I had no idea what I was in for when I met you 6 months ago. I thought I was meeting just some average guy… not the man who made me feel like he didn’t need me, but wanted me for all that I am. You were completely yourself without needing anything from me to make yourself whole and you just wanted to share it with someone. I’m so happy you chose me… that we chose each other.
I have woken up with a smile on my face every day. Every day. My eyes light up every time I see you. I miss you when we’re not together. I was lost when you were away because of work. I felt empty and sad because the one person who can make me laugh until I almost pee (or faint) wasn’t around.
I have never imagined a world where I came out on top. I’ve never felt like I could make any real life goals because I had no one in my corner to back me up or make me feel like the goals were within reach. You gave me that just by being my partner and being by my side.
I tore down all of my walls for you and exposed exactly who I am. Layer by layer, you have unveiled the woman I have hidden away for so long. I love all of our inside jokes and that we really get each other – quirks, insecurities, fears and all. You’ve made me feel safe enough to share those things with you.
You stood by me when others refused to. Your reasoning? The alternative meant a life without me. I will stand by you for the same reason… because I cannot and will not imagine a life where you aren’t with me.
Thank you for making me feel like everything I have ever wanted and deserved is just around the corner.
Jeremy and I had our first sort of fight last night. This isn’t me airing our dirty laundry – we really don’t have any yet. The point is that sometimes, I forget we don’t know each other very well in all aspects no matter how in sync and well-fitted we are.
If something someone has done (or hasn’t done) is upsetting me, I tend to blow off my steam “privately”. That is to say – I do so behind their back first. I get out all of my anger, nasty thoughts and bitching away from them. Why? Because they probably don’t really deserve it. I have a temper and I can say some pretty terrible things that I don’t mean. And so, I like to get my frustration and bitch fest played out before speaking to the person I’m angry with – it assures that I’ve gotten it out of my system and am much less likely to be cruel or overly confrontational to their face.
We’re having significant issues regarding our apartment. Jeremy got this apartment not long before we met and like most bachelors, he wasn’t really that worried about the little things that were wrong with the place – things like walls desperately needing to be painted for example. So far, all of the issues we’re having are little like that, but when added together? It becomes a significant problem in my mind. I’m a woman… and the concept of this apartment having not even received the standard watered down re-painting between tenants just makes my mind spin.
(This is a sliding door in my kitchen that leads to where the washer/dryer hookups are).
The next little issue became a big issue when the once loose master bathroom shower tiles fell off of the wall and into the tub. We’re not talking one or two tiles – we’re talking more like 10 to 12 of them. Okay, so I have another full bathroom we can use instead. Life goes on, right? Except the tiles are loose and coming off of the wall in there as well – about 6 of them in various places. It took a couple of weeks before we saw maintenance to fix the master bathroom and we used the guest bathroom in the interim. And then it started – the weird maintenance dance.
They fixed the tile in the master bathroom, but not the also reported loose tiles in the guest bathroom. Okay, no big deal. We started using the master bathroom instead in hopes of the guest bathroom getting fixed next. A month went by and next thing we know, our downstairs neighbor is knocking on our door. Jeremy is in the master bathroom taking a shower… which is apparently pouring water into our neighbor’s apartment. Great. Now we’re the assholes upstairs. Maintenance comes over immediately much to my surprise and they inspect the tub only to conclude that it needs re-glazed because there is a crack in it.
(This is the guest bathroom tub. Notice the tiles falling away from the wall?)
I’m no plumber or anything, but I don’t really understand how a simple re-glazing is meant to address this problem. But again, I’m not a plumber so I am just going to throw my hands back and accept that maybe someone knows better than I do. For a couple of weeks, we go back to using the guest bathroom despite the fact that the tiles are still peeling from the wall. I’m terrified we’re going to have mold – if we don’t already.
To complete the back story of everything going on… I got a hair cut yesterday during my work break. I always change into a different shirt during my hair cut so I don’t get a bunch of hair on my work clothes. But alas, I ended up with some hair caught inside and I was itching and uncomfortable the last several hours of my work day. I mentioned several times how badly I wanted to go home and take a shower. When Jeremy comes to pick me up from work, he mentions that maintenance had been in the apartment and that we couldn’t shower… like, at all.
What!? What do you mean I cannot use EITHER of my showers? What!? I can’t use my sinks either!? What do you mean they didn’t even fix the tiles!? That’s what was wrong in the first place! I’m seething at this point. I’m agitated because I desperately need to shower – to rinse the loose bits of hair that are stuck to my skin and itching. And now I can’t use either of my bathrooms until sometime the following morning (now today). So now I’m really annoyed. It took all of this time to get someone to come to the apartment during a time I’m not busy using the bathroom to get ready for work and now they haven’t even fixed what’s wrong and yet they have prevented me from being able to use either one of my showers or my sinks.
