Monday, January 15, 2024

This is the story of a girl....

 Let me tell you this story. 

It's about a girl, woman really, who wanted a stable life and family for her son so badly that she entered into a relationship and marriage with someone who, on the outside seemed like, they wanted the same thing. And how that person destroyed her. 

When my son was seven years old, I was finally ready for another relationship after being single for almost two years following a physically and mentally abusive relationship with a man that left me depressed for over a year. That's when I met T. By all outer appearances, T appeared like a stable nice person who worked, helped his mom and sister, and also wanted to find someone to build a life with. 

And a life was built. 

However, during that life I found out that things are not always as they appear. It wasn't until after I moved to Oklahoma after dating long distance for a year that I began to learn more. I saw a lot of red flags, but I ignored them because I was desperate to provide my son that nuclear family, and T was an excellent dad to J. A little too strict, but it was clear that he loved him a great deal and would do anything for him along with the rest of his family. For that, I was willing to overlook the toll the relationship was taking on me. 

When I began to ask for things to change, I was always assured that they would and then they never did. This cycle went on repeatedly for years. To even get T to take me seriously I would have to threaten to leave, then the same empty promises that things would change would occur, rinse and repeat. 

Over the course of nearly ten years, I was made fun of (by my then husband) about my stretch marks from being pregnant, about the weight I gained when my physical health began to decline (and let me put this in perspective: before this man got his weight loss surgery he was over 400 pounds with me never making fun of his weight struggles), my hair was too straight, my eye was crooked, etc. 

I was also told that I would never fulfill my rodeo and barrel racing goals because I wasn't a good rider. I had never ridden a nice horse. I didn't have the skills to do this. And even though it's been years, I still struggle with confidence in riding. I literally hear his voice in my head telling me these things. 

As my mental health began to decline, I began having wilder swings with my undiagnosed bipolar. My anxiety was uncontainable. I lost my impulse control. The only thing tethering me to any sort of reality was my son. And slowly T began to take that as well. Outings with my son were controlled. I was told that the things we liked to do together like see movies, or watch certain shows together, or read books was useless and stupid and I needed to grow up. It was a fight every time I wanted to take him to a midnight premiere of something we loved or go spend the day doing something deemed "stupid" by T. 

As J got older I felt him slipping away with the constant making fun of me and things I liked and promoting things that T liked. And by time my kid was in high school and the marriage was finally done, I had been painted as a crazy impulsive mentally unstable person. And T had come out as the victim of this person who tried his best and failed because I was just "too psychotic". 

Looking back I know it was gaslighting and mentally abusive. I actually didn't realize it was mental abuse until I was telling my therapist about some of the things I was struggling with that had been said to me by him and she just told me. I still have trouble with it. It has and continues to follow me. 


I'm going to write the full stories in my MeNoirs which I am working on, but I wanted to share some excerpts of what I'm working on here as well. The writing of this meNoir in which I explore my propensity for toxic relationships with men is cathartic. It is bringing up all of the buried shit that I need and want to deal with. 

I hope y'all love it. 

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