Churning Over the Thought of Marriage
A 22-Year-Old Bride's Viewpoint
Hello, and welcome to my very first blog post! I just wanted to give a quick but whole-hearted "Thank you!" to everyone who has wasted their time coming to my blog and reading my post. I appreciate every single one of you, and hope that in some weird way, my writing helps you with whatever you are going through.
It all started in eighth grade....
When I first met my fiancé, he was a tall and lanky kid with braces, glasses, and acne. Of course, this is literally describing what everyone looked like in eighth grade, but I digress.
I talked to him here and there, but not much. One day, we were talking about the sacred winter dance that anybody who was anybody went to. He asked if I had a date, and I of course, being the awkward eighth grade brace-face I was, said no. Of course I didn't have a date. He slyly smiled and said, "You wanna go with me?" How could I ever say no to such smoothness? So, I said yes, and it was history from there.
After the dance, we didn't really talk again. Maybe it was because, out of nervousness that he asked me for a kiss, I told him that my oldest brother taught me where to stab a man in the leg if they ever tried anything on me and then walked away to my parent's car where I covered my face in embarrassment and humiliation for the next hour.
Flash Forward Several Years
And we are now senior's in high school. The top dogs. The tallest people around because the freshmen seemed to have shrunk tremendously since we were freshman. I waltz into my first hour, Astronomy, and there he is. The guy that I threatened with a knife after he asked me for a kiss. Naturally, I plant my butt in the chair directly next to him. He sideway glances at me, as if to say, "Who are you and why are you sitting next to me? This is the front row. Nobody sits in the front row, that's why I chose this spot." To which I was like, dude I am blind AF. I need to sit here.
Anyway, I ask him how he's been, he says fine and asks, "It's Brianna, right?" To which I am slightly offended but say yes to. We hit it off immediately. He makes me laugh every morning, to the point where I look forward to coming to school at seven in the morning after suffering all night from insomnia. The best part is that we also had our last class, Origins of Western Civilization, together. So I spend my morning and afternoon with him, and we laugh and laugh and dance off into the 2:30 sunset.
Sort of. Again.
I was actually dating someone at the time. Have you ever loved two people at once? It is confusing, and Johnny Depp says, "If you love two people at once, pick the second one, because if you loved the first one, you would have never fallen in love with the second one." I did love my boyfriend at the time, so much so I thought I was going to marry him. My brain was trying to tell me that my boyfriend was toxic, and I didn't listen. I told myself to make a choice, and I chose my boyfriend over Mitchell. Mitchell soon after found someone of his own, and out of rage, I told him to "F off." Thinking back to it now, I only said that because I was so angry that he had found someone else, as if I had expected him to stay there in one place and wait on me to come to him someday. I was so hurt, and I had no right to be because I had been stringing him on for months, knowing full well I would never choose him.
So, you want to know about this boyfriend, yeah?
Boyfriend was the love of my life at one point in time. You could say he was my first real boyfriend, and every first is a whirlwind romance that makes us absolutely oblivious to red flags.
Boyfriend was a narcissist. Every time he lied, he somehow managed to make me think it was my fault. And trust me, there was a lot of lying. So, in the midst of my sarcastic humor, I want to take a second, just one, to discuss my relationship with my ex-boyfriend, so that maybe you can pay attention to warning signs in your own relationship. Mind you, I am but 22 years old and have not lived life as long as some people have. That being said, I have gone through, as Doc Brown says in Back to the Future, "Some serious shit," (Without going 88 miles per hour) and I hope that I can help someone out, even if it's just slightly.
As I said, there was a shit ton of lying.
So much so, that I felt like I absolutely had to look through his messages, his Facebook page, anything that was linked to him and had a password, I felt it necessary to go through it. My ex was dumb, and that's just me being honest. He didn't know how to erase his trail. He would even tell you today that no matter what he did, I always found out.
We started dating in March of 2013, a year before graduation. In a year and a half, he changed me so much, that my own parent's didn't recognize who I was anymore. Before him, I had aspirations of being in the military. I wanted to be a flight medic, or one of the first women in special ops or on the front lines. If I was going to serve my country, it was go hard or go home. I did four years of AFJROTC, ending my senior year as third in command of our corps. I didn't go into the military. Instead, I got kicked out of my home and I ended up pregnant with my son, Jensen, while living with a friend. In June of 2015, my ex dropped me off at a homeless shelter, and that's where I lived until October of 2015, where I decided to forgive my parents, and they allowed me to move back in. They supported me for the rest of my pregnancy, and in February of 2016, a month after my son was born, they kicked me out again. My ex, again, dropped me off at the same shelter. He was 19 at the time, and I was 20.
