I Have A Story To Tell

I Have A Story To Tell

I wanted this to be my first blog post because the whole purpose for my starting "SpunkyDiva Diaries" in the first place was to "tell my story" in hope that it would help others. My apologies up front for its length, but after reading it in its entirety I think you'll understand. My hope is that you or someone you know can be encouraged and inspired to get out of a toxic relationship. It was not easy for me to do and it took way longer than I'd hoped. But, it can be done and you can start a new life.

A petite Latina girl from a Midwest steel city
Born out of wedlock like so many of us are
Raised in a bi-racial, multi-cultural familia
All like skittles and rainbows
My inheritance though is DARK & twisted
A legacy of brokenness & family secrets
Leaving me abandoned, confused & unprotected
From within my own family and home
Insecure, inadequate and feeling like I’m never (good) enough
Decades wasted looking for L-O-V-E in ALL the WRONG places
I Have A Story To Tell.

NOTHING in this world could have prepared me for the life I’ve lived
Middle-income parents
Straight A student...High school valedictorian
College educated…MBA…AKA
New job…New move…New East Coast life
Looks, book smarts, street smarts
Cuz up til then I had it “going on”!!
Then one day my whole world shattered into a bazillion tiny pieces
My Rock…My (Step-)Daddy—the only REAL MAN I knew
Took his “last breath” as I sat in the hospital room working on my laptop
His passing left me a lost little girl all alone & grief stricken…
Broken and completely vulnerable
That recipe made me the easiest of targets
For a wolf in sheep’s clothing
I Have A Story To Tell.

This Devil in disguise preyed on me
Under the façade of being a “really GREAT GUY” 
You see [ladies], he was average height, “easy on the eyes”
Muscular build, and had a great smile
He pretended to be everything I needed when I needed
A rock of support during my time of grief
And although the cloak of grief that consumed me was heavy & thick
There were early warning signs & red flags I definitely ignored
Yup, come to find out from the time we started dating
This monster was going through ALL of my personal things
I Have A Story To Tell.

I repeatedly experienced his:
•    Temper tantrums
•    Public embarrassment
•    Verbal lashings
•    Hours of “Soapbox” Lectures
•    Military style interrogations
•    Subtle put downs
•    Manipulation & intimidation
•    Name calling
•    Threats & bullying
•    Cat & mouse mind games

Eight years of sheer & utter HELL
Walking on constant eggshells
Scared to death of setting him off
Terrified to say the wrong word or do the wrong thing
Panic-stricken if I ever missed one of his phone calls
OR didn’t respond to texts in a timely manner
Tiptoeing around the ever changing moods
That come with being married to a “Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde” 
Who paraded through life painting himself as the “poor victim” 
So, I was damned if I do and damned if I don’t
Because it was never right & never good enough
I Have A Story To Tell.

NOTHING was EVER his fault. 
It was ALWAYS “his way or the highway”… OR ELSE
I’d have “hell to pay” and he’d “teach me a lesson”
HE made up ALL the rules that never seemed to apply to him
He made me cut off childhood friends, male friends &
And picked arguments with my best friends
He demanded we have joint bank & Facebook accounts
Cuz he “needed” and demanded transparency & honesty
He tried to dictate what I read or watched on TV
Tell me how to wash dishes & how to cook
He said he didn’t like me wearing a ton of make-up or heels
Because he “preferred” my natural beauty
Controlling, possessive, demanding
Yet said he acted to "protect" his family
I Have A Story To Tell.

“My mother taught me to never hit a woman,” he said
So I guess he thought that everything else
Up to that point was fair game
Accusations like constant blows
Over and over…for 8 years straight
You’re a liar. You’re a cheater
If you lie…you cheat
ALL women are liars AND cheaters
You’re a tramp
You’re lazy
You’re selfish
If I’m controlling, then you’re controlling
If I'm an abuser, then so are you
No one else wanted you or put a ring on it
You’re pathetic
You’re too sickly

Oh, and his weapon of choice was SILENCE
Days, weeks, and up to a month’s worth of silent treatment
I Have A Story To Tell.

