My name is Crystal and I hope that you will join me in the telling of a tale full of woe and joy, as many good stories are. This story is my own Journey through what I thought was an average marriage, and now an average divorce.
I will share my laughter and my tears. As well as perhaps a few funny stories along the way.
In the beginning everything was as it should be, young couple deeply in love get married and start a family… Somewhere along the way we lost sight of who we were individually. I don’t even rightly know where his mask fell away and I started making excuses for his poor treatment of me. His lack of involvement with the kids, or his complete lack of communication on matters that are important in a marriage.
I went along raising my kids and doing the best I could trying to make a failing marriage work. I ignored many of the red flags of a classic narcissist and attempted to keep life normal for my kids. We went on field trips alone and created co-op’s. The adventures we had alone, my 4 kids and I were amazing! Then I would come home and listen to verbal abuse or worse the silent treatment at night when I would come to bed. I would internalize that it must be something I did, or worse wasn’t doing. I see myself as a strong woman who has overcome a lot of adversity in my lifetime, I never saw myself as an abused wife. I didn’t see the mental abuse as abuse. I didn’t notice the gaslighting, or the million little ways he controlled my thinking. We always walked on egg shells trying to make sure to not set off the barrage of negative that would stream from him. The few good days in between all the bad made me believe that we were getting through and surely everyone must have hard times in a marriage.
In public and to friends and coworkers he always talked about how much he loved me, how great I was, how fantastic he thought it was that I stayed home with the kids and homeschooled them. He always talked about me to everyone else, just never to me. He didn’t want me he wanted a paper cut out puppet who did what made him look good.
I remember the first time I discovered his infidelity and I thought I must not be meeting his needs, that’s what we women are taught. If we don’t do enough for the man he will stray. It’s never about him and his insecurities or his lack of integrity, only about us and what we must not be doing for them. The truth is I went above and beyond in every aspect. I ignored my own health, the red flags and the constant decline of different areas of my body until it got to be so bad that I sought advice form my chiropractor. 8 years ago she told me I have every classic symptom of Fibromyalgia. Fibro is a beast and there are so many different ways people suffer with this disease. I began reading. I tried to understand because at least that would give me an idea of what to expect. It made it worse. I felt bad physically and was emotionally so exhausted that I never had a moment’s peace. He did nothing to help, if I needed a massage he grudgingly would rub for a few minutes and then he would either want sex or roll over and say he was tired and was going to bed. He never attempted to lighten my load of “mom” work, or ease the daily struggle of homeschooling through the pain.
There are days I find myself angry at all I allowed in my life. I am working towards healing, towards forgiving. It’s a journey full of tears as well as new hopes and dreams, one I look forward to sharing with anyone who wants to read it.
I am learning to let go of my fears and embrace my new life. This summer I met my brother and we camped together. I was just starting on a journey that would make me feel like my old self, before fibro set in. I have had a life long fear of heights and I avoided doing things because of it. My brother helped convince me I could climb down this mountain to see this beautiful waterfall, Soco Falls. There were ropes to give you something to hold onto but the ground was slick. I was terrified but did it! I kept going. Each foot in front of the other, slowly until I was at the bottom. Standing there looking around I was in awe. I managed to climb down this mountain to see this beauty. During our camping trip we ventured to two other falls, each beautiful in their own way but none as monumental as this one. This is my inspiration now, and the first picture on my blog is of this climb. I now know I can do anything, one step at a time and I hope to encourage you to do the same.
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton