The Time I Got Called The “C” Word

Since I began blogging last March I have met a lot of wonderful people.  Talented and versatile writers posting about their experiences.

 Unfortunately, a recurring theme seems to be accounts of relationships with psychopath partners who should be behind bars.  

Some very scary individuals like blogger Aussa’s psychotic “ass-hat of an ex” we would all like to “make disappear”.  Or Molly’s “Cocaine Boy” who stalked her and got her fired.

Some accounts are told with humor while others with a very serious and dire tone.  Regardless of how they are told, the common theme is:


These posts have reminded me of an experience I had many years ago.

I had broken up with my boyfriend and wanted to date other guys.  After all, working downtown Boston was the prime place to meet new people. I lived at home (with my parents) about 45 minutes away by train from downtown and commuted every day.

I met him at my train stop.  He lived in the same town and was a fellow commuter.  He looked handsome in a suit even though he was not really my type.  He was a bit shy yet had a cockiness about him.

He sat next to me on the train and we began to learn about each other.  He also lived at home and worked in securities for a Boston firm.  A graduate of Babson College with a business degree, living with his mother after his parents divorced. 

There was something about him.  Completely opposite of my ex boyfriend.  This guy seemed mysterious and had a “bad-boy” appeal to him that intrigued me.  He drove a sports car, smoked pot and was edgy.

Before agreeing to date him, I warned him that I had recently broken up with my boyfriend and that I did not want anything serious.  

Michael’s obsession with me did not take long to surface.  At a Boston nightclub he almost got into a fight with a guy who commented on my braces (which I had gotten after college.) He had also began telling me what outfits he liked on me and which ones I should not wear.

One day while dropping me off at my house after our date, I noticed that my ex’s car was parked in front of my house.  My ex had made it clear that he was not going to give up on us and continued to call me and visit while I dated Michael.  I still loved  him but after our six-year relationship, I was excited to meet other guys.

Michael, after I told him that my boyfriend was in the driveway, immediately got out of the car and was ready to “smash my ex boyfriend’s head in” .  I somehow managed to stop him and no one got hurt.  

For reasons I still don’t understand, I continued to go out with Michael.  I was attracted to the thrill and challenge of being with Michael.   Regardless of the fact that he tried to force me to do drugs with him while at his mother’s home,  he drove recklessly wherever we went and needed to know where I was at all times.

A mutual friend who attended Babson with Michael warned me that he was bad news. 

I knew better.  I was an educated young woman.  I was self assured and had a healthy self esteem. Why did I stay with him?

Then, he asked me to marry him.

This scared me more than anything.  It was such a desperate attempt at “having me” to himself and controlling my every move.  I finally woke up.  I knew I had to break it off with Michael ASAP.

After telling him we needed to talk, he picked me up in his car and we headed to a restaurant.  While in the car I began to explain to him that me dating him was a mistake and that I thought it was best to end it.

As I turned to look at him I could see his face tensing up.  His foot pounded the gas pedal and he began yelling at me.  With burning fury in his eyes, he said it.  He called me that 4 letter “C” word that no woman ever wants to hear.

He then leaned over me and opened the passenger door and demanded I get out of the car while continuing to drive erratically and calling me names.

I begged him to stop.  We were near my cousin’s house and I ordered him to drop me off at her house.  It was as if he had suddenly woken up from a trance and had no idea what had happened.  He continued driving, calmly this time and dropped me off at my cousin’s house.  

Had this just happened to me?  What if he hadn’t settled down?

Michael is now dead.  

I found out by google searching him one day.  It doesn’t say how he died but I can only imagine.  He had tried contacting me and my parents after I had broken it off to find out where I was and where I lived.

This was 26 years ago but I remember it like it was yesterday.  I know I am one of the lucky ones who was able to escape unharmed.  I know many victims have endured way more than what happened to me.

There is no excusing this abuse and violence.  As a society we have a huge problem in our hands that needs to be better addressed.

But what continues to disturb me is why I didn’t listen my internal alarms as well as external warnings.  Yes I was young, but I knew better.

Why against our better judgement do we sometimes still choose to play with fire?

*Here is an interesting article about “bad boys”.

39 thoughts on “The Time I Got Called The “C” Word

  1. *sigh* Apologies for the tangential rant, but… I long for the day when abuse is simply considered abuse. It irks me that there is a double standard concerning abuse by women towards men. It also irks me when people take that and use it to marginalize or belittle abuse by men towards women. Abuse is abuse. I suffered abuse by my mother. By my father. By my teachers, male and female. By peers– bullying, and the like. It’s wrong and intolerable.

