Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed about marrying my high school sweetheart and starting a family with him. We met our sophomore year of high school and got married the year after we graduated college. Almost storybook, but things were never as they appeared.
To our friends, family, and the people we went to high school with, things were perfect. I went to culinary school to pursue my love of baking, while my husband enlisted in the Army and went on to become a police officer in the town we went to high school. However, behind closed doors, things were never really that great if I’m being honest about it now.
Almost from the beginning, I suffered emotional abuse. My husband would call me names when we would argue, make fun of my weight, and make me think I was crazy when I would voice my concerns to him. Emotional abuse escalated to financial abuse, and he would control how much money I had access to, and often prevented me from being able to get the wedding cakes I was hired to make to the couples getting married. As a result, I was soon put out of business after my reputation became destroyed.
Once I had no money available to me without asking his permission, the physical abuse started. It started off with him just grabbing my arm or shoving me when I didn’t say or do the right thing, and eventually, it progressed to him beating me, and even attempting to strangle me one night.
You would think that would have been enough to leave him, but it wasn’t. He was all I had ever known, and I was desperately clinging on the dream I had of being with my high school sweetheart forever. It wasn’t until I caught him in bed with a woman he worked with that I finally had enough.
I left without a word, and my life has gotten better and better since then. Now, no one controls my money but me. I had to leave the wedding industry, but I’ve since found success making cakes for birthday parties and other important events. It feels great to be back to doing what I love. I have no interest in dating yet, but having the freedom to go out and do what I want to do, when I want to do it . . . I wouldn’t trade that for the world.
If you are in an abusive marriage and are ready to get out of it, click here for some resources I found to be helpful during one of the darkest times in my life. You may not be ready to leave now, but eventually, there will be something that happens that makes you realize your worth, and you’ll be happier for it. Just like I am.