Looking at that side by side gives me the heebie jeebies. The photo on the left was taken in 2010. I was abused, broken, hurt, confused and completely lost in life. I was also 8 years younger! The photo on the right isn’t someone who is “fixed”, but it is someone who is free from abuse.
Tonight, I’m diving deeper into the abuse that rocked my soul, thought I don’t really want to..it’s a dark place and I don’t like to go there. BUT, I feel it’s necessary. I gave you a rundown of the abuse, but I didn’t tell you exactly what it did to me.
I come from a good family. My parents have been together for a long time. I grew up in the same house my whole life, that my parents still reside in. I didn’t know a darn thing about dysfunction back then…It was great as a child, but didn’t prepare me for the real world.
When I met “him”, I thought he was special. I should have known the whole thing was whack because my dad always told me “If it seems to be too good to be true, it probably is.” The obsession/control started very quickly. In fact- it all kicked off when I let a male high school friend of mine drive my vehicle to sonic to get us all drinks. In the beginning I generally blamed his outburst on other people, likely because that’s what he did. Our first son was 12-18 months old when I realized something was seriously wrong with our relationship. He blacked my eye for the first time. I told my family and parents it was a baseball (in dead winter 🙄) I wasn’t sure what was wrong, or what to call it. How do I tell people the person I trusted is a monster? Being a strong independent woman, always being able to take care of myself…What a kick in the gut to have to tell everyone I was wrong, and I “allowed him” to abuse me. I knew I should have left, and told everyone the truth- but lying was much easier, and I didn’t have to face the train wreck my life had become over the last year. I am here to tell you easier doesn’t always equal better.
This is where I went wrong……Had I not shown him that what he did that day was “ok” by taking him back… my life wouldn’t have went in a downward spiral after that. Me taking him back showed him that I was ok with his behavior, and I would stay despite the abuse… and I did. From that point on, the abuse escalated. 8 years of abuse going to the next level was a nightmare. Literally hell in my own house.
By the time I left him for good, I no longer knew who I was. I didn’t know if I was who I always thought I was, or if I was the person he told me I was. I didn’t really know exactly how wild my mind was until I actually got away and the cloudiness in my mind cleared. I was a little terrified. I felt like I was picked up and dropped into a new life overnight. After leaving him, and doing a lot of research, I realized that he was a master at gaslighting.
a quick google search brought me to this website, and it explains gaslighting well..
The nightmares, self doubt, negative self image, and deep in my soul pain started immediately after leaving. Most of those things are the things he put in my head. He claimed I was “washed up.”, “no one would love me with four kids.” Laughed and Joked that I only worked dead end jobs (yet he never had a job 🤔) claimed I was damaged because my dad spoiled me. why did I believe him? I don’t know. I don’t even know how to explain it, my only explanation is gaslighting. I heard the negative words constantly and I guess I just believed it. It’s such a whirlwind that I didn’t know if I was coming or going most the time. Leaving him wasn’t easy, but it was so worth it. That is something I tell victims all the time. Leaving was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, if it was easy Domestic Violence wouldn’t be what it is today..because so many more women would not be in a domestic violent relationship. Sometimes you have to think outside the box to get away. Sometimes you have to be uncomfortable to get away.
its crazy thinking back on all this now. I can’t believe I stayed so long. I wasted SO MANY of my years.
After meeting Bradley (😍- insert alllllll the heart eyes) I struggled with anxiety, panic and straight fear.
I remember one time, I had been out of the relationship for 5-6 months and I went fishing with my new found love. It was dark, we were on a boat dock and I had caught one fish. All of a sudden I had an extreme rush of fear. There was a boat coming up toward us very slow (probably to load up and leave the lake) and I was convinced my abuser or someone he knew was in that boat and was going to hurt me, or even worse… Bradley. I was sick. Instantly fight or flight kicked in. We left the boat dock immediately and I spent the rest of my night in my bed with all the lights on. ugh.
Thankful, I am better now. He no longer controls my fear. Hes damaged my spirit, damaged my soul…he thought he was breaking me but he only made me stronger. If you are in a domestic violent relationship- please reach out to someone. You can reach out to me… or you can join my facebook support group.