(This is the guest bathroom sink that was re-glazed.)
What the actual hell?
My reaction? I’m going down to the leasing office to raise hell and give them a piece of my mind. I don’t feel like Jeremy is being proactive enough because he doesn’t seem to think this is a big deal… or at least that’s how I was feeling about the whole thing. In my mind, he’s blowing this all off and someone needs to step up and be a little bit bitchy. Those feelings prompt my angry reaction and I’m mouthing off about the whole ordeal. Essentially, I’m just talking a bunch of frustrated nonsense and while I mean every word of it, it doesn’t actually mean I am going to go down to the leasing office to yell at someone who may or may not even have the first clue of what is going on in my apartment.
But Jeremy doesn’t know that. I forget that he doesn’t know yet what I am like when I’m mad… who I am when I’m angry. He has no idea what I am capable of VS what I will actually do. In his mind, I’m about to senselessly walk down to the leasing office to scream and curse at people over some bathroom tiles (actually, it’s more like the bathroom tiles, unpainted walls, carpet pulling up from where it meets the kitchen, ceiling popcorn falling down in both bathrooms and closets, a whole spot of plaster missing in the kitchen, severely unpainted doors, and probably some other things that I am forgetting at the moment).
(This is where a chunk of plaster is missing in the kitchen above the stove and cabinets.)
And so we have our first fight… sort of. It was mostly me being passive aggressive, keeping my mouth shut because I didn’t even know what to say and Jeremy staying quiet until I was ready to talk to him again. We were both to blame and I wasn’t ready for us to have our first fight. So I stayed silent for about an hour until I spoke up and asked if we were still fighting. We talked very calmly for about 5 minutes and the whole thing was over. We’re back to making stupid smoochy faces at each other, touching each other’s butt and stuff.
Supposedly, maintenance will be getting these issues fixed soon. For now, I’m going to break down and go take a shower before I lose all sense of sanity.
Have you ever had apartment trouble like this? I’m sure you have and more. Leave a comment below and tell me how you would deal with this situation – I’d love feedback!
Hmm. I don’t feel like it was a very productive week. Have you ever had so much to do that you get to the end of the week and you realize that somehow, you have even more on your to-do list than you did before? Geez… what the heck have I been doing!?
So this week, I will start off with a confession. I messed up financially and it’s really stupid. I hate myself for it. I realize it’s just money and it’s not like I can’t make more of it. But seriously? I’m really upset with myself for this one.
I overspent at Walmart. There… I said it. I knew I had when I did it but I justified it because I needed most of what I purchased (things like a new toothbrush, deodorant, laundry detergent, etc.). And the other things? Well, they were a gift for a friend who bought and/or gifted things to me many, many months ago who I haven’t gotten around to finding the perfect gift for. What can I say… My guilt likes to spend money.
On top of the money I spent at Walmart (which amounted to about $125), I bought a bunch of things this month via PayPal utilizing this “buy now, we’ll pay for it and we’ll just take the money from you in 14 days” thing they are allowing me to do. I’ve done okay with it so far but I guess I went a little overboard this month and didn’t plan very well.
Okay, so maybe I did not need those 4 My Little Pony posters which cost me $20 after shipping. But I mean… either Bruce or Oliver knocked over a soda can on my desk and destroyed one of them and my heart couldn’t stand to not replace it immediately as it was a gift. It was far cheaper to just go ahead and fork over $20 now for the set of 4 than to spend $25 on just one poster later.
Maybe I didn’t need the $39 Metal Nail Polish Rack but let’s be honest here – I have wanted one for a very long time (seriously, one of my biggest wants in life is a wall dedicated to nail polish… and that’s just about standards right?). These racks can get stupid expensive. I’ve been monitoring the prices on different types for a while and $39 seems to be an average price, if not a total steal. Plus there’s this little known fact in this house that my nail polish has taken over and I cannot stand to have it all sitting around on my desk any more. I am craving some sort of organization.
And then there’s the $15 I spent on purchasing ad space for this blog. Because I spent the money using PayPal, it also fell into buy now, pay later thing. I didn’t realize it. I thought it only chimed in for purchased goods – things that would be physically delivered to me. I thought I had actually paid this service up front. Oops.
