Roller Coaster 2 Weeks

I hate change, partly because every time my life changed it seemed to make things worse for me and better for D. The last couple of weeks I have been living way out of my comfort zone with many changes and a roller coaster of feeling. As the days passed, I jotted down these short notes.

Wednesday the 12th: Phone call, the divorce is finalized. Judge went over everything. Papers will be mailed. ~Feeling strangely unsettled.

Thursday the 13th: Boss informs me of a new work policy. If someone calls in sick, as the supervisor, if I can’t find someone to cover the shift I can’t call agency anymore I am to cover the shift. Also they are cutting the crew and changing the shift rotation. ~Feeling frustrated.

Friday the 14th: Received divorce papers Judge gave D. 40% of the bills I got the other 60% because he doesn’t work full-time, seriously! He got the house and his boat. I got the van. Really! Did the judge read everything? I didn’t share at D.V. group. ~Feeling cheated.

Saturday the 15th: Packing while D. hovered over me questioning everything I packed. ~Feeling frustrated

Sunday the 16th: Someone called in, so I am working the shift so I can’t go to church. ~Feeling agitated

Monday the 17th: Met the new E.D. He has great plans. ~Feeling hopeful.

Later today: D. Informs our kids in front of me that everyone has to buy their own food for now on. Without missing a beat DJ asked his dad if that included him. ~Feeling humored.

Tuesday the 18th: The E.D., the nurse, and I have a meeting. I like him she doesn’t, Oh wonderful. ~Feeling nervous.

Later today: screaming, banging, and cursing when I run downstairs to see what’s going on D. yelled at me that my dog at your piece of pie. My dog is shaking and scared. ~Feeling pissed

Wednesday the 19th: Training a new girl 5 minutes in she quits because she is told to stop talking and to pay attention. Later I found out I have to do two 16 hour shifts (3pm to 7am) on Thursday and Friday. My sweet Karla offers to cover 4 hours of Thursday for me. ~Feeling thankful and frustrated at the same time.

Thursday the 20th: nurse text me “We need to talk”, so we scheduled a meeting for tomorrow. ~Feeling anxious.

Later today: D. seems ready for us to leave. D. asked when I was moving out because he found someone to rent our daughters room. ~Feeling confused and happy at same time.

Friday the 21st: When the nurse met with me she complained about the E.D. goes on and on about how it’s his way or the highway. Complains how she has to catch up her charting. (I told her that 6 months ago) She is mad because he likes me. ~Feeling confused.

Saturday the 22nd: only slept 2 hours before the dogs woke me to go outside. The sun was up so I am up too. ~Feeling tired

Sunday the 23rd: I have to cover another shift. No church again. ~Feeling like I need to get my resume ready.

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Can’t we raise the standard?

A man puts a gun to his wife’s head. His sister tells the wife it’s both your fault.

A man in power has sex with a young secretary the wife defends the husband. The girl is shamed. She loses her job.

A mother tells a wife if he doesn’t like squash don’t cook it then he won’t get angry.

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard women justify, defend the abuse that their son, husband, brother, or father inflicts on another woman. To me personally, this is as abusive as the man’s behavior.

The adage of “Stand by your man” is disgusting whether it’s their son, husband, father, or brother. If you are a woman and you condone the behavior of a man that either physically or mentally abuses a woman – you’re being abusive! You’re an enabler and part of the problem. If a woman tells me it’s my fault somebody strangled me, hit me, threw me around that’s offensive.

Society would be outraged if a man made any of the above statements. We need to hold women to the same standard we hold men. I agree wholeheartedly we need to hold men accountable for their actions, still, if we don’t as women meet this standard ourselves then the world will never change.

Why aren’t you afraid?

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Almost every Friday I set with a group of women who like me are victims of emotional and physical abuse. This is a closed group with strict rules: be faithful, honest, and listen to the feedback.  It’s a tight group with a committed core. I sat perched waiting for the talking ball to be passed to me. I usually come in and say little, but tonight there was a plan, I wanted to vent…..

I received information that D is setting himself up as a victim. He told his transgender group I am leaving him because of his chosen lifestyle. He’s never mentioned to them his conviction of domestic violence. I’m sure his affairs or the years of gaslighting me until I began to believe I was crazy never came up. He told his family that I am leaving him because he doesn’t make enough money. Twenty-nine years of marriage and over twenty jobs with years of unemployment, yes money was an issue!

Yesterday was the last straw I damaged my van, the second I pulled up in front of my house he was waiting on the curb. I watched as he paced around the van, arms crossed, eyes glaring at me. I joked with him, “Aren’t you glad I’m getting the van in the divorce?” It was met with a cold face as he muttered, “I haven’t got any divorce papers.” His response is confusing, it’s illogical. One would assume only the person making the payments on the van would have an interest in the damage. What isn’t understood is that D thinks of me as property and anything of mine is his.

I sat listening to a young woman who had attended about three meetings. We had spoken a couple of times after group. As she spoke she reminded me of myself about 10 years ago. I was thinking, I hope she gets out sooner than I did. With no warning, she looked me in the eye and asked: “why aren’t you afraid.” She tossed the talking ball to me. Startled I half-heartedly laughed, “I’m afraid, very much so.  I’m afraid of everything: to write a blog, of losing my job, of not paying bills, of what people say, of disappointing my family, of my kid’s opinion of me, of the silence when I enter the church, of his silence.”

“I can see what’s going on around me. I sense the escalation; his panic with every box packed. He yells at our kids, my dog, and inanimate objects; anyone, anything but me. I’m like the forbidden fruit. His anger management class training is being stretched to the limits. I realize if he crosses the line he won’t stop. Knowing he feels he’s losing control and all of this adds up to a ticking time bomb.” The talking ball rolled back and forth in my hand I sat silent for a while before continuing, “I made a choice some time ago, that no matter what he did I would stay with him until my children were out of college. I wanted them to have a chance at a great life. I wanted them to have choices. I chose not to tell anyone what was happening. If people regard him as a victim and they can’t see through the layers of lies; that’s their problem, not mine. Don’t know what will happen in the next couple of months if he’ll let me slip away or if he will snap. I am afraid” I stopped and focused on trees outside the window.  Lowering my voice I continued, “I also made the choice he wouldn’t do it anymore. God gave me peace with this decision, my pastor blessed it. For this change to happen I kept moving forward with my fear.” I looked her in the eyes, “You need to keep moving forward with your fear. The fear we share is of the unknown because we both know it can get worse. How many times have you said ‘it can’t get any worse’ just to go to a new level of hell? I came here tonight to vent, but now I realize it was a step backward. People will think what they want. If I stress over my ex’s behavior it won’t accomplish anything except maybe make him happy.”

She asked, “How are you moving forward?”

I shrugged my shoulders, “I don’t know. I pack hoping God has a place I can afford.  I pray though in my heart I believe God favors D. I force myself to do things that will make me more independent. God whispers and I listen that’s it.”

After the meeting, we exchanged phone numbers. I promised to text her every day.

I left focused: my fears in one hand, my goals in the other, and my ears on God.