Little Shoulder Devil

“Where ever I am, I always find myself looking out the window, wishing I was somewhere else.” – Angelina Jolie

After that Black Friday, this friend of my fiance was with us basically everyday. He spent the night at our house numerous times, and our friendship was really starting to grow. I knew there was something dark inside him, he had a major drug problem, and holding down a job was not something he was capable of doing. He was simply no good. After over 3 years with my fiance though, I was longing for someone to give me that attention, the butterflies and compliments. On the inside of my relationship with my fiance, it seemed like everything was great; the sexual tension between the other guy & I had led to mind-blowing sex with my fiance.

Those three weeks following Thanksgiving, I was riddled with overwhelming anxiety. I had constant panic attack, I wasn’t eating, and I was vomiting up stomach acid. My guilt had never been so strong. I literally thought my body was rotting from the inside out because of the ideas in my head, and the lines I had crossed. I had not physically touched this other man, but everything else was there, and we were hiding it from my fiance. It was getting out of control, but I had no idea how to stop, or if I even wanted to. I was stressing myself out beyond repair. My mother was present for a couple of my panic attacks, she witnessed my puking, and the emotions that were driving me insane. She looked at me on December 18th, and stated, “You’re pregnant.”

I didn’t want to hear that. I was not planning on having children anytime soon, I was diagnosed with PCOS at 18, and honestly ruled out babies in my future. Now I’m 21, engaged, the wedding 4 months away, and I’m falling into Lust with another man. Another man, who was my fiance’s BEST FRIEND, and BEST MAN in our upcoming wedding. My head wasn’t clear, and I knew I was on my way to crushing at least one heart. The day my mom told me she thought I was pregnant, I went and bought a pregnancy test out of curiosity. I’d taken a million of them since I was 16, it wasn’t a big deal. They all came back with the same result. I set it aside, and reminded myself to pee on it, first thing in the morning.

I went to sleep that night, and had the most vivid dream. It sounds ridiculous, but this tiny voice coming from inside my stomach had told me, “Don’t forget to take the test.” I woke up, weirded out, and headed for the bathroom. I peed on the stick, and set it aside, I knew I had lost my mind, my body was following suit and playing tricks on me.

My fiance was at work, my mom was hanging out in the other room. I waited on the toilet until I thought the test would be done cooking.

I reached for it, and immediately went into shock.

“Pregnant.”

I screamed out, “What the F*ck?!”

How did this happen, this was ME, I don’t get pregnant!

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Sinking Sand

“Once you had put the pieces back together, even though you may look intact, you were never quite the same as you’d been before the fall.” – Jodi Picoult

What happens next in our story is what changed the entire direction of my life. Putting this into words is going to be a process, because trying to convey the amount of heartbreak that was felt at the time, seems impossible. I was given a violent shove into reality, while trying to cope with the aftershock of adult decisions. I know by now the title of my blog, and the contents of my posts aren’t really matching up. Like I said before, I wanted to lay a solid foundation before I start touching on the deep topics, and we’re almost there.

It was September 9th, of 2012, the boyfriend had taken me out to an amazing dinner, then to a movie. I had a feeling something was up because he kept getting weird, and giggling at strange times. The night went on, and it was a pretty perfect date night, we headed home with our leftovers in hand. After sitting up in bed half the night, we ended up getting intimate. When it was over I told him that I needed to pee, and I stood up, half-naked, to put my underwear back on. He was laying on the bed, staring at me like he was up to something, then he took his hand out from underneath a pillow. There it was, a black ring box sitting in his palm. He laughed at me, I’m assuming because he literally got me with my pants down, and he said “I promise to keep you forever, if you marry me.” I fell apart. I was so excited, and without a doubt in my mind, I said “Yes.”

Now, you would think that I’d be smart enough to leave well enough alone, turns out, God had a different idea. Diving right into wedding planning, we set the date for April 20, 2013, so about 6 months or so to get everything ready. We’d already been together for almost 3 years, dragging out an engagement didn’t sound like any fun. Plus, after you graduate high school, finding reasons to celebrate life is difficult. I was the only daughter in my family, and I wanted the show, or at least I thought I did…

 

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After we put down the deposit on the venue, and made headway on a majority of planning, a monumental moment occurred at my family Thanksgiving. My fiance received a call from a friend of his, we had spent time with this guy and his wife, and he & my fiance had been friends since they were 12 years old. He sounded upset, so my fiance stepped outside to finish the call. When he enter the room afterwards, he informed me that his friend had told his wife we wanted a divorce. My fiance told him that we would pick him up later to join us in Black Friday shopping, hoping to cheer him up and get him out of the house. My best friend was also coming along that night.

