“I was 14 and at local small-town hockey game when I caught a glimpse of the referee. My first thought was how attractive he was. Next thing I knew, he was looking back at me with a devilish smirk. I was instantly blushing.
After the game, we bumped into each other outside and started talking. He was handsome, charming, and 19. We flirted, exchanged numbers, and eventually began hanging out. We had our first kiss a few months later. That was the beginning of a very long and painful journey. One that would completely change the course of my life forever and change the person I would become.
We met back in 2003 and my parents forbid me to see him. I remember being so upset that I was bawling (oh, the teenage drama) but we snuck around together anyways. His mom wasn’t happy about it either, but his dad didn’t care. So, I would go over there when his mom was at work and leave before she got home.
Years went by and we were together on and off throughout my teens (he was also sleeping with one of my ‘friends’ and trying to get with another one when I was about 16). By that point, I was infatuated with him and always went back.
At 17, I invited him to stop by my graduation quickly to see me all dressed up, but he wouldn’t. I remember him saying, ‘I didn’t even attend my own graduation, so I’m not coming to yours.’ He wouldn’t even come for any length of time. I remember feeling so hurt and disappointed.
When I was 19, I went on a work trip with him for a week. Shortly after we got back, I found out he had a girlfriend the entire time. She aggressively confronted me about it a few months later and I told her I had no clue at the time. I suggested she take it up with her boyfriend as that had been the last time I saw or talked to him. That was it for me and we eventually went our separate ways for a few years with little to no contact.
However, in April 2011, we were back together and in full force. I was madly in love with him. We moved in together by the middle of the summer. His family and I got along amazing and I felt like I had finally found my happiness (I didn’t have the easiest life, but I will touch on that another time).
We talked about our future and having kids. I said I wanted to wait a few years and he said he wanted kids sooner. As time went on and he was away for work a few weeks at a time, we talked more about it and I said I would finish the rest of my 3 months of birth control and see how we felt about the topic then. We both had stable jobs, a house, and vehicles. There wasn’t really a reason not to and we were both so in love.
A week went by and he said, ‘Well, why don’t you just stop taking them now? Why wait? It will probably take awhile anyways.’ So, we started trying, and in March of 2012 we were ecstatic to find out we were pregnant!
Fast forward to May 2012. I went out to visit him (14 hours away) and went through his phone while he was sleeping (I know, I know). I found conversations with a girl that were very graphic. I couldn’t breathe. My body felt numb. I felt my heart break and I was bent over in the bathroom holding my stomach barely able to breathe. I was crushed. Needless to say, I woke his ass up fast!
He cried and grovelled at my feet, insisting I not leave my trip early. He wanted to fix this before I left and went back home. He promised this was the only time and nothing more than what I saw.
Within a short time frame, I also saw him lose his temper on our dog. I promised him if he ever laid a finger on the dog again, I would take the dog away and he would not see either of us again.
While I was pregnant, I also refused to go on his motorcycle as it just wasn’t worth the risk if something happened. He got very mad at me and said it was the stupidest thing he had ever heard. I had gone a few times with him in the past. Travelling 140km/hr while holding onto someone’s waist, white knuckled, isn’t my idea of fun.
Call me naive or gullible, but I wanted to see the best in him even though deep down I knew better. We stayed together and I moved out there that fall.
On November 20th, I became a mom to the most precious baby boy, and we were happy for a little while. However, things started to get worse from there…
I was trying to nurse a screaming baby who wouldn’t latch for hours and hours day in and day out. When I asked him for help or support his response was, ‘What the fuck do you want me to say? That your doing a good job? You’re not a f***ing dog!’
Days on end would go by and he wouldn’t touch, talk, or even look at our son. I finally said something, and he said, ‘What for?! He only cries for you anyways.’ When I suggested her just talk to him, I said just talk to him, his response was, ‘Why? He doesn’t know what I’m saying.’ He was more interested in texting for hours on end, drinking with friends, and going out on his motorcycle.
I slowly started seeing a change in him. I couldn’t believe this was the person I fell in love with.
When I mentioned to him that I wanted to take a social work course, he informed me if I wanted to go to school, I would be paying for it all myself and child care as well. When I said I wanted to help contribute to the household, he said he didn’t want me working. Basically, if I wanted to go to school I would have to work full time. With him already being away so often for work, I didn’t want that for our son.
In October of 2013, we moved back to where we were to be closer to family. By January of 2014, I was pregnant a second time. Again, it was planned but he rushed it. I wanted more kids and he said it was either now or never.
He was still working away and my son and I traveled the 14 hours to see him for a week.
