Archive | January 2014

Ooh…I’m Telling

“If we own our story, then we can write the ending.” – Brene Brown

I’ve been saving this quote for a while now.  When I came across it I knew I wanted to use it.  Not so much because it’s just one of those sayings that people throw around to be inspirational – but because I figured at some point the words that would follow it – these words – my words – would come from a place within me that really and truly believed in it.

To quote another great American treasure…

“Oops, I did it again.” – Britney Spears (note sarcasm)

After I decided to let another friend into my life story earlier this month, I must say I was a little shocked to see that I didn’t have a panic attack.  I didn’t hide away and regret telling her.  I didn’t feel embarrassed by the fact that someone else was out there in the world and knows my personal business.  My secrets.  Look at me…I’m okay.  For that reason, I decided to tell another person.

Another childhood friend.  She is someone I’ve known since the third grade.  We were in school together until high school graduation.  We were never the best of friends.  We were classmates, acquaintances, neighborhood kids that played and hung out within the same circles.  It wasn’t until 2008, when we had our elementary school reunion, that we started to become close.  As adults, we now had a different perspective on each other.  We outgrew those things in childhood that kept us at arm’s length and started to bond.

Midway through this blogging journey, I knew there were a certain handful of people who I would be comfortable telling.  She was always on that list.  When I told her that I had been writing about my life and wanted to share it with her, I’m not sure what exactly she anticipated reading.  It wasn’t this – that’s for sure.  She was very surprised.  Although, she did say she had heard a rumor about it, which she dismissed because – if you know me – I’m not the type of person anyone would imagine this happening to.  She was floored to say the least and wants me out of here – like yesterday.

Tonight, I decided to tell another friend.

This woman I have known for just about the same amount of time I’ve been with my husband.  We met at work at my first “real” office job after high school and have been friends ever since.  She has had way more than her fair share of traumas in her life and I think I’ve seen her through most of them.  Never really understanding how one person can go through so much in their life and still get up, move on and live life.  At the same time, I am going through all of this.  To me, my first instinct is to care more for what my friends are dealing with then what I am.  I know what I can handle but you never know when something they’re dealing with is just too much.

I have to laugh because with the four people I’ve told, who know me in the real world, I’ve sent the link and pretty much ran away from the computer.  I didn’t want to be there for an initial reaction to them opening my blog and seeing the words Battered Wife.  I’m not really sure what I thought would happen.  I guess it’s a similar feeling of nausea as you get when sitting on the roller coaster and as it starts realizing…holy shit, I’m actually doing this.

There is no doubt that each of these people have been brought in to my life, albeit at different stages, to be part of my journey.  This very specific journey.  Luckily, I have four beautiful friends.  That I know of.  Time will tell if there will be more.  However, I could not have done this without all of the supportive people who have been following me for the past four months and actually given a damn.  It’s only because of that support that I’ve begun to find the strength to tell others.

All of that being said, I now understand what that quote means to me.  If by owning my story and having the strength and nerve to tell those I care about the most then in turn I will be able to write my ending.  A happy ending.  And I trust that is going to be one awesome read.

Thanks guys! xoxo

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To read from the beginning… my story starts here.

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Forgiveness 101

I just came across this article.  Funnily enough…I gave similar advice out to one of my readers a couple of months ago.  Sounds like it may be something that actually works.  The reason I gave this a read was in the title…Why Forgiving Yourself Can Be So Hard?  Of course it didn’t hurt that it was written by Deepak Chopra.  I mean, if anyone should have the right answers you’d think it would be him.

Seriously though, I cruised along this topic a couple of months ago in my post Missing Ingredient.  I’ve seen and come more familiar with the topic of self forgiveness since then.  It really is everywhere.  Yet, I’m still not sure where I stand…with myself.  The beginning of this article states:

Some people are so ashamed that they can’t bring themselves to tell anyone their secret. The result is the worst kind of guilt, that festers inside with no chance for relief. If you feel that you have this kind of deep guilt, you must still find a way to believe that you are forgiven. You may have to take baby steps to get there.

Now this I have covered.  I was most definitely ashamed of my secret.  Although I’m not necessarily sure it made me feel guilty.  However, in telling my secret it did relieve this massive burden I carried.  The burden of holding on to that secret in the first place.  Sometimes I’m still in shock that I’ve said it and that it’s out there.  But I’m glad I did.  I feel confident enough to continue to tell people.  My own personal 12-step program.  I have no idea what step I’m on but I am on the staircase!

