Years ago, when I was in my mid 20's I thought I was conquering the world. Part of that was being a wife to an extremely unprogressive man, and a mother to a young child. I gave all I had and more. I picked up his issues, I mended fences, I tolerated fuckery, I accepted less than I deserved. My parents taught me about being a doting wife, not being a human with a grand self esteem. In the shadows, I was morose. I WAS an emotionally abused woman. At 26, I had been taken advantage of so many times, I couldn't comprehend an alternate reality. Predators know their prey. And I at that time, that's all I was; broken, confused, misled, misunderstood, educated BUT prey nevertheless. This man married me, and said he loved me. This insecure, inconsistent, incomplete, misguided yet eloquent muthafucker, who wrote me poetry and told me daily he adored me, and could not live without me, ended up hiding my passport in his desk at work. Any idea of leaving the country was thwarted.
This man followed me in traffic daily, and debased me if I didn't share my whereabouts each hour. He called my job every hour to check if I was there, and switched our phones on occasion when we left the house just to see who would call me; yes, we had the same model phone. Walking out of work each evening meant seeing either one yellow rose on my car seat, (meant I was forgiven for shit I didn't even know I did) or I would see slashed tires; it depended on his mood or how long I spent with a customer in the line at the bank that I worked. I often had to drive my car on rims to the nearest gas station where, of course he would pop up to save the day. I married my own stalker.
This was "real love"
When I tried to express my living situation to the people who were around me, they told me that I had a good man who didn't beat me, and that I should be grateful. Mind you, we had been married less than 2 years. It would not be much longer before it would get physical. This process has to be part of the abusers playbook written somewhere. Start with diminishing words, get aggressive in tone, then start being dismissive just before you hit. I think he hesitated on the hitting part because he knew I would hit back! I never wanted to be that person, raising a kid in a home where fist fights were the norm.
It's almost indescribable, to be living and holding your breath for hours waiting for the next episode to pop off, or the next call to the police, the next kidnapping attempt on the kid, the next uproar because I got a pay increase, or the next time the hair dresser took longer than 45 minutes. I didn't have a voice, I was not living, I was just existing.
In this "real love"... I didn't have personal choices, I lived for my kid. My son saw me call the police so many times being afraid of how far it would escalate, he existed in fear. I carried that burden daily, knowing I created this reality by being with this unworthy human. My ages 15 to 28 were the worst emotionally. It was when I stood at the restraining order request window, pleading my case to the attendant, and recording the details that I embraced that I had fucked up by being with this man. As I walked to my car, cowering in fear, walking out of the court, with my little restraining order in hand, knowing that the police was ordering him to move out in that moment, I felt maybe 9% more safe than I did 2 hours prior. The parking lot attendant had a message for me. He said that a man waited for me and paid him to tell me.. "Don't go home if you love your life"... I thought, hmmm, this ass made less money than I did, and he complained daily about what he couldn't afford, but the payment to offer this threat was a priority for him. Smh Weeks after, I found myself hunting for my kid after he removed him from the Boys and Girls club one summer afternoon. 3 hours and 18 policemen later...I found my son abandoned "safely". I swam through years and years of failed forgiveness attempts, him hacking into my social media, him sleeping with a woman who was my subordinate at the job, him stealing money from me electronically, him creating a chat room with my contact info, him sending me messages to beg me to help his new woman pay some bills, and him attempting to manipulate my kid to convince him that instead of me going school at night, I was out with men, (me doing a masters and pre-doctoral degree at the time while filing for divorce was too much for him). I still do not know how I am who I am today. And that is just half of it. Did I mentioned I came home to find a bonfire with my clothes and shoes one night? What I do know is this ... shit, real shit happens, and I am a victor who survived things that should have taken me out. There is no way I am going to survive all that then choose to live a life that is just tolerable. I want what I want, when I want it, how I want it, and I make no excuses for that, and nothing less will do. Someone rhetorically asked me recently if I wanted my cake and eat it too, ... my thoughts were "what else should I do with cake"... So when you see me living any kind of ABUNDANT life, rejecting anything that doesn't feed me positively, just know, it's deserved. Frankly, you deserve it too.
If your purpose in someone's life is not to genuinely love, nurture, laugh with, give them what they love in their love language or uplift them on various levels, no matter how miniscule, leave them alone.
I/We deserve Purposeful Peace and Causeless Joy.