So we’re looking at about $75 that needs to come out of my bank account. That’s not really a big deal. Don’t get me wrong… it’s a lot of money but what’s done is done. The trouble is that all of this is set to come out on or the day before I get paid and I have precisely enough money to get myself to work for the rest of the week. Great. Fabulous. Way to go Kimi.
The only good news in all of this (besides definitely having learned my lesson) is that because it’s due to come out on a weekend and there’s often a 2-4 day processing time, I might just make it by the skin of my teeth (wtf is that even supposed to mean?).
Speaking of money…
Jeremy has been wanting a PS4. It’s about $430 after tax. For his paycheck, that’s not a big deal. I mean, he can’t run around buying PS4 whenever he feels like it, but his paycheck can handle that if there’s not any other big purchases to be made. I really want for him to get one because I feel like he really deserves it. He works really hard and he should get to have this game system.
Except… then we spent a bunch of money because we were getting Bruce and Oliver (litter box, litter, kitty food, toys, carrier to bring them home, collars, etc). And then he spent over $300 on new glasses and prescription safety glasses for work this week. Sure, he’ll get reimbursed for the safety glasses eventually, but he still had to pay that up front. And then yesterday… his tire blew out and needs replaced. Fabulous. The man can’t catch a break and now I feel like it’s my fault.
Have you ever been in a relationship where you know you are definitely not the main bread winner? – all of the big purchases that need made or big bills that are handled are the responsibility of your partner. And for some reason, all of these “little” things keep happening that in their own right are no big deal. Add them all up however and it’s a big mess and even if you aren’t the one who caused his glasses to need replaced and you didn’t put that hole in his tire… somehow, it still feels like it’s all your fault.
That’s how I feel right now. I feel like I am slowly breaking this man down. I feel like somehow, I am a constant drain on the people around me and I don’t know why it always seems to happen. I realize that again, logically I am not the cause of the issue regarding his glasses or his tire. That doesn’t stop me from seeing a bunch of little things that pop up that make me wonder is there’s some sort of cosmic force that ruins the lives of people close to me. Does anyone else feel this way!?
Or maybe it’s the battered women’s syndrome talking. Who the fuck knows. More on this topic later.
Worst of all is that I reminded him yesterday of all of the money we’ll be spending in September. He has training to go out of town for. Sure, he’ll again be reimbursed for the travel expense, but he still has to pay it up front. There’s a weekend trip to see his family as well. It’s just gas money but it’s money spent regardless. Then there’s my tattoo. Long story short on this tattoo – I’ve wanted it a very long time and Jeremy offered to pay for it as my birthday gift this year. He doesn’t seem to understand that this tattoo is definitely going to cost over $300. That makes me feel even more guilty because he could be spending that on getting himself a PS4. Ugh.
Don’t get me wrong – All of these things can be afforded between us. I just feel like somehow, I am draining him financially and sucking the fun out of his life. I fail at money for reasons unknown to me. I often wish I could withstand getting a second job but with my sleep disorder, I’m lucky I make it to the one I have.
This Wednesday Wrap Up is sort of depressing and it doesn’t even cover my week. Money just seems to be the big subject in my life right now. Sorry. Kittens and rainbows to follow… promise.
This was not what I was planning to be up doing at 2am when I woke up to check on the kittens. But when you see an Upworthy post related to domestic abuse that claims to answer a very serious question that even in your own mind you aren’t 100% certain you believe your own answer to… you watch the video and then you talk about it. Why? Because you realize that you have to. You realize that if you don’t, you will never get past it. If you don’t, there’s a very good chance that someone else won’t ever get past it either.
The below video is a Ted Talk featuring Leslie Morgan Steiner. Be cautioned that this is a very serious video in which she accounts her story in how she faced abuse from her first husband. She answers the question “Why Does She Stay?” very well. And while maybe that isn’t the answer for every victim of abuse… it’s certainly the reason I stayed and I feel compelled to share it.
My ex husband was this same man. I was lured into our relationship at the very tender age of 20 under the impression that everything would be picket fences and rainbows. He had a good job – military, with decent pay and the strong potential to continue climbing the ranks. He had a nice car, was well dressed, was incredibly intelligent and seemed so full of love. I was instantly attracted to his charm and he made me feel so safe. Financially, I wasn’t in the best place but not the worst either. He made me feel like if we got married, the sky was the limit. I could go back to college, we could have a family, we could take vacations and enjoy a few of the nicer things in life. We were so in love. Heart-wrenching, intense, unyielding love… til death do us part.
