Not long after my dad passed away, I began dating. I do believe that was a coping mechanism for me. Unfortunately, that led me into some very toxic relationships and taking part in premarital sex. Writing about that may be too much information for some people, and if so, I will say, don’t read any further. But I know that someone out there needs to read this. I filled the void of not having a father by getting into long-term toxic relationships. I was in three serious relationships throughout my teenage years. Not one was a healthy relationship. Please take my advice when I tell you having premarital sex does not fix anything. It actually only makes that hole in your heart even bigger. In the moment, I was tricked into thinking it was okay and there was no harm in it. After all, it took my mind off of how much my heart was hurting. If only I could go back in time and tell myself how much God loved me and could lift the weight I was carrying from my shoulders. I never realized that those mistakes would follow me into my future. My faith was very weak throughout those years. Now that my faith is strong, I know right from wrong, but I am still tempted to feel ashamed and disgusted with myself for making those mistakes. However, God has washed away all my sins and has taken away my guilt and shame from my past, so I don’t have to carry it into my future.
A Spiral Into Abuse
In 2013, I got into my third and so far last long-term relationship. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had just broken up with my boyfriend of three years after finding out he had addiction issues, when I met the man I eventually married. Again, the hole in my heart was never healed, so I was trying to satisfy my heart by getting into another relationship. I knew right away the person had issues, but all I cared about was the attention he was giving me. At age 19, I was longing to find somewhere that I belonged. I believed that settling down and starting a family of my own would satisfy how I felt, and it may have if I had been in a stable and loving relationship. After knowing my boyfriend at the time for around seven months, we moved into an apartment together.
I ignored so many sirens going off in my head that told me to get out of that relationship. A few months after moving in together, I found out I was pregnant. Throughout my pregnancy, I would move out of the apartment after an argument and then move back in after he would apologize and ask me to go back. I am not writing this to talk badly about my now ex-husband, I write this in hopes of saving someone else who may be in the situation I was once in. I am going to go into details about some things that happened while I was pregnant. The person I was dating was an addict, abusing drugs and alcohol. I was in such denial I had no idea until he confessed it to me later on. Being in a relationship with an addict causes a ton of arguments and stress. We would argue, he would eventually calm down and apologize, and I would do whatever it took to keep the peace so I could just be “happy.” Throughout that time, I suffered a lot of mental and sometimes physical abuse. Arguments would turn into him unleashing his wrath upon me. I am not trying to put the blame entirely on him, I am just trying to paint a picture of how toxic and wrong that relationship was. The unleashing of his wrath would include him screaming at me, stomping his feet and jumping up and down, pushing me down, leaving for hours and coming back even more high or drunk, cussing at me and degrading me, writing mean things about me on the walls, trashing the house, leaving and taking my keys and phone so I couldn’t leave or call for help, taking a baseball bat and smashing my computer, smashing several of my cell phones, waking me up in the middle of the night blaming me for searching guys on Facebook, threatening to not give me any money to pay bills with unless I did what he wanted me to do, smacking me in the face so hard that it knocked me across the room, coming into our bedroom in the middle of the night throwing the blanket off of me accusing me of doing stuff under the blanket, punching holes in the walls, accusing me of watching pornography, accusing me of cheating on him, accusing me of not going where I said I was going to go, towering over me yelling and spitting as I sat in the corner in the fetal position afraid of what may have happened next, chasing me down in his vehicle, showing up at my relative’s home banging on the door and getting himself arrested, I would find notes he had written to himself from himself saying things like “stop doing this, you love your family, I can’t it’s too hard to stop”, he would call himself Cletus and say it was a demon, threatening to leave me and take my child from me, and so much more. Was I completely innocent during all of this? No, I wasn’t. I argued back, I cussed and called him names, I accepted his apologies. I stuck around when I could’ve just walked away and left the relationship.