I don’t even know where to start.
I left everything for him. My home, my job, my family, my friends, everything I had ever known to move to a strange city hundreds of miles from everything that made me…me.
Soon as we moved into our flat, he just dumped me in there and left me all day in silence until he returned from work. All day I’d cook and clean and dress myself in the finest things I had. He would come home, tell me how beautiful I looked, eat the delicious food I made, and then tell me how tired he was and roll over and go to sleep. I’d be left twiddling my thumbs bored out of my brain.
Then I would hope for the weekends, only he had other ideas. He decided he would work seven days a week when he was only paid for five. And when I did manage to convince him to “go out”, he’d only pay for one meal and make me ‘share’ with him and if I did convince him to go somewhere with an entrance fee, I’d have to pay for both our tickets otherwise he’d say it was a waste of money.
Whenever we went shopping, I was told I did not need what I wanted. I was given an embarrassingly limited budget to run my house, and when I did ask for more because some months I just could not manage, he would tell me it was because I was wasteful. So little by little all my savings I had stupidly disclosed to him before marriage whittled away bit by bit over the years to cover the shortfalls.
He spent lavishly on himself, treating himself to all the latest gadgets and dressing well. Me? My clothes that I brought with me from my single days stopped fitting me after the kids came along so I would just make do with what I could find in charity shops.
I could live with all this. But what I couldn’t tolerate was the mental abuse. Always being blamed for the wrongs he did. Always being told I was overreacting and far too sensitive. Always being told that I was distorting the facts and what I thought happened didn’t actually happen. This started to make me question my reality, my sense of self awareness and made me doubt who I thought I was and the qualities I thought I possessed.
When I had spent all my years being told I was a good person and someone who inspired others. He would tell me I was evil and bad and should be ashamed of myself. And that exactly how I started to feel. Ashamed.
Years and years passed and I was slowly ground down to the shell of the person I once was. I went from being a social butterfly, confident, happy and optimistic to withdrawn, insecure, deeply depressed and cynical.
All came to ahead when my narcissistic Mother in Law came to stay to “help” me prepare for the birth of my child. She didn’t come to help; she came to be looked after. Even though I had begged my husband not to bring her to my home, behind my back he booked her tickets and sprung her stay on me. I wasn’t happy but I still tried to be respectful.
It was hard being stressed with the arrival of the baby and then having another mouth to feed and another negative presence in my home. Now parts of my home were off limits to me and now my husband would have his ear bitten off by his mother of things I apparently did to “disrespect’ her.
Daily there was a drama with her. But I tried my best not to take their bait and tried to remain strong and focused. Despite both their promises to help, when it came to the crunch, neither helped me to purchase things for the baby – again coming out the last bit of savings I had left. Neither helped me clean or prepare where the baby would sleep or what the baby would use. I had to enlist the help of friends all the while my mother in law and husband sat downstairs watching TV whilst we worked for hours and hours.
There was a special occasion whilst she was here and I got up early to decorate the house, buy a cake and gifts for everyone. It was beautiful. I had booked places for us all at parties and we all had an amazing time. That night, I requested my husband to ask his mother to relax whilst I got some food cooking. She took such offence to that that she once against started filling his ear with venom against me and how I had dishonoured her.
Furious, he came to demand I apologise to her. So I did. Three times. Whilst she curled herself up into a ball on my sofa fake crying. By then the pressure was too much and for the first time I spoke out. “What your problem?’ I asked her directly. I told her what my husband had told me. Shocked that she had been caught out, she backtracked and tried to change her story. I was absolutely livid and left to go upstairs.
All night I had pains that I thought were Braxton Hicks. But little did I know the stress my husband and his mother had caused me made me go into premature labour. Worried by this, I finally forced myself to pack my hospital bag but I kept telling myself the baby wasn’t due for weeks.
The next day I stayed out all day suffering unbearable pain, but that was easier to handle then be home with people who were against me. Finally it became too much to bear so I came home. I tried to give my child his dinner and shower and get him to bed but the pain was overwhelming. I couldn’t do it.
I went to my husband and asked for his help. He insulted me and called me a hypocrite for asking for his help. I told him I was in labour and suffering terrible pain. He barged passed me whilst I was in tears begging for his help and stormed downstairs. I thought he had gone to heat my child’s dinner. I was wrong.
In fact, he had gone to tell his mother to get ready to leave the house. As I lay in my bed thinking I could just rest a little. Instead I heard the ignition of our car. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, so much that I got out of bed to check to see with my own eyes. And low and behold, I saw our car driving away.
Right there and right then…my world shattered.