I was pregnant almost instantly. The isolation came quickly and easily for him. I already did not have a very good relationship with my parents and he even made efforts to try to help me smooth things over with them. I had only one real friend in the area and they lived just far enough away to make it very difficult for me to run to them. Now that I was pregnant, he was able to take my car away with the reasoning that it was unsafe for me to drive a still fairly new vehicle. I absolutely “needed” to trade in my 4 year old car in on something newer. I did as I was instructed because in my eyes he was older, wiser, knew better than I did.
Step 1 was putting my new car only in his name. I was in love and I knew he would never lie to me, right? The car needed to be in his name only for the sake of our license plate and property tax – if my name were on it, we’d have to pay for these things. With but one signature, I signed my freedom away. I gave him the power to control me by letting go of a car I worked very hard to pay for myself in high school.
Step 2 was coming up with reasons as to why I couldn’t drive this car. It needed fresh oil. It needed gas. We needed to get the brakes checked. He didn’t feel comfortable with me driving it in the rain. Oh it might rain today so just in case, you can’t drive it. You’re pregnant so it’s not safe for you to drive. Now the car has sat for months without anyone turning the engine over and it no longer runs – it needs a new battery.
Step 3 was me quitting my job. I didn’t need it. He wanted me to stay home, be a housewife, take care of him, rest and get ready for the baby. I left my job and I felt without purpose. I started an online t-shirt design business because I couldn’t stand the lack of productivity and earnings. I gave him every dime of it that I made in order to contribute to bills because he made me feel like I needed to still contribute somehow and wasn’t allowed to spend the money on anything for myself.
I was now fully under his control and I didn’t even know it yet. I was so stupid and oblivious to the whole thing and at this point, so was everyone who knew me. From an outsider’s perspective, he was just taking care of me and I was “lucky” to have a man love me as much as he did.
Step 1 started during my pregnancy. I had started playing World of Warcraft (WoW) again to help pass some of the time where I was alone at home so much without much contact with the outside world apart from a few Mommy / pregnancy boards on MySpace at the time. He had zero interest in the game… until he did. He took over my account for himself. We started to fight because he took over my thing – didn’t ask, didn’t care that it was how I was occupying my free time. He just sort of took it. Then he got addicted. Very addicted.
Step 2 was making me feel unwanted. He spent more time on WoW now – often all of his free time outside of work. He made excuses – It was important, He had already promised xyz he’d do something in the game, He supposedly “needed” to play because he wanted to unwind from work. He gave many excuses and made me feel guilty for wanting to spend time with him after being shut away at home all day.
Step 3 broke me when during an argument about his excessive WoW playing, he told me that he would take our unborn baby away from me after I had her.
I was sad… very sad. I was now terrified of the man I married. I felt all alone and the man I loved didn’t even want to spend time with me. And now? Now I was afraid that he would make my life difficult if I didn’t obey or worse, somehow take our baby away. I was reminded daily of how much he was doing for me, how hard things were at work for him, what he was having to sacrifice in order to take care of me.
This happened not really in any steps. It all sort of happened abruptly and most in relation to various fights we had regarding his WoW playing, issues regarding his sleep apnea and snoring, various unpaid bills because I had no access to “our” funds or “our” bills and they were going unpaid because he was forgetting to pay them.
During each of these encounters, I was degraded. He made sure to tell me I was worthless and suggested that I had no friends (he’s right – I didn’t), that my family didn’t care about me (they did, but very little), and that I was going nowhere in life (I couldn’t – he took away my job and my car). He made me feel like I needed him because I would no longer survive without him. I had to be with him and it was the only way I and our baby would get taken care of.
After I had our daughter, the physical abuse started. It was simple things at first – pushing, slapping, holding me against a wall. But it progressed very quickly to slamming my head on surfaces, choking me until I passed out, holding me above the edge of the stairs and threatening to push.
No one will care if you die. I can bury you in the back yard and no one will ever think to look for you. I can kill you and no one will ever know.
That still sends chills up my spine to this day. This quote and various forms of it became the norm. At one point, I slipped and almost fell down the stairs in one of these altercations and for a split second, I believed I was about to die. I was going to fall down these stairs, break my neck and crack my skull open once I reached the bottom at the door.
I had a lot of bruises to start accounting for. Most were easy to hide, but some were not. I cancelled several doctor’s appointments for myself and our daughter because I couldn’t leave the house with bruises on my neck in the shape of his hands. Most of the bruises were left by hand until objects around the house became involved.
Hawaiian Punch Jugs. I still get a weird feeling in my stomach when I see them. I picture him using the plastic handle to swing a large, empty jug at my body.
Why I Stayed
I told no one. I was afraid that if I told his superiors, he would take it out on me. I needed to be there for our daughter. I couldn’t anger him like that. He was going to kill me one day. Maybe he wouldn’t really mean to, but one day… he was going to slip up and kill me.
