The first of many anxious situations

Em • 25

This is a really long story but some girl might need to hear this... sorry I’m advance. The moral if you don’t want to read is that the past can mess you up but someday you’ll start knocking down walls and proving how strong you are

TW: abuse, rape

My ex and I got engaged in some sort of hope that it’d fix our problems. Yelling constantly, never having time together, pushing each other around only escalated to him dragging me across the house by my neck and shoving me down, death threats, hitting, choking, constant insults, yelling, and pushing me around. Did I mention he’d borrow my car to sell weed out of (pretty illegal in WI although I’m not against marijuana use). Finally after a bad incident in front of his family where no one said anything I started packing my things. A week later he kicked me out after I accused him of spending all his time with his old fuck buddy while her husband (his friend) wasn’t around he told me to get out of the apartment. I packed up my stuff that night (he worked night shifts which caused problems too) and left. I got a deer on my way home. Luckily I had insurance as he’d taken most of my money at that point by not letting me work. I had no friends, no money, nothing left but my broken spirit. I didn’t stay away long. I stayed with my parents but continued to see him. We decided to get another apartment. I couldn’t bear to be in the old one where everything was toxic and he had sex with another girl there after I left. We went on amazing vacations and barely fought. I thought it would be okay. The day we moved in everything was going to change. We were going to do better. I didn’t move in yet as I was finishing teaching back home but planned to quit and leave after the school year. We got in a fight and he choked me until I passed out. I remember him blocking the path to the door (all our stuff was in the path to the door since we were moving and hadn’t unpacked) and wanting to fight back as he grabbed me but my brain couldn’t make my arms move. Everything dissolved and I made peace with him in my head before everything went blank. I woke back up to him worriedly saying my name. Once he saw I was awake he told me he wanted to stab me. He left the apartment. I called my best friend who drove from another state to see me. Her whole family talked to me on the phone. I promised to go home. I didn’t. I went back and took an adderall (he was addicted, we had a lot) and just unpacked and scrubbed the new apartment scared if I did a bad job he’d hurt me. I went back to my parents the next day like nothing happened. Kids would pull on my lanyard and I’d freak out. I couldn’t have anything near my neck. I didn’t know what to do anymore. I had no one to reach out to. Nobody would understand how I loved someone who hated me so much. It took time but I started to let go. He fought me on it. He still begs for me back. One day I drove out when he was suicidal. He raped me (not the first time) after I had spent hours hiding weapons/anything sharp and holding him. I just cried. The guy I was seeing at the time (who was also garbage) hated me and didn’t even listen to what happened. He told his best friend he used to cheat on his ex with how I was a slut. He was using me for money anyway. I decided to move across the country. I was so done.

I met a great guy a few months in. The kind I always thought I’d marry. I thought he’d save me from wanting my ex and all the pain. He never cared about my trauma. I decided I needed to be strong on my own. I started branching out and running. I started taking therapy more seriously than I did the past two years. I was going to save myself. The guy ghosted me. The 30 year old engineer couldn’t even admit he didn’t want to see me. I saw the dark hair on the bathroom floor and the hair clip in his bed and I’d stayed. I wished he’d have told me how she’s prettier. Or something.

I met my partner shortly after. I wasn’t that interested. He was cute but 13 years older. I assumed he just wanted sex. We had margaritas and he told me he was only into serious relationships. We both had engagements that ended two months prior to our weddings. He was too nervous about our first kiss. It was sweet and I knew he was a good guy then. The first time I went home with him a couple dates in we had started getting frisky he stopped it suddenly and told me he respected me and didn’t want to do it yet. We got dressed and slept cuddled up. Everyday he shows me how I deserve to be treated. He always gives me the yellow straws when he makes drinks because it’s my favorite color. Opens doors, holds my hand while crossing the street, sits at restaurants so he can see the door. He thanks me constantly if I buy or make dinner. He checks in on me all the time. Makes sure I eat and makes me snacks to take to work. On my day off he always tucks me into bed when he leaves for work and gets his puppy to come lay next me. Even overheard him ask his puppy if I would make a good mom for him and also once said out loud to his puppy he gets to sleep in with mom tomorrow. He told me his job is to tell me how beautiful I am to him every day: spoiler alert: he does. Everything he does is sweet and I’m in return very kind and thoughtful back.

This weekend was hard. He had a friend over. My ex would yell at me every time we hung out with friends because I didn’t talk enough. He’d ignore me while we were out and if I made a playful joke with his friends at his expense he’d be furious once we got in the car. I was an anxious mess when my partner’s friend got there. I was shaking. I had nothing to add to their conversation about DIY home projects. I hung around. Was polite and sweet. When they went to work on the truck I didn’t know what to do. I sat on the porch with the dogs and crocheted. Deep down I was scared my partner would hate me like my ex for going off to do my own thing as there wasn’t room in the garage really and I’d be of no help. I cringed when he came over after awhile to check on me. He gave me a kiss, checked out my project and said they’d be some soon and come hang out with me. I talked with his friend alone for a bit. I felt like I did good. I also hung out with my partner’s brother more than usual. We had a great dinner together. Later that night he seemed upset I asked if he wanted me to go in the other room to work on my crochet so he could turn the lights out for GoT. He reminded me that he wants me near him always e en if we are doing different things. When we went to bed he asked if I was okay that he was busy with his friend during the day. He wasn’t mad I bailed, he didn’t comment on how much I spoke. He just wanted to let me know he feels bad when he can’t give me the attention I deserve. I nearly cried in relief that we both were on the same page. He made a comment that I love him before we fell asleep. I guess he’s in on my secret

Here’s a photo of his puppy this morning sleeping in with me:

Basically things get better. You can escape abusive relationships. Reach out if you need help. Not every story is as fast as some of the posts on here. I’m not saying they’re not valid but not everybody finds their perfect partner after an abusive one on the first try. Some take years. Some people find their knight in shining armor before they even leave. It’s all valid. You all are on your own timeline in life. It’s not a race. I’m proud of all the ladies getting out of abusive relationships. So so proud. That shit is hard but it makes you so so strong. I had several shitty relationships after my ex. I didn’t expect to find love like this. Nothing is certain. I’ve only known this guy a few months. He made sure to make us exclusive right away. Even asked me to be his girlfriend after the first time we were apart for a longer period of time. I still have my shit list from therapy of red flags and qualities I don’t like. He hasn’t done any of them. I’ve only made it through one event that makes me anxious from my ex. I’ve got a guy who is patient enough to make it through. We might not end up together but I hope so. At least it’s renewed my hope and belief in love and romance.

Sorry this is so long. I’ve been wanting to share my story for awhile though and today waking up next to my partner’s puppy I was overcome with a feeling that I’m finally really making it. A ring, fancy apartment, and vacations won’t save something so broken. Sometimes something smaller like breakfast at the diner every Sunday means more. You all deserve something good. Within yourself and maybe even in dating if that’s what you want.