How to get Dr. Irene's Advice: Look here!

Ask The Doc Board

The CatBox Archives

 

(Archives)

4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

3/23 Interactive Board: He's Changing... I'm Not...

3/1 Interactive Board: D/s Lifestyle

1/14 Interactive Board: My Purrrfect Husband

12/12 Interactive Board: What if He Could Have Changed?

10/23 Interactive Board: Quandary Revisited

8/24 Interactive Board: Quandary! What's Going On?

7/20: Dr. Irene on cognitive behavior therapy and mindfulness

6/12 Interactive Board: Unintentional Abuse

11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

12/29 Interactive Board: There Goes the Wife...

11/4 Interactive Board: A New Me!

10/8 Interactive Board: Seeming Impossibility

9/8 Interactive Board: My Ex MisTreats Our Son

5/1 Interactive Board: I feel Dead - Towards Him

4/26 Interactive Board: Why is This So Hard?

4/19 Interactive Board: I Lost My Love...

4/7 Interactive Board: Too Guilty!

Doc@DrIrene.com

Comments for No Way To Live A Life

Comments for No Way To Live A Life

Material posted here is intended for educational purposes only, and must not be considered a substitute for informed advice from your own health care provider.

Courtesy of Dr. Irene Matiatos   Copyrightę 2000. The material on this website may be distributed freely for non-commercial or educational purposes provided that author credit is given. For commercial distribution, please contact the author at Doc@drirene.com

test

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 13, 2000

S1

Dear Dianne, You are not alone. I have lived in the Cycle Of abuse for 23 years and 4 children. (Two of them also now show signs of being abusers themselves). I have been in the divorce process for almost a year now and it has been rough on me and the kids the youngest of which is only seven, but I will not allow this abuse thing to perpetuate into yet another generation if I can stop it here. I have been in therapy with a wonderful accepting therapist he has been great. I have good days and some not so good days but bottom line is I now know I am on my way to a better life as a stronger mor complete me and I know I will make it. Him?? He moved in with a new VICTIM when he stopped getting the reaction from me that he required to stay in control. I have pity for whomever he is with because I know without ever having worked on his family of origin stuff he will continue to abuse and the dance will continue. As for me the dance is over and I am well on my way.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 13, 2000

S1

Dear Dianne, You are not alone. I have lived in the Cycle Of abuse for 23 years and 4 children. (Two of them also now show signs of being abusers themselves). I have been in the divorce process for almost a year now and it has been rough on me and the kids the youngest of which is only seven, but I will not allow this abuse thing to perpetuate into yet another generation if I can stop it here. I have been in therapy with a wonderful accepting therapist he has been great. I have good days and some not so good days but bottom line is I now know I am on my way to a better life as a stronger mor complete me and I know I will make it. Him?? He moved in with a new VICTIM when he stopped getting the reaction from me that he required to stay in control. I have pity for whomever he is with because I know without ever having worked on his family of origin stuff he will continue to abuse and the dance will continue. As for me the dance is over and I am well on my way.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 13, 2000

S1

Dear (((Dianne)))

Don't be too harsh on yourSelf in regard to the past. You simply weren't aware enough to know any better. In fact, you are further along and much clearer thinking than I was when I first discovered this site in August 2000. I've been married for 20 years with 4 children ages 8-18. And I didn't even know anything was really wrong with my marriage until my husband started raging about 21/2 years ago. I have also made a decision to leave.

Just a thought, if you haven't already, both Evans books and Beattie's Codependent No More are excellent reads. And of course, every last item on this site is good. Also, the message Yak board is great with wonderful people to give plenty of love and support. And, as you mention, a counsellor familiar with verbal abuse is another great idea.

Also don't be surprise if you find, as I did, that at first you concentrate learning all the information on verbal abuse and the abuser but then later, it becomes more important to work on the Codependency issues for yourself. So once again, please don't be too harsh on yourSelf because so many of us are or have been where you are now.

