Thought I found the love of my life, my soulmate, not so much. We were childhood friends. Lost touch as we got older. Became friends again in my late 20s. He showered me with beautiful gifts and beautiful words. He treated my daughters like they were his own. We married shortly after on an island with family and friends. He cried when he saw me walk down the aisle. I thought this was the best thing that could’ve happened to me and my kids. A man who loved us unconditionally. He knew all my insecurities and all about my past because we were friends first.

Soon after marriage we had our son. Then things changed. I thought I was doing something wrong. I thought I was being too bitchy, not trusting enough, and not loving enough. I think my son may have been about 6 months old and I remember being startled by something that woke me up. I look over and he is at the window of our room looking out saying “your old boyfriend is outside” “you’re a whore, white trash”. I was like huh? Still half asleep and in disbelief. He then starts pacing in our room yelling and cursing some more with my son sleeping in his crib. That was when I became a mute, I was at a loss for words. This man I had known more than half my life, been with for a few years was verbally abusing me. I don’t think I went back to sleep that night. I kept thinking I was going to be stuck in this forever.

Verbal abuse became physical and emotional abuse shortly thereafter. He spoke badly about my friends, my family, and my coworkers. He would call me at work and say crazy things. That I was having an affair or not there. He would eventually take me to work and when he picked me up he always positioned the car toward the door I was coming out of, God forbid I say goodbye or smile at anyone because then I was sleeping with them. I continued to blame myself that it had to be me because he was always the sweetest, loving man and I must’ve did something to change him. Was I the whore, ugly, white trash loser he claimed I was? Self-esteem in the gutter. I thought maybe he is doing steroids that’s why he has mood swings. I thought I could fix him back to the man I thought he was. I had our daughter and knew I would never get out.

The physical abuse got worse. He admitted he was doing cocaine and wanted to put himself in rehab to save our family. That lasted 48hrs. He choked slammed me in front of my son who tried to run to me (2yrs old) and told him “don’t touch her leave the bitch on the floor”. I literally went to work and came home. Like I was in prison.

His nephew killed himself and he became severely depressed I thought I could save him again. Abuse got worse after that. He started picking on my girls every chance he got to me. He spoke terribly about their fathers. Last straw he sent my mother a message about my oldest daughter basically saying she wouldn’t amount to anything etc. I took the kids and hid in a hotel for 2 months. He eventually found us.

He tried to run me and the kids off the road twice. He stole my things out of storage he stole money out of my bank account he vandalized my car, degraded my name and my family’s names. I have a restraining order but it’s just a paper. It doesn’t stop him from trying to manipulate the kids. After 3 years he still acts like he’s innocent and I’m the crazy one. Fat lips and bruises on my neck don’t lie.

Did some research and realized he’s a narcissist. He’s evil and will never change. Everything is everyone else’s fault. I finally have about half of my self-esteem back and am on the road to happiness. My kids are in Therapy. I trust no man except for my father who never knew he did any of this to me may he Rest in Peace. I hid it from everyone. All my coworkers, friends and most of my family thought we had the best marriage. I was a good actress.

The signs were all there I chose to see past them. My eyes are wide open now. Any man I date me and I see anything remotely reminding me of him I cut them off immediately. Have to work on that trust thing again. Easier said than done. I get upset sometimes reliving the hell I lived with a man that could never have loved me. Love doesn’t hurt. Love doesn’t leave bruises and fat lips. Love doesn’t make you dead inside. Hate does all that.

Please recognize the signs. Lavish gifts, grandiose gestures of “love”, alienating friends and family. Constantly being put down and making it seem as though you have no self-worth. My only mistake was thinking my love would change him. That one day he would just change back to who I thought I was in love with. I lied to my family and friends about my bruises and made excuses for his behaviors. “Oh he’s just depressed” “oh you know how I can be”. I wasted so many years and so many tears on an evil man. I allowed my children to see me as a weak woman. Although they say I am the strongest woman in the world. I wish I believed them. They keep me going. They are my world. I am only here because of them. Plenty of times I wanted to just die instead of living like that. I thought that would be my only way out. God sure was looking out for me by giving me the strength to finally just RUN with my kids. God gives you what you can handle and I handled enough and it was my time to break free. Save myself and my children. Stop the cycle before one began. Love yourself first.