I am not a spring chicken any more, despite feeling like I am still a kid most days (mentally, at least). Fact is, I am in my mid 30s, wait, upper 30's, well, fuck, I'm almost 40. There, I said it. Like most older broads, I have been through a lot since becoming an adult. One of the biggest challenges I face today is figuring out how to trust someone again.
Once I was out of high school, I did a lot of travelling in the states. Saw a lot of great places and made some amazing friends whom I still keep in touch with. I was a free bird for awhile. I didn't date much back then. I think a lot of that had to do with my own insecurities. I always felt like no one wanted the fat girl, and I was too shy to talk to anyone interesting to ever find out.
I dated one guy for a year which was a total disaster. He was a disaster. I know that the only reason I kept him around was because I didn't want to be alone. Yeah, I was that girl. Once I finally had enough, I kicked him to the curb and declared my singledom again. Literally, within days, I met the (now ex) husband. Without going through all of the gruesome details right now, let's just say that he was a narcissistic sociopath. He told me everything I wanted to hear. He lied to me from the day we met. He lied to me hundreds of thousands of times over the years. Even though I always knew in the back of my head that he was a liar, I didn't want to believe it, so I made excuses for him. I defended him to other people when they tried to tell me what I already knew deep in my heart. Throughout our 11 years of marriage, he cheated numerous times but he had a way of flipping the story around to make ME look like the crazy jealous wife (gas lighting) and that I had nothing to worry about. He manipulated me, he manipulated family and friends. He couldn't hold down a job, so we were always moving because he couldn't pay our rent. He always had an excuse for everything and always blamed someone else for his mistakes. The last 2 years of my marriage were complete Hell. He made me feel like a prisoner in my own home. The only time he spoke to me was to yell at me. I was sick to my stomach when it was time for me to come home from work. My kids saw it. They would say things like, "I don't know why daddy is so mean to you now".
Once he moved out, I saw him for the real monster he was. I saw everything with my own eyes and there were no more excuses. No more defending him. I had to face the reality that I was married to a bonafide sociopath.
This killed a part of me. I went from being the naive girl who trusted everyone until they proved me wrong, to not trust anyone at all. I felt like every guy was lying to me after that. I would second guess everything a man told me. This changed my entire outlook on life and dating. I have dated a few men since my divorce but I seem to attract the same type of men; the losers, the manipulators, the liars. I finally realized that I am picking the wrong men, so I've upped my standards a little bit and been a lot more picky. I am quite happy being single, not having to worry about anyone lying to me or cheating on me. There is no drama, no paranoia. Being single is safe. Yes, I would like to find that special someone but part of me feels like I am too damaged. How can I ever trust anyone again? How can I ever let anyone into my heart and my life again?
How does someone begin dating after going through such an ugly divorce? It's been 3 years now, and while I am well over the marriage and him, the effects of it still linger. How can I trust someone after being lied to for so many years? How can I learn to trust again? I am not quite sure how to answer this, all I know is that it has to be the perfect man (for me) who understands what I have been through and is willing to be patient with me.
What about you? Have any of you moved on from an abusive relationship and learned to trust and love again? How did you do it? Share with us in the comments please!