Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Verbal Abuse Made Me Stronger

While I was laying on the table earlier today getting another set of back injections without sedation, I went to a place I haven't been in a while.  It's a place while something is going on that is hurting me, that I find peace.  I was quickly drawn out of it when the surgeon asked if I was feeling the pain.  He obviously could tell that I wasn't making a flinch while he was sticking needles into my spine/nerves.  I assured him that it hurt and then recalled what had just happened to me.  

***What you are about to read is my side of a relationship.  I may say some things that may hurt feelings.  I'm hoping it's to help someone else going or gone through similar circumstances.  I have never shared in this great of detail my experience and honestly feel called to do so at this moment during this night.***

I was in a marriage that on the outside (for the most part) looked normal.  We always had friends over and never missed a party.  But from day one was contriving and controlling.  It was a relationship built on fear.  It started with jealousy.  I was a sophomore in high school and he was a senior.  It started fast and I felt lost on how not to hurt his feelings or make him upset.  He ended up cheating on me starting with the first weekend we dated, but always knew how to turn it back on me.  He was like a time bomb that only I was in control of defusing if I just did nothing wrong and everything right.  I would meet him between every class, have a note that was filled with loving words, I stopped wearing make up and wore loose fitting ill clothes, I wouldn't go to the cafeteria without him, I wouldn't hang out with my friends.  It was a daily battle of "proving" my love.  That could mean following him for miles while he stormed away from me and seeing how long I would follow while crying to "prove" that I loved him.  That could mean me watching him throw every single year book and picture I had away to prove none of the guys in them meant something to me.  That could mean him breaking up with me to have me sit at his house while a girl he worked with came to pick him up for a date.  It was always a challenge to see if I would do the "right" thing.  Now, don't get me wrong, I wasn't an insecure girl that couldn't get a date.  I just wasn't prepared and didn't know who to talk to or what to say without "hurting" him.  

After that first year he went into the Marine Corps.  I wrote him every single day he was in boot camp.  He would write back loving things with always a warning at the end.  He had "spies" in my school to make sure I didn't talk to any guys or wear anything pretty.  He ended up coming home and threw a party and then I found out from a friend he was home.  He had a troubled childhood and had issues with abandonment.  I felt that if I left him, how could he make it, who would put up with him, it was my calling to be there for him.  He came back home and said that God had told him that I was the one and that we were to get married.  Who was I to tell God that He was wrong.  We started planning the wedding.

There were a few occasions that friends tried to say something.  It went from friends "trapping" him online acting like they were someone else to warn me that he was a cheater, to parents asking why I thought it was a smart decision to get married so young.  It all made me stand behind my man even more.  How stupid would I look if I backed out now, how could I leave someone that needed me, what would I do by myself, he already stopped me from going to college to make sure I didn't meet guys he didn't know, and I had been treating my parents like a bratty teenager this whole time, they wouldn't dare want me to come back and live at home.  The decision was made and I was going through with it. 

We got married a few months after my high school graduation, I was 19.  We were so young and broke that we lived with his Dad in the back half of his house until we could get our own apartment.  I would lay in bed and cry for hours.  I was broken, humiliated, and always trying to cover his wrongs to me.  We got our own apartment and that's when it got even worse.  I actually watched him leave on a date to the movies with a girl, when I happened to look through the window, after he told me I couldn't go because him and his guy friend haven't seen each other in awhile.  I would get locked out of our apartment anytime I was out later than he thought I should be.  He threw all my stuff out on the patio because I missed a call from him when I was out to dinner with friends.  He ditched me in Las Vegas when we were there for vacation.  I would become a master of continuing the conversation and then hanging up the phone after he had already cussed me out and hung up on me when I was in front of others.  

It seemed like his goal was to make me cry during fights, so he could feel the love that I had for him.  If I didn't cry he would start punching walls, doors, refrigerators, any pictures I had hanging on the wall, anything, it didn't matter.  I started being able to cry without it affecting me.  That's when I had my first breakthrough.  Then I was able to not even cry and get into that peaceful place that it didn't matter at all what was going on around me, I was at peace and it wouldn't effect me the next day.  My co-workers were clueless and I was never happier at that time.  I had turn into a pro at covering for him.  I was even able to blow off that I had a permanent fist punch in my dashboard of my car.

No one knew and I didn't believe in divorce.  

Then four years later the secret got out of the bag.  He blew up on me for not cleaning the kitchen when my best friends brother was at our apartment.  The next day he confronted me asking if it was a joke.  I could barely recall the incident and he was shocked.  I then went to my friend and confessed the truth of our relationship.  Saying it out loud to someone made me realize what I had been through.  It made it real.  She was amazing.  She never told me what to do but allowed me to stay at her moms house with her while she was in town for two weeks.  She and her mother never told me what to do, but they would listen for hours.  I was broken hearted.  I didn't want to give up on him and I definitely still didn't want to get a divorce.  I took my vows seriously and didn't want to let God down.  During that time he had an 18 year old stripper move in our apartment and started a relationship with her.  I walked in the apartment to get more clothes and found her wearing my clothes and inappropriate things laying around in my bedroom.  

Obviously, he made it simple.  I worked for an awesome guy that was a Lawyer when I was in high school and he offered filing the divorce for me if there were no complications.  I took all debt and left him anything he wanted and it was the end.  

It's not all sunshine and cheerios after going through something like that, but I honestly don't regret it.  I have become incredibly strong from it and I know God will use me to help someone else someday.  Is it you?  Have you gone through something like this?  Did a sentence in my words hit home?  I would love to talk to you.  If you are not currently a friend with me on Facebook, click here, and message me.  Hopefully I can be a listening ear that won't tell you what to do, but will know where you're coming from.

Love, Sarah

***I am happy to say that the person I was talking about has grown tremendously and has moved on from his young life to become a man.  I wish him nothing but the best and continued happiness.  Please know, this is very hard to share and terrified of hurting anyone.  This is from my heart and hope it touches someone elses.***


CaseyWiegand said...

i love you sarah :), you have no idea how much

Anonymous said...

So I was told by a mutual friend of ours to come check out your blog. As you know I don't have facebook so I am leaving a comment on here. Don't let anyone tell you there's not truth to this or make you feel bad. I certainly wouldn't worry about hurting anyone's feelings either. Life is what it is and hopefully can be recognized honestly by the other parties. Though a bad situation, growth came for both of you in some way or another. You've certainly grown in your life since then. Love- The best friend in the story :)

Candice said...

What an amazing testimony. I'm posting this on my FB because I know your words will help others. I finished reading and felt inspired to be more open about my testimony and all that God has brought me through. Thank you for this Sarah, you are awesome!

Cerrisse said...

New to following your blog, I am coming over from The Wiegand's. Reading this story was like reading my story. I had a very similar past with a guy who treated me almost the same way. I got out of that 4 year relationship and I am so inspired by your power to push through it and believing in yourself. Great testimony!

LindseyC {wanderluck} said...

Wow you are so brave. Thanks for sharing this with us. I had a very similar situation in college. I only wore hooides and jeans (in Texas summers), was not allowed to swim, to go to the gym, to do anything with friends, or even stay at my own apartment. He was addicted to so many things. Porn, drugs, etc. and somehow I thought it was my job to stick with him and see him through it all, and if I didn't, I was a bad girlfriend and definitely not marriage material. Fortunately, I escaped one summer after an intervention from a friend, because I would have married this man. I am glad you were able to escape and find happiness. I think our situations make us appreciate greatness even more when we find it. I know I will never take my patient, non-abusive man for granted.

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