Ann M.

“Every time, I was gaslighted. He did it but it wasn’t a big deal. He didn’t.  He did it because I made him. I was expecting too much of him. I was unhappy and demanded that he make me happy.”

Honestly...a Love Story

If you had told me I would fall in love with somebody who only faked loving me so he could hurt me, I would have said that’s BS.  Why would somebody, who I’ve never met and never wronged, marry me just to destroy me?  Well, turns out it happens all the time and yes, it happened to me.

I met, married and got pregnant and unemployed within 6 months to a man who seduced me the first night we met.  I told my abuser “no” that night.  He stopped for a while and restarted.  I didn’t know it was a test.  I thought he would leave and not return but when he did return he was perfect; charming, smart, energetic, quick-witted, cute, honorable, polite.  I believed he lived each day like it was his last.  He deployed shortly after the wedding.

Nine-month later, during the birth of our son while home on R&R, came the controlling behaviors. My health, my spending, my employment, my social life were all limited and I agreed to it because I valued my husband and my marriage.  I felt if I didn’t, he would leave or we would have problems.  The day after my son’s birth was the beginning of the rejection and neglect phase. Rather than care for me or his newborn son he began to game obsessively.  Years later porn entered our marriage.  Then there was the always present sexual abuse; trying to sneak sex from me while I slept.

With every addition of a problem, there was an attempt to fix it.  Every time, I was gaslighted. He did it but it wasn’t a big deal. He didn’t.  He did it because I made him. I was expecting too much of him. I was unhappy and demanded that he make me happy. I needed to go to therapy.  I needed to go on meds.  I always needed to change something about myself to make myself happy and his behavior played no part in our problems.

I went to therapy.  I shared the problems I was having.  I learned I was being mentally abused by a narcissist.  He’s led me to his own demise. So I watched him now fully aware of his narcissism.  I had finally become convinced and took action when he watched porn in front of the kids and again told me this was no big deal. It is actually sexual abuse of a minor.

Still, I couldn’t turn him over to the police.  I decided to divorce and I trust the family court system would see the evidence and look out for the children.  Instead, the family court system continued the abuse. He had told them we were divorcing because he couldn’t support my mental health needs. From that point on, all evidence was overlooked. My therapist’s statements were considered tainted by my manipulation.

My children started to become toys. Physical abuse toward my scapegoated child peaked with him being taped up. Still, nothing happened. Every time an episode happened, orders were recommended and put in place that limited the children’s ability to report the abuse to me.  Reports were written and entered into records that were lies about what was actually happening to the kids and myself.  I was forced into an agreement I knew was not healthy for the kids.  My children both now struggle with depression and anxiety.  I’m still attempting to co-parent and I am still in regular contact with the narc.

At my worst, which lasted for more than a decade, I wanted to just disappear.  I felt I could walk away and nobody would care or notice except to know they weren’t being cared for.  I would fantasize about an alternative life and I would stay there.  I was diagnosed with depression during my marriage.  After the marriage, I was diagnosed with Complex PTSD and I was showing all the signs; panic attacks, public breakdowns, jumpy, zoning out, discovering repressed memories, flashbacks, extreme social anxiety.  Over the course of a year, the time between episodes increased and the intensity of the episode decreased. I am still being verbally abused. My children also learned that if I am abused, I back down so I am still the subject of abusive behavior from my kids.

However, I am overcoming all of this. My kids will be okay because I am doing the work. I have gone from a coward who changed everything about myself.  I no longer break at the first signs of abuse. I can draw a strong boundary and keep it there. I can tell my story and not shake with fear or breakdown.  This happened to me. I earned this.  I didn’t deserve it but I’m taking it and I’m using it as my pedestal.  Hear me.  I am nobody’s punching bag.  I love fiercely but only those who value love. 

I am finally loved the way I deserve to be….by me.

Ann M.

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