Thursday, May 2, 2013

What doesn't kill you Part 1

This post has been really hard for me to write. I've started it over and over again; deleting after every attempt. This is something I will want to have to look back on. To remind myself how far I have come.

I was in a verbally abusive relationship for almost 2 years. When I say verbally abusive I mean being called every terrible name you could never even think to call another person. Along with those names I was told I would never amount to anything and that my daughter would be taken away from me if I ever tried to leave. Generally these interactions occurred after alcohol had been consumed. He would come home after a night out. Normally I would already be in bed bracing myself not knowing what would happen when that door opened. In the morning he would usually not even remember what had been said. If I told him he would laugh give me a half hearted sorry and go about his day. Not me though. Those words cut like a knife and I began to find myself in my own personal hell. Scared to leave and scared to stay.

People always ask me "what even attracted you to him in the first place?" It's important to clarify that these out bursts didn't begin until I was about 4 months pregnant. When we first met I thought I had finally found the one. He was kind and charming and soft spoken. I had been through my share of dating and they all turned out to be jerks. It was refreshing to finally have found someone who seemed to put hope back in my heart. We had fun together usually getting drunk or going to bars. Alcohol was what brought us together and what ended up tearing us apart.

After I found out I was pregnant I stopped living the night life. I couldn't even stand being around drunk people. They seemed sloppy and annoying from my sober eyes. Not to mention I was growing by the day, working 12 hour shifts as a server and going to school full time. I was exhausted. He, however, kept going out. Every night he would leave and not stumble in until around dawn. That is when it all would start.

I would be fast asleep until I would hear him crash into something. A result of drinking 10+ beers. He would come in and lay down. If I were lucky he would pass out. I would then stay up trying to hear him breathe for fear he would drink himself to death. The other nights I can remember clear as day. I don't think you ever forget being emotionally berated night after night.

My father was an alcoholic. Growing up I watched the addiction consume his life until it ultimately ended it. Before I got pregnant I enjoyed the party scene. I never once relied on alcohol or let it consume my life. He knew my past and how alcohol ruined my family. It still hurts that he let it ruin ours too.

So why did I stay you ask? I was naive and scared. I was pregnant in an unfamiliar state with one family member a town away. I kept telling myself "when the baby comes he will change". I think the breaking point for me was when I got I locked out of the house 39 weeks pregnant with wet hair in 20 degree weather. Another result of him drinking and passing out unable to hear my cries for help in the cold. His mom came to got me but that was my first realization he probably wouldn't ever change.

Lindsey was born on a February night after an emergency c section. She was the most perfect 6 pounds I had ever laid eyes on. He took to her immediately and gave me renewed hope for the family I dreamed of. For the first two weeks I felt as though I was wrong. He could change and maybe he could love Lindsey more than he loved the booze. I was so wrong.

After those first two weeks life resumed as normal. The drinking picked up right where it had left off. My parents came into town and my mom got a taste of what my life was like. Having gone through a situation almost identical with my dad, she was worried and had every right to be. Easter came and resulted in me having to call his parents to come get me because he was so drunk I was scared for me and Lindsey. Such a great way to remember your child's first Easter. Through summer and fall I fought like crazy to keep the relationship together. I prayed until I cried almost every single night. I read relationship blogs and sought council from Christian women I respected. I stopped asking for help with the baby because I was wasting my breath. I quit trying to wake him up before noon because he needed to sleep off the alcohol. I even quit bringing up the drinking. I tried to be more positive and encouraging. Anything and everything to turn this nightmare around.

In the end it only blew up in my face. December is when I noticed a change. He was drinking and driving every weekend. Staying up later and drinking more. When we would interact it was like he was not even present. He checked out while I was still killing myself to make it work. New Years is when it all came to an end. My mom was really upset that he was going out to drink while me and the baby stayed home. She and he got into an argument and I got caught in the middle. I tried not to choose sides but my mom said things that were very valid but he just didn't want to hear. He didn't speak for me for 3 days because of it. Then on the fourth day I caught him in a lie. Lying is something I just would not tolerate. The drinking I was willing to work with but lying is so completely disrespectful. Once trust is gone in a relationship there is nothing left.

I left for Arizona 2 days later. The man I fell in love with was gone. What was left was a fragment of someone I used to know.




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