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July 23, 2009

When I was 18 years old my boyfriend punched me in the face, breaking my nose and jaw and splitting my right eye open in two places.

Fast forward 15 years and an abusive marriage followed by an even more abusive divorce (that’s another post)… 

Six months ago I received a Facebook message from a high school acquaintance telling me about the EHS Class of ’94 reunion. Delete.

But the wounds had been opened. Then came the unavoidable Facebook inspired shit storm of friend requests from every poor bastard who survived high school in Cheyenne, Wyoming in the mid 1990s. Each notification another slap from the past invoking the pain and torment that were my last high school days; broken bones, stitches, awkward questions from classmates, “Dude, what happened to your face?” The pity stares and whispers from the guilty-by-association crowd. Confirm or ignore? Anxiety or panic? Confirm or ignore? Denial or anger? Confirm or ignore? (Dear Facebook, where’s the button that says “Leave me the fuck alone?”)

So, obviously, I wasn’t going. I’d moved on (in body). I’d graduated from Domestic Violence 101, schooled in such topics as shame, fear and humiliation, and moved on with my life.

But here’s the thing. I don’t think THEY ever did. The fallout from the “incident” was uncomfortable. Raw. Graduation was over and group-denial was an easy option. And I’ve never really forgiven them for their naivete and ignorance. I’ve been back for the holidays and fate has protected me from awkward run-ins with anyone in line at Taco Johns. As far as I know, Abuser still lives there (sorry, one strike rule) and he could walk around the next corner at any time. And as far as I know, he’ll be hitting the reunion. (Crap! Sorry, another bad pun)

Yet, this stupid reunion lingered, reminders rattling my inbox every few weeks.

So a couple of weeks ago I decided– I’m going to my 15-year class reunion.

I’ll look fabulous, wear my success like cheap perfume, show off my handsome husband (he cleans up nicely) and un-demonize the whole scene {picture Father Damien Karras sprinkling holy water, “The power of Christ compels you!”}. And while there’s no excuse for what happened, I’ve given the incident more power than it ever deserved.

I’m off to slay the dragon.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 23, 2009 12:22 pm

    ok, that’s some pretty heavy stuff. Good luck with the reunion. I sheepishly admit not going to my 20th because I was afraid I wouldn’t remember anyone’s name.

  2. Steph permalink
    July 23, 2009 6:57 pm


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