Overcoming fear

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  • Published: 3 Apr 2016
  • Updated: 3 Apr 2016
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My secrets, my pain, and my regrets. This is a short story of my own life.

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1. Overcoming

It was forbidden, disallowed, refused. Why should loving someone be so wrong? But what happened to me as a child wasn't wrong. The people I loved the most condemned me, did everything but disown me for what happened to me. Made me believe that what happened was okay, that I should just look past it. They continued to let this man violate me. Years later when I find a man to love me it's wrong, but what she let her husband to me was okay? Does any of it make sense? I've never understood it. 

All my secrets are locked into these tiny boxes I created. I locked them up and stored them somewhere in my mind, somethings are just to much for your mind to handle. Why should you have to deal with the things that are meant to break you? Why do those boxes even have to open? Can those questions be answered? 

I am slowly beginning to open those boxes, somedays I wish they'd stay closed, but that's not possible. I haven't been able to talk about what's been stored in those boxes. Maybe some things are better left unsaid? Or that's what I thought, I thought keeping my secrets that had been stored away to myself would somehow change the outcome, or just change it altogether. 

The outcome did change, but not in the way I thought. My secrets dictated my marriage, controlled the way I raise my children. If I had somehow been able to fully speak up, open those boxes for the world to see, my marriage might not be over. My biggest regret is letting everything fall to pieces because I was to afraid to talk about it. I was taught at a young age that things are to be kept quiet, you don't speak of those things. My chance to speak up is now. 

The very first memory that I can recall from my childhood is standing on the porch with my sister, and falling because of a stupid dog that led to a trip to the emergency room, and watching my mother stand in the hall while my father held me down to while I got stitches. Thinking about that moment doesn't bother me, in that moment I wanted my mother but got my father and he was only doing it because he had to. 

Years later is when he broke that trust, when I was in that hospital I trusted in him, I knew that it was ok even though it hurt I still knew he never would have held me down if it wasn't necessary. Even when he broke that trust I still trusted him, it felt so wrong but I trusted that he knew it was ok. 

It started out as a game, I was 10 years old I liked games. I slowly learned I was the mouse always getting caught in his trap. In the beginning of his games he'd always ask before he did anything and I'd always reply with no sometime during those 3 years I stopped replying at all what was the point when he'd do it anyways? I tried to beat him at his own game at times. He'd use my own homework as his game. I would learn everything I could at school because I knew when I came home with it he'd quiz me, and if I got one answer wrong there was the end of trying to get away. 

I lived with the fear of him for so long I learned to just expect whatever he was going to do at all times, I can honestly say I stopped even resisting I just let him do what he was going to do so it would be over faster and I could get back to what little normal I had left for a child. I would lose myself for hours in music because that's what took the memories of him away. Sometimes tv became my outlet I had to lose myself in something. The only real comfort I had was my mother, she could take my pain away I thought if I told her she would leave take me out of my misery.. 

When I got the courage up and told her she replied with "I can't do anything about it right now." Those words have stayed with me since. As things continued with him I gave up any kind of hope that my mother would take me from this man, sometimes I thought she was going to, but she never did. I trusted her and I trusted him in that hospital room, they each broke that trust in their own ways. 

I don't know what happened to finally end it all, I've forgotten a lot of those detail, but I do know he was finally arrested, and I remember my mother being extremely mad at me. I could never do anything right after that I tried everything in my power to try to make up for sending her husband to jail I went to the point of taking back everything I said that had happened to try to get him back for her, but that didn't even work, she still had her issues with me and he still went to prison. When everything was finished and he was sent to prison which took some time I was 14. If my mother didn't act like she hated me and if I didn't hold all this hate for her the years after that may have been different. 

I started spending more time with my grandmother because she didn't have this hatred towards me, and didn't condescend every move I made. I was 15 when I first met the man that would later become my husband, and I hated him with everything in me. I had just gotten off the bus from school at my grandmothers house, and there he was. I can't say what made me hate him I just did, after that first day He was there everyday, he invaded the time I had with my grandmother. Maybe that's why I hated him this outsider coming into my world and taking the little time I was allowed with the woman who didn't judge my actions a few years prior. 

