I’m going to take my story back a little ways in order for you to see the beginning of what sent me into the darkness, and where my emotions and mentality where each step of the way. I hope that by doing so, if you find them familiar, you will heed the warning signs of the path I was on.
As a child, I was abused sexually by someone who I should have been able to trust. I was so young at the time that I didn’t comprehend really what was happening and my mind went on auto-pilot. In an attempt at self preservation, my mind apparently chose to lock these memories away and seal them up. They were sealed enough to prevent me from remembering the specific events that had happened, but not enough to prevent the events from psychologically affecting my whole life. Things like a low self-esteem, self-hatred and weight gain started as early as 6 years of age.
As the other kids started dating and becoming social, I tended to be on the outside looking in. Everyone was dating and getting first kisses and I was awkwardly having silent crushes but feeling that somehow I didn’t fit like the others or belong. I had one pass-a-note boyfriend at the age of 12 for about 10 minutes (it seems like now, but I think it lasted a few weeks), that ended with him having a friend walk up and tell me he wanted to break up. It was so devestating considering we hadn’t even spoken since the day I asked him to be my boyfriend he said yes.
Throughout high school my patterns didn’t really change much, I crushed on a couple, and sadly, even today I am pretty certain they know who they are, because I made it painfully clear how desperately I liked them. I was still kind of on the outside looking in however, and feeling as if I just wasn’t worthy of positive attention.
In my junior year, I met someone who was dating a friend at the time. He wasn’t my type, and I remember watching him with my friend and wondering what she saw in him. One day, they split up, and he asked me to a dance. I was beside myself, no one had ever asked me anywhere. I was caught in this incredibly strange place, of not understanding his motives, not because they were wrong but more why he chose me, and also, for the first time feeling like somehow I was appealing to someone, maybe not the outcast and freak I had allowed myself to believe. Now as I mentioned, he wasn’t someone that attracted me at all, but here he was, paying attention to me, and I literally thought to myself, give it a chance, it’s not like you have a line up of other options.
Now I’m not sure I ever mentioned this yet, but over my lifetime, I have had my very unpleasant traits, including occasionally really being a Narcissist. So my mindset back then is now something I cringe at. The idea that I dated someone and, one better, married him later, because I had no other options, is rather disgusting to me. In my mind at the time, I thought, “someone loves me”. I didn’t think anyone ever would, and that was a totally screwed up way of thinking but I took what I could get because I didn’t know any better and felt I would end up alone my entire life.
Okay, so I think most of you will immediately think, ‘marriage, boy that’s a bad idea!’ Truth be told, the day of my wedding I cried, I was so afraid of what I was doing, but we got along well, and he had become my best friend. Man, hind site being 20/20, I look back now and I know a portion of my issue that drug me into my darkest days, was the complete and total guilt I felt after divorce. I spent the better part of 17 years in that marriage. Almost every day I knew I wasn’t happy and I needed to get out of it, but life brings distractions, like work, and babies, and holidays and family, and that rut we live in, and before you know it, years have passed and you have in many ways wasted them miserable and unhappy. In turn, you’ve held someone at your side who deserved someone in their life who could give them the kind of love you couldn’t.
Let me make it clear, this was a driving force in how I felt about myself for a long time. I sat back trapped in a marriage wondering first, how to make myself more comfortable, and then eventually confronting the idea that I couldn’t fix it but didn’t want to admit failure and that I’d lived a lie. For this reason, the last 8 years of my marriage were toiled with a lot of bad choices and nightmares of how to bring up the horrid “D” word I was so afraid to say.
Mind you, he wasn’t a perfect specimen, nor was I a monster. We both had our fair share of bad choices, and honestly, it wasn’t my lack of happiness that finally let the “D” word escape my lips. He had attempted to leave me two years prior to the end for someone else. I cried, and begged and pleaded, because being with him was all I had known and there was a security in our messy marriage, one that he was showing he was willing to throw away. We attempted to reconcile what was lost, and eventually it hit me that all these years I had sat miserable in my life, not feeling love and wondering if I was broken because I didn’t feel it, and for what? He was willing to just walk out on my daughter and I anyway. It was then that my mind was made up, time to have that conversation.
To be continued…..