The language we use to communicate with one another is like a knife. In the hands of a careful and skilled surgeon, a knife can work to do great good. But in the hands of a careless or ignorant person, a knife can cause great harm.
Exactly as it is with our words.
I met him shortly after moving to the city. He was a part time actor/part time bouncer. I tended bar. We married about six months later. The sick part of it is I KNEW beforehand that this man was violent, yet I was so desperate for love that I headed off to city hall with him despite the fact that he had broken my jaw only a month before. I was a fool, I know that now, but at that time, I had already been beaten down by a verbally abusive mom, a father who made incestuous overtures towards me, an alcoholic husband, and a sex addict husband who slept around with any woman willing to spread their legs...and some of them were pretty filthy. So you might as well say I was ripe for the picking.
Marriage to this man was hell. The physical abuse ended when I struck him in the head with the phone when he tried to stop me from calling the police. He was worried that I might ruin his face for his little acting career so he stopped being physical, but the verbal continued on and on and on, until I was nothing but a shell of a woman. For 15 years I took it.
Then one day I went to a psychic with a friend. He was very accurate and told me things I didn't want to hear. The entire session was taped, but the one part I still can't get out of my head: "You have to accept the fact that there is no way out". I walked out of there devastated. He had taken my hope away, but I had wanted an honest reading and that I got. He was right. There WAS NO WAY OUT. I couldn't afford to live on my own with my children, and besides, his uncle was mob connected, and my ex threatened to have me killed if I left him with the children.
So one day when the kids were in school and my ex was out, I climbed up on the stool, got the bottle of rum down from atop the cupboards, and as I sat there sipping my drink, the tears began to flow. Then, I put the cassette of the psychic on and kept playing that one part over and over again. I was a mess when I went to the medicine cabinet and got my muscle relaxers out, brought them to the kitchen table and sat sipping my rum as I took one pill after another....all the while hearing the psychics voice.
I remember going into the bathroom because I was feeling sick and falling into the tub. I remember falling back down every time I tried to get up....and laughing hysterical about it. I remember being on a stretcher and carried to the ambulance and the shocked faces of all my neighbors. I remember the doctor on the psyche ward. "Call downstairs and see if they have room. She needs a detox, not psyche." And I remember being escorted downstairs.
The seven days I spent in the detox were the first days of my new life. I learned that I had been using alcohol to numb the pain, but to heal and become whole, I had to face the pain...and I learned that that would take time. I was referred to a 6 month rehab program, but there were no beds available so I was sent home to wait until there was room for me. Eventually the call came, and my ex tried begging and then ordering me not to go. But I suddenly had found the strength in myself and knew if I was to survive and be any kind of mom to my children I had to go. Then he came home with a quart of rum and tried to get me to drink it. He knew they wouldn't take me if I wasn't 'clean'.
He didn't win that night. He wouldn't even take me to the hospital. His uncle did and do you know what? This uncle that I had been threatened with told me that I shouldn't go back to him, that he crazy, that it was time for me to start a new life. And that's exactly what I did. I moved on. For awhile, I was always looking over my shoulder, fearful that he had found me, but as time went on I was doing that less and less. And then in 1996 he passed away from cancer. I wanted to feel sympathy, but instead what I felt was 'free'.
Am I cured? I don't think so, but I do know I am much stronger now. I've gone through years of therapy and groups, and my self-esteem is high, but I remain overly sensitive and easily hurt. Oh, and before I forget, they psychic did tell me something else that stuck with me. He told me he didn't know who, when, or how, but a Leo was going to come into my life and be a source of strength for me. My current hubby is a Leo and from day one he has been supportive and loving. He changed my life.
Was I trying to commit suicide that day? I don't remember. All I know is that I was blessed and saved for a reason...and that reason was to help others. That's why I went on to become a substance abuse counselor, victim's advocate, and Interfaith minister....and that's why I am here now. If any of the information I share on this blog helps even one person, it is well worth it. Remember: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO TAKE THE ABUSE. NO ONE DESERVES TO BE HIT OR VERBALLY PUT DOWN. THERE ARE OPTIONS. BE STRONG.