Monday, August 19, 2019

The Hell in Which I Lived

When I was 18 I met a man while I working and he instantly swept me off my feet. We went on our first date and we were infatuated with each other immediately. He was a marine stationed at the local base, so he wasn't originally from my area. After two weeks he "joked" about how if he gets married he gets a lot of extra money and I would be entitled to $400 of it. At 18, I thought this was a great idea. I could get an extra $400 a month, I could still do whatever I wanted, and in a year we would divorce. No big deal, right? WRONG. This began my nightmare that I lived for 5 long years.

To me, we weren't really married. To him, I was his property. The first several months involved a lot of fighting. A lot of threats, a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of days filled with tears. It should have been enough to make a "normal" person realize he wasn't a good person and I needed to run, fast. But, without him, I would have to move in with my grandparents, whom at the time I really didn't want to live with, and I wouldn't be able to afford the nice new car I had bought myself. So I stayed and ignored everything. I eventually had a night so bad that I cut myself. He called an ambulance and immediately the police handed me a leaflet on domestic violence. As I was in the ambulance about to go to the hospital I could hear the police officer yelling at him because he wouldn't give me my phone. He said it was his because he pays for it. Eventually he handed over my phone to the officer who handed it to me. Another big red flag that I completely ignored. Nothing came of that night; I was discharged from the hospital in the middle of the night and we went home.

Shortly after, I got pregnant with our first child. I was in the process of switching birth control when it happened, otherwise I wasn't ready to be a parent. I was even more trapped now. How was I supposed to take care of a child by myself? So, we began telling everyone and accepting our fate. Then one night, we got into a really big fight. I had texted my father that I was scared and he called the police. He was then arrested and we were ordered to be apart. He had to live at the barracks until further notice. For some strange reason, I continued to fight for him. I wrote letters to his chain of command asking for forgiveness. Begging, for him to be able to come home. I immediately ignored everything that had happened. I wanted my "husband" back.

Tragedy struck, and his father and brother were killed in a car accident. They let him come home and the next day we were headed to his hometown to be with his family. Tensions were high, and we got into a fight when we were 15 minutes from his parents house. He ended up getting out of the vehicle to walk, and I got a hotel. I stayed at a hotel for 3 days and then he and his mom came and got me. We dropped it. I felt very uncomfortable there. I had only met some of his family once, and felt I didn't have a right to be there because I didn't know his father or brother. His father and I were actually not on speaking terms when he passed. I eventually shut down and asked my grandparents to come get me because they would be somewhat in the area visiting another family member. When I confronted him about wanting to leave because I felt high levels of anxiety it didn't go well. We got into a big fight and I quickly wouldn't get out of the bed and stopped eating and drinking because I felt trapped. I locked myself in the bathroom (in the basement away from everyone) because I just needed to escape. I started to have a panic attack when everyone began yelling at me and I called an ambulance. I spent the night in the hospital and a family member of his eventually took me to a hotel where my grandparents came and got me.

When I returned home I found out I had been fired from my job for accompanying him home. The depression really hit. I was emotional from being pregnant, I was alone, I didn't have a working vehicle, and I felt that I was psychotic.

He eventually came back a couple weeks later and we had made up, yet again. This time, he was allowed to live with me again, after a lot of arguing with his command. I eventually got another job and we both went about our lives. When our lease was coming to an end we, well, I had asked my grandparents if we could live with them until he got out of the service (about 4 months) so we could "save" money. They agreed. Our son was born and a month later when he was discharged from the service, we moved back to his hometown. In his deceased father’s house no less.

After a few weeks, he went to work as a traveling ironworker. He was gone for several weeks at a time. I was a new mom in a town with absolutely no one and went into a spiraling depression. At the time I didn't have any idea what was happening and I didn't have anyone to reach out to for help; so it got worse and worse. Our fighting continued constantly and it got to the point I dreaded him coming home. He eventually turned to drugs, telling me I was the problem, and of course everything got worse. We already never had any money because he blew it all nonstop and it just got worse. I stopped paying bills entirely. It got to the point my grandfather was sending me money for groceries. I was living on ramen and spent everything else I was given on healthy food for my son. His mother was our landlord otherwise we probably would've been on the street. Our fights started getting so bad that when he was home things would be destroyed. In one instance he even took every TV in our house with him on the road because I didn't deserve them. I was expected to stare at the wall every day. When he was on the road he would ignore me for days at a time, while I would be left home crying and just wanting any sort of attention. It was a miserable life. But I couldn't get a job, so my only option was to go to a homeless shelter but I was too scared. Time went on and he eventually got fired from work. During his time at home we got into a fight because he thought I was cheating on him (facebook message) and he locked me out of the house and told me if I came inside he would kill me. I called the police and asked for some assistance just to get some clothes for my son and myself and I was going to sleep in my truck. The police ended up arresting him because I told them I didn't feel safe. The crazy part is I was just at the grocery store and I had a receipt to prove my whereabouts when the supposed cheating was taking place. So that was his second stint in jail in less than 2 years for domestic violence. Just like the first time, I fought for him. They wouldn't drop the charge this time, but they dropped it to disorderly contact and he was on probation and had to pay a fine. It was my fault that he had to pay the fine so of course that caused fights for weeks.

