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I had always heard that girls were harder to raise than boys but I never really believed it… until now.

My youngest daughter is ripping my heart into little, tiny shreds – and I thought that had already been done but nooooo, the pieces CAN get smaller, ugh!  This month, I have found out many things I didn’t really want to know.

The biggest ones are that my youngest daughter has:

1.  Accepted the Bad Boy’s proposal so they are engaged.
2.  Had sex.  I’m not going to say with how many guys since even one is too many at her age but I’ll just leave it plural.  Her boyfriend/fiance is the one that told my husband this – what a crappy guy!  I was hopeful that his volunteering this information to her father would cause her to break up with him but no such luck.
3.  Started smoking about 6 months ago and had been vaping for about a year before that, which means she started well before the Bad Boy so unfortunately I can’t blame this one on him.
4.  Admitted to lying more than she tells the truth.  She says she is working on it and wants to stop lying but I can see that it’s become such a strong habit of hers that it’s very hard for her to start being completely truthful all the time.
5.  Been physically beat up for years and years by her older sister.  I was hesitant to believe her because of all the lying she’s done but I was actually able to get outside corroboration on her story and it’s absolutely true – I had no idea, none whatsoever and I feel like such a horrible mother for not knowing about it and stopping it.  She always had bruises but she was so active we just assumed it was from her playing outside and when questioned about it she always said she didn’t really know, must have been from when she was playing so we believed her.  At one point we did figure out that our older daughter was pushing our younger daughter’s buttons until she exploded but the older daughter was very, very hard to catch in the act and eventually we assumed she had stopped her button pushing.  In reality she just got better at being subtle about it.

Over the last four months the Bad Boy/Fiance has:

1.  Threatened to break up with her because she sat on the bus with an old boyfriend for a several-hour trip with the color guard.
2.  Broken up with her at least twice because of her lying – and then made up with her after a few hours of her crying her eyes out and begging him to take her back.
2.  Broken up with her because she wouldn’t stop being friends with her best friend – and then made up with her again after more crying and heartbreak.  (This was just tonight.)  He was so angry she wouldn’t stop being friends with her best friend that he hit something, busted his knuckles open and had to go to the hospital to get it stitched up.  I tried to tell her that if she had been there he might have hit her instead of the wall or whatever it was that he did hit and she refused to believe me, saying he would never hit a woman, she trusts him.  I feel like I have given birth to an idiot except what she really is is a victim.

This boy has been in at least three car accidents in the last four months (he tells her they were not his fault or no-fault), he is easily angered, aggressive, controlling and emotionally abusive and she makes excuses for him every time saying “I don’t blame him for acting/speaking to me this way because of my past”.  I tried to tell her that by thinking this way she is giving him permission to be abusive towards her but she doesn’t believe me.  I’ve told her that she has a hole in her heart from not having a father’s love like she needed from her father and this guy is just like her father AND he says he loves her so he’s filling the hole in her heart but it will end in heartache and misery and she doesn’t believe me.

She is failing her senior year because she’s been sick so much this year – in large part because she stays up all night talking to him and won’t go to bed and then doesn’t eat very much and is very proud of the 10 – 15 pounds she’s lost since she met him 4 months ago (so I’m wondering if he’s telling her she’s fat).  I asked her if she’s gotten a bad reputation at school because of who she’s slept with and she said that yes she has.  I offered to let her stop her senior year and re-start it next fall at a completely different school where nobody knew her.  She refused because she’d rather be with Bad Boy and seems to think that they can get married and then she’ll finish her senior year.  Yeah right.

I am terrified for her because she won’t believe me when I say this relationship is dangerous for her.  I am sooooo angry at her sister and at myself and my husband for not catching on to the physical abuse she was receiving.  I am wounded beyond words watching her do everything in her power to re-live my life despite my warnings.  I am afraid that Bad Boy is going to hurt her, maybe even kill her and that she won’t even fight back – she will just let him do it because she has no value in her own eyes and she thinks she deserves that kind of treatment.  Sometimes just thinking about all of this makes it hard to breathe…

Life is going to change in January, I don’t know exactly how but something’s got to give.  I can only pray that she will trust me more than she trusts him so I can get her away from this relationship.