Good luck and lots of hugs!!! Honey

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 13, 2000

S1

I know that kind of fear, too. Up until September of this year, I just thought he was "angry", and "didn't like surprises." So, I tried to prepare him for things well in advance, and just let the temper tantrums alone. I was starting to feel he liked his RAGES, and used them for feeling more powerful, but it was a poorly defined thought. He has thrown things, broken things, damaged walls a floors. All of it of course not HIS fault, nor would he pick up anything he spilled in the course of these rages. I thought we had good enough times in between these episodes, that I felt I could live with it. It wasn't until he totally trashed my birthday and really raged at our children I realized how different our realities were, and they would never be the same. He was accusing my 9 year old of stuff that no child should ever be accused of. I had a lightbulb moment, and have been preparing to leave ever since. I found this site, and FINALLY words to describe what I saw and felt. I have started counseling for myself, my h refuses to go - it's too "stressful,"and finally just last week I found the right attorney for me. I have kids clothes, toys and toiletries packed in a storage locker, and a p.o. box he doesn't know about, so if I do leave urgently, I can change addresses for my mail quickly. He has persisted that all the things he has done or said in the last 3 months are totally ok and justifiable. Everything is totally our faults. In the past, there would often be a period of self awareness and growth after a rage, but definitely not this time. With a daughter about to enter puberty and a 3 year old as well, rages are not healthy for any of us. Next rage and we are gone. In the meantime, I too have been gathering resources. My last one I still need to find is adequate morning childcare that opens in time for me to be at work by 7 AM and will take my oldest to school.

There is a part of me that hopes at some point to be able to tell him how abusive these rages are, and that he would respond in a responsible way. But that part of me also knows that it is very unlikely, and I won't let it stop my plans. And since I have told him at least 4 times that I am afraid of him and feel uncomfortable around him and gotten walked out on or ignored, it gives me no reason to want to talk at all.

Keep up your plans, and stay safe. I wish you and your children a peaceful journey. Pam

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 13, 2000

S1

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 13, 2000

S1

Kelly, was your ex husband better or worse or the same as your current boyfriend?

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 13, 2000

S1

Good Luck. If You need the courage just stop and look at your children and remember that leaving him is the best not only for you but for them.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 13, 2000

S1

Dianne, You are such a strong woman. If you begin to feel like you can't go through with it just think of your girl and know that they will be much better in a different situation even if their father isn't present. May you also realize the God is with you 100% of the way. God Bless

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 14, 2000

S1

Hi Dianne: As someone who's still stuck in the "thinks he'll change or that I can cope for the sake of our child" mode, after 19 years of marriage and the latest is asking me to make room for his newest affair (and I work in the same building with them!), I have this to say: You are a STRONG, HEALTHY Woman and you are going to do just fine. You are doing just what you need to do, and you are going to do it with your head held high and your eyes on the moment and future, not the past. You are doing incredibly well under the circumstances. There are lots of people rooting for you - go for it. You are right - life is much too short for this.

A friend in Alaska

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, December 16, 2000

S1

I wish you all the best. I definitely identify with how you feel. I wish there were an easy answer. Follow your instincts. It is scary I know. You story sounds much like mine. May God bless you and your children.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, December 16, 2000

S1

Hi Dianne,

Don't worry you will do just fine...actually better than fine....you'll do great. From the sounds of it, it sounds like you had an epiphany. They are priceless..good for you..way to go.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, December 16, 2000

S1

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, December 17, 2000

S1

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, December 18, 2000

S1

Dianne,

Stick to your plan, and trust God sends all that we need, but not always all that we want.

Go and visit this site also he is one great guy: http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/codependency_recovery/18524 (Dr Irene speaks highly of him Robert Burney also he has a site called http://www.joy2u.com)

Most of all realize pushing through your fear is less difficult than sitting and staying stuck. ACTION brings confidence.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, December 18, 2000