Fast forward, his mother eventually sold the house and we were forced to move within a matter of weeks. We found an apartment and moved. I also forgot to mention that I had gotten pregnant again. I was a few weeks shy of giving birth to our second child. I didn't have insurance before I got pregnant so I had no way to get birth control.

I give birth and soon after he goes back to working on the road. I was alone again, this time with 2 children. He was eventually fired because he quickly began abusing heroin (Which he admitted to me but I was still too scared to leave) and his boss (his mom) didn't want anything to do with it.

He eventually got a local job but ended up getting fired from there too because he was constantly late. Money was always tight, fights always happened, it was a nightmare. I was eventually encouraged to get a job, and I knew this was finally my chance.
While he was home our fights consistently escalated. It was to the point I was sleeping in the living room or on the floor in the kids’ room because he had screwed the bedroom door shut. I truly felt if I crossed him he would kill me. Multiple people knew that if I turned up dead, he was the reason. Our fights eventually got physical and I got to my breaking point. I eventually started recording, EVERYTHING. One day, we had gotten in a fight and when he tried to come break my phone I screamed but managed to catch him threatening me and charging at me. When the police showed up they saw the video (the kids were present as well) and saw all the damaged stuff the promptly arrested him. I had been working for a month or so at this point and was in the process of finding my own place. This was thankfully the perfect opportunity. When he got out of jail there was a restraining order in place but YET AGAIN, I ignored it. I let him come by the apartment that we shared. I had not secured my own place yet, but quickly knew I had to act fast. A friend of mine let me stay at her place for a while. Her husband asked me to leave a few weeks later. Thankfully, within a couple weeks I was able to get my own place and escape!

I moved out, but still let him see our children. Eventually I got sick of the kids coming home smelling like smoke, and I had the money to file for divorce and told him he wasn't allowed around anymore. It has been 2 years since he has seen our children. I have full custody, my divorce was granted and I haven't actually spoken to him in a while.

This is only a glimpse of the life I lived, a lot of details have been left out. I gave him $2,000 to put towards my child support so he didn't go to jail, he lived with me off and on, he was on my phone plan, etc. Even after being separated I still took care of him. There were many nights I contemplated killing myself and our kids because I couldn't stand being around him. Not to mention, I felt that if he killed me my kids would be in danger. Thankfully, I never acted on those thoughts. But nonetheless, it was brutal.

I wasn't perfect during those times. I cheated on him, I yelled back, sometimes I even instigated fights because I was so desperate for attention (even if it wasn't good attention at that). If you speak to him, he will tell you everything was my fault and I'm lying and so forth. For a long time I believed him. For a very very long time I believed I deserved everything that happened. It's been over 3 years since I left and I still struggle sometimes. I struggle in my new relationship, I struggle being a parent, I struggle attempting to be normal. I even found notebooks a little over a month ago that I used to write my feelings in. They go into intense detail of our fights and my depression. It's taken years, but I finally know that I am worth more than what he says I am. He used to say no one would ever want me with 2 kids. That I would never amount to anything. I used to believe him indefinitely. Now, I can EASILY stand up for myself because I know he can't hurt me. I know my kids are safe. I know I am safe. I know that I am worthy of a good life. I know who I am and I now know that he doesn't define me. It took me a while to leave. He was arrested 4 times during our marriage and each time I helped him get out. I regret more than anything not letting him get what he deserved.

He still affects me to this day though and will continue to for years. He is $14,000 behind in child support and I know I will never get a dime from him. Which is fine, I can take care of my kids without him. The car he drove (which I co-signed on over a year after we split) he stopped making payments on and I had to wait for him to get arrested for drug possession before I was able to get it back and get it repossessed, is hurting my credit. I'm working on it getting off my credit report so I can buy a house. But, at the end of the day, I'm okay. I'm better now. He is facing a lot of jail time for nonpayment of child support, for skipping child support court and for skipping court for his possession charges. One day I hope karma catches up with him, but in the meantime I am bettering my life one day at a time and excited for what the future holds. I never moved back home, I live in a bordering state now and my family is still 500 miles away but I have established a life that I am proud to live.


Thursday, August 8, 2019

Grief and Growth

Something very dark, very sinister about the way they enter our lives. They rewrite our brain chemistry, alter our memories before, during and after our time with them. They enter our very genetic base code to the point of implosion, destruction, and chaos. Even after they’re gone, our relationships change some better, some worse, some we question. There is a need to isolate to avoid more pain. At the same time, there is a need to feel loved and socially connect. One thing is for certain, our relationship with a narcissist has changed us. It has made us look deeply at ourselves, our friends, the people around us, and the world, and raise an eyebrow to everything. 

