This article was penned by a guest writer, Quincy.
I was twenty; a fresh-faced and hopeful survivor of a three-day stay in the psych ward of the local hospital (the suicide attempt that landed me there being far less scary) and eagerly awaiting a brighter future and rescue from my, then, very married ex-boyfriend.
He was tall, foreign (therefore slightly exotic and handsome), interesting, but most importantly, offering me a job in his jewelry store. I managed to dodge his advances for three months but ultimately gave in to his pleas for love as I pitied his forlorn future attached to his baby mama–oh yeah, she was pregnant with their third child at the time. Having just survived years of dialysis and a successful kidney transplant, my natural instinct to nurture him kicked in quick, and to this day, I’m still amazed at how fast and deeply I fell in love with Marco.
It wasn’t long after Marco and his wife had their third child, that he kicked his family to the curb and rented an apartment with me (although, their marriage wasn’t legally over for another six years). Naturally, our eight-year relationship was doomed from the start; not until I experienced his hundreds of affairs with other women (and probably some men), trips to the hospital and calls to police, estrangement from my family and friends, abuse encompassing all forms, and countless hours chasing him or searching for his Benz in driveways of other women, did I accept our relationship was over.
Technically, I dated Jared the very same day I ended things with Marco. Jared was physically perfect–tall, muscular, handsome–it also didn’t hurt that he was a high-ranking cop, sentimental beyond belief, and what seemed like a good father. We met for coffee (he brought his son along), went to his house to watch a movie, and fell in love that night. It’s only in hindsight that I can now say how fitting it was that we met on April Fool’s Day.
Unlike my previous relationship with Marco, Jared constructed and played the ideal character I wanted him to be. He wanted to garden and forgo the partying. He introduced me to his family almost immediately. He had pictures of me in his office next to his son and mother. We were, for nearly three months, happy. Of course there were red flags–he didn’t want to be “controlled” into any sort of relationship status, his entire 1,500 plus social network consisted of busty babes, he asked me to move in a month into dating, he had a sob story of childhood sexual abuse he disclosed less than a week after we met, he had an unnaturally close relationship with his ex-wife and ex-girlfriends even though he constantly referenced their cruelty and insidious behavior–but he was gorgeous and safe and helped me secure a restraining order against Marco, and I loved him and wanted him more than anything or anyone I’d previously known.
During my eight-year stint with Marco, I advanced surprisingly well with my career and the trajectory I was on only looked up. The minute I started dating Jared, I lost interest and focus with my job. I started working remotely from home or texted Jared all day, pushing limits on deadlines and slipping up in meetings. Just as soon as things started to decline at work, Jared started needing weekends alone in another city to have time with friends and family. My world fell apart the night I got into his phone and discovered the multiple relationships and affairs with random women, his ex-wife, and his ex-girlfriend. There were I love you’s exchanged and plans for futures made with these women and I was the jealous and crazy girlfriend he couldn’t get rid of. Then I lost my job. I had nowhere to run and nothing to distract me from the hell I was in. And things only got worse.
I am writing this from my cheap hotel room; a baby crying on the other side of one wall, yells from an assumed drug dealer on the other. My puppy (a birthday gift from Jared) very nearly ate a cockroach off the bathroom floor this morning, and up until a week ago, I was a dehydrated 112 lbs. However, this is a luxury compared to the back of my car (that’s actively being repossessed) that I was sleeping in a month ago. I had months of back-and-forths with Jared but decided to walk away for good recently after I discovered some unsavory information about nefarious deeds he was involved in with his job. So technically, I ran away from him and am still running, hoping to evade his wrath upon discovering what I know.
I cannot trust anyone apart from two people very close to my heart and heavily invested in my well-being. My family only offers scarce words of encouragement, but might as well not exist for help. Men are only interested in helping if I can return another kind of favor, and no matter where I go or whom I speak with, I’m only reminded of my lack of judgement in trusting people.