Before You Leave – Preparing for the Battle of Your Life

‘If I knew then what I know now…’

Please, please use my NOW knowledge.  You need it.  And it makes my Needless Suffering become Suffering For a Cause, which fuels the ability to get up every morning.

At one point in my married life, although I was being choked, grabbed, or shoved, there was some enchanted thought that told me, “You aren’t abused.  At least he doesn’t punch you.”  If you ever, ever find yourself saying that, you are abused.  And also held emotionally captive, to boot.

Although you aren’t ready to face it, mark my words, someday you will be forced to face it.  And when that happens, I sure hope you have laid a trail, like Hansel and Gretel in the woods, to lead you out of this forest.  Please, PLEASE, listen to my words.  From experience comes wisdom, and I have the experience!  And I believe I speak wisdom.

You need to call the police.  Every time.  EVERY TIME.  You don’t have to prosecute.  It doesn’t mean you want your partner to go to jail.  (that’s what I thought then… and what he will try to make you think.)  But you need the documentation.  YOU ARE GOING TO NEED THE DOCUMENTATION.  For the love of all things right, here what I am saying.  A man that will hurt you when you are married, will REALLY hurt you when you try to leave.  If you think he will not try to take your children, infiltrate your family, convince the world that you have emotional problems, or try to get you fired, you are WRONG.  The part of him that occasionally hurt you becomes his norm, and he will morph into someone you only occasionally glimpsed before.  That man that struck terror in you every once in a while is the man you will face every second of every day after you leave.

CALL THE POLICE.  You can make a report over the phone, even.  But get it on the record.  Get that report.  You can choose not to press charges.  It’s possible the police will call CPS, in which case, you have your way out.  They can help you.  They can get you safe, help you get established alone, and help you get a protective order.  I was so afraid of CPS, that I ran from calling the police at all costs.  CPS is tough on abusers, yes, but they also can help the abused.  And that is you.

They will also hold you accountable.  They will tell you that you can’t return to your abuser.  And you need this.  The emotional brainwashing that an abuser does to his woman is a powerful mind-control game that you can’t see when you are involved in it.  The crying, begging, flowers and all the trimmings are not real, ladies.  He will continue this only until he realizes he has you under continued control, and he will be right back where he was before.  Every time you go back, (or choose not to leave), he has more power, and you have less resolve, until you are stuck as stuck can be, with absolutely no confidence that you can get away.

I thought I couldn’t get away.  It took three tries to make it happen.  It took risking loosing all my friends and family, who didn’t know what was going on behind closed doors.  To them, it looked like a female mid-life crisis.  But as soon as I started leaving, I knew in my gut it was right, and it gave me the fortitude to keep going even in the face of opposition from my friends and family. And sure enough, as the story unraveled and they watched long enough, they saw his psychotic side emerge and they began to believe my story.  But you have to be strong enough to stand alone for a while, and confident in the fact that the truth will someday emerge and your name will be cleared.

He is going to look stunning, politicking all your friends and family, and most likely social workers and psychologists.  He will beat you to the punch telling ‘his’ story of how his beloved wife lost her marbles and ran away.  And since he’s been using you for mind control for so long, he’s quite practiced and very very good at it.  If you don’t have those police reports to back your story, you are sunk, friend.  Your friends, family, and expert witnesses will believe him.

The day that a psychologist appears in court and says, scratching his head, that he’s heard two sides and in his opinion, (which may not be based in reality if your man has been talking to him), you might, just maybe, be having some emotional problems.  And that although she claims to have been abused, that she stayed all that time anyway and never called the police, that he can’t really believe her story…. that is the day that you just lost your children in a custody battle.  All because- you didn’t call the police.

I never called the police, because my strict christian heritage led me to believe that calling the pastor was the best resort.  I was taught you can’t be hateful, and that you pray for you enemies.  And, oh yeah, don’t forget, I loved the man.

I have learned now, years later, that I was thinking in error.  I can ABSOLUTELY stand up for myself, call the police, and prosecute, all in the name of LOVE.  If I loved that man, I could have insisted he get help, which would have been mandated by the courts.  If I loved my children, I could have done the right thing and called the police to protect them.  The key is your heart.  Your heart can never bend toward hate, revenge, or spite.  But you can call the police with every bit of love in your heart possible.

DON’T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKES I DID.  Especially in the name of Christianity.  You have a covenant partner, yes.  And if you think leaving will break your covenant, then you really didn’t pay close attention to your vows.  I sat for years thinking I couldn’t leave lest I break the covenant vows.  But a wise pastor opened my eyes.  Listen to your vows:  “I promise to love, honor, and cherish you, as long as we both shall live.” Is grabbing you, shoving you, hitting you, throwing things at you, or screaming at you some part of love, honor, and cherishing you?  I’m not talking the little heated argument.  You know the kind of screaming I’m talking about.

If your partner has broken the covenant with any of the above actions, ITS BROKEN.  You didn’t do it.  He did.  It’s done.  There IS NO MORE COVENANT.  This is not about sex, cheating, lying, mistresses.  It’s about NOT HONORING YOUR COVENANT.  You can’t break a bond that’s already broken, and if he chooses to NOT love, honor, or cherish you with his violent actions or emotional control, you have a responsibility to clean up this tragedy.  Sitting in the broken mess, dragging your children through the sludge of abuse, is not an option.  You are FREE of your covenant because he broke it, and you need to, IN LOVE, do the hard thing and stand up for yourself and your kids.  This is not an error of Christian teaching.  Check your vows, and see if he is obeying them.  If not, then the vows aren’t valid.

