I keep saying I'm going to write a book. I'm going to workout again. I'm going to find the 'old me'. I'm going to. I'm going to. I'm going to. I'm going to. But... here we are almost a year later and I haven't yet.
Don't get me wrong. I stay moving. I get up and start moving and I don't stop till well after dark but, it's not the same. 8 years ago, I got up early and did a 30-60 minute workout before even thinking about starting my day. At lunch I did another one. In the evenings sometimes I did one more for good measure. Often working out 2-4 hours a day. Weekends I ran. Well, not so much running like 10 min mile running, more like 12-14 min mile walk/job/run combo. But. I did it. I was out there putting miles under my feet. Now... my knees hurt, my foot hurts (torn lcl & meniscus injuries / tiny fractures) So now I make more excuses where used to I would just push through the pain.
What happened to me?
Life happened. One bad decision happened. One decision that altered the course of the next 8 years happened. I whole heartedly believe that everything happens for a reason but, I also whole heartedly believe that God tried to tell me not to do it and I didn't listen. I thought I knew better. Know what happens when you do that? God lets you do it. He's there for you along the way. But, like any good parent he allows you to learn the hard way. And... like everything else in my life that's exactly what I did.
It wasn't bad enough that I had already had 1 bad marriage that lasted A LOT longer than it should've but, then with God telling me don't do it, I did it again.
The night before my 2nd wedding I was having panic attacks because I was so scared to do it again. My soon to be husband told me it was cold feet and he left his bachelor party to come to me to make sure that I show up the next day. He could tell from the way I sounded and how I wasn't calling him or checking in or any of that stuff that something wasn't right. He knew I didn't want to.
I thought it was supportive. Looking back on it, I don't know. Maybe it was but maybe it was something else.
There are so many signs that I ignored. The arguments about him traveling into a war zone. The time he walked away from me at the airport and said 'I don't care if you're here when I get back' because of a fight that started when I asked when I should be there to pick him up.
The son that wasn't with him but, as soon as he found me he got. The family that handed me a child and said raise him like he's yours. We trust you. They didn't know me. They handed me a kid and told me to love him and raise him and they had no clue who I was. No one wanted to raise him. So I did. For 8 years. Until they heard we were divorcing and then they told me 'it wasn't my responsibility anymore'. But. It had been. For 8 years he had been "MY BOY", my responsibility. Funny how then I was nothing more than just a glorified babysitter and I was even told that to my face (over the phone) by several people.
There were the fights about my kids. Because I wouldn't leave them with everyone all the time and take off with him like he wanted me to. Because my boys have always been my priority and will always be.
There were the times that he was so angry he threw fits. Tantrums. Like a 2 year old. And usually like a 2 year old it was because I said "NO". Boundaries weren't allowed unless they were his. He could do whatever he wanted and I wasn't allowed to say anything. If he wanted to use my phone, go through it, read messages, he could. I let him. I never hid anything. Him on the other hand. Completely different story. Not 1 time in 8 years was allowed to pick his phone up (that I paid for) to use it. I couldn't look anything up with it. I couldn't make a phone call with it. Nothing. It wasn't allowed.
In the beginning it wasn't as noticeable because he had a business partner and his own company and they we're weird about it. They were always being on the secretive side of things and they were never up front with anything but, I was told everything he was doing was 'for the business' and it seemed logical.
There were other things. Other red flags. Like the time I was so miserable and some upset and so beside myself with my marriage that I drank too much too fast, in the bath tub, and nearly drowned. I had a vision of my boys 'telling me not to leave them' (they were young at the time) I snapped out of it and woke up and started crying but, even that wasn't enough to make me leave him.
That one time that I did something similar and face planted into a pile of bricks, blacking both of my eyes. That happened.
Those were red flags too. Something, someone, that causes you to have reactions to their behaviors that are so out of character for you, you should pay attention to that.
When you find that you're the one constantly screaming. When you find that you're drinking too much. When you see that you're angry and sad all the time. That you're always anxious. You're always waiting for the next bad thing to happen. You need to pay attention.
Those things are important.
You're behaviors are important.
I've read that you can't control others but, you can control you're reaction. That's true. One way, the best way, to control you're actions is to walk away from anything and anyone who turns you into the monster they claim you are.
So where I am now. I'm clawing my way to the other side.
I have a better relationship with God and my parents than I've had in years. I have a drink occasionally but, I don't get drunk.
I've been through a storm, and now I'm seeing the sky open just a bit in the distance.
No one will ever really know what I've dealt with. Everyone has heard stories, his, or mine and they all have this 'idea' in their own heads of what they think that was like because some like him, and some like me, and some think I'm stupid, and some wonder how he ever ended up with me and some don't know either of us and they say "why didn't they just leave"?
Do you have any idea how hard it is to leave toxic?
