When you’ve been abused for a very long time, you begin to doubt if you are worth it, as a person. I used to be very beautiful, fun-loving, daring, and full of life, the first 16 years of my experience. And then I met Michael. And he became everything about me. Every move I made, Michael had a say. The way I dressed, the way I acted, the way I spoke, and all, it was him, for him, and to please him. The “Kim” that I was, it was gone. Just because of love, or so I thought that it was love.
A year after we first got together, he wanted me to get pregnant. Coming from a broken family, I wanted to have one of my own, to be in peace, and be loved. I thought that this was it for me. That Michael was going to be the husband and longtime partner that I will cherish and love for eternity. And he wanted to have a baby with me??? Wow, God! How did I become so lucky? I am so blessed! The love of my life wanted to have a family with me. And so we tried, and we got pregnant after four months. Soon after, church bells were ringing.
The first year was good. He was in his best behavior, and he loved our daughter so very much. At times, I would cry, looking at him, cradling our little Drew. I made the right choice, I told myself. I married the best man for me. Ha! It is funny how the honeymoon stage was the deciding factor of everything, but you can only see and smell the roses. The stink that comes after that, you will not be able to see yet.
He was and has always been a womanizer. So, when I was pregnant with Drew, I didn’t know that he was also screwing one of my so-called friends. I learned of this a decade after it happened when our Drew was ten, and we had two more girls, Bianca and Micha.
It was a tough ten years. He released the Kraken in him and became the real person that he was. Michael was a spoiled brat and got pretty much everything he wanted from his mother. He also got everything he wanted from me, and more. Womanizing here, there, and everywhere plus, gambling and yes, drugs.
Work? He did not give much importance to it because he was the son of a millionaire entrepreneur if he wanted money, bam! He can get a hefty amount if one of their stores. Suppose he wanted to be intimate with a salesgirl, a “model” or a tuition fee girl, bam! They have a hotel. He even brings his flavors of the month in the salon that I was managing. And tells me to have their hair and nails done. Me? Clueless, stupid, and spiraling down.
My grandfather, bless his soul, said that Michael got tired of me. He told me that Michael exhausted my womanhood. I did not know what it meant at that time. I was 29 and 200 pounds. My self-esteem and self-confidence were at its lowest. I do not see that beauty queen anymore. All I could see was a fat monster that nobody would love because my husband said so, and he called me “pig.” I only wanted to have a peaceful and harmonious family life. I guess it is not possible.
Years of abuse consumed me. I was always angry and irritable. There were days that I did not want to get out of bed too. My mother-in-law, his mother, even called me “lazy” one time because I do not get up from the ground. Have you heard of depression, ma’am? If you haven’t, then, that was how I was when your son was my husband. My psychiatrist said that everything that happened to me during my marriage to him was the cause of my depression and anxiety. The last straw was when he choked me, and my second-born witnessed all of it. I deemed it necessary to leave this broken marriage. My daughter begged me so.
It has been two years since my separation from Michael. I can say that my life is better without him, although, financially, it has been challenging. He took everything material from me – the house, the car, the jewelry, and the money. But you know what, it doesn’t matter. Everything material in this world can be replaced. And in as short as two years, I have started that replacement.
I have slowly replaced what he took from me. Bought me a small piece of land by the sea, some bits and pieces of jewelry, money in the bank again, a small cosmetics business, my self-love, and sanity. He wants to get me back, oh boy, but why? What for? I am not that clueless, stupid, and spiraled down lady he once knew. I am not desperate for love anymore, nor am I longing for acceptance. My worth has been restored, and my family, my children, is there for me. That is all that matters now.
I have survived the darkest twenty years of my life, with flying colors.