Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage
~Brene Brown, Rising Strong~
This is a story that I never thought in a million years that I would ever share. As I sit here in bed, with tears streaming down my face, I reflect upon what has led me here and how my life has ended up like this.
I had only been in Byron Bay 2 weeks, to start a fresh new life, when I received a Facebook message from a stranger that completely shattered everything I thought my life had been this past year.
As my heart breaks into a thousand tiny pieces and my mind struggles to make sense of everything, deep down my soul wants to share, so I take a deep breath and in a blubbering mess I attempt to type a cohesive sentance.
It all started when I met him in Kathmandu, exactly 1 year ago. I don’t know what happened that day, but I was seduced by his charm and good looks.
I admit, it probably wasn’t the wisest decision that I’ve made, but I accepted his offer to take me out to dinner after he introduced me to his family, which made me feel special.
At dinner he proceeded to tell me he had a love at first sight type of feeling with me, which pulled at my heartstrings and drew me in even deeper.
Does a love like this even exist I asked?
I convinced myself that he entering my life under such extraordinary circumstances was a sign or a gift from the universe and the little girl inside of me, who just wanted to feel loved, bought the bait and fell into his trap.
He had sensed my open heart and vulnerability and successfully lured me in, without me even realizing it!
I left Nepal the following day and he continued to lure me in by sending me continuous love songs and daily messages on Facebook and Skype, telling me everything that I ever wanted to hear!
We talked non-stop, every day and he consumed my thoughts and my whole world. He became my main support when life became hard for me in New Zealand and he infiltrated his way into my family and friends, while gaining their trust.
My mum was as smitten as I was. He was smart. He knew I had a very close relationship with her, and by gaining her confidence and trust, he was one step ahead of his game.
A couple of months passed and the conversation subtly arose about me going back to Nepal and marrying him so we could be together.
By then he was telling me he was in love with me and I believed him.
My original plan was to move to Byron Bay but he filled me up with all sorts of adventurous plans that we could do together if I went back to Nepal.
I was looking for excitement and more adventure in my life so I decided to book a flight to be with him and while we waited, we put plans in place and organized our affairs so that we could marry and apply for his Australian Visa as soon as I arrived.
I’m not the gullible type, and it did cross my mind that perhaps he only wanted a visa, but he was so convincing that I almost felt bad for even doubting him.
After nearly five months of engaging in an intense online relationship, I found myself on a plane back to Kathmandu but not without a struggle. My body had become severely sick with a sinus infection and I was on steroids with strict instructions from my doctor that I may risk rupturing my eardrums if I flew.
Determined to get on that flight and eager to see my beloved, while ignoring the warning signs that my body was trying to show me, I threw caution to the wind.
I had already sold my campervan and used the cash to buy a plane ticket and I had saved enough money to live off while I was there with no income, so as sick as I felt, I pushed myself onto that flight.
As soon as we met at the airport, the lack of any embrace gave me a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, but I ignored it and over the next few weeks his true nature slowly appeared.
I thought to myself, what the hell have I done? Have I made a mistake? But the fear of failure and the embarrassment of the situation that I had got myself into kept me there. I was there to find love and my focus became accepting his flaws, warts and all.
So I continued to write blogs, which were true for me at the time, but omitting the finer details to avoid any confrontation.
The first time I realized that he had an alcohol problem was when he turned into an unrecognizable monster one night, while threatening me and calling me allsorts of despicable names that no man has ever called me, before passing out on our dirty hotel bed in a drunken slumber.
I layed there in utter shock, but in a foreign country where I knew no one, and with limited resources, I was entirely dependent on him. I had nowhere to go, nowhere to run. And in my disbelief at the way he had just treated me, I rolled him over onto his side to avoid him from choking to death, while he unconsciously began vomiting into our bed.
I had nowhere else to sleep but next to this horrid man and the stench of his vile vomit, so I lay awake feeling physically sick until the sun came up and I prayed that he’d be in a better mood when he woke up.
Luckily, he was sober enough to drive us home on the motorbike, and upon arriving I was greeted by his nonchalant family who were none the wiser.
That was just one of many occasions that he would blow up in an alcoholic rage towards me, even as going as far as trying to hit me, but after each episode he would be immensely sorry for what he had done.
I was a walking mess.
Disillusioned, scared and alone.
Each time I went online to book an earlier flight home, my heart sunk, as there were no return flights that I could afford and I had to also pay a hefty change fee.
