i don’t open up, i don’t talk about this stuff… only… maybe it needs to be said.
If you get easily upset maybe you shouldn’t read this but if you don’t mind a healthy dose of reality, then read on.
I know it’s likely to upset my family. sorry but again it needs to be out in the open.
we all have our battles, this one has been mine.
i was raised in an international hub, with many different cultures & a lot of different ways of thinking. Heck of a lot of diversity.
i was a strong willed & pretty moody at times.
i was a smart kid, for some things…
Elementary school. i was a straight A student. But as much as i loved the learning aspect, elementary was hell for me.
I was bullied.
I was strong, yes, strong-willed but not comfortable in large crowds. anxious even. i guess i had no clue what it was… too self-concious maybe.
Bullies chipped slowly at me, hurt me, shook me.
Ignore them, they’ll go away?
No, sorry but they latch on like leeches & suck you dry until there’s nothing left.
You can only be told you’re ugly & stupid so many times, 8 hours a day before you begin to believe it.
You can only be blamed for stuff so often before everything wrong becomes your fault & you start blaming yourself for everything.
My defense mechanism? I became a loner… better to be alone then to get hurt, then to be surrounded by hostility/negativity. I built walls. Thick impassible walls. I wasn’t letting anyone in for a very very long time.
I’m the kind of person that’s always sought to learn, to understand the source, the reason(s) behind behaviors/words, the unspoken. There’s always more then most folks care to see. I think that’s what saved me.
I was never suicidal, let’s be clear on that. but depressed? heck yeah. To the point of wishing the universe would end the pain for me. Oh, yes I craved oblivion. I never did drugs though, i knew that wasn’t a solution, it only makes things worst…but to crawl under a rock & to be forgotten or forever surrounded by darkness just so the pain would end, for sure.
I was not in a good place to be. I cried myself to sleep & i hid it well enough.
That never stopped me being kind to others… the world needs more kind people.
I got hurt, i built those walls, i got fat, i kept people at bay & became more introvert then i should ever have been. There must be something wrong with me, i thought, cuz they don’t bully everyone, just me. If i was going to be told i’m fat even when i wasn’t yet, that i was stupid & i was trash, that i was ugly, then it might as well be true. Kid logic. don’t you just love it when you beat yourself up worst then anyone else ever could? I was just 6/7 years old. Getting glasses made it worst.
so much i didn’t understand back then but i do now.
Overly sensitive? heck yeah but i have no shame in that now. some of the elementary kids were kind to me, not many, but some. Those i considered friends.
Thing is though, people who are blind to how broken you are cannot help rebuild you.
High school came. The very very few close friends i have awkwardly made probably saved me somewhat. I lost weight, lowered my walls some (but not much & not for everyone) & got strong enough to tell the bullies to F*** off.
do no harm. I’ve been hurt enough to never wanna hurt anyone like that ever. I touched a bit of subconcious boundary making- I won’t beat you up for trying to beat me up & put me down but i’m not going to let you keep doing it type thing. i awkwardly stood up for myself not knowing what boundaries actually are.
I was proud of myself though for defending myself without hurting anyone. It’s very much possible.
College. I was alone again. I spent most of my time running to catch buses, metro trains, ran around all over. I was mostly independent & though i was unaware of it at the time, i still consider those years my happiest. I had no real direction & no clue on a potential career or even job.
something was still wrong though. I was better but i was still broken. i wanted love despite having high standards. I was still alone a lot. I longed for someone to make me feel wanted, worth loving. Family is nice but sometimes you need a special person to share stuff with you never would with family. something more intimate. i didn’t wanna be alone anymore. someone that wouldn’t judge me. someone outside family. Except i had no clue i was even broken.
i had an online relationship where i thought the guy cared but he was using me, along with many others. it broke my heart terribly but i promised myself i wouldn’t ever be the third wheel, even though he had lied & i had had no clue he was with someone offline. i felt so stupid.
He no longers matter now.
I had no clue on red flags or unhealthy relationships, just that something was off. But i was blind.
i love my family. They’re not perfect. They hid quarrels pretty well, didn’t talk on personal stuff much. Lots of info on religions, cults, politics, economics etc but… no notion of healthy relationships. grandparents didn’t interact much with each other & my mom had no boyfriends till i was 16 & (sorry mom) they were not very… good relationships… so although i knew what i didn’t want, i had an idea in my head of a good relationship but i think that was romanticized too much.
i got lots of love from my family, that’s never in question. But in some things, you guys never listened to me. But none of you knew i was broken & so i never got tools to repair my broken pieces.
I sought someone to help me repair them though. someone that i could talk to, that wouldn’t judge or shrug it off as ridiculous cuz i’m strong & smart… someone to prove to me i’m not ugly.