This article is brief so I don’t want to recount the entire thing here but in short there are 3 steps to aid in self forgiveness.  The first being to write a letter confessing your secret.  Check.  Done deal with this blog.  It’s where the second and third steps come into play that I was intrigued by – mostly because I hadn’t thought of it in those terms.  The second, put my “guilt” on someone else as if it wasn’t mine.  To give me perspective.  In other words, how would I see this burden if it wasn’t mine.  I’d say that was a semi-check.  In reading all the other stories out there, similar to mine, I feel like I would have given the same advice that others have given to me – and so as I would give unto myself (Does that make sense? 🙂 I’m kind of tired.).  Behold the third suggestion, adopt a mantra so that when you feel this “guilt” (aka burden) creep up you can repeat it over and over.  One suggestion being “I am not here to suffer anymore” which is somewhat suitable for my situation.  Apparently, this will help to rewire my thinking and not take me down the same road that I was on in feeling said guilt in the first place.

All in all, it seems logical.  I’m not adverse to giving it a try.  It may make more sense in helping to forgive actual feelings of guilt, which for certain past behavior I have come to terms with and forgiven myself.  I’m not sure how much it would work for forgiving myself for being where I currently am.  I absolutely recognize that some sort of self forgiveness needs to take place.  I would assume, though, this has to be something that happens – as an epiphany.  Maybe I am not enlightened enough yet and haven’t reached that place where I am truly engaged to my internal emotional state that I feel warrants forgiveness.  I don’t know.  This topic completely stumps me.  Doesn’t hurt to try, right?

Have you forgiven yourself?  What made you come to that point where you knew that’s what was needed?  For those of you who have been down the same road, any suggestions on this self forgiveness theory?

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To read from the beginning… my story starts here.

Pass The Salt

I’d love to be able to sit here and write about how the calm days outweigh the irrational and insane days – which they do.  I’m also really loving the place I am mentally – feeling strong and capable.  I’ve even been contemplating telling others.  Friends of mine from my past that I feel okay with knowing.  However, there are days that come around that – when sitting in the middle of it – casts a shadow over all of my progress.  So, if I don’t speak about it then what’s the point?  Does it mean that I haven’t come as far as I thought?  Or that I am embarrassed or ashamed to tell of the days when I am still weak?  I don’t know.  All I know is today was a shitty day and here I am.

The weekends are, for the most part, sacred in my house.  My husband works on Saturdays so the kids and I can sleep late, watch tv in bed, or just lounge around and do nothing all day long.  It really is the best.  Stress levels are low – until about an hour before we know he will be home, that’s when we run around straightening up and preparing for whatever mood may enter.  Sundays are not always that bad.  I will sleep as late as I can until catching up on work I left over on Friday afternoon gets the better of my thoughts.  Of course, at some point, there will have to be “family time” where we sit and watch a movie or a few episodes of whatever television shows we have missed thanks to Netflix and Hulu.  Today seemed like all would be going smoothly…until the salt went missing.

Yep.  Salt.  Destroyed the day.  The peace.  The quiet.  The hope of an afternoon of silence.  Shot to shit.  I woke up around 10:00 am but stayed in the bed until 10:30 am.  Was trying to suck up every minute before the inevitable call for me to come downstairs and give him a few minutes of my time, which usually equals no less than 45 minutes and up to at least 2 hours.  But so far nothing.  Did he wake up and already fall back asleep?  I don’t know but it was quiet until the dog started barking to be let out.  So I had no choice but to get up and go downstairs and let him out.  When I did, I noticed my husband wasn’t home.  What also happens on Sundays, food.  He must have gone to get bread, sandwich meat, cookies, etc. anything that can carry us through the day with minimal cook time – not out of kindness for me – but so that more time is spent with him.

It’s about noon time and he gets up to get something from the kitchen and asks where the salt is.  Now let me just make note…I ran out of salt on Thursday night.  None left in the shaker and no refill canister.  No big deal, we don’t use it regularly on our food so a day or two or three without it should not be that big of a deal.  Apparently, of all days, today he needed salt.  He found some little packets we had from some fast food place and used a pinch and put the opened package in the cabinet.  This is what he said he did – earlier in the morning while we were all sleeping.  So far, I am the only one aside from him who is awake and has been in the kitchen.  He asks me if I’ve seen the salt.  I said no (I didn’t know about the packet yet) we ran out of it the other day.  He told me he had found a packet in the drawer, used it and put it in the cabinet.  I said nope…didn’t see it.  I asked him if he was sure he didn’t leave it on the counter because when I came down I cleared off the counters and table and if it was on either it will be in the garbage.  I personally didn’t notice it but if it’s not in the cabinet then check the trash.