It wasn’t until his lack of paying the bills affected us to the point that his car was repossessed and he was suddenly willing to fix my car and make it run that my anger really set in. He had long since not allowed me to do any grocery shopping and we were left at home all day without food and often nothing for our child to even drink. Putting my foot down about the issue only resulted in me getting beat.
I stayed because the potential alternative sounded worse. I stayed because the man I fell in love with wasn’t this man. I stayed because I had convinced myself that he was just stressed out at his job and that one day soon, everything would be better. He’d convinced me that I wouldn’t survive without him.
But one day, it all set in. I had to get her out of there. Our daughter couldn’t be raised in this. I had to try. I had to get her away from this situation somehow. We needed a way out and so I took the one that in my mind would be the easiest to pull off. I left him. I packed up our stuff and I walked out the door one day while he was away at work.
Clearly, I am alive. Although I was afraid he may kill me if I tried to leave him, what he did to me was far worse. He made sure to spin everything to the best of his ability so that although he did not want our daughter, he didn’t want me to have her either. He threw thousands of dollars into the pot to make sure I had no ground to stand on and that I couldn’t even afford to compete. He destroyed me in every way a person can be destroyed. In the end, it was so much worse than I could have imagined.
I often toyed with the idea of going back to him. That’s what he wanted after all. He wanted to make me suffer to the point that I went back home in hopes of it stopping. But I knew it would never stop. If I went home, it was only a matter of time before he killed me, or worse… our child.
To this day, I will put a lot of the blame on myself because I’m not ready to do otherwise. Dozens of friends and 2 psychiatrists will tell you that I was not the problem in my first marriage but there will always be this tiny part of me who was abused so heavily emotionally and mentally that I can’t clearly see what everyone else sees in me.
It’s that same tiny part that sometimes has trouble acknowledging my self worth. I can’t always see what others see in me and so I belittle myself for the comfort of it. I live in constant fear that I’m not good enough and that eventually, people will see what I do and that they will leave me for it.
I’m severely broken and hope one day, I’m able to put it all back together. But it’s been 6 years since I walked out the door and I still have a long way to go.
I really hope that this video and account of my personal experience make you understand a little better about why people stay in an abusive relationship. It isn’t as simple as “I’d never stay with someone who hits me”. You don’t know what you would do given the right circumstances.
I was talking to my boss about the recent passing of Robin Williams. It was announced yesterday that he had indeed committed suicide and died from asphyxiation via hanging by his belt in his closet at home.
This devastates me – the idea that someone who has brought so much laughter and joy to millions of people, felt like he had nothing left… no one to turn to… no other way in which to achieve peace. Someone with so much going for him must have been in so much pain to take his life like that. It hurts me. It triggered a very sore spot for me.
I have suffered from depression the majority of my life and have on several occasions, felt that the world would be better if I simply didn’t exist. I told myself many times that I was a useless drain on society – that I could do nothing more than harm the people around me by being alive. It doesn’t help that people who should be extremely close to me, have gone to great lengths to tell me these things and make me feel this way. I still often feel like a screw up and like people would be better off without me. And if someone like Robin Williams can feel that way, what chance do I have?
Only in the last 2 years have I really started getting myself together. It’s been an uphill battle and I wouldn’t be where I am without constant support. Sometimes I look back and I wonder how I even made it here because it doesn’t seem real. I grieved for 3 years after losing my daughter. It stripped me completely of my identity. I was no longer Mommy… no longer the person I had wanted to be my entire life. I don’t even really remember who that woman was any more. She’s gone. I don’t know if she’ll ever really come back.
But there’s beauty in the struggle. I wouldn’t be here posting this. I would have never discovered some of the best parts of myself. I wouldn’t have my closest friends. I wouldn’t have a wonderful man in my life. There would be no kitties sleeping at my feet. I may have lost everything, but I gained so much else. And there’s a chance that one day… I will really have it all. And I will appreciate it all the more because of the struggle.
Today, I am reminded of one of my favorite songs. It speaks of struggle – mostly in a financial sense. But when I hear it, I think of the struggle of being human… of just trying to make it from day to day… getting out of bed in the morning… finding meaning in life.
Please. If you are reading this… please seek help if you ever feel like you are considering suicide. This is a list of suicide hotlines. Call them. It’s literally a group of people who have dedicated their lives to making sure that you know that no matter what, they care.
Depression hurts. Not just you, not just me… but everyone your life touches and affects. You ARE important. You have meaning.
[gdlr_quote align=”center” ]900 years of time and space and I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important.