Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Devil in Disguise

Caution - you may want to skip this section if your opinion of me might be altered from my stupid decisions. This is my past, but thankfully, its not my future!

My Senior year was supposed to be the highlight of high school. I was now the "top dog", you know, we ruled the school. But....just like so many other times in my life, I was deceived. I met a guy that would change my life forever. For a long time I wasn't sure if that change was for the better or for the worse. Now I can say it was a combination of both. On the one hand, I experienced things I wished that had never happened, but on the other, those experiences have made me who I am today.

Our relationship started out just like any other. We were infatuated with each other & always wanted to be together, so when the small subtle changes started, I didn't recognize them. I was spending more & more time with him, and less & less time with my friends. I started dressing different because he didn't approve of some things I wore. I even bought a one piece bathing suit just to wear for Senior Day at the Lake & I never wore anything other than a bikini (at least back then). When he proposed to me, I actually accepted. There I was, looking through those rose colored lenses again. He even changed colleges just so we could be together more - just so he could control my life was closer to the truth. Of course everyone else started seeing the changes before I did, I thought they were just jealous & didn't want me to be happy...oh, if only I would have listened. Hindsight is 20-20 though right.

He had a temper on him and I have never seen anyone so jealous but somehow I was able to overlook that most of the time. Then, the violence started toward me. Yelling, threats, guilt, apologies. It really is a vicious cycle that's hard to stop from turning. He only hit me a few times, but that was too many. No one deserves to be treated badly in any relationship.

The worst part for me wasn't what he was capable of doing to me physically. Don't get me wrong, there were several times that I was scared for my safety. I even went to the extremes of hiding my car off campus & having friends walk with me everywhere I went. The emotional bruises stay with someone long after the physical scars have healed up. Once again, I didn't feel "good enough". I wasn't pretty enough, I wasn't skinny enough, I wasn't smart enough, I wasn't cool enough.

Oh....& did I mention that he was a drug dealer? Oh yeah, here is Lil Ms Good Girl on the honor roll who developed a taste for illegal drugs before she had ever even smoked a cigarette. For that matter, before I was even old enough to buy a cigarette. I never knew from one day to the next if the joint I was smoking was simply pot or if it had been laced with cocaine....again.

Somewhere in the middle of the three years I spent with him, one of my best friends got killed. The guilt weighed heavy on me for a long time that we were supposed to go see her that night, but I was out on a beer run. That Spring Break party was more important at the time & I could go see her the next day after everyone sobered up. Well, I did go see her the next day, but she was hooked up to life support until the rest of the family could get there. I had taken a huge detour from the path I had wanted my life on & I wasn't sure how to get it back on track. I didn't have a clue what I wanted out of the future anymore.

I finally took a stand - for myself & for women everywhere. I told him that if he wanted to waste his life, that was fine but I wasn't going down the tubes with him. I had no desire to spend the rest of my life in jail or end up dead because of his choices. I can still remember the look on his face as I spun gravel all over him as I was leaving his apartment.

The next few days, weeks, months of course were not easy, but God saw fit to keep His hand around me through all of my stupidity & He even brought my future husband into my life not long after that.
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