Well…you would think I just accused him of stealing money from a little old lady.  Holy cow, he went nuts.  “I left it in the cabinet, right here, look, right here…not on the counter, not on the table, in the cabinet.”  So now he is talking shit and moving ALL of my spice bottles around and I decide…I’m going upstairs now.  I have plenty of work to do and since this salt situation doesn’t involve me I don’t have to sit here and listen to him go on and on.  So I go upstairs.  Within minutes, he is upstairs again asking me about the salt packet.  Bringing me the pepper packet and showing me (like I am 5 years old) this is what it looks like except it’s salt and it was open.  I looked at him like the moron he is and said…I know what you are talking about but I did not see it.  Again, I mentioned he should look in the trash.  When people – and by people I mean me – tell him something he doesn’t want to hear he calls it an attack.  Amazing, I know.  HE’S the victim.  So, I set him off because I verbally attacked him about the salt when he is clearly telling me he left it in the cabinet.

Now the arguing starts.

I am going nuts now because I am comfortable in how far and in what tone I can get away with.  “What the fuck is wrong with you?  How many times do you tell me something is in a specific place because that’s where you left it and when I tell you to look here or there, where you swear it’s not, when you actually look and find whatever where I said.”  Apparently, this was adding “fuel to the fire”.  I’m good at that.  I throw gas on flames, fuel on fire, yet somehow I can’t make a piece of shit burst in to flame with my mind…not yet at least…I do keep trying.  So, now the argument has been turned on me and how I am sounding like I am accusing him of not knowing what he did with the salt, etc.  Complete lunacy.  But in his usual manner he is up in my face as he is yelling and because he is so close I back up, which usually pins me somewhere in a corner and now I am in a corner with him inches from my face screaming.

Today, I wasn’t backing down.  I kept going at him because he refused to look in the damn garbage.  I wiggle my way out of the corner and take the trash and start dumping it out on the table…I am still yelling (attacking) asking why he refuses to look – because it’ll mean he was wrong – AGAIN – as I pull the salt packet out from the garbage bag and throw it on the table.  Now he’s had it…my voice, my talking, the fact that I was right…and he fucking hits me.  BAM.  Right on the side of my eye.  ON MY FACE.  What?  Are you actually kidding me right now?  I lost it…I am screaming and cursing and flipping out like a lunatic.  He wants to act crazy I will show you crazy.  You want to hit me?  Be ready because now it’s a full on war.

I have no idea if my neighbors are home but I go and sit on my couch by the front window…when we are screaming, closed doors, walls, windows mean nothing.  We may as well be standing outside.  Everything can be heard.  So I start yelling … you punch me in the face for salt?? FOR SALT???  And he is across the room verbally going at me and this is just back and forth now between the two of us but because I keep loudly breaking down the events leading to the hit he now asks if I am taping this.  He gets up and starts looking around.  I say, yes of course, I am taping this because I came down this morning and threw away the salt on purpose just to get hit.

This shit went on for two hours.  He decides to calmly and rationally explain to me how everything that went on for the past two hours was my fault because I kept attacking him on how he left the salt on the counter.  So now, ever the sarcastic bitch, I sit there with all fingers of my hand clenched under my chin except for my pointer finger which is aimed up towards my eye.  I raise my hand to speak….he hates that.  I am given the floor and just as psychotically calm and rational as he is I proceed to state how it is amazing to me how he and his brother are both so amazingly fucked up.  I said “your brother is a pathological liar and sociopath and you are a narcissist and can spin a story in such a way that you are never wrong.  It is amazing to watch.  If your stories weren’t 99% about me, I’d actually believe you.  It really is a gift.”  Of course, that sets him off again but honestly, the damage is done and I don’t give a damn.

He loves to lean over me as he speaks, gives him that authoritative power he is so desperately seeking.  And he grabs at me ripping my pajama bottoms and hitting my shoulder.  I’m not sure if it was an actual hit or if it was just in how he grabbed me.  It doesn’t matter…it is what it is.  But I snapped.  I said…let me fucking tell you something motherfucker….you are so lucky that I don’t want to waste another 25 years of my life on you…because that is the only reason you are not buried in the backyard right now.  Rest assured…I am walking a fine fucking line on THAT decision…and you better fucking hope I don’t say FUCK IT….because once I decide I don’t give a shit anymore…I am going to torture your mother fucking ass.  You will regret every thing you have every done to me.  This I promise you.

