True stories - A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
Two weeks into freshman year we had a student transfer into our biology class. The teacher had us make nametags for our desks to help everyone learn our names. That was how I learned Kyle’s.
As the week continued, I would see him glance my way and smile. I always smiled back just to be friendly.
After a couple of weeks of hanging out between classes, he asked me to be his girlfriend. With complete joy, I said yes. A couple of months went by and we became inseparable. I learned a lot about him and who he was as a person... or at least, who I thought he was.
I eventually learned that he came from a violent and abusive background. His father drank a lot and would beat up his mother. He had been watching this since he was a child. Once his parents divorced and his father moved out, his siblings became violent towards him. He constantly had to defend himself. At the time, I thought nothing of it. I felt sorry for him.
After about six months, our relationship began to change. We started to argue a lot over minor things and he became very jealous.
At school, he tried to control who I talked to and hung around with. Sometimes he would ask me to meet him in the hallways and if he was talking to one of his friends he would introduce us. Then, when his friends saw me in the hallways, they would stop me to say hello, but once Kyle started seeing this, he got mad and accused me of trying to “steal” his friends. He would always say in a stern voice, “Those are my friends, not yours.”
He insisted on walking me to class every day to ensure that I didn’t speak to anyone he didn’t like or anyone I wasn’t supposed to.
During lunch he would watch me like a hawk just to see which guys I would talk to. If I disobeyed him, he would yell at me and make me promise that it would never happen again.
On some of the days we spent lunchtime alone together, we would laugh and joke around. But on other days, he turned into a controlling, jealous monster. He would grab my phone and go through my text messages and phone calls. If he saw any male’s name, he would either throw my books on the ground or tear apart my binder and folders as if he were a five-year-old throwing a temper tantrum. He became so furious one day that he punched a brick wall and broke his knuckles. He blamed me for his injury because he said if I hadn’t done anything wrong, then he wouldn’t have hurt himself.
One day, outside my English class, a school counselor saw Kyle raise his voice and put his hands on me. The counselor saw me struggling to get out of his tight hold, so he called Kyle over and I hurried into the classroom. I later found out that the counselor talked to him about inappropriate behavior. Kyle blamed me for getting him into trouble.
This went on for months. The arguments became more serious and more physical. He would grab my arm and raise his voice, but not loud enough to cause a scene. The more I tried to resist, the tighter his hold on me became. He would leave bruises I tried to cover up and make excuses for. But sophomore year was when things really took a turn for the worse.
On a Friday the thirteenth, Kyle told me before school started that his dad was going to pick him up early in the day, but he would be back in time to spend lunch with me. When lunch started, I met up with him. I could tell that something had upset him. He told me that he and his dad had got into an argument so he was in a bad mood. He accused me of ignoring him and began to yell at me. Since he was sitting down next to me, I turned the other way. I wasn’t in the mood to argue with him. This made him extremely angry so he grabbed me by the face and bit me right on the cheekbone with all his might. I started crying from all the pain and told him to stop, over and over again. When he didn’t, I started hitting him. After a good minute, he finally let go. Some of my friends saw me bawling but thought it was because of an argument. I went three periods without anyone seeing me cry and without noticing the giant welt that was beginning to form on the side of my face.
I had to stay late that day to get a project done, so when my parents came to pick me up from school, it was dark. I didn’t mention what happened earlier that day because I didn’t want Kyle to get into trouble; I was protecting him. My family and I were headed out to eat and I knew once they saw the bruise on my face, they were going to question it. Before they had the chance to notice it, I came up with an excuse to make it seem like a freak accident. My parents knew better than that. I confessed to the terrible fight that had occurred between Kyle and me.
My parents called the police and they soon arrived. They took pictures of the black and purple welt. The policemen told us they were going to visit Kyle’s house and question him about the situation. We were going to pursue charges.
Three months after the incident, Kyle and I went to court. The judge gave him a slap on the wrist. I didn’t feel like justice had been served but there was nothing I could do about it.
After everything that I endured, I had to go to counseling to help cope with the situation and move on from what had happened.
My grades had dropped tremendously after the incident, so to help with that, I switched schools. I needed a fresh start where no one would know my past.
I never once realized that I was a victim of dating violence. It took a really traumatic fight to see it, but after all this time, I’ve finally been able to find the good that came out of the situation. Because of him, I am now a stronger, wiser person.
K. L. E.