Disclaimer: This story mentions domestic abuse and may be triggering to some.
“It didn’t start out all bad, it once felt like a fairytale. My story began back in the summer of 2014. I was a 21-year-old college student, on my own for the first time in my life. I’d just moved out of my ‘luxury’ student apartment to a ‘humbler’ place, so I could afford to purchase my first car, without compromising the little freedom I had to myself outside of my full-time classes and my part-time job. Shortly after purchasing my car, it didn’t take long to realize that it came with mechanical problems, which would later lead me down a unexpected path of love, chaos, and heartbreak.
One day as I was leaving out of my apartment, my flirty downstairs neighbor introduced me to his cousin that he’d told me about previously, who could work on my car for me. You see, every time I needed to go somewhere in my car, I had to jump start it using a jumper box I had to invest in because my car would always die within hours of non-use.
Anywho, I’m introduced to this mechanic (we will call him Khal), and we make plans for him to work on my car the following morning. The next day arrives, it is scorching hot outside, and I come downstairs to offer the man generously working on my car something cold to drink, then I make my way back into my air-conditioned home, tending to my own business. Some time passed before I heard a knock at my door, and it was Khal. He invited me to ride along with him to the nearby auto store, where he would have the part he removed from my car tested, and allow me to gain some knowledge about whatever was going on with my car. As I am waiting in line, Khal is a few feet away from me, speaking with the clerk. As I looked over at him, it was the first time that I noticed that he was kind of good looking. Right away, I had a small crush, of which I quickly pushed aside to ignore.
On the short trip back to my apartment complex, Khal made small talk with me about other things he could try on my car. At arrival, I went back into my home as he continued to work on my car. As the sun was going down and it became cooler outside, I heard another knock at my door; it was Khal. He had done all he could do, and nothing worked. He then asked to borrow my laptop to search for additional resources. I wasn’t comfortable enough to allow him in my home, nor give him my laptop to use on his own, so I came outside and allowed him to use it on the stairs.
Somehow, we went from strictly business, to talking for hours about any and everything of our lives. It’s like we had this instant connection, and I knew him my entire life. He even told me that he enjoyed me so much that he didn’t want to charge me for any of the work he attempted on my car. I thought I was winning, especially because money was so tight for me at the time.
Later that evening, Khal called me, and we talked on the phone for a while, and it was a start to a new beginning. When I wasn’t at work, we spent every moment of our days together, working on projects, making love, cooking, exploring, and talking. Don’t let me forget to tell you how amazing and unique he was. I had never met nor experienced a man like him. He was so honest and transparent about his life, current and past struggles, hopes, dreams and fears. He showered me with compliments (holding me up high on a pedestal he verbally created), gave me pedicures, tended to my needs, cooked for me, opened doors for me, and even drove me to work every day so I wouldn’t have to deal with my troublesome car.
He told me his dreams for us and our relationship, how he wanted to build with me, take care of me, and live a life of happiness together. He introduced me to all his family and friends and paraded me around like he won the game of life. He truly made me feel like a princess, and I saw our whole life together in his eyes. It was only a matter of weeks before I fell head over heels for him and boy did I fall hard! When he said that he loved me & that we would build together, I believed him.
Within the first few weeks of knowing Khal, we decided to move in together. He had fallen on hard times before I met him, and I felt it was okay to help him out. I guess you would wonder how my family and friends felt about my relationship. Some of my friends approved of him, based on how they saw us together, while one of my closest friends thought I was too good for him (for superficial reasons) and the fact that he was 26 with three children by two different women.
In my heart, I felt no need to judge him. He seemed like a diamond in the rough, and I saw his potential. I was also happy that he saw great potential in me, which was something I didn’t know I was missing until I had it. As for my family, they did not approve of him after conducting a thorough background check that revealed his debts, and his children. I didn’t feel like these were issues for me because he was so transparent with me from the beginning, so my family wasn’t telling me anything I did not already know.
I also felt as if they didn’t even give him a chance, since they seemed to jump to conclusions before meeting him. I felt they just didn’t understand him, and they didn’t him like I knew him. As for his kids, he told me that he and the mother of the older two had issues, and she did not allow him to see his kids. He came off as a hurt father, victimized by a ‘bitter baby mama.’ I felt sorry for him, especially since my father was the complete opposite in my life. When he talked about his kids, I could see his spirit brighten, and feel his love for them. That is when I think I really fell for him. Looking back, boy was I wrong! I now know, as a mother to one of his children, that he had been lying to me from the beginning. Not only has he proven to be a terrible father, but a terrible partner as well.
Looking back on the year Khal and I lived together, I realize that it was filled with much sorrow and burden for myself, while he reaped the benefits of having me around. For a while, we split the bills, where he would pay the rent and I paid for all of our utilities. Over time, he had many excuses for coming up short with the rent, and I would help him cover the difference. Eventually it got to a point where it became routine, and I would be paying most of the bills by myself, as well as all of our outings.