People will notice we have changed. It’s obvious. This isn’t love gone wrong, a break up of romance, this something far more tragic and psychologically damaging. We can’t fix it, stop it or cure it. It just evolves. We met and interacted with a very dark, disordered person. We can find short-term relief, apply bandages to the wounds seen and unseen. We can take classes, read books, do therapy. but we still face that monster alone inside when it decides to visit, in person or our memories. This is a very real thing, the thoughts, feelings and the pain is very real. We grieve the loss while finding our light. 


Wednesday, August 7, 2019

I Don't Normally Cry

After almost 17 years, I realized that not only have I endured emotional, mental, and financial abuse but I also endured sexual abuse from my husband throughout our relationship. Almost 17 fucking years. I listened to a podcast today about narcissistic abuse and the counselor that leads the podcast discussed ways a narcissist sexually abuses their victims. With the exception of a few, everything she said pertained to my relationship. I didn’t know what to say, or who I wanted to say something to. I wanted to run away and hide. I sat at my desk at work and tears began to flow. I didn’t weep, it was like the kink that was in my tear ducts was released like when a garden hose has a kink and you straighten it out. I couldn’t stop the tears, they didn’t last long, but it was the first time in a long time that I cried.

When I got home, I immediately changed into my most unflattering pajama pants and a shirt that doesn’t match. I’m hoping he doesn’t try to compliment me on my appearance or feels anything attractive towards me when he gets home. Dinner was made and in the oven. I was sitting on the couch and he walked in the door. I ignored him and once he picked up on it he began small talk. I couldn’t stand to listen to his voice, hear his fabricated stories, and honestly looking at him made me cringe. I told him I needed to go lay down because I was on my period and having cramps. Which wasn’t an entire lie. I laid in my bed and just wanted to hide, he kept coming in to put away laundry. So I fell asleep to get away. 

Once I woke up, he came into the room again, my daughter runs in excited that I was awake. I get up to go eat dinner and he looks at me and says “have you lost weight?” Are you fucking kidding me?! No asshole I haven’t lost any weight and I’m actually really bloated right now because I’m on my period. But all I really said was no and walked out of the room. He’s a boundary crossing narcissistic psychopath and I’ve reached my breaking point. I am broken inside, and empty. 

Here’s the crazy part...I was molested as a child by my stepfather and that didn’t break me like this did. My husband,  the father of my child, the one I thought had changed, he finally broke me. I don’t know if that’s been his agenda all along or if he really thinks about how to make my life a living hell. I no longer consider him my husband. I don’t love him. This is not what love is, and for anyone who tells me “he may change, just pray about it.” Fuck you.

I rarely cry, maybe it’s because all the shit I’ve been through has damaged my ability to cry when I’m overwhelmed with joy or my feelings have been hurt. But today... today I cried.


A Letter to the Love of My Life

#SafeHavenRequired, #MustEnjoyHolidays, #DontBeAHoover..and a letter to the love of my life

After I get divorced and I’m ready to date again, I’m considering one of these to be my online dating username. I don’t need a cutesy rainbows and butterflies username, I need something to weed out the narcissists and psychopaths of the world. 

At this point in my life with my newfound realizations, I know what I must have and can’t have in a partner. I married my narcissist husband twice, you can’t really beat a dead horse (so to speak) more than that. As I write this letter to the love of my life (not my soon to be ex husband again), it may explain my unique usernames.

To the Love of My Life,

I don’t know who you are just yet, maybe I’ve already met you, or maybe God will introduce you to me soon; but here is my fragile heart that has been pieced back together, wrapped in bubble wrap. It’s for you, only you. Even though it’s been broken a few times, I finally got out the Gorilla Glue to put it back together. I wrapped it in bubble wrap because it’s still fragile and is hesitant, but excited at the same time. 

I want you to be my best friend, my soulmate, my safe haven. I want to be so incredibly vulnerable with you that I can sit and hold your hand, lean my head on your shoulder and exhale. I may need your reassurance from time to time with your smile, words, and gentle touch. I may need you to fight for me sometimes because there may be battles that I’m so tired of fighting alone. When you kiss me, it doesn’t have to be the first or second time you kiss me but damn it please, for the love of all love stories, just once kiss me the way that Nick first kissed Jess in New Girl. It’s that unexpected, incredibly wanted, take my breath away kind of kiss. 

