I CONFESS: Loving him was a real burden
LOVING SOMEONE IS a burden because it chains you emotionally and physically to that person with no guarantees that your feelings will be reciprocated.
It is the reason some people put aside their goals to selflessly focus on helping the one they love to achieve their ambitions.
It is the emotion that drives parents, mothers in particular, to make many sacrifices, including their personal happiness, to secure the welfare of their children.
And it is why some people injure others because, having devoted themselves to an individual, when that person tells them directly or through their actions they do not feel the same way, the rejected one sometimes strikes out in emotional-filled rage.
I’m not putting down loving someone or saying it is wrong and should be avoided. I don’t think that is realistic or would ever happen as 99.9 per cent of human beings are wired to love each other. Rather, people need to realise that in extending their feelings to someone, they may be rejected or abused, and they need to be able to handle this.
I can say this because this was my experience. I loved a man who treated me like a doormat, but I ignored the pleas from those who loved me to leave him as I had two children for him, and I wanted them to grow up with their two parents. So I ended up being in an abusive relationship for the better part of 12 years. I spent all my youthful days with him, suffering his insults, thumps and cheating – all the while hoping he would change back to the man I first met. But that never happened.
Because I stuck with him despite the abuse, my mother and family nearly gave up on me, and given my rocky relationship with them I often felt alone and lonely. This led to my children growing up in a loveless, abusive environment and has affected how they view relationships. My daughter seems to prefer friendships with other women, while my son initially treated women disrespectfully, similarly to how his father treated me, until he went through counselling.
But I didn’t write this confession to go over those dark days in my life. I wrote it to let women out there know that when you are a good person you will eventually find true happiness, just like I have. In other words, never give up hope even in the face of the worst abuse.
I plotted my escape one night after he beat and forced himself on me. I had refused to be intimate with him as he did not have a condom and I had no intention of allowing him to have intercourse with me without protection given he was intimate with other women. But after a couple of cuffs I gave in.
The next day I told my sister in Canada if her invitation still stood I would bring the children and leave him. It took several months of planning but come the summer vacation, I sent the children, then aged 11 and nine years old, to my sister.
Then a few days later I took my three weeks holiday, resigned from my job and left the island too.
So when he came home that night he found a dark, empty house other than the furniture and appliances. He had no idea where I was and how to find me. As none of my family liked him he could not contact them either. I was told he went to my workplace the next day only to find out I was on holiday, and he got on so bad that they had to make him leave the premises.
Again he struck out there as I told no one of my plans, including a close colleague of mine, as I really did not want anyone to know my plans.
After three days I called him to let him know I was not coming back and that he can go to hell. He threatened to take the matter to the police and to tell them I had kidnapped our children. But when I reminded him that the police were called to our house on three occasions through the years because of his violence towards me, he recognised he would not have a leg to stand on.
Nineteen years on the kids have grown and are on their own, and I am now married to a wonderful man who treats me as if I am the most beautiful woman on earth. He is so kind, thoughtful and gentle that I thank God every day for putting him in my life.
To be honest, sometimes I cry when I remember what I went through at the hands of my children’s father. It was because I loved him and was devoted to him that I stood for his abuse. That’s why I said loving someone can be a real burden. Thankfully though, with my husband I no longer have such a cross to bear.