I was literally stuck in a foreign country with an abusive man, so I decided to make the best out of a bad situation.
After the first month, I felt pressure to follow through with the marriage as I was staying in his family home. They were feeding me and housing me and I felt obliged to. So ignoring my intense anxiety and strong intuition against it, I felt as though I was backed into a corner from which I couldn’t get out of and we got married at the local office.
There was no warmth or joy behind our union, neither was there any celebration of any kind by his family. It felt as though it was all a set up, but I pushed that thought aside, preferring to think that the universe wouldn’t be so unkind to put me in that type of situation, which only happens to other people that you read or hear about.
Continuing to search for a flight home, and with no way out and no money to afford to stay elsewhere amid a country that was in the grips of a humanitarian crisis, where the nation was in lock down because of a fuel, food, gas and medicine shortage brought on by blockades at the Indian border, I was forced to surrender to what was and go inwards.
Living in such harsh mental, emotional and physical conditions forced me to find the courage and strength to connect with myself and find inner peace.
I started to read a Buddhist book, which was my saving grace, and I transcended my inner and outer turmoil into that of a state of acceptance and calm.
All sorts of challenging situations were unfolding around me but I somehow managed to remain present and calm amidst it all and strangely enough my inner peace had brought me to feelings of compassion towards Rubin.
I had the opportunity to practice what I was reading in the book and having compassion for others despite everything that was going on, ultimately led me out of feeling cornered and trapped. I had now discovered the art of emotional detachment and I looked at Rubin with new eyes.
What ever he was doing to me, I no longer took personally and I decided to embrace the situation and try and enjoy my experience of living with a Nepalese family in Nepal.
After completely turning my perception of the situation around, to a positive one that I could ultimately learn and benefit from, I was able to survive in a harsh environment.
With my level of awareness ebbing and flowing like that of a strong river current, I teetered in between loving and hating my experiences with him and moving in between feelings of love and hate.
I had endured 5 months living with him in Nepal and I was now one week out from my flight back to New Zealand.
That morning I was trying to charge my laptop so I could speak to my father on Skype before he flew to Thailand. I hadn’t spoken to him in over a year and I was eager to have it charged before our agreed time to call.
Unfortunately a rat had eaten through my charger so I asked Rubin if he could go to the shop and buy me one (with money I provided) however he reacted to the emotional tone in my voice and he suddenly and without any warning punched me in the side of my head.
I instantly saw stars and nearly fell over.
What the hell had just happened?
No man had ever hit me before, and feeling dazed and confused, I cupped my head into my hands and started wailing really loud, which angered him even more.
“What the hell are you crying about, stop crying” he shouted. By then my whole body started to shake uncontrollably and I managed to get myself into bed and I slept and cried for the rest of the day, without talking to my dad or anyone.
I was now only one week out from leaving and I could finally put it all behind me, but the night before I left he got drunk and pleaded with me not to go.
Despite what I had gone through, I felt disappointed that he had chosen to spend his last night with me drunk, and in that moment I finally let go of the idea of having any real intimacy with a man who was emotionally detached and just accepted the situation for what it was.
He was an abusive alcoholic and I had a lucky escape!
Saying goodbye to his family was hard for me at the time, I had developed a close bond with all of them but I question now if they were a part of the marriage scam.
Fast forward to last night when I received a message, which sent chills up my spine, from a lady who asked me if I knew Rubin is a “love scammer.”
I had been feeling energetically like something was brewing and now the emotional storm had arrived.
Even though I had ended the relationship with Rubin shortly after I returned to New Zealand, I still questioned his intentions and wanted to believe he truly loved me, so hearing from this lady was a blessing and it helped me to get closure.
We exchanged stories into the early hours of the morning and I discovered that he had been cheating on me with her and doing and saying to her the exact same things that he had said and done to me, the only difference was he had tried to extort money out of her.
When I think back over what this whole story with Rubin has taught me, it is to always listen to my gut. It was giving me small hints all along but I wasn’t listening and instead I wound up in a situation that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy.
After all is said and done, the universe did look after me when his visa to Australia was eventually declined and I was given the gift of finding my own courage and inner strength to hold compassion, peace and surrender under immense adversity.
I have no desire to ever return to Nepal, and it is my feeling that Rubin has done this to many woman before me.
I know in time I will learn to trust a man again, but for now I will focus on healing my broken heart and I will move forward in life as a stronger, more powerful woman.