“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars” - Khalil Gibran
I was introduced to Khalil Gibran by my mother when I was a teenager, but it wasn't until I left my ex, that his beautiful words meant something different after I had experienced 11 years of abuse.
I knew nothing when I started my relationship with my ex at the age of 20. He wooed me with flowers, chocolates, we went on dates, movies and it was beautiful. I should have thought there was something wrong with some of the stories he told. He was a widower already (he was 26 and I was 20 when we met) and he lost his wife in an accident, that he didn't drive as a result and not to tell anyone or talk about it. Seems like an unreal story, but I had already grown up in a household where we kept secrets from outsiders.
I discovered he had lied to me about him being a smoker. He hid in a shower and smoked when he was there or smoke in the loo. He told me he would give up and I believed him. On one date, he told me he didn't love me, just to see the look on my face - I started crying straight away, but then he said no, he was only joking and that he did love me and that's when I realised I had fallen for him. Then over the next few months, he'd start turning up late to dates, up to an hour. Back then, there was no way of contacting each other as mobiles weren't a thing.
Sex was awkward and I didn't enjoy it. I say, didn't enjoy it, because I never had an orgasm. I was forced to do anal, I felt pressured to use toys on him and penetrate him with those toys. He'd buy me sex toys - but end up using them on himself. He bought lingerie for me (even though it never fit) and then he'd wear it and get me to have sex with him. I felt pressured and didn't want to do the things he wanted me to do. I didn't feel like I could say no. I was taught as a child not to say no, or my parents would get angry with me. He would ignore me, give me the silent treatment or have huge tantrums and this forced me to be compliant. He would frequently toss knives around me, near my face, he would regularly do kata with broom sticks or practice his high kicks near my face. He broke my windscreen of my car when we had a fight in the car once by kicking it from the inside. He groomed me to try and become a lesbian or bisexual.
I found tranny porn on his computer, and he didn't want me in our office, so he kicked me out of the office, and I was stuck in our bedroom instead. I was left alone most nights; he went to bed after me. He took my key cards off me; he took away my front door key and wouldn't let me in unless I called him to tell him I was coming home. I would have to knock on the door to be let in. He made me work, he stayed at home and didn't work. He couldn't keep jobs because he kept having massive mood swings and not get out of bed. I know he was mentally ill, on top of his AGP tendencies. I tried so many times to leave him, but he would say he couldn't live without me. I broke off our engagement though. I started finding female clothes in our washing, but our housemate was his brother and he always brought random girls home, so he told me their washing was mixed in with ours. I bought it, hook line and sinker.
I got fat, over 170kg, so he'd stop touching me. I was used, like a masturbation tool. I don't remember a lot, I'm now in counselling, but I can safely say, I didn't want to have sex much of the time when he wanted me to penetrate him or have sex with lingerie on. He did things to me with his hands that resulted in damage to my uterus which resulted in over 20 years of fertility issues. I'm still trying to understand if I was sexually assaulted, because I don't understand what happened to me.
I put together a 2 year exit plan when my gran died, I realised if I didn’t leave him, I would be dead soon too. When I found work, and lost some of the weight, I left him. In doing so, he revealed his truth. He was jealous because I had a uterus. He wanted to be female, he had gender dysphoria, he had hoped we could stay together, I could take a lover if I wanted to. He planned to transition and he thought I was having an affair. I told him that he was selfish, women didn't treat other women the way he treated me and what kind of person was I if he thought I could have someone on the side? I hate the word Love. It’s used to manipulate.
I have issues with boundaries, I can’t say no. I've allowed myself to be pressured into sex I haven't wanted, because I don't want to upset my partner at the time. I've said yes when I wanted to say no. After I fell in love with my husband and married him (long distance relationship was great for me because it allowed me to heal/hide my issues more) I still behave like my husband is an abuser when he's done nothing wrong. I am frightened of him when he is quiet because I learned silence = anger (he’s just tired).
So, I am married 10 years and have a child, 2yrs old. After the birth, I lost my identity that I had created around the shell of a person I had become with my ex. I need constant re-assurance; I suffer from anxiety attacks. Having a bad 2019 resulted in a break down, I realised that I needed to heal so I could be a better mother. It's working. I don't know who I could have been, but I know who I am now.
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