One night months later my mother had been at my grandmothers house and she had wanted me to come home she said something that I can't recall now and I rolled my eyes at her which in turn made her mad, but she ultimately let me stay. After she left to go home I was angry because my mother had treated me that way, and I was a little angry at my grandmother for just sitting there and letting her treat me that way, so I stayed to myself after she left. To my disbelief I started to hate that man I little less that night he talked to me about his childhood how his father could be an ass as well. He didn't know the full story behind my anger issues towards my mother, but he was trying to help. 

After that night I started to learn more and more about him, we would talk a lot when I stayed with my grandmother. The hate that I had for him died out and we became friends, he became my safe haven when I fought with my mother I would go to him we didn't talk about it, I just felt better being near him. 

The night of my 16th birthday is when I realized I had fallen in love with him and I was scared to death of this feeling, because I was 16 years old in love with a 36 year old. It was forbidden wasn't it? That was my thought I didn't think anything could even come of it, so I tried to distance myself I went to the point of being with someone else who was only a few years older than me because that was better than loving this man 20 years older than me. 

I tried to be happy with this other person because I needed to be I needed to feel everything I felt about him with this other person. I stopped trying to distance myself when I found out he was moving to a whole different state, I was utterly destroyed when I found out he was leaving. I couldn't lose my best friend and safe haven all in the same day. I stayed awake at night hoping he felt what I felt for him, but he never gave me any kind of sign. I tried to tell him so many times I thought if I told him I was in love with him he'd stay. 

I told him totally on accident one night we had taken a walk, I think he was suppose to leave and move away a week or so later and I was desperate. I asked him what would make him stay he said one thing would I was mortified when my filter in my head did not stop the next words that came out of my mouth "Would you stay if you knew I was in love with you too?" I remember shutting my mouth and looking at my feet as we continued to walk, my heart was going my mile a minute at this point, and nothing was said. I wanted him to say something so bad, I needed him to but nothing was said. We returned to my grandmothers house and he left to go to a friends house. 

When he left I thought I had ruined it all, I felt like such an idiot just saying that to him when i had no idea if he felt what I felt for him. I waited up that night for him in my grandmothers dinning room it was dark except for the light coming from the fish tank the only noise coming from there as well. I was very much nervous when he walked in the door that night. He sat at the table with me, and we talked about everything he said he was in love with me but he didn't know if it would work because of his age, he didn't know how people would take that. In my head I was working out all the things that my mother let my father do to me, and my thought was she'll be fine with it, she has to be fine with it. After our talk it was late and I got up to go to go to the couch because that's where I slept. He stayed in the dinning room for some time while I pretended to be sleeping when he walked by he touched my forehead one simple gesture, but it meant the world to me. 

I stayed with this other guy for a while longer to make it seems as if nothing else was going on, and there really wasn't the only change with us was we'd occasionally kiss I loved holding his hand when no one was looking, he didn't try to push for anything else and I appreciated that. I knew all this secrecy wouldn't work for long, so I told my mother at first she said well I'm not surprised and I thought that was a good thing but then I realized she thought it was just me just my young teenage hormones in play when I told her he felt the same that's when the tables turned. She at one point told me he needed to be in prison because messing around with an underage child wasn't right. That's when I lost it I didn't say anything to her but the next day I told him as soon as I turned 18 we were out of here because it was messed up what she said when her own husband had done even worse but she didn't do anything about it. That's the first time I ever said anything about my childhood he didn't push the subject to know more but he knew something had happened. 

By the next day everyone in my family knew about us, most of them all hated the idea of us being together, my grandmother kicked him out we were no longer allowed to be alone together, but they didn't push us apart. They said every rude thing they could, but I still had him. I can honestly say love won out on that one, and I loved that man with everything in me he mended the broken parts of me. Sex wasn't even brought into the picture until I was 18 years old, he was very patient through the whole process, for most people it may not be a process but we had so much to work through because of my past. I remember thinking about what my aunt had told me a little after I came out that I was with him, she told me that because of my past being with him was better for me than trying to be with someone my own age. I believe that.

