The Engagement that changed my life. Welcome back to another Storytime. The engagement that changed my life. I have not done a storytime in a really long time and I felt I should share one. Before I start, I want to say that this Storytime is about Domestic violence and Sexual Assault. Y’all know me and know I like to keep things real, so please do not expect anything else than real.
The Engagement That Changed My Life
When I was 21 years old, I was introduced to a man by my sweet mother, who had been always had my best interest at heart. Since I turned 21, my mum had been emotional because I am growing up and has reached adult age. She believed it was time to get start thinking about settling down and get prepared to start my own family.
I, on the other hand, was just starting to live an independent lifestyle. I had just moved out of my parent’s house and got my first apartment. Young, free and still in college, I was living the dream life. Due to my beauty, I was chased around by boys who wanted to date me, and that gave me a nice feeling. Marriage or Settling down was nowhere near my mind. So everything my mum was saying or suggesting went in one ear and out the other ear.
However, she eventually got my attention when one day she came home with a man and introduced me to him. I was just being respectful and nice when I met him, he was young and handsome, just wasn’t my type. My mum was very happy and I loved seeing her happy, so I just played along with it. Chris and I immediately started dating and I was very unsettled. It was more like’ Be the good girl and just go along with the flow’ type of thing, even if I had to pretend to be happy because my mum and the rest of the family was very excited about the news – Sonia has found someone.
One day, Chris called to take me out on a date. For some reason, my mum was very excited and asked me to go get dressed. My mum and I went to the bedroom to get dressed and it was then she dropped a bombshell. Chris was about to propose and she asked me, what was I going to say, I said ‘I don’t know’. Then she said, ‘ Maybe just say Yes, you know, just to make everyone happy.’
I try to explain to her that I don’t have feelings for him, she told me,’ Love will grow when I spend more with him’. My heart dropped. I became numb. Due to the respect I have for my mother and being the ‘Good Girl’ that I was, I agreed.
Chris and I went to a cafe, and he went to place our order at the bar. The whole time all I could hear was my mother voice telling me to say ‘ YES, just to make everyone happy’. So anyway, he came back and we started talking about stuff..until…our drinks came in, turned out he had asked the waitress to put the engagement ring in my glass. As I started drinking, he went down on his knees and I immediately stopped drinking. Guys, my heart started beating very fast.
I Said No!
Chris purpose ‘ Sonia, Will you be my wife?’ I already knew my answer, which was no, and guess what? I said ‘NO!’ Still, on his knees, Chris wouldn’t take no for an answer and said that I was embarrassing him and people was watching. I told him, we don’t know each other, so why should I say yes? He said because he loves me.
Then my mum voice’s played in my head, and I just said, ‘Ok, yes. I will marry you.’ I wanted to run out of the place after that. Chris was happy and phoned everyone. Turned out the ring was too big for my finger, so we went back to the jewellers to resize it. Everyone was happy for us. When we got home, my mum had already called everyone back home in Africa, telling about the exciting news. Although I was not happy at all about it, it was nice to see everyone happy. Little did they know this was the start of my nightmare.
Beginning Of The End
So there I was, at 21 years old and engaged to a man I barely know. Things were kicking off well. We did everything together, our friends and family were all happy for us. Until..one day, everything changed forever. Chris started showing this odd behaviour, he would get jealous and try to stop me from talking to other guys, at first it was flattering but then I never knew he was serious until he started being controlling. He would take my phone away from me, demand for my password to Facebook and Emails account, go out the whole day with the keys and do not come home until late at night with my phone.
I was so confused about what was going on. I didn’t understand why he was acting like this. When I said asked him, he would just shout and tell me to mind my business. I started feeling scared, I couldn’t call or talk to anyone about this because Chris had access to everything. Sometimes when my mum calls, he would be right beside and hear our conversation, even tells me what to say to her. She sounded so happy thinking I was happy.
The act became too much on me, I felt like I was in prison in my own home. I didn’t even want him to sleep with me anymore and he would threaten me by saying ‘I am your husband, it’s my right to take it when I want it’. At that point, I felt numb as I have no control over my own body. Sometimes I threatened to call the police, he got it in his head that the police couldn’t do anything because he was in the process of joining the Army.
