My Fault

I actually feel bad for posting this because it's a petty problem. Everyone on here has real problems, and I'm just writing about a guy I'm still in love with. It's pathetic, I know. No one has to read this if they don't want to.

In 8th grade, I realized that I wanted to have someone always there to compliment me, to make me feel beautiful or important, so I was on a social media website. Even though I never believed the guys I added on there, I still wanted the attention.

Blake lived about three hours away. He accepted my friend request, and sent me a message. When I was going to spend a week at my aunt's house, and wouldn't have internet access, I asked him to text me. He was pretty cool and attractive. We talked a little. One day, he sent me a message saying, "Please don't let us drift apart." I said we wouldn't. Sometimes, he would try to call me, but I don't like talking on the phone, so I wouldn't usually answer.

One day I did answer, and it was an amazing night. I got to know him a bit better than I did through text messages. He's extremely funny, sarcastic, and witty. I found his laugh and the way he talks adorable. That started my huge crush on him. I found out the next day, he liked me, too. Long distance relationships suck. We didn't date, but we really liked each other. Eventually, it turned into love.

I truly trusted him and loved him, so I told him my secrets. He told me he wanted to kiss me really bad, and that he loved me. He even wrote me a poem on Facebook in a message. I was happy with whatever Blake and I were. I wanted it to be official, but understood why we weren't.

I'm insecure, and I was hurt by the distance, so I started dating Landon, a guy I went to school with. That hurt Blake a lot, but he continued to be my friend, even though it was painful. It wasn't my intention to hurt Blake. Eventually, Landon and I broke up, and I apologized to Blake for hurting him.

I wanted to be the first to tell him "Happy Birthday," so I called him at five minutes to 12:00 the night before. We had a very good conversation, with lots of humor, and he seemed to be in a good mood.

I told him later that when I got off the phone with him that night, my friend asked why we weren't "dating" anymore. Blake didn't like that. He quit texting me. I knew that I screwed everything up. He was done.

After he was gone, I realized just how much I love him. He has probably succeeded in moving on, but I haven't. It's been almost three years, and I still have the same feelings for him. I don't think they're going away.

I'm currently dating a guy named Brandon. He knows about Blake. He's rightfully scared that I'm not over Blake, and it's true. I'm not. I thought dating someone else would help me get over him. At one point, I thought I was. Then, I saw that Blake was going to a concert near me. I spent my summer trying to go to it, just to finally see him. I thought that he might start talking to me again. There were bands that I wanted to see, but Blake was the main reason I was going. I saw him, but he didn't see me. He was talking to someone, so I didn't intrude.

Later, I posted my pictures from the concert online, and he messaged me for the first time in a while. He asked if I went to that concert, I told him that I had. When I told him why I didn't talk to him there, he said, "Oh, you should've said hey, I never saw you." That made me the happiest I had been in a very long time. It sounded like he would have wanted to see me if he had known I was going. I wish I had told him I would be there.

Basically, I really hate myself for screwing things up. I still believe that I love Blake. We haven't talked since that day after the concert. I don't believe I should be alive because of the way I treated him. I was terrible to him, when all he did was care about me and love me. He's so perfect, and he could do better than me anyways. But I can't help it. I want to be selfish. I love him so much.

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I Survived

I am a survivor of domestic abuse. I became one of the lucky ones at the tender age of 15. I got out of the relationship after nearly a year of verbal, emotional, and physical abuse. It wasn't easy. It was terrifying, but I did it.

It all started when I was a freshman in high school. A senior caught my eye and I apparently caught his as well. After knowing each other for only a short amount of time, we were dating. I thought it was love, true love, and believed whole heartedly that he was the one.

The abuse started slow. First, he didn't like my friends and thought they were trying to sabotage our relationship. (They saw the signs before I did and tried to warn me). He isolated me and I thought nothing of it.

Then he didn't like the way I dressed. He called me trashy and a whore. He said I was trying to catch the attention of other guys. He controlled what I wore and who my friends were.

Then he would yell and scream at me whenever I did something he deemed as wrong. The verbal abuse escalated to physical abuse soon after, probably about three months in. He would slam me into lockers and choke me. He would push me to the ground while screaming at me. He broke two of my ribs and I still forgave him. Teachers, bus drivers, other students all saw this occur and some tried to warn me, but I didn't listen. Others just watched the chaos unfold without uttering a word. I can't blame them, he was very intimidating. He was a wrestler and very built, I even questioned if he was on some sort of performance enhancing drug. It would explain the angry outbursts, but that could just be who he is. 