While there, we were staying with friends and there was this grand staircase in their entryway. They had no children in the home, so it was not baby proof. I told my boyfriend to watch our son while I went into the kitchen across the house. Not even a minute later, I heard this bang bang bang and my son screaming. I ran over and, sure enough, he hadn’t been watching him. My son had fallen down a bunch of stairs. I got mad for him not being attentive for the whole minute I was out of the room and he raised his fist to me, his pregnant girlfriend and mother of his child. I was shocked. And shaking. He lowered his fist after some words and left.
Within a few days of our trip, the owner’s dog also attacked ours and I realized we couldn’t stay there anymore. He wasn’t interested in helping me figure out a solution, so needless to say my son and I and dog left the next day (after having only been there for 3 days).
During his next days off, he came home. While he was napping, I went on our laptop and pulled up iMessage. Low and behold, he had been talking to another girl again and sending nude pictures. He even informed her that a few weeks prior I was going up to see him so he wouldn’t be able to talk to her while I was there. They mentioned having sex and to this day I don’t know, nor do I care what happened.
I packed up and left him for a few days. He came to my parents house and begged me to bring our son home. He said he would change and that, again, this had been the only time it had happened. He cried in front of my parents and promised to do better.
We decided things would be better if I moved back out there and we could be together. He would be home every night. After moving back out, things were okay for a while. We had a nice huge house and, on the outside, we were this picture-perfect family.
Behind closed doors was a different story. We were arguing more and more, and our lifestyle choices were becoming more and more different. I wanted the family life we talked about and he wanted to keep being carefree and unattached.
I got a call once at 2 a.m. asking me to pick him up from the bar and I said no. I wasn’t waking our 1.5 year old to go get him and he said, ‘Don’t wake him. Just come get me. Nothing will happen. He won’t even know you were gone.’ I was disgusted and said no.
I planned a movie night with my friend for the first time in months and had discussed him watching our son. That evening, I found him and two of his alcoholic buddies drinking in the garage. I pulled him aside and told him to send them home and to stop drinking, that I had plans we had agreed on. He told me no and that our son could just hang out in the garage with them while they played darts (all 3 were smoking in there to boot). I cancelled my plans and stayed home.
I got maternity photos done and our son was in them with me and they turned out absolutely breathtaking. He refused to participate in any of them.
This stuff happened more often than not and by August, I had enough and called it quits. However, I was 34 weeks pregnant, so moving 14 hours away and driving that far wasn’t a great idea. I decided to stay until after the baby was born.
I was 39 weeks pregnant, mowing the lawn as usual, and he didn’t do anything in the house or around the yard. I had done our massive backyard and I was opening the gate to go to the front and do the few strips out there when my ex came over and said he would do it. I said, ‘No, it’s fine. I asked you for 2 weeks to do this and you refused.’ I got into the front and my neighbor (picture a short Italian motherly figure) comes marching out of her house and demands to know where my ex was. I said he had gone in the house when he saw her coming since he knew he would be in trouble.
October 2 (41.5 weeks pregnant). He’s working 3 hours north of town and the closest hospital is 3 hours south. I went into labor. I called him and he said he had to wait for a replacement before he could leave. I got ready to go, packed the SUV, and got food. He got home about 3 hours later and casually walks up to the bedroom says he’s going to shower. I said, ‘Okay, but hurry up. I have already been in labor for 5 hours at this point.’ Once he was ready, he started arguing that he wanted to take his truck and not my SUV. I said no I’m not unpacking it and moving the car seat. He said, ‘Well I will.’ We didn’t have time for this! This was my second baby and I didn’t know how long I was going into labor for. We needed to go!
He argued some more, and I said no you smoke in your truck. ‘I’m not taking a newborn in there.’ He chose some choice words but eventually we were on our way.
October 3, 2014, our second beautiful son was born. Being in a hospital bed with a newborn baby, alone in a room and single, was foreign to me. But I also enjoyed being with my little guy for a few days before we went back to reality.
Within hours of getting home, he was right on the couch on his phone for hours leaving me to take care of both boys (our oldest was 22 months). I had a repeat c-section, however he refused to lift a finger in the house (I was cleaning/cooking/taking care of both kids) and he was gone drinking multiple times a week.
I had never felt so low in my life. We had newborn pictures done and he refused to be in them.
I moved at the end of November to live back with my parents.
He visited around Christmas and it was by far one of the hardest things I had experienced. I spent a while crying in a bedroom, nursing the baby while his family celebrated the holidays. I had not only recently lost the man I had hoped to spend the rest of my life with, but his family that I loved. Every single one of them. My heart just broke. I couldn’t believe this was my life.
Being a single parent on a farm, miles away from any other human, in the dead of winter was very isolating. Both my parents worked 12-hour days and we never had a great relationship at any point in my life. They were very distant in my time there and wouldn’t help with anything, so I was again doing everything. There was no cell service or internet and I felt very much alone. My youngest ended up with RSV and I had to take him to a hospital an hour away. We had to stay for 5 days and my ex didn’t come back, so our oldest was bounced from house to house as my parents wouldn’t help or take time off work. I had no clothes or anything with me, as it was all at my parents over an hour away. They didn’t come in once to see how the little guy was doing.