I hate admitting this, but the wave of excitement that came over, me when my fiance told me that this guy and his wife were separating, was terrifying. This was a huge problem, and I could feel it in my soul the moment I found out. The reason being that I had picked up on many strange vibes from him when we were all hanging out. By strange vibes I mean, seductive stares, an over abundance of “accidental brush pasts,” and random smiles when no one was paying attention. I knew there was something behind his behavior, but I didn’t necessarily want it to stop. As attractive as my fiance was, this guy was built like a sex god. I’m not kidding, he oozed sex. Knowing that it was being aimed at me, and I never said anything to my fiance, makes me the most guilty. I am not, in any way, a part of why this married couple separated. I just knew inside that bad things were in the near future, and my conscience was about to be tested.

Medication

“I hope you find someone who calms the storm within your soul.” – R.H. Sin

In the beginning we were so broke it wasn’t even funny. I had been working at the same place since I was 14, and after I graduated I thought I needed more “me time” before college started. Plus, there was this really cute boy waiting for me at home, and I didn’t want to keep him waiting. I quit that job with hardly anything to my name, and he was living like a gypsy before we got together. We always made it though, somehow we found ways to get money together for gas, or a pack of cigarettes. We were just being irresponsible kids, and we had a blast doing it. Life before the real world, and bills, began.

We had a fantastic group of friends, and we all got together and spent nights aimlessly talking around a bonfire, camping, or playing drinking games. None of us got much sleep back then, if we did it was from 8am till 5pm, and we would get up and start again. I don’t remember any other time in my life when things were so carefree and amazing. He and I were living the high life, and it didn’t matter what came our way, or how broke we were, because we had each other.

As the months passed and adulting started to become mandatory, I got a part-time job while I was going to school full-time, and he got a full-time job at a factory. It was pretty great, gave us some time to be apart and miss each other, while having the money to go out and do things on the weekends. We never argued about where to go for dinner, or what movie to go see. Our heads were always in the same place, going the same direction. Not to mention, the sex was absolutely mind-blowing. Like our bodies matched up, and every time we had sex, it was like Christmas. I’d never had more orgasms, or had more fun in bed than I did with him. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner, in more ways than one.

There was one hurdle, that no matter how hard we tried, we could not get over. I could never get him to let his guard down and let me all the way in emotionally, and I was still having trouble controlling my temper. There were nights that we would lay in bed talking about life, and as soon as I would bring up a deep subject, I could feel him withdrawing from the conversation. His childhood wasn’t all puppies and rainbows either, and he suffered the consequences of the things his mother put him through. I’m sure growing up with a diagnosed bipolar mom was never the ideal situation, and he was her favorite puppet to play with. He learned very early in life how to keep himself from getting too hurt, and how to keep his emotions on lock. I didn’t find out until some time after our breakup how much he really loved me, and how deep I actually cut him. I, on the other hand, couldn’t control my mouth if my life depended on it. If I was hurt, or offended, in any way shape of form, I would attack. I didn’t have any hesitation in going straight for the throat every single time. Saying whatever I could to hurt the most, using his past against him, it was second nature. Add that to the million things I regret.

This guy ment everything to me, and even now, almost 6 years later, my heart still aches. The last year of our relationship was something out of a dramatic horror movie. At least that was the way it felt, like everyday was a slow motion nightmare. I’d love to say that I grew stronger after that year was said and done, but it wrecked my head & my heart. Living through the series of events that defined the rest of my life was tough, and healing those wounds takes time, forgiveness, and prayer.

 

Emerging again

“Not until we are lost, do we begin to understand ourselves.” – Henry David Thoreau

Following that first experience, I was headed in 20 different directions. The ex had a new girlfriend within a few days, which was like salt in my wound. I was bitter, and afraid that no one else would want me. The anger was overriding all of my logic, I said and did a lot of things, I’m not sure how I made it out of that period of time with friendships still intact. I was a monster, just downright hateful at times. God bless the people who kept me grounded when I couldn’t do it myself.

