Listening to: Christmas Playlist
Reading: Clockwork Prince
Playing: Need a new X box
Never count on the Status Quo to never change. About a month ago, I made a huge leap of faith. I was not happy where I was. I felt trapped, lonely, and I hated who I was becoming. Whenever I thought about my future, I grew depressed. So I moved out of my boyfriend's place, and took a risk. When I left, I was afraid of my future, what would happen to me, what he might do to me, and life of being single after three years. But now, a month later, it was a risk I am glad I took. Let me give you a look as to what has happened to me in the last three years leading up to this choice.
This is the third time that I have broke up with my boyfriend. When we first started dating, he would always call me and text me in the morning, telling me how wonderful I was and it made me feel special. He would surprise me with flowers and beautiful rings and jewelery at random. When I first started dating him, I didn't want this relationship to become so serious. He was the first guy that I had ever dated, let alone kissed. I was 22 years old, had just dropped out of college, and was enjoying life. My average paycheck was about $296 back then and I was happy. I would spend time with my friends, I was in 5 different bands and orchestras and was taking private lessons for the oboe as well. I had been to New York City earlier that year and my mind was at the time, focused on my writing- finding new experiences and broadening my understanding of human life. Never being in my a relationship, I longed to know what it was like- to be loved, what a kiss felt like, and the feelings that came with a commitment. And along he came. He took an interest to what I did, my music, my writing, and my art, and I thought that was spectacular. He also introduced me to his own interests- TriGun, Gurren Lagon, Adam Sandler movies,Yu Yu Hakashu, ect;. He was funny and shared many interests with me that had only been closet hobbies to me. He would come over and take me out to movies and to dinner. But there was a huge problem, one that I never thought about until much later.
I could not say no to him.
At the time, it wasn't a big deal. Things were great! About three months in, I told him that I loved him and he told me that he would marry me. By four months, every thought that he would purpose to me. It may seem that things moved a little fast, but I am a hopeless romantic and thought that this situation was ideal. But in all honesty, it wasn't. By the time we had been dating for one year, I was doing things that I hated others for- I was hardly hanging out with my friends anymore, and barely talking to them. I had also dropped all oboe lessons and was down to one band I was in and would stop being in it by the end of the year. I was lying to my parents about what I was doing as I slowly moved out of their place in to his after spending night after night with him at his beck and call. By this time, I had tried to break up with him twice. And it was the second time that really was when I realized that there was a problem.
By the time I tried to break up with him the second time, he had resorted to calling me names and demeaning me. I was upset and wanted out. I had stopped drawing by this point and my writing had also gone hiatus. I was still in one band and an orchestra at the time, and the time I spent with my friends had been reduced greatly. I was talking to one of my best friends about the relationship and she was advising me to get out. He had still not come to any of my concerts and I had a big one that night. I was a featured soloist in that concert. It wasn't a big concert by any means, but for me, it was important. He came and, while my intention had been to dump him after the concert, he gave me flowers before my concert and I broke down. He asked me what was wrong, and I wound up dumping him then since he forced me to tell him. He left in a rage, leaving me to perform on such horrible emotions- my heart was broken and hurt, and I had to emotionally detach myself from my music and the world around to make it through the concert. I thought it was over. But I was wrong. I checked my phone, he had come back to the concert, but they wouldn't let him in since he didn't have cash to pay. He tried everything to get in- credit car numbers, promises to pay them more money by mail, but they wouldn't let him in. He apologized over and over again through sobs on my voice mail and I felt horrible. I went out to see him that night. He was in a dark mood and told me that if I left him that night, he would drive his car off of the local cliffs we call the Rims. I said nothing at first, and then he pulled his car out of park and started driving. That was the first time I have ever experienced a panic attack and was afraid for my life. I sat in the passenger seat of his car, gasping for air as I feared he was going to drive off of the Rims and take me with him. In the end, I agreed to get back together with him, not wanting his blood on my hands, but knowing that I was trapped.
After that, I gave up my music and stopped seeing my friends and I permanently moved in.
