In the last part of my guest blogger’s piece, she talks about The Healing Process. What she has gone through and how she came to peace. God is so much bigger!
Remembering Little Details of What Happened
Some people might think that I am making this too big of a deal and that women get cheated on which is normal in our society. But it’s different. And yet, I don’t think I forgave him, truly forgave him, until a few weeks ago when I attended church with my family and heard my Pastor’s sermon. I sent him a short and to the point message saying that I forgave him and that I would pray that his life will be abundantly blessed in everything he tried in life. That was hard for me to write. Especially considering that he might not have even read the message in the first place since he blocked me off everything.
The Healing Process
But for me, that is part of the healing process. I don’t hate him. I choose to remember the good things about our relationship rather than focus on the bad things. I need to move forward and be patient enough to wait for the perfect man that God has for me in the future. It could be a few days from now or possibly years from now. But I am choosing to be patient and wait for my lifelong partner. And I will continue to pray for him and that he finds his perfect partner as well. We might not have had the best relationship in the world but he was still a part of my life and I will never be rid of those good and bad memories.
To the girls and women who have been cheated on or are in those not so good relationships, you have to choose yourself. If you see a red flag then get out. Don’t do what I did and settle for someone who is not your person. It is not worth the heartache and days of tears that will possibly be in your future.
I might be young and my experience might not have much meaning but it is my life. I chose to not settle. And I like being single. Sure, it’s lonely sometimes but you truly learn who you are and what your personality is like when you are by yourself. Love you. Take care of yourself. Don’t settle. He is not a monster but he was not my forever.
And for the first time in a long time, I am okay with that.
Now it is time to talk about The Proposal. After about 2 years he proposed to me at the park with no people around because I believe that proposals should be a private thing. I had pushed so hard to be engaged because I wanted to be married and I wanted to find that love that I truly craved even though I should have been craving Jesus and his true and eternal love. We were engaged for only a few months before it happened.
Like I said, I do not believe in cheating and I think it is a cowardly thing to do to someone. One night, he and I had returned from a date and he ran upstairs to get something from his apartment. I decided to go on his phone and take some pictures. Being the nosy person I was, I went through his text messages and found messages from a strange girl. She was only 16.
He Had Been Cheating on Me With a 16-Year-Old Girl
I was shocked. Just shock. I turned his phone off and set it down and waited for his return. When I questioned him about the messages, he instantly got defensive and said she was just a friend. Friends don’t ask for pictures of friends or that they wish they could kiss each other. I still remember just sitting in his car. Gripping my hands and digging my nails into my skin to keep from crying. I took his phone and immediately ran upstairs to the safety of my moms arms and showed her why I was sobbing like my heart was absolutely broken. Of course, he followed and tried to make the situation better but my mom knew better than that.
We Broke Up
I was heartbroken and still in shock. Honestly, I felt numb to all things in the world. I did not know any other pain except what I was feeling in my heart. If you have never experienced heartbreak like being cheated on, you are so incredibly lucky and blessed. He cheated on me not once, not twice, but three times. Three different women.
I know I might be making this too big a deal but at the time I could not look at him the same. Honestly, I gave him so many second chances. He absolutely begged for when he said he truly loved me. He did not understand why he cheated on me. I never got a clear answer as to why. That’s all I wanted to know. Why? What did I do wrong? Was I not pretty enough, smart enough, or thin enough? The girls he cheated on me with were incredibly pretty.
I told him that I could not do it anymore. I gave him the ring back and told him that I would always love him and that he played a part in my life, but we needed to go our separate ways. The look in his eyes. I can still feel the pounding of my heart. Remembering how clammy my hands felt and how I heard him storm out of the house and the screech of his tires down the road.
I went and told my parents what happened and I just broke down. I sobbed like I never had before. Do you know that feeling? I almost can not explain it. Three years I gave to this man, who was supposed to be my future husband, this person who I thought was my best friend and trusted partner. My grandmother and I had already put together my wedding bouquet and my mom and I had already looked at dresses. And all I could think about is why was I not good enough for him? Why me? What did I do to him that I deserved a cheater and a liar as a fiance?
