Good Morning Ladies,
I posted on my Facebook asking for stories of survival. Starting the Women who Survive series will hopefully inspire others. Letting them know they are not alone. Quickly my email started to fill up with amazing stories of women who have survived any type of trauma. The first story I came across was this one. The author chose to stay anonymous but her story is one that I know will hit close to home for a few of you.
**I will not edit your stories unless otherwise asked. Keeping the raw emotion and feelings is key for these stories. Some stories may contain language and graphic details. If you are younger than 16 please read these stories with an adult.**
Here is her story
I grew up LDS, I was told if you follow these steps and look for certain aspects in a companion you will live this storybook life and live happily ever after. Well, I did what I was asked. I followed every rule in the book, the man I dated and married was a returned missionary. He was everything any girl could dream of. So I thought.
I met “John” while I was working at a clothing store. He was there with some friends buying shirts and asked for my help. We laughed and chatted and he eventually got my number. We went on date after date, and I fell hard quickly. He was cute, funny, a returned missionary and had a good job.
After about a year of dating, we got engaged. I was beyond happy, everything was falling into place for me and I was marrying my best friend. The wedding was perfect, the honeymoon was perfect. At about six months into the marriage is when it took that downhill spiral. The person I had dated was not there anymore, the person I married turned into a completely different person.
John started to spend a lot of time locked in his office on his computer. He started to say things to me like “your starting to let your self go a bit huh?” The relationship was not what it was while we were dating he was constantly picking me apart and putting me down. I felt so alone.
I was cleaning one day and came across his computer. Thinking back on it I wish I wasn’t a snoopy person but I am, and what I found on his computer was a punch to my gut and I felt completely betrayed pretty much but everything and everyone! Porn, I found files upon files of pornography.
To members of the LDS church, we are warned against porn. Told time and time again the dangers of its nature, and addiction. As I sat there frozen in the chair I could not move. Why me? I did what I was supposed to, I did what I was asked..what happened?
That night I approached John about what I had seen. He went from zero to thirty in a matter of seconds. Accusing me of not trusting him, he went off. Nothing he does on his computer should be any of my business and that’s when the verbal abuse really started to rear its ugly head. He made sure to tell me there was nothing I could do, I couldn’t possibly find anyone that would love me. He made sure to point out how I have let myself go ( I hadn’t even gained weight), how I didn’t try anymore. All I ever do is try with him but it was never enough.
The sad thing is weeks went on like this. He would tell me over and over how I was fat, and couldn’t do my makeup. That I tricked him into marrying me and how I was lucky he still stuck around. I started to BELIEVE him.
I signed up for gyms, and I started to skip meals. Even as I lost weight he wouldn’t let up on the fact I was never enough for him.
Finally, I had enough. I asked him to go to counseling with me. In hopes of fixing our marriage. John told me it was all my fault and I should go to counseling. He had nothing to improve on. After many tears, I finally went to my mom. She told me to go home pack a bag and leave. I had tried everything and the man would not change.
I never thought I would be a 23-year-old divorcee. But I was. It took me so long to recover. I prayed, went to church, hated God, fell away from the church, and fell into a depression. A depression that only my family was able to save me from. Their continuous love brought me back to the church where I was able to find happiness again. Recovery is something I will probably always face. There are moments those words he said to me come into my mind and start to poison my brain. Knowing my triggers through therapy has helped me to overcome these moments.
I survived because I had family that loved me no matter what. They loved me through my downward spirals and my uphill climbs. Everyone banned together to help me. They packed my apartment, helped me with the whole divorce, I wouldn’t be here without them.
My advice to those in a similar situation: Know when the bottom is, know when there is nothing left to do. I fought for my marriage but I knew I was the only one bailing water out of a sinking ship. It is not your fault, you did not fail.
If you or someone you love is an abusive relationship please reach out to someone, or call 1−800−799−7233.