Beyond Lady Pandora – Episode 7 – Tainted Love

HOME

Beyond Lady Pandora – Episode12a – The Men In My Life Beyond Lady Pandora

It really f*cking amazes me that a man can honestly convince himself that he is just so amazing that he can hurt you, become a threat to your children, generally be a complete a**hole and somehow you will magically just want him. This is the case with pretty much every man I've ever been with. The whole lot of them, if you strung their brains all together, I'd still be smarter than them without even bloody trying. It's sad, it really is, because the truth is that a woman like me wants a strong man, yes.. but you have to have a good brain, a good head on your shoulders. You can be a tiger in bed but you better be able to hold a conversation and be willing to learn. I want depth, complexity, intelligence, wisdom.. I want it all and I will not accept less than I deserve for very long. The truth is, if you ain't got it all and I was single, you were a f*cking toy, temporary, plastic. Don't be surprised now, men have done it for generations. Being born with t*ts really changes sh*t in the overview of human complexity, who you are, or what you need. If I have tossed you to the side, stay there because trust me, I'll hurt your feelings if you come back. I'm not a princess, I'm not a crying maiden waiting to be saved. I'm a warrior, I've found someone who can actually stand beside me and take my back. That is so bloody rare in this world. It took over 40 years to find him and trust me when I say, I have his back 100%. Loyalty is everything and the fact is, I give that right up until you yourself show me that you are undeserving of my loyalty. I absolutely believe that he is the one, that rare gem, that will never become undeserving of my loyalty and love. You'll hear all about him later. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://fureverbeach.com/2021/10/02/beyond-lady-pandora-episode12a/ — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/luana-masters/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/luana-masters/support
  1. Beyond Lady Pandora – Episode12a – The Men In My Life
  2. Beyond Lady Pandora – Episode 12 – A Personal Letter to You
  3. Beyond Lady Pandora – Episode 11A – The List
  4. Beyond Lady Pandora – Episode 11 – Running Away
  5. Beyond Lady Pandora – Episode 10 A – In My Head

I cannot count the number of truly traumatic moments in my life. There are too many and they vary. What frightens me is that I know that I only remember the best parts of my life, so what awful things happened that the others inside of me remember? The things I remember are so awful, every good memory is tainted by the bad almost like candy dipped in poison. How much more awful was my life that these are my good memories? It’s a frightening thought, really.

I always felt so helpless, so vulnerable. I was always looking for a safe route to escape but I never found one. I felt worthless, completely and entirely. I felt alone. I gave up. Still, somehow I had this tiny little hope barely burning and I hated it, I hated myself for having that tiny bit of hope because everytime my hopes were dashed, it hurt so badly. How could I ever become what I could be when I came from such horrors? How could I dare to dream when all I had was nightmares? But that tiny flame kept burning, some part of me clung to it desperately no matter what. I did not want to be like them. I was so desperate to get away.

Mother moved while I was not home when I was 15. I sat on the steps crying, that is what I remember. I had a box of my stuff but nowhere to put it, where would I carry it to? I could not find her or my brother. I called my uncle somehow, the one who had brought us to her. He met me at the bus stop. He refused to give me the address. I was homeless again. I was abandoned again. I was terrified. I was 15. Uncle said that he would give me money for a bus ticket to leave town but it was not enough to get to my grandparents in swan river. I sat there, with money, he left me there. I had nothing. It was dark. I remembered hearing long ago about cousins halfway to my grandparents, I could make it that far. I had no address, just names. I took the bus, I was too afraid to cry. It was autumn, it was getting cold. I had called my friends place and her mother had answered. She said I could not see her, I was a bad influence. I did not even get to say goodbye to my only friend. I got off the bus in a new city and I found a park after wandering. I slept on the bench, alone, in the chill. I wondered what would happen to me.

A couple came along, they were young and said they were looking for a girl to play with. It meant a roof over my head for a day or two while I looked for my cousins so I agreed. I slept with them at night and wandered during the days until by chance, I ran across one of them. It was pure luck. He took me home and called my other cousin. They were happy to see me and took me in for awhile. I do not remember much at all except riding a moped. My 16th birthday came and I faintly remember a party for me at someone’s house. There were two men there that had just gotten out of jail, they were bikers. I passed out. I don’t remember much except waking up in a van with them. They were having sex with me, primarily one of them. He let the driver use me once. I supposed it was best to go along with it. I went into survival mode. They fed me, they were nice to me. They were taking me somewhere.

