Dear Dr. Irene,
Today marks the first day of the
rest of my life. Yesterday I told (yes, Told) my husband that I wanted a
divorce. Up until now I would ask. I was still buying into the belief that
he could be reasonable. Now I know that that was never a possibility.
After years of verbal and psychological abuse, I guess I didn't believe I
had the right to demand anything. I asked, then begged, then cajoled, and
then pleaded. When it didn't happen, I would just say "Oh well"
and move back to square one.
When he beat, me I felt I deserved
it. After all I was incompetent wasn't I? I had been fed that line for so
long that it made total sense to me. After all, I thought, what competent
person would stick around after being beaten? Clearly I was incompetent
because I was too scared to leave. I even twisted the truth to prove that
"they" were right.
When I bit his wrist - so he would let me go - he held it out for the
world to see and said "See what she did to me? I am an abused
husband! " And he believes it! What's even worse is that I believed
it too! Anyway when he began the bulling behavior again last night, I let
him have it. I was not rational - I was not stable - I was insane!
After all, I figured, I didn't have to be sane, stable, or reasonable -
because he had convinced me through the years that I was not.
I had reached a point where the Janice Joplin song was making total
sense: "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."
The whole event was precipitated by
a visit to the local ER. I had burned my hand quite badly 36 hours before
and I knew it was becoming infected. My husband is in the medical field
and could have gotten me a script to take care of it but he will WRITE A PRESCRIPTION
for anybody EXCEPT me! I asked him to watch the kids so I could go to the
hospital. He said yes, but then went to bed. The kids were fighting, so I
gave up and put them in the car and left. While the Doc at the hospital
was examining my hand, my 12 year old interrupted him and said he wanted
to see the bathroom. He didn't have to go - not really - but he just
really didn't think that my stuff could possibly be more important than
At that moment I was reminded of a
woman I had cared for in the intensive care unit where I worked as an R.N.
years before. She had been beaten by her husband so badly that her facial
bones were crushed. She had been kicked so hard that her ribs were
shattered. But the thing that got to me was that her two sons had
joined in the party! They came to visit her and entreated that she get
better and come home. They never once said they were sorry. Well, a
light came on. My two kids were treating me exactly the way their daddy
did and THEY THOUGHT IT WAS OK!
That's when I finally realized that I absolutely had to end this marriage.
I had to leave for the sake of the kids. So the police were called and that's
where we stand. Im praying for me as fast as I can. I am grateful to your
site for helping me to realize that I didn't have to put up with this one
moment longer. Maybe now I will even have the energy to work on MY stuff.
Its about time. Thanks Dr. Irene
Good for you! Jump for joy!
You deserve to be
treated with the same consideration you show others. You must love and
respect yourself enough to command respect from others. Nobody will do
this for you! Sometimes the going gets tough, but it's never as tough
as what you went through. Besides, even when things are tough, you know
inside that you are doing the right thing - because: it feels good!
My very best
wishes, and thank you for writing, Dr. Irene
Dear Dr. Irene,
Thank you for publishing what I had written to you. I appreciate the
I have been to see an attorney and
I know that I am on the road to recovery. I also know that it didn't take
me a day to get here and its going to take me more than that to get out. I
must say though that the simple act of starting the process is liberating
in the truest sense of the word. I've somehow managed to become "unenmeshed"
with my abusers way of thinking and I believe in my heart that I will be
One other very interesting thing
has happened to me too- my friends are coming out of the woodwork to say
Hurray! The support has been phenomenal. Wish they had been here
before but they weren't so I will just be as grateful as I can be that
they are here now. This, after all, is my work, not theirs. Someone once
told me that you get to a point in the road where you either go over the
cliff or up the mountain. The mountain is high but I've got people around
me who are willing to resole my hiking boots. Thanks.