** All names have been changed for confidentiality **
** Warning - drug/alcohol abuse, suicide and depression mentioned in this blog **
October 2015, the month that was the beginning of the worst year of my life.
I had met mark via a dating app. It was right before my 23rd birthday. We had talked for a little while prior to meeting in person. He was an electrical apprentice, and he was working out in Sudbury, ON temporarily. Mark was turning 21 at the time, so 2 years younger than I was. Mark seemed to be such an amazing catch. He was so young with a great job, making great money, he had his own house, car, motorcycle and he had just bought a boat. Before I knew all the things he had, I fell for his personality and his "way with his words".
At First, wasn’t sure if I was attracted to him based on his photos. He had a decent sense of humor and he made me feel special. Once I found out he owned his own house and all the other things, I was so happy because he was such a drastic changed from my first boyfriend, Damien. I was so excited to introduce him to my parents because they would be happy, I found someone with drive and motivation to make a good life for themselves.
Mark seemed to get really attached to me very quickly. He always said that he just “dives in”. I was surprisingly okay with that. Prior to meeting in person, the day before my birthday, he asked me for my address. Without even thinking, I gave it to him. The next day, my 23rd birthday, there was a knock at the front door. My mom opened the door to a big flower arrangement with a birthday balloon tied to it. The card read, “Happy Birthday! Have a Wonderful day, Love your Secret Admirer”. I instantly knew that it was from Mark.
I quickly called him and asked if it was from him, he said, “Surprise!”. I immediately melted. No guy had ever ordered me flowers and sent them to my house as a surprise. He had a way of making me feel like the most important person in his world.
That weekend, he finally came home from Sudbury for the weekend. We decided to meet up on the Sunday before he had to go back to work. I was so nervous but so excited. On my way to Tim Hortons, where we met, I called my really good friend at the time, Julie.
Julie and I worked together as well. I had to get her to calm me down because I was so nervous and freaking out about how I was about to finally meet my Mark. She wished me luck and told me to keep her posted.
Mark and I grabbed a coffee and decided to go for a drive. We ended up at a beach in the north end. We walked along the beach with our coffees and talked. It felt very comfortable and easy. Eventually we made our way back to his car and decided to sit and listen to some music before he dropped me back off at my car. A song came on that I didn’t like, so I went to grab his phone to change it. He grabbed it out of my hands and said, “ I don’t like people on my phone, I will change it”. I found that kind of weird, but I just looked past it.
The date came to an end, he dropped me off at my car and we went our separate ways. He didn’t kiss me goodbye, just a hug. Which for the first date, that is fine. However, his reasoning was that he wanted it to be unexpected. Okay, whatever floats your boat.
Another week goes by, he returns from Sudbury, and I spent the night at his house. We had a great night. Watched some movies, made dinner and just relaxed with each other. When I went to the washroom, I noticed that there was long blonde hair in his hair brush. I mentioned it to him and he said that he used to live with his ex-girlfriend and she was blonde. Of course, I had to look into this to confirm. I found her on Facebook and she was not blonde, nor was she ever blonde. At least not the blonde that I saw in the brush. I let it go.
Another night, we were in his car driving somewhere. His phone was connected to his car and a phone call came through. The name “Shannon” popped up. He looked at the name and looked at me with a look of panic. I looked at him and asked who Shannon was. He said it was an ex-girlfriend of his, and he didn’t know why she would be calling. He denied the call and we kept driving. I still to this day have no idea who Shannon was.
Throughout our relationship, I noticed that he had a lot of little rules that I needed to obey. Some things were things like I wasn’t allowed to text “k”, I couldn’t wear lipstick, I had to tell him what I was doing and who I was with, I wasn’t allowed to stay past 9 pm during the week. I remember leaving his house around 8:45 one night, I didn’t have to work the next day until 3. My friend Jessica called me and asked me if I’d like to meet up. So instead of going straight home, I drove to her house. Mark called me as I was driving about something unrelated. He asked if I was home yet and I told him that I was heading to Jessica’s place instead. He got mad at me and called me a liar. I asked him how I was a liar? He said, “ you told me you were going straight home, and now you’re saying you’re going to Jessica’s. You lied.” I reassured him that I didn’t lie, I didn’t even know I was going to Jessica’s house when I left his. He was upset with me but I didn’t think anything of it.
Things started to get a little rocky as Christmas approached. He seemed to have a problem with every thing I did or said. I didn’t know how I could please him. He wanted to have control over me, and he couldn’t. I didn’t allow him to. I think that was the demise of the relationship.
As we got closer to Christmas, we decided that we would have Christmas with our own families and exchange our gifts to each other quickly on Christmas day. Mark seemed hesitant about meeting up for some reason, he kept changing plans. He finally made up his mind about when he wanted to see me, as he always made the decisions. He picked me up and we went to my parent’s house to exchange gifts because no one was home. We could have some alone time. As we opened our gifts, he seemed really antsy and eager to leave. He was acting very cold towards me, so I started to get upset and worried. He told me that he needed some space. He said that we weren’t breaking up, just needs some space. He wanted two weeks to himself. He said, it will make us miss each other and make our relationship stronger. I shamefully agreed.
Mark dropped me back off at my family event and I was in such a terrible mood. Who tells someone on Christmas that they want space? Obviously I am going to start to worry and over think everything.
During the 2 weeks off from seeing each other, I asked him about the plans we had made for New Year’s Eve. He told me that he didn’t think it was a good idea if we spent it together, but he said he would let me know. I really don’t know why I didn’t just break up with him right then and there. I was stupid, young and in love. The eve of New Year’s Eve, he called me to tell me that he and his dad are going to NYC for New Year’s Eve. They were leaving that night. I had no say in the matter.
While he was gone in NYC, he barely reached out to me, only said Happy New Year around 10:30pm because “his phone was about to die”. I was so sad that year. Thank god for my friend Sarah who took me in and fed me all kinds of delicious food.
January 2nd rolls around, he is back home. I was coming back from Toronto, and he told me that he missed me. He wanted to see me. It had been just under 2 weeks since I saw him, and I couldn’t wait to see him! I was supposed to work an afternoon shift that day. I asked a co-worker if we could switch shifts so that I could go see Mark. This is where another one of his controlling rules come in. I wasn’t allowed to call in sick or miss work for any reason. He told me to never change my work schedule for any reason, even to see him. I wanted to see him so badly, so I pretended that my co-worker had asked me to switch, and it just worked out in my favor.
When I told him that I didn’t have to work so I could come over, he asked me if I called in. I said no, my co-worker asked to switch shifts. I could hear it in his voice that he didn’t believe me. I ended the conversation because I was packing up to leave Toronto. About 15 minutes go by, Mark calls me. I answered and he said, “Are you ready to tell me that you lied to me yet?”. I was so confused and asked what he meant. He told me that he had called my work, asked if I was working today and they told him that I asked to switch shifts. First, total invasion of privacy. Second, I don’t care who you are, you do not call someone’s place of employment. Third, who the hell told him that I asked to switch and why did they do that?
We started to argue on the phone, and it was heading in the direction of us breaking up. I told him that we needed to see each other and talk about the situation in person. He surprisingly agreed.
He picked me up, and drove around the corner, sat in his car and talked. He said that he couldn’t trust me anymore. If I could lie about this, what else am I lying about? I tried to explain that the only reason I did that was because I missed him after not being allowed to see him for almost two weeks. He didn’t see my point and just decided to end the relationship. We both cried like little babies. Which looking back at it, is very confusing to me based on the events that took place afterwards. He told me he loved me and that he wishes I never did this to him. It was 100% my fault that he had to break up with me.
To be continued...