They stopped at one point, most of what I remember is blurry, chopped up. They got out and they came back and drove away. Not long after, the police stopped them. They took us all to the police station and were talking about a break and entry. Eventually, they let me ggo because the guys admitted I did not know anything. Did the police let me use the phone? No. They released me because I was innocent, a 15 year old traumatized girl, onto the street of a city she did not know. So, I sat on a bench wondering what I would do. I watched cars go by. I saw a man on a motorcycle having a smoke. I asked him for a cigarette. He gave me one and began talking to me and flirting with me. I told him what had happened when he asked. He took me to his home and had sex with me after making me bathe. He asked me to stay with him for a bit since I had nowhere to go. I had nowhere to go so I agreed. I was in another province. I thought maybe things would be ok for me now. Maybe, I would be ok. I was an idiot.

After only a day or so, a man came to the door. The man who had me warned me he would come. Apparently, I belonged to or was owned by a gang, those guys in the van. I was a person, how could I be owned? The man asked me if I wanted to stay there or leave with him to be held for those men. I was in shock, I was scared. Men were meeting about me, two gangs, to discuss who I belonged to. What the fuck was going on? I said I wanted to stay. I was just purely terrified. The man said I could choose and left. Some deal was worked out. I never heard about it again. I convinced myself it did not happen. Everything seemed sort of normal and good. I was being treated well. The man I was living with was 38 years old. He made me contact my uncle to get in touch by phone with my Mother. He got her consent to have me there with him. Since I was 16 and he had her consent, it was legal. I went along with it. Honestly, he was handsome and he had been kind to me. I thought maybe things would be ok. I liked him. We began dating. I do not remember much, just flashes. Me in school doing well. Me meeting a girl a year younger and making a friend. Me getting a job somewhere he told me to work. Everything was being told, what I could eat, where I could go, what I could do. Things got more and more controlling, I began to be afraid. On the surface, he was a kind man studying psychology with a young girlfriend he took great care of who was just a room-mate officially. Behind the scenes, I was his property to do with as he willed and he would constantly insult and demean me. I got depressed and scared. So, he invited his sister over who had tried to kill herself and blew off her arm and lived. She talked me, she was meant to be a warning about depression. She was a counsellor. She warned me not to upset her brother. It scared me more.

So, he took me to meet a woman who also tried to kill herself and blew off half her face but lived. Him and the other man treated her awfully, were so insulting, she was crying but trying to make them happy, serving drinks and hiding her face. It was meant be a warning. It terrified me. Seeing how they treated her made me realize I was in great danger. He treated me awfully. He slept with nearly every girl in town. He would threaten me constantly, he was obsessed with my weight and I would work out constantly at a gym. I did weight training, running, martial arts. I was good, they wanted me to train for competition but he would not allow it. He was jealous. He caught me just having coffee and discussing possibly competing with one of the black belts and he got angry, dragged me out threatening me. He took me out of martial arts. He did not even take me to the gym for awhile, he was sure I would cheat on him. He was obsessed. He constantly talked about his ex-wife, how she got pregnant after leaving him, how he was going to kill her. He was obsessed. He told me often that if I ever left him or cheated on him, he would kill me. I was scared of him. He said he would wait until I felt safe and years later, he would find me and shoot me. I was trying to make him happy but he got meaner until he reached the point where he purposefully raped me roughly, making sure it hurt so I would not bother him. It hurt horribly, I remember crying, begging him to stop and him just continuing and holding me in place. I do not remember much after that.

I woke up. I was 18. I was back in my home city in an apartment. I knew my age because I had a license. I knew I had gotten away. It all felt like a dream, like it wasn’t real but I knew it was. He would call, threatening me, saying he was going to kill me. I was terrified, I would hang up. He would call back, harassing me. He wanted me to come back. I refused. I was not going back. I believed he really would kill me. He had moved on to my 15 year old friend before I got away. I think she helped me get out so she could have him but my memories are cloudy. I just knew I was scared of him and could never let him find me. I changed my number. His words resounded through my mind, compounded by all the others. I would watch carefully, lock all my doors. I wondered who would kill me first and when.

