For anyone reading my posts, I apologize if it seems like I am always jumping around. I just write my posts depending on where my memories lead me. One of the things I thought about the other day is how long I stayed with my abusive ex-husband because of fear. Fear really kept me paralyzed from making big decisions like whether to stay or go. Fear of the future is not a factual emotion but it will certainly prevent a person from making decisions that affect the future. If you haven’t heard the acronym it is helpful to tell yourself when you feel Fear creeping in.
- F.E.A.R – False Emotions Appearing Real / False Evidence Appearing Real
Some of my fears had to do with how awful he could be when he was angry. I guess I felt if he was this awful while married how angry he would be when I decided to leave. In fact when I made the decision to leave I really thought he might kill me. I know so many of the things he would say and do were meant to frighten me. He use to say if someone crossed him he could be their worst enemy. He also use to make comments about someone he knew whose wife left and he got custody of the kids. This idea was probably the scariest comment of them all and was probably the least likely in my situation (10 Custody Myths). He went on threatening to take me to court and take our daughter away for years after our divorce. I have lost track of how many times he has said I was crazy or unfit or whatever via emails. Even his current wife told my daughter I was crazy, how sick is that?
One time I remember listening to a Christian speaker, Joyce Myer, who said that people will stay in the present out of fear of the unknown future. Although, she said once the present becomes too painful you will make that move forward and venture into the unknown. At one point I remember wondering how I was going to pay for things, get a job, pay for that car I was driving and especially take care of my daughter. Eventually, I decided that I didn’t care if I had to live in my car, I was going to leave.
There was some part of me that really hoped things would eventually get better and I wouldn’t have to get divorced for my daughter’s sake. Oftentimes I wondered if stay was worse for my daughter than the consequences of a divorce. Today, I am positive that leaving him was the best thing I could have done for her. At least now she has a healthy environment for about 20 days per month.
I also remember my husband telling me, “I have been so pissed at you at times that I could have thrown you through a wall… but I don’t.” What is that a term of endearment? That my own husband would even consider throwing his wife through a wall. Really disturbing.
Actually, I really did not figure out I was in an abusive relationship until I had left and he continued to harass me. I eventually made it to a Domestic Abuse Counseling Center in hopes of finding solutions to make him stop harassing me. I actually remember telling them part of my story and they were able to tell me all the other things he was doing because they called him a ‘Classic Textbook Abuser’.
At one point I was talking to my ex-husband on the phone and told him what he did and was doing was abusive. He said this, “Kicking holes in doors and breaking glasses is not hitting, prove that in court.”
This comment was most upsetting because I guess it was easier to think he was just out of control and unaware of what he was doing. His comment just made me realize that he knew exactly what he was doing and knew how not to take it too far to get in trouble with the authorities.