I didn't like who I was when I met him. I preferred his ideal of "the right woman." I shelved my baggage. I pretended to be more mature than my 19 years of neglect and abuse. I put my needs aside and focused on making him happy.
I wouldn't talk about my personal life with anyone. No one knew that his paranoia and insecurities kept me from seeing friends, or even keeping in touch with them.
I brushed off his constant negativity, his judgmental ways, his resentments.
We decided to have a kid a few years ago... before this change nothing had challenged his ability to cope in such a dramatic way. I quickly learned how poorly he adapts, how quickly he looses his temper, how much he relies on substances to keep "under control."
It was about a year ago when he first laid his hands on me. I didn't see it coming. He viewed my actions as threatening to our toddler, he got in my face and when I tried to push him away he grabbed me and pinned me down in to a chair... screaming in my face to "calm the fuck down".
I know that he over reacted, I didn't deserve that treatment from him... I lost so much trust that day. A year later, a similar event would lead him to corner me in the dark bedroom and scream in my face. He grabbed my arm so hard that he left bruises and cut me with his nails.
As I heal through therapy, though police reports and standing up for the girl who was hurt her whole life... as I get better, he gets worse. He does not want me to heal. My healing means that he is losing control over the damaged woman he married. According to him, the issues I'm finally able to confront are making his life worse.
I finally let it sink in that I have never had a healthy relationship. I've never been close to anyone that didn't hurt me...
I realized that I have to get out. Dead or alive.
I've started to organize my life, get my stuff together, heading for the back door... I put my few valuables in to a safe deposit box, items are stashed at work... just the other day I secured a place to go. A few more details and I will no longer be living here.
To escape this cage, this life that is so toxic and bad for me, I first had to separate myself from the things I care about. The items I'm afraid of losing if I have to leave in a hurry. My comfort items and securities. In a way I guess I'm learning how to cope without them...
I'm scared, but at the same time so very excited.