Toxic is called toxic for a reason. If it were easy to walk away from it wouldn't be a big deal. Do you know how toxic people pick their victims? They pick people they admire. They choose smart ones, people who are caring and intelligent, because they know that those are the best ones to use. Caring people have trouble walking away and guilt and manipulation goes a long way with these folks. Intelligent people have the same issue because they're always trying to decide what they need to do. They overthink everything, and they have a hard time 'cutting their losses'.
Toxic relationships have a bond that you can't understand if you've never been in it. That night I almost drowned in the bathtub. I ended up naked on the kitchen floor, in the fetal position, crying my eyes out, who was there taking care of me, telling me it was going to be ok? The person who started the argument in the first place. Who reminded me for years after that incident that they were the one there that night taking care of me while I cried, and threw up? The person that started that argument.
What started the argument that spun so out of control, something stupid to most people but, for me it was the complete lack of respect and disregard of yet another boundary that reminded me (right after the marriage seminar we just got home from) how unimportant i was to him.
From the first day I met him he has done whatever he wanted to matter the cost. Today he still does what he wants. No matter the cost.
He thinks I don't know what he's doing. He thinks I don't know who he's with. He thinks he can continue to use me and lie to me and have his cake and eat it to. He thinks that I will continue to listen to him blaming me for the decisions he made. He's wrong.
I'm sorry that he's in the position he's in. He made the choice to not get a job. I'm sorry that I filed for divorce (twice). I should've stuck with it the first time. But. Honestly 2020 was the best year of our marriage. Sad isn't it?
I'm sorry that our kiddo (his son) is with his birth mom but, it had to be that way. She made sure that I knew I had no say. They used me to raise him when they didn't want to. Now I'm just the woman that his dad was once married to. I'm not mom anymore.
I'm sorry that people are sick of seeing me like this. I'm sorry that I can't just get over it. I'm sorry that I still have to look at literal holes in some of the walls of my home and have constant reminders of what we through.
I'm sorry that I can't seem to find closure.
I'm sorry that my kiddo is 5 hours away and I can't visit him like I did when fuel was $2 a gallon.
I'm sorry that I've made the decision to go on with my life; without them.
I can't make him work. I tried that. I can't make him do anything he doesn't want to do. Ultimatums didn't work. Tough love didn't work. Begging and pleading didn't work.
I can't make him leave the extra women behind either. Something in him is empty. He needs that attention, admiration, whatever it is and I was just the wife, I didn't do that for him the way the younger girls did. Snuggling up to him for selfies, claiming to be the 'side piece you can take to your wedding', that's a real nice claim for a 'nice, innocent, girl', right... whatever. After the divorce and after the restraining order, still more of them. Same thing. Fishing with him in the middle of the night, shopping with him, doing all the things he wanted me to do but, i couldn't because someone had to work. So... he found someone like him, 20 years his junior, to hang out with, and replace me in all the things, I couldn't do. And in his eyes that's ok. There again. Boundaries. I have them. He crossed them.
Those are the choices he made. Those choices had consequences. I'm not sorry about that. He knew the consequences would be losing me. He just never thought that I would actually leave.
He knew I was attached to him. He knew how much I loved him. He knew how much I loved our little family.
But... Here we are today.
New job. (that I LOVE)
Little to no contact with the kiddo because birth mom is insecure (it is what it is)
I'm not trying to NOT be single. (Yup I used a double negative.) I LIKE SINGLE. I can do whatever I want. I can spend money on whatever I WANT. I don't have to rescue someone CONSTANTLY.
I'm doing me.
I'm taking care of my kids. I'm training and riding my horses. I'm trying to enjoy the peace that God is giving me. It comes at cost. It came with a lot of loss. It came with a lot of heart ache. But. 8 years ago God told me not to marry this man. He told me he was only hear for a season and I didn't listen. One night in New Orleans I looked at his business partner and told him "I'm going to marry that man"; that night, was a good night. That night I felt safe and loved, and taken care of. It's amazing how all that can change so abruptly.
I don't want to go back to the old me. I want to create a new me. This me. This me has so much more faith in God than she ever did before. This me. Has been through hell and came out on the other side. This me is crawling and clawing her way through the mud and the muck to get to where she's trying to be. This me is learning to forgive things she will never forget. This me is learning that even though I was called crazy for 8 years, even though I've been called unimaginable names by someone who claimed to love me, I am NOT those things. This me still cries herself to sleep sometimes and she mourns her losses but, this me, she knows that God has something better in store.
The new me. Has started taking better care of herself. Mentally, physically, emotionally. The new me has cut ties with people who cause harm and stir up trouble. The new me has no desire to spend time with the old me anymore because the new me use everything the old me went through to be stronger, more confident, and more secure in everything she does from now on.