real life

"It's 2am, and I'm in my car eating slimy cheese and greyish ham while choking back sobs."

Quora users were asked: What was your most depressing meal? This was Gaby Martino’s response. 

It was about 2 am and I was in my car, loaded with every belonging I owned and my very confused dog in the passenger seat.

I was sneaking out. Away from a relationship leading nowhere. I had settled for a guy who was not who I was meant to end up with, graduated college early and declined a PAID FOR graduate degree opportunity, took a dead-end cubicle job so I could move to his tiny hometown and “start a life”. Nothing was as it seemed when I got there.

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We didn’t get a house right away like he promised. We lived with his mum. His mum was overbearing and was jealous I was taking her son. I was basically relegated to sitting in the corner and doing nothing. I wasn’t allowed to cook (my great joy) or make any other decisions or contributions to the household. I LOATHED being at the house and he didn’t get home until 11pm or later each night. He told me he was working late but I later found he was going out with his guys and texting other women.

He refused to stand up to his mother for me. He also refused to get an apartment with me when “it was free at his mum’s ”. He had promised we would marry soon after I graduated. Now it was too much of an expense and not on the table.

I started to see who he really was. He was spineless and had zero drive in life. He made less than $30k and had no desire to make more ever since his mother paid for everything. I am not a gold digger, but I am full of drive and ambition and his lack thereof dug at me. I tried to push him to be better. To ask for a raise, to get his financials in order, to build his credit. But one day I realized.

At just 21, I was settling. Image via Getty.

I was settling. Here I was at 21, settling for a deadbeat when I had the entire world open to me. I called my mother in tears and she hatched a plan to help me get out, as he would never amicably let me go.

She drove the 3+ hours to where I was living and helped me move my things that were in storage (anything he wouldn’t notice) and took them to her and my dad's house. I was to get my last items packed in my car and leave Friday evening when he was on a hunting trip.

I waited until his mother went to bed and spent a couple hours loading my clothes and other personal items from his house into my car. I grabbed my dog and drove off. Three miles down the road I pulled over, blind and gasping from the tears. It was nearly 2 am but I called my mum, hysterical and terrified to be leaving this shitty (sorry) relationship. She soothed me and told me to go get a bite to eat and hit the road.

I went into a petrol  station, which was the only thing open, and the only substantial food option aside from potato chips or beef jerky was the sad looking pre-packaged sandwiches. The only flavour was ham and cheese, which I hate. I got that and a Monster energy drink (for the ride) and sat in the gas station parking lot and choked down bites of slimy cheese and greyish ham while also choking back sobs. Then I drove home and never looked back.

I sat in the gas station parking lot and cried.

It’s a year and a half later now. I now have a great job in my career field, an amazing social life full of amazing friends and I realize that I was being emotionally abused in my last relationship. I am still in my hometown and love it. I am still single and so happy to be finding myself and what I really want to do in life. Every time I see those dumb sandwiches at the gas station I smile a bit, because I know I will never be back there again.

This post originally appeared on Quora, and has been republished with full permission.