I was 18, I looked for my childhood love. We had a promise to keep. I found him after some time. He was happy to see me and I reminded him of his promise. He told me he could not keep it because he would only hurt me. I did not believe he would ever hurt me. I wept silently as he told me, tears streaming down my face, my hair hanging in my face as I sat there silently. I did not dare speak, I did not want him to see that he had shattered me. It was my last good thing and it was going away. He stopped suddenly, lifting my chin, looking into my eyes and gasped. He said, my god, you love me. I whispered yes, shaking. He held me close to him and said he had no idea how much I loved him. He told me he loved me too and he would keep his promise. So, we began dating. I was over the moon. We were finally together. Finally, I was loved. Finally, I had a future. I was safe. I was so incredibly happy. I had this whole vision in my head of a house, a family, a bright future together. I was such a fool in love. I really believed in him.

I caught him cheating on me within the first week. You see, I had a female room-mate who lived with me. The brothers from my past had found me shortly before I found my love and I had a brief fling with the younger brother again. He had broken up with me because I was not fat enough. I remember him looking at me sadly as I said I understood and thanked him for his honesty. He said, someone has hurt you so badly for you to think I am kind. He had been being awful apparently to get me to dump him but ended up having to dump me because I thought he was nice. It was fine. Unfortunately, the older brother had started dating my room-mate and got her pregnant. They would come over with the new girlfriend and the four would sit there insulting me. I ignored them. Life was good. I had found my love. My brother had come over on his birthday, we were going to have drinks. The older brother had hit him for no reason and that was when I lost it completely. My brother left as I was screaming in his face. The younger brother was trying to get between us because I had absolutely lost it. Then things go dark until I’m in the rain, in the park, trying to calm down. The younger brother follows me there. He asks me what I want. I’m crying. I told him I wanted them out of my life, completely, forever. I never wanted to see them again. He was shocked, silent. He asked if I was sure and I told him yes. I never wanted to see them again. He tried to convince me that my now pregnant room-mate needed my help. I looked at him like he was insane. I told him she had made her choice, clearly, against my best advice. She was with them, she was now their problem, not mine. I owed her nothing. I had walked to the house where my love lived with his brother. I was scared, it was dark, I was wet and cold. I needed him.

When I arrived, they did not want to let me him. They said he was busy. I was confused, I was soaked, I was cold, I was angry. Finally, they let me in and I told them what happened. I said he would want to see me. They said he was upstairs and was not alone. At first, I did not understand but then a girl came down, saw me and left quickly. Then he came down. I was crying inconsolably. I was devastated. He was a liar. We went to speak on the porch and he said he did not realise that we were exclusive yet. I believed him, goddess forgive me, I believed him. I made it clear that we were absolutely exclusive or we were nothing. He promised that he would be faithful. I told him what happened and he moved me in with him right away and away from the assholes. He said he would never hurt me. He said he loved me. I believed every word. He was so beautiful. Long dark hair, strong shoulders and chest, the most lovely dark eyes. He was tall, he was broad, he was perfection. I only saw what I wanted to see. I saw beauty and love. I had no idea.

The jealousy began within months, it started slow but then began ramping up. He did not want me talking to guys, he did not want me dressing sexy or going out without him. It happened so slowly that it almost seemed natural. I did not really notice it until we were in our own home and I was pretty much always at home. He’d get mad if I left. He began accusing me of cheating. He began working as a bouncer at a bar, he would come home in the early morning, drunk out of his mind, accusing me and arguing. At first, it was just yelling, then it was choking, threatening and finally hitting, choking, kicking me. I was terrified of him, scared to upset him, scared to be alive when he got home. In the morning, he would never remember what he had done. I became pregnant multiple times, I would miscarry every time. Was it me? Was it the abuse? Was it the stress and fear? Every single time, I would lose the baby around 3 months. I lost so many. Every time, I would go alone to the hospital, he never once took me. Every time I would lay there alone, tears streaming down my face, miscarrying. Every time, I left without a child. Approximately 9 times before I finally had one child. I remember him chasing me down the street with an axe as I ran for my life. I ran all the way to my Mother’s. He did not remember doing it. I remember him catching me on the stairs as I ran once, grabbing me by the hair and dragging me back inside, beating me. He did not remember that either. He never did.

Why did I stay with him? I do not know. I loved him. Maybe I thought I could change him. Maybe I felt I deserved no better. Maybe I believed that was all there was. Maybe I gave up. I do not know. I mean, if even he could not love me, what was left? We had good times, of course we did but I was scared of him. I loved and feared him. I was sick all through my first child’s pregnancy. We had gotten married before he was born. His foster parents paid for the wedding. They were mennonite and all about appearances. I was not permitted to choose anything, not even my dress. I had no say. My father was there to give me away. We got married outside on a cloudy day. We were standing behind bushes waiting to be called. I had never asked my dad for anything but in that moment, I did. I looked at him, I told him I could not do this. I begged him to take me away. He said it was all paid for and pushed me out in front of everyone, a lamb to the slaughter. He led me to the altar, I said the words and the sun broke through shining on us. Everyone ooed and awed and said it was a sign from God, blessing this marriage. In the bridal photos, there is sadness in my eyes behind the smile. I wondered if he would kill me.