S1

Hi Dianne, I know exactly how you feel. I finally left my H 3 months ago, I will not lie to you, it is very hard at times I am still learning to be comfortable with myself. My daughter asked me almost the same question last year she is 13 and she wanted to know why I stayed with her Dad since he was so mean to me and the year before he had punched the wall and broken his fist, my daughter was so angry and afraid all she could think of was that it could have been me. Do your children a big favor and before you are ready to leave get them into counciling. My daughter is a totally different young lady since I left her Dad. She is much happier and open with her feelings. I met my H when I was 17 and have been with him since I was 20. Also in my case my H is in counciling, but my daughter keeps telling me that he is only acting so nice in front of me to get me back, that he really has not changed when I am not around. This scares me because I miss what I thought I had in my life and had actually at moments wanted to run back. I intend to stay strong for my daughter and I, I am on an anti-deppressant and in counciling, it has made all the difference for me in realizing that I deserve the very best and not to be abused. I am amazed that my family and true friends waited it out all these years and have been there with open arms to help me get through. Take care and I wish you the very best. Nuts

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 19, 2000

S1

Dianne,

How are you going to leave? That is always the problem I keep facing. I can't. I have been seeing a therapist and I think we are at a stand still because I know why I should leave and we have even come up with a plan to do it. But it has to be me to take that step and leave and that's alway the problem I keep coming back to, I don't know how to leave. I have never been the one to leave a relationship, it has always been me being left, so I don't know how to leave. I am scared of everything, being alone, being without him, scared of how he will react when I leave, everything. I guess I can tell myself that he will never change but until I believe it without hesitation I feel stuck. I wish you all the luck in the world and I hope you can do it for yourself and your girls. I am lucky that I do not have any children with this man, but it doesn't mean I love him any less. I am just glad to know when I make that move that I have no connections. It is funny that your daughter asked you a question similar to my boyfriend's son. He asked me one time "why does daddy treat you so badly?" That is out of the mouth of a 5 year old. All I could say was that's just the way your dad is. Please keep us informed as to your progress. Good Luck to you and your girls. Signed...........scared to leave

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 21, 2000

S1

Dianne -

Good for you. I'm in a similar situation and it's comforting to know I'm not alone. My husband and I have been together 15 years, married for 10. I too saw signs, but ignored them at first. He has never hit me, but he has broken some of my things and the verbal & emotional abuse is too much to take. I identify with your experience completely. I too, am planning on leaving. I have 3 sons and they see it too. I don't want them to believe that this is how they should treat women, or anyone. I used to make excuses to my children about why daddy said this or did that, but I stopped. Why should I make him look like a good guy? This was not healthy for them or me. You are doing the right thing. Plan it. I am keeping the peace through the holidays (while constantly walking on eggshells). I plan on talking to a lawyer in January and starting the new year off on the right foot. It is one of the hardest (and scariest) decisions to make because I don't know how he'll react, but I have to do it. There really isn't a choice anymore. Just do it before it's too late. Have faith in the Lord. Lori

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 21, 2000

S1

Diane My God. I could write your letter. I have been married for 10 years have 5 daughters ( 1 not his) and have finally realized I am in a verbally abusive relationship. I like you never know when it will come. Sometimes it is months between blow ups sometimes days. I don't know why but for the most part I have always known that something was wrong with him. I just thought he was immature ( we are in our 40's) But in the last year I realize that it is more than that. I also have had my daughter want to know why Daddy is mean to me. I don't yet have the nerve to leave . I have made a couselors appt. for us both next week. I hope he goes and we can figure out womething but I don't hold out much hope. I think I have let it go on for too long. I would love to start a correspondence with someone in the same boat as me. My e-mail address is kew@netins.net at home and waddingd@sumner.k12.ia.us If you want to I would love to hear from you. Stay tough I think we all need to Deb

