If you are coming over for MugSwap you will want to start here: http://danaraeb.blogspot.com/p/about-me.html
I wish I could say that we stood up from that tragedy in our relationship, brushed ourselves off, sought professional help and fixed things. I wish I could say that life got better, but it just got worse. It has been really hard to recall “good times” while writing this because the “bad things” just scream out to me. The next two years and a hand full of months were about the same.
There were many good things that revolved around Shelby. She started school, she started soccer, we spent every October in the pumpkin patch, we had family Christmases and from the outside we looked like a perfect family. I always say you don’t know what is happening inside the walls of someone else’s house - you don’t know their struggles - they show you want they want you to see. In the beginning, I wanted you to see that everything was just fine and dandy. I even changed my testimony to say that I had gotten through much and was blessed with an amazing life. I was living in a hell that I helped to create.
Because of my indiscretions before marriage I had lost all of my husband’s trust. He drove me to and from work, he read my emails and checked my phone nightly. I suggested counseling to get through all of the mistrust, but was told that I was the only one who needed counseling.
On the way to functions with his family he would do his best to knock me down. From the way I looked, to the way I acted to being uneducated he attempted to full break me before we got there. Then he’d say things like, “they only like you because they have to.” Even, today I am not sure what he was trying to accomplish, maybe keeping me at a distance from anyone - not forming or strengthening relationships. This was about the time that I perfected my fake smile never needing it before, never having a reason to be anything but transparent to the people around me.
The topic of my weight became worse. I was expected to go the gym every evening with or without him. I thought we were going to have children, but he informed me that only when I got down to my ideal weight because he just knew I would get fatter after pregnancy. At night I would fix a full dinner for my family, but he would announce, “we will eat this, but mommy is eating salad because she is fat.” At first I thought he was attempting to motivate me, but one night while were out to dinner alone he started a conversation with “I really think we need to look into getting you lap-band.” I am telling you I was thirty pounds lighter that I am right now and struggled with all I had to lose weight. Looking back I believe that he knew it would get to me, he knew I struggle with my body image since I was in my teens.
We knew right away that we wanted to go through formal adoption for him to adopt Shelby, but we had to get her biological father to sign off his rights or to be served and appear in court. he refused to sign anything and would not allow himself to be served. I don’t know his reasoning why, but ex-husband was sure I had something to do with the whole thing - that I had some sort of control over the situation. This lead to further tension in our house and pushed my ex-husband to want rights to Shelby even more. This is also with the threats started. The “if you ever mess up I will take Shelby from you.” He told me that no one in their right mind would allow me to mother after the life I had led. That is when I became truly thankful that Shelby’s father was dragging his feet.
My marriage was so bad that I was wishing for something to happen. I found myself hoping for a car accident, something, anything that would shake this up or end this all together. My doctor put me on antidepressants and I also had a bunch of other medical issues happening due the stress of my home life.
We had everyone so fooled on the outside that they could never believe what was happening in our home. I did get my friend, Holly, to understand and become concerned, but when my ex-husband got wind of this I was no longer allowed to see her alone. My mother began seeing the cracks as well, but it still took sometime for me to admit that this felt like abuse.
I think when I came to terms with it and admitted it to myself is when I started to rebel. I started over eating just to spite him and gaining large amounts of weight. I had gotten very involved in sewing and met some really creative people. I wanted to express myself in more ways than just sewing. I didn’t dare write or journal. I wanted more tattoos, but were told that they were too trashy. So, I started coloring my hair. First, dark brown almost black, but when that didn’t fix my feelings I got more creative. When I came home on Christmas Eve with cherry read and bleach blonde hair my husband was horrified. He made his disgust pretty clear and proceeded to make a spectacle of me in front of his family. I think that was my end.
Idle time at work and living through this horrible marriage led me into an emotional relationship with an old friend from South Texas. Then, one Saturday I came clean with ex-husband and the following Monday I moved Shelby and I out of the house. I can not say that I ended things well, I don’t condone starting relationships before ending the one’s that you are in - it’s not something I would suggest for anyone to do.
The next few weeks were horrible (that’s to be expected). The friendship that I repaired with my best friend was severed again this time taking three really good friends with her. I lost all of my ex-husband’s family. Most of all I hurt Shelby. I had to get out, I didn’t handle it correctly, but I had to end this relationship. The one thing I remember from that time was my ex-husband’s mother saying during a very heated family meeting that she didn’t think that anyone would ever be able to live up to his standards.
*just so you know after writing this I went back and changed my ex-husband’s real name to read “my ex-husband”. I know it’s a little awkward in some places, but I felt like it needed to be done.