“Write all of this down so you remember how you feel.”  Words of advice from my sister.  She doesn’t know about this blog and that I have been documenting my experiences for the last couple of years but it was a good reminder to get on the laptop and write another post.

My husband came to my work today and when I saw him in the door I panicked a little bit.  He had a Dr. Pepper and a white envelope in his hand.  When we spoke at McDonalds he had asked if he could leaving an occasional card and donut in my car.  Recognizing that his personality type has to “do something” I said yes and promised to eat the donut and not throw it away.  So when he came in the shop today my first thought was “This is not leaving things in my car” and I was a little upset but more scared.  “Why were you scared?” my sister asks.  “Because I was afraid of what he would say to make me feel bad.”  My heart was pounding and I couldn’t hardly talk.  What he actually gave me was not a card but tax-related mail along with the Dr. Pepper and reminded me that my car was locked and he doesn’t have a key.  He said “How are you?” and all I could get out was “Preegoo”.  Auto-pilot kicked in and I managed a polite, “How are you doing?” at which point his face went hard, he said “Have a nice day”, turned on his heel and left.  I felt anger from him.  It took a good half hour to get my heart and breathing back under control.  

I feel badly that he’s hurt and that I’m the one causing it, I really do.  And it’s not just an “Awww, that’s too bad I hurt you”, it’s a gut-wrenching grief that is nearly incapacitating.  That sorrow makes me wonder if I’m really doing the right thing and waters the little seed of doubt in my heart.  At the same time just seeing him outside of our agreed-upon parameters made me realize I am physically afraid of him.  I haven’t quite reached the point of peeing my pants but the rest of my body is doing it’s own equivalent.  This is not healthy, why did I accept living in such a fear-heavy atmosphere for so long?  I’ve made excuses for him all our married life by explaining his hurtful words and actions as “He’s just grumpy”, “He doesn’t deal with change very well” or my most common excuse “It’s my fault because I…”.  I am such a victim.

I have taken multiple tests online and they all say that I am an abused spouse.  Not physically abused, it would have been so much easier – and socially acceptable – to leave if he was physically abusing me and I would have left a long time ago for physical abuse.  My doctor offered to prescribe me a couple of weeks in the funny farm to have a break from him.  Strangely enough, I did not take her up on that, fearing they would never let me go.  My counselor very patiently walked me through the stages of identifying abuse until I could not help but agree that I am abused.  So why is it so hard for me to draw the line and stop feeling guilty about leaving?  Is it Stockholm syndrome where the abused person protects and defends the abuser?  I think I should look that up…

My immediate goals are to get on the state health insurance so that I can get back to my counselor and start taking my medication again.  And apparently I’m legally considered “homeless”, which made me laugh the first time I heard it because I’m staying with my sister, not under a bridge somewhere but I guess this experience is teaching me that all kinds of words have more than one definition.  There’s a local organization that helps homeless people get into housing so I’ll be calling them tomorrow as well.  I love my sister and we get along great but we’ve made different lifestyle choices – and this apartment is teeny tiny!  

So I am well on my way to becoming healthy, maybe for the first time in my entire life.  I know it will not be a quick or easy process but I’m looking forward to the end result.