Noni Stinson

Then He Came Along, by Noni Stinson

So there I was, a young, single parent struggling through college with no hope or help at the time. My baby brother, who is 9 years younger than me, was also in my care. I had to care for the both of them, attend school full-time and work full-time as well. I was burning the candle from both ends and I often found myself in perdicaments where I had to make bad choices just to survive…just to keep my lights on or be able to eat. Then one day in March of 2001, I met my future husband, Solomon. I had no idea whatsoever that I would marry this man when I first met him. Hell, I didn’t even like him. I found him to be arrogant and ghetto, but he was persistent. We met at a car wash that I frequented because a friend of mine owned it and he would wash my car for free every Saturday. Solomon would get one of the workers to put his phone number in my ashtray after they finished detailing my car. I would toss it out the window as I drove off each time. Then one particular Saturday, I can’t remember why, I called him. He offered to take me out. I told time that I would meet him at the restaurant and I did. We actually ended up having a nice time and we talked for hours and got to know each other. Or rather he got to know me and I got to know who I thought he was. I say this because he introduced himself as Sean and almost everything he told me about himself I would eventually find out was a lie. Having learned about my financial situation, he gave me 300 dollars at the end of our meal and told me to let him know if I needed more to get my bills caught up. Silly me, I thought that I had met my prince charming. Little did I know that that was just the begining of him systematically manipulating me in order to control me. As our relationship progressed, he became more and more vocal about how I should dress, who I should hang out with, where I should go, etc. He would tell me that I didn’t need my family and that they obviously didn’t care about me because they weren’t helping me. He would tell me that he was my family and all I needed was him, and I believed every word of it. See, I never had a man tell me that he loved me or take care of me or show me any type of positive attention with seemingly expecting nothing in return. All they ever did was take…take whatever I had to offer… my love, my kindness, my money, my self-esteem, my body, my pride (you get the picture) and offered nothing in return. So how could I not fall for this man who seemed to be an answer to my prayers. I didn’t have to work anymore and could focus on school because he paid my bills. My daughter finally had a father figure. He treated her like his own child. Better yet, he treated her better than his own child because I later found out that he had a daughter that he was not there for financially, physically or emotionally. I thought life was great until a few days after Christmas when he hit me for the first time. This was not out first fight. We had argued before, where he would push or shove me around, but never had he raised his hand at me. I remember being in total shock. He quickly apologized and promised to never do it again. I wanted to believe him. I had to believe him. And so I forgave him and moved on. Thus a cycle had begun. He would be so great until he wasn’t. I would do everything just how he liked it until he found a flaw and he exploited it. He would rant and tell me I was stupid. The high school dropout would tell the college grad she was stupid and obviously I was because I believed it. I believed it when he told me I was ugly and when he told me I was unlovable and lucky that he took pity on me. So why wouldn’t I believe it when he told me he wouldn’t hurt me again, or cheat again or any of the million other promises he made and then broke? Even after I graduated and was accepted into graduate school and had job offers starting at 150,000 a year, I still felt like I needed him. See, by this time, I had become so isolated from my friends and family I had no voice of reason or sanity to help pull me out of his clutches. He broke me down to nothing and that’s what I felt like…nothing. The abuse and infedility was all my fault. I made him do it! Thinking back, if I had had a strong, male presence in my life I might have been able to recognize this for the bullshit it was, but being that I had absolutely zero positive examples of what love was… I fell for the fraud. So of course when he asked me to marry him, I felt like he was dong me a favor and quickly said yes. I took no heed to the fact that he had just beaten me black and blue and kicked my front door of the hinges just a few months earlier. I quickly forgot that I had found out that he lied to me and my family about his name for over a year (the only way I discovered the truth was because his license fell out of his pants pocket one day when I was cleaning up while he was asleep). All was forgiven and we were to be married. My mother begged me not to, but what did she know? She didn’t care about me, remember? No one did and I had all the answers…I was going to marry this man and we would live happily ever after…

Noni J. Stinson
DOC #v04848

Categories: Noni Stinson

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