I’m a bit snobby about myself. From the time I was little, I had this idea that I would be somebody, go places, or change the world. I pushed myself to do things other people wouldn’t and I kept going, no matter what.
Maybe we all feel that way?
Perhaps we are born with a sense of self-importance, and it isn’t until life lessons teach us that we are all basically the same, that we learn to accept our own insignificance? I wrote before that I never thought I’d be “one of those women”.
But there I was, dating a man who was verbally and emotionally abusive. You would have thought I’d learned enough from that experience to humble me, but apparently I needed another lesson…or two.
To this day, I am uncomfortable even saying his name.
I married Rob just two and a half months after meeting him. Who does that? Surely I wasn’t one of those women who fall for a guy she barely knows, right?
I honestly don’t know how to explain this to you. My head is usually full of all the details and emotions of my story and it’s fairly easy to share them. Today, I’m struggling with every word.
Maybe I can’t find the words, because I can’t find the emotions I had during that time. The only emotions I feel now are, embarrassed and ashamed. I’m embarrassed that it happened at all, and ashamed that I hurt someone else deeply.
At the time, it all seemed so right.
I was overwhelmed with how much this person loved and cherished me. Perhaps other men in my life have felt that way about me, but no one had ever expressed it so perfectly.
We were married outside on a Saturday, with friends and family around us. It was so beautiful, and complete. And on Monday, we went back to work, like it was all so “normal”.
In June my youngest son left home for the Naval Academy. And everything was different. I no longer had my old life. My kids were gone, my old dog was gone, and a new husband was in my house. But I think I was happy.
My real estate career was still going strong, and because of it, I was ready to move up in the world. I found an old ‘70s house in the West Hills and decided to buy it. As I was preparing my old house to sell, I started to feel uneasy.
Subtle things started happening.
Or maybe they weren’t subtle at all. I just started noticing what was there all along. One day I was packing up all the stuff my boys had left behind, when Rob announced that he wanted to quit his job and be my assistant.
I stopped what I was doing and just stared at him, then said, “No, I don’t need or want an assistant.” That’s when I first began to open my eyes from the dream…but only a little bit.
By August my house had sold and I was ready to move into the new one. My oldest son was home at the time helping me. And my best friend was there, as usual. Since the house needed a complete remodel, I had decided to move into the kitchen/family room, and leave the rest of the house empty.
We packed the garage full and started bringing boxes into the kitchen, all talking excitedly about the changes I would make to the place.
And then it happened.
I remember the exact moment. I was standing next to the kitchen sink when all of a sudden I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach. My best friend took one look at me and asked what was wrong.
As soon as she asked, I started crying and shaking so badly I couldn’t speak.
She found a place for me to sit down and kept telling me to breathe. It took me several minutes before I could even speak, and the only words that came out were, “I made a mistake, I made a mistake, I made a mistake.”
…to be continued.