He was smart, he never left marks where anyone could see. I hid my broken ribs from my family and friends. Most of his marks were invisible though. He broke me completely and molded me into someone I didn't recognize. But I was in love, I was blinded by love and couldn't see the signs.

When he took my virginity, he repeatedly told me how filthy I am and afterwards, made me scrub myself raw while he watched. He took something beautiful and made it ugly, I've seen myself as filthy ever since.

Now that I am older, I see the red flags. It wasn't love, it was abuse. I see that now. I was finally able to leave by breaking up with him over the phone. He threatened to kill himself and then his mom called me, yelling at me asking what I did to her son. I hung up on her and never spoke to him again. It was summer at the time and I didn't see him again until the next school year where he would threaten my life if I ever told a soul. I never did, but people knew. They saw it happen for their own eyes. 

I am one of the lucky ones. I survived, I got out. Not many can say that. I just want other people to see the signs and get out if you can. If you can't, there are resources out there for you to help. It takes an incredible amount of strength and support, but you can do it!

 

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DOH Monday - Fall Season

Summer has come and gone and left behind the beautiful colors of fall. I love this time of year because everything is changing, the leaves, the coffee flavors, weather, clothes, you name it- it's changing.

I recently went apple picking with my little family and it was a lot of fun. That is until my little one started to throw a tantrum (and apples). He was not as into it as I had hoped, unfortunately. So my attempt at a fun family outing was turned into a tantrum fest. Oh well, there is always next year. The upside is I had a lot of apples to make some yummy treats with. I made two batches of my finest Apple Crisp, which were delicious.

I love Fall. I love everything about it. The smell of leaves, the colors, the weather. Everything. I live in Maine, and we have the most beautiful foliage you'll ever find. Which is why we have so many tourists come through during the season. I feel like tourist season never really ends in New England. We have ski season, which lasts from early november some years, to late March, depending on the snow season. Then we have the tourists that come for the summer, many people have summer homes up here. And then the leaf peepers come for Fall. I just want a break from all of the tourists so I can enjoy my Fall without all of the people. I know it is great for the small businesses around here and they get a lot of foot traffic but I just want to enjoy it while it lasts, without all of the leaf peepers.

So that is my Dose of Happy, The Band. What is yours?

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From The Outside Looking In

When I was in college student, I lived a few blocks away from some relatives. I had a standing invitation to eat at their house every Sunday night - no need to call ahead, just show up. As a starving college student, you would think I would take advantage of that, but I only went a handful of times.

Spending time with that family was painful.

You see, they had a sick game they liked to play in their family. If it had a name, it would be called "Let's pick on April until she cries."

April and I were very close. She had her issues, but I adored her. I have come to discover from reading the stories on this site that her mother (and possibly her father) were narcissitic. They had two "golden children," who could do no wrong, one child who was sort of neutral, and then April was the scapegoat for the whole family. 

Almost immediately after sitting down to a meal, they would start in on April. Everyone would talk about their day, but when she would try to talk, they would belittle everything she said. Nothing she ever did was good enough, and everything she said was stupid or unimportant. They would dig and push buttons until the tears fell. 

I will never forget the look of satisfaction on that woman's face when she had succeeded in destroying her daughter.

Again.

A mother is supposed to be a source of comfort and support to her children. Being a mother now myself, I can't even comprehend how a mother can destroy her child day after day, after day.

April is married with her own kids now. And I still cringe when I hear her call her mother "Mama." The woman never earned that title. 

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The Adult Child Of An Abusive Alcoholic

My stepfather was not always an abusive alcoholic. He was simply a man who loved a glass of scotch in the evening before bed during the early years of my childhood, the years I called him "Daddy." He was kind-hearted and taught me the life lessons that a girl needs in order to become a compassionate member of the human society.

No, he was not always an abusive alcoholic but he is now.

Don Mustard has been my dad since I was eighteen months old. I was not fond of men as an infant, especially those I had never met. Despite this, on the day we met, I ran straight to him and begged him to pick me up. We became inseparable for the next several years.

I owe most of my character to this man. My love for animals, my passion for hunting, my need to be around horses, and my unconditional love can all be attributed to the years I spent at his heels. I learned the value of hard work by taking care of orphaned cattle from the rancher that employed him. I woke up in the wee hours of the mornings to answer the cries of a calf searching for breakfast and did so without complaint. I had no friends during my elementary years because I smelled like animals, but I cared not. I had a family who loved me. I had a large variety of animals that were much kinder than humans for companionship. I was happy.

