Listen, I had a pretty public relationship. Every waking moment of the positive moments were shared on social media and my blog. From traveling to behind the scenes and everything in between, my previous relationship was and had to be public. I would literally get in “trouble” for sharing too much about my kids, you know like a proud, happy mother and have to do something to make the anger behind the scenes stop. It was insane. I just lived with it. That was, until I finally took the warnings from close family members and friends who were probably growing tired, and concerned, about my situation.

Abuse is Abuse – And Only YOU Know What That Feels Like

It was emotional abuse. Period. It was but it is my kids’ and my story. We lived through the trauma. The kids lived with a mother who didn’t listen when they begged and pleaded that this man was creepy and mean. That this man was a jerk. That this man didn’t deserve me, because he didn’t treat me with respect, kindness or most of the time, even like a human being. He treated my kids like dirt and seemed to especially dislike my autistic son where he would often change that child’s routine up. He did it in the name of “teaching him that life has transitions and changes” but every change had more to do with this man needing control and I would go on to assume that it was because my autistic son needed more from me than the other two, which would take away from the attention this man got from me. It was all a bunch of BS, and it was downright cruel!

I did Not Listen so Why Would Someone Else?

I didn’t listen. That’s on me. I have to live with that decision. I only hope that my kids understand why I didn’t “hear” them, why I would listen and make excuses. Why I seemed to put them second during a time that they needed to be first. They had genuine concerns, and even strangers had genuine concerns for the safety of my family.

Yet, I didn’t listen.

The point here is that no matter how many warnings I received, no matter how many red flags appeared from day one. I didn’t listen. I had to experience what I experienced to realize that all of the warnings I received from many people were the reality. I had to experience trusting in someone who even told me that he had keylogged and spied on an ex before with an audio recording device, only to have that trust broken and life turned upside down. My emotional state was awful. I felt paranoid, insane, crazy and it didn’t help that this man told me I was all of those things as a means for me to be brainwashed deeper into thinking I was the problem, not him.

Why Blog About it in Depth?

Here’s the thing, I could blog about the story. I could share it with the entire world from day one, from the best that I can remember. I honestly do not remember every red flag or every incident that left me scared. I don’t recall all of those moments, but I do remember the feeling. I felt scared. I felt like if I pushed for my belief that this was abuse and to push him to get the F out of my life, that I would have bad repercussions. Whether that would be physical, business or personal, I didn’t know. I just had learned that this was a man who had vengeful veins and I was scared to death of what that meant if I stood strong and stood up.

I don’t know if I am in the clear from this man’s vengeful ways and story telling, but I do know my kids and I are protected with a 3 year no contact order so that this man is not allowed to engage with any of us or people in our extended life in anyway that pertains to invading our privacy.

Then one day, he decided to commit a crime that could be proved. He admitted to the crime, citing he was jealous and couldn’t fathom the idea of me with another man even though that jealous thought was ridiculous. He decided to do something illegal and he got caught. Period. End of story.

I Wish Sharing Tips would Help, but I Doubt it Will

I’ve thought about sharing my story in detail to help other moms out there not fall victim to such predators that lurk out there in the world. I’ve thought about my story helping other single moms to watch for those signs and to be strong.

The thing is, I had those warnings. I had a counselor. I had a support network. I had my kids who spoke the truth to me about the situation. I had everything a woman could have to tell her to get the F out of there, but I kept being convinced that it was me and when I had finally had my last straw, he convinced me that he could live in the other room, giving me “space”, which was just a bunch of BS to keep me under his vision and to remain “in control”, not allowing us the freedom to move on in our life. To fix the pieces that had broken.

It didn’t matter how many people I had surrounding me to tell me that I wasn’t insane. That I wasn’t crazy. That I wasn’t paranoid. That this was indeed emotional abuse. I couldn’t just run away. I had three kids and a dog. I couldn’t just pack up and run. I don’t have anyone to turn to. I am not just one human who needs to stay on a couch. I stayed. Even though I remained distant, sleeping in my room alone, locking doors behind me and the kids. Sleeping with scissors underneath my pillow.

I still stayed, not to be with him, but I had to stay in that environment. I had learned how to survive in this type of environment. Keeping the peace the best I could, at a distance. Period. There wasn’t much choice at that time.

Until he committed that crime and the police would finally give me a restraining order and remove him from the location. That was when I finally felt the weight of the world lift off my shoulders.

I could tell you the warning signs. I could tell you to please listen to your instincts. Don’t second guess yourself. Ever. Be confident in how you feel and what you know to be right.

You Won’t Listen

But you won’t listen. You won’t hear my words. You, too, will be stuck in a situation where you know it’s wrong but feel there’s no way to resolve it as quickly as you need to find a place for your kids and you and perhaps the pets. I mean, unless you’ve truly lived through an abusive and unhealthy scenario, you wouldn’t understand.

There’s no amount of tips, advice or warning signs that someone shares with you that will negate the fact that someone has convinced you that you’re the crazy one. That it’s all YOU and not them. That YOU need help. Not them.

It’s all about this internal battle in a society where we’re told to put someone else before yourself. Where society pushes you to not feel bad about your situation, because “someone else has it far worse”. We need to STOP being that way. STOP telling someone that someone else has it worse. STOP making people believe that they cannot feel their own feelings. STOP teaching people to put others before them in a way that creates a very unhealthy personal relationship with our own self, and our own feelings.

Be strong and confident in who you are. I can’t tell you the whole story, and I don’t really think sharing details will solve a THING or HELP ANYONE. I don’t believe in trying to destroy another human, I believe in Karma and what goes around comes around. I’ve had my fair share of karma, and perhaps I had to experience the BS life I experienced with that man to realize my worth, to realize that I deserve to be treated with respect, and to learn how to put my own healthy boundaries in place. Whatever it was, I had to travel that path to grow and growing is what I’m doing.

Stop Telling us that Others Have it Worse!

For those out there who are questioning themselves because society tells you that others have it worse or someone is making you feel crazy for trusting your gut, try your best to shake that off. Trust yourself. Trust your gut. We have instincts for a reason and whether someone else feels you’re being crazy or not, who gives a crap! It’s time we all stand up for what we believe in, and if that means we have to walk away (or run) so be it. There will be a better life for you, eventually.

Do not let society tell you that you aren’t supposed to feel this way. Damnit, stop telling us that our feelings aren’t valid because someone else has it worse. Just stop with that crap already.

So, long story short … Ha! I don’t think writing about my personal experience or sharing red flags that I saw or anything like that will protect another woman. I wish it would, but it won’t. I had to make my own decision up based on my own experiences no matter how many anonymous warnings I received over the period I was with that man. I had to live it and experience it to know that those people in Massachusetts from his past had a valid reason to be warning me about this man.

FOLLOW YOUR GUT, ALWAYS

I guess I can tell you this – if you’re dating someone and someone from their past that knew them over 10 years ago is sending you warnings via an anonymous comment on your blog or emails, take their warning seriously. If someone made that much of an impact in someone’s life over 10 years ago, that this person still felt the need to warn their current partner, there may be some issues with this man or woman. It’s perhaps not worth the risk to “find out for yourself”. That’s all.

In related news, you can call Turning Points – Domestic Violence Services at any time to talk to them privately about what’s going on in your life, they are truly helpful in finding a way to get you help! They were really helpful to me. 

Carry on. Be safe. Be You. Demand respect. Don’t back down.

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