The Storm After the Calm
In May of 2016, my ex broke up with me for the third and final time. He dropped me off at a shelter, broke up with me, and began the process of DNA testing to make sure Jensen was his. He started blaming me for everything. He said that I got pregnant on purpose to trap him, that I was just out for his money. He told me I was going to be just like my mother and raise my son to think that nothing he does is ever going to be good enough. Every little thing he could think of to say that could hurt me, he said it.
So, this is where things get a little bad. After three years of this same behavior, I started coming up with a plan. Not a plan to get out of the shelter. But a plan to kill myself. In the 20 years I had been alive, never have I ever felt so low to the point where I thought killing myself would be the best option. But this is also where my son, my hero, my knight in shining armor, saved my life. Because of him, I told someone about my thoughts. I told someone, because my son deserved better than what I was doing. My son deserved his mother, and that is what saved me. So, in May of 2016, I went into a psychiatric ward, and there I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression, which I have suffered with for the duration of my life.
So, I got help. I came home to my baby, and I have never looked back on suicide again. I am one of the lucky ones, because mental illness and contemplating suicide isn't something a lot of people get out of. The grasp that depression can have on you is indescribable. So, to all my people out there, I want you to know that there is always a way out, and it does not have to end with you killing yourself. Remember, ";" symbolizes where a sentence had the choice to end, but it chose to continue instead.
Anyway, September comes, and Mitchell is suddenly thrust back into my life out of nowhere. I mean, nowhere. At this point in my life, I was attending CNA school, and his ex-girlfriend showed up to one of my clinical's and I was like, "Holy sheep shit, Batman!" and I texted him saying, "Hey, so I know this is out of nowhere because we haven't talked in a while, but your ex-girlfriend is in my class." And from there, it was literal history. If love had a textbook, we would have made a page. Within three days, we were dating.
So, after countless years and two heartbreaks between the both of us, we were finally together. September 3rd, 2016. So, you may be wondering, "Brianna, why did you make such a long blog titled "Churning Over Marriage" if you weren't even going to talk about marriage?" And to that I say, "Shhhhh! The best part is coming up!"
My ex was 19 when we had our son, and almost 20 when he left me. He has not seen his son since May of 2017, and is still blaming me for everything. Now, I have Mitchell. Mitchell, who is going to college and studying programming, took us in without a moment's worth of hesitation, accepted Jensen as his own, and has asked me to marry him. All within a year and a half (Almost...). Mitchell, in a year and a half, has taught me that it is not normal for a significant other to blame you for everything that they did wrong. He has taught me what love is supposed to feel like. He has pieced me back together with glue, duct tape, and anything else sticky he could find, and has dealt with me when I was crying on the bathroom floor wondering why I wasn't good enough for my son's father. My son's father made me feel that I was so unlovable because I was difficult. Mitchell has made me feel like a queen. He had made me realize that just because I am a bit damaged, it doesn't mean I am any less lovable than someone who has had the picture perfect life. Even then, we all have damage and we are all equally lovable, and if you would have asked me this years ago, I would have thought you were the dumbest person on the planet because in my eyes back then, if you were damaged, you weren't lovable.
That is a big word. Not in length, but the meaning it holds is timeless. A commitment, a vow for eternity (well, not with those divorce rates these days, am I right?), a sacred bond between two people. That is a lot to take in, and for anyone, can cause major spikes in their anxiety. Forever.
Mitchell asked me to marry him in November, and of course, I said yes. I had known that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him since we began dating. That phrase, "When you know, you know," definitely clicked in my brain.
I knew the moment I started dating him because he made feel normal. I didn't feel the need to go through his phone or his Facebook because I knew he wasn't hiding anything from me.
So, when I churn the thought of marriage in my brain, I am not thinking about the fear of eternity with someone, but rather the excitement and joy I have at spending the rest of my life with someone that I absolutely cherish. I think about how I dodged a bullet, and that somehow, the universe, whom I hated for so long for putting me through such extreme heartbreak, taught me the most valuable of lessons, and then brought someone so kind and gentle to me to show me that love is not lost if you are indeed broken.