out of touch I was with the life I had been cultivating for myself here in London. I went months without seeing my friends and they had all moved on with their lives and growing closer together in my absence. It’s a natural thing that happens when you’re in that relationship bubble but this hit me hard, I had promised myself I wouldn’t let it happen again yet somehow it had.
It wasn’t long after that experience that I asked Megan one night if she would move out for a few days and stay with her friends. Since she had offered I thought there wouldn’t be a problem, the arguments were getting worse and I thought we were both tired of them. Yet Megan had been resolving on breaking even that promise too.
I can only imagine what her motivations were. I think a lot of it came from resentment. After all we were both paying for the rent on the place and technically speaking she was just as entitled to stay there as I was. I have a feeling that sentiment had been reinforced by her friends and family since we’d officially split. Of course, she wouldn’t have been giving them the full disclosure about why we were over. Especially when I didn’t even know why.
The way I saw it was simple, it was her decision to end things and give up on us. It was also her decision not to give any reason for her sudden change in behaviour, feelings and months of treating me like I didn’t exist. So I felt like I was entitled to the space that she had promised me to get my head around it all. When I asked however it didn’t go well.
Megan refused. Her refusal fuelled my tempestuous streak and we were in for a bumpy night. I shouted, she shouted back. I couldn’t tell you much about what was said. I let all my frustrations out when I’d let fly like that, the hurt over the way I had been treated, the audacity she had to rescind on yet another promise she’d made, all the lies and things I felt she was hiding from me and more.
When Megan shouted it was usually only because I was shouting. She’d try to match my anger with hers. I remember her yelling at me for shouting, what must the neighbours think. I remember her yelling at me over the conversation I’d had with her mother about our break up, I remember levelling that right back at her since all I had done was relay what she’d been saying to me. Megan had begun to blame my temper for all our issues, she’d completely lost sight of the fact that if it wasn’t for the way she’d been treating me she never would have seen this side to me.
When she saw me losing it she’d draw some strange confidence from it, from the way she was getting to me and it would be enough for her to start shifting the blame on me. She really tried to make me think it was all my fault, that I was a monster and that my anger and my temper were the only problem between us. What was crazy was that for weeks, maybe even months I had believed her and I thought I was a monster.
When Megan refused to leave the flat and give me the space I needed, clearly shouting at each other didn’t work so I decided to start packing up her things. I wasn’t exactly precious with her belongings. Things were bagged up hastily and thrown over the balcony to the lower floor in our split-level apartment. That seemed to light a fire under her.
The next thing I knew there was an outraged girl standing over me shouting and screaming at me. I was literally backed into a corner with Megan in front of me shouting and waving her hands in my face as she was agitated with her own rage now. I tried to shut down, this was the complete opposite of the space I had needed. I closed my eyes and I could feel Megan’s spit on my face as she shouted.
Without thinking I grabbed her hands and walked her over to the top of the stairs. Megan was taller than me but I was much stronger, she didn’t have a choice in the matter, I told her to leave again. I probably screamed it at her. When I let her go and backed away she didn’t leave, she got in my face again.
I tried closing my eyes to shut it out it didn’t work. I looked past her into the empty spaces in the flat but she still kept getting in my face. She was blocking my exit to the stairs and I was backed up against the wardrobe in our apartment. Megan was doing this out of spite, because she knew I wanted space and because I had lost it and shouted at her like this many times over the recent weeks. She didn’t take the warnings seriously when I told her to back off.
She looked deranged, she was pulling at her hair and waving her hands in my face. Every time I tried to step around her she’d be there. I tried to relax and let my body slump, to see if maybe she sensed defeat she’d back off. It didn’t work and that’s when I snapped. I’d spent too long feeling backed into a corner with no escape, that after my shoulders slumped and I’d closed my eyes and still she raged on I don’t remember making the decision but I slapped her once around the face.
The shock of the moment had a dramatic effect on both of us. Megan retreated screaming in terror instantly claiming that I had punched her. While I was adamant that she leave, this wasn’t any good for either of us anymore. Things were getting worse each time we argued and I hated this side of me. I was stunned, after Katy all those years ago no one had ever brought this side out of me.
I don’t know how long it took for Megan to calm down but she did and she snatched up a bag, packed some essentials and left. The moment she left I dead-bolted the door so that she wouldn’t be able to return. I retreated to the bedroom and I was so angry with myself, for that moment where I completely lost it and lashed out. I could already see how she’d twist it into more than it had been. I had finally given her what she needed, a reason to paint me as the bad guy in all of this. I didn’t really care so much about what people might think, it didn’t make me feel any better for having reacted the way I did. I had broken a promise I’d made myself a long time ago.
As I was sat up in my bed in the small hours of the morning trying to make sense of what had happened that morning I remember finding the business card I had been given by my boss at work. It quite literally had a life-line on it, a 24 hour support service that was completely confidential. I dialled the number and I finally broke down, I’d like to say the anger left me but it’d be a while before I really found any peace again after all of this. It wouldn’t be until I discovered the truth that I could really start to move on.