    I am grateful for my wife. She has helped me overcome some of the horrors of my past. She has suffered abuse, too: We have cried many tears for each other. The scars of abuse never fully go away, although they can be faded with care, and time.

    The C-word is ugly. When I had the swear talk with our daughter, although I said I preferred that she use most vulgar words in their proper context and not in polite company (she chooses not to swear at all), I did say that I never wanted to ever hear her use that word. My son is not able to understand these things yet (he’s 6), but when he can, I’ll say the same thing– I don’t want him ever to use that word.


  2. There is an incredible book about trusting your instincts. It’s called ‘The Gift of Fear’ by Gavin de Becker. I think it should be required reading for every woman. I have bought 5 or 6 copies for female friends and relatives.


  3. I have never been attracted to that “bad boy” type. But abusers come in all different types of packages, don’t they? I’ve dated the nerdy abuser, the biker abuser, the athletic abuser, the sensitive new age abuser. I could go on. I am glad you didn’t stay for long enough for something truly terrible to happen. And that you found someone. I’m still looking.


    1. Hello and Welcome! That is so true about “them” coming in all types of packages. The crazy thing is that I had a good guy right there waiting for me but at the time I chose the bad guy. Thank Goodness the good guy waited for me to come to my senses. My mother re-married (after my father passed away) at the age of 70 to another wonderful man, so keep looking and don’t give up. 🙂


  4. Whoa, you had a narrow escape. When I stop to consider all the things that COULD have turned out terribly, I am thankful and at the same time clueless as to how we find our way out of some situations. Must be an angel on the shoulder.


  5. So glad you got away from him and safely! I too, some time ago now, had a relationship with a man who was psychologically abusive. It took me a long time to let go. It was the excitement and passion that attracted me in the beginning and later, after a few rounds I finally let go of what could never be. The lesson learned was crucial. It wasn’t so much about who he was but who I am and what I will and will not accept when it comes to relationships and respect. Guess I needed the lesson. Good post!


  6. Dude. Yes. As chicks we have that internal voice that keeps telling us ‘dude…dude…DUDE!’ But for some reason no matter how smart we are we always stay longer than we should. Glad you got out in time.


  7. Ay Caramba! That’s definitely a story for the “no bueno” department. See? I’m trying to practice my Spanglish just for you. But seriously. I’m glad you woke up in time to save yourself and that you didn’t get hurt, only frightened. That story could have ended so very differently.


  8. Gahhhd. I’m so glad you got out of that. It’s so true how you get taken in regardless of how smart you are. Magic show. But not the cute kind with a rabbit in a hat. Oy vey.


  9. Aiy yai yai. So scary. I’m glad that him dropping you at your cousin’s house was the end of it. I absolutely know your feeling of “I know better than this” because I kept thinking that too. I don’t know how they do it, it’s like watching a magic show and when it’s all over you still don’t understand what was really going on.


  10. I’m so happy you ditched him and ended up with the marvelous, Mr. Brickhouse! I don’t know what it is about the “Bad Boy” but I was attracted to that type during my college years. Thankfully none were ever abusive, they just thought they were extra cool and liked to break the rules. My mother taught me to never let a man lay a hand on me, but he did, hit him back. Mother always knows best!


  11. Whew…

    I’m so glad you were able to walk away from that when it was still just a learning experience about people and, other than a very scary moment in the car, you were relatively unharmed.

    While you may wonder what was wrong with you for staying with him, the real question is what was wrong with him. All you can do is hope that, in the future he managed to get help for his issues and stopped treating the people in his life like this.


  12. Wow that’s some story. You are so right. We do have those internal alarms but when we are young there is just something sexy and appealing about the bad boy. Thank goodness you were spared. I really feel for anyone in an abusive relationship. It’s almost like prison and we weren’t meant to live in a cage.


  13. Domestic violence is all about power and control – and it starts out exactly like you described. I’m glad you got out while you could. I think a lot of us women don’t see it coming and even after it starts, we tend to think we can “fix” it. We can’t. Best thing to do is to get out – and be sure that your friends and family know what is going on instead of hiding it. We want to hide it because we think it will reflect on us – it shouldn’t. It is about the abusers control issues.


  14. Interesting post and a great link. I agree with everything both you and the psychologist said. I’ve been lucky, I never went with a bad boy. Ever, but three of my sisters did, and one needed surgery to fix her broken jaw. And they were lucky too. They all got out in time and none of the boys ever stalked them.


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