Fifty Dollars and Four fish

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A lot of women carry a deep hatred for their exes. The energy that is spent trying to make it work is drained, the time invested in trying to make it work is wasted and the love that spent on the wrong person is irreplaceable. However, I can appreciate the opportunity. If that sounds like I left a job, mission accomplished (Love is the toughest job when you love the wrong person).

How did it all begin and end? Even though I haven’t been with my ex-husband in over 8 years, I still have people that ask me about that situation. A lot has been said about our relationship, and I honestly didn’t care to correct anyone. I’m a strong believer in protecting my peace. If it pertains to my happiness, what should be understood will never be explained.  

In today’s conversation, I’ve realized that I learned so much from that experience that I would love to share a small portion of that time in my life. 

The Beginning:

If you read “Computer Love”, I revealed that I make it a requirement that men take me on a date in the beginning. This relationship was not an exception. One September morning, this man pulled up to me as I was getting out of my car one morning. He was just getting off work because he was still in oily clothes. He started the conversation with something that was attention grabbing, I gave him about ten minutes of conversation, and he asked for a phone number. I gave it and said we could set something up later if we wanted to hang out. He called immediately to make sure that I had given the right number.

I don’t recall the amount of days, but shortly after our encounter we set up our first date. I chose Applebee’s, a popular spot at this time. I’m almost certain that I met him at the restaurant, and we had pretty good conversation. I will mention at this time I was 20 years old, so I didn’t have much really going on in my life. I was a cashier at Wal-Mart and a student at Grayson County College. I had just returned home after leaving the Marine Corps and I was trying to find where I fit in this world.

We finished our dinner and walked out to see the carnival was across the street. I squealed like a 5-year-old and asked if we could walk through it. He reluctantly agreed. I pranced through the carnival looking for something that he could win me (like in the movies…lol). I found a pretty easy game and he spent a good amount of dollars to win some goldfish. I took home four fish.

Months later, I found out that he only had $50 on that first date. Although, I don’t think it was entirely the truth because he was pretty good at making money. It’s still a nice thought that he spent his last $50 on a night out with me.😊

The middle:

We were inseparable. It was no surprise that I moved in quickly. I don’t even know how it came about; I didn’t ask him, nor did he ask me. All I remember was I was loading his closet with my clothes and for the next 7 years we lived our chaotic life. Oh yeah, remember when I said I was 20 years? I found out that he was 33 years old. Thirteen years my senior. That was interesting. 

The first thing that happened quickly was the birth of our son. I was pregnant one month after meeting this man. WTF! Here’s the lesson that I learned…wait! If he wants you bad enough, he will wait…and use protection. I was not expecting to become a mother that soon in a relationship. I didn’t even get a proper chance to make sure this was the man I even wanted to be the father of my child. He denied my child for the first four months of my pregnancy. I went to every doctor visit alone. I found out I was having a boy, and somehow a switch flipped, and he finally accepted what was happening. I gave birth to my son in August. I have not even known his dad for an entire year at this point.

I cannot number the remaining items in our chaotic life. Entirely too much happened, so I can only highlight some key points.

Soon after giving birth, my sister came to stay with us. We gave her an old cellphone to use for herself. The phone had been off for months, but once my sister took possession, we received a phone call. She answered it, I talked to the caller.  On the other end was an emotional woman trying to confirm the birth of my son. She stated that she had been promised many things by my boyfriend including a child. She expressed that she was really hurt by this situation and that I was living her life.

I was not shocked by this conversation, because I found out so many foul things during my pregnancy. I should have left, but for whatever dumb reason, I kept telling myself that things will change. Lesson learned; babies DO NOT help relationships.  I kindly told the woman on the other end of the phone that she needed to move on with her life.

For the next few years, I raised my child with his father. We grew into quite the little family. My son adored his father, such an extreme daddies’ baby. I was a spoiled wife (materialistically spoiled…he lacked in honesty and commitment). I always had money in my pocket, he cooked breakfast most mornings and I always had a meal when I got off of work in the afternoons, he’d buy me whatever and I really give him kudos for the days he spent flat ironing my hair. Even though I enjoyed the good days, the bad days were aplenty. Many nights, this man didn’t come home. He loved to pick arguments, and he was such a narcissist. The mental and physical abuse was like WHOA! I was extremely unhappy and throughout the course of our relationship, I contemplated suicide. I left on a couple of occasions, but I made excuses to go back. I was about 23 the first time that I left, I never even had a bill in my name, and I wasn’t financially stable. When I look back at that situation, I have learned that I would much rather sit on the side of the road then to stay with someone for “stability”. I also didn’t want my son to be a statistic (whatever the hell that means), so I made it work. When I left again; I was about 25. This time, I got an apartment and stayed gone for 10 months. He started to act right, we went on dates and did things as a family like parks and movies. This is something that we never did before because he never made the time.

