April 19, 2000
I'm sitting here feeling alone, and not sure how to deal with my life. I
can't express the mixture of feelings I am feeling, and how torn apart I
am inside wondering what to do with myself, my marriage, and my life. I
need help and I don't know where to turn to anymore.
My first marriage was one of
physical & emotional abuse, threats, and constant fear. When I finally
got out of the relationship, I lived in fear for many, many years always
looking over my shoulder because of the threats against myself and my son.
My ex threatened to kidnap our son, but not once in all the time we were
apart did he ever pay support, send a birthday card, or Christmas gift.
Nothing. Living on my own and raising my son was not an easy task, but
with the help and support of my family, government assistance, and
gradually working my way into various jobs, I did survive.
When I met my present husband, he
was caring and supportive and all the things my ex had not been.
Eventually we got married. Although he said he wanted to adopt my son and
make him his own, I realized over the years that things weren't working
out there. While my son never remembered his natural father, there was
still a conflict. We dealt with the rebellious teenage years and a son who
did not want to follow rules. He eventually quit school, walked out, and
for a time lived off the streets. That was a devastating time for me -
especially not knowing where he was for long periods of time. Eventually I
learned to accept it and let go as much as I was able.
Then I found myself pregnant. I was
thrilled to be blessed with another child. We ended up with two children
over the next few years. I had a difficult time, and almost died. For
a long time, I could not move or walk. Eventually I recovered, and felt
grateful to have two wonderful children. They were something my husband
and I had prayed for for many years.
Unfortunately their care fell
completely on my shoulders. My husband continued to do the things that
interested him. I was plagued with health problems and found my activities
very restricted. That is when I began to realize the many changes that had
been happening in my life - subtly over the years. Not supposed to
go out with my friends, not supposed to go over to a neighbors for
coffee if "hubby" was around, not supposed to talk to the
neighbor's husband over the fence when I was out playing with the
children...as 'he' didn't like it. I Watched my husband walk out and do
the things he wanted to do: go on 'his' hunting trips and have 'his' time
away. But when I asked for the same time with or without the children, I
was told "NO WAY!"
I realized the inequality of our
relationship, and how controlling and possessive my husband had become.
Even dealing with my mom's illness and death was very difficult. He resented
the time I spent with her. After her death, he resented the time I spent
with a 70 year old friend. He didn't like the influence she had on me. As
I tried to reclaim some of my freedom, our relationship got rockier. We
were fighting constantly. Even marriage counseling did not help.
One thing my husband had always
promised me was that he would never hit me. Well, this past fall, our
arguments had been escalating. Because I slammed a door shut, he came in
after me, hit me, grabbed me and pushed me around, yelling threats in my
face. I was terrified and struck back in self-defense - in an attempt to
get him to leave me alone. The next thing I knew, I felt the force of his
fist on my jaw, and I was on the floor.
When I regained consciousness, the
police were called - after a fight to get the phone. This led to my
husband's being taken from the house, a restraining order, and the officer
telling me I needed to go to the hospital. Then, I was charged with
assault. This was the beginning of a nightmare: dealing with the courts,
and a vicious circle of lies and verbal attacks. It was two months before
I finally talked to my husband for the first time, and eventually we were
able to talk and sort out some things.
We agreed to marriage counseling to
try to work out our problems. My husband, still feeling he really did not
need to seek help, agreed to go to an anger management group for abusive
men. At the same time, I had sought help from a woman's support group and
shelter. While my feelings had changed, I still hoped that there was some
possibility of working things out. Unfortunately the marriage counseling
fell thro' when our counselor took ill.
While there was a restraining order,
my husband had it altered, so there could be contact in the event of
mutual written consent and access to the children. So, in trying to go for
counseling, we had been spending more time together. But I found the time
specified for him to spend with the children was not set aside for them
any longer, but was supposed to be for 'family' time ...time for us,
togetherness - all the time. Of course he had to take advantage of
every moment he could get with me.
The legal system had failed us by
offering to drop the charges against both of us, assuming we got into
marriage counseling and brought a letter from our counselors. We went back
to court with the letters only to find the crown attorney had changed his
mind and my husband would be forced to go to trial, and my charges would
be dropped if I accepted a peace bond for a year with a no weapons
restriction, and order to keep the peace.
I found out my husband intends to
go to court and plead self-defense. He tells me this has been his story
with the police since the beginning and that the only reason he hit me was
because I was hitting him and he had to stop me. Conveniently, he does not
remember coming in and attacking me verbally or physically and says
he in to talk and I started hitting him. Meanwhile I had bruises on
two areas of my arm, my chest and my face, and my jaw ached terribly for
I feel betrayed that he would do
this; betrayed by all the loving actions and words and things he has done
since we started trying to work things out, and betrayed that he is so
afraid of losing his Firearms requisition that he is talking of getting
more guns, and a handgun, and joining a gun club to get what he wants
before the court date. One major issue between us has been his love of
hunting, his guns, his love for the outdoors, and desire to do more
outdoors despite knowing that my health problems limit me in that area.
I am totally dependent on him for
financial support. I wonder what I can do. I don't feel strong enough to
give up our home and my dogs, which are a part of the family, and try to
make a go of it somewhere else. But, because of our finances, if I cannot
deal with him coming home soon, the house will have to be sold, our debts
paid, and I would have to find a place to live...which is a feat in
Others in that position in my area
are finding themselves forced to look elsewhere and leave the place
where they want to live. I will also have to apply for financial
assistance. And , I am finding out that many housing units will not give
single mothers, and especially people with pets, an opportunity in this
town. There is a shortage of low income housing. Once again, I see why so
many women are forced to live in an abusive situation with their spouse
rather than find a place on their own. Yes! Finances
play a huge role in the decision to leave.
I am also afraid of his revenge and
what he might do once I choose to leave. Even now, some of his
accusations are things he is doing and trying to turn around and make me
feel guilty for. When he's around, I am torn between my desire to be with
him and make things work, and wanting to get away from him and not have
that constant emotional roller coaster ride and stress in my life. He is
manic depressive. At times I find his ability to deal with reality in many
of our situations lacking, but somehow he has managed to convince others
that everything is okay. He has had counselors tell him he doesn't need
help. He is great at saying how wonderful things are, how he doesn't have
a problem, and how he doesn't understand what my problem is; why I need to
be involved in a women's support group, or go for counseling; when we
should be able to work things out ourselves. Of course, he means work
everything out his way.
How can I reason with someone like
this or share how I'm feeling when my input is put down, and turned around
to suit his means? How can I separate my feelings to decide what I really
want when my emotions and feelings are so completely torn in wanting to
make my marriage work, to keep my family together, to have a place to live
and feeling afraid of him and not knowing what to expect from him?
He even has some of my friends
convinced that it was just a simple issue of I hit him, he hit me; we were
both charged and I should be able to get over it. He never fails to appear
as the loving, devoted husband when we are out in public, and to act like
there is nothing wrong - while I carry my emotions with me. Some
days I feel so numb and so alone, and wonder how I am going to make it
through another day and deal with my life. There is so much more going on
in my life, but I'm not sure how long I am supposed to make this, or if
you'll even have the time to respond.
That's okay. Seems people only want
to help for a time, then they start backing off and expecting you to make
decisions and do what they expect on 'their' timing. It's too bad they
can't walk in my shoes, because they really don't see half of what takes
place or has happened in my life. I don't' know where to go or what to do
anymore... or who to turn to. Life is the pits....and I'm soooo tired of
it. Diane You start by getting treated for your
depression! Talk to your internist - there are some excellent medication
options available that will restore your motivation. You start by getting individual
I want to read the posts.