I have thought long and hard at how to start this next entry because I really want you to understand and learn what is NOT acceptable in relationships. I want you to know how to never allow poor treatment to yourself. Just because a ring is on your finger does not give a man the right to abuse you. You are not a thing. Let me be the lesson. Teach it to yourself. Tell your daughters. I will tell you that my oldest daughter had a high school, early college boyfriend who became this asshole and when it finally went down, I fluffed my feathers for her and told her “I am the poster child of this. I will not let him do this to you. I suffered for you and I am not letting this happen!” She asked me for her help to make him go away and I did. It was ugly but let me tell you something. Do not ever hurt my children because I move into Mama Bear mode faster than you can load your gun. Abuse is abuse. It does not matter if it is physical or verbal, it hurts, it scars. It makes you question everything about who you are. You blame yourself for everything. Sometimes you get over it, but most times we carry it within ourselves for a lifetime and question our worthiness to any other person. Based on what I am about to share with you, you will understand how I have become reactive to men like Pavlov’s Dogs. It’s not a good place for me, but this man set the precedent and I have been conditioned. I want love from a man in my life. I want to enjoy quiet, relaxing evenings. I want my hand held and I want to snuggle. I want to be able to do those things without that subconscious person in my head saying “uh oh, he’s pissed, here it comes.” Honest to god, that’s a real thing. So let me frame out this relationship so you can learn from it.
I consider myself a smart gal. I excelled to advanced reading in the 3rd grade at one of the most forward thinking elementary schools in my hometown of Lakewood, Ohio. Open concept classrooms allowed us to be more free thinking. They ran out of curriculum for me so they had me teaching my classmates. It is safe to say I am not stupid. This is relevant because as an 18 year old woman entering college with the desire to change the world, this man suddenly became a control freak. I want you to know that when I attended OSU the phones in our dorm only received incoming calls. You could not dial out. In order to make a call you had to go downstairs to the front desk. Can you imagine a world without cell phones? I think it was much more peaceful. But if you are a control freak it possibly turns your world upside down because how the hell do you tell someone what to do constantly? Well he found a way. I did have a few small victories while I was there (thanks to my roommates). From the time I arrived, the calls began. Keep in mind he was in Pittsburgh. That’s a decent haul from Columbus. That did not matter. My roommates will tell you this is all true. I still stay connected to them. First of all, he started to try to tell me who I could associate with. I find that amusing now. College was a disaster. He wanted my time every single weekend and he found a way to do that at almost every turn. I was so stupid. I even found carpools at the union to get me to Pittsburgh because I had to be there. I wish I was stronger back then. I left my friends behind and I have so many regrets because of him. Then he started planting the seed. He started telling me I didn’t need college. He was educated. He makes good money. I am too stupid for college anyway. Wait…..what??
The pressure finally got to me. He won the first battle. I had to leave OSU. It made me sad. I came back home and kept going to college locally. I thought, well this certainly will help. It did not. Even back home he kept telling me I’m stupid, why bother…and while you are at it, I don’t like that dot on your face, get rid of it. I have a teeny tiny scar from it, because I did what he asked. Insert WTF here. During this time he took a job promotion to Morristown, New Jersey. Good! Great! He’s further away. I can get on with my studies. Nope. The idea that he would be even further away just amplified the reach. His next goal, how to get me to New Jersey.
Lesson 1: Listen to your gut! Love is NOT this! It is called control.