Our story is not the most romantic love story of all. It does not have sweet moments of reminiscing and giggling moments of butterflies. It is not made up of fond memories of moments that were great and moments that weren't so great where we had to work through things as a couple. It is not made up of where we had out first kiss, our first date, when exactly we knew we wanted to spend out lives together. The day he proposed is not a fond day of remembrance and remembrance and pictures from that day are haunting and torturous. Our wedding day is triggering and excrutiatingly painful to look back on. Our honeymoon was the beginning of our hell.
Our story is shadowed with the bonds of religion and rules. By expectations and a mask of doing what we were told was right. It was clouded by the ignorance of not even knowing or having been taught what love was or what marriage really was. It was an approved escape for me from the daily fear and abuse only to hurl me into a whole of realm of finally facing the life we grew up knowing was truly a big lie.
Ah but how well we wore that mask we were taught to wear. How well the disguise was. How very long it lasted. For years it lasted. We kept the pain tucked away while we slowly rotted.
It took 4 years of marriage through hell and back before we were able to begin to start saying enough is enough. It was only when we let the masks come off and got real that we truly began to see the light. When we started facing out story. When we stopped shoving down the pain and started facing it that we started to heal. When we realized our brains were screwed up bad and we needed to set boundaries, speak the truth, get help and get support by people that had gone through situations like we had.
6 years of marriage, 8 years together, and we have only just begun in the last couple of years to know what love means and try to figure out what it is that we have as a couple. Cycles and fighting. Pain, losses, rejection, ugly truths about abuse in the past coming out, loneliness, joys, on the brink of separation, trying to start over, make new memories, find our way, ask the hard questions, sleepless nights of pain and tears...I don't know where we will go and what will happen but we keep on trying and fighting and fighting some more. This bond we have, this friendship we have is enough to keep me fighting. Hoping. Not giving up yet.
No our love story is not a beautiful romantic story of two people being attracted to each other and falling madly in love. When people we meet ask us "our story" we still have no idea what to say and we still feel the sting of that. We still feel the sting of not having a first kiss. The sting of not having those times to remember when he won over my heart. The sting of not having gotten to know each other much at all before we were married. The sting of having wed because of expectations and the lies that made us "one". The sting that the first year of marriage was lived in total fear and grew almost to complete distaste for each other.
So here I am choosing to keep remembering that our story hasn't ended yet. It's still just beginning as we try to keep starting over and rebuilding.
Flowers by - Rebecca's Sliver Rose