Though the last several months have been rough, I'm happy to say that I feel like my life is changing for the better. There's a ton going on, but I really can't complain about much of anything. I'm getting a promotion at work, have an extremely supportive network of friends, I've had some really great luck (including winning the Volks Lottery), and have quite the good start on saving money for my own house.
Just a warning; this is going to be an extremely long post which will detail probably far more than anyone is wanting to read. Feel free to skip the rest if you're not interested in personal stuff, I will hopefully have an unboxing post on my "Unboxing Photos" tab.
I probably won't be able to spend money on a whole lot of new things for a while, but until then I will post pictures of what I have gotten that I haven't posted about yet. :)
I'm going to start with the worst first, because I don't know how else to begin. I suppose this may not be written the best way possible- as it is very difficult to explain any of this in a way that will seem right to anyone. Not knowing a full story makes understanding something a lot more difficult. Knowing that, I will try to make everything as clear as possible.
For the last five years I was in a relationship with a boy who thought only of himself. This boy was not the "man" everyone thought him to be. I've not been honest at all about the things that went on in the house we "shared" and I will not go into complete detail here. However, I will say a few things that I think are important to develop an understanding in possible future blog posts.
There is no easy way to say that the person you were in a relationship with for five years wasn't a good person. For many years I felt stupid and weak. If I did reach out to anyone I would often get comments about how I should "Just leave him" or "I don't know why you stay." Often times I would even hear things like, "It's your own fault if you don't leave." I can not express exactly how much I hate that last statement. If you are unhappy with someone, it isn't always easy to leave- especially if they won't let you.
Saying you're going to leave and actually doing so isn't as simple as some people make it sound. When you're in a relationship with someone who does everything he or she can to manipulate your emotions or even physically hurt you, it's next to impossible to get out of it. I can't count the amount of times I heard "If you leave, I'm going to shoot myself." or "If you go, I don't have a reason to live so I'm just going to go drive into a tree." When it wasn't that it was, "I'm dying anyway. I'm sick and in constant pain, I have no reason to live without you."
When I wasn't hearing that I was hearing nothing. I would be ignored for weeks on end, not having anyone to talk to or help me with anything. It was my job to take care of the house and clean up after him, with little to no help. This wouldn't be a problem if he was thankful at all for my presence, but he wasn't. I was told more times than not that I don't do anything at all. Cooking dinner, cleaning, taking care of everything.. it was never enough. What I did do went un-noticed, and what was noticed was always "wrong".
He would be out with friends drinking or "street-racing", doing whatever he felt like doing. I found out from a friend after we broke up he was also on random "hook up" websites and dating websites. I knew what was going on long ago, but I suppose part of me felt like I couldn't leave if I had the guilt of someone's death hanging over my head.
Among other things, I was blackmailed into staying with him for quite some time. I was told repeatedly that he would make everyone hate me if he left. He would tell them how I was such a "whore" and "waste of space". Extreme possessiveness on top of the threats kept me from getting out a long time ago. I would've left in high school if I'd had the family I have now. There were some times when I was even told that he wished I would kill myself or die, because then no one else could ever have me.
It wasn't until I grew to realize that I had family that would love me regardless of what someone else said about me that I could break free. There was a lot of cheating on his end, threats, an extreme porn addiction, manipulation, physical and emotional abuse... as well as many other things that I will not go too far into.
I always tried to make our relationship sound "normal" despite the fact that I was never allowed to leave the house or go out with friends. I wasn't allowed to get a job until the last year of our relationship (so I had no money to get out until then, and he forced me to quit my job as a teenager), nor was I allowed to talk to any friends. If I talked to a guy at work, had a male teacher in school, guy customers... it was a huge deal. Every day I came home and was accused of having an affair with a guy I worked with. No one in particular, just any guy.