But there were other signs that this was a bad place for me to be. Over the next few years, I was being pulled away from my family, and he also had taken up the new standard of 'Stupid should Hurt,' and would hit me if I did or said anything he thought was stupid. After a while, he stopped, but whenever he raised his hand, I would flinch. Nothing that I cared about was important to him. Instead, he had taken up a new crusade with me- making me carry my weight. This was an effort that was rewarding in many ways, but drove me to hate hate him at the same time. He decided that he needed to focus on my bills, and that I needed to help out more with rent. So on his push, I told my manager at Subway that I was interested in doing more for the company and wanted to be an Assistant Manager. A few months later, I was in my new store in my new position. Some of you know what happened to me there, but for the rest of you, what started out great turned to hell in four months. My new manager only needed me there for him to take his vacations- he never trained me completely, he would take credit for my victories, and would blame me whenever things went bad. When I left, he lied about me saying that I was fully trained as a manager, when in all honesty, most supervisors at the other stores knew more than me. His lies made it impossible for me to get promoted ever again within the company. I kept hoping that karma would kick in and that he would be fired, but instead he got the brand new store he always wanted.
Along with working more hours as a manager, a job that I did enjoy whenever my manager wasn't around, I was also expected to do all the housework and homework. That's right. Homework. It isn't a coincidence that I have a working knowledge of how businesses run and of economics. I did all the reading, all the assignments, and all of his tests and quizzes in his Business Administration Associates degree from his second semester on. The joys of online classes are vast. His excuse for having me do it was to give me a leg up in life- that he already knew all that was being taught- and he thought me learning his course work would give me more knowledge to excel in the business world. And while I hated it, I learned many new things about myself. I developed my love for numbers during this time, became a secretary at a tax firm and loved it. I passed physics, learned about spreadsheets and how to use Excel, a program that helped land me other jobs and that I still use to this day. But while I worked to keep the house clean, work on his major, and even after I returned to my store, I was working full time, he played his computer games when he was not at work, and I had nothing to show for what I did. By this time, I would feel guilty if I left the house to see my family, guilty if I drew, wrote or did anything that was not keeping my nose in the texts I was studying or cleaning the house. I became resentful of him. Yet even after he received his Associates (he has yet to receive his diploma for it) what I did was not enough. I got the tax job because he said we needed more money. So for four months at the beginning of this year, I was was working 6 days a week at 60+ hours a week. I enjoyed it too. I wasn't at home that much, but he still expected me to keep the house clean and have a dinner plan ready.
But that still wasn't enough. After my stint with the tax joint came to a conclusion, he, loving how much money I had brought in, wanted me to work yet another job. And I couldn't start soon enough. I got hired by Costco and started working for them about two weeks later and worked for them for a little over 30 days. He wasn't happy with the hours I was getting from them, which wound up working alright since they fired me two days after my 30 day evaluation for tardiness, a problem that I had remedied after they spoke to me and that they had okayed during my evaluation as a problem resolved (turns out one of my supervisors didn't like me and I was fired for that reason) . Two weeks later, I was hired on by Walmart. This job was a job that he was constantly giving me grief on. I was constantly being compared to his relatives who worked for McDonald's and how they, even as failures at life made more money than me. I was also working Subway at the time too. According to him, my friends were bad influences and would only drag me down. But the moment came when I finally had had enough.
