It is a Godsend to read the article "Stopping Abuse," by Deirdre Fulton, in the October 16 issue.
I personally have been dealing with abuse most of my life. How appropriate for me to be responding to this article on this date, November 5, the eighth anniversary of my divorce from an abuser, a marriage lasting 28 years. I wish for another new beginning!
My lovely loving mom was first married to an alcoholic; he not only had a drinking problem but would violently physically threaten her, the woman he "loved" — the eyes of their five mutual children watching, terrified. We as children born into abuse had no idea there was something wrong with that picture. Mom remarried a few years later, having no concept that the man she married was also ill-equipped in love and afraid of emotions; he was addicted to his work, believing his role was to "provide" for his new extended family. But he provided the wrong things, material things, not love, companionship, nurturing, and time.
Three simple words were what I wishing for all my life. Someone to tell me, "I love you!" As I went into puberty, my teen years and all the pressures that go along with it, I met a guy, a classmate; my dad approved — YES!
Little did I recognize, he was just like what I had experienced as male role-models in my life so far. I felt it must be OK to do these wrong things, so I went along with him. He must be a good guy, I thought. I married him, stayed with him for a grueling 28 years. No one knew my secret, my lie. I wanted to be a good wife. If I told my dirty secrets, in my eyes I wouldn't be a good wife. I would disappoint my family. I felt I was stuck. I felt in God's eye, I had sinned, and this was my punishment. The ex loved material things more than people. We had three children, one of which died at birth. My "loving" husband chose not to be at my side.
Here we are today, 8 years later, this guy won't go away now. Funny, he wouldn't give me the time of day when we were married. I thought all the ducks were in a row, when we got a divorce, marriage counseling, he was sent to anger management therapy, he threatened suicide. I was willing to sacrifice material things we had acquired jointly, things he wanted, but freedom was what I wanted more!
Three years after our divorce he continued to call, harass, annoy, and make my life miserable. Silly me, if he wasn't nice married, how could I expect him to be nice now? A restraint order was put against him. Twice he violated it, by coming into my driveway. The first time was less than a week since our court hearing. He just didn't get it! A home I had purchased after the divorce. Both times the cops slapped his hand and said don't do it again! Cops disregarded the file I had given them to refer to.