Except… if you yourself don’t believe it, no one can make you see it. I was always the only one able to stop being blind & make myself see reality from different eyes.
when I met my ex, he was there for me, listened to me, made me feel beautiful & special, unbroken, worthy of being loved. I was whole in his eyes. I forgot i was broken for a time. what i had no clue on is that he saw the broken pieces i hid even from myself, picked them up, promising to repair them… only he planned something very different, subconsciously maybe but he did.
Once he had me where he wanted me, everything changed. The abuse started.
I was alone, away from family & friends in a new country (Canadian now in the US). I was an illegal alien and he made sure i had no status at all when he asked them to bypass the k-visa & then failed to file the papers they gave him to speed things up & get me a status.
I believe now that he knew eactly what he was doing though it seemed like forgetfulness/laziness at the time.
I rationalized it for a long time, all the crap he pulled. 6 months in i no longer had any sort of photo Id. I was juggling lack of sleep to raise a baby & trying to make my husband happy.
Mind you, in the beginning it wasn’t as bad as it got later on but i got confused & let him put a heck of a guilt trip on me about not being good enough a mother & a wife. I wasn’t trying hard enough. meanwhile he did whatever he wanted & i rationalized it as maybe he’ll grow up & mature up in time… maybe if i tried harder to be a good wife & mother. maybe the problem was indeed ME… i wasn’t good enough, thin enough, pretty enough, smart enough…
there… you see?
he was chipping away at the cracks already there, the broken pieces… as time went by he ripped pieces of my already thorn soul to make himself bigger, better, smarter, stronger, riding on the fact he was slowly, progressively taking all my freedom away, taking my choices from me, taking everything i was & making me doubt myself more while he took the credit for everything i thought of & accomplished… & for a long time i was blind to it cuz i loved him. cuz i thought the man i dated might come back…
only…it took a long time for me to wake up & see that had been just a stupid act…the man i fell in love with never existed within my ex.
In public he was charming & loved to play at being the perfect doting father & husband…what’s my problem? I can’t believe he’s acting so completely not like at home. i was so confused.
at home we were chores, we were not worth his time other then for him to remind me how bad a wife i was, what a disappointment i turned out to be… other women were worth his time, but not me… not anymore.
Kiddo was an ego boost but ask him to put any time with him behind closed doors, & nothing… don’t bother me… i picked up on that one & made sure kiddo had some sort of childhood by pushing for outside time with his father… on hind sight, maybe that’s why kiddo no longer likes being outdoors…
in public i could pretend we were happy cuz i saw some, but never all, of the guy i fell in love with…sorta… but it only prolongued my torture/blindness/hope.
Hope you see can be a strong force for good but sometimes it makes things worst… like…stupidly hoping the man i fell in love with would be back to stay within the husband that i couldn’t accept was never that man to begin with.
the initial “OMG i’m a daddy yayyy” turned into ignoring kiddo as much as possible once the door closed & we were out of the public’s eye. we were ego boosts…until we weren’t enough. we were only there to help him look good.
i was alone with kiddo…alone with my thoughts… the only one able to figure it out… but i was lost, confused, made dizzy by the mind games, the emotional back & forths… the gaslighting… the blame & shame.
None of it had a name so i couldn’t figure it out.
he chinked what armor i had from the inside cuz i let him in the walls i had built. he was supposed to be the one that cared above all else, but he cared only when he wanted his needs met.
i had no clue he was telling half truths & twisted realities to his family. they hate me, i know that much but i had no clue why. i found out later. the damage was done. none of them would listen to me anyway… something about believing blood over spouses.
doesn’t matter anymore.
I had no right to have feelings or needs, only to satisfy his.
I wanted contact with my family but he shrugged it off. It wasn’t his problem, plus keeping me from talking to them meant more control over me.
Got internet for a while in the beginning but then he decided it kept me from being a good wife/mother & got rid of it… it was of course my fault.
Never mind that he’d been on there flirting with other women & god only knows what else.
He cut me off from any social time… what i would learn later was punishment for not waiting on him hand & foot & for trying to stand up for myself…a pattern that would emerge stronger as time passed.
The blame & shame got worst. I had no need he cared about, i had no feelings worth his time/consideration/effort.
I believed at that point that if i tried harder, if only i gave just a little more of myself…maybe things would change…maybe he just needed time to mature up… men mature slower then women you know… maybe…just maybe it really was my fault the marriage was not working out.
