Gotta’ clear my head
I’ve decided to start writing a journal. I’ve got to clear the thoughts from my head and release the anxiety, pain, heartache – and everything else I feel. I’ve kept things bottled up for far too long and since the very people I want to tell all of this to don’t want me in their lives, I figure this is the next best thing.
I’ve made some poor decisions in my life. I’ve been a huge idiot as well as a selfish bitch. I’ve made decisions that I felt were right at the time only to later learn that the actions of those decisions hurt the very people I was trying to spare from pain, or to at least minimize it as much as possible.
A good chunk of my life has been spent wondering what the hell is wrong with me. Were some of my actions and decisions the result of the massive head trauma caused by a terrible accident when I was a teenager in 1984? Or were they because I didn’t fully think things through and more or less reacted as opposed to acting in the best interests of myself and others?
I have said and done things out of fear and from being completely terrified – not of being in any sort of trouble or being punished – but terrified of a person – my ex-husband.
He and I met twice. The first time was in 1985 when I was 15 years old. I wasn’t all that interested in him – or anyone – at that time. I had other things to occupy my time. Skating, shopping at the mall, hanging out with friends, and occasionally getting into trouble while creating life-long memories.
October of 1986 he and I met again. This time I thought he was really cute! 5’11” tall, dark hair, striking blue eyes, physically fit from Tae Kwon Do. If I had known then what I know now … my life would be very different and in ways I can’t even begin to imagine.
Bear in mind that I was only 16 years old at this point, which translates to young & DUMB! Of course, at this age, most teens think they know everything and can handle all of life’s problems. At any rate, my ex-husband was the first real boyfriend I had. He was 18 years old and quite the charmer.
The signs were there in the first couple of weeks of being a “couple” but I either didn’t recognize them or I did and chose to ignore them. Like I said, he was my first real boyfriend and having never been in a relationship before, I had no idea what I should expect.
I found it strange that he told me he loved me during our 3rd phone conversation. Yeah, right? My response was simple. I explained that it was far too early to be saying that and that I doubted it was love at first sight. I recall how I felt after hanging up. There was an uneasiness but I brushed it off.
Week three of being his “girlfriend” and he had already cheated on me by spending the weekend at a hotel a few blocks from my house with his ex-girlfriend. Now, as an adult, I understand that dating someone isn’t the same as being engaged or married. But teens expect monogamy in their relationships because that’s what most are raised believing and seeing through their parents.
Week four or so is the first time he hit me. I was babysitting my brother while my parents had a date night. The tv was on, a fire quietly roared in the fireplace, and my brother was fast asleep. I don’t recall how it started, we were goofing around and suddenly he was slapping me repeatedly across the face – first one cheek the other – in quick succession. He did this until my eyes swelled and turned black and blue.
I was so shocked and didn’t have any idea of what to do. He seemed so genuine as he apologized repeatedly, stating he didn’t realize he was hitting me that hard. I believed him, like an idiot, but I also think now that it was also out of fear.
To this day I have no idea why I lied to my parents when they got home and saw me. I just said we’d been rough housing and that I banged the bridge of my nose in the edge of the coffee table. They believed the story.
I should have ended things then with him, but I didn’t. This was the first of many mistakes, bad decisions, and the start of a life of Hell that would last 13 long years.
To be continued …