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I can’t control my emotions
My heart beats fast, my breathing is erratic
I am going to be sick, my body is shaking
I cannot think straight
People react and do things when they feel desperate that they may not ever do in any other circumstance. People become desperate for different reasons. My husband became desperate due to his addiction. He was desperate to get his next hit. It didn’t matter what he did or if he hurt me. His drug induced paranoia and the altered state of mind he was in was his reality. I became desperate to be the person he needed me to be. I was desperate to save myself which made my life become an extension of his reality. I was desperate to save myself, him and our marriage.
Our life got so bizarre it is hard to believe that the things that happened; really happened. It is hard to remember the sequence and details of the events. I felt like I was living in a nightmare. I felt trapped and wanted to run, but I couldn’t because I was afraid of what would become of my house if I left. I had nowhere to go because I didn’t want to involve my children. I couldn’t get myself together enough to deal with things in a calm manner. I was Desperate…
I learned that if I hurt myself, it would stop him from hurting me. He would be concerned about me enough that he would quit yelling and threatening me. I was desperate to protect myself from him and I decided I would not let him hurt me again. Somehow hurting myself was easier to deal with than being hurt by him. The first incident was when he saw a bruise on my leg and started accusing me of cheating on him. He wouldn’t stop and I was feeling overwhelmed and afraid. I ran to the kitchen and said ‘you want to see marks on my legs…’ and I started to stab myself until blood started spraying everywhere. He calmed down and didn’t hurt me. When I felt trapped, I would run out the door to get away. This would get him so mad because he said I was causing a scene. I would be afraid to go home because I knew he would hit me so instead I ran to the main street and jumped in front of a truck, hoping this would take me away from the pain forever. There were other variations of what I did out of desperation. I stabbed myself in my thigh and tried to stab myself in my chest. I cut my wrists both horizontally and vertically; one cut was 5-6 inches long. I tried to take multiple pills so I could sleep and never wake up again. I couldn’t live like this anymore and yet I had to try to find ways to live through it.
My life was no longer mine. My life revolved around his drug use. I no longer felt like a loved wife. He was setting himself up in single sites on a regular basis. He would not stop associating with other females or his “drug friends”. He was stealing money on a regular basis. He was hitting me more and more and the verbal and emotional abuse was daily. Nothing I did was right and I wanted to die. My life consisted of living from day-to-day not knowing what to expect. Every day was a challenge because everything revolved around his addiction and his reactions.
I do have to give him credit for one huge thing that he did. During this time, one of my daughters was pregnant. Every time I hurt myself or tried to kill myself he reminded me about my new grand-daughter and that she needed to know me. Thoughts of my new grand-daughter are what kept me alive. If not for her, I know I would not be alive today.
My ultimate act of desperation came and I cannot ever explain how guilty I feel. The guilt will weigh my heart for years to come.
As I became more and more afraid, as I felt I had no alternative, my mind changed. I no longer cared what happened to my house or my possessions. I started planning my escape, praying I could last until I was able to get away. There were still times when I felt like killing myself was my only escape. My daughter went into labor…now was the time. I went to be with her in the hospital, and did not return home. We talked at length and he continued to say he needed me home and that he wanted help. He seemed sincere and that is all I wanted was for him to get help. I went out-of-town and he said he was going to check himself into a rehab. While I was gone I called him and he did not answer then I found out that he had another woman in our house. I believe this woman was his drug dealer. He lied to me about it and that was the final straw for me so I had him served with a restraining order that I already had in place….”just in case”. I don’t’ know why this incident was any worse than any other incident, however something inside of me snapped. I knew that I had to do something or either he or I would soon be dead. My mind told me that he knew no one and therefore had nowhere to go; he would be forced to go to rehab. After all he said he wanted to go so this should help him to actually take the step needed. I always promised him I would not call the police….my guilt was so bad because I went back on a promise…that is something I try not to ever do.
I felt guilty…I felt confused…All I wanted was for him to get help so we could fix our marriage.
A couple of hours later he returned to our house. He jumped through our sliding glass door, obviously high. What happed next is unclear. I don’t remember all of the details. My doctors said I probably blocked it out and may not ever remember. I remember parts and I know the outcome…
His ultimate act of desperation … I do not know what he was thinking… I may never know…
I remember screaming when I heard the explosion of him jumping through the glass. My scream must have been so intense that it caused my neighbors to call the police. I know that he kept asking me why I did what I did. He took me to our room and tied my legs together. He later told me it was so we could talk…so I wouldn’t run like I always do. I remember the phone ringing a couple of times and screaming into the phone when I picked it up. He grabbed the phone from me, tore it out of the wall and threw it. I believe it was the second time I screamed that the police kicked in my door because they heard me. I remember being scared to death as the police said to come out or they would shoot. I couldn’t untie my legs and I knew they were going to kill me. I remember the police trying to tell me that my husband did certