Seven years ago today was both the best and worst day of my life. My niece was born, but I wasn’t there, I had missed the one day I waited for an entire 9 months for because I was also in the hospital. See my best friend was out there bringing life into this world, and I was somewhere else trying to take a life out of it. My own, I had been in such a toxic and abusive marriage that I seriously thought the only way out of it was to end it…. and I don’t mean the marriage.
Most days that part of my life feels like it didn’t really happen. Most days it feels like a bad dream I tell people about over coffee. Most days I have pretty much forgotten about the three years my ex spent destroying my life, or my nervous breakdown brought on by his abuse or everything else that went along with being married to a sociopath.
I spent several days in that hospital where they tried to convince me that I just needed to get away from him, but eventually diagnosed me as bipolar (which I would later find out was PTSD misdiagnosed as bipolar disorder) and sent me home. I don’t really remember who visited me, but I remember that he didn’t, but he sure did call me when the cable and internet got shut off because he never paid a bill the entire time we were together and I wasn’t there to take care of it.
I was discharged from the hospital just in time to hold my niece for the first time before they were discharged from the hospital as well. I came home to find my ex unconscious in our bathtub. I left for the first time shortly after. I was gone about a month before he convinced me to come home because “things would be different” It took me months to catch up on the bills he didn’t pay while I was gone.
Me the day I was released from the hospital
He spent our entire marriage convincing me that he abused me and treated me so poorly because I was unworthy of love and deserved everything he did to me. He constantly tried to make me feel like I was crazy to think he was cheating on me despite the days he would go without coming home or the lies I constantly caught him in. He made everyone else believe I was crazy for not believing that he was clean when in reality he was setting our house up to look like it had been robbed so he could sell anything we owned of value for heroin.
I was so paranoid because he had convinced me that our neighbors were climbing in our windows while I was asleep and stealing money out of my purse that I used to sleep with my purse so our rent money wouldn’t get stolen. I would go days without eating because I was constantly so upset that I couldn’t hold food down. I was down to 140lbs which for a woman who usually sits at around 190lbs is small, and I didn’t look good. When I was released from the hospital I started on the meds they gave me and quickly started to gain weight, I couldn’t function on the meds and lost my job, after that things between us got worse and eventually reached a point where I realized that if I stayed with him I was going to die and as much as I had thought that was my only way out at one point it wasn’t actually what I wanted.
I finally had enough proof that he was cheating on me to bring myself to throw him out, that was around the same time that the people in his life started to realize that he was still using drugs and that I wasn’t as crazy as he had led everyone to believe. The police started showing up at our home looking for him. Multiple people connected to him approached me and told me that I needed to leave him or I was going to end up dead or in jail. I realized when HIS friends and family were telling me I needed to end it that there was no way I was the problem or the reason for all of his issues.
He quickly got engaged to the girl he had been cheating on me with which I reacted to in any way any normal woman who had been cheated on by a heroin addict who stole all her money and sold everything she owned…. by throwing our mattress off the third story balcony. After that, I didn’t hear from him for four years when he finally decided we should get a divorce which was two years after I had gone and gotten the divorce myself.
After the great mattress meltdown of 2012, I jumped into another bad relationship just to prove to him and myself that I wasn’t going to be alone for the rest of my life. I jumped into a career that I didn’t really want just to prove to him that I wasn’t going to be a failure.I went back to school and agonized over keeping a 4.0 because he said I wasn’t smart enough to do it. I gave years of my life to prove to a person who literally did not give a shit about me or how much they hurt me that I was worthy of something.
Before I met him I had plans for my life, but I put them on hold for him, and that didn’t work out but then I spent even more time trying to prove him wrong so I let almost my entire 20’s pass me by and now I’m 28 and I’m in a rut and it’s time to start doing the things that I really want to do.
For as long as I can remember I have wanted to move to Florida. Before I met my ex I was looking into going to college there, but then I met him so I didn’t go. He and I had talked about going but obviously, he was a scumbag so that never happened…. which was honestly for the best because things probably would have gotten even worse if we had moved 1100 miles away from my family. I started thinking about it again after I had dealt with some pretty serious health issues this year. I had even gone as far as to look into jobs and housing, but I started to feel guilty about leaving my job because they had been so good to me during my health stuff and I had met a guy I really liked and kind of wanted to see where things went so I stopped looking as hard as I was and settled back into the life I wasn’t incredibly happy with.
Then the guy dumped me and the job laid me off (which was a blessing I was miserable) and a few other irons I thought I had in the fire didn’t work out and now I’m running out of good reasons not to do it. I mean I have friends but I only see like one of them regularly. The biggest thing that was stopping me from doing it now is that I don’t know if I could deal with being that far away from my mom. Right now if I was in a situation where I really needed my mom one of us could get in the car and be there in under an hour, but if I moved 1100 miles away it would take some planning and a whole lot more than a tank of gas, but even my mom doesn’t think this is a good enough reason not to go.
I have again put the things in my life that I really want to do on hold for things and people who really didn’t care about me. Most of the “friendships” I was afraid to leave behind have ended and anyone whose opinions I value that I’ve spoken to agrees that it’s time for me to get a fresh start somewhere else. So I’ve decided that June 1 when my lease is up I am going to finally pack up my dogs and my cats and move to Florida.
The decision just makes sense. My rent goes up 100$ a month every year, I am unwilling to pay $1700 a month on an apartment that stays exactly the same, as much as I love Worcester I have never been able to make it my home, I have no ties here. I thought that moving back to the town I grew up to work in the restaurant I grew up in would help me to find some sort of direction but I realized that I don’t actually have a life there either and I can’t make a life doing the same things I’ve been doing for more than half my life hoping for a different result. My friends have all started their lives and families so I am for the most part alone and if I have to be alone I may as well be alone on a beach, and as much as I hate to be that far away from my mom I know she’s still going to be there. Plus with the amount of money, I would have needed to save to move to a new apartment in Mass I can literally pack up my life and move to Florida and have money left over.
This isn’t something I just woke up one day and decided. I have been thinking about it for years, and when I lost my job I decided to go and visit some family who I hadn’t seen in three years. I arrived last week and saw some family and hung out on the beach and perused the local tinder specimen. I didn’t get a chance to go on any dates while I was there but a local homeless guy did give me his phone number and offer to drive me to the airport when I stopped to pet his dog at a beach bar. But the more time I spent there the more I realized that I was happier, and not just because I was on vacation because realistically I didn’t really do many things that I wouldn’t have done if I wasn’t on vacation, and that the only things I was really badly missing from being at home were my dogs.
I won’t lie and say I’m not scared shitless because I totally am, but on the brightside, if I do down there and things don’t work out I can just slap on my marshmallow suit and find the nearest alligator swamp, which would also solve my student loan problem. Or like I could take the more rational route and just go back home. I have family there so I won’t be totally alone, and my cousin can actually cook which means I might get a home cooked meal every once in a while. My biggest obstacle now is figuring out how to save money in my already tight budget and learning how to stop spending money like I’m the long-lost Kardashian. Even though the cost of living is cheaper in Florida I probably won’t get far on the $16 I have in my savings account right now.
So, if you’ve done something like this and have any sort of advice on how to do it let me know. Also looking for advice on how to make friends without wondering if the person you’re trying to befriend thinks your hitting on them. If you know me, and your reading this know that you only have about six months left to get your fill of me before I head off to make either the best or second worst decision of my life.
Also, my dad is really concerned about whose gonna check my oil so if someone wanted to teach me how to do that my dad (and me) would appreciate it.