He would constantly ‘borrow’ money from me for his kids or debt payment, or something to ‘help us,’ but I never received any of this money back. Our relationship was never about money to me, so I only realized our issues as I felt him pull away from me emotionally. It’s like it happened over time. I noticed pretty early that he stopped being chivalrous and doing nice things for me. He became sneaky and attached to his phone, only wanting to spend time with me when we were getting physical or he was benefiting some way, wanting me to attend his family events with him without returning the favor, staying out late hours and avoiding my calls, sometimes he would come home later the next day without explanation of where he had been.
I spent so much of our relationship in tears, feeling the deep pain of heartache. I wondered how I could love and give so much to someone who never appreciated me, someone who treated me like I was nothing, as if I owed him everything. I would ask him all the time if he was happy, or if he wanted to end things, or if he was seeing other women. He told me everything he thought I wanted to hear, which was never the truth. While I always gave him the benefit of the doubt because of my blind love for him and his honesty in the beginning, I still had this lingering feeling that wanted the truth (I now know this as my intuition). I felt that I will believe him until I saw the truth for myself.
One day, I found the truth I was seeking in an old phone Khal kept in the closet, after obtaining a new one. In this phone, I found so many disturbing messages and pictures from different unsaved numbers, all of which had time stamps during our entire relationship. I remember feeling angry, hurt, and sick all at the same time. I cried so hard; I began to throw up. I didn’t know what to do next. I contacted all of the women, and they lied about their involvement with him as well. I didn’t want any trouble; I just wanted the truth.
I waited until Khal got home to confront him because I knew if I contacted him earlier, he would not come home. That was the longest two hours of my life. After confronting Khal, he lied to my face over and over, even with the evidence in hand! I remember him saying that those other women meant nothing to him and that he had never messed with any of them, it was only conversation (yea right!). He eventually jumped into victim mode, going on about his lack of trust in women. I then asked him, ‘Well how am I supposed to trust a man?’ if I couldn’t trust him. He begged and pleaded with me saying he didn’t want me worry about trusting another man because he wanted to be the only man I trusted. He cried and held me in his arms, begging for another chance. I gave in.
Time went on, and we argued about the same things over and over. I was stuck in a cycle that never changed. But I wanted him so bad. I was fighting to get the old Khal back, the man I’d met. I just wanted him to love me, the way I knew I deserved.
Now 4 years later, after more lies and deceit, abuse, cheating, scandals, abandonment, debt, raising our child on my own without contact or financial assistance, and almost allowing him to tear my whole world apart, I finally decided to end my commitment to him and the dream I once had. I needed to become the change I sought after. I realized that after all of these years, the only person who had changed, whose life changed, was me. I realized that he was no good for me, and he never had been. It took a lot of pain for me to see that for myself. While he took so much from me mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially, I gained so much from him that he will never realize.
I gained my sense of power, strength, intuition, and a beautiful daughter that loves me in a way I’ve never known before! I look at my daughter, and I realize that she looks up to me, and she is at the age where she copies everything that I do. I don’t want her to be anything like the woman I used to be. I don’t want her to accept scraps from a man (or anyone for that matter) because it was something normal for her mother. I had to change the story. Not only does my daughter deserve better, but so do I. I broke a generational curse to pave a new and better path.
I now have a story to tell, and I hope that I can connect with others who are like me, who can gain a sense of strength, wisdom, and hope from the lessons I had to learn. There is so much more to my story that is left out, we can probably save for another time and day. I want to use the rest of my energy at this time to shed light on my situation, and promote growth, and healing for anyone who gets to connect with me.
Once you’ve awakened to the truth of your story, it can become hard to see your situation without hearing voices in your head telling you that you asked for it or you should have known better, like it was your fault. You have to remember not to judge your past self, and instead have sympathy for that person you used to be. You did not know who you were at that time. You did not know your worth, your strength, or your power. You are not that person anymore. You realize that you went through those things, the pain & the trauma because it pushed you towards your path to heal and give yourself the love you deserve. You finally realize that sticking around is only hurting you, and that person will continue to hurt and take advantage of you as long as you allow it.
When you find your power, and believe me you will, you will become totally transformed as a whole new person. You will no longer accept what you once accepted and stand up for yourself. You will not be alone, nor will you suffer in silence because there is a community of individuals who have been in your position, that will be there for you as a source of strength. These individuals will not victim shame you or tease you with ‘I told you so.’ You will become an empowered beacon of light, full of wisdom & the ability to heal & lead others toward their better and happier selves. Your story does not have a sad ending because your past was a path to a new beginning. Rise up like the phoenix you are!”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Miya Jha. You can follow her journey on Instagram and YouTube. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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