There were other girls. I knew it in my gut, but he defended himself with such passion I had no choice but to believe him. I believed him.
On our honeymoon, he decided to tell me about those other girls. It was anything but romantic. I was 19, almost 5 months pregnant and in a cabin in a remote location in the Adirondack Mountains. Had I known about his many exploits prior to marriage I would not have married him. Had I known earlier I would have had resources and others to help me process what I was hearing and make a more rational decision. I had given myself over to him and trusted him and he had simply done what he wanted. There were no cell phones back then or internet. We barely had electricity in our cabin. Everything I had believed was shattered, I no longer knew this man I was alone with and I panicked. I had been a strong, ambitious and driven girl and now found myself vulnerable and imprisoned. I wanted to get away so I ran out of the cabin in my underwear. It had rained the entire week so it was very muddy. As I ran I fell, got up and kept running. He was coming after me. I was crying and falling; I didn’t know how to handle all of the lies and deceit and the situation I found myself. I was married now and pregnant; I believed I had no way out. And that is exactly why he waited to tell me. He waited until I was trapped before he told me things he knew would be devastating and/or might provide that last push for me to get out of the relationship. Instead, this was the start of my “documented mental illness.” This was the beginning of systematically providing details of intimacy he had experienced with other women but withheld from me. He enjoyed withholding from me, but letting me know “he was capable,” if only I could…In my sheltered, very naïve, 19 year old, hormonal mind, my hopes and dreams of love and romance were crushed.
The story in the last paragraph appeared in a motion 20 years later, but very different than what you just read. I just "went crazy" for no reason at all. He had documented this; he documented everything. Times and dates in hundreds of pages of journals. His journaling was not self-reflective and growth oriented, his journals were documentation of everything I did wrong in his eyes, from his perspective and distorted reality. He had a shoe box full of ammunition that he used freely and often. This is not how to cultivate a healthy relationship, but a way to gain the upper hand over another human being.
.....Peter laid out my clothes, Peter told me to color my hair a darker uglier color, Peter cut my hair, Peter packed my suitcases, he smelled my clothes, he checked my emails, he called me constantly at work, he analyzed me every minute of every day. He was never far from me. This is not love; this is another person controlling another, the opposite of what is natural. The opposite of a life worth living…