Depression Leads To Suicide Attempt
I have never felt so depressed to a point where I wanted to kill myself before. I felt the only way out was to just die and rest in peace. My parents couldn’t help out because they were celebrating, I had lost contact with friends, even the police could not save me either. I really throwing a bottle against the wall and telling my so-called prince charming that I wanted to die. To my surprise, he offered to help me by actually spreading the broken bottle pieces and telling me to just lie down there.
My whole body was hurting and weak. Sometimes after sexually assaulting me, I would try to get up and go have a shower, the upper part of my legs was so sore, my vagina was aching and bleeding. I would spend a few hours in the shower, pretending I was just having a really good shower, just because I didn’t want to come out. Then soon after, he started following me to the toilet and watched me pee or poop. And all this time, he was calling me his wife, tells me he loves me so much and doesn’t want anybody to take me away from me – that was why he was doing it.
Finally A Way Out
Eventually, Chris finally gets to go into a training camp with the Army. I felt so happy that this was my way out of the ordeal. Before he left, he apologised for everything he had done and asked for my forgiveness. At that point, I just wanted him to leave and never come back again. So I just said I have forgiven him.
As soon as he left, I went straight to my parent’s house, who was really upset with me for not being in touch with them. I sat them down and explained everything. My own mother did not believe me as she was asking questions, trying to make it look like it was my fault that all this happened – You could have run away, call the police, call us, or do something. It was confusing because one minute she’s saying she’s angry with him and wishes him dead etc, then the next, she is asking me questions about why I did not do anything.
When you are going through a relationship that is full of anger, controlling and jealousy, you don’t think straight. You want out but then he is telling that even the Police can not save you, what would you do? Especially when everyone else is thinking he is the perfect ‘Prince Charming’. The sad thing is that I helped by pretending to be happy and spoke highly about him and behind closed doors, he was a ‘Monster’.
The Final GoodBye
Chris phoned and my mum was yelling on the phone to him, he acted like he doesn’t know what I was talking about. He completely denied everything. My mum was very apologetic of the fact that she introduced me to him and set up the engagement. I was hurt and yes I blamed her for everything that had happened – if only she had listened to me when I told her, I was not ready to get married or him or anyone. None of this would have happened.
Later, I got home. And Chris called, tried to talk to me and apologised, saying he doesn’t know what came over him or why he treated me like that. I told him it’s okay. Just stay away from me. I blocked him on all social media, my phone contacts. He wanted me to post his clothes over to the camp. And I did along with the engagement ring.
My mum and I relationship were not in a good place up until Now. In fact, we are still working on the relationship, because so much more had happened after this ordeal. But I believe it’s getting stronger each year. I have forgiven her and Chris and myself too. Even though this was 8 years ago, it left me scarred for life. I try to get on with my life and I think I have done a good job at it but I think this is part of the reason why my dating life has not been strong.
Sometimes I still get nightmares about it, especially when I get into a relationship with someone. It gets to a point where sometimes I feel like, they are trying to control me, and I would do or say anything that will break the relationship immediately. Only because I don’t want history to repeat itself.
So yes, I have changed. My friendship was ruined because of it. No one was willing to understand what happened. I had lost friends, and myself. I became really scared of everyone. Although, I had to push because I had gotten My First Job straight after Chris left. So there was no time to cry or heal. I just had to get up and get on with life with my new job. I suppose it helped me by stopping me from thinking about it.
One Word. RUN. You just can’t change an abuser, nothing you do will stop them. The fact you are still there, makes the abuser think this behaviour is acceptable. And they will continue. So just RUN. I don’t care if you have to break a window or the door to get off the house. You just have to RUN and never look back.
Wow, look at that, I have written over 2,000 words on this post. I really hope you have enjoyed it and learn something from it. The reason why I decided to write the post up is that I want to finally let go of it. I am about to be 30 years old, that will make it 9 years of silently living in pain.
I want to be happy and live life to the full, I want to meet a man that will love me for who I am. This can only happen if I give space for it. And this is me letting go and creating that space.