My bags packed the backseat of my friend's car and right before we proceeded to pull off sirens stopped us in our tracks.
My EX called the police on me.
I still remember the day I received a follow-up call. “Ma’am do you have a safe space to speak?” and the officer proceeded to ask if I wanted to seek help for domestic violence. They thought I went back to him and wanted to offer a list of contacts that could offer support.
Officer..... I moved out that night. Remember?
She took a deep sigh and then she said “I knew you were all packed up. You were honest about the encounter and I know I saw you drive off”.
"Ma’am my black ex-boyfriend called the police on me. He tried to take away my freedom. I can never go back".
I thanked her for the follow-up and hung up.
I bawled. Tears soaked my T-shirt. I felt proud to vocalize that him and I both had not made any contact. However, her call was extremely triggering. I had put the events of that night in the back of my head and buried it so deeply. It was the only way I could forgive him. It was the only way I could push forward and it was the only way to reach some level of understanding.
Before that incident my ex and I were in a really bad space. Torn between putting in the energy to make things work and moving on in hopes for the better. This was a constant battle and by the time I finally worked up the nerve to pack all of my things fear would consume me. We were both in this uncomfortable stage with the relationship but, for me, I was afraid of looking like a failure. I worked so hard to get this man to appreciate me and yet no matter what I did he just didn’t want it.
Breakups are sometimes hard and you start to reflect on the time you put into them. I needed to feel empowered and so I wanted to exit the apartment on my own terms. I wanted to leave strong and level-headed with a sense of pride. Unfortunately, that did not happen.
The day of my dramatic exit plan I spent that time packing the rest of my stuff and reaching out to friends for comfort. At this point him and I were completely done and I was ready to make my dramatic exit. I rewrote notes I wanted him to find on the kitchen counter.
The plan was for him to come home and I would be gone. But, then packing released so many emotions and so I booked a Uber to go to my local bar. I shoved an edible chocolate bar in my mouth, chugged back a few shots, and called my best friend. She kept reinforcing that if I wasn’t sure about leaving that I should discuss it with him.
I knew it was just nerves and I often regret starting a relationship with him because he is a better friend. I mourned that friendship.
4 shots in and half an edible later I came stumbling in. I needed liquid courage but, I’ll admit I over did it.
Yet! I was aware of my surroundings and ready to exit. Unfortunately, he was now home. My friend lived about an hour away and so it was this awkward waiting period. He assumed I was trying to stay and kept blocking me from getting my things at the same time.
Words exchanged while he proceeded to bring my stuff into the hallway and I began to get emotional. I begged him to stop touching my stuff and expressed my friend was definitely on her way. His face turned cold as he mumbled things under his breath. Enraged as I tried to calm him down with reassurance. I even showed him the text that read "10 mins away"
He then pulled out his phone. My EX called the police on me.
He told them I was a violent drunk, high on weed, I attacked him, and that I wouldn’t leave his house.
I couldn’t fathom how a black man, who was not being assaulted, would call the police on a black woman. Although, done with the relationship that situation made me realize I should have left a long time ago.
Not long after he hung up my friend was at my front door. We packed up her car and tried to drive off. Police sirens filled the air and kept getting closer and closer. The police pulled up behind us and asked me my name.
I couldn’t believe it.
The police questioned me and I was honest about the encounter. "Yes officer. I'm drunk". "Yes officer. I ate an edible". "Yes officer. I caused a scene after he called you all and now I'm a crying mess". "No officer. I did not touch that man and as you can see I'm leaving by free will".
My ex came downstairs and told his side of the story. I was free to go.
That night could have went completely different. I spent time after the follow-up call to reflect on the what if’s. What if I was still upstairs and they barged in with guns? What if he lied and told them I had a weapon? What if while packing my stuff in the car instead of asking politely they pointed their guns?
These are life situations that have happened to people of color when dealing with the police.
Please do not call the police on a person of color because you’re irrational and upset.
Instead remove yourself from the situation. Take some space and think about the consequences your actions could face.
My breakup was hard but, it wasn't worth taking my freedom away.