This is pathetic I know, but if you want to know how hard I worked to maintain the facade of a good relationship... 0ften times I would buy things for myself and say he bought them for me. From a birthday cake to collectibles, tires for my car to food in the house.. I don't believe there was a day he ever really paid for anything for me. I will admit I was dumb and irrational, I often helped him pay for things he needed and helped him buy cars, car parts, ect... I suppose part of me foolishly hoped that he would at least treat me better if I had to stay with him forever.
I truly saw no way out for a long time. I got the job I have now as an attempt to save money to move out, but it didn't end up working out that way. Obviously- I mean hey, look at some of this stuff I collect. It's not cheap! I will readily admit my money spending habits were probably not the best, and I should've been more prepared. Regardless of how much money I have though, I'm out now and to me that's what truly matters. For the first time in over five years I'm "allowed" to live.
I'm not writing this to bash him, or say he's a terrible person. I'm not writing this to get back at him, or try to get him in trouble. I'm writing this because I want everyone to know that abuse in a relationship is much more common than you may think. I never thought I would be able to leave this relationship I had with him, but with the strength of my family I was able to.
This will sound incredibly strange, and maybe I'm a little messed up because of it- but I'd like to think that what he did for me was to make me a better person. I went through hell, learned what the feeling of fear of dying was- and learned that I had the capability to fight for my life if I needed to. He helped me understand what kind of person I am, what kind of person I was when we met, and what kind of person I need to be in the future. Though I wish I hadn't wasted more than five years of my life in complete misery, I can honestly say that he has made me a stronger and better person. He surely didn't mean to or want to, but he was not successful in breaking me as he assumed he would be. It is thanks to him that now I can be strong, and I have a deeper understanding of life than I ever could've imagined possible.
I believe everything happens for a reason, and though I'm still figuring out what that reason is for this particular thing that happened to me, I know good will come out of it. If I can help someone else who was in the same situation get out of it, it will have all been worth it.
Now for the second part of this ridiculously over written blog post-
My family. In what's been a little over a year that I've worked at the place in which I'm employed, and since I started I've found the best people I've met in my entire life. These people aren't just friends, they are family. I have a rather large family by blood, and they are of course important to me as well- but I've never been as close to any of them as I have to my "work family". There are times when we get on each others nerves and drive each other crazy, sure. However in the end, we all still love each other regardless. It may sound weird to say that people you work with are family, but looking through my eyes our bonds are stronger than that of family related by blood.
It's not been long since I started working with everyone, but I suppose bonds can grow extremely quickly when you work for days on end with the same people. You get to know each other better than you know anyone else. I've felt comfortable around very few people in my life, but everyone in this family I feel like I can truly be myself around. Being able to open up, not having to be fake - it's the best thing I've ever had happen to me.
Each person in this extremely dysfunctional (but incredible) little family of ours has their own place in my heart. I am especially grateful to two people in particular, who have been there for me through the very worst and best of everything. I'm ashamed of some of the ways I have acted towards them, not trusting them and opening up to them as soon as I should have. Yet through everything, they've stayed by my side. These two people showed me the meaning of family in a way that I never knew or believed was truly possible. I hope they know exactly how much they mean to me, even though I don't believe I'll ever be able to adequately express it in words.
For the first time in my life I know everything will be okay. Regardless of the pay, commuting, and daily struggles *which I make to sound more terrible than it really is* I feel like I've found my home. These are people that I will never let go of, the type of friends you will probably only find once in a lifetime. I do know how lucky I am to have this family. I can't express how thankful I am to all of them for letting me be part of this in words. I went from being entirely alone and feeling like I had no one at all to depend on to feeling the best about my life that I've ever felt.
Never in my life did I expect that I would be able to be part of something this significant. To feel like I belong is the only thing I've ever wanted, and for the first time I truly do. For the first time ever, I feel like I'm invincible as long as I have my family at my side.
I don't know how many of the people I'm speaking of will see this, but I want anyone who does to know that I am grateful. If I could tell everyone in my family one thing it would be this (and I mean it with all of my heart) - "You saved me."