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You can't pretend forever (Teresa's Story)

My mother died in 2002. She was my world. All my life I wanted to be just like her. She was so strong and confident. I never really learned to be that strong and confident, but I learned how to pretend I was and for the most part people bought it.

We met in 2003. He made me laugh. I hadn't laughed in a long time so that felt good. I didn't want that feeling to go away so I was determined to make this work no matter what. Even though there were several signs that this relationship wasn't a good idea, I ignored that and kept going. I wanted to give my all and prove that I was this strong and confident woman just like my mom. I kept telling myself you can do this, you can make this work, and your mama didn't raise no quitters.

I really can't tell you when the emotional and physical abuse began. It came on so gradually. Its like one day I went to sleep and was with this man that made me so happy and made me laugh. When I woke up it was years later and all I did was cry. I felt like such a failure because I couldn't make him happy. The harder I tried the more I failed. Everything was my fault. I was so ashamed of myself and I couldn't tell anyone what was happening because of that shame.

So many bad things happened to me over the years. I made him a promise that I would never leave him. So, in order to deal with the bad things that were going on I just buried them deep within myself and do what I was good at doing, pretending everything was okay.

It was around 2010 that I realized something else was going on with him. I knew he was an alcoholic (that's usually what brought the violence out) , but there was this sadness there too. He started talking about dying. He would say he was just tired. He would also tell me that I was the only reason he had to live. Now I don't know if I really believed he would harm himself if I left him, but I was not going to test it either. He need me, and honestly I needed him to. He was my family, my husband, my life partner, my universe. The mood swings got worse. I never knew what I was going to get. The violent ones were really bad. I never once thought about calling the police. I could not get him in trouble. I could not have him madder at me. I could not have him leave me. So I just dealt with what was given out.

By 2013 I was totally broken. It has been 10 years now and I have nothing left. He was in really bad shape by then. I later realized he had started taking drugs as well as excessively drinking alcohol. I wanted to leave, but I was afraid. I was also afraid to stay. I use to pray he would just one day get tired of me and leave me. I knew it was only a matter of time that he would have a really bad violent spell and he would kill me. I had no more fight in me. I was just waiting to die.

That's not how my marriage ended though. On November 25, 2013, my husband committed suicide in our home in front of me. I knew he was depressed, I just didn't know he was at that point. He even told me right before he pulled the trigger that he wasn't going to shoot me. I still to this day wonder why he did it that day and why did I have to witness it. For so long I felt that I let him down, because I wasn't strong enough and he needed me to be strong for him too, because he couldn't for himself. A part of me still fells that way.

Its been almost 5 years now and I am still I the process of healing from the trauma in my marriage as well as the trauma of his death. I can tell you it has not been easy. But I'm still standing. I am still moving forward. A part of me of me moving forward is telling my story so that I can end this chapter of my life. I am ready to be whole again. So now my focus will be working to be the best me I can. Some wonder how did I get through all this, why am I not totally out of my mind. All I can say is BUT GOD!!! I have learned that he has walked with me through this and everything else that I have been through. I am never alone my GOD is always with me. That's the best way I can explain it. I pray someone reads this and get inspired to know there is light waiting for you through all of the darkness. Be blessed!

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