From my experience, anxiety presents itself outwardly 3 different ways. As a child, I cried pitifully, and uncontrollably. As a teenager, I screamed & threw objects in fits of rage. Now as an adult, I go numb. I don’t want to speak, think, or move, for fear of shoving myself off that imaginary cliff I’ve made into a balancing act. They’re all defense mechanisms, and you learn how to survive as your symptoms change. Heaven forbid you be able to conquer the signs, right as a few new ones appear, and you have to restart your battle.

I was supposed to go to college about 4 hours away from home in the fall of 2010, I knew that it would be the best thing for me. My parents were very supportive, we had everything ready to go by the summer before my senior year. Three of my good friends were set to go as well. We had our acceptance letters, and big ideas for the near future. Until, my anxiety started to creep up. Soon I put in a request to graduate high school midterm, because I couldn’t stand the idea of being there for another full year. My request was granted, I was so ready to be done with that part of my life.

When I was applying for colleges my junior year, I covered all my bases and applied at the local community colleges as well. I think I knew I would end up choking eventually, my separation anxiety from my mom never let up, I wasn’t going to be able to live 4 hours away from her. In December I graduated high school, and by February, I started dating a friend of mine that I had been acquainted with for a couple of years. He was drop dead gorgeous, and we had a great foundation of friendship. One night we were hanging out in my bedroom, watching movies and downloading ridiculous ringtones, which was normal for us. The next thing we know, we’re laughing, and then that first, perfect kiss happened.

We were hooked on each other, and in comparison to my first boyfriend, I was in paradise. He never mistreated me, raised his voice, or a hand. Loving each other came so easily. We basically started living together as soon as we were officially dating. The next three years went seemingly well, with normal ups and downs that young couples run into. We were best friends, and I thought I would spend the rest of my life with that man. Back then, I wouldn’t have ever guessed that I would be the one to toss it all in the trash…

Going Forward

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:7

 

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When I entered my first “real” relationship, I had no idea of what to expect. I was 16, and I had never even kissed a guy, because I thought first kisses were sacred. Little did I know, I was about to cross lines, and compromise my integrity for this boy who I claimed to fall in love with. Relationships of teenagers are more like obsessions. There’s very little real love, and a whole lot of jealousy, confusion, and hormones. I was desperate to spend every waking moment I could find with this human, it was mentally exhausting.

It wasn’t long before we felt comfortable enough putting our hands on each other. It wasn’t the stereotypical abusive relationship, I went punch for punch, scream for scream. The issue with growing up in a toxic household, I wasn’t one to let a man hurt me without paying for it, but even worse, I had no idea when to walk away. Enough was never enough. The fights never had a rhyme or reason, it was pure rage & teenage hormones. It never made sense, and we were content in the chaos.

I also started smoking pot around this time, and picked up cigarettes. I was rebelling and numbing myself all at the same time. I was introduced to things that terrified me. I lied to my parents over and over again. I’d tell them that I got off work a half an hour later than I actually did, just so I could stop by his house & either get high or have sex. I felt dirty, but I couldn’t imagine a life without him in it. He consumed my thought process, I was blind to everything else. The ultimate smack in the head was he & I losing our virginity to each other. That bond stopped us from ending our relationship time after time, because doesn’t everyone want to believe that the man who has their V card loves them unconditionally? I couldn’t fathom the thought of starting from zero with someone new, letting someone else touch me the way that only he had.

It wasn’t until a year in to that relationship that my mom picked up on the severity of our situation. My attitude sucked, I was getting caught in my lies, and she had a long conversation with my boyfriends mother, who told her about the fights she would over hear from the other side of the wall. My mom went to my dad, and they sat me down for an intervention. I wasn’t going to give up without a fight, how dare they try to separate us? We were in love! They told me I needed to end it, but taking advice from the two people who showed me that version of twisted treatment was a joke.