Our relationship wasn't easy in the beginning, and even as time went on and years passed it didn't get any easier. Even after I turned 18 I was still under the control of my mother, she had me right where she wanted me to be. Did I hope that the relationship I had with my mother would get better? I had that hope all the time. For a while I didn't think it ever would.    Things changed when I found out I was pregnant. I was at work when a friend of mine said she thought she may be pregnant, I told her to take a pregnancy test, when she hesitated I said I'd take one with her I wasn't pregnant at least that's what I thought. We each got a test, said we'd call the other after taking the test and then we went our separate ways.    When I got home I took the test, it was one of those digital one, if you've never seen one of those they have a hour glass looking thing that spins. I watched the hour glass not expecting anything. When it finally stopped and pregnant showed up I was speechless, this wasn't what I was expecting at all. I was in a state of disbelief for some time, I called my friend she turned out to not be pregnant at all when I told her what mine said she was in disbelief along with me.    I was 18 and still in school, I knew I wanted a child but I thought I'd wait until after I finished school. Things happen for a reason though, I've always thought that even the things that happened to me as a child. After the initial shock I knew having a baby was suppose to happen when it did.    After we announced I was pregnant the relationship I had with my mother actually got better. We talked not about what happened but normal everyday things, we really got better.    A part of me was terrified, because I didn’t know if I could protect my child from the cruelty in this world. I was relieved when I was told the baby was a boy, I know these things can happen to males just as they can happen to females, but it still gave me some kind of peace. Bringing my son into this world was a type of healing for me. When I looked at his tiny face, I knew then that I’d do everything in my power to protect this child, my child.    My son became my world, the reason I woke every morning. It was almost as if what happened to me meant as a child meant nothing after he was born, but reality always comes crashing back. One particular night me and my husband got into a huge fight, because he tried to kiss me and I pulled away, it wasn't his fault I was just in a moment of reliving my past and he choice that moment to try to kiss me. He got angry, I got angry. When things calmed down he told me I should try to tell him what happened to me, by this point he knew about my past just not exactly what happened.    I've always looked back at that night, the room was dark he couldn't see me i couldn't see him, it's so much easier to talk about it when I don't have to look at someone in the eye and say what happened. I should have told him I came so close to opening up all my boxes, but right as I opened my mouth to speak the fear hit me. I was terrified he'd see me differently if he knew what I had done. I had done so many shameful things not because I wanted to, because I had to. I kept my secrets.    A few years past, there was always something between us, he was still my best friend and safe heaven, but there was still so much we needed to overcome to make a relationship work.    Bringing another child into our little family wasn't exactly planned either, but we each wanted another child. When we brought our second son home from the hospital I felt complete i thought everything would work out, but I was worried I hated having to worry, every parent worries about their child what parent wouldn’t? I just hated waking up at night in pure panic from my nightmare as a child coming true for my kids.    I look back at so many thing in our relationship, and have regrets or wish I could change the things I did, or the things he did. The what if's are always there. We fell into a pattern, he worked nights I stayed home with our boys we never spoke much, and if we did it was just to talk about the boys. It became natural to us, it wasn't a normal relationship but normal has never been a part of our relationship.    Everything came to a head after I had our daughter.  I fell into a depression, what  I didn’t know while I was deep in my depression was that I was slowly pushing my husband away, maybe it got to much for him, or maybe he really meant it when he told me he’d be happier without me. It crushed me, because he was it for me, he was suppose to be my forever.    We should have ended it right there, but we both let it play out for a whole year, we pretended to be happy for the sake of our children I felt like I was drowning in this pool of complete and utter sadness. It's was like dangling on the edge of giving up or giving in. I kept thinking to myself Is giving up the right choice? Or should I just give in, make the people around me happy? Live in misery for everyone's happiness but my own. I wanted to be happy, but my happiness wasn't as important as the ones around me.    The year that we proceeded to pretend everything was fine, he turned into this angry hateful person, punishing me for my past, going as far as telling me I failed as a wife because of my past. I told him he failed as a husband because he used my past against me. That conversation has always stuck with me as well, I could have told him everything, but I didn't I let my fear control me again.    I let the man who destroyed my childhood destroy the goods things in my life, I wonder if that means he wins the game? But that doesn't mean game over for me, sometimes you just have to hit replay.    Was I ever truly happy with the decisions I made? I feel like at the time I was truly happy, I will never regret the decision I made to be with my kids father, I do regret never saying anything. No matter what anyone says I was meant to be with him, because we brought 3 amazing children into this world.   

Writing this and remembering all this, even then it felt so surreal like one of the many books I had read, putting it all in perspective again It still feels that way to me. Even with writing this I couldn't fully say the things that happened, but slowly I have been overcoming my fear, maybe a little to late, but I feel as if it's the right time. 

               
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