I can guarantee my eyes were popping out of my head as well as the veins in my neck, my throat hurts more than my face and my shoulder just from screaming at him but in the end…he knows.  He knows he has pushed me to the breaking point.  That’s one thing I can say.  I don’t lose it often but in more recent years…since about 2008…I have gone more into lunatic mode than in the past.  And he sees how I get when I watch certain (mob related) shows/movies.  Always have had a passion for that shit.  So I know when I make him nervous.  Today was one of those times.  However, in the end, he still got the better of me.

It’s times like this though that make me irrational.  I go from that strong-willed excited for the future woman to some caged animal that wants to maul their trainer.  I go into – I don’t care mode.  I eat excessively…because I don’t care.  I drink excessively (if it’s around)…because I don’t care.  I want to do some sort of damage to myself…because I don’t care.  My hand against myself should be far worse than anyone else’s.  Most especially his.  By punishing myself…I’ll show him!  Give me a break.  No need to comment on that.  I know it’s bullshit.  I’ll show him what, exactly?  Nothing.  He doesn’t give a damn to begin with.  I’ll only be setting myself back.  So instead I sit here and write.

I am feeling somewhat calmer than before, and even since starting to type this post.  And no, I am not reporting this, getting an order of protection or any of that.  I do not have the luxury of beginning a case with this shit.  I will stick to my plan for now.  I did take pics and will keep a record for myself should anything like this happen again.   But he is not going to bother me any time soon.  I know his MO.  Now he will play sad and regretful husband.  Doesn’t matter to me…he knows something has changed.  Just how the universe is helping guide me in the right direction, it is warning him to keep on his toes.  As he should.

No matter how I decide to play my cards, in the end, he loses.

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To read from the beginning… my story starts here.

Something Is Going On

Something is definitely going on.  I’m not exactly sure what it is – but it is undeniable.  There is something stirring, even as I sit here typing this.  When I get the urge to talk to you (those of you that may catch a glimpse of this), there is this streaming sensation I get in my chest, an urge almost, to speak, to vent, to let it out.  It’s insanely powerful and when I start to feel the very beginnings of it, I know it’s time.  So I sit here and close my eyes – and wait.  Within minutes my head and my heart come to an understanding (best way to describe it) and voilà…here I am.

What is it exactly that is happening?  I feel awakened…alert, oriented, as if my mind is mentally preparing itself – by itself.  How do I even begin to describe this?  Almost as if my mind is craving a sort of knowledge.  Not the…DIY how to build a bookshelf or what the best green products on the market are…no.  It’s more of the self awareness/enlighten me sort of thing.  An overwhelming sensation of the need to acquire all of the information I will need to guide me along the rest of my journey.

Truth be told…

If I play the numbers game, and wait for my son (the youngest) to turn 18, mathematically I still have 3 years.  Which seems like forever now that I am so close.  Of course, in the grand scheme…I have done 25 years already, so the last 3 years should be a cake walk.  And if I look at it in school years, he’s half way through his first year of high school.  Between week long vacations here and there, summer will be here and gone before you know it and I’ll be talking about his sophomore year.

Now, this is the part where people say don’t wait, take your kids and leave.  My older two are over 18.  Although they still live at home, I’m not worried about them.  I have already prepped the oldest that I will not be here that long past her brother’s 18th birthday and I have started to drop hints to my middle child – who is the more clingy of the three.  Over the years I’ve said plenty of times that I am out when my son turns 18 – albeit in the heat of an argument – or under my breath – or just out loud when none of them have the time to help me around the house because they’re all busy on their electronic whatevers.  So I know, in one way or another, this departure will be no surprise.  Not even to my husband – except I think he’s in denial.

I don’t want to push my luck by continuing to state that at the moment there has been no physical abuse for quite some time, but the verbal and psychological bullshit is enough to make me contemplate throwing it all away and adding another 25 years to my sentence.  That being said, I know him well enough that if I were to leave now – with my son – it would not play out well.  It’s the one topic he has made clear – if not directly to me – then talking out loud (as if to himself but we both know it’s directed towards me) during Jerry Springer-type shows, what would happen if I ever took any of his kids away from him.  Plus, as I said before, I don’t want my kids to live in hiding.  No reason for it.  They didn’t choose this life.  It would’ve been different if I left when they were small and they didn’t know any better or even when three kids was only two kids, or even one.  I’m not doing that to them now.  I have no issue going into hiding when I leave – but it’s not for them.