He’d go well of out his way
To ignore and avoid me at all costs
By spending countless hours at work
The gym or in other rooms of the house
OR God knows where with god knows who
He always managed to turn every argument
Or disagreement into being “all about him”
Even when he started it & was in the wrong
Apologies from him were rare & almost non-existent
And IF I got one, it lacked sincerity
My only times of peace
In that cold, depressed house
Came when he wasn’t there
The second I’d hear the alarm system go “beep-beep”
To announce he was home
My body would have this visceral physical reaction
My heart would beat so hard & so fast
I thought it was going jump out of my chest! 
An intense heat would rush my body
And I’d get an intense, pounding headache
NOTHING could calm me down…
Not melatonin, alcohol
Or any other substance I’d try
He had no issues sharing space
Aka “our bed” when it was time to go to sleep
Or when HE decided he wanted to break
The wall of silence in exchange for sex
Any other time…it was a nightly tug of war
With the covers, the remote
And a chess game on how long
The TV stayed on or how loud it was
I Have A Story To Tell.

In the eye of this massive storm in my life,
I hit rock bottom
I’d become a shell of my old self
A mere 90 something pounds
No appetite…No will
Nothing good was going into my body
No nutrients or fluids
I had the shakes, chills and tremors
And my hair was falling out
OHHH, the aches & pains & constant fatigue
No strength to stay on this “crazy cycle”
That had become our “norm”
The only things my body released
Were floods of stinging tears and green bile
I never thought about harming myself or committing suicide
But, I simply did NOT care
If I disappeared for good from this world
At least then I’d have peace
With no more suffering or pain
Anything was better than being in the abyss of hell
With someone who said they loved me
And who said they were protecting me from harm
Well, WHO IN THE HELL was supposed to protect me from YOU?!?!?
I Have A Story To Tell.

For years I was hollow and numb to any feelings other than
I’d built a fortress around my heart to protect me
From anything he hurled my way
I’d begun to “fight back”
And give it back to him just as good as he did
But in due time I was dog-tired
Once the veil of grief over the loss of my dad left
Darkness was replaced by light
Hints of the “old Laura” started reappearing
Around year 4 or 5 of this hellish time
Healing began slowly
But self-torment took its toll
I Have A Story To Tell.

To have sacrificed so much of “me”
To be with a “man” who treated me this way
To think THIS was LOVE?!?!?  
To settle for this ABUSE?!?!
Eight years of living in constant “fight or flight” mode
Eight years of 24×7 verbal, mental & emotional warfare
Only I and a few close friends & family members
Thought maybe he was bi-polar & needed medicating
It took me years to realize that
I married a narcissistic, sociopathic MONSTER
What did I have to show for it?
Was it really worth my life?
This man was killing me slowly from the INSIDE OUT
Without laying a single finger on me!
Chronic ailments I initially blamed all on menopause… 
Migraines, insomnia, back issues, fibromyalgia, 
PTSD, IBS, anxiety attacks
Just to name a few
ALL souvenirs from a life of hell
I Have A Story To Tell.

Your arrogance & self-righteousness
Know no bounds
You broke me down
To literally almost nothing
You crushed my soul & shattered my spirit
Out of sheer joy & amusement
You shackled me every which way
You could to control me
You snuffed out any dreams
I may have once had
You were the little boy who cried “wolf”
More times than I can count
But yet you never left me
I had to leave you!
You lost a wife & two sons
In the time I’ve know you
For your lying, cheating & abusive ways
You constantly preached to me & your son
“Whatever is done is the dark will always come to light”
Well, AMEN to that!!
Thank God I am finally in the light
And away from the likes of you
Because you see
YOU pathetic coward
I am taking my life back
Out of solitary confinement
And from the pit of cold darkness
I Have A Story To Tell. 

I struggle to adjust to all of this new light
I survived that which was meant to kill me
I survived a pure, maniacal monster
A devil with nothing but pure, selfish evil
Patience, love & forgiveness
I am gifting to MYSELF
Unlearning & relearning
How to live WITHOUT YOU
I Have A Story To Tell. 

No more eggshells
No more shackles
No more monster in my bed
All are now replaced by…
New found JOY
I Have A Story To Tell. 

Out of sheer pandemonium
I found my STRENGTH,
I’m teaching myself the “Art of Self” 
Self-Love, Self-Respect
Self-Trust and Self-Care
All the things our marriage lacked
NEVER will I EVER make the same mistake
It’s MY TIME now…
Time to heal
Time for peace
Time to make up for 8 years of hell
And more importantly  
Time to share my saga
I Have A Story To Tell.

My story hopefully shows that
No matter your background, childhood
Family situation, education or career status
If you are in a toxic, abusive relationship or marriage
YOU are NOT alone (like I thought for those 8 years)
You’re NOT crazy (like that monster would have had me to believe)
You DON'T have to stay
You CAN survive
You CAN get out
That is so precious
Despite how scary it feels
You CAN start a new, happier, healthier life
Your life depends on it
I Have a Story to Tell

And…so do YOU!

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