God did not call his daughters to be abused.  He doesn’t expect you to just take it.  He is our GREAT DEFENDER.  But if your partner is not yielding to God too, then only one of you is under divine influence, and the other under dark influence, and you need to fight it.  With every weapon known, which includes spiritual ones like prayer, but also includes physical ones like police and court systems and CPS.  God is screaming, “Get help!  I’ve sent it straight to your door!  Open the door!!”  It’s not OK to ask God to save you and not utilize the things he has put before you.  You can pray all day for God to change your partner’s heart, but if your partner is operating under dark influence, God CAN’T change his heart- God isn’t the one being allowed the authority, the devil is the one being allowed the authority.  And you can’t change that.  Only your partner can change that.  Allowing him to continue on does not help him.  Putting him in some stress like jail or the court system or CPS system, shaking him up, is the only thing that might, might, stand a chance at getting him to go back to God’s authority.  You owe it to your partner to prosecute him so his eyes will open that he has given his heart’s authority to darkness.  If you love him, do the hard thing.

I lost my children in my fight to get away.  They are now still quite little, and gone.  Every time I have to take them back to their father, they cry.  I am a childless mother.  Please learn from my mistakes.  And make your paper trail.

Please.  Make my tears useful for something.  Listen to my words.


Sucker Punches

I really hate the proverbial punches that are below-the-belt, catch you looking away, and knock all the wind / fire/ breath/ life out of you.  Yuck.

When you were married to your stalker for 20 years as I was, you have plenty of opportunity for sneak attacks.  Oh, no, we can’t have any normal separation from one another.  No, it has to be an emotional bloodbath.  And I’m praying not a literal one.

You constantly find those old emails talking about, “I’m so sorry I hurt you / screamed at you / scared you / and on one occasion choked you.”  You run across things, little things, that make you shake your head and wonder what kind of mind-control you were exactly under at that time.  At one point you will find something hurled at your face and the next moment you are eating out of their palm.  What is this??!  WHY DO WE DO THIS?

Oh, their dang charisma.  They feed on the thrill of controlling your mind, which is simple after they slowly erode your self-confidence, isolate you from your friends, and then BAM- in for the kill.  I didn’t intend a pun there.  Actually, it’s not a pun, is it?  Its a real possibility…

The sucker punch of the day was accidentally happening on a reference to wanting to KILL me… ummm, lets just say no to that, and then…. now what.  Call the police?  Usually they don’t respond as if this is a real threat.  As if they think it’s a reference to ‘being very mad’.  I thought of calling my pastor.  My family.  My husband.  My guy friend (a very big tall strong one).  But alas, what am I doing?  Writing.

This has become my life.  I was slightly rattled for an hour and now I have just accepted a death threat as part of my normal routine.  I will probably watch my car a little closer, parking lots, bushes.  For about two days.  Then the feeling of fear will just melt into the normal psyche of me.

And that’s how I do it.  I have learned to thrive and bloom in the soil I’m planted in, which just happens to be some pretty messed-up soil. 

Stalkers 101: When A Breakup Won’t Break

Stalkers 101: When A Breakup Won’t Break.

Afternoon Entrapment

Here I sit, in the pick-up line at my children’s school. The cars have hemmed me in. I feel I’m a sitting duck.

I see his truck across the lot. He has every legal right to be here, and he exercises that right every chance he gets. It’s such a disturbing feeling to know he’s here, probably watching me from a window somewhere. I hate the thought of what goes through his mind when he sees me. I’ve seen his eyes, the sheer hatred, his eyes betraying him and unable to hide the thoughts he has of my harm.

I hate the way I feel my flesh crawl and my hair prickle as I sit here, unable to remove myself from this place. I hate the way I keep needing to scan the perimeter and check my rear-view mirror. I hate the way each parent that comes from behind me beside my door makes me startle. I hate the way I need to hide this from my children. I hate the way that writing it is the only way I feel in control of it.

Terror by Day, Terror by Night

Has he finally come for me? I believe he might be on the way this time. When an animal feels threatened, they claw their way out of a corner. And animal, he is. And cornered, he feels.

I had often wondered what way it would be that he comes. Would it be alone, at night, from the darkness? Would it be with my family, to punish their support? Would it be somewhere I would not expect it, like the parking garage or grocery store? At a large public place to make a spectacle?

Would he threaten me? Choke me? Shoot me? Beat me?

The criminal mind cannot be underestimated. The brilliant stalker can go undetected, unsuspected, and unpunished. Even if you know there is a problem, convincing someone else of the problem is not as easy. The insanely brilliant are more sophisticated than shooting it out in a blaze of glory. They hunt a man like they hunt wild game. Lay a trap. And wait.

I should have suspected the way he has arrived this last time. Why did I not think of this? Why did I not see the trap. The legal system. The very shield he hides behind is the one that is supposed to protect me. Yet he has cried the victim’s cry for so long while I upheld the silence of dignity, that I have become the one appearing as cold and calculating. Brilliance. Absolute, manipulative, criminal brilliance.

I fear the future. I fear the flaws of the legal system. I fear what is required if I fight back. I fear the gamble. I fear his win. He wins every time. He always wins.

I an usually more positive, hopeful, prayerful. But today is one of those days. In honestly, I’m tired today. Beat down. Feeling defeated.

I always come back. But today, I’m just being honest. Vulnerable. Pray for me.