So, I’ll do the remainder of my time…sorting, selling, tossing…ridding myself of the bullshit that I have acquired these past two decades that are unnecessary and that I will not leave behind for him.  Basically, a slow but steady decrease in the non-essentials.  I will take advantage of my health insurance and keep up with regular visits to every and any doctor I am entitled to visit, get my bills paid, and paperwork in order.  I have already started to plan a course of action and will continue to do so.

Let me be the one to point out the elephant in the room…anything can happen in a course of 3 years.  That’s obvious.  If the opportunity arose that was a now or never situation, I’d be all over it like white on rice.  No worries there.  Unfortunately, he seems to be somewhat healthy (even without regular visits to the doctor).  Although there is an overwhelming possibility of sleep apnea…but he always ends up taking another breath of air.  Haha!!  Oh well.

Seriously though…I feel good.  I feel strong.  I feel amazingly optimistic (which is unlike me).  Whatever changes are happening within me are definitely for the positive.  And as I come to the end of this post…that feeling…the stirring I get before writing…is slowly leaving.  That’s how I can tell that what I have poured out was right and appropriate.

Even though I cringe at the thought of being so close but yet so far…when I go, I don’t want to “run” out of here.  I want to “walk” with my head up high.  At least that’s the plan.

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To read from the beginning… my story starts here.

2014 … So Far, So Good

Since 1988, I have been carrying around this burden on my shoulders of what was going on behind closed doors. It took me until 2008 to confide in a childhood friend about the reality of it. At that point it was not yet full disclosure but it was an admittance of what I had tried to hide for many years. Since then, I’d fill in blanks here and there when questions were asked but it wasn’t until May 2013 that I decided to come clean in full. I started to tell my friend beginning to end, every miserable detail. It felt good to get it out. I’ve known him since elementary school and there is a certain bond there so the comfort level and trust is natural.

After a much needed visit with my friend and their family, it changed something within me. Some sort of awakening happened. I was able to see and feel what I was missing in my life for all these years. And although I’ve always maintained that I will someday have it, this time it was more the necessity of making sure I get it. That godforsaken Happily Ever After. It’s a mystery. It completely eludes me. Does it really exist? I believe it does and if so not only do I want it but I need it. I need to prove to myself that it really exists – and that I am worthy of it.

In September 2013, about a week after visiting my friend, I decided to delve into something I had been thinking about doing for a while. Blogging. So, I did it. As I’ve said multiple times before, it’s been the best experience of my life. I could never have imagined the relief of releasing my secrets. Even if no one read any of it and if no one ever reads another word of it again, just putting these words and feelings out there…out of me…has been so ridiculously helpful. A purge, cleanse, cathartic…whatever you want to call it, it has been invigorating.

At some point, unnoticeable at first, something changed. I no longer cared who knew. People have heard the arguments and fighting over the past 25 years, no doubt. So it’s not like it has been that much of a secret. My neighbors had to have suspicion. Even if no one acted on it…he is a loud mother f—er. I’m sure the threats of physical harm have been heard clearly by some, if not all. The difference now is that it’s my story. I chose to become vocal. I chose not to let this garbage consume me anymore. I came across this picture and just the visual of it made so much sense. I feel like all these years of holding in this darkness was me in my cocoon. Letting it out changed me into this butterfly that is ready but still can’t fly just yet.

With the start of this New Year, I decided to take another step. I decided to let another friend in, someone whom I have known for about 8-10 years now. We have a kinship that has ushered our friendship into a mutual respect and admiration, an almost parallel story line – hers minus the abuse. I’ve known for a couple of months now if I were to share this with anyone in my current circle of friends that she would be the one. It was a big step – a hard decision yet an easy one to make. I feel comfortable and I trust her with my story. So I sent her the link and closed my eyes.

The response was immensely comforting. She was shocked and saddened. Amazed by my strength to have gone through what I have and still be the person I am. My favorite comment, “you are an author”. I’ve only thought of this venue as being a place to say what needed to be said. Not a place for me to become a writer. Maybe because it’s my story so I tell it with tender loving care or because in reading everyone else’s story I have become more aware of the things in my past that need to be said out loud. Either way, it feels good to have told another person. Someone that knows me, and the person I am today. She is someone I hold in great esteem and I want to thank her for caring.

If this is how 2014 is starting then I trust that my future is bright. And I can’t wait.

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To read from the beginning… my story starts here.