Sunday, November 11, 2012

IV

         A couple weeks after we were evicted from Mark's apartment, things started looking up (a matter of perspective in this situation): I had applied for food stamps and had received quite a bit, thanks to my unemployed/homeless status. Although I was happy I'd actually get to eat meals away from the mission or any other charitable function, I was embarrassed to be actually receiving federal aid for the first time in my life. For Theo, this was a normal part of life, and in his opinion, we were entitled to every penny of it.
      
         While waiting to apply for my food stamps, we tried calling my bank one more time. This time, we were successful in getting my money--and $400 of my parents money. I was desperate, even though I did feel a hint of remorse for what I'd done. I hid the remorse from Theo, who was gleeful that we were finally getting back what he thought my parents had stolen from us. The money we practically stole from my parents went to a new apartment and a few other things that Theo wanted. I began to notice throughout the relationship that he was a compulsive spender: if he liked it and had the money, it was his. I learned quickly not to press the matter, however, as he would justify his spending with trying to make me happy or start an argument which undoubtedly would leave me in tears.
       
         The next apartment we found was in a low-income complex on the other side of town. The application process was fairly easy and for once during the relationship, Theo finally seemed at ease and happy. This was not to say I wasn't still held to his expectations of a loyal companion: I still could not look or speak to anyone without his permission, and even holding eye-to-eye contact with anyone for too long, even with permission, was pushing my luck. Our roommate, Tina, was a small exception to his rule. She met us in a Jack-in-the-Box parking lot on the left side of a wooded area where we had pitched our tent. I'm surprised now that even with this information, she didn't immediately turn us down and look for another roommate. Tina and Theo talked for a moment, and to my surprise, he actually left me alone in the car with her while he packed up the tent. In the back of my mind as I sat in the car, I knew I was in for an interrogation later. He would want to know if I had any "lesbian" contact with her, and though I'd tell him the truth and say "no", he'd persist in his accusations of my infidelity.
    
       Tina was studying in the U.S. from out of the country and didn't know a lot of people. She kept to herself and was studious, but friendly. She drove us to the apartment and showed us our room, and welcomed us to use her dishes until we could build a collection of our own. I was relieved we wouldn't have to sleep on the streets any more. While we unpacked, Tina offered to let us use her air mattress as we were pretty much broke and couldn't afford a bed at the time being. Theo took it, promising to replace it if anything happened. The first week went without incident, but then she left for a week and a half, telling us she'd only be gone the weekend. After four days we began to be concerned for her and, with no way to contact her, could only wait.

      Although I was happy not to be living in a tent any longer, having a room (and a mattress) meant one more thing for me. I would have to suffer through Theo's violent sexual acts. There was never a day where I was not sore or aching from having to endure intercourse with him. Because he didn't want his back getting sore, he made me get on my hands and forearms to penetrate me. It wasn't the most comfortable position by itself, but with the addition of Theo's hips ramming into me for minutes on end, it was close to unbearable. Trying to shift would only frustrate or anger him. Despite my soreness, I would be forced to stay on my arms and knees until he relieved his sex drive for the time being. Not only would I have to be available to him at any time during the day, he would often wake multiple times during the night. I would pretend sleep, closing my eyes and listening to him shift around on the mattress until he was on top of me, pulling down my pants. I "woke" when I felt his penis slide over my butt as he tried to have anal sex with me, a rabid fantasy of his, one he'd only mentioned after we'd arrived in Washington. Even though I'd refused him when conscious, he knew I was vulnerable, and therefore unable to refuse while unconscious. While Tina was in the house, not a common occurrence, he acted more reserved, but with Tina gone, he took every chance he had to violate me.

      When Tina came back, she immediately raised concerns that we were not clean enough for her, and before leaving for work the next morning, she covered the bathroom in Comet bleach and left a note saying that if we didn't clean it, she would clean it, "like always". Though it annoyed me, I didn't take it as seriously as Theo, who decided to confront her about it almost as soon as she walked in the door. His combative nature, combined a threatening appearance and his lecturing, must have shaken Tina badly, because she refused to renew our month-to-month lease (pro-rated that month as we'd moved in in the middle of the month) and wanted us out immediately. The next day she informed us that she wanted us gone by the time she got back from work. Again, packing up my things, I was upset as I knew we'd be living in a tent until Theo decided he wanted to move into another apartment, but again, he offered little consolation. I simply had to toughen up and dry my tears; he didn't want to look like the bad guy. After that, the relationship began to deteriorate even further.

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