I’m carrying on with my list of firsts again.
(Soz if you’re bored.)
In this one – Part Three – I want to talk about my first great love …
MY FIRST GREAT LOVE
There are definitely differences between your first love and your first GREAT love.
“Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love,” as Carrie says in Sex and the City.
That guy – my first great love – was definitely my husband.
The shit I put up with from that guy … I wouldn’t even know where to start. He cheated on me, repeatedly. He caught a sexually transmitted infection and then didn’t tell me. He spent quite a lot of our money on sex workers, all the while restricting my access to funds to ensure I was completely financially responsible on him. He mentally abused me, and physically abused me, and tried to completely destroy me. It took everything I had in me to walk away from him. Even then, I couldn’t have done it without a little help from Big Love, Number 37.
I loved The Hubby with everything I had in me. I forgave everything. I couldn’t forget it all, but I sure as fuck tried to. I moved to a different country for him, and I loved him. Hard. Even after he fucked his best friend’s girlfriend, and fucked that girl he worked with, and fucked those four sex workers from the local brothels, and fucked all of those other sex workers in South America … and told me about all of them when he was off his nut on cocaine and couldn’t keep his own secrets anymore, I forgave, tried to forget, and loved.
It was my own fault, of course. I married him too young. I let myself get carried away by a whirlwind romance that never should’ve lasted for longer than a few months. He was the one night stand that never left. That’s actually the story we used to tell people when they asked how we met.
Do I still love him? Yes, a little bit of me still does, I think. A teeny-tiny bit, and only because of the handful of good times that we had. I stayed with him through some of the worst things you could ever imagine. He split my face open once with a punch that was powerful, he actually left a bit of his knuckle bone in my face. I had to have it surgically removed, and then I had to have bright blue stitches closing my face back up. That was one of the worst of his aggressive times, but there were other incidents. Like that time he dragged me around a parking lot by my hair, scraping the skin away from the tops of both of my feet. He spat on me when I asked him if I could get a burger as he ordered his post-booze-binge kebab. He left big welts across my neck from his hands as he squeezed hard and tried to shut me up, and grabbed my wrists with so much force that he left actual bruised handprints on them. He locked me in a cupboard. He shouted and threw me about so much, and so loudly, that all of my neighbours knew all about. I denied it all, obviously, because that’s what women do when they’re foolish and in love. But it didn’t take long before they stopped believing my cover stories. One of my neighbours even managed to get hold my my mother’s phone number so that she could call her and tell her what was going on.
Shit got real.
A proper heavy blog post discussing my experiences with domestic violence: SURVIVOR? ME?
Things were really, really bad between The Hubby and I even before we got married. He trashed my flat once. He also tried me shut me in my lockable wardrobe, clamping his hands around my throat at the same time as shoving me backwards into a row of my hanging clothes. He snapped my bank cards to stop me from accessing money, right before he left the country for four months. I had no access to funds at all. The bank accounts were either in his name or our name, so I couldn’t do anything with them without him helping me, and he only called me a total of three times the entire time he was away. It was brutal to hear of the other wives getting calls from their husbands every other day. I had three ten-minute calls in four months.
I was practically starving. I had no tampons. My phone and internet bill wasn’t paid because he made sure there was no money in the bank account they came out of, and my TV package soon got cancelled too. I was completely and utterly isolated. I had to use a friends phone to call my family, and it was only with the help of my friends and my mother that I managed to survive. Once that internet was back up and running, though, I made a promise to myself: I’d never leave myself in a financially-dependant position ever again. I found a freelancing website, started to write money for other people’s websites – FOR CASH – and I’ve been financially independent ever since.
But even after all of that in the first year of our marriage alone, we still made it to five years together. When we were happy, we were deliriously happy. We had it all. We both earned good wages, had a decent home, lived a good life. There were times when we were both the happiest we’d ever been. But it was only that good for a brief period at a time. A couple of months. Maybe not even that long towards the end. It got to a point where the only time we’d get along was on the weekend, when we were both tanked up with alcohol and cocaine. We’d get drunk, take drugs together, dance the night away, laugh, go home, fuck, fuck some more, fuck a bit more after that, and then his truths would start coming out. It was always on nights like that he’d spill his guts and tell me about his latest infidelities. Looking back now, I think his ‘honesty’ was just another way to make sure I was completely and utterly ruined. His wrongdoings couldn’t hurt me if I didn’t know about them, right? He wasn’t having any fun unless I found out what he’d been up to.
But he was my first great love. The one that changed the course of my life and stopped me from ever seeing things the same way again. I have no doubt that I’ll talk about him in more detail later on, but for now I need to stop. The memories hurt my heart.