 

Each post on this blog is a little snapshot of my thoughts, feelings, emotions, decisions… it’s glimpses into my life as raw and unfiltered as I can write them out.  I don’t always have the right words to properly express myself but I try.  I’ve spent most of my life stuffing my feelings and emotions in a bottle and putting them up on a shelf because “nobody got time for that” so now I’m not very good at identifying how I feel, much less knowing how to deal with those feelings, which is one of the big reasons that this blog is pretty much anonymous – I think I’ve only invited a couple of people who know me to read it and if you do know me please don’t tell anybody my secret identity, lol!  This is how I sort things out in my head and in my heart, by writing them down and mulling them over, and over, and over…

If you’re reading this and it doesn’t make sense normally I would say that you’re just going to have to wade through the last two years of posts although I suppose after this amount of time it’s worth summarizing – OK, here goes:

I’m in my 40’s, married for 20 years with two kids – one is barely a legal adult and the other 6 weeks away from being a legal adult.  Thanks to my upbringing and then marrying a man who treated me the same way I was treated while growing up I never believed I had any real value as a human being until about two years ago when something changed.

I can’t tell you exactly what it was that gave way inside of me  – I had gone to a few years of counseling but all the counselors I had didn’t give me any solutions, they just said that I was doing great and they didn’t know why I was going to see them so I’m pretty sure that wasn’t it.  I had been on anti-depressants for a couple of years by then but I was actually getting worse, more depressed and more suicidal so I don’t think that was it either.  About that same time I started to have concerns about the church that we were attending and I brought those concerns to both my husband and the pastor’s attentions – nothing happened and I sank further into my depression.  But somehow, something snapped almost 24 months ago and I started this journey of becoming bolder, stronger and brave.  I dared to believe that I just might even be beautiful.

The first thing I did was to give my husband an ultimatum to quit his pornography addiction “or else”.  In February that will have been two years ago.  I didn’t specifically state what the “or else” would be but it was going to start with separation and go from there.  I let him talk me out of separating that night because I honestly didn’t think that he would be able to quit but he surprised me.  Almost two years later he has not only kicked his addiction but he has been instrumental in starting a men’s purity group at his church and is co-leading it, helping other men in their fight against pornography. He has also worked very hard to become a nicer person, a better husband and a more involved father.  I have both noticed these things and told him, repeatedly, that I am proud of him for all the changes he’s made but we can both tell that it’s a “That’s nice” kind of proud of him.

I should be bursting with pride.  Why aren’t I?

I guess I feel like it’s a day late and a dollar short.

About nine months ago I started seeing a new counselor and she made a difference in my life.  The reason I went to her was because I didn’t like sex.  My husband fully endorsed my going to a counselor for this reason but I think he soon came to regret supporting me in that manner.  What she actually helped me with was opening my eyes to see that I was in an abusive relationship.  There was no physical abuse going on but nearly every other kind of abuse was present.  Had I been physically abused, i.e. beat up, I would have left a long time ago but mental and emotional abuse are “invisible” and “don’t really count” in the Christian church today and there seems to be no such thing as sexual abuse between a husband and a wife.  In America, and as far as I know in the world at large, sexual abuse within marriage is barely recognized and rarely addressed but in the church the subject is completely taboo.  My counselor told me that being manipulated, coerced or guilt-tripped into having sex when you don’t want to is sexual abuse.  Who knew?  I thought that the only thing “sexual abuse” meant was that you were raped or forced into giving oral sex against your will.  Being a good, submissive Christian wife I stayed married because it was “the right thing to do” and that kept me in a miserable relationship for 20 years believing that by doing so I was pleasing God.

It got to the point that I was considering changing my faith – or abandoning it completely – in order to leave the church we were and get him to divorce me.  I considered suicide many times because I thought it would be easier than divorce and I had become crazy enough that somehow I thought suicide might even be a spiritual solution because it would fulfill the “till death do us part” vow I made.  Yes, I’ve been messed up in the head for a long, long time now…

Ultimately, in an act of abnormal bravery, I left that particular church without him.  Aside from a couple months of extra stress immediately after that decision our life has returned to “normal” –  we just don’t talk about the fact that he is still attending that church and I have been trying out other local churches to see where I will fit the best.  Now the only real decision I have left is do I stay married or not?  I honestly don’t want to be anybody’s wife ever at this point but I’m not sure leaving is the right thing to do either, I’m in a quandary.  I have begged God to change my heart and make me fall in love with this man that I’ve never had any kind of passion for and yet he’s made so many changes to please me.  I have pleaded with God to make me enjoy sex.  And yet for 20 years nothing has changed in my heart – or my with hormones either for that matter.  It actually makes me understand homosexuals a little better – I can’t change it no matter how hard I try so maybe God made me this way.

And that’s where I’m at right now.  This is really real life – my life.  I have a big decision to make, do I stay or do I go?  I’m not going to rush this choice though, I want to be sure that if I leave I have done everything I could have possibly done to make it work.  If I leave I don’t want to have any regrets that I didn’t explore every option or try hard enough.  If I stay it will be because I chose to stay and not because I felt obligated to stay.  I’m going to  make this choice, probably within the next 6 months, and be comfortable with my final decision.

Stay tuned…