relationship

‘He finished his email with one question. ‘Do you want to meet?’ I was taken aback. I went 17 years knowing absolutely NOTHING about him. ‘Yes,’ I replied. I had a gut-wrenching feeling.’

“When I was in high school, I started getting sick. I needed my full health history. My parents called my birth mom. ‘Can you get in contact with Hannah’s birth father? We need this information.’ I remember sitting in the kitchen watching my adoptive dad call my birth dad. HOLY CRAP!”

‘There’s no quick fix. There WILL always be a next panic attack, a next day of self-harm or cloud of doubt. I started to feel I wasn’t enough for him. I couldn’t pray away the dark times.’

“There’s nothing I want more than to see his beautiful smile. But part of being in love with someone struggling with mental health is dealing with the ugly. It’s true what they say. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. But there’s also a damn dimmer switch in that tunnel too.”

‘I lied to you,’ my fiancé said. ‘It has all been a lie.’ I felt sick to my stomach. He told me there had been another incident with the woman from work. Turns out, that was the LEAST of my problems.’

“‘I don’t want to get involved in a relationship with you until she is out of the picture,’ I told him. I asked him outright, ‘Is there anything I should be worried about?’ He reassured me, ‘no.’ I could see there was something on his mind. Nothing prepared me for what followed.”

‘He was always disappearing. I created a picture-perfect life for others to gawk at and admire. I didn’t want to be alone.’: Single mom says leaving her abuser was the ‘hardest decision of my life’

“The changes in his behavior were subtle. The flirting and flattery mutated into backhanded compliments and criticisms. If I ever questioned his behavior or cruelty, he would dismiss my concerns. ‘I was just joking.’ ‘You shouldn’t be so sensitive.’ ‘Can’t you take a joke?’ I spent all my energy trying to impress him.”

‘She was severely malnourished. ‘We don’t expect her to live very long in the orphanage.’ I was in it for the long haul.’: Woman adopts orphan into her forever family, ‘She became mine and I became hers’

“I knew the dangers of short-term volunteers going into orphanages and getting attached. ‘She won’t let anyone play with her. She’s very stubborn.’ But I was stubborn too. Our doctor took off his glasses and looked me in the eyes. ‘Have you considered pursuing custody?’ I felt the weight of his words. I was young. Really young.”

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