It was no secret that I had gained weight since I met Michael. When we started dating I was a size 10. Now, I struggled to fit in size 12 clothes. However, there were many things that had happened that led to my weight gain. For starters, I was a mother. I got pregnant shortly after we started dating. At first, we were both excited about the news since we were madly in love with each other. However, as time passed and the pregnancy started showing and taking a toll on my body, his tune changed.
I was no longer the perfect girl in his eyes. Rather, I was the annoying girl who was constantly sick and had gained weight. Despite the difficult pregnancy, the birth of my son was the happiest day of my life and I had his father beside me. Michael remained supportive but would throw not so subtle hints that he wasn’t happy. I let him go out with his friends any time he wanted thinking it woild get him off my back only for him to come home drunk and abuse me verbally. This went on for a few months until I had enough and decided to have a talk with him.
“I can’t stand it anymore.” I started “We used to be in love then you turned to this monster that constantly criticizes me. What do you want from me?”
“You’ve changed. You’re no longer the girl that I loved.”
“I know I’ve gained a little weight but is that a reason to treat me so inhumanely?”
“You know I can’t go out with you. What will my friends say?”
“Is that the issue? I just had a baby. Do you even care how I’m doing?”
“If you’re having problems, talk to your mother. I just want my hot girlfriend back.”
To be honest, I was also unhappy with how much weight I had gained and planned on starting a workout routine after giving birth. However, I had underestimated how much work taking care of a newborn was. So, I pushed my fitness journey to the side. Michael didn’t understand this. He even signed me up for post-pregnancy workout classes a few weeks after I had given birth. Of course, I didn’t attend a single class.
He then accused me of being lazy since I didn’t go to the gym. This went on for the whole year. Between being a new mum, struggling with postpartum depression, and being in an abusive relationship, I could hardly muster the energy to take care of myself. It got so bad that I contemplated taking my life on several occasions. I had never experienced that kind of emotional torment and it was taking a toll on my mental wellbeing. At some point, I started going to therapy to help me deal with my issues. Michael had lowered my self esteemed to a level where I couldn’t leave the house.
“So you have time to go to therapy but can’t go to the gym,” he asked me after coming home drunk.
“My mental health is more important for me and my son, Michael. You better start being supportive because I’m on the verge of leaving you.”
“Leave! You’d have done me a great favour.”
That was a clear sign of how Michael really felt about me. The love he once had for me had died completely. However, I still hoped that I could revive it. I was determined to win back my boyfriend if only to be a present father for my child.
Therapy was going well and I was slowly regaining my confidence. I learned to ignore Michael’s comments and not take them too personally. However, the abuse didn’t reduce. It seemed to get worse by the day and so did his drinking. I hardly saw him anymore and when he came home, he slept on the sofa. My mother asked me to move back home or get my own place before he did something to me or my child but I resisted. I believed Michael could never do anything to hurt me physically – not the man who showered me with compliments and gifts during our courtship period.
It didn’t take long before he laid his hands on me. As always, he came home drunk but instead of passing out on the sofa, he stormed into the bedroom demanding sex. He got so aggressive that I had to fight him off. That was when he slap me and proceeded to punch me repeatedly. I was in shock that I didn’t realize that I was bleeding from my mouth. I managed to fight him off and hid in the bathroom with my son in my hand. My distress calls caught the attention of one of my neighbours to who I had explained my situation. She then came to the house accompanied by two guards and restrained Michael.
I managed to pack my belongings and moved back home. The relief I felt immediately I was out of that house was unexplainable. I’ve lived with my mother since then and though I haven’t lost the weight I wanted to lose, I’m happier. My face is glowing.
It’s been two years now since I left Michael and never looked back. He has made many attempts to come back into our lives but that ship sailed a long time ago. Even when he comes to see his son, he communicates with my mother who is very strict with him. I’m in no hurry to get back into dating much less get back together with Michael. I’m still working on my mental and physical well-being before I focus on a relationship. Besides, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in a long time. My son keeps me company and fulfils me. I don’t want anything to spoil the bliss I’m in right now. As they say, I’m happily single.
Check out more stories in The Singlehood Series