So many memories that we created together to only flush them down the toilet. I was miserable for months, especially since he lived in the same town as me so I would see him constantly. I went through the stages of grief and I was still not okay at the end. And to be honest, I do not think that I am okay with this. His mom blamed me for breaking his heart, his friends that were “friends” with me were confused and would not leave me alone, his brother messaged me as well, my ex blamed me and told me it was my fault that he cheated on me. Everything was my fault. And I claimed it. For a little while, he did not speak to me.
One day we were texting for some reason and he told me some very scary things that he was going to do and that I could do nothing to help him and that it was my fault. My mind spun of control and I started to have flashbacks of how manipulative he was to me when he got like this. Luckily, my mom and my pastor handled the situation and we did not speak much after that. After a few months, I literally ran him out of town and I told him to never come back and to never speak to me again or he would regret it.
Consumed in Anger
The anger that I felt towards him consumed my life and that turned into bitterness. Even now, I still see patterns of him in men who try to date me. My life spun out of control and I made some very poor choices. I still do not understand how I could have been so stupid and so blind to stay with him for as long as I did. And for the longest time, I despised him.
I convinced myself that I just did not fit the mold of what a woman should look like. Dress like. Even act like in this modern world. I really let myself go. Furthermore, I kept all of my emotions bottled up and stuffed deep down. I did this so I would not have to deal with the pain. Honestly, I think that I have kept it bottled up for so long. I have blocked out those memories so quickly that in writing this piece I am still crying.
My guest blogger today talks about How It Began between her and her “first” boyfriend. In it she reveals the emotional abuse, manipulation, and pain that she endured during the almost 3 years of dating this boy.
This is Something That is Considerably Difficult for Me to Write
I still have not been able to let it go after all these years. But I feel like now is the time to write about what my experiences were like when I was dating someone. I had not been in a relationship (or at least a serious one) until I met him. Online dating is the hip and cool new way to meet possible relationships. You can talk with random people all over the world. I was sadly one of the suckers that got sucked into all of the fun profiles and nice looking men.
How It Began
He showed up in my Facebook messages. Then he told me that he found my profile on the dating website. Sadly, he did not have the premium services. Because of that, he had to message me via Facebook. He was a nice-looking man and I thought, why not? Maybe I should open myself up and see if this might go somewhere. We started talking and we talked online and eventually started texting and calling almost daily for quite a few months.
Eventually, We Met and He Took Me on a Date
He was incredibly tall, 6’5 which seemed like a dream come true to my 6’0 tall self. Our date went really well and I invited him to come to church with me the following day. We started dating even though he lived in Alabama and we shortly declared ourselves in a relationship after only dating for a little while. My friends, family, and church family were so supportive of us and our long-distance relationship. It was so hard for him and me to only see each other every two weeks for only two short days. And sometimes I would go months without seeing him because of him working two jobs.
The Honeymoon Phase
I was in such a “honeymoon” phase that I did not truly see how screwed up our relationship was at the time. Honestly, I made it very clear that I did not want to do anything further unless we got married. I made a choice a long time ago to wait until marriage to have any kind of relations with a man since that is what God says in his Word. After about a year of dating, he kissed me and touched me even though I did not say yes or no. And from there we continued to make poor choices and follow fleshly desires rather than focusing our eyes on God and working on our relationship.
Being “In Love”
I wanted to make him happy because I wanted to be in love so bad and I wanted him to care about me as I saw in the relationships of my other friends. I had never felt that feeling of “being in love” and I did not see how dangerous it was for me to continue in that sin pattern. Eventually, I told him that we could not continue like this anymore and he agreed to stop. From the beginning that we started dating, I told him that if he ever laid a finger on me that it would not end well for him, which he didn’t but he also treated me in a way that is not acceptable in the way a man should take care of a woman.
Manipulation and Emotional Abuse
He would yell at me and be overly possessive over me for no reason. I told him that I was considering, not even stating I was actually going to do it, but that I wanted to possibly join a sorority. He freaked out and told me he did not want me to join because I would leave him for a frat guy that was better than him. I assured him that cheating was not something that I take lightly and that I only had eyes for him.
He would yell at me even in front of my family to the point where I had to leave the room in order to stay calm and keep my composure. Yet, I still said nothing because I did not want him to leave me. He would emotionally abuse me and refused to communicate with me when we would fight. I tried to put a bandaid on the issue or smile my way through it and say that we were alright. I refused to listen to wisdom from my church family, my mentors, and my family, especially my mom.
