I was checking out your “About” page and wanted to tell you that I love your page. It’s sincere and authentic and your story is very compelling. It definitely explains why you do what you do!
I also wanted to tell you something personal that I didn’t want to post on Facebook. I am sooooo glad that you found your way out of your marriage with Earl. I pray your daughter wasn’t too affected by the divorce and that she understands it was for the good of you both! Your story hits home for me not as a wife, but as a daughter.
My mom has been married 3 times and I so wish she could’ve had your strength!
Her first marriage to my father was physically abusive. She was young when she had me, only 17, so she was resilient. She packed our things and left him when I was 2. She met and married her 2nd husband when I was 2. He adopted me when I was 9…mainly because he didn’t want my mom to think she had any say in whether he did it or not. She was only married to him until I was 13, as a matter of fact he moved out on my 13th birthday!
Most people feel bad for me when I say that, but please don’t. That was the best present I could’ve gotten, and I was so relieved! I remember praying my mom wouldn’t let him move back in. She never did, but it didn’t matter. He was always mentally abusive to my mom, but after my baby sister was born when I was 7, he started doing it to me as well, only worse. It may seem like an exaggeration, but I swear to you, the DAY my baby sister came home from the hospital, in his eyes, I ceased to matter. He had his OWN daughter now. I’m not even sure why he adopted me a couple years later, because he’s made it known that he’s regretted that decision since he and my mom divorced.
Although he no longer lived with us, he still mentally abused us. He’d threaten my mom that he was going to “take” my sister from her and she was constantly watching over her shoulder. And he would either totally ignore me, or he would take out his anger at my mom on me. He constantly took my mom back to court to fight for lower child support payments. He made VERY good money also, and my mom was going to school for her nursing degree and working as a waitress in a bar at night to support us.
I stopped talking to him when he stood me up for two very important milestone moments after he’d promised he’d be there: my graduation party and my wedding. Both times his family came and he did not. Both times they were flabbergasted and asking me where he was and both times I told them I had no idea, last I knew, he’d said he would come. Trying to have him in my life, at least as much as he would be willing to be, was too painful. I realized if I kept him in my life, I would have to accept how he treated me because he was never going to change. I knew I’d never be able to accept it. It just hurt too much to see his relationship with my sister wishing I could have that too.
My mom and her third husband have been married over 30 years, but it’s not great either. He treated me and my sister wonderfully; and still does. However, he’s cheated on my mom countless times. My mom says she forgives him, but she’s never going to let him forget. She says she wants to make him pay for it for the rest of his life. So, not only is she bitter and unhappy, but she says she stays married to him for financial reasons. I should mention that she has ALWAYS made more than him, so I’m sure she still cares for him. It’s simply that their relationship is incredibly dysfunctional.
I’ve tried over the years to explain to people what living with someone who’s mentally abusive feels like, but I can’t seem to get it across. I’m sure you know what I mean. As I say the words, and I hear them, they don’t seem to capture the extent of the hurt attached. I always just end up saying, “You just have to have lived it to know what I mean.”
I had to finally give up on the dream my mom would end up happily ever after one day. I realize it’s not my fight to fight and the choices she makes are what keep her in the situation and as miserable as she is.
So, after saying all this, I just wanted to make sure you were aware of the incredibly intelligent, brave thing you did. You made it through the other side, and now you have someone who treats you the way you deserve to be treated and loves you the way you deserve to be loved. You’re not less now, you’re equal, and that’s got to feel great! What an example you are for women going through an incredibly scary and emotional time in their lives.