We’ve All Got Issues
I am chronically imperfect. I take things personally and have a long memory. I have bucketloads of issues lying around in a storage unit somewhere, and rather than stop payment and let my goods be auctioned off, I pay the monthly fee like clockwork and keep my issues safe.
The biggest box in my storage shed of shame is saved for memories of past relationships, familial and romantic. My mother beat me until I was 16, my father pretended it didn’t happen, trying to passively repair it by buying me stuff. The verbal abuse from her continues to this day, although now in email form. My little brother endured a few beatings at a young age, but was soon established as the “good child.” As much as I want to put her out of my mind, part of me still wonders what I did to deserve such a bad mom.
My high school boyfriend attacked me during my freshman year of college with the assistance of a friend. My college boyfriend threw me across a room and into a wall. But the gold metal goes to my middle school boyfriend-turned-fiancé, AKA DirtBag. He checked my cell phone and email after cracking the passwords, took credit cards out in my name, ran our joint bank account into dust with overdrafts, and caused me to lose apartments due to his lack of financial contribution. He threw my bedding out on the lawn after suspecting me of cheating, called me names I wouldn’t call my worst enemy, and threatened to take back my engagement ring every time he was angry. He punched me, hit me, slapped me, and gave me a black eye when I was 7 months pregnant. He turned me into one of those “I walked into a door” storytelling, weak-willed women who think they can’t do any better than the pile of shit they currently reside with.
I stayed with him for nearly 3 years, going through more crap than I can relay to you here. It took the birth of my son for me to finally get the guts to leave. The fact that DirtBag landed in jail soon after helped me maintain distance. Still, even though I was able to get away, the damage was done. My husband can attest to this; when we first began living together, I would flinch if he moved close to me too quickly and I would panic when he was upset, even if the reason for his distress had nothing to do with me. My husband would never lay a finger on me in anger, but I expected it. He would never verbally assault me, but I kept waiting for it and even provoked him without thinking. I had to relearn what it meant to be loved, and I’m damn lucky my hubby had the patience to see me through it.
Stories should have a happy ending, right? My mother is 1000 miles away, and I have a mother-in-law 10 minutes away who would move mountains for me. The high school boyfriend was a fry cook last time I saw him, still living with mommy and looking like hell warmed over. Last update on DirtBag was that he was conning chicks at church to get money, way behind on child support for his first son, and on felony parole. Me, on the other hand, well I’m sitting here at a cushy high paid government job (blogging, so you can tell how overworked and stressed I am), happily married to my soulmate and approaching our 3 year wedding anniversary, and mom to an amazing little boy who was a miracle child created from a horrible situation. I would love to say I’m fully healed from my past experiences, but I’d be lying. Unless you know how to change someone’s DNA, my mom will always be my mom, and my son will always be half of DirtBag genetically. I just hope one day, I decide to skip payment on my storage unit and finally let all the issues and bullshit go for good.