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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

And Now, the Heavy

This is going to be a really hard post for me to write. I apologize in advance, it's probably going to be on the longer side, but I want to make sure to cover all the bases. To begin, I have another confession.

This ain't my first rodeo. You see, I had a wedding before. In fact, you can see it here, on Weddingbee. I'll hit it from the top. I met my ex the week before college classes began. He was my first real love, and we dated for three and a half years before we had a wedding. My parents hated him. My friends hated him. The only person who ever spoke up was my mother, and every daughter knows your mom doesn't know anything anyway. So I never listened. In the beginning, things were fine. He was a bit controlling, yes, and slightly critical. But signs weren't blatant that things would turn sour. He would say things like, "Those jeans make your ass look flabby" or "You shouldn't move your arms like that, they jiggle really bad". Underhanded criticisms that aren't explicitly bad, since it's just the jeans and the motion, right? Not me.

So, we had a wedding. A beautiful, gorgeous wedding. Looking at the pictures, you never would have thought that the next day he would start hitting me. I'll never forget the first time. We were in a hostel in London. I took a shower, and stashed my locker key (which held my passport, wallet, and other valuables) in a pocket of my bag. Once I was done, I looked for my key but couldn't remember which pocket I stashed it in. And lord have mercy, all hell broke loose. He ranted and raved, whisper-yelling (as it was 6am) how I was stupid, useless, a moron. How the hell could I lose something so important? (mind you, it wasn't lost, I knew it was in my bag, it was just taking me an extra five minutes to locate it) Then he punched me. Hard. In my lower back, on my spine. I cried. He got in my face and told me to stop crying, I was shaming him. He said he wished he never married me. On the first day of our honeymoon. And things only got worse.

He limited my calorie intake to 1400 per day. I would try to sneak snickers and cokes while I was at work, and would "cheat" by eating subway sandwiches instead of the slimfast he mandated. I was 5'4, and 105 pounds. I was seriously underweight, and he literally pushed me through workouts, running behind me and physically pushing me to go farther, faster. I would pass out. He constantly criticized me, and it quickly became more public, when he would call me a fat ass in front of his friends. He would bruise my arms by gripping them so tight, slamming me up against walls to scream in my face for serious infractions such as: leaving crumbs on the counter after dinner, "talking back", not hearing my phone ring when he called, or GOD NO! accidentally dropping his iphone. He started hitting me more and more frequently. Never drawing blood or breaking anything, but enough to bruise and belittle.

You may be thinking, why did you put up with it? Growing up in the Bible Belt with extremely conservative Baptist parents instills pretty deep in your core that divorce is not an option. I did everything I could to be perfect, to keep the anger at bay. It was six long months of misery. You can't win in an abusive relationship. I was never thin enough, pretty enough, smart enough. I'll never forget the last night he hit me. He was drunk, as usual, and was trying to eat chicken nuggets but kept passing out with them in his mouth. I was trying to get them out (gross, I know) when I flippantly mentioned that he can't die yet because I can't pay his debts off alone. He backhanded me across the face, knocking me to the ground. Things only accellerated from there, it was hours of "punishment". I decided to speak with a counselor, who advise me to leave immediately before I wound up in the hospital. On December 4, 2008 I received my annulment.

Then I met Mr. SD, and I believed in marriage again. I still have my bad days, but we get through them. I've read a lot of worrying threads on the boards, and want to encourage you to take a look at this website if you are concerned about things in your relationship. Emotional abuse is a serious issue, and more often than not progresses into physical. This behavior is never ok, and people who suffer from it should seek help immediately. Please contact a counselor or do some research and save yourself from the cycle of abuse. This is Miss SD steppig off her soapbox now.

1 comment:

Catherine N. said...

Brooke,

I had no idea this happened, you brought tears to my eyes. I am beyond happy that you are OK now, and that you are happy with Jacob.

This is slightly unrelated, but reading about your wedding has made me kind of wish I was a cowboy (or girl). Remember I am as Northern Liberal City Girl as they come- hah so it takes a lot! But your wedding looks amazing!

Anyways, I'm sad to find out that this happened to you- but very very glad that you are OK now. It takes a lot of work to get over something like that, and to move on - and then to share it all with the interwebs. You are amazing, Brooke!

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