My first child was born on father’s day, it was his first son. He was over the moon that day and my life changed forever. It was a traumatic birth. I was a month overdue, I was scheduled for a c-section and my hips had not spread. I went into labor days before that date, my doctor was in another country. They were trying to reach her, trying to find a doctor. Labor was 24 hours. An intern was checking my dilation and was supposed to ge help when it was time but instead decided he should do an emergency episiotomy on his own. He slid the scissors, one part in each hole and cut. I was cut completely open from ass to vagina. Of course, then he hit the button fast as blood rushed out, other things began coming out and suddenly I had doctors, nurses, suture specialists everywhere. They thought I would die. I was fighting to get up to kill him, if I was dying so was he. But then they put my baby on my chest and he looked up at me and the whole world went away. I was lost in his eyes. I was in love, a pure complete love. I was a mother and I felt no pain. 128 stitches by the time they finished. All I cared about was my precious baby. That moment changed me completely. Every piece of me was in love as only a mother can be. I was going to protect him, love him, give him a good life. He would not suffer as I did.

Due to the complications, my healing took time. For the first week, I had such awful headaches, I could barely hold him. I layed on the couch, sleeping by his crib, my hand on his chest through the bars. I would not lose him. Eventually, I could sit, then walk slowly. It was hard, painful but oh god.. I had reason to live, to heal, to be. My husband became jealous of our son but when it came to our child, I was fierce. He would not abuse me in front of him, he would not speak ill around him. I would become a raging tiger. At first, it worked but not for long. Again, the drinking, gambling, cheating, coming home late drunk, the threats. Now, he began threatening to kill me and take the child. I did not believe in divorce. I told him time and time again that if he did not stop, I would leave him before he could ruin their lives. He came home one night with a gun and put it to his head while kneeling near our baby’s crib. I lost it. I begged him to stop, I begged him to put it down. Finally, I looked him straight in the eye and said fine, kill yourself. Do it but get the fuck away from our child first. He was stunned, shocked. I had chosen. He whined that I chose our son over him but he put it down and went to sleep. He never did it again. He claimed it was because his father died, he was traumatised but then a few months later, he gave the same excuse for coming home drunk and broke. I asked him how many times his father was going to die. Our marriage was hopeless and I was nearly done trying.

We had a second son in the heat of August, I was very sick. We had a dirt yard with a clothesline and I had been doing laundry when I went into labor. Things were happening very fast this time, there was no time to wash up from the mud created by wet dirt from hanging laundry. I could barely move from pain. I barely made it to the hospital. We were very poor due to his drinking and gambling. The nurses treated me horribly because I was dressed poorly and had muddy feet. They forced me into a shower first, I was crying in pain as they shamed me, standing there saying I should have showered first. Labor was two hours total before he was born. He came so fast. I told them he was full term but they kept saying I did not know that. They just treated me like garbage. My husband who had rushed home from work to drive me looked down at our son as I lay there, vulnerable and holding him and called me a whore, saying that was not his son. He looks just like me. He left and went to a bar, leaving me there with cruel combative nurses. I was crying, devastated, heart broken, holding my child. I put him in his little crib in my room for a moment as I wept for my son, for his father treating him so. A nurse came in, the meanest of them. She told me she was calling children’s services and having my baby taken away because I had dirty feet. I lost it. I panicked. I grabbed the phone, I told her to get out. I called my husband’s brother and told him what was happening. I said I am leaving with my son now, get that bastard brother of yours here with my son now to get us. He ran and got him as I packed our stuff, keeping my son right by me. When the next nurse came in, I demanded papers to sign myself out with my child. She tried to dissuade me but I made myself clear. You want to treat me like this? Really? Well, children services can come see me at home. No one is taking my child unless it is over my dead body. They got me the papers. I was livid.