I want you to be one of the brightest parts of my day. When I see you, hear your voice, or see your message come through my phone, I want to be able to smile, like grandma just made a fresh batch of cookies smile. You must enjoy the holidays, not just Christmas but enjoy spending time with family and embrace the meanings of holidays. For the love, please tell me you like the fall season. I’m not that “basic white bitch” (quote from my ex) that likes pumpkin spice in everything but man do I enjoy pumpkin patches, sweaters, apple fritters, fire pits, and curling under a blanket and looking up at the sky. I love Thanksgiving and Christmas, I enjoy quality time with my people the most. I love seeing my kids light up when they see what gifts are under the tree. Oh, and Christmas lights, they can be so beautiful, no matter how big or small, there’s just something about driving through neighborhoods and seeing how they are decorated and bring joy to others. I hope you share that joy for holidays too, please don’t make me dread it every year. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a good Christmas. 

I want you to bring positive energy into my life. This abusive asshole just sucks it out of me like a vacuum cleaner. I want to feel replenished, refreshed, and restored. You will runneth my cup over because you will get me, accept me, and love me. You will be my reset button when things are chaotic, you will be my foundation when I feel like crumbling, you will be my cheerleader when I feel like I’m failing, and you will be the one and only love of my life. 


Tuesday, August 6, 2019

If My Wounds Were Visible

Being a victim of narcissistic abuse tends to go unnoticed because the wounds aren’t usually visible, they are hidden deep within the victims. We don’t speak up because who would believe us when you can’t see our wounds. Not only that, but the mind fuck of shame and guilt that we develop can be deadly. 

If my wounds were visible, this is what you would see:

The bottoms of my feet are scarred and have opened wounds from the shards of eggshells I’ve been walking on for the last 17 years. Just when I thought they have callused over, the sharp edges of eggshells slice them right back open.
My knees are black and blue from the many times I begged him to change and even though I knew he wouldn’t change, I prayed and prayed and prayed for God to change his heart, but his own free will is in the way.

The opening of my vagina is torn and bleeding from the many times he pushed his way past my sexual boundaries. I told him that I wanted to wait for marriage before losing my virginity, but alas he pushed his way through that when I was 18, laying on the floor of my bedroom in our apartment. It wasn’t good, it wasn’t special, it meant nothing, I meant nothing. He continued to push past my boundaries, wanting different things in the bedroom, degrading things, and if I didn’t oblige he shamed me for not being as “freaky” as him. As if that was a goal of mine. So I would lay there, sometimes closing my eyes wishing it was someone else, or I would take myself to a place anywhere but there. But then, the groping, terrible and dirty groping. It creeps me the fuck out. He thinks it’s arousing to make me cringe. I’ve yelled and told him to stop, it took a while, but he finally stopped. I couldn’t handle it. 

My stomach has bruises from the many times he would grab my rolls and claim they belonged to him. But they weren’t, they were mine. They were mine from bearing his children and eating my feelings. I turned to food every time I felt alone and unloved, and damn it did I feel that way a lot. 
My ribs are broken and my lungs have collapsed. It can be so hard to breathe and I feel like I’m suffocating in my own home. I just want to take a deep breath and take in the sunshine and fresh air, but he takes it all away by his presence.

My arms and clavicles are broken from all of the weight that I’ve carried on my shoulders. The muscles in my neck and shoulders have tried to compensate for my arms and clavicles and the intense pain I feel daily in my muscles is excruciating. They hurt so much that when someone lightly rubs my shoulders I’m in immediate pain from the tension in my muscles. 

My spine, that was once strong is weak now, and curved, and probably has some fractures. It’s a constant uncomfortable pain that’s annoying and if I sit or lay in a certain way, I finally find a temporary relief. I have to wear a C Collar because of all the whiplash I’ve endured from this roller coaster ride. I never know what each day will bring and the only way to protect myself is to wear this as I go up, down, back and forth, and the screeching halt from normalcy.

My ears continue to bleed from all of the lies, promises, grandiose stories, and bull shit I’ve heard come out of his mouth. At times I wish I could mute him because he doesn’t stop, he keeps going like the damn energizer bunny. 

My jaws are misaligned from the emotional beatings I’ve endured. It’s hard to smile at home, so my face is at a resting bitch face. When I’m with my tribe, my people, I smile. They are like chiropractors who realign my smile.

My eyes are bruised and swollen, I can barely see the light coming through. I don’t even recognize myself in the mirror, I am a shell of who I once was. 

I have skull fracture and brain bleeds from the mind fuck of a relationship I’ve been in. I’ve banged my head on the wall so many times because of the many “is this shit even real?” moments. The tension from my shoulders reaches to the back of my neck causing tension headaches and migraines. Nothing seems to help while he is home. At this point I’m practically snorting essential oils to get some sort of relief.

This is if all of my wounds were visible, but they are hidden deep in my heart and soul and I pray that I can get away so I can begin to heal, so my kids can see their mom strive and thrive instead of suffering. I’m a mother fucking warrior and I will get my life back without him having hold of me.