A Knife in the Heart (A Personal Story of Struggle and Abuse)

(This was originally posted on Luna’s blog for her Saving Me guest post category dealing with stories of struggle and abuse. I’ve never shared this story on my blog, but that will change today.)


A Personal Story of Struggle and Abuse

This isn’t going to be your typical abuse story. It’s something that I try not to talk about too much anymore actually. The past is behind me and I try to leave it there. I’ve never actually written about this experience in detail on my blog yet, because it represents such a dark and depressing time in my life. I wasn’t sure if there would be value in sharing this sort of life experience. Yet, alas, here I am.

So, where shall I begin?

I’m 30 years old right now, but when I was 22, I had taken off on a backpacking trip for a few years which took me through New Zealand and Australia. When I was in Australia living and working out of a hostel, I met a French woman and we began to date. We traveled together for about a year and by the end of our travels, she hinted that she would like to come to Canada to be with me. I was head over heels in love at the time, and so this seemed like a no-brainer for me. I’ve never been afraid of a little hard work and immigrating someone to my country didn’t frighten me all that much. I felt like we could handle anything as long as we did it together.

So, I stayed with her and her family for a few months in France before coming back to Canada where we tried to establish ourselves. I helped her to find work and I was able to find work myself. She started off in Canada with a Working Holiday Visa. So, she was able to work temporarily for a year while we began the immigration process for her. Our plan was to get her residence visa and then after a few years of saving, we would move out West to BC, or so I thought.

When I bought a vehicle, I allowed her to use it most days while I rode my bicycle to work. When she couldn’t work, I supported us on my meager income. Cracks began to show in our relationship shortly after arriving in Canada. I felt like her attitude towards me had changed. This wasn’t a glamorous life that we were living in comparison to our travels, and I could feel that she wasn’t happy about it. We were also beginning to fight a lot more frequently, but I figured this just had to do with all of the stresses that we were going through.

photo-1541199249251-f713e6145474

I had noticed a few strange things happening on her end, but I tended to overlook these issues. Like, one day I had noticed that she was part of a dating site because her email had been left open on our computer. When I confronted her about it, she told me that she was trying to surprise me by finding another woman for us, for some experimental fun. I’m not sure why I believed that at the time, but it was never mentioned again. I preferred to believe that then the other possibilities, I suppose. Ignorance is bliss?

There were also a few nights that she would go out with people whom she had met at work and stayed out until early the next morning without giving me any updates. She would just say that she had fallen asleep while she was out. It was incredibly frustrating and stressful to me, but again, I chose to believe her. Hell, I even married her. I figured no matter what might happen if we loved each other enough, then we could overcome any obstacle. I was committed.

photo-1425421640640-64c4debea1b4
…Or something like that?

I allowed her to have male coworkers over to our apartment for drinks while I was at work because if I were to raise a concern about it, she would say that I must not trust her. So, I tried to trust more. I thought highly of her at that time and I figured, if there were problems in that relationship, then it surely must be my fault. We lived together for a few years and struggled romantically. I began to really start to dislike the way that she had been treating me some days, but I was still attempting to salvage our relationship. She had threatened to pack her bags and leave multiple times when criticized for her behavior. It was an emotionally manipulative tactic which only lost its power on me after the day that I agreed she should leave. I had even offered to give her some of my savings to get her started again back home if that made things easier for her. At that moment, she stopped threatening to leave and cried about how she didn’t want to leave Canada. It messed with my head because she had so many complaints about Canada and living here, while she boasted about how great life was in France, telling me that she sacrificed everything for me, and yet now, even when she supposedly was at her wits end with me, she didn’t want to go back?

photo-1497197246330-b9cafd652212
“…But, think of your baguettes!”

I was growing more and more skeptical of this relationship. At times I just wanted to be out, but I doubted myself frequently and I allowed myself to be manipulated. When she finally received her Permanent Resident status in Canada, I helped to get her a job with me at my factory. My life at work slowly grew to be a living hell as she flirted with most of the men there and began to spread subtle slander about me to justify her doing it.

Within 6 months we were “taking a break” to find ourselves. In the last 6 months that we were living together, she had told me that she was pregnant one day, and then the next, that she had lost it. She said that the hospital had told her that she could never have children again, which I thought was strange, because how do they figure that out in a single visit? She knew that I had wanted children so I suspect she was hoping that this would push me away.