After I moved back home, it was hell. I had dated another guy during our break and he never let me live it down. It didn’t matter that he had cheated on me with a zillion women over the course of 6 years. I forgave him, but I guess my one rendezvous was unforgivable. He called me names, mistreated me almost daily, and just became a monster.

The end:

His insecurities were finalized one morning when he hid in a closet and accused me of having an affair one morning after work. I took my son to Pre-K, went to pick up my niece, and stopped to get a charger at Wal-Mart. At this point, I just didn’t care about our marriage anymore, so what happens next turned out to be crazy, yet the biggest blessing ever.

HE CHOKED ME.

Yep, he reached his arms inside the car and wrapped his hands around my neck as I was still behind the steering wheel. I thought I was going to die right there in front of my niece. He eventually stopped and I took off quickly. I remember going to my mom and then going to the police and after a long day of hell, I had a police escort to take me back to the house to get some belongings. I learned at that time that he burned my clothes and shoes.

At this point, I would have been stupid to go back to him. I was already planning to leave him due to everything that had happened prior to this day and I’m relieved that he erased any feelings of remorse that I was going through. It’s just insane how women will still try to find a “good” reason to stay even though every red flag has been thrown on the field.

I knew I had to be done. This wasn’t the first time that he had been physically abusive, and it would not be the last. I needed to live for my son, I had so much I wanted to do in this lifetime, and I couldn’t let him end my story.

For weeks after leaving, he would ask me to come back (in the most threatening ways possible). He did everything under the sun to torture me, but I would not budge. I didn’t retaliate, I just always prayed he would eventually leave me alone. I remember talking to him on the phone and he asked why I wouldn’t go back to him, my response was “I like waking up and choosing that I’m going to be happy.”

He tried so hard, but he never broke my spirit. He really hurt me, but I thank him so much for the opportunity.

I learned to heal myself.

I am now remarried, and after a year or so into this marriage, he called me to wish me well, “You’re a good person and you deserve to be happy.” I was very appreciative of this statement. I had always been a good person; I had always loved with my entire heart. I never bashed him even when he was torturing me, because I believe you receive the same energy that you put into the universe. I did not want to block any of my blessings by being evil to him.

In the same conversation where he said that I desserve happiness, he asked me if I thought that he was a good man? I found it a little amusing that the man who broke me into a million pieces for absolutely no reason would ask for my validation. I responded, ” You may be good for someone.” 

He may be a prize to someone, but during the time that I was with him, it was evident that he wasn’t ready for a commitment. I know he so-called “loved” me, but he struggled hard to execute that emotion to the fullest. Instead he activated childish behavior, narcissism, and abuse.  I wasn’t the one for him and I’m more than okay with that conclusion.

We are obviously cordial because we have a child together, and I honestly don’t have the heart to stay furious toward people for longer than a day, but if I truly hated him, trust me when I say he would deserve it.

Even though he desperately tried to  make me  feel like I was unworthy, I realized that I didn’t deserve all the lies, disrespect, and abuse. Nonetheless, I don’t regret the 7 years that I spent with him. In those years, we made some good memories that I can cherish, and we also made some bad memories that will forever serve as a reminder that I will not settle for anything less than I deserve. 

I was once so broken, but now I’m confident that I can rebuild myself over and over if I need to do so. I learned that it wasn’t my fault,I was fighting a losing battle from the beginning. Many days in that relationship, I simply wanted to die; but I’m still here smiling for a reason.

Throughout it all, I discovered that My Happiness will always be my top priority.

Fifty dollars and four fish was the price to create one of the happiest, and strongest women that you’ll ever meet.

Resources

National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Counseling Services (not affiliated)

Reach out to your local Department of Human Services for counseling services and resources that will help you to successfully provide for yourself and/or child(ren).

SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)

Housing Assistance

If you are in a similar situation and need someone to talk to confidentially, please reach out to me by using the contact form or the messenger button to the right of the screen. I will definitely help you find resources in your local area if you desire.  


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1 thought on “Fifty Dollars and Four fish”

  1. I really appreciate you telling your story. It must have taken so much strength. I can’t relate but I know a few friends/family who have been through similar experiences! Glad you made it out and found real happiness 🙂

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