Growing up, I saw women in my moms family get beat by men all the time. My mom, her sisters, step-sisters (as abuse committed by her brothers), cousins and even friends. I learned in my adulthood that my grandfather used to beat my grandmother.
I can’t say I ever found it normal, yet, at the same time, I did. I knew it was wrong but because I witnessed it so often, I also thought it was just something men did and women put up with.
I couldn’t understand this so when I became a teenager I decided that I would surely kill any man that put his hands on me. Anyone that approached me as a romantic interest would be immediately shot down unless I felt I could overtake them in a physical fight. Ironically, my first boyfriend was a bodybuilder. I met him at a party when I was 16 and he was five years older than me. He was physically strong but such a soft and gentle soul that I was not scared of him. He literally saved my life.
In my mind, I had developed the idea that intimate relationships should be formed for the sole purpose of sharing a lifetime together and making a family. I’m not positive where I got this idea but wanting not to live what I had seen growing up, felt I needed to live a life in exact opposite to all that I witnessed.
He proposed when I was 18, after I decided to leave the relationship. I believe it was done in fear, the wrong reason to hitch one’s wagon to another’s star. I loved him and he loved me, but my issue was that some of our core values were too different from one another. Mainly, he did not want to have children and even at that age, making a family was a deep longing I had. So, I left, because I did not envision a shared path for the future. We parted on good terms, and though he expressed that I broke his heart, he went on to marry a year later.
I did not date anyone after him. I’m not entirely sure what dating is or what its true intent is. It seems to be an act of presenting the best of you to someone you’re interested in. I could be wrong, but the idea of it seemed superficial to me so I never did it. Besides that, I’m not at all easy to get to know. You’ve gotta be especially interested and even more patient to get close to me. Maybe dating is something I should have delved into before I married. I’ll never know.
I would meet a man a few years after leaving my boyfriend and would marry him. Twenty years later, after fifteen years of marriage, I would divorce him. Although I initially believed our values were aligned I learned I was incorrect. I would prefer to live a lifetime alone than in sorrow with the horrible skew.
What am I grateful for?
- A ex-boyfriend who patiently helped me work through the scars of sexual abuse and loved me so much that he risked his life for me (post).
- An ex-husband whose companionship provided me courage to go out in the world and create experiences I may not have otherwise without his physical presence.
- Being blessed with five beautiful children, one ascended. I am grateful to have part of my dreams come true in this way and I know they are all part of His master plan.