Blonder. October 15, 2020 By Melissa Beene Ford Leave a Comment It’s 4am and I can’t sleep. I haven’t been asleep at ALL in almost 24 hours. While I have admittedly struggled with sleep since I’ve been a single mom, it’s never like this. I have so much on my mind. Some of it about thrilling and exciting things happening right now… some of it about overwhelming heartache because several people close to me are suffering and I’m in anguish about it. And part of my insomnia is because there are stories I’m supposed to tell and my conscience won’t let me sleep until I tell them.And at 4am, all the emotions are magnified. And triggers are everywhere. Like this picture, for instance, in my Instagram memories (which is always the number one place I scroll when I have a raging case of insomnia). From 2015 ~ five years ago ~ but it feels like another lifetime. I don’t recognize the woman on the left. I had taken Annie on a trip to Washington DC and should have had a blast with her. Gosh, she’s a fun kid. And that city is so incredible. But I was so miserable. You can see it in my eyes ~ there’s pain there. My face is so inflamed and puffy.And my hair ~ why is it the color of cotton? Oh yeah. I remember. Because at that time I couldn’t be blonde enough. Who I was, naturally, wasn’t enough… I’d have my hair done, my highlights refreshed, only to be told, “Hmm, I like your hair the color of a Guess model.” In other words, platinum blonde. Regular blonde isn’t blonde enough. And so I would bleach it blonder and blonder each time I went to the salon, only for him to tell me one minute it needed to be blonder, and the next to tell me he had never been attracted to blondes, and to openly gawk at brunettes in public, or flirt with them, or put his hands on a cute brunette waitress at a restaurant. If I were to have dyed my hair brunette, though… guess what. He would have made a big display of being attracted to all the blondes. That’s mental and emotional abuse, just so you know… the never ending moving of the goal posts. The constant subtle message letting you know that who you are isn’t adequate. Seeing the ridiculous white-blonde hair in this picture brought all those memories flooding back.Do you see that, when you look at my eyes?I had a strong gut feeling he was cheating on me while I was in DC. I. Just. Knew. I knew he would punish me for leaving to go to DC and make it my fault. I left, to go do something fun. He was alone.Therefore he had to. It was that way EVERY TIME I dared to leave and meet a friend for a drink or even leave to go to a Plexus event or a Bible study. Every single time, there would be a major fight when I returned. I left… therefore I needed punishing. Narcissist logic.And I came home to signs of it. Several women in the internet history.One of them, a twenty-something coworker. He had visited her Facebook page dozens of times while I was in DC. More repeated visits to the Facebook page of the 19-year-old daughter of the woman he had cheated on his ex wife with. Is that some Jerry Springer shiz, or what?Passwords changed.New apps on the electronics designed for messaging on the down-low, all password protected, of course, with passwords I wasn’t allowed to know. If you’re not cheating, why do you need those apps?And why can’t your wife know your passwords?And why are you obsessed with your ex girlfriends 19-year-old daughter?And how am I supposed to compete with that?And he couldn’t get one complete sentence out of his mouth that didn’t have some sort of lie in it.So. Much. Misery. Behind those eyes.So much knowing that I didn’t have what it took to make him stop lying and be faithful, in my eyes. In my puffy, swollen face. I was sick the whole time we were in DC, also. I tend to get sick when I’m stressed, and that span of time was the most stressful, ever. Complete and total torment and anguish, inflicted upon me on purpose by someone who delighted in causing me pain. I’m so sorry, Annie. I’d give anything to go back to DC with you and be in the moment with you and have the trip of our lives. And we will someday.