When I was younger, I imagined that I would live in a perfect little house with a white picket fence. I dreamed of baking pies and leaving them in the window, and giving my husband affection when he got home from a long day of work. I don’t know when I started thinking that those things were what I wanted, but I held onto those thoughts for years. These dreams influenced my choices even though they may not have been conscious decisions. I latched onto the idea of being married because I wanted someone to protect me. I wondered throughout my whole childhood what it would be like to have someone that loved me. I never did feel loved as a child. My family members weren’t affectionate, along with having verbal abuse spit at me on a daily basis. My step mother made a point to tear me down as often as she could, destroying any self-esteem I had left.
I clung to this idea that maybe someday a man would love me. Maybe someday I would be good enough for someone. I held tightly to any person who would have me and put forth far too much effort in being perfect. I realize now that I was so busy trying to please all of these people in my life that I had lost myself. I met a man who had similar ideas (so I thought) about marriage and life in general. He talked to me about getting married and living right by God and scripture. I was so wrapped up in the thought of someone wanting to keep me that I would have done practically anything to make him stay. I abandoned myself. I stopped having my own opinions and I eased into what I thought would be an easy life. A life where I didn’t have to think about anything other than pleasing someone else.
Living that way is not living in love. I didn’t realize what I was doing to myself until it was too late. I fought my own thoughts over and over again thinking I was going crazy. I was trying to be this person that other people wanted me to be. I was trying to be this Godly woman that my father begged me to be, and trying to please this man who would someday be my husband.
I remember when he proposed. By this point I already had begun to hate myself and I remember thinking how much I wanted it to be over. There I was sitting in front of a man who was asking me to be his wife and none of the feelings I thought I would have were there. It didn’t help that we were surrounded by people I didn’t know (his family). These strangers had no idea who I even was because I was too stupid to be myself. I just thought maybe something was wrong with me. I thought that maybe because I was abused my brain didn’t function the same as other women. I said yes and we started planning our wedding.
Our wedding was nothing like I had imagined. We drove to Alabama from Houston and married in his uncle’s living room (Yet again a life event surrounded by people I didn’t know). His aunt came up to the room where I was preparing myself and I remember thinking how disgusted I was. I didn’t even want to do it and I felt terrible. I asked her to leave me and I sat in the bathroom upset thinking about how my mother was dead and I was alone. I felt like I had no one. Not even the man I was going to marry really knew me as myself.
I went down stairs in the dress I had sewn myself (Because my future husband told me I couldn’t buy one) and we said our vows and it was done. I had attached myself to a stranger. I had no friends because this man wouldn’t let me speak to anyone and I had no family because they were so far away. I have never felt more alone than on that day.
Our marriage began with him being more controlling than ever. I hated my life. Months after our wedding I began planning a way out.
Part 3 coming soon. Thank you for your continued support.