She had also been seeing a friend for months that I had never met, once a week on the
same day. I was told that this friend was not allowed to meet me for the longest time because she had a jealous boyfriend that didn’t like her being around other men. So – okay, I accepted that. After a few months, she said that this friend had been assaulted by her boyfriend and ended up in the hospital, which seemed insane to me and I was very concerned for this friend. I wanted to go and meet her, but now she was “too afraid of men”. After a few more weeks she had told me that this friend of hers had died in the hospital, and afterward that she was moving in with her dead friend’s mother while we work on ourselves.

photo-1491975751332-14c21ca0990c

I had been telling these stories to some of the people that I trusted at work, and one old guy that I was friends with used to love reading the news. So when I told him about this assault, this girl’s death and the funeral that my ex had attended, he began to search the news for any info that he could find on it and found nothing at all. No police statements issued to try and find the murderer of a young woman. No obituaries in the news, or any notices by the funeral home about this girl’s funeral arrangements. When my ex was confronted about these facts, she just made up a bunch of excuses for why these things were not available to the public. She refused to tell me this girl’s last name and we pretty much stopped talking entirely afterward because she ghosted me.

The prior 5 years of my life had been a complete and utter lie. I learned soon afterward, that she was dating a co-worker of mine, and my experience at work began to be awful. I had felt like people were treating me differently and I wasn’t sure what was being told to others. I also spoke to one of her old coworkers from her first job in Canada and found out that she had been cheating on me since before we were married. She had also been
telling her coworkers there that I was cheating on her in order to justify those actions.

photo-1500835556837-99ac94a94552
Because who wouldn’t fly in an immigrant to cheat on them?

My head was spinning from all of these lies. We divorced. I entered therapy and eventually I had to leave my workplace because she wouldn’t. I was never able to get an admission of guilt from her or any sign of remorse for her actions. I was just used and tossed aside after I had served my purpose.

She now has a kid with her partner in her new relationship. I don’t speak with her at all, but I had noticed it because of Facebook one day (No, she’s not one of my friends). After all that I had experienced with her, I’m glad that it’s not my child. It’s been about 3 years since the split happened, but it has greatly affected my personal relationships – especially the romantic ones. I have a great deal of trouble with trusting most women anymore. I’ve been improving my ability to trust slightly, but I’m always a little suspicious now.

photo-1517467085740-78bb7fcb8657
I certainly don’t trust blindly.

In some ways, the experience had changed me positively as well. I stopped taking a lot of crap from people. I made sure that all my relationships were two-way streets after that, and I had cut many folks out of my life who had taken more from me then they had ever given. I vowed to cut toxicity out of my life and that included quite a few toxic people, including members of my own family. I also began to chase after my dreams in a stubborn way without concerning myself with the opinions of others. I grew to become a stronger individual in my own right, albeit wounded and with trust issues. It’s taken its toll on me, but I’ve never given up.

Abuse doesn’t only occur to women and emotional abuse can be very subtle in relationships hiding just beneath the surface. The only warning that I can offer to others who may be in a situation like that which I experienced, is this –

Listen to your heart and notice how your partner makes you feel on a day to day basis. If you are feeling depressed or unloved, with very low self-esteem and you had not felt that way before the relationship, then leave! Don’t spend too much time overthinking it and trying to justify it or blaming yourself. Life is too short to be wasted on those who don’t really care about how they make you feel. We must first learn to love ourselves
before we can expect to end up with someone who will love us like we deserve as well.

photo-1516395614785-58f599409d3c

I hope that there was some sort of lesson to be drawn from this story, or that it resonated with some of you. It is a topic that I will likely not be discussing again much in the future! Feel free to share your comments or your own stories of abuse below. Thanks for reading. ❤

 

12 thoughts on “A Knife in the Heart (A Personal Story of Struggle and Abuse)

  1. It was really terrible, what happened to you. I hope you are fine now!
    I’ve had some unpleasant experiences with bullies but well, that is all over now.
    Maybe it takes such bad experiences to gain such great lessons. I don’t trust others as easily as well and try my best not to meddle in others’ way or hurt them like I had suffered.
    Have a great day ahead and keep shining!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s