I met Hans in 8th grade. We had the same anchor time. Our first kiss was a dare at Audrey’s house where he only lived two streets away from. I don’t remember exactly how it started but he and his group of friends started walking to my house everyday. They never called and they were never invited but we didn’t really mind. My house, I would find out later was a lot different from all of theirs, ours had a lot of food, an absence of drugs and alcohol, and two parents that actually gave a shit. And my parents liked most of the boys that hung out but growing up, I was not allowed to date. Naturally, life happened. I ended up keeping Hans’ and my relationship a secret for most of the time we were together. It still blows my mind that they say they had no clue.
The year that I went away to collage was one of the toughest in my life. Before I left, my dad and I had gotten into a fight about paying for collage and ended up not talking for almost a year. My relationship with the rest of my family wasn’t much better either. Up at school the first year, I never called home and my only friend was Audrey. I was miserable. Hans missed me and sometimes we fought because he was afraid that I was going to find someone else while I was away.
My first break home for Christmas I spent most of my time at my ‘friend’ Hans.’ I remember the night, there was a terrible snow storm and the grandma got run over by a reindeer cartoon movie was on. The family in the movie had a ridiculous last name and I said to Hans jokingly, ‘when we get married, lets change our last name to that.’
He got very serious and asked me if I would marry him right now. He wanted to get in the car and drive to Vegas. I thought he was joking.
The next day, he called me and told me he had kissed another girl, jenii. He broke up with me on Christmas Eve. I was beside myself. I thought he was all I had and thought he was my future. I shamelessly begged him back and promised that we would get married. As time passes the clearer these memories become. For some time after it all happened, I couldn’t really remember much. We ended up getting married one weekend mid January at the court house. I didn’t tell my parents that I was even coming home. I knew immediately that I’d made a mistake but I didn’t know what to do except go with it. I told my parents one week later. My mother was livid. I’ve never in my life seen her so angry. I didn’t know it then but have my family the kind of scars that will never go away.
But surprisingly things at home started to get a little bit better. I started talking to my dad again. He tried to help us start a life. Hans refused to step up to the plate. He wanted all the fun of having me but didn’t want to put in any effort. After a fight, he stopped speaking with my family and split my life in two. For years, I lived two very separate lives and although my parents now knew about our relationship they knew next to nothing about what was happening in the other half of my life.
Things with Hans got ugly. Very very ugly. He was not nice to me in any sense but I loved him and felt obligated to make it work. Finally, one day I’d had enough and after one of our arguments I stopped answering his calls. That was the beginning of our roller coaster of breaking up and getting back together. I lost count of how many times we did that.
I went to counseling and it helped a little but he was like my drug and I could never really shake my habits. When I would leave he always knew exactly what to say to manipulate me into coming back. Numerous suicide attempts, girls, and threats included. I have zero self-esteem. I was convinced that no one could ever love me but him.
That’s the thing though about losing the person you think means the most to you over and over and over again. You get stronger every time.
After four years of hell I left him for good. Seeing him refuse help at the hospital on Christmas Eve was the last time I saw him.
Why do I invest so much in people that don’t give a shit about me and how do I stop?