**In Since You’ve Been Gone – Reality of Suicide on Family and Friends, this post may contain triggers. If you or someone you love struggles with mental illness, depression, suicidal thoughts, or anything in that realm please stop reading. Immediately, pick up the phone and call. You are treasured and loved beyond measure. Seek help!**
Since You’ve Been Gone – Reality of Suicide on Family and Friends
It has been a year since you left. A lot has happened. Your family and friends have gone through the ever-winding road of grief and loss. Your mom and daughter have moved. The new place is great! Very open and fresh. They did a great job decorating it.
Your girl starts high school in the fall. I keep thinking back to when we met because your girl should really only be 4 yrs old. She is a spitfire, but you already knew that! High school, she starts high school. Impossible.
You became a grandma to a honey of a girl. Your son and his family have moved out. They are both working and being great parents. Learning all the things. They are doing so well. You would be proud.
Your brother is getting healthy and regaining control over his life. Donna is beginning to find her peace in the midst of the storm. She still struggles, but we lean a lot on each other when we are “having our moment.”
Nothing will ever be the same without you, but the world still turns, doesn’t it?
She Looks Like You
I held that baby and oh my goodness. You would be absolutely stupid over her! It would almost be embarrassing. Donna keeps that in check, for the most part. Then, she calls and I hear that baby-making noise, and yep…it happened again. Donna is acting stupid over this baby. Then that baby smiles.
She has your dimples and if I squint real hard I could see red hair. Also, she has your eyes. When I gaze into them…it is almost hard to keep my composure. I see you in your granddaughter. I feel you in her. It makes me yearn for you to just step out of heaven so you can touch her.
I Can’t Get You Out of My Head
There are so many things I wish I could evacuate out of my mind. The way you looked at me. How we talked as I painted your fingernails your favorite color. The smell of your freshly washed hair thrown up in a messy bun. The way you would whine so much as I french braided your hair. You didn’t whine that day.
I Miss You
10 years is a long time for a friendship to ebb and flow. We ebbed and we flowed a lot. Honestly, we were both used to that and embraced it. We grew together. Raised our kids together. Ate together, laughed together, cried together…and then we didn’t.
I catch myself channeling your courage. You were tiny but you were mighty. I always wanted that energy. When we were together, I felt invisible. If someone came to bother me, you’d be all over them like a spider monkey. It was quite the vision.
My Favorite Memory
When asked what my favorite memory of you and I was the other day, I responded with “bats and boxed hair dye.” That memory will be embedded in my brain until I take my last breath. Who knew bats liked your bleach blonde hair and that you could scream, swat, and jump at the same time. I was no help because I was doubled over laughing. In the meantime, Big Daddy was in the house fuming because you had dyed my hair burgundy.
Those First Few Moments
Getting that phone call.
Hearing her tell me.
Listening to her moan.
Flying over there.
Seeing where it all happened.
Walking into your empty house.
Hugging your mom.
Comforting your son.
Flying to the funeral home.
Questioning their practices and ethics.
Doing what I needed to do.
Seeing your eyes.
Questioning the whole thing.
What if’s began swirling in my head.
I didn’t allow myself to mourn for almost a full year.
**Warning: This post may contain triggers. Mourning a Loss a Year Later. Please, if you are struggling with your thoughts, if you or someone you know suffers from mental illness…stop reading. Jeni, that means you. Please know that I say this because I love you. I do not take suicide, suicidal thoughts, mental illness, cutting, or anything else like that lightly. It is not funny and it should not be ignored.**
I had to get 2 wisdom teeth pulled out the other day. For some reason, I have a horrible fear of the dentist. Today was no different. Luckily, I went in praying and having people pray for me. I slathered on my “Joy” blend of essential oil. Frankly, I smelled the joint up.
As the dentist came in, he was sporting a tie-dyed scrub cap and his eyes were smiling. I quickly informed him that I would rather be getting a pap smear or birthing a child without drugs than be in this chair.
He laughed. I didn’t. Honestly, I was dead serious. As he was numbing my mouth, I closed my eyes and begin wringing my feet the way some people wring their hands. I had already kicked my shoes off because barefoot is the way I am 98% of my time.
