For the next several years, my marriage was such a sham. In front of others, we were the perfect couple; behind closed doors, it was another story. He was afraid to hit me, afraid that I would strike back, but the verbal and emotional abuse were another story. He knew he had me there. He knew that I was beaten down...fair game for his tirade of dirty, insulting words.
Then, there came a time that I decided to try my hand at my own creative abilities. I've always loved to write, and writing has always been healing for me, so I said, "Okay, I am going to try my hand at writing a play."...and write I did; it became like an obsession...all of the hurt and pain inside of me was pouring out onto these pages. I wrote whenever my boys were in school and then after they went to bed at night. Sometimes I typed standing up. My ex, who still had his dreams of becoming a big star, was still getting no more than an extra part here and there. He would come in the kitchen and sit across the table from me while I was working and begin to sing at the top of his lungs. If that didn't work, if that didn't stop me from concentrating, he would pick an argument....over anything...he was just so determined to sabotage my work. That time I didn't let him win.
Eventually I did complete my play, and it was pretty good. I began sending out the synopsis, and several theatrical companies wrote back and said wanted to see the play, but none was more surprising than the famous Manhattan Theater Club. When I tore open that envelope and read that they were intrigued and asked me to send my play, I swear, I literally screamed in joy. I began calling everyone I knew...and all were overjoyed for me. Why, even my mother-in-law wished me luck. Then, the ex came home, and I excitedly told him my good news. Well, talk about being shot down. It only took a few hurtful words, "Well, I don't know why you are so excited. You haven't sold it yet...and you probably won't." And then he proceeded to tell me about an audition he had coming up. Needless to say, I was so upset that I mailed out the first draft of my play rather than the final draft. I never heard from the company...and I never wrote again. Somehow, he had taken all the wind out of my sails.
It wasn't until years later when I had finally left him for good and was meeting with my therapist that I realized, he was actually so jealous of me, so fearful that his own career didn't seem to be going anyplace that he would have done anything not to see me be a success before him. There was no room in the spotlight for anyone but him. It struck me that his auditions were much the same as the company asking for my play; he hadn't gotten it yet.
Several more years had passed by before the marriage was finally over. I continued working in the evenings because he refused to watch the boys during the day so I stayed home all day and played like the perfect little homemaker. He continued his job as a bouncer...never moving forward...always remaining stagnant. He continued with his belittling, his name calling...and I continued to sink deeper and deeper in despair. What was I to do? How could I be out there on my own taking care of two growing boys? Several times during those years, I packed to leave during the night, only to fall asleep and unpack the next morning.
I don't know where my courage finally came from, but one day, it hit me. I couldn't live like this anymore. What kind of message were my boys getting? That it was okay to abuse their wives? I was hurting them as much as I was hurting. So, one day, I stood up and faced the problem (him) head-on. See, the truth was, I had been paying the rent all these years...as well as part of the bills. Yes, he helped with the food and some of the bills, but there was no reason that I couldn't survive without him. I told him, no, I ordered him out of the house...after all, it was my apartment. When he balked, I assured him that I would call the police to help get him out. That's all he had to hear...another career ender for him...so he left.
And so did we. I let the apartment go, and we moved to another borough--Brooklyn. I settled the boys into their new school and got myself a new and decent paying job. I went into therapy to face the demons that had held me down for so long....and I survived. I Am Woman. I Am Strong. I can do Anything. I am a Strong Surviver.
Thanks for listening to my story...and if anyone would like to share their story, please let me know. This is your blog as well as mine. It helps to have someone to talk to.