I married really young. My age then was only nineteen and I thought that I have met my knight in shining armor. The words are “I thought.” You see, I grew up in a broken family. My father is a pathological liar, womanizer, and gambling addict. I mean, what kind of woman can live with a man who is all sorts of the dark? Back then, I blamed my mom for leaving my dad. It is only now that I realize why she had to do it.
It is not that I had no male role model to guide me while I was growing up. My dad was sometimes there. We could only be with him for one weekend every three months. Grandpa was that male role model, God rest his soul. He did all that he could for all of us, even if it was not his responsibility.
I also do not blame my parents for my wrong decisions during adulthood or the choices I made in life. Even though they were apart, they both did the best they could in teaching me the values. My dad was not a good husband at all, but he was a great father. Mom, on the other hand, turned a bit distant, cold, and at times, too far from me. She had to work three jobs just to support me and my siblings, and that was hard. I know that now.
Anyway, history had a funny way of repeating itself. I made the same mistakes that my mom did in the “thought” that we have found our knight in shining armor. My love for him was so overwhelming; even as I think about it now, I cry a little. It is not a joke, all those twenty years that we have been together. We have five lively, beautiful, and healthy children, but that is all it will ever be. The last two decades of my life just flew by in a flash and now, I am husbandless. That is my history.
During the course of our marriage, I have been to the same psychiatrist three times. And her words were always the same – you are very sad because your husband is who he is, and you cannot do anything about it. Only you can control how you feel, react, or respond. And yes, you may be mildly depressed but you are still very aware of everything. You will pull through. But on the fourth visit, her words were not like that anymore. She told me I have depression and that I needed to take antidepressants, a relaxant, and some other assignments to do at home, like natural ways of coping with my mood.
I mean, who wouldn’t be depressed with what happened to me? In the course of twenty years, I caught my husband philandering and all of the women I caught him with were the lowly kind. Three of those “lowlifes” have kids with him. Yes, you read that right. Kids. One of the women has two boys with my ex-husband and she also happened to be my secretary. Imagine the humiliation I faced at the office upon learning that the pregnancy of my secretary was attributed to my ex’s play. Two times. That done did not break our marriage and so he became more abusive. He disrespected me even more and started hitting me too.
This pumped my unhappiness and overeating. From a very healthy weight, I became obese. I just stuffed food in my mouth, whatever I felt like eating, and it was usually sweets. My desire to keep fit was also sharply curbed. I did not want to exercise anymore because of the humiliation. People talked and talked about what happened to me, to us, and about me having trouble accepting.
And so, I kept to myself. I became a hermit crab and basically my life revolved around the kids and him. Even if he continued to take advantage of me, and more so, abuse me, suck the life out of me, I was still there. I remained a faithful and loyal wife because I believed in the sanctity of marriage. It’s okay. I did my best, but there is no way to help a person who doesn’t recognize his mistakes.
I have been divorced for almost two years, and I would like to say that life is perfect after the permanent separation. Well, you know what, it is not all perfect. But there is no other life I would choose, given the chance again, it will still be this. But the hell I have been through for two decades is still affecting me. The person that I am cannot just shut it all out. He left long-lasting damage within me that I could not just easily repair.
What to do now? Well, I take it one day as it goes. I cannot lose this battle once again. I owe it to myself for bouncing back and I will not pressure my being if it takes a bit slow. Depression is not easy to overcome but I believe I can do it. I already am doing it.