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 22, 2000

S1

Dear Diane, Just 10 months I moved out with my 14 year old daughter. Although my husband wrote that he was verbally abusive and now understood that, I refused to return to the home & he ended up moving out. Just 5 weeks after our separation he filed for divorce. He had been verbally, emotionally and anger abusive for the 31 years we were married. I had a lot of swirling feelings--am I crazy for blowing the whistle on his bad behavior? Am I crazy for leaving? What will our parents think? I was able to work through many of these feelings and did not return to him. A codependent counselor and Al-Anon meetings literally saved my sanity. I, too have 3 daughters. They had said to me, "We're all growing up, but Dad is not." "Don't you think it's kind of funny that all of us are in therapy, but Dad isn't?" "You don't have to stay." "You don't have to live under a sentence." "He never showed you any respect. I'd rather have you living alone than with him." Yes, it is very clear that our daughters really see and understand what is going on with their Father. Our divorce was final 6 months ago. I have no regrets about being divorced from him. The only regret is that I did not do it about 10 years ago when I first realized the abusive nature of him.It all happened so covertly that many times I did not even recognize the manipulation and control. Later friends told me," I remember when he made remarks against you." I couldn't even remember the incident they were refering to. We tried counseling, anger management classes for him (he is the classic anger adict defined in chapter 9 of Patricia Evan's book-The Verbally Abusive Relationship), family counseling, my talking and my begging and crying for him to stop the abusive behaviors. He just does not want to get it. His denial has continued. I applaud you for getting your strength and looking to the future without him. You can leave if you really want to. And I promise you that you will not regret it. Live is indeed too short to continue this way. Best of everything to you and your daughters. You and they deserve to have a happy, healthy life. My prayers are with you. Peace, a Midwest Survivor ps-My daughter thanks me every few weeks for getting us out of the abusive atmosphere. She now sings around the house and we are both happy in our peaceful, loving, mother-daughter household. :)

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 22, 2000

S1

Dianne i know just how you feel,i too am in a situation just like your in and especially at the holiday time i feel so alone.My husband punishes me by not talking to me or showing affection,and each day i am reminded how stupid i am and how smart he is.We only talk about money or bills,what i need to do or pay. He spends all his time watching tv and talkingwith his buddies. I want a new life ,without him. I hate the sound of his voice and some times lookng at him makes me feel actually sick to my stomach.I can never do anything right and i have long ago given up trying to please him in anyway. He views women as second class citizens put on earth to honor,obey,and cook and clean,and of course work and pay bills too. I need information on cheap divorce lawyers in North Carolina and money to get a divorce.I hope very soon i can restart my (own) new life and i hope you do too. Hope you have a quiet holiday and a really New Year in 2001. Louise

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 22, 2000

S1

Walking away is the easy part staying that way is the hardest! NO matter what, no matter how lonely you get, no matter how tough it gets, Just remember this: DO NOT GO BACK!!! Second chances do NOT work, I tried and I regret it. There are plenty of kind men out there you just have to love yourself in the meanwhile enough to not settle for less!!! And don't make excuses for him to go back especially the excuse of "its for the children"...No father is better than an abusive father. D-

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, December 23, 2000

S1

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 26, 2000

S1

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 26, 2000

S1

I have been in a relationship with an individual who is from Venezuela. She is beautiful (physically) and I originally fell in love with her when she was coming off of a physically abusive relationship herself. Her ex boyfriend is now in prison for patricide and matricide (killing his mother and father) on separate occasions.

I am a clean cut, law abiding American man 30 yrs old, living in Salt Lake City, Utah. My wife really is not from the genre that her ex boyfriend is from, however when we were first married, I noticed a lot of physical manifestations of problems that have plagued me for two and 1/2 years thus far. Never before marriage did I witness any of her outbursts. The day we were married, however, I noticed an immediate and drastic change from her sweet demeanor. I did not close the shower curtain after the shower, she screamed at the top of her lungs at me for almost an hour calling me a pig and sloppy person for not returning the curtain to the closed position after my shower. Nice honeymoon stage.

