Wednesday, September 10, 2014

All the feels..........................

I haven't talked too terribly much here about my previous life and relationships, because they weren't relevant to my life now......or at least I didn't think that they were.  After reading a blog post done by my friend over at Non-Stop Mom, found here, I was hit with some pretty harsh realities of what I've been stuffing down deep.

A long time ago, in a different space and time, I was married to a man who I really thought was going to be my forever. We dated in high school, went to prom, homecoming, all those important high school things together. After I graduated and started college, he announced that he wanted to think about seeing other people, and gave me my class ring back. I had given it to him to wear around his neck.

We got back together and decided to get married. When I look back, I wasn't happy, but he had my virginity, and that wasn't something I took lightly. We got married, bought a house, and I pretended like everything was okay.

The first time he hit me, was around our first anniversary. I was upset because he had forgotten it completely. I got nothing, other than the back of his hand, because I asked him how he could forget, until 3 days later. Then I got 3 for our first year, one because he was sorry he forgot, and the last because he would never hit me again. So I stayed.

Fast forward 6 months. He convinced me that I wasn't smart enough to get my degree in Respiratory Therapy, so I dropped out of school. I wanted to start a family, I wanted a baby. That's when hit number 2 happened. I was given a black eye, a sprained wrist, and a scratch from hitting the door jam. Three days later, I got roses and a pamphlet for the nursing prerequisites at the closer community college and the promise that he wouldn't hit me again. So I stayed.

I had started working at the nursing home in town, as a CNA, and was not home a lot, so it seemed like things were getting better.  I was going to school full time, working full time, and there was no more baby talk.  We were getting along rather well, or so it seemed.....until I came home late from school because a friend and I had got caught up in the parking lot talking, and I lost track of time.  He was at work, but came home to make sure that I knew I had messed up.  I was smacked, told to never let it happen again, and he walked out, leaving me to pick up my glasses and jewelry off the floor.  I was in the wrong.  So, I stayed.

In November, I found out about the first affair.  I confronted him, and he admitted to having her come to our home while I was at school.  I decided that I was done, and so I moved out.  A friend and her boyfriend came and helped me, because I was afraid of what he would do.....there was almost a confrontation, but my friend's boyfriend stood behind me, with a protective stance, and nothing happened.  It got ugly and nasty, divorce was filed, and I moved back in with my parents, feeling like I had failed.  In January of the following year, 2003, he called me at my parents house and wanted to talk.  So, I called him back.  He wanted to go to counselling, wanted to work on us and start a family.....So I went back.

We went to counselling, things got better, we were getting along, and talking and things seemed to be going great.

We got a new puppy, I started a new job, and for the first time in a long time, I felt like maybe we were going to make it.  I had surgery because of some difficulties with my girlie parts, and it was like a light bulb went off in his head.....  I found out that I was pregnant in May.  He was less than happy about it, and let me know with the back of his hand, multiple times.  I lost my baby on June 4th.  We hadn't told anyone, because I didn't want to tell too early, so no one in either family ever even knew. I put on my strong face, and went about daily life and family get togethers like things were great....when in reality, the verbal abuse had gotten SO much worse.

I was late coming home from work one night in August because of a wreck on the interstate, so his dinner wasn't on the table at the right time.  I had put something in the crock pot, and got the rest of it done as quickly as I could.  We ate in stone silence, and when we were done, I got up to clear the table, and he knocked me down and kicked me.

After that night, things were sliding down hill fast.  We were arguing all the time, sleeping in separate rooms, because I was afraid of what would happen if I woke him while he slept, and so I decided that I was done walking on eggshells, and was going to leave.  That was the beginning of October.

Then his mom died, very unexpectedly, very suddenly, with no opportunity for anyone to have time to say our last I love you's, our last goodbye's....nothing.  So I stayed.

We went on about our daily life, trying to find our new normal after the death of his mom.  He withdrew, we were miserable, and went on a last ditch effort vacation to try and save our marriage.  While we were on that vacation, we went jet skiing.  We stopped to watch the dolphins, and a wave knocked us off.  When we got back to the hotel, he hit me so hard, he knocked me out.  When I came to, I saw the bruise, and had no where to go.  He apologized and kissed me and tried to make it better.  So I stayed.

We got home from our vacation, and I finally left.  This time for good.  I spent so many years of my life trapped, not knowing where to go, how to get away, feeling like a failure of a wife and daughter.  My parents had been married for 30 years, and managed to get it right, and I couldn't....I felt like I had let them down.  There were many times in the midst of the nightmare that was my first marriage, when I actually thought to myself that I couldn't leave him because I would be letting my parents down.....they didn't know about the abuse-verbal or physical-because I was really good at hiding it.  If he knew that my parents were going to be coming up, things got really good for a couple days.

Being a woman who has been abused defined me for a really long time.  It took a lot of work and a REALLY good man in Hubby to make me realize that it is a part of who I am, but it does not define me.  For a long time, I struggled to realize that I am worth the love that I get from Hubby, and it was hard to know that someone could love me like that because I felt I didn't deserve it.

If someone you know has been or is being abused, encourage them, support them, and most importantly LOVE them.  Leaving is not an easy thing, and for some, it may not be the right thing.  What they need the most is love and support and to be told that they are cared about and wanted and important.  They need to feel listened to.  They need to feel believed.  It's scary and unknown and lonely all at the same time.

If you have been abused, know that you are not alone.  Reach out to those who surround you, and find support.  Believe in yourself.  You deserve to be loved, valued and not abused.

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