Thursday, 31 March 2016


Imagination is a wonderful thing, isn't it? Currently I imagine the day I'm debt free, traveling and the day my divorce is final. 

Imagination also kept me going on those hard days. I was yelled at, belittled or frightened by his actions and I would lay in bed waiting for him to fall asleep and imagine a post-apocalyptic world where he had died during the disaster and I would have to bury him in the back yard. I imagined being found by some buff outdoorsy man who would rescue and take care of me. He wouldn't try and scare me or make me feel bad about myself. He would be sweet and caring. 

My imagination also played a part in my staying as long as I did. I thought I loved him, I imagined him being the man he pretended to be in public. I was in love with the man I wanted him to be, not the man he was. I imagined him as chivalrous, thoughtful and that he really had changed since the last fight. Thing is, he never did. That was my imagination playing tricks on me. That and the years I spent being manipulated. 

His manipulation tactics had such a stronghold on me. I remember being asked by him if I would remarry if he died. I said probably and felt guilty about it. He said he wouldn't remarry because he only loved me and couldn't imagine marrying anyone else. 

He professed that during his adulthood that he would never marry, that he didn't believe in it. How the heck did I change his mind?! Is it because he knew that I wasn't looking for just a long-term relationship? Did he realize that I was easy to manipulate and thus figured I would be a good person to marry and push around? 

We know that it certainly wasn't because of his religious beliefs. He had convinced me that he was agnostic before we married. I remember the first time I went to our church without him after the wedding. He had told me a few days before that in fact he was certain that God didn't exist. I was crushed and my "perfect" little married life world began to crumble. This was before the first incident of physical abuse but after the financial blow I mentioned in a previous post.

I wasn't a Christian went I married but found my faith in the months after the wedding. The closer to God I felt and the more I learned about God the harder my marriage became. It was just another way he could hurt me. The other way he could use my faith against me was that Christians aren't supposed to divorce. I thought that God hated divorce; that it was right up there with murder.

I'm now learning that while divorce isn't God's design for marriage, He doesn't group it in with murder. God hates abuse. This weeks homework is to study and find passages that will help me feel more solid about how I was a good wife and went through the proper processes to try and fix my marriage. I know I had a right to leave because he was unrepentant but my counselor wants me to fell 100% confident that I was supposed to according to the bible. 

Monday, 21 March 2016

Questions and Answers

I (as the type A people pleasing person I am) asked my older sister to answer the questions my counselor suggested. She was brutally honest and almost to the point of the "I told you so" attitude. I will say that out of my sisters I am the more sensitive and thoughtful one. My older sister is the stable and self-assured one and my younger sister is... well let's just say she has an artistic temperament.  

She later apologized on the phone because she felt like she was a bit too blunt. I assured her that it was okay; that I didn't want it to be "sugar-coated". 

I made plans with a friend of mine to have breakfast this Saturday and I'll be asking her the same questions. I'm really afraid I will actually get an "I told you so" so I know that I need to be very clear at the beginning what I'm looking for so I can avoid the potentially hurtful situation. 

After two months of training for my half marathon my adrenals are shot. My anxiety is high and I feel like I'm constantly trembling. I felt this coming for the last week or two but I've been in denial. After much research I've learned that I am unable to continue running. I've also decided to shut off the computer and Iphone by 9:00pm and shot to be asleep by 9:30pm. I also have a list of herb and suppliments to try and heal all the damage done. Said damage was caused by extended periods of time where my adrenal glands were on overdrive producing that "flight or flight" hormones. I have yet to stick to the no electronics by 9:00pm. I will say that I have really tried to focus on going to sleep earlier and not staying up late on Friday nights. 

I bought a activity tracker with a heart rate monitor. I did some research and found that if you have moderate to severe adrenal fatigue you should not allow your heart rate to go above 90 bpm until my adrenals recover. This means no running, no exercise that gets me sweating it seems. I've done two days of yoga and have yet to get on the yoga bandwagon but if it means I'll recover faster than I guess I can continue with it for a while. 

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

The Healing Process Begins (and it hurts)

This week I met with my counselor and we talked about the different types of abuse I suffered throughout my marriage. We talked about isolation, control and manipulation without me shedding a tear. 

