My topic today is a dark one – and not the fun kind of dark, either – but it’s one that I really want to talk about. If you have been following us for a while, you know that I took a bit of a break to deal with my own issues at work and mental problems. One of the things I promised back then was a post (or several) about my past marriage and the abuse I went through at the hands of my ex-wife. If I am honest with myself – and with you, dear reader – my intentions for that post will never come to fruition.
I wanted to go very in depth, but I don’t think it will happen. It’s way too dark and brings up a lot of personal demons that I have honestly had the door closed on for a while now. But like a good necromancer, I know bringing something back from the dead can be useful.
So, here’s the short version.
Falling into the Dark
My ex-wife was my first true introduction into the worlds of BDSM and poly. Sure, I had kinky fantasies about what it would be like not being able to move during sex and being ordered around, but I never had anyone to try it out with. My first sexual partner recoiled at those ideas when I brought them up. Then I met my ex, and she was kinky as well, a Domme to my submissive side.
Long story short, the relationship became (or started out – I’m honestly not sure) emotionally abusive. I didn’t realize it until I was away from my ex-wife for two months. I was in the hospital getting a bone marrow transplant and actually talked to people about it, one of whom was my mother. Granted, I didn’t bring up anything kink-related in those talks, but that doesn’t really matter.
What did matter was that my ex checked most of the boxes involving emotional/mental abuse, if not all of them.
One of the biggest signs – and usually one of the first ones – is isolation from friends and/or family. I never had many friends, but the few I did have were close. Over the first few years of our relationship, my old friends quickly left and were replaced with friends of hers. I also stopped talking to any of my own family members. Whether that was “teenage rebellion” or my ex, I will never know. Either way, it happened, and my ex made sure it stayed that way. At least, until I got cancer, then there was no way around it.
The Pitch Black Moment
You can, and in fact should, stand up for yourself when you are being abused, emotionally or physically. I never did, and looking back now, I regret not standing up for myself and my needs.
The perfect example of this is with Illiana. She has been in and out of my life for years now. The first time I met her, it was online. We talked in a chat room and became close friends. One night, when I was drunk off my ass, I told her that I loved her. When I sobered up the next day, she asked if I remember saying it. I didn’t. She asked if it was true, and after a few seconds of thought, I said it was, that I did love her (and have never stopped loving her).
We began dating long distance. Illiana became my first submissive and allowed me to explore my Dominant side. My ex appeared to even get along with her, although she used her position as my Domme to manipulate us all. She made me “give” Illiana to her lover because she thought I wasn’t dominant enough to have a submissive and forced Illiana to accept it if she wanted to be with me, but we did what we thought we had to.
Fast forward a bit and the three of us finally convinced Illiana to come visit us, with the idea of her living with us. After missing the first bus due to an understandable fear of the unknown, she did. With that missed bus though, my ex put in a stipulation that we would do a trial run of a week and see how it would work with Illiana in the house. That was the Sword of Damocles hanging over the whole week.
During that week, Illiana and I got even closer. On my wedding anniversary, after we both had to listen to my ex and her boyfriend have sex in the other room – while I hadn’t received so much as a “Happy Anniversary, Honey” – Illiana and I made love for the very first time in the physical world.
At the end of the week, my ex decided that having Illiana live with us would not work, and even though she knew that Illiana didn’t know our city or anyone else in it and that she had no money from buying that second ticket to get to us, she wanted her gone immediately. She didn’t care that we were literally putting her out on the street with nowhere to go and no way of getting back home. She just wanted her gone. Even though I was very much in love with Illiana, as the house’s “hatchetman” (the guy who does the dirty work that no one wants to do, but still has to be done), it was my job to tell her this and to make sure my ex’s will was carried out.
I won’t go into details, but it was one of the worst moments of my life – and I’ve gone through cancer.
At that point, I should have stood up for myself and said that I wanted Illiana to stay. In fact, I should have insisted on it. But I had been conditioned to just accept her decisions as my own without saying anything about my own feelings and point of view by this point in our relationship.
This one incident was the straw that finally broke the camel’s back. From then on, I never really loved my wife; I only thought I did and was going through the motions.
Fighting for the Dawn
I stubbornly spent a few more years in this toxic and loveless relationship, then I finally made a call to my mother. That’s when you know things just got real, when Mom has been called in. I was done. I left my ex and everything about our relationship behind, or so I thought.
I hadn’t blocked her on social media because I did have to give her my new address for divorce papers. I didn’t say anything else, though. I was too drained from everything I had just gone through to do much of anything, even talking, and I certainly didn’t want to talk to her.
A few days later, she messaged me that my dog – whom I had to leave behind – was injured. It was nothing major or anything, just a normal dog injury. I didn’t reply because I knew that if I did, she would just turn it into my fault somehow.
But even saying nothing was the wrong move. After a few hours of not replying, she sent me one of the worst messages I have ever received. It angers me to this day: “I knew it, you don’t even care about your dog. Did you ever care about anything?” After that message, I angrily blocked her and everyone close to her.
I tell you this to illustrate that even after the relationship is over, the abuse can continue even from hundreds of miles away.
Into the Sunrise (At the End of the Night…)
I know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of emotional abuse and that it is one of the true evils of this world. It is insidious and can creep in inch by inch, and before you know it, you are a broken thing who doesn’t know who you really are or what you truly feel anymore. You can find yourself being controlled in ways that you never consented to or in ways that you consented to in the beginning, but they have become something damaging and toxic that you no longer enjoy. Your abuser may even go after you with insults and digs after you’ve left everything behind, just so they can still feel like they have some control over you.
My story has a happy ending, though. I am with Illiana now, one of the most awesome people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Because of her, I now know how a relationship is supposed to be, how uplifting and wonderful being in a healthy relationship is. Even though I have gone through hell and back a few times and those experiences have shaped who I am, they don’t define me. I refuse to allow them to define me.
“Only through fire is a strong sword forged” -Master Yoda
As always, remember: This is your life; live it your way! And make sure it is YOUR way, not someone else’s.
If you or someone you know is the victim of abuse, there is help out there for our community! Here are some resources for getting that help at whatever point in the darkness you need it:
National Domestic Abuse Hotline: 800-799-7233