It's hard to understand or remember the exact moment when Prince Charming began to disrespect me. Was it the first time he told me I was stupid and my opinion was worthless? Was it when he slapped me that first time? Or that afternoon in June when he raped me on the floor of the kitchen in his mother's home? Was it when he called me a fat pig, a dumb bitch or a stupid whore? Or the time he told me my feelings were not valid?
Oh there is so much more to the story of Prince Charming. Very few know the cold hard facts. Mr. NYC was secretly running an escort service out of his Manhattan apartment. Yes, this model man who I had been with for 8 years, was not at all who he seemed. His entire life was a lie and his behind the scene behaviors were and are clearly evil.
So as I relive each hurt from that 8 year relationship, I remember the shame. How gullible and duped I was for falling so hard. I was vulnerable, naive, blinded. I believed in a man I loved and I did not believe he would keep hurting me. I remember covering the bruises and congratulating myself for covering for him This isn't so bad. He wasn't so bad. If no one sees what he has done, then no one will think he is a monster and I am a fool. Sometimes I still hear his voice in my head and his ranting about me not having learned my lesson. So at the age of 49, what is it I have learned since being away from him?
Rule number one--love does not cause pain. Love does not include betrayal, being taken for granted, being treated without respect, lashed out at, or on the receiving end of nastiness, meanness, insults, hostility, aggression, intimidation or violence. Love is not being forced to participate in pornographic videos or continually raped. Love is real and can be possible. But only with someone that values, respects, protects, accepts, and supports you rather than hurts you.
A few other things I have learned along my journey:
The scales of justice are in reality, a broken system filled with dysfunction which favors the abuser and re-victimizes the victim. There are so many instances in which I was made to feel as the criminal. Pasts are continually held against victims. The system continually rewards the criminal and blames the victim for his battering behaviors. Will this ever change?