I continued to see him, against my parents wishes. The sneaking around and lying got worse, and since we were seeing each other less, we were behaving better when we were together. Of course we both thought that meant we had “changed” and could give “us” another try. I sat my parents down this time, and plead my case. They hesitantly agreed, and gave me their temporary blessing to see him. They trusted that my brain would eventually over rule my heart, and the blinders would be removed. They were right; it was only a week later that him and I were back at each other’s throats, and I was too tired to keep going. I surrendered, and walked away for good.

Letting me make my own choice in that was the best decision my parent’s could make, the thrill of the chase was most of why he & I were still interested in each other. The love wasn’t there, and we understood that. We just thought we needed to hold on, for a chance at a happily ever after, the fairytale.

Truth Is

“The more I think, the more confused I get.”

I never want it to seem like I have bad parents, or that I wasn’t loved. I always knew where my next meal was coming from, there was a roof over my head, and they did the very best they could with what they had. Their relationship was toxic, and the product of that was two children who had a misconstrued idea of what love was.

This blog isn’t ment to complain about my childhood, I’m just trying to lay a foundation to explain what came next as I was able to make my own choices. My heart was already cracked as a kid, but what I did to myself completely shattered it. The men I allowed in my life, the kind of treatment I saw as acceptable, and the even more embarrassing actions on my part that left me feeling ashamed and disappointed in myself.

From the time I turned 16, I was always in a relationship. I didn’t do “alone” well. Even though I had great friends, and a strong support system, I was looking for my self-esteem in places I was never going to find it. I didn’t sleep around, I was careful how many men I gave myself too, but the quality of their souls is a different story. It took me years to filter through the mistakes I made, and apply it to my future.

I still can’t say that my judgement of character is in a great position. People are so manipulative, seeing them for what they are can take years. Even the “good, christian men” I’ve met, are hypocrites. I often think that being alone is part of my destiny, and that does not necessarily hurt my feelings. I’m currently engaged to be married next year, and I can’t guarantee it’s going to stick. I have a bad habit of waiting for the bottom to fall out, for something irreversible to happen, so I’ll have to walk away.

Not A Day Goes By

“The pain that you’ve been feeling, can’t compare to the joy that’s coming.” – Romans 8:18

The situations I was put in as a child, I didn’t have any authority to put my foot down and walk away. My family was a mess, and there was nothing I could do but hold on tight to my sanity. I began to educate myself in middle school, about anxiety, depression, anything that could help me wrap my head around the feelings I had. Though it was helpful, in comparison to doing nothing and letting it suffocate me, I wish I would’ve found God sooner. I had joined all the religious clubs during elementary school, I could recite the books of the bible, (mostly because if you memorized them you would be rewarded with little trinkets or snacks) I even went to church some Sundays with a friend of mine and her grandparents. My heart wasn’t ready for it, and God has his time for everyone.

The symptoms of anxiety I had experienced in my early years ranged from that rotten pain in my stomach, my throat felt like it was going to close, and my face would start to radiate with heat. I’d made myself vomit multiple times by worrying myself into a frenzy. I feel so much sympathy for that little girl. My parents didn’t ask, and I couldn’t tell them. I was 16 the first time my mom threatened to have my admitted to an acute intake unit, for the psychologically disturbed. I was on my knees in the parking lot of my therapist’s office, crying hysterically because I couldn’t communicate to her how badly I was hurting. She stood above me and simply stated, “Get up and knock it off, or I’m having you admitted.”

I lost my virginity at 16 as well, and that went over fabulously with my mother. Throughout the next couple years, any time I got a stomach bug, or was “overly emotional,” she wouldn’t hesitate in letting my know that if I was pregnant, she would drag me through the court system until I was deemed unfit to raise that hypothetical child. Over a decade has gone by, and I still struggle in making decisions that could possibly rub her the wrong way, for fear that she may follow through with that threat. Mind you, I was a very smart teenager, I didn’t drink, I said no to drugs, I was always extremely responsible, held down a job, and kept my grades above a B- at all times. Other than a generalized anxiety disorder from years of tension, screaming, physical altercations between my parents, there was nothing wrong with me, and I had learned very early on that the world did not accept people who outwardly showed signs of mental/emotional distress on a regular basis. I put on my big girl panties, and tried to fake it the way my family had always wanted me to.

Although, there was a big problem with that; I wasn’t one of them, and playing pretend is not one of my strong suits.