A year and a half ago, I fled Salt Lake City with a three month old baby and a four year old. My credit was ruined and I had debts to the point that it was impossible to get a checking account or apply for financial aid to go back to school. I was escaping an abusive husband and all I wanted was to get away from him.
We had been together for seven years, since I was 19. He was always a drain on me, literally robbing me of money, time and energy. He has been a heavy drug addict since age 18. He hid his use from me most of the time, but I now realize he must have been using the entire time we were together. He wasted all my money on drugs and rarely had a job himself. He also cheated repeatedly, sometimes with underage girls. Towards the end, when I began to openly and bitterly complain about his behavior, he became physically abusive. He spent about half of the years we were together in jail or prison. I believe he has antisocial personality disorder – he does whatever he wants, takes whatever he wants and doesn't care what the consequences are.
I, on the other hand, was a straight A student, raised by stable middle class parents in a strict but loving Catholic home. I went away to a good private liberal arts college. The only real problem I had growing up was my social anxiety. Well, I guess that was a big one, and had a huge negative impact on me by the time I reached college age, causing me to hate myself.
Still, how I put up with my ex's behavior for so long, and allowed him to ruin my life is something that haunts me. I am ashamed of it and don't know how to explain that to anyone.
For slightly over a year after I left, my husband continued to harrass me and nag at me to get back together with him. He tried every trick in the book, including attempting suicide several times, hacking my accounts, and scaring off the first person I tried to have a relationship with. He also tried being nice and loving, and I let him visit us a few times. He even manipulated me to the point where I thought about getting back together with him.
Finally, he gave up on getting me back, and then I was able to move on. I had already been in counseling and on medication for a while and was getting stronger. In the past few months I have made lots of changes in my life: I began to date, got a job outside my home, cleared up my debts, got a bank account, cut off contact completely with my ex, filed for divorce and am making plans to apply to graduate school for next fall.
I removed myself and my children from a dangerous situation. I did the best thing for my daughter that I could do: made it so that she will not know who her father is. I have been caring for my precious children and keeping them safe, and that is my most important job. I have also been allowing myself to grow.
I am writing this to remind myself that all is not lost just because I am having relationship problems right now. I've overcome so much, my life is getting better all the time and I am doing what's important.