I think it is time for you to know who I really am and what I am sharing with you in this blog. You heard me talk about my book I am writing about my son. You see my inspirational mixed media quotes that I display here with music. You also read about me sharing my life with my husband for 42 years who emotionally and verbally abused me.
The abuse from my husband was part of my life for the 42 years of marriage and still is ongoing. I experienced the abuse for the many years I advocated and cared for my son Jason until his death seven years ago at the age of 28. After my son’s death I started to become aware of my husband’s behavior and began to fight back and demanded him to stop. His reaction to my fighting back was to seek therapy because he claimed he was depressed. After several sessions of therapy I was invited to join him. We were now in couple therapy.
This is when the dam opened up in my head. I started experiencing physical symptoms which later was diagnosed as an anxiety disorder. I sat in therapy listening to the therapist talking about how to express anger, how I should listen to his needs and so on. I left the sessions feeling very confused and was trying to understand why was I being portrayed as the victim.
A very good friend, who is experiencing abuse in her marriage, must of read between my words in our emails. She knew what was happening in my life before I did. She sent me an article from a Psychology Today issue about Narcissistic Personality Disorders. I read it and had my first “ah-ha” moment. This was and is my life with my husband.
I sent the article to my therapist and asked her what she thought. She didn’t respond to me. I sent her another text and requested a private session with her. A few days later she called and referred me to a colleague in her practice.
In my first session with this colleague the dam opened up completely and I spilled everything out that I was keeping hidden inside for many years. I told her stories of my emotional and verbal abuse I experienced from my husband. She gave me a book to read (don’t remember the name right now) for me to see if I could relate to the context of the book.
As I was reading the book I placed sticky notes all over the pages when I found correlation to my life as described in the book. For the first time in my life I was achieving control and taking responsibility for my well being.
At our next session I told her how I related to many areas of this book and I then asked her to please validate that I am a victim of emotional and verbal abuse. She simply just said yes!
Okay….Now what do I do. Everything I chose to deny for many years is now out in the open. I cannot financially support myself if I choose to leave him. Do I want to leave my house that I love? Do I want to continue living with this man?
After several months of contemplating my future I decided to wait and let my heart and gut guide me. I have to trust my instincts since they lead me for 28 years caring for my son and I could now say I did a great job with him. My instincts were correct in this aspect of my life. (The memoir of my son will be published soon and you will see for yourself how good of a job I did).
One night after coming home my husband was in one of his “moods”. I used the tools my therapist taught me when he is in this “mood” and how to handle him and protect myself. I will spare you the details but it was pretty bad. He would not stop abusing me emotionally. I finally had to leave our shared bedroom to achieve some peace. This made him even more angry, however, he finally left me alone in my sorrow to try and achieve a peaceful night. Try is the operative word here.
I know this is getting somewhat long so let me catch you up to where I am now in this relationship. I moved out of his room a few months ago. He was not happy. We are both still in therapy separately. I told him I was seeking a legal separation but still want to live in our house. This occurred New Years Eve day and after a few hours of emotional abuse, I left the house and spent the evening with my family. The next day I called him because I wanted to go home and I needed to hear his voice so I knew what to expect. I heard his voice and it was extremely sad. I hung up and broke out in a hour long crying session. What is happening to me? Was I crying because I still love him and could not stand hearing the sadness in his voice?
I arrived home and I asked him to sit down so we can have a long talk. We talked about how he understands what he did to me through the years. His therapist is helping him learn new behaviors. He basically told me he is trying and when I told him I was seeking a legal separation, he didn’t understand because he thought he changed. I do see some changes in him but not what I need to see. He is like a puppy dog trying too hard for my attention and love.
I cancelled the appointment with the lawyer and we are living day by day with both of us in separate therapy. I do know I now have control of my life and remind him when he slips.
Last week I needed comforting and I returned to our bedroom. I did not move back in, just returned. I am trying to give him some time. My question is: Can a man after 42 years of this kind of behavior, change? Can I ever trust him again? Is he manipulating me again? I cannot afford to move out so I am stuck.
Thank you all for listening to my entire story. Thank you to all my WordPress friends who are following me. If anyone has any suggestions or words of advice for me, I am open to any advice.
To end…..I did learn something from all of this….He no longer controls my life. The decisions I make are mine and mine only from now on. He is now walking on egg shells…not me. I am now in the drivers seat so to speak.