Today's post is not fun. I was going through what we call our "storage bus". It's an old Crown passenger bus, looks like a greyhound bus. I found a poem I'd written when I was married. It brought back so many memories of horrible times.
I'm writing this for one reason only, if you're living in an abusive situation, get out of it. I stayed for 25 years. I think I kept pretending it wasn't bad. Another thing that kept me there, I was so busy surviving each day I couldn't go beyond that limit. I was also afraid I'd never see my kids if I had to spend all my time trying to support them.
But now, when I look back, I can see anything would have been better than the way I chose. That's why I'm saying, if you live in a horrible situation, do whatever it takes and get out.
I had a good job at one time, I spent so much money on "marriage councelors". Can't spell that word today. It didn't change one thing. My ex would get drunk, do horrible things to us, pretend it hadn't happened the next day. We were left with horrible feelings of hating him for what he could do, and he'd say, "What the hell is wrong with you guys?" There would be clues he'd knows he'd threatened our lives, we knew that he knew, but always he pretended he was perfect.
He put on such an act in front of the world, there were people who were shocked when I finally left him for good. I guess I put on an act too. After I'd left him several times, I felt so stupid for always going back home. I wanted to pretend things were perfect too, I didn't want everyone to know what an idiot I was.
There were so many signs. On our honeymoon, which was no honeymoon at all, he went out and got drunk with a bunch of teenage girls. When I was packing to leave, he'd stand in the doorway for hours and not let me leave the house. I couldn't call, I couldn't do anything. I lived with threats. He came home drunk at 3 am and he'd line me and our two kids up on the couch. He'd then march back and forth in front of us, waving his fists around and telling us every single thing we did wrong from the time we'd first entered his life. Each time he did this, of course the lists were longer and longer. He'd get so sick he'd puke his guts out. The next day, I'd be cleaning it up and he'd accuse me of throwing up on the floor, he never did it. I used to try to paint, and he'd come home drunk and smack my paintings so they always ended up face down on the floor. He came home drunk one time and I was on my knees, stoking the wood stove. He grabbed the poker out of my hands and started to swing it at my head, he was screaming in a rage, "Don't you ever threaten me with with anything again." I just knew I was going to be dead but something stayed his hand. My son was in his bed and I knew he heard the entire thing. He was so afraid I'd be killed and he'd be left alone with his dad. It was something that terrified me.
Here's the poem I wrote, that brought my past screaming back to me.
The Marriage Bed
When I was lonely alone, I had a choice
For lonely alone I owned my voice
If I sought the company of others
They heard me as if I were their brother
Sometimes wisdom, sometimes wit
Often they told me I was full of it
But when I spoke my words
I knew, my voice, they truly heard
And when I neeed silence and ease,
Lonely alone, brought me the peace
to think and dream and idle and do,
the things I knew I needed to
Lonely together is a different thing
The silence has a dreadful ring
Ominous, and pressing it’s burden down,
It tears your soul and jerks it around
My voice is gone, it's yours instead,
Creating this thunder in my head.
I am nothing, my heart is dead.
This thing called marriage is in my bed.
Copyright by Donna Weber
My only purpose for this post, if you are someone who's feeling this way, do something about it. Get yourself and your kids to a safe place. Get out of there. You won't torture yourself with regrets later.
Something that made me realize what I was living with was this. In 2001 and 2 I was working in a small cafe at night, doing dishes. I came to work at the cafe when my feed store closed at 4 pm. Get this, I had divorced my ex and I was back living with him again. Of all the stupid stunts. I had believed in marriage. I thought you had to "make it work". I thought you had to sacrifice, forgive, look to the future....
My ex and I had gone to his cabin for the weekend. While we were there, we went to bed one night and he jerked my pillow out from under my head. I asked him to give it back and he refused. It wasn't the first time he'd done this to me. It had got to be his favorite trick of late. I slept that night without a pillow as I had several nights before this.
When Monday came, I waa still crying in frustration. I went to work at the cafe that evening and I was still crying. I just couldn't seem to quit. The cook was a friend of mine. He took me in the back room and he said tell me what happened this time. I told him the story about the pillow and when I finished, I said "Why does he do these things?" The cook answered me with something that made it all make sense to me. He said "Because he gets what he wants". It's that simple, I was giving my ex everything he wanted. He had this little slave to do everything he needed. I fed the cattle when he was drunk, I farmed the fields, I made sure the pipes were packed. I fixed up this little world for him where he was the king. At the expense of myself and my kids.
If this is happening to you, plesase get yourself out of there.