I just finished your September issue of The Lyfe Magazine. On the last page it mentioned that October was Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I didn’t know that, so I found it truly ironic that it was in October 2013 I left my husband. We had been married for 24 years but had been together for 29 years in all.
Four years before I left he became physically abusive. In hindsight and after therapy (I had serious rage issues) I realized he had been emotionally abusive for years before that. Like many other women I asked myself “How did I not see this happening?” and “How could I have been so stupid?” The reality is you shouldn’t waste your time on those questions if you clearly see the problems now. Your energy is best used on deciding what your next steps are going to be.
I was lucky. I didn’t have anyone to worry about but myself. The second time he threw me around I left for two weeks and refused to return until we had an appointment with a marriage counselor. We went for several months and things seemed better for a couple of years. Then gradually he started slipping back into the same pattern.
I’m ashamed to admit this, but I’m hoping it will make another woman in a similar situation stop and think before she does something she can’t take back. I did not finally leave him because I felt he was going to seriously hurt or kill me. I left because I realized I was going to kill him!
For over 20 years we did everything together. For many years I truly felt he was my best friend. Then he became an angry, bitter man because the choice his 20-something year old self made wasn’t something his 50-something year old self could tolerate. As in marrying a woman he knew couldn’t give him a child. He flat out told me that had he known it, he wouldn’t have married me.
Of course, he did know. I had surgery 6 months before we got married to see if my issues could be fixed. He was sitting right there with me when the doctor told me that the surgery didn’t work. His response was that it didn’t matter. “I want to marry you and the son you already have is enough.” Of course he denied one statement or the other depending on his mood.
I don’t know how long I had been doing it before I noticed that every time he seemed to be losing control I would always go to the kitchen and stand by the knife block. And I wouldn’t leave until he calmed down. Then, after he had spilled all of his poison out on me and had calmed down, I would be shaking with bottled up anger. I started thinking, “the next time he looks like he’s even thinking about raising his hand to me, I’m going to stab him in his chest with the biggest knife in here”.
The more it happened, the worse my thoughts became after an argument or a fight. When I caught myself planning what I would say to the police AND what I would wear to his funeral, I knew I would have to leave. He yelled and cursed at me all weekend, threw things around the house, breaking things he knew had sentimental value to me; and I never said a word. Nor did I go into the kitchen. When I heard the garage door shut, I went upstairs and threw the things in a bag that I’d been mentally packing all weekend. Half an hour later I was gone.
I had been a housewife for many years and even before I worked jobs, not pursuing a career. I was Mom and Wife. My family was where my energy and focus was. It’s not easy starting over. But it’s better than having the stain of murder on my soul. You see that is my reason for writing this. Legally, it would have been self-defense but considering how much thought I gave it, there was no way I could face myself every day. AND how could I even dream of trying to pass that off to God?
People in those desperate situations need to do everything they humanly can do to get out. Not just to protect yourself physically and emotionally but so you don’t do something to make yourself ashamed to face God.