I talked about how he was able to come off charming, funny and affectionate. That this is what I saw when we began dating. This is what others saw even at the time I left. He was so great at appearing like a gentlemen. One example I gave was an incident the fall before I left. It was raining out and we were walking outside. I had a small umbrella in my purse and a water resistant jacket on. He tried to squeeze under my umbrella but we both couldn't fit so I gave him the umbrella and took my coat off and used it as an umbrella. He got so mad and asked me (instead of yell because we were in public) "how does that make me look"? Instead he complained about getting soaked. He would give up his chair and opt to stand during business conferences sometimes but would be so grumpy and complain to me any opportunity he could. He cared more about what others thought instead of trying to be an actual knight in shinning armor for his wife, the one he vowed to love and cherish. 

When my counselor asked me about the physical abuse I began to tear up. She asked why I hadn't brought it up. I explained that I felt shameful about it. I had aspiration of being a police officer and yet I let a man treat me that way. I didn't feel like talking about it would really be that helpful because I knew it was wrong and that it wasn't my fault. That no matter what I said or did, I didn't deserve to be treated that way. She asked me to tell her about the ways he would physically abuse me. After I told her she began to cry and told me she was so sorry that it happened to me. We both sat crying for a minute (not like 10 seconds which can feel like a minute but literally at least an entire 60 seconds). She asked me how I feel about it today and admitted how angry I was with the police and my family situation. I didn't have a man to stand up for me because a woman reading his the proverbial riot act wouldn't have the same effect. 

As my counselling is biblical she talked about how God loved me and protected me even though men on earth (my father, the police etc) failed to do so. So my homework for these next two weeks was to read my bible (specifically verses about God's fatherly love) and to reach out to my friends and family (that I felt comfortable with) and ask them some questions. What did they see? What did they wish they had said? What did they say that I didn't hear? 

I asked my Mum these questions last night and somethings I remembered and others I didn't. I don't remember calling my Mum on many occasions during my dating relationship with him crying. When I stopped my Mum assumed that the issues had been resolved. Then she talked about the first time of physical violence and how she felt like she had failed my as a mother; that she taught me to put up with abuse. I assured her that she hadn't but truthfully, in a way she did. She failed to show me what a healthy relationship looked like. I certainly don't blame her for my abuse or for the cards that she was dealt in life. I just didn't have anyone around me that could model a healthy dating/ married relationship.

She talked about how she and my older sister noticed how I pulled away from them early on in my marriage and my younger sister felt abandoned and unloved because of this. Eventually I would call more often and be a little more open but would only call when I wasn't with him. How they began to suspect something was very wrong but had agreed to just love me and support me until I told them. My Mum came to visit "us" year two of the marriage to check up on me and find out what was really going on. I said "us" because he didn't make any effort to spend time with my Mum. The visit was basically with me. Initially my Mum thought that we had a good marriage and felt a sense of relief. After she left she began to realize that it was all a big front. She was well aware of abusers ability to put on the charm. She continued to love me and let me know she supported me. I can't imagine how hard this must of been for my family.  

I now have to ask my older sister and a few friends. This isn't going to be easy. At one point last night I froze up because of something my Mum said (which I can't even remember now) but it triggered the feeling I had when I had to have sex with him and I felt almost dirty. Pray for me, I need extra strength to ask others. The reason for these questions is to open the dialog with my support system and give them permission to call me out should they see any red-flags with future relationships (friendships or romantic relationships). I want to remind myself that these people love me and I should trust their judgement of others just as much as I trust myself.  

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Binge Eating Myself Sick

I'm currently in an out of control binge eating spree. As I type, my stomach is so full it feels tight. Why am I doing this to myself you may wonder. Two reasons. The first is that I still worry about going hungry or not knowing what food will be left when I get home or wake up in the morning. Did he throw it away? Will he throw it at me? These are things my sub-conscious reminds me of. So I eat what I can when I can. Thing is, that was then and I'm in the here and now. He's not in my kitchen and hasn't been in many months. I never went "hungry" but many, many times I didn't have too much to take for lunch. Many times it was lentils with rice and a bit of seasoning. I would tuck those items on the top shelf of the food cupboard so he would either need to get a chair or jump up on the counter to throw those items away. 

The other reason which is a more recent issue is I'm struggling financially. Currently I have less than 10 dollars to my name until Friday. This doesn't factor in the $800 owing in my over draft and $2000 owing on my credit card. Months back I got a consolidation loan for all the debt racked up during my marriage to save my re-built credit score. My credit card and over draft were paid off with this and I've racked it back up. 