In the beginning of the marriage, she wielded a large kitchen knife at me, threw a bar stool (in my home) at my chins, hit me and cursed at me. This is when I first attempted to divorce her. She tried to convince me that she had come off of a difficult relationship and needed time to improve herself. I allowed her time, but told her that if there were any further manifestations of violence toward me, I would not be so kind. There was and a four day crying apology insued. I forgave her again. I also realized at the time how incredibly nice and weet she can be when she wants to be. So I conceded and did not proceed with the divorce (this was about three months into the marriage). About three months later amidst arguments of whether I was looking at other women's "asses" in the shopping mall or flirting with clerks (none of which are true) and her controlling every second of free time I had-- I was watching football on television on a Saturday (unlike a lot of men, I rarely watch sports programs on T.V.) she came out and turned off the television telling me that I was ignoring her. When I told her that I did not want to turn the television off, she stood in front of the television almost daring me to come turn it on. I didn't fall into the trap of my wife trying to force confrontation, I walked to the nearest sports bar, had a coke and watched the game there. Which brings me to a commonality I have noticed in verbal abuse cases. She says, family shouldn't be in our disputes. She even said things like, "The reason your family hates me is because you tell them about the arguments we have." But there had been other occasions of attempted forced confrontation. One time (and this is more recently so all of the therapy and anger management and my efforts for two years are out the window) I was online emailing a friend or relative, she accused me of ignoring her because I am not paying full attention to her. She then said that I had better get off line or else she would cut the phone cord to the computer. I was not going to respond to threats, because it gave her more power, so I said, I wish you wouldn't do such a thing-- faster than I could annunciate the letter "G" in the word "thinG" she was cutting the cord, not just once, but into about twenty pieces throughout the length of the cord. Now, she knew that the only way that I could stop her (with scissors in her hand) was to physically stop her. I did not, I just left the house and bought a new cord. (oh yea, threatening-- that is another commonality). She often says things to me like, "You just wait, when you least expect it I will..." I tried to divorce her at this point again and because money was tight and I could not move out of my brand new home, I decided to stay in and lock the extra bedroom. This is when she began her campaign of sleep deprivation. She would have to work late in the day and myself, very early in the morning. She would stay at the door, pick the lock and cry and ask me why I was going to go through with this divorce that we had not even tried counseling and that she was willing to change and do anything it took to keep our relationship alive. After about two weeks of her staying and weeping loudly at my door until 4am (I wake up at 6am)- I gave in feeling sorry for her, asking myself, what will she do without me to take care of her, thinking her income level will go down quite a bit and since Utah is not a 50/50 state when it comes to divorce, I knew she would be getting the short end of the stick no matter what. So foolishly, I agreed to reconcile again if she would attend counseling sessions. (by the way, in an abusive relationship, it is not good for the abused person to attend the session with the abuser) the ignorant therapist did not realize this and invited me to attend.)

Now, she has changed, she has never thrown a chair at me or wielded a knife at me since the first incident although she has hit me twice or three times. But it is her anger, jealousy, possessiveness, distrust and ignorance (of what to do in argument situations) that drove her abuse-- that is continuing. Now she has started name calling and saying that my friends call and hang up on her. There is also still a great amount of distrust (that has existed since the beginning although there has never been a reason to distrust me). On Christmas, I wanted to deliver some gifts to my friends house (consequently, my friend, because of my wife's negativity and the way she ruins any social event we have ever been to-- my wife has been disallowed to come to his house-- at he and his girlfriends request.) A reasonable request given the circumstances. Well, I get to talking to him and take a little more time than I expected, I call my wife and tell her I will be leaving his house shortly (I called out of respect for her). She was angry and said something, I do not quite remember and hung up. However, when I got home, she was yelling and asking where I was (when she knew). She then accused me of being homosexual with my friend. How many men have to deal with that coming out of their WIFE'S mouth? She wonders why after apologizing, I cannot just snap back like nothing happened and be happy with her or want to be around her, talk to her, etc. Recently, the worst has happened, I find myself getting just as angry as her and throwing all sorts of curse words and saying things like, "I wish you would just disappear." But I mean it. I do not like starting to become what I lothe.

There have been other things said by her in the course of our marriage like, "I wish you were dead", "I wish I had never married you", "you are gay", "a-hole" and many others. One of my big problems is that when her yelling and name calling is over (and she has forgiven herself and forgotten, I find it most difficult to just let it go and make my anger subside. A great deal of her behaviors are designed to try and force a confrontation-- the old, try and stop me routine. Doing something she knows will upset me in front of me-- she is just begging for me to respond physically. (I NEVER HAVE!!)

