These are excerpts from my relationship with my ex. Situations that when I look at them now, I shake my head and wonder how I could have been brainwashed so utterly and completely!
When I look back over the years of my involvement; it is truly hard to figure out when the abuse started or if in fact it was a world that I was introduced to where the abuse was so firmly rooted by the time I met him. There were so many events before our married years give me pause for thought now after having travelled this road with him. We had dated from high school on and I really had bought a lot of it hook, line and sinker as you do in a long-term relationship. If you’ve got 8 years invested in your partnership before you even hit the altar; you have a tendency to assume that you know the person and that they have your best interests at heart. After all, what other motives could there be? This is what I naively thought those many years ago.
I met this Italian guy first day of grade nine. Initially didn’t give him too much thought. (that should have been a tip-off maybe) As my highschool years progressed, I got to know him better. Thought he was a pretty good guy, nice, but maybe tried too hard. I had a fair number of propositions but didn’t date much in those years as my life was busy with work, sports and clubs. He was VERY persistent by the time our 2nd and 3rd years arrived. So much so, that he even exhibited a jealous streak with me regarding a boyfriend I had dated very briefly. In my fifteen almost sixteen year old mind, I guess I looked at that like a form of flattery. By the end of grade 12 we were dating exclusively. Whenever I would question anything even remotely different; I would get a simple answer….”we’re italian, that’s what we do, there’s no changing it”. I never wanted to changed it, only understand it. But I took this answer to my question into our relationship, trusting that through it all, he would have my back. Sometime in grade 13, we had a conversation that went something like this….”My parents want me to break up with you because you’re not Italian”….after some of the shenanigans over the previous years, he had conditioned me to believe this resolutely. There were copious tears, lots of them, from both sides. Of course, now the answer “because we’re Italian” just isn’t good enough for me. I was a good kid, not a grade A student, but a good kid and now I have total strangers, who I haven’t met yet, telling their son that I’m not suitable. Biggest question in my mind? WTF. I suggested that I meet them and once they got to know me, they’d like me. Nope, it wasn’t the right time. We would just carry on covertly under the radar as per his wishes. We were an ideal couple as per many people’s opinions; fueled by this I agreed. How could so many people be wrong? So we did carry on, for 6 more years, before I was actually invited to a family occasion. He had been invited and came to many of our family functions right out of the gate. Not sure how he was able to explain his absences to his family; guess he just lied.
What Really Happened
Honestly don’t know. The only information I was given after the fact was by his parents in my years of torment following his “first” affair. I have first in brackets because I am now aware of others. What they told me, was that they had no knowledge that we were even dating….at all. He had told them I was a friend. That’s all. They told me that the “conversation” they had with their son never existed. So, it appears to me at least, that he was following this path in life much earlier than I had even imagined. I had an opportunity to get away during my college time, but I didn’t choose wisely when I returned. There were again the tears and he falsely accused me of all kinds of things. He pushed my buttons but good. The good person in me wanted to prove him wrong and show him once and for all that I was a worthy person and deserving of his love.
What I had wrong was that I was a worthy person and deserving of love but I would never get that from him, I had to look elsewhere for happiness but I didn’t. Young and foolish I was and desperately in love with an unworthy person.