They came together to get us and brought us home. I thanked his brother, he had pulled him out of a bar. I lost my mind on my husband once the children were sleeping. I told him if he ever said that was not his child again, I would leave with them and he would never see us again. I think I called him every name in the book. I was a mother and my children were not going to suffer, not for anyone. After that, the physical abuse stopped. He was still an asshole and would threaten me but not around the kids. I thought maybe things would get better. I loved my sweet babies so much. I was poor but I did all I could for them. I gladly went without for them. They were my world. My second child was different, I noticed that right away. He would not sleep, he woke every half hour. He hated being put down, he always wanted held. It was exhausting, I was sleep deprived. My oldest was a toddler. My youngest cried so much. I took him to doctors, everyone called me an over worried mom but I knew something was different about my son.

His development was slow, he did everything late. He had a stutter when he spoke. He did not play like other kids when he started playing. He did not like others in his space. He would strike out. He liked playing alone. He refused to eat, food was a constant battle, his weight was a battle. I was so stressed and worried about him. Their father was still being a complete dick and I kicked him out. He came by once and hit me so hard, I fell on the floor. Why? Because I would not take him back. God, I hated him. I did end up taking him back because he got into a fight. He was beaten so badly that he nearly died. I was called as his only family. He had noone else. He is the father of my children so I got a babysitter fast and I rushed down to the hospital. His face was a mess, a plastic surgeon had to work on him. When I got there, he was awake, yelling abusively at the nurses. I walked up to his bed, concerned but also embarassed. I was worried and reached out to him. He was cursing me, he was screaming at me, threatening me. Everyone stood there in shock. I tried to get him to stop but after 20 minutes, a nurse came in and told me to leave. She looked right at him and said I did not need to take this abuse when I had come to help him. I went back home. I got a call when he was sober and fixed. He could not leave alone. No one would come for him. He had to be watched for 48 hours. I took a deep breath and thought of my children. It was their father. So, I went and got him. He apologised and I brought him home and nursed him back to health. I was so mad that he squirmed his way back in like this. He knew I would not abandon him in his time of need and he used it to show me how much the kids missed him, how he would be a good father now. For my children, I took him back. I still loved him. I felt like I was crazy to do it but I felt I had to. I did not believe in divorce.

Things were good for awhile. We began exploring the bdsm scene a bit together. We started attending events. They were held in a bar, a private event that many attended. There was a dance floor, a bar and a dungeon in the middle. In the dungeon were two dungeon masters, experienced dominants there to ensure nothing went wrong. They were like dungeon security. It made me feel safe to explore and I was oddly fascinated with the equipment. I was no stranger to the fantasies, the fetishes, the desires…but this was reality. So, we got a flogger, a 40 lash oiled italian leather flogger, custom made. We went into the dungeon and he flogged me. When he did this, I found myself floating. It was strange. The pain focused me, it freed me from the pain inside, from the fear. For a moment, I was free, lost in the lashes as they fell on my back and ass. At first, it fascinated and scared me. Liking pain was weird but I could not deny how I loved it. It excited me. We continued attending and playing in the dungeon, the party was only once every few months. Well, one night an old friend of his and my mothers, a very heavy lady, began flirting with him. He decided a threesome was a good idea, I was drunk and not in control really. He was supposed to keep me safe. I trusted him. They took me into the dungeon and used two of our floggers. One flogged me until their arms tired then the other would do it. They just kept switching, flirting, kissing. I was lost in what they call “sub space”. I was floating, the rhythmic slaps and stings, the heavy thud. I was lost. The dungeon masters started getting concerned, they were not stopping. They asked me if I was ok, I was confused, I was unable to really understand. I could not think. I said yes because I truisted my husband. He would never harm me. By the time they were forced to stop, I could not walk. I had orgasmed from the extreme pain. I was embarassed. The crowd watching was in complete awe of my reactions to such extreme flogging. But now, I was lost, confused, dragged out by those two to our home. There was no aftercare. They had sex with me, I could barely move. When I finally managed to crawl out away from them on my hands and knees, they keot going without me. I covered myself. I was out of it, crawling out for help. I was confused and hurt. Of course, there was no help for me. I could not stand. The baby cried and I crawled to him, my husband’s younger brother was sleeping in the livingroom. I saw him there. I crawled to the crib, each movement hurt. I pulled myself to my feet crying and looked down. My youngest son had a bloody nose. I comforted him, checked he was ok, cleaned him up and got him back to sleep. Then, I lost it. I crawled back, determined. They were asleep, his brother was awake and looked at me. I could barely move but I glared at him. It had to be him that did that to my son. Only he was there not busy. I glared at him and he went to sleep.