Not long after I became a CSM, I wound up having two incidents where I misread my schedule and was late for work by an hour and a half. Both instances were humiliating, but the second instance was what drove me to leave. I was working the same shift for weeks, and then, they would change that constant night shift for one day/morning shift, and then go back to a slightly earlier night shift. Both times this had happened to me, I got the shifts mixed up. The second time though, he got the call from Walmart that I was late. I leave my phone on silence at work and often forget about turning it back up. That is what happened in this instance. He tried to call me, but with my phone on silence, I didn't know. He stormed up the stairs, and then ripped the front door open and began to scream at me. For the second time in my life, I was terrified. My entire body was shaking violently I was so terrified of him, I tried to tell him that he was scaring me, but he said that my fear was good and deserved for trying to destroy his life and that this was another repeat of Costco (I misread my schedule once there and was thirty minutes late for work) . I got to work, ashamed and weak kneed. My Supervisor looked at me seriously and told me that something in my life would have to give, and I realized, she was right. Two weeks later, I began to slowly move out of his home. I feared his reaction and moved things out little by little. He never seemed to notice until I took one of my coats. He asked me about it then, and I lied. A week later, l I had left was one car load- whatever remained in the closet, in the chest of drawers, in the shower, my cat, and a few other trinkets. He asked me the morning that I moved out if I was, but this time it came with a threat to destroy me if I did. If I moved out, he would take me to small claims court for the money he had to use to 'bail me out' when I hadn't made enough to cover rent and money he believes that I owed him. He also told me that he would go after my jobs (I still work Walmart and Subway) and would ensure that I got fired. The penalty of not paying the other person in small claims court is prison, he assured me. Even though I wanted to tell him the truth, it was 5 in the morning and I didn't want to leave my cat with him if he kicked me out. So I lied again , assuring him that all was fine. After he left for work, I packed everything up and left a letter on his desk explaining why I left him, telling him that I didn't want to hear from him, and promising his repercussions if he went after me. I then called my manager at Subway, telling her what he had told me, asking her through tears for her protection, which she was happy to give me. I then placed my stuff in my parents home in my old room- a room that had kept more than 60% of my belongings during the last three years. I fought my emotions through work at Walmart, who also stood by me after I explained what had happened.
He came and found me at work and asked to speak with me when I finished, and I agreed to it. And after work, I went over to his place where he told me that I should take his cat. He was yet again threatening to commit suicide. He then told me that when he first saw me, that he had chosen me to be his partner and considered me his wife. He told me that we would have gotten married when my bills were all paid off and that we would have had a family then and that I would be able to quit my jobs and do whatever I wanted. He continued to tell me that no matter how bad things got between us, that he always took care of me and put me first and that there wasn't anything he would do for me. Yet any time I had hinted at marriage or having kids in the past two years, he would tell me that I knew where the door was. And while he did provide for my needs with food, shelter, and clothing, my emotional needs were rarely met. For the next three hours, I stayed by his side as he went through calmness, bitter anger, sadness, desperation, and suicide in a cycle as he would ask me who the other guy was. He would take a knife into the shower he had left running, despite my begging him not to. Eventually, I got him to mellow out and I left him, hoping that he would make it through the night. He did, and for the next week, he kept asking me when I would move back in with him, guilt tripping me about the situation I left him in when I left (Laundry piling up, home dirty, financially where he didn't want to be) . I would tell him no and that I wanted to be on my own for a bit. He would get sad, but over the next few weeks, he stopped asking me to move in, but he still wanted to see me and have me stay over. He was loving and affectionate again. He would take me out and bring me food, yet the more he tried, the harder I pushed back. I didn't want this. He wanted me back, I wanted to be left alone. I finally told him yesterday that if anything were to happen in this relationship, it would be on my terms, something that he couldn't agree to.
Despite all of the crap that he had put me through, I have many things to thank him for. I would not be where I am or who I am now with out him and his aid. I could care less about the whole college thing, honestly. I am not sure what he will do, but he gave me his word that he would not come after me. As for me, I am reconnecting with the friends that I have ignored for the past few years, and have restarted my oboe training. I have also stepped down from being a CSM to receive more training for the moment at work. While I still work both jobs, I am enjoying life more and can smile again. I had been writing and drawing more this year than I had in a long time. The more I returned to the things I loved, the more resolute I became to leave the situation I was in. I found strength and comfort in them. My beautiful cat, Amadeus, is also happier. She no longer runs from noises or hides away all day long. She still follows me around the house, and she too has returned to some of her old habits, becoming more of the cat she was before I began this relationship. Needless to say, I don't think that I will be dating again for a very long while. As I told him, I am tired of trying to be somebody that I am not, shaping myself into what others want me to be. I am tired of accepting what people think I want to hear as the truth instead of being honest. While he may think what I am doing is selfish, he was the one who told me that person needs to look out for themselves first, and for the first time in a very long time, that is what I will be doing.
It's kind of neat, I never realized how strong I was until I left him, yet I know that I would not be as strong as I am nor who I am if it had not been for you all here. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and while it may take me a few more weeks, maybe even into the new year to settle back down, I am back and I am happy to be so.
Slyer and Sam-Sam, I will see this Saturday at Hastings around 9:30 for the sketch jam. Sorry if I smell like sandwiches...