I have tried to separate and divorce her twice since the first attempt, but I always feel sorry for her disposition, or she had said she would change. I only wish that I had the fortitude to follow through be the mean guy and say, no, I do not feel sorry for you and say, "I know you will not change enough for us to stay married." She asks me why do I want a divorce, I say that I love her? The reason is that I love myself more and cannot possibly endure any more without suffering certain mental damage. I hope I find the strenght to say goodbye.

Keith

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 27, 2000

S1

Keith,

That sounds like such a horrible situation. In my situation, that behavior from my bf was devestating to my heat and soul!

It took me a year to leave after I started dealing with my own codependency issues. Even after I left I had to do some serious healing so I wouldn't keep going back. I've found as I love myself, and know how much God loves me, I am able to set boundaries, be honest with myself and in my relationships and not allow anyone to dishonor me.

I found it was most important that I see my counsellor, exercise, eat right and get enough sleep, meditate/pray and read a lot. "The Verbally Abusive Relationship" by Evans "Codependent No More" by Beattie "In the Meantime" and "Until Today" by Vanzant

After I left I did EMDR therapy which was amazing and so healing. My prayers are with you, Suzanne

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 27, 2000

S1

You sound very strong- I pray u stay so and do not let him talk you round again. My daughter is only very young and has been in such a situation as you for only a few months- they have broken up over ten times-i have lost count- she keeps going back even when she has promised on her father's grave not to do so - he laught it off -said so what your dad is dead. Please Keep strong and remember you goal- do not give in to him- i pray my daughter will be strong like you one day soon.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, December 31, 2000

S1

I cried when I read this. This is my life for 28 years. I feel invisible, alone, and inadequate. I just got my master's degree and I am leaving right after our daughter's wedding next summer. My daughter asked her father "Why do you talk like that to mom?" He replied that "You should hear how she talks to me when no one is around." It is totally untrue and my daughter knows this. He turns everything around and tries to paint the worst picture of me. He publicly makes comments that make me sound like a shrew and that I am an abusive person. He enjoys putting me down, he is not affectionate, does not sleep with me, and would never apologize because he has not done anything wrong. He could not get the remote to work, I said "Let me see it." He commented, "Oh sure, you always know better than me, I can never be right." I pushed a button and the remote worked. He then told me that I have to be miss perfect and that no one can do anything as well as I can. Several other put downs ensued. I was trying to be helpful, I feel like I can't win, and I'm just so tired of trying. I tried to fight back the tears and I retreated to the bedroom. I try to avoid him as much as possible. Everyone thinks I am the happiest person in the world because i am always smiling. He constantly comments about how manipulative and deceitful women are and he has very little if any positive things to say about women. I am very depressed and am on prozac. I don't know if I can make it to the summer, but I don't want to place any burden upon my daughter and the wedding. Thanks for letting me vent.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, January 01, 2001

S1

Diane, my name is Cheryl. I have been w/ my husband for 7 1/2 yrs, we have 2 boys, 3 and 6. Your husband sounds exactly like mine. With the blowout and him telling you how you can't keep the house and take care of the kids. I know EXACTLY how you feel. And I am planning to do the exact same thing; I AM LEAVING AND NEVER LOOKING BACK!!!Yes, I am scared of being on my own, I never have been before, but your exactly right when you say It's No Way To Live when you dread your husband coming home and seeing what kind of mood he is in. Believe me--WE CAND DO IT, GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF US!!!! E-mail me sometime and let me know how it goes. Be careful and take care! Cheryl---WILLIAMSTeeka@aol.com

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 02, 2001

S1

I think that you should ground yourself in God and Jesus Christ first of all and ask them what to do. If I were you I would try to get him to seek therapy and if he does not want to then seek it for yourself and your child, then fill your time all of your time. Leaving and getting a divorce is not a simple solution so think before you act on it...maybe if you find other things to fill your life, you will see that he will miss you and maybe he will change....Jenny

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 03, 2001

S1

Dianne, I am going through a divorce as we speak. I was married for 14 years, together over 16, and my situation was exactly like yours.

Nothing I did was good enough for my h. He didn't like my hair, clothes, friends, housework, jobs, etc. I tried so hard to please him.

