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Healing From Within

by Ang Williams 4 days ago in recovery

You Are Your Own Hero

Healing From Within
Photo by M. on Unsplash

This is my story, and no one else's. Whether I made the right choices or wrong ones, they were my choices. They made me who I am, and have taught me many valuable lessons. This is only one version of me. I still have many others. This is only one glimpse, once small, yet large part of what made me into the cynical, sarcastic, guarded person I am.

I'll take you back to 1994, freshman year of high school. So many new experiences and so many new faces, I felt like I could not keep up with the demand of what was being asked of me. I found my few refuges in band and music in general, and always had my friends that I could go to, but I was never that popular girl in school. I wasn't what you would call "pretty". I was a bigger girl. I'd starve myself. I wouldn't eat lunch, barely eat at home. We'd march in formation during band in the blistering heat, and I would drink water, sweat every drop of that water out of my body, and still, the weight would never go anywhere. So, to say I was self-conscious was an understatement. Now that I look back, I can see I was a perfect victim for my predator. About half way through the year, my best friend introduced me to a guy, who at the time didn't even make any kind of impression on me. I said hi, made a little small talk, and off me and my friend went to our next destination within the school. Not a thought about that guy entered my mind at that point. Apparently, I had left a lasting impression on him though...unfortunately.

Fast forward to my sophomore year, and I had become friends with "the guy". We had actually become quite good friends. He would call me on the phone and we would talk about nothing and everything. He seemed to have my best interests in mind. I sincerely thought he was a true friend. We continued this friendship through to junior year. During the summer of my junior year my girlfriends and I were out one night and we had met some guys out. This was the night that I lost my virginity. It wasn't exactly how I had "planned it". It was a complete and utter lack of judgement type of moment, but it was what it was. I couldn't change it. After this, I confided in my "guy friend" and he flew off the handle. He completely blew up on the phone at me, told me it should have been him, and on and on. At this moment, my gut told me I needed to cut all ties with him. He was completely obsessive, possessive and not even worried about my well-being at all. I avoided all calls from him. I stopped entertaining any ideas of being friends with him at all.

Then senior year rolled around, and somehow, soft-hearted me, started talking to him again. He apologized for how he reacted. I forgave him. We talked light-heartedly again. It seemed to be okay again. He was dating other people. I was dating other people. Senior year was a blast, as it should be. I graduated high school, started college, and things were going great. Then my grandfather died. I was very close to my grandfather. It completely turned my world upside down. After this, I made a series of horribly bad decisions.

I started dating a guy one of my friends set me up with, and we had a lot of fun. We got engaged and were supposed to be married. Until he suddenly got cold feet, and it just fell through. What did I do? I turned straight to the guy who I should have never given a second chance in the first place. Yes, Mr. Possessive was there to "pick up the pieces". He was there to profit from the failure of the relationship that had just fallen apart, the losses that I had just had. And he exploited this with every bit of manipulation that he had in his being. I should have woken up. I should have snapped out of it. But I was so weak. I was so lost. I could barely see past the tip of my nose, let alone what he was getting ready to do to me, my family, my friends, and my life. And I let him.

June 1999, we were married. My family, his family, two of my friends (which should have been a red flag) were there to witness this catastrophe. I walked down the "aisle" stiff as a board, my arm in my father's, and really all I wanted to do was run. But I'm no quitter. That's all I kept telling myself. I'm no quitter? Seriously? Even his little cousin had made several remarks about him being a compulsive liar. Nine years old, and this child knew the guy had problems.

We went through with the wedding, and right off the bat, there were issues. He and my dad had words, as we were living with my parents for quite awhile. This guy alienated me from my friends, my family (accept for my parents, although he tried), and did whatever he could do to make me completely question everything anyone told me, unless it was him. He was brainwashing me. And as I said before, I let him. I was so damned weak, so completely out of my mind with grief and in denial about so many things that I just did not care anymore.

So, I'm going to fast forward to the point we got our own place (not by any effort of his, mind you), as that's where things take a turn for the worse. So, we move into a trailer that is on my parents' property, owned by my parents (my grandmother had previously lived in) and I'm the only one working to pay the bills, the only one cleaning, the only one taking care of anything. He is busy spending money, playing with his R/C car hobby, taking trips with his friends, doing whatever he wants, whenever he wants, because that's how he has me trained at this point. There are many times I'm only getting two hours of sleep, as I work night shift, because we have to go somewhere to meet friends, or go do something he has promised for someone else. I am now sleep deprived, working full-time, and getting completely down. On top of everything else, I'm being woke up to him on top of me, having nonconsensual sex both vaginally and anally too many times to count, because I can no longer be woken up. And by this time, I would not have consented anyway. I was in complete hate with this man. I may have been beat down, but by this point in time around 8 years had passed. My strength was coming back. My give-a-damn was coming back. My personality was coming back. He was not going to like me very, very soon. But I had to wait. I had to be strong enough to leave. I had to know when the time was right.

Nine years in and he started getting into some business he shouldn't have, apparently. But still, I was working, oblivious to a lot that was going on around me. But our home burned, and nearly everything I cared about was damaged, (yet another traumatic event). But thanks to the extreme kindness of two wonderful humans, we moved in with friends in another town. This was the change I was waiting for. This was the silver lining. I moved from night shift to day shift, and eventually left my job. He got a job, surprise, surprise. I had met a few friends in the town we'd moved to, and actually met a girl. Not just any girl. She was the girl I would leave my husband for and move in with. Now this may seem like a horrible slap in the face to my husband to some. To others it may seem like sweet justice. I found it quite ironic, as he always told other guys, "If women ever figured out that they didn't need us to get off, we'd be screwed." He begged and pleaded with me to come back. But I made it perfectly clear that he had turned me gay. At that point, I was just really down on men in general, mainly him. It took time, I did heal and get over it. I am remarried now with two beautiful children of my own, and two awesome step-children who might as well be mine. I love humans for who they are, no gender, color, religion, or any other barrier that people try to put up to make it difficult to love. If you are good to me, and treat me with respect, I will be good to you. But don't manipulate me. Don't hurt me. Don't traumatize me. I've been through enough. Many other humans on this earth have as well. We should be looking for the good in others, and loving one another. But, I'm telling you, go with your gut. If you have even that slight tugging feeling of doubt, stick to it. Don't let them in. Your mental, emotional and even physical well-being is way more important than their desire to possess you.

Ang Williams
Read next: Never In the Cover of Night
Ang Williams
See all posts by Ang Williams

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