Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Untying the Knot

Dear Blog,

4 weeks ago, I left my husband after only one year of marriage. 

This decision was not made lightly and it was a decision I arrived at with the support of my family, my closest friends, and, of course, my therapist. :)

About a month ago, after coming home in a bad mood and after months of verbal abuse, my husband threw the equivalent of a 4lb weight at my head in anger. When he missed, he picked it up, threw it again, just missing my head. It smashed through a double paned window instead. He then proceeded to say “I hate you, I hate you, I hate you” and “I’m going to punch you in the f*ing face.” Nice guy, right?

This outburst came after months of verbal abuse that started on our honeymoon. Calling me stupid, incompetent, unable to be a good wife, unlikely to be a good mother, the b-word, the c-word, among other things. Words that would, I fear, make even the most self-assured person begin to question their self-worth, their competence and even their sanity. 

There was additional physical abuse including, having objects thrown in my direction, sometimes hitting me and leaving bruises. I've been thrown against walls, shoved out of and across rooms, have had doors kicked in when I locked them to try and get away. 

After this most recent outburst I realized that if our 130 lb. Rottweiler runs and hides on a daily basis when he starts yelling at me, what will our children do when their father starts smashing windows. 

The morning after this happened, I very calmly went to church. I wanted to get away for a few days, I don't know if I was ready at that precise point to leave for good. I called my brother in NYC asking if I could crash on his couch. He asked why and I told him. His words to me were "if you don't tell mom and dad...I will". 

So threw a lot of RANDOM stuff in a suitcase, grabbed my two cats, and hauled ass home to Michigan where I curled up in an emotionally paralyzed fetal position for the better part of the week. 

This story is to be continued, however, rest assured that I am fine – physically speaking. And I am safe.

Oh, Blog, how I’ve missed you. This past year has been misery. This past year I was prohibited from being myself. I was led to believe that who I am, is fundamentally flawed. That I am neither funny, nor self sufficient, nor talented nor beautiful. That I am uninteresting, socially awkward, boorish and emotionally stunted.

So many times I have wanted to confide in you. To chart my thoughts, as I once did, in your pages in order to make sense of my sadness or my perceived inability to make my husband happy and my marriage a success.

I know now that this is what narcissists and abusers do – systematically beat down your spirit until you have no choice but to believe their lies.

Do not feel as though it was you, dear Blog I could not confide in. My family, my closest friends had no idea that I was being called stupid on a nightly basis, was ducking objects as well as insults being hurled in my direction. Because I knew, if I owned my reality, if I gave voice to actions I knew in my soul were wrong, they would tell me what I could not tell myself. That I should leave. That it was wrong. That my marriage, such as it was, had to end.

When thoughts are given form either through the stroke of a keyboard, or pinot noir stained lips, they take on a breath of life all their own. They are given a weight and a voice that you henceforth unable to keep at bay no matter how many “positive attitude” mantras you recite, prayers you pray or self-help marriage gurus you quote.

And so now, after three years of the walls of explanations, rationalizations and excuses keeping my thoughts at bay, I now type these words with the loudest and weightiest of keyboard strokes – giving life and conviction to the following thoughts:

My husband, who I loved and hoped to build and spend a life with, verbally, emotionally and physically abused me. It was…it IS Not my Fault. I am a brave person for leaving. This was the right decision. I am proud of myself for making it. 

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Cyprian V said...

Honey, I want you to do a little toast and imagine I'm there with you. Thank God you were able to get out of this marriage after only a year--do you know how many women stay trapped in these conjugal prisons for decades? You will look back on this one day as a bright new beginning, not as the end it probably looks like now.

My own parents hate each other and are together for reasons of convenience. I've also endured abuse (though from a parent, not a partner) and know how corrosive it is. You're so strong for walking away.

Anonymous said...

Hey Scarlett
How are you getting on. I hope you remain safe. Ex partners are also dangerous.
Great to have the support around you. Make sure you keep physically strong.
Please blog the next chapter

Ó'Cuinn said...

So sorry to hear about what you have been dealing with in your life. Hope things are looking up for you. Please update when you can.