At 24 years old, I was filing for divorce, selling my house and thinking how the hell did I get here!?
Six years together, one year married and I felt like a complete failure. You hear people comment all the time that marriage doesn’t change anything ‘it is just a piece of paper’ and in my case it was exactly right. Marriage didn’t change anything because I had been in a toxic relationship for years and I left the marriage not knowing who I even was anymore.
It is so easy to sit there and say ‘I would never let that happen to me’ or ‘I would never let someone treat me like that’ but please don’t judge anyone who has been or still IS in a toxic relationship. It really is so hard to find the strength to leave when someone has worn you down so badly. I lived years of my life being told to get hit by a bus and die, having my clothes thrown out on the front lawn, joint money/savings to be transferred into his separate account over and over again. Having people in my house all the time, men that would disrespect me in my own home and even once a full grown man with his own family spit in my face. That night was the worst, his friend stood up for me and said it was unacceptable that he allowed me to be treated like that and then all of a sudden we were apparently sleeping together. Witnessing my Dad being punched in the face by him, having him yell in my sisters face with my fairly new niece in her arms because she called the cops after he had arrived home at 5.30am after drinking all night, telling me I couldn’t take my own car to get to work for a 6am start, just another typical episode. She lived with us and as much as it haunts me that she had to witness it all, I am so lucky she did because it was her and my niece that pulled me out it.
I coped so much abuse from his friends, his family because they couldn’t understand why I was the way I was but truth is they never really understood how bad it was or why I just wanted to stay away from everyone. I had pushed away close friends who told me to leave, guy friends because he always used to say ‘they just want to f##k you, I know how men think’ but worst off I distanced myself from my parents because my heart couldn’t handle telling them that they weren’t welcome to stay in my home because my husband didn’t like them. I couldn’t image Mason doing that to me, it ruins me just thinking about it.
I remember my mum sitting on the end of my bed one night as I cried telling me ‘one day you will wake up and all this pain will be gone’ and I didn’t believe a single word she said, I remember thinking that the pain in my chest was never going to go away. It had been months since making the decision to leave, the weight on my chest was still as heavy as the day I left. Was that because I regretted my decision? Most definitely not but I did expect this giant weight to automatically lift off my shoulders but it took me a lot longer to heal and process the years of control.
Although I was making steps to build a new life for myself, I guess i wasn’t prepared for the on going bullshit that came after. I have been a full time worker since I was 17 but I was constantly reminded that I didn’t earn as much money as he did (per week). However, he really did forget about all the time he spent in between jobs and that it was my consistent and stable income that was coming in. Money was always his driver, it was always an issue and it was always held over me. Nothing was ours, it was his and very rarely was my own money even mine although we ‘equally’ contributed to the mortgage, insurance, bills and assets such as cars etc. So as you can imagine when we split it was an absolute war zone on what belong to who, who had to pay who out, the money in the bank was an issue, the dog that had been by my side every day for 5 years and my sister’s all time favorite the famous ‘if you take my super, I’ll kill you’ comment.
Now all I wanted what was rightfully mine, hell I didn’t even want his super this comment was made one night while watching home and away a year before our split, it left my sister and I gob smacked. He was still in control, he thought he could control the division of assets to keep me thinking that I didn’t deserve what I had equally contributed to. I had to really push myself to fight for myself after all I worked hard for these assets. I am so glad I did because the day that house sold, that’s when the weight lifted off my shoulders, I was no no longer financially connected to him and I had the financial backing to walk away and start a new life.
The good and the bad are apart of life, I don’t regret anything in my life because everything I have been through has lead me here today. People come into your life to teach you something and then they leave, be grateful for when the bad leaves. Now don’t mistaken this for a slag off, I don’t think myself or others write about their toxic relationships to slag off friends, family or ex’s it is just apart of their story, as this is mine.
Looking back yeah its painful and I sit here crying wondering why anyone would have to go through so much bullshit when life is just too short. Then Mason cries because he wants another bottle and then I look at my phone and Luke is calling me from the kitchen saying ‘can you change his bum Linda’ and I am reminded why because it has led me to my greatest accomplishment, the little family I have created for myself.
My mum was right one day I woke up and the pain was gone, my thoughts were no longer consumed of the past every day. I hope that if you are reading this and are in any type of toxic relationship that one day you can sit back and look how far you’ve come just like I can.