I crawled to a blanket and passed out. I woke in horrible pain. My entire back and ass was black and blue. I could not stand or sit for three days. I went to a doctor as soon as I could stand. My husband would not take me, he was scared. After scans and examinations, I discovered a cist on my ovary had burst from the beating. The pain was incredible. I crawled to care for my children when needed, I walked when I could. I healed. He became controlling and abusive to me again. At one point, a woman came over and raped me cruelly with long nails, pushing him out of bed. I was begging her to stop, begging him to help. He sat there and watched til she left. I lay there crying. I no longer thought of him as anything but my legal husband. He was a coward, a complete prick. I was one inch from leaving him but I was scared. Would he kill me? What would happen to my children? His brother was not allowed over after that. I needed to get away but I had to plan it. I had no job, no money, no family, nothing.

One night, he came drunk which would just happen periodically with him. He’d just vanish on pay day, come home way late, drunk, abusive. This time, he had missed dinner with my uncle whom I was trying to gain a relationship with. He came in so drunk that he pissed all over the foyer right in front of us. The children were asleep upstairs and I was scared. This was not good. He was rude to my uncle, who then left. He then started on me. He threatened me, he choked me, he threw me on the couch but this time, I snapped. He went to hit me and I punched him in the solar plexes with everything I had. He went down. I told him to go to sleep, he went to the couch and fell asleep. We were over, in my mind in that moment, I had enough. I had to strike my husband. This had to end. I went up to the bathroom secure that he was asleep. I came out and heard my youngest son downstairs. I flew down those stairs calling him, terrified. I got the within a few feet and stopped dead. His father was awake, he had handed him a knife and asked him to stab him. My heart stopped. I grabbed my son, tossing the knife and raced him back to bed, calming him. I went back downstairs screaming at him. He went back to sleep. I barely slept all night, protecting my children. When my husband woke, I got up and helped him get ready for work.

I stood right beside him, looked him in the eye and said tomorrow is our tenth wedding anniversary. He smiled. I said, we are not going to make it to ten. He was shocked, then angry, then threatening. I looked at him dead calm and told him not to come home without a truck because his stuff would be on the porch and he was not coming in. He threatened to kill me. I told him he better not miss because I would do what I had to to protect my children. He left. I was terrified. I was scared, I had no idea what I would do but I was free of him now. Now, I believed in divorce and I filed. I still loved him deeply, my heart broke filing for divorce. I felt broken and shattered, on autopilot, I did what I had to do. I did not really care what happened to me but I had to protect my sons.

I had called the police because I was scared he would kill me. They arrived and warned me that due to the zero tolerance policy on domestic abuse, if he accused me of hitting him, they would take the children and charge us both. Then they asked me if he hit me. I knew what I had to do for my children. I said no, I just wanted them to know if something happened to me, it was him. We all knew I was lying so they went to his work and cautioned him and that was it. I could get no help. The sad part is I still loved him but I could never take him back ever again. I had to find a way. I had to survive. He was just another monster. They were all monsters and I, I had to be a knight because no one else would. He could join the line up to kill me. I was a mother. I was going to give my children a good life at any cost. I had panic attacks regularly by now but I could not stop going, moving forward. I had to. I had children. I cannot explain to you this drive I had and have for my children, it is pure love, I would fight on two broken feet for them. Everything I did after their births was for them. They were my life. They saved my life simply by existing.

He still had a key and once we came home to find he had destroyed everything. Whole bookshelves were knocked over, everything on the floor. It looked like a tornado had been through our home. He took the boys game system. He said he needed it. It broke my heart. I had married the love of my childhood, my hope for a future but he had never grown up. I did. He could not be a father, it just wasn’t in him. He had no fatherly instincts, he was selfish and destructive. What I wanted would never be. My sons were mad at me. I had protected them from the truth. They were young. They did not understand. I refused to speak ill of their father so I just explained we could not be with him. It was hard. Eventually, they accepted there must be a reason and forgave me. During my marriage, I had challenged for my GED. This means you write to the minister of education asking to take the test. You get no education beforehand, I studied on my own and I went in and I passed. I got my GED. So, I had a grade 7 education, a GED, and two small children. I had an ex who was violent and abusive. All the bills were behind due to his drinking. I was in a bad situation and I had to find a way for my babies, alone. I no longer believed in romantic love at all. My heart had been crushed. I trusted no one. I knew better. I had failed at everything all of my life. I had been a victim. Now, it had to change. I was backed into a corner and like a wild animal, I came out baring my teeth. I would stand and if I fell, I’d get back up no matter what because I had to. It wasn’t about me anymore.