I relied on random people I knew in the city to bring me miscellaneous items. So, once my ex started talking to me more and more, he eventually mentioned us getting back together. I was very excited. However, within moments, he mentioned that he would be seeing other people. I said, ‘Pardon me?’ He didn’t think it was fair he had to be alone when I was all the way there. I was livid and hung up. Within days he had me convinced he made a mistake and apologized for what he said.
My grandmother passed away unexpectedly in January of 2015 and my mom didn’t take it well. She went into a long depression (that lasted for years). I wasn’t allowed to stay at the house with the boys during the week of the funeral and had to stay in a hotel an hour away with my ex. During the few weeks that followed, my mom tore my sister and I apart and ruined our relationship. Almost 5 years later, it still isn’t what it was before and it never will be again. Within weeks, I was packed up and living with him again. My mom and I left on bad terms.
He had everything he could ever want. A housewife making home made meals every day. A clean house, two beautiful happy boys, a gorgeous house. I took care of myself and couldn’t ever understand why I was never enough for him.
Things were good for about a month or two and then the cycle started again. Over those years, he stopped taking care of himself. He was going 4-5 days without showering. He had let his hair grow, stopped brushing his teeth, and was smoking a pack a day. He was drinking soda all day and drinking more and more alcohol. I had suspicions of him using hard drugs, which he denied multiple times; however, I’m not convinced. I told him his health would catch up to him (years later it would) and he had a history of heart issues. He was playing with fire, but he said he didn’t care and knew he would die at 40 from a heart attack.
I was a stay at home mom, so any money I did have came from him. A lot of the time, I had to ask repeatedly for it or beg for it. We were far from struggling so to have to ask for money over and over was very degrading. It was his way of having control.
I was starting to realize how reckless and irresponsible he was. He had guns not trigger locked or in a cabinet and I voiced my issue with it as we had two small children. He didn’t seem to care much.
We were visiting family back home that August in 2015 and we were staying in his friends’ motor home. However, he was barely there and was always out drinking with his friends. We had gone back home for our son’s specialist medical appointment. Instead of taking our youngest, he stayed with my ex and I traveled the 2.5 hours with our 3-year-old to his appointment. I took him go-karting and mini golfing on our way out of the city. I wanted to do something fun with him and celebrate the good news he got at the doctor. Once we got back to where we were staying, my ex handed off our youngest. I asked where he was going, and he said, ‘Out. You had a day to yourself, now so will I.’ He left and didn’t come back that night, which happened multiple times on the trip.
Long story short, I found out he had been cheating on me the whole time with his friend’s cousin (the niece to the people’s motor home we were using). I had a suspicion of them cheating when our oldest was 8 months old, but he denied it. On the drive back to our home, I saw him texting her about how he couldn’t wait for me to hurry up and move the f out so they could be together. That he missed her already. My head couldn’t grasp what was going on around me. I felt like I was outside looking in on someone else’s life.
Within a week, our relationship went from him telling me he loved me to him telling me ‘you realize I don’t give a s*** about you, right? I just want to make sure you know that.’
In the following weeks, while I packed the boys and my things for our move back home, he proceeded to verbally abuse me. He would try to intimidate me every chance he got, even in front of our boys. I told him it was unnecessary and I didn’t need the boys watching or hearing him doing that.
I was so emotionally broken and scared of him at that time. He was a stranger to me, and I didn’t even feel safe in my own home anymore.
The boys and I moved out in September (2014) and my ex’s girlfriend moved in weeks later.
I wasn’t sure how I got to this point in my life, but I knew there was no going back to him this time. I was going to be raising two boys on my own. My life would be starting a new chapter and I was so scared as I had no idea of what was to come or how I would manage. I could never had anticipated the way things would end up and what I was about to go through.
There is no way I could have anticipated the highs and lows that have happened since, but to anyone out there in similar shoes, please know that the fear of the unknown is not always going to be a bad thing. I became so use to the manipulative behaviors and lies. Having zero control over anything in my life was scary. The amount of damage that can be done to a person by being with a narcissist for years and years is unbelievable. I sought counseling soon after settling in my new home and life, and was thankful I did. Having her tell me that I am worth so much more than I was made to believe was amazing. She helped me to see the abnormal behaviors I was made to believe were okay. She helped to start the process of bringing me back up from the dark place I was in.
Years have gone by and I couldn’t imagine my life any other way. I am happy and have been for a long time now. The few years I wrote about here seem like a lifetime ago.
The boys now see their dad for 2 days a year and it’s become their normal. While there are issues from that, we are so happy with the 3 of us that I couldn’t ask for anything more then the simple humble life we have.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by LR of Canada. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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