Putting My Life All Together

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.

11 thoughts on “Putting My Life All Together

  1. I have no answers, no advice: I’m struggling with my emotions and feelings about my own situation. I would like to thank you sincerely for sharing your story. I can see how much you have been through, and can’t begin to imagine how devastating the loss of your son must be for you. But the action you are taking to get back control of your life is amazing and I find you an inspiration. Once again, thank you so much x

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  2. This is very brave of you! Looks like you have dealt with a lot.
    You are definitely a fighter and your battle is not over. Personally, I believe that people can change. We learn and grow our whole lives. But I would definitely let him prove himself first before ever thinking about trusting him again.
    Stay strong!
    Lots of love
    Patty

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  3. Hello there. I think I may be able to help. Let me give you my credentials. I helped to start a Domestic Violence shelter in Pennsylvania. I did counseling and started and ran the legal unit. I wrote briefs and presented them in court for the women. Twenty plus years plus I was a psych nurse. There is a pattern of abuse and many therapists are not readily familiar with the cycle of violence. I recommend you go to your local shelter and get counseling from the experts. You may not have a job, but the shelter counselors and advocates can help you with that. If you were you divorce he will have to pay you alimony. If you are married 10 years or more you are entitled to his social security. I understand that you love your house, but living without fear and violence is more precious than anything. As you heal from all the years of abuse, you will be surprised to find out who you really are. If you are interested, go to my blog and go the left side bar. Go to October and you will find many blogs on Domestic Violence. I think they may help. I am here every day, so feel to ask questions or share anything on your heart or mind. Hugs and be safe, Barbara

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  4. Hi Scapper Jude… Sorry… I was just sending you a long comment and I lost it. I don’t know if it got posted because I can’t see it yet but I will continue…. What I was saying basically, is that your husband seems to want to change. He seems to be trying. Only time will tell for you will see the fruit of this actions. Remember scripture tells us that you will know the kind of tree by the fruit that it produces. His actions and words will tell his fruit. Keep praying for him as I know that you do. God can change anyone. Ask God to tell you and show you if he is truly changing. God will tell you. He told me that mine would never change but He told others to wait because He was changing them. God will continue to guide you along the best path for your life. I pray that God will continue to heal both of you and though you have have many years of mourning, joy will come in the morning. Many, many blessings to you, my sweet friend!!

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    1. You are the first person who actually makes some sense to me. I know some facts that his behavior is a learned behavior from the cultural environment he grew up in. He admitted this to me. I also witnessed some of the behavior he was forced to live with. I think what is confusing me is why did he not realize this for himself? He brought the same behavior to our marriage. Only when he started therapy 42 years later he was forced to face the “devil” so to speak. Does this make him less than a man? Don’t I have the right to be angry or at least get through the anger. Will God help me understand this and guide me toward forgiving? My anger is so deep, beyond my husband; I am angry at his parents as well. However, this was the environment they learned with their culture growing up. My husband’s grandfather (Dad’s father) was depressed and stopped providing for his family at the age of 35. (around 1938) My father-in-law was a POW in World War II and I saw the anger in him, especially the way he treated my mother-in-law. My mother-in-law wasn’t an angel either. This was very clear five years before her death. So to put it all in perspective, the whole family was dysfunctional in some way. With all this being said it is starting to become clear to me that my husband lived in a house with many issues. I need to ask God to save him and help him get through this so then he can help both of us work together to finally live a life of peace and love..

      Thank you for your friendship and your help. It isn’t going to be an easy road but if I could only believe in God’s help…I just may achieve the life I am dreaming of.

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      1. Well, I can tell you that it is not an easy road. But, I can also tell you that God is already with you and helping you. You see, He is already in the midst of your struggles. It is only He that can change a person and it sounds like your husband is wanting to change. That is a huge step. God is already softening his heart to hear truths that have probably never been revealed in this way. If our hearts are hardened, we can’t receive instruction or correction. I can also tell you what God told me to help me forgive my ex. One day He told me that my ex treated me the way that he had been treated… at that moment, I realized that though I was a victim of his abuse, He was a victim to the abuses done to him. This is the cycle of abuse that continues generation after generation until it is broken. My friend, you have taken the steps to break it. You have drawn a line in the sand that you will not tolerate abuse any longer. He has submitted to this line. He has started going to counseling. He is trying to give into your demands for change. Another thing that God taught me one day was the depths of our wounds. Wounds occur from the many abuses that this world dishes out and these wounds are deep… they go past the tissue, muscle, or bones down to our spirits and souls. Our spirits and souls have been wounded and only God can see these wounds. God is also the only One who can heal these deep wounds that affect our personality and everything. You and your husband are both wounded, not only from abuses but from the heartache of having a sick child and then his death. As we look at someone as being a wounded victim, God gives us a different reference point and a compassion within our hearts to help forgive. We have to willfully forgive. We have to want to let go of the hurt, the pain, the anger and all the past so that God can do a total work in us with total healing and restoration. We have to let go of the past to move into our future. It’s not easy but with God, all things are possible. Keep holding onto Him and allow God to orchestrate your steps. Remember Jeremiah 29:11, “I know the plans that I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans for good, not for harm… to give you a future and a hope.”… Hold onto the Lord… He is already at work and orchestrating your life of peace and love. He is the Key, my sweet friend.

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      2. My sweet friend, I totally understand what you are going through from abuse. I know the pain, confusion, fear, and all of the mixed emotions that you are experiencing. I just thank God that He guided me through all of my trauma as I cried out to Him. I have explained step by step of what I went through in my book. He came to my rescue when I did not know that I needed to be rescued. God is there to help you… trust Him. I am here for you if you need. I will be praying for you, my friend…

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  5. Yes, I think a person can change if they really want to. You can rewire your brain, but it takes a lot of work. The desire for this change must be much stronger than the desire to stay the same. Thank you for sharing your life with us, because just by doing that will help you.

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