Ouch! I Have Lost Myself Again – Part Two

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continued from:  Ouch! I Have Lost Myself Again

Not long after I met  Dan, I got pneumonia and was in bed  for 1 month. Subsequently, I  did not feel well for several months after. He told me that I am going about my treatment all wrong and that I should get off my medication and talk to his Naturopath. He went further to say that I did not have pneumonia or asthma and that he could not support me. As I am writing this reflection, I now realize that I should have left sooner

As the months passed, I started to get mixed messages, Dan would say that he loved me and treated me with respect in public, but in private he would be hard on me, and tell me that it is for my own good, because I am to sensitive and people will take advantage of me. He admitted doing this intentionally. For example, I work for public health, whereas he works in the private sector at a law firm. On the phone he would often talk negatively about public health and referred to staff as lazy and incompetent. This was my workplace, a place in which I am proud to go to work each day.

We decided to go on a cruise in Feb. I remember that he wanted to go to Florida, and I could not afford it, so he was put off by me and referred to me as a “pain in the ass”. He always had to get his own way. The night before the flight, we decided to stay overnight in a hotel by the airport. I remember being totally exhausted that night. I had worked all day and had been running around the night before.  I remember I approached the front desk and was so exhausted that I could not articulate very well to the front desk clerk. He told me that I embarrassed him and walked in front of me and would not even look at me. He then said that I should have been more organized, and that he was frustrated with me. I think, if he cared about me, he should of recognized that their was something wrong, and ask me if I was alright. I remember feeling that I wanted to go home, but thought it will get better in the morning. I was always trying to please him, and I felt like I could do nothing right.

We went on the cruise and had an okay time. He was moody at times and I was tired of always trying to make him happy. At the end the cruise we went to the airport to check in our bags, and I was told that my luggage was overweight. So I was told to move some clothes from my luggage to my carry on. I did this, while people were watching in line. I was so embarrassed. I asked for Dan’s help, and he yelled at me saying that I told you that you packed to much and looked at me with utter disgust.

When we got back from vacation there were good times and bad times, depending on his mood. He was often frustrated from work and I learned quickly that I could only talk to him when he calls me, or else he might be hard on me or say something hurtful. He reminded me on a daily basis that I was needy and sensitive. I am definitely not needy. How can I be needy, when  I only saw him twice a week. He then started to lash out more, not just with me but with others around him. He threatened to sue a friend, and was rude to several colleagues and complete strangers. He started to put me down and say that my clothes were old, that I have gained weight since we started dating and that the dress I wore was not flattering. He referred to me as his little quarterback, since I have big arms. He also thought that I was controlling. This is not the case. He stopped going to church with me, would not visit my parents because it was not fair of me to ask him to do so because he was really tired from work and needed some personal time, and that I should understand. He then started to talk more openly with me and became very insensitive to my needs. We would go for walks and he would tell me that he is going to move farther away from me, because he wanted to be close to his job, but at the same token he told me that he loved me. He then would say, “why should men be pressured to have children with a women in her mid 30’s, it is her fault she did not have kids early in life”. Did I mention that I am in my mid 30’s and want children of my own. He also said to me one evening, that he is totally exhausted and that he has a tendency to drop everything, including his girlfriends, and that he has done this in the past. Meanwhile, throughout all of this he was courting me, buying me gifts, saying sweat nothings and would be very respectful at times. He was constantly giving me mixed messages. I felt that I was walking on eggshells. I guess I could not figure out, why someone that is perceived as sweet, kind and giving could be so mean. He would often tell me stories of him lashing out at others, but I guess I had difficulty believing him, or I did not want to believe him.

We continued to date on a very regimental schedule and I noticed when I deviated from his schedule he would give me a hard time. One morning after having a disagreement with my mother, I called him for support at 12:00 rather than 9:00 in the evening. I told him that I was upset. He showed no empathy, instead it seemed like I was inconveniencing him. He told me that Saturday night, he tested me, whether I was going to pay the bill at the restaurant. I have paid the bill in the past and took him away on vacation, and bought him and his family gifts. He then went on to say that I am a freeloader and that he needs to continue to be hard on me, because I am too sensitive and that I need to learn a lesson. He then said that he told me that he was an asshole at the beginning of the relationship, and therefore this justifies his behavior. He was very cold and continued to yell and then threatened to break up with me if I hang up the phone. Lets just say, that I have not talked to him since, and decided to break off the relationship.

So here I go again. I hate dating, but on the flip side I want what everyone else has a family of my own. I get so angry sometimes, because I wonder why I can’t have a family and move on with my life. All my friends have children and are married, and I am left behind. What did I do to deserve this fate? I loved too much and trusted too much.

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Ouch! I Have Lost Myself Again

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Continued from   “Help! I Have Done It Again”

Subsequently we went on several dates where he wined and dined me, bought me flowers, open the car door and treated everyone who crossed our path with respect and compassion. He spoke of the volunteer work he did with his church and the many committees he sat on in order to make his community a better place. He was an outstanding citizen and anyone who met him liked him immediately, including myself. He often spoke of helping others and giving of himself.

After several months of courting, I began to fall in love with him. It is hard to see the warning signs when you feel like you are on “cloud nine”, and happy again, something that I had not felt in a long time. I started to see the warning signs at the beginning, but they were very subtle, and I choose to ignore him because of his genuine nature.

At the beginning of the relationship, he told me that he was very busy at work and that I have to understand that I could not see him a lot. This meant I could see him once during the week and on weekends. I agreed to this, but then I started to notice that I saw and talked to him at the same time everyday. It was like I was “penciled in”. For example he would come over on Saturday night at 4:00 and would leave at 8:30 in the morning to go to church. He would also call every evening at 9:00 or 9:30. He would often tell me that he was extremely busy and that he could give me more time, so in a sense I had to accept his schedule.

Very early in the relationship I also met his family. They were Portuguese. I met his family early in the relationship because he still lived at home with his parents and shared a room with his brother. They are both in their late 30’s early 40’s. Looking back, I now think that is very odd. When I met his brother Peter, he immediately insulted me and my family. We were at the dinner table one evening and he said some crude things to me, and Dan just sat their and watched, and did not interrupt him. Dan later justified his brother’s behaviour that his brother has a right to in a sense insult me because he doesn’t know me and he is only protecting his brother. Dan’s brother told me that I was fragile and that my parents were crazy. I should have got up and left but I decided to stay.

Help! I Have Done It Again

Where am I now? I wish that I can say that my story has a happy ending and that I am married to a wonderful man and have 2 kids. That is not the case. I often hear of others who after leaving an abusive relationship find love again to a man who is kind, respectful and decent. On the other hand, for me it is an entirely different story, I just ended yet another abusive relationship, only this time the abuse and the warning signs were different than that in my marriage.

I met this person on E-harmony and when we met we had this instant connection. When I started to date again (1 year after my divorce), I had a list of criteria and decided not to deviate from my criteria. I went on about 15 dates, all of which did not match my criteria until I met Dan. I met Dan at Boston Pizza one evening. He was very well dressed, polite, smart, articulate, Christian and was very charming. He took my breath away. It had been a long time since I was able to have an intelligent conversation with someone of the opposite sex.  I later found out through speaking with him that he was a lawyer. After dinner, we parted that evening and I could not stop thinking about him and smiling.