One day, on my bday, my h. got mad over something (it never was anything in particular), and he put me up against the wall, and put his fist in front of my face and said, "god, I wish I could just smash your face in." "But, I won't because you aren't worth the trouble I would get in." What really freaked me out about this incidence is that he didn't remember it--that's when I finally said, enough is enough. I enjoyed life and wasn't going to wait for the day when he finally crossed that line and did something really bad to me.

I thought I was protecting my kids by being submissive, in trying to keep the pain from them, but I've found out that they knew and in the end I wasn't protecting them like I thought I was. They have seen too much, heard too much, no matter how hard I tried.

But I can do something for them--I left their dad. It's been a hard, hard journey but I have finally escaped his "reality". Though most of the "abuse" I get it from his phone calls (which I am getting better at hanging up on him), at least my kids are no longer living and hearing it. Soon I won't be hearing it either.

I just want you to know that getting out will probably be one of the hardest and scariest things you will ever do, but it is worth it. When you see your kids smiling and laughing and all your friends start coming back into your life to support you, you will know you have emerged. You will find a contentment you never thought possible. You might not always be happy, but you will find a peace. Just remember, you don't have to live a life wondering if you will finally be the one he takes his anger out at--you can control your own.

Tina

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 10, 2001

S1

Dear Dianne, I am 26 years of age and have just left my boyfriend of 5 years. We met when I was 21 also and I was just getting over the death of my 12 yr old brother who was knocked down. For the first couple of months he was great telling me how strong I was but that didn't last. Gradually and very subtley things changed. There was no such thing as an arguement. It always ended up with him getting really aggressive and threatening, eventually pushing me around the room, one time he pulled me up a flight of stairs by my hair, and another time he pushed me and I fell and broke a rib. He still puts that down as an accident. How I stayed for so long I don't know? But it wasn't a constant thing. Every couple of months if there was an arguement it escalated to that, but he would always say , when I threatened to leave that he wanted to change and asked me to help him.Everybody said how strong I was in dealing with my brothers tragic accident and I guess I thought I was strong too. If you can get through that you think that you can get through anything. He'd had lots of problems with his family, and I felt like somehow he had it worse than me, even though my own parents had recently separated in a vicious manner. His problems though were mainly with his mother who is completely self absorbed and full of self pity. She has affected all of her children with her emotional blackmail and general mental unbalance. I didn't think that I was being abused until the last few days. I left last Sunday morning after another one of his outbursts which was "caused by my selfishness". I've had enough and am only realizing how wrong this relationship was NOW!!!! I am staying with my sister and her boyfriend now and watching them together has made me realize how out of touch from reality our relationship was. There is a better life out there, and it has to be better than living as you are now. I hope that you will find the courage to go your own way. While it may be hard for you at the start eventually you will get your confidence back and live in peace with your daughters. A few months or even a year or two of hardship is better than a lifetime of misery. You'll have friends, your daughters will have more confidence and you will fid inner peace and contentment, something that you desrve. I wish you all the best and hope that happiness comes your way. I'm striving for it now!

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, February 15, 2001

S1

Dianne, I think, of all people that respond to your post, I can understand what your daughters and you are going through (not to belittle anyone else's experiences) but I have lived in similar conditions for my 23 years on this Earth. My father is a crewl and hateful person who has never once told me that I was smart (grad college with a 4.0) or worth anything (as he always tells me and my mother that we are worth S**T) I've never been able to have friends over the house becuase he doesnt want anyone here and ever since I can remember, he as used every combination of the F-word with no censoring for anyone's behalf. My mother has threatened to leave years ago when we suspected him cheating and he countered by threatening to try to take me away from her and by saying that he'd take every last penny but somehow she was too afraid to leave. I hate that I've never had a father but I hate it even more that my mother has to deal with his flagrent disrespect and crewl words and CONSTANT fights. There have been a couple times where I have had to stand between the two of them for fear that something horrible was going to happen. Its hard for me to really do anything as I am only the "f**king kid" (as he refers to me)but i am planning on moving out and hopefully I can take my mother with me. I just want you to know that I can understand how you feel and I am sure that your daughters would support you all the way...