Two weeks ago I asked for others to share their honest, naked stories with me…those thoughts that were difficult to write and even harder to publish. I could never have expected the amazing, emotional and above all, human stories that would turn up on my cyber-doorstep. One such story shocked me…both because of it’s subject matter and because I would never have expected the author, a strong and compassionate woman, to have come from such a terrible past. I guess we are all deeper than any of us will know. She sent me her story but asked that I not share her name. Here is her story:
I got married at age 20 to a much older man. I’d lived in the same town all my
life, so when he got a job halfway across the country, I was thrilled and terrified
at the same time. We moved over the Thanksgiving weekend and it was the beginning
of my isolation from my family, from having friends, and from having a husband,
frankly. He didn’t like me talking to anyone. Didn’t like me calling home. But he
had dreams of money, so I did go to work, doing stuff I was familiar with.
Meanwhile, he began an affair with a co-worker and rarely even spoke to me. He
expected me to cook his meals, clean his house and put on a good appearance, but he
wasn’t really interested in being my husband. And I think he actually wanted me to
be his mother, not his wife. I eventually had a brief fling with a co-worker
myself, but felt so horrible about it that I ended it very quickly.
One night, out of the blue, my husband asked me if I’d ever cheated on him – and I
said yes. What had up till then been (as I know now) emotional abuse escalated to
include physical abuse. Any excuse to hit me and I wound up with bruises that I had
to hide when I went to work. Then he made me quit my job. My isolation was
complete. If I went to the grocery store and it took more than 30 minutes-bam. If
dinner didn’t include a meat, some kind of potato, and a salad-bam. Some friends of
his stopped by and stayed with us overnight on their way to somewhere else. I went
out to the kitchen in my bathrobe for some water and when I got back, he accused me
of screwing his friend (in 2 minutes????), slammed me against the wall and hit me
until I hit the ground.
I was angry. But I had no outlet and no way out and fighting back never even
occurred to me. And one day, I snapped. He was watching football and drinking beer
and told me to get him another one. I did, then went back to the kitchen, took out
a very large knife, and left. I wasn’t sure what I was doing. I couldn’t really go
against him. I thought about killing myself. But I wanted the world to hurt as
much as I did – so I started walking. Heading for the nearest shopping center,
where I would take out as many people as I could before killing myself. This was
back when all those guys were shooting up McDonald’s restaurants or cafeterias
before committing suicide. I absolutely understand them. Show the world how much
pain you’re in, then leave.
I was foiled by kindness though. Saved by an evangelist, of all people. Larry
Jones, of Feed the Children, saw me walking with that big knife and stopped the car.
I actually knew the guy, having worked on his TV programs, but he could have kept
going, could have pretended not to see me. I sure didn’t see him until the car was
stopped and he was getting out of the car. He offered to help. He talked to me and
listened to me and it was the first time I ever told anyone what was going on.
After I was talked out, he asked me what he could do and I told him to take me home.
He was against it, but now that it was all out, I could think. I could make a
plan. And I did. It took a while, but I finally left. I explained why and told
him that if he came after me, it would be the end of him. And like a lot of
bullies, he backed down. I was only fun when I cowered. I had told someone else –
my dad. I told him I was coming home and that if I didn’t call
him at X time, that he was to call the police and tell them exactly what was going
I don’t know if he’s still alive even. Once I’d made my stand, I never really heard
from him again. We got divorced, my father accompanied me back to collect some of
my stuff. I heard that he’d moved back to my home state, but he never contacted me.
I worry sometimes that he’ll figure out where I am, that I’m happy, that I have a
kid. He already has told someone that I ruined his life. I am afraid that he will
try to get back at me, try to hurt me by hurting the people I love. But I lessen
those odds every day. By learning to fight back. By teaching my son to fight back.
By including my husband and my brothers and the people I love in my life and my
activities. None of us will be victims again.
And there you have it, Jenny. My secret is that at one time I wanted to kill people
for no reason other than they weren’t me. Yep. I was nuts. I’ve had counseling, a
lot of time has gone by, and now I am happy. I’m thankful that that is not my life
anymore. I’m thankful that I didn’t have kids with him. I am grateful that I am
alive, that I love, that I mother, that I contribute. And really, I couldn’t ask
for more than that.
If you would like to share your naked story, please leave me a link in the comments. All will be shared at Mama Drama on Monday.