Unexpected Friendship: Part One
A Series of Stories Explaining an Abusive Relationship and the Unexpected Friendship That Blossomed from It
I used to be in an abusive relationship. All the text book red flags and warning signs were present, however, I was being played by a narcissistic sociopath, and man, those people are good at what they do! ( I am in no way trying to down play the severity of this situation, I am just finally at a point in my life where I can use humor and sarcasm when I tell this horrendous story).
Lets rewind to 22-year-old me. Freshly separated, eventually divorced (yes I got married at 19, (my ex husband, who is the father of my son, is an amazing human being we just weren't good for each other as husband and wife), battling PTSD that I had not come to terms with at this point, oh and let's throw in a nice mixture of anxiety, postpartum depression, and low self esteem. I was the PERFECT concoction of sad, lonely, and gullible. I was an abusers day dream. I began exhibiting some very dangerous and risky behavior, heavily influenced and pressured upon me by a former friend and roommate. Let's call her Kelly.
Kelly had her own issues, and not to make light of her situation, however she became a toxic part of my life. At the time, I did not see this. Hello! I just told you I was depressed. Let's just continue this story picturing a huge dark cloud looming over me and masking all of my good judgement. Not wanting to live alone, and also not being able to afford rent by myself, I decided to be a "good friend" and allow Kelly and her kid to move into my apartment with my nearly two-year-old son and myself. Bad idea, but again, I really was not in a position where I was making the best life choices. Basically Kelly was a broken wild child, influencing me to follow in her outlandish ways of getting hammered at the local bar every Friday, cruising the town for parties, inviting random guys over to the apartment, and making a few "friends with benefits." I knew deep down inside my behavior wasn't who I truly was or who I wanted to be, but I was so desperate to not feel lonely, or like a failure, and to mask my pain, so I didn't care. Until the day I met him.
Kelly was already on my last nerve, not paying her share of bills, creating drama and chaos in my life, and using me as doormat to wipe her feet on after a night of getting into bar fights. She had this crazy idea that the two of us would move across town, rent a house together, and continue to be irresponsible single mothers. I wasn't down.
One night, I was lying in my bed, scrolling through Instagram, when I came across a photo of a guy, posted by my childhood best friend whom I have known since I could basically walk. The photo was taken at some bar in a town eight hours away, where they both lived. She used some ridiculous hashtags "#himynameis___andiliketosuckmyowndick" and "#blueballs." I double tapped on the photo, liking it, and laughing. This part of the story gets a little fuzzy, I can't remember if he reached out to her, and then she reached out to me, or if she reached out to me and said something like, "Oh hey I noticed you liked my photo of my friend I posted, and he thinks you're cute." I do recall a Facebook message being sent to me by him sometime in January of that year and I also believe it was the start of the semester for him.
The messages started out as small talk, just friendly exchanges of our day to day life, what's your favorite ice cream flavor, what to do want to be when you grow up. Slowly, he started to charm me, telling me how beautiful I was, how he admired that I wanted to be a nurse, and how he could picture us settling down together. In my warped little mind this all sounded amazing. I thought that maybe this was my chance to finally be happy, then I remembered he lived eight hours away.
Fast forward to Valentine's Day weekend. I got a flight to meet him for the first time, and also see my friend, who at that time I had not seen since high school. It seemed like the perfect getaway. I arrived at the airport and was greeted by him with a hug and a bouquet of flowers. I thought, "Is this real life?" I felt like I was living a scene of cheesy romantic comedy. During this weekend getaway he officially asked me to be his girlfriend, and put the idea of me moving to live with him in my brain. I brought this idea up to Kelly and she flipped out on me and two weeks later I got a text saying it wasn't working out for her to live with me and she moved all her stuff out while I was away at work. After that, I found myself reserving a U-haul, quitting my job, and saying goodbye to my friends and family.
Red Flag #1. The night/morning of the day he was to fly out to me so we could drive the moving truck to our new house across the state, we got into some stupid fight. It would be the first of ten million more to follow, and I honestly can't even tell you what it was about. He threatened to cancel his flight. Threatened to break up with me. I panicked. Here I was sleeping on the floor because I had packed up my apartment and had already put my plan in motion and he was threatening to take it all away. People like him love two things; power and control. As long as he had the power he could control everything about me. Needless to say the argument was squashed and he showed up at the airport later that day. I was so nervous, but I was basically just banking on any glimmer of hope I could that I was making the best decision for myself. I ignored logic and reason and made that voyage with what little belongings he allowed me to take.
To be continued.....
About the author
I am a 27 year old mother, wife, and student. I love to write. Sharing my stories and experiences to bring awareness and show support for mental illness and domestic violence. I also do some food writing for fun.