I was entering junior high when I began to notice that there was a problem. The bottle that had taken my dad a few weeks to finish now needed to be replaced once a week, and soon after, twice a week. As a family that was struggling just to keep food on the table, this seemed like a luxury that we just could not afford. However, my mom discovered that being unable to provide this bottle was a much worse problem than the money that was being spent on it. Dad would become irritated without his "nightcap," but we just brushed it off as crankiness.

Then, the irritation was turned my way. Suddenly, nothing I did was right. I was an honor roll student and worked right beside the cowboys on the ranch from dusk until dawn, with the exception of school hours. Still, it was not enough. I was the entire reason for his and my mother’s marital problems in his opinion. I was called a mistake or "that bastard child" on more than one occasion. I would fall asleep many nights in tears. I worked harder to achieve more, aching to hear him tell me he was proud of me once again. It never came.

My mother sat me down during my freshman year of high school and explained our situation to me. My once loving dad was sick, and until he would admit it, there was nothing that she or I could do to make him happy again.

I did my research, like any good student. I learned everything I could about alcoholism, not only about the physical effects, but the psychological effects as well. I learned that the man who spat such ugly words at night was simply not the man who had taught me to ride a bicycle and tie my shoe. Sadly, he might not ever be again.

I wanted to be angry with him.

After all, he was the one who had taught me that allowing anything or anyone to have such a hold over your actions made you weak. The night his anger turned to physical blows, I might have grown resentful, had I not been able to remember one cold morning in a deer stand so many years before. I had proven myself to be a near perfect shot, after years of practice, and I was being rewarded with my very first hunting trip. The excitement of the next morning kept me awake most of the night, and I jumped out of bed the moment my mother woke me. I entered the living room proudly wearing my new gear. That warm camouflage uniform was prettier than any dress in my personal opinion. I tucked my bright red hair into the baseball cap and double-checked the gun that I had lovingly cleaned the night before. My mother handed my dad a lunch box with sandwiches and jerky, and we were off. He drove patiently and carefully through the field while his daughter was unable to stop talking in bubbly excitement over the possibilities of the day.

My dad did all the talking once we were in the deer blind, keeping his voice down to a barely audible whisper as he spoke about the feeling of sighting a deer through the sights of your gun. He warned me about the possibility of freezing up once my sights were lined up and told me how to fight through it. Soon, those words of experience soon turned to wise lessons of life and love.

I valued these lessons and tucked them away for later years, but it was his speech about unconditional love that would eventually turn that little girl into the woman I am today. He told me, “when you love someone, be it your family, an animal, or your husband, you must love them unconditionally. Everyone makes mistakes and we always hurt the ones who love us the most. Love is worthless unless it’s unconditional. You must always forgive those you love without hesitation. If it isn’t unconditional, then it isn’t love at all.”

Many years later, I would forgive him instantly for his abuse. This abuse increasingly grew more violent, and by the time I moved out of my parent’s home, I was grateful to be free of his anger and bitterness. I kept the lessons he taught me in the deer blind close to my heart but added my own touch to it. I decided that while love was worthless unless it was unconditional, that did not mean that a person had to stick around to be abused and walked on. A person could love unconditionally while doing so from a distance.

My dad’s drinking grew increasingly worse after my mother passed away. Today, his mind is half gone from the booze and the evidence is apparent even during the sober moments of the daytime. He has become an empty shell of a man. He is deeply affected by depression and seeks to fill his emptiness with women who could never hope to fill the shoes my mother left behind. He has yet to admit that he has a problem. I still love him unconditionally although I am sure he would tell you otherwise.

I will always be grateful for the earlier years that I spent with my dad. I am a woman who always seeks a brighter future because of these moments. More importantly, I know how to love someone with everything I have, no matter their crimes against others or me. Experience has taught me that there are not many souls out there who can say the same. Most people speak their love without ever knowing exactly how to show it. My Daddy taught me that showing it is more important than three empty words and my children will learn this as well. That is the greatest gift any man could have passed down to his daughter.

I have lost hope that he will ever seek the help he needs to change but on the day of his funeral, I will proudly stand there and speak of the man before the disease. I believe that on that day, I will finally receive his pride as he watches my eulogy through eyes unclouded by booze. Maybe then he will realize that I learned my lessons well and grew up to be everything he had once hoped for. Alcoholism will have finally released its hold on my dad. I will not speak of the horrible deeds or the years I spent as his victim. After all, love is worthless unless it is unconditional.

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