February 9th, 2017 at approximately 10:45 pm I was arriving at my Tryon home from a closing shift at work. Me being as OCD as I am, I immediately noticed something different about my fiancé and I’s home. Little things.
“I cleaned for you and you’re seriously finding a way to complain about it and question me?”, was the response my fiancé gave when questions started pouring out my mouth like vomit.
My makeup bag was under the sink because he moved things to wipe down the counter top, yet the hard crusts of toothpaste from the previous days were still caked onto the counter just as when I had left.
My sandals, boots, and black and purple Nike tennis shoes were all carelessly thrown into the bottom of my closet. “There was too many shoes by the door so I put them up!” Yet, his 4-5 pairs filled the shoe rack by our front door along with my (at the time) 2 year old’s 2-3 pairs of shoes. The only shoes moved, were mine.
Pictures of our first trip to the fair as a family (which was a complete disaster as our 2 year old with anxiety was not ready for such a scene) and pictures of our engagement and various moments of our relationship together were all placed in a different order than the day before, even different from that morning before I came home.
Miscellaneous desk items of mine such as a photo of my pale, kept hand, with my shining new engagement ring sitting atop my fiancé’s knuckles on the night he proposed, a photograph of the first encounter of myself and the little girl I call my daughter, and a wooden board that we got from a thrift store that I covered in a patterned fabric to use as a decor piece were all stacked on top of one another perfectly placed underneath our living room couch just out of sight.
That moment is when I knew. I knew that no matter what I was going to be heart broken. I went into the bathroom and I sat in the floor quietly, not yet exploding from what I suspected, and I tried to find the right words to say. I searched for the calmness I wanted to approach this situation with. I never found it. I jumped up and ran into the living room demanding the truth. After what felt like pestering for years, I got the truth. I still remember the feeling of hearing him say her name. My eyes felt like they fell out of my head and it felt as if I had swallowed a brick and it was lodged in my throat preventing me from making any sound. I literally felt the world shift as I stared the love of MY life in the eyes and saw the hate and anger, but worst of all, the relief in his eyes. At that millisecond in time on February 9th I physically felt my heart break. And to this day, I never felt it piece itself back together again.
The first initial thoughts that ran through my head were probably the same as anyone else’s have been in similar situations. I started to question my worth not only as a woman, but a human. I felt less than human, as worthless as an old penny lost in a drain pipe. I cried for WEEKS. Shit, I still cry to this DAY. I loved my parter– and I couldn’t fathom my life without him in it. But overtime I thought of him, I thought of them. I couldn’t stop picturing them together. Going on dates, holding hands, kissing, being a COUPLE.
That night I left, and with no where to go I sat at a gas station parking lot at the very last pump sobbing, screaming at the top of my lungs until a middle aged woman who was working that night came and knocked on my window with a cup of coffee. She asked me if she needed me to call anyone, and as embarrassed as all get out I sobbed out a crying no and apologized. I started explaining to this complete stranger why I was breaking down in this gas station parking lot at 3am as if I was talking to my therapist. She opened my car door and she actually sat there kneeled halfway into my baby blue hyunadi and held me. She didn’t give me advice, she didn’t tell me what to do. She just kept telling me to breathe and that everything would be “Okay”. I never got her name, and I still don’t feel “Okay”. I was saved from this horribly awkward encounter from a call back from my sister-in-law and I immediately went to her house and laid in bed with her and just cried until I physically couldn’t cry anymore. After what felt like only a few minutes, but had been an hour or so, I left. Something about laying in my love’s sister’s bed didn’t feel like home. Nothing felt like home. I had lost my home and I couldn’t find a single zone of comfort.
The following weeks got worse. I lost every sense of who I was, and it is something I still don’t fully have back yet. I begged. I pleaded. I bargained. I did everything I could do to try to keep him. And worst of all, I said it was fine. I actually told him that I would wait from him to get done cheating on me and that I would stay with him. Thinking of the night I said those words still gives me a shiver down my spine and is the biggest regret I have in my 21 years of existence. I spent many more nights for months to come begging every night until the early hours of the morning, just to have the person I loved more than myself record videos of me on my hands and knees to send to his newly found “girlfriend” with his haunting laugh in the background. I lost myself when I allowed myself to be treated this way, and I still haven’t found myself back yet. I honestly don’t know if I ever will.
I wanted to die.
One morning when he had taken our daughter to the babysitters (because he refused to let her be around me because, according to him, we were not together) I searched through the closets of our home and grabbed a purse. It was a hand tied knot purse with a long shoulder strap. I cut the strap off and tied it to the waist ties of my robe. I grabbed the little pink polka dot stool from our bedroom and I tied one end of makeshift rope to the door handle leading into the bathroom and dropped it over the door to the other side where I stood on that little pink stool with no reason to not just kick it from under my feet. I honestly can’t tell you what happened. I stopped thinking for a split second and folded up that little pink stool and untied the rope form the door handle and I started to get ready for work. I still remember the strong taste of the toothpaste as I brushed my teeth that day. Something about crying so much and merely making an attempt at death that made that toothpaste fill my senses. And now ever now and then as I brush my teeth half awake, it takes me back to this day.
Fast forward to now–August of 2017. It still hurts the same. I still catch myself driving down the interstate and screaming at the top of my lungs because that’s the one place no one can hear me. I catch myself gripping my fists together so hard I leave sores of perfect imprints of the tips of my fingernails in the palms of my hands. This pain is horrific and relentless and toxic. I feel so worthless, unloved, ugly, and any other negative connatation you can think of.
Going on 7 months later, and I am still dealing with the aftermath.