It could happen to you.

10 warning signs

I had seen this post on Facebook and shared it. It’s from a 48 Hours episode.”One Last Hug” is about a woman who was stabbed by her her ex-boyfriend. Watch the episode to hear her story.

Abuse isn’t just physical, it can be mental and emotional as well. Don’t think it cannot happen to you. It can. It happened to me.

I haven’t shared this with many people and I’m sure several people will be a bit surprised. Hopefully by me sharing my experience with you someone else will not have to go through it.  My story is more mild than the young lady from 48 Hours or most others actually.  However it impacted my life greatly.

In October of 2005 I met him. A friend of a friend. He was nice. Recently separated and nervous about his divorce and dating someone new.  All things understandable. Things went along well for several months. Holiday gatherings with my family, a wedding together, and other things. Normal things.  I was in bliss. Thought this was it. I was done looking. I was ready to take the plunge again if that is where our relationship headed. (Me get married again, shocker!) Anyways that was not the case.  In January he was laid off from work and his whole personality changed.  My relationship to anyone else, not family, was questioned. My friends had brainwashed me in to be a sex slave. And apparently I was constantly having threesome and orgies with my best friend, her husband, and their friends. At least in his mind this was truth.  If I took a different way home than what he expected I was out “hooking up” with someone. At the climax of this craziness he threatened me. I still recall that night at his house.  He had been drinking, he was in a mood. The minute I walked through the door I should have walked away. I could feel it. The energy was bad. He took my keys to keep me from driving away. (I had a second set in my bag.) He forced the window open in the car and tried to take those. I hit him with the car door. I confronted him. He grabbed my arms. I grabbed his and positioned myself to drop him on his ass which I promptly did. No one is going to mess with me like that.  I’m tolerable up to a point, but threaten me… hell no. So I dropped him on his ass, took my keys and drove away.  Embarrassed and upset, I didn’t go home, I went to my friend’s house.  His father who lives across the street was woken up by me, explaining that his son has flipped his lid. Not surprisingly, driving drunk, he shows up at his dad’s house.  Conversation ensues. Dear old dad doesn’t see the problem, explains it away due to stress. After this he never touched me again. However he didn’t stop with the mental and emotional abuse. Spreading lies about me, visiting my family without me, and then starting to see other people and not tell me.  He’d check my chats, emails, & text messages.  Constantly calling and yelling at me. Calling me names.  I’d often hang up on him because of this.  It was not a conversation I wanted to have in front of my children. He’d call or email me at work and if I wasn’t right there or prompt to reply more questions ensued. Yeah I was stupid enough to hang around for another few months.  There are so many small details about things that happened that I remember well, others are a blur.

Our relationship basically screwed me and my life up in so many ways.  I bought a house with the understanding he’d be joining me, contributing to it. Big mistake. Bought a new van with the same impression. I ended up having the van get repoed and filed bankruptcy, years later, included the house.  (there were more issues with the house and the financing but that’s not his fault.) It took me a while to recover from him, emotionally & mentally.  I was glad to see him leave state. I dreaded running in to him again just recently.  I wonder if his current girlfriend has to deal with the same crazy or if he’s “normal”.

Since then (2006) I’ve been scared or rather hesitant to start new relationships. I’ve worked really hard at rebuilding my life, in so many areas. I finally came to the point where I could get out and meet people. I’m still very cautious though. I don’t put up with much crap. I don’t do drama. I’m selective as to who I let in to my life, as I’ve always been, but a bit more so now.  I’ve met several nice guys over the past 8 years. I tend to take things slow and bail when there’s the slightest hint of drama. (Drama being unfinished business or such.) I refuse to be fuel for another person’s fight. Come see me when it’s finished, maybe. I’ve seen what people are capable of, crazy or not. I try to surround myself and my family with positive people. Uplifting people.

Currently I’m in a good place.  I spent years working on recovering from him. Took my time alone seriously. Found a way to make myself happy first, because if I’m not happy with me, who else could be?  My happiness doesn’t rely on someone else, it comes from me. I’m in a place where I can let others in to my life and know I’m making a good choice from the right place.  Do I feel I’m ever going to find “the one”? No, honestly I don’t. I don’t believe in “the one” because I don’t expect one person to be everything for me.  Just as I don’t expect to be everything for one person. I expect to find people who enrich and complement my life in various ways and hope that I can do the same for them.  Loving people has nothing to do with marriage in my mind currently.  Maybe someday I’ll get married again, but I’m not holding my breath & counting the days.  Right now and for the foreseeable future I don’t plan on it, it is not my goal.  I’m okay with that.

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