Meanwhile he went across the border to the casino’s strip clubs, paid whores for bj’s & i was clueless. I was at home worried sick about why he vanished… cuz… he’s supposed to have this seizure disability…only he’s never had one. he fakes blackouts when convenient, goes to the hospital with migraines when convenient. they run cat scans but never find anything wrong with him. They send him home. He gets out of so much that way but i can’t prove he’s faking… only… its always when convenient. Meanwhile i’m home alone, no money, trying to not freak out, trying to raise kiddo, trying to track down where my husband might be…hospital? in a ditch somewhere? dead??? OMG…no…
i’m buying hard into the seizure disability…
he comes home tells me lies bout being robbed & left for dead… when it happens again i tell him he’s gotto report it… well… sh*t… he’ll be caught in a lie if he doesn’t… so cops investigate find nothing… he gets charged with reporting a false crime… officer tells me to check his pockets.. i find proof he was at the casino…that he lied…lots of things fall into place…lots of lies i’d believed… the beginning of my awakening… womens names are in there too… only one or two are from school to help with kiddo’s now behavioral issues in school… before he was diagnosed with asperger’s… but one isn’t…
Now he tells everyone he’s got a gambling addiction… i buy into it for a time… but no… it wasn’t gambling his addiction. strippers, whores, subservient women there to please his needs & boost his ego are his real addiction. He gets off on controling women & telling them what he wants from them.
That’s what he did to me.
He took every piece of my freedom from me. little by little, subtly but completely. He broke me more, crushing as much of me as he could, continuing the work bullies had begun.
If you’ve never had everything taken from you by anyone, you’ve got no clue what it’s like to lose all freedom, to be condemned into a trap you got tricked into by a skilled actor/manipulator. You’ve got no clue that it’s not roses to have someone take your rights away from you. To have them force anything on you from what you’re allowed to eat to what you’re allowed to wear to everyhting else. Maybe it sounds like a vacation to you… maybe it sounds like it can only ever happen to “other people”.
his mother is a former paralegal. They were friends with judges. when i was told i’d get deported & never see my son again if i didn’t comply, i believed it. They could legally make it happen.
i had no id, no status, couldn’t talk about any of it…if you got no proof it didn’t happen… no one believes you, especially when you’re dealing with someone who can twist the truth just enough to make you the bad person… it’s all your fault after all cuz… you’re stupid & worthless…
he had me cornered behind invisible walls of fear, of degradation…
i’m not sure why i got lucky as much as i did… my very core holds a strength i forgot i had but it let me hold on. it let me fight back some…
oh i paid for fighting back, standing up to him, calling him out on his bullsh*t… i paid dearly over the years but i held my ground where/when i could.
we had internet again & i knew he had to be fully invested in it to not give it up this time… i was very worried once i found friends… i somehow didn’t just find friends i found *the right friends* (forever grateful ty “M” , for the info you provided on narcissism ❤ ty for everyone that helped nudge me, wake me up & get me on the right track, be you on my fb friend list or not. another special thanks goes to “T”. you knows who you are & everything you did for me ❤ ) & i found myself & started getting myself back to being strong, learning about boundaries, learning about narcissists & how abuse wasn’t just hitting.
all of a sudden everything i went through over the years had a name, everything made a kind of sense… it had a name & a reason behind it.
The warrior in me wasn’t ever broken. I took those tools & i repaired myself somewhat & i fought to get out & help my kid too. That warrior in me that refuses to submit to other people no matter what. It boils like lava in the face of injustice.
He never broke me.
He tried but he couldn’t touch me anymore.
The more he lost control the worst the abuse got. He tried to break me, oh god he tried.
if i wasn’t subservient to him, i had to be broken…
how dare i cast off his dominance…
how dare i tell him NO.
I refused to play his games. Only i didn’t have solutions to block it sometimes… it’s not easy dealing with a master manipulator… he thinks fast but mostly sticks to the same ammo… the usual ammo i can cope with now but the new stuff, the humiliation, the complete vicious new ways to try and get me back into submission just got worst & worst…no proof…no one to believe me… no escape… no safety… i did have a refuge & i did have help.
Though… for 3 years before leaving him, i had been put in contact with the right folks. He nevere knew it.
i just needed a place to go… the shelter told me no… not sure to this day why other then “because he never openly threatened to kill me…” well… thanks… i got turned back to be abused more… till a friend let me live at their place for a while. i was afraid but i got out with my kid.
I took back my freedom & my dignity.
To use “T’s” words to me: There’s nothing wrong with me & everything wrong with anyone who ever made me feel like there was.
I’m healing from life altering trauma. shadows. fears.
but the ugly reality is… anyone can take that from you at any time…
if you let yourself be blinded & that’s easy to do if you don’t ask yourself what’s going on…
Now if you feel like judging me for what i’ve been through, keep in mind i’m not the person i was. I left him, i’m strong, i’m healing & i refuse to be blind anymore.
but if you feel i’m stupid for this, kindly remove yourself because i got no respect for people who think less of me.
i’ve come out on top. i’ve won my battle. It’s something i carry with me for the rest of my life.
i don’t want pity but i want you guys to try & understand this.
cuz it matters