In my previous life (living with him), I would rush home from work and clean the house. Then I would make supper and do the dishes as I went. Even after eating supper I would immediately do the dishes and put them away. The less I left on the counter meant the less he had to throw at me if he had a fit. I rarely sat down. The only time I did was to talk to family and it was only before he got home or while I walked my dog so he wouldn't listen in and question me or accuse me of things once off the phone. On the days he didn't work I would make supper more often than not. Why the heck didn't he do all the things I did on days he worked? He was too busy going out and spending our money. Going for lunch, shopping for clothes, shopping for groceries we couldn't really afford. 

I look forward to every evening I have off. Once I've done a few things on my to-do-list and gone for a run I make a snack and relax on the couch. I relish in the down time I now have. I decide what I'm going to have earlier in the day and look forward to it. 

I used to be so controlling toward what I ate. Calculating to the gram how much protein, fat and carbs I planned on consuming that day. That was at my fittest point and thought I could replicate this again. How wrong I was. By telling myself I could only eat this much or eat healthy foods I set myself up to fail. I wasn't clinging to controlling my food as I did previously because I had control on other areas of my life. I wanted to lose 10 lbs and get down to what I was a few years ago when I first lost all the weight but I've realized this isn't a realistic goal in my life right now. So to solve my binge eating problem I've decided to stop tracking what I'm eating and thus not thinking about food in a scarcity mind set. Yes, I'd like to look fabulous in a bikini but at the rate I was going I was going to put on 10 lbs or develop a serious problem with food.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016


Last week my CFO (and acting CEO I might add) was in the office from Toronto. She's a bully and calls everyone "dear" which I find demeaning. By Friday I was ready to slap her if she called me "dear" one more time. I was excited for her to leave but also had a feeling of dread. Last visit she hugged everyone goodbye(which I find inappropriate in the workplace). I tried to run some errand around the time I thought she would be leaving to avoid the situation but I misunderstood when she need to leave by vs what time she needed to be at the airport. 

She began hugging others goodbye (including the new guy) and I didn't want to be touched by her. She approached my desk and said she was going to give me a hug. I don't know where it came from but I said "no, that's ok". I then wished her a safe trip home and she was gone. The other staff couldn't believe I said no. I've been reading a lot about learning to say no and not feeling like I need to explain myself. I didn't explain myself to her and I didn't feel guilty about it. Afterwards the staff said they were proud of me and I explained to them that I don't like to be touched by people I don't know. So technically I did explain myself but not to the one I said no to so I call that progress. Yay me!

I've been waiting to hear back from my aunt who lives close by and I think I'll need to call her again tomorrow evening. I should also call my uncle this week some time. I worry that she might think (along with other family members on my fathers side) that I'm looking for money or help. What I'm actually looking for is further emotional support from family. I want to know my family and them to know me. While I'm not ready to even mention my upcoming divorce, I do want them to know other things about me. I want to have a strong family (and friends) so that I will stop attracting abusive men. 

I spent years slowly being isolated by him and I don't want that to carry on. Isolating is one of the many tactics of an abuser. They don't want others to tell you that there actions are wrong. They want total control over your world. Once they have more control they can then brush off their actions as normal or worse, your fault. 

I started thinking about this at the end of my run last night. I got over my fear of my old apartment and can resume running in my neighbourhood. As I ran past that apartment building I was wondering if I would run into my former neighbours. That got me thinking about how mad he would get if I stopped to talk to them while walking my dog before bed. I think partly because it would cut into time he would try and guilt me into sex. I didn't even realize until last night he was trying to isolate me from them too! He wanted TOTAL control. He would call me or text me frequently (it felt like constantly). He would stop by my work on his days off. The only places I was safe from him randomly appearing was at church and at my weekly church community group. No wonder I had perfect attendance! 

He accused my on more than one occasion of cheating. He figured that since I wasn't having sex with him very often that I must be getting it elsewhere. I couldn't believe he didn't trust me. Then again, guilty conscious may have been a contributing factor. At one point he accused me of having an affair with a girlfriend of mine because in his mind if I didn't want to have sex with him or be physically affectionate I must be attracted to women. Looking back I realize that this was an attempt to isolate me from her as well. We were newer friends and he didn't want anyone to influence me. And yet, when I would have a bout of more serious depression he would try and console me and encourage me to make more friends.