From Fairy Tale to Nightmare from Brooke S.

by Brooke S.
(Fredericksburg, VA)

It is entirely accurate that domestic violence comes full circle. My relationship started out as a fairy tale when we were dating. But horrible secrets were hiding in the mist. See, there was domestic violence between my fiance's father and mother; fist holes in doors, broken dishes, and kitchen utensils in the yard. Deputies made well-checks, but since my fiance was a police officer, they would kindly leave even after the neighbors reported the violence.

My fiance's father had two affairs with illegal immigrants. His mother "forgave" him because he was Catholic or so she said. She later told us she was hoping he would just die and that she was encouraging him to overeat so he would have a stroke or heart attack. When his mother, my fiance, and I were on vacation together if her husband did not answer the phone when she called she started going on about him having an affair. The stress of these family vacations was enough to cause me to miscarriage while we were on one. Five years later, not a day passes that I don't think of my child, but I also thank God for taking them away from what happened afterward.

When we moved in together, the honeymoon period ended almost immediately. We fought. My future groom cost me the dream job I had wanted in the ICU because he was caught cheating and lying on the polygraph for the secret service, I had pulled my application after he told me he would get the post position. I ended up staying on a horrible department with an awful boss for four years. Though never convicted of the crime, my fiance lied about sleeping with an underage girl. The loss of my dream job killed me. Emotional and verbal abuse from my fiance destroyed me. Although we were engaged, girls were calling every day, sometimes until 0200 hours.

I tried to make it work. I did everything my fiance asked, except I would not brush his face and feet with his baby brush like his mother did for him -- that sounded too creepy for me, kind of Norman Bates. I cooked, cleaned, worked, and had a full course dinner on the table at midnight every night. I went to work 80 hours a week and managed everything while working on my BSN. He worked his 40 hours and ran up his credit card on computers and electronics. I worked to maintain the house and pay for the furniture. I applied for every tuition reimbursement and scholarship I could. I fought to make ends meet while his spending continued. I had to separate our accounts out because I went to pay bills and there was no money and our very little savings was gone. I fought my way through NP school. He was angry there were no dinners on the table, no clean house, no clean laundry. I was still working to pay my half the bills and my parents were paying for my car repairs and books. He was drowning in debt, and I barely kept afloat on my meager salary on my end. He was making double what I was but spending more than I was earning!

At one point, I had a conversation with my parents who saw what was going on. I told them it was he or they would never see me again. I gave them an ultimatum. They chose both. (I cry now when I think about how that made them feel). His resentment of me grew, he had to learn to cook, clean, and help with the laundry. The reality was killing the fairy tale. The fights increased, the hatred grew, and disillusionment was thick in the air. Emotional and mentally it was awful. I gained weight because of the stress of the miscarriage that he refused to deal with and then the pressure from grad school. I was 115 lbs when we were dating and weighed 205 pounds 7 years later. He called me "Phat, " but all I heard was FAT. He called me one night after a fight, and he had his service weapon in his lap and was going to shoot himself. He was at Rock Creek Park, and I talked him out of it, and he came home. We never discussed what caused the fight. Another time, we had a deputy show up in the middle of the night because he had posted on Facebook that he should just end it all. Of course, he told me after the deputy left that he had posted this on a second Facebook page that was only for people working with him. I told him to take it down immediately, but he was hiding a second page from me. I had taken a year off between my BSN and MSN for us to get married, but we never could agree on anything. My religion is not good enough for him because I am Methodist - we don't count, and only Catholics count. I finally gave up and went back to school which cost me a year of my life just waiting.

He had been in therapy since 7th grade. He had started with a new therapist in 2015. He and his parents went to see him. I had suggested us going together all the time, but he made excuses. I know now why, he blames everyone - me, his parents, his job - everything that is wrong with his life he blames on someone or something else. He is Naricistic, and others have suggested undiagnosed Bipolar (which takes 7-10 years to manifest itself). He doesn't want to change because nothing is wrong with him, everyone else needs to change. He feels entitled to everything too. He wants it given to him without working for it. I indulged him and bought him everything he wanted, did whatever he asked, and fed the behaviors. I never felt loved. I felt lonely even when I was laying next to him. I cried myself to sleep so many nights that it became routine. He blamed me because he hated his job. He blamed me for everything. I finally finished school and started making over six figures a year. He was $20k in debt due to therapy and his poor spending habits. I took on a majority of the bills hoping he would pay off his debt. It worsened.

I was working overtime on the weekends to pay for our dream wedding at Disney in May 2016. I asked him about proposing again - we had had a fight several years previously, and I had thrown my engagement ring at him. I had told him when he had grown up and matured that we would try again. He informed me that he had not proposed anew because he had sent nude photos of himself out on Facebook and email after we had fought a few months earlier. He crushed me, and here he was trying to push the ring back on my finger. All I could think about was this going full circle. His mother's hatred of his father and the affairs. If he felt he could get away with me forgiving him for this then what did the future hold? I did not want to end up in a marriage like his parents and in therapy for the rest of my life. (I have done treatment in the past and it works as long as you know something is wrong and you want to fix it. Remember he doesn't think anything is wrong).

The loss of respect for me, the loss of our child, his financial burden on me, and now this news crashed down on me like waves crashing down on rocks on the beach. The years of emotional abuse - no communication, no love, no physical touch, and neglect beat down. The years of financial abuse took their toll and beat down. The years of mental abuse - not feeling attractive, no support while in school, no help after the miscarriage, no assistance with the house, even my religion was not good enough for him, and finally, no support from anywhere took there toll. There was also sexual abuse - I did not understand that at the time where that was coming from, but another secret was looming under the surface.

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