Luckily, I felt NOTHING. I actually did feel something, but as soon as I said “I feel that,” he stopped and numbed me up more. It took 5 minutes and I was done. I left that office on cloud nine and drooling.
Then the numbing medicine wore off and it hurt. One tooth hurt, the other didn’t but it was no fun. I came home, took my meds, and went home. My friend was here, watching the kids and she gave me the go-ahead to just go upstairs. I did just that.
The Next Day
Sadly, I wasn’t much better. My jaw ached so badly. I had a migraine and life just was not being sweet to me. So thankful that my #2 kid was here to handle the kids and they just let me sleep.
Big Daddy handled supper and the kids did their chores. If something went wrong, no one told me. They all just handled it like a boss. One thing I can say about pain meds is that I know that I would be hard-pressed to be an addict.
Now, I do have an addictive personality but pain meds make me A) meaner than a snake B) they don’t really help C) they make my stomach hurt D) I can’t sleep E) I cry…over anything and everything.
Those are not good combinations.
Doing My Thing
I was on edge. Probably more than I should be because I just simply didn’t feel well. To take my mind off of my face, I decided to serve another family. One thing I love to do is cook. I love to cook for others and be the hands and feet of Jesus during times where someone may not feel like cooking.
A young couple at church just welcomed their fourth blessing. Now, I didn’t know this family, but they are new to the church and community. I wanted to serve them, so I did. There was a plan and I executed it. However, I did have Big Daddy drive me because I wanted the company and someone to carry the food.
It was a blessed moment to see this sweet family.
On the Way Home
This family lived close to where Big Daddy and I lived for 12 years. We drove backroads and then decided to go and drive by our old house. We reveled at the changes in the area, yet the sameness that we remember. Many of our “neighbors” have moved on, but the core people were still there.
In getting back to our house, we had to travel a road that I did not enjoy traveling. On one hand, I had a friend that lived close, but she had recently moved. On the other hand, I had lost a friend on that road due to the choice of suicide.
As we drew closer to these 2 homes, which are extremely close together, I began having flashes. There were flashes, images, words, thoughts, feelings…all-encompassing my brain and body. I could feel myself getting warm and I knew that I was fixing to jump into the great abyss.
Going Down the Hole
For the next day and several days after that, I could not function. I did not get out of bed much. My husband found me sitting on my closet floor, having a breakdown. I simply could not get some things out of my mind. Then, the “What If” syndrome started. I know that I scare him when I get like that, but I could not stop the flood that was coming.
He would come to sit on the bed, hug me and ask me what he could do to help. I just would say that I didn’t know. Nothing could erase those things and I was not okay. It has been almost a year since that happened.
A Sweet Release
On that following Sunday night, after days of struggling, I finally made a phone call. I called my friend’s mom. She is struggling and I cannot imagine the day in and day out of what all she goes through. Her mind, her heart, her emotions…yet I called. I thought I could keep it together.
Then, she said “hello.”
Once she said “hello,” I was done. I know I scared her because I could not form a word. My cry was so guttural and animalistic. She kept asking me what was wrong and all I could say is I can’t get her eyes out of my head.
We cried together. Mainly, she just listened to me cry. She said that I have never mourned this loss. I went straight into “how can I help” mode. A year later, I am mourning and I am mourning hard.
What Makes Me Smile
She asked me a question. “What memories do you have about LA that makes you smile?” Through my tears, I said “bats and boxed hair dye.” At that moment, my friend BURST out laughing through her tears. I started laughing and I recounted the story of the night she tried to drown me while coloring my hair. How Big Daddy told her she could NEVER come over and color my hair again (this happened often). Then, as she was leaving my house, at midnight, the bats dive-bombed her hair.
We were chatting under the security light. She had bleach blonde hair. The bats came swooping out of nowhere. It was the funniest scene in history of ever. Her screaming swatting bats and my doubled over laughing with maroon hair.
The Next Day
I ordered a small stuffed bat. When it came in, I put it in my curio cabinet. Around its neck, I have the necklace that my friend had made for me. I have wrapped that necklace around the bat’s neck. This simple act creates calmness in me and peace. I will miss her every day, but I know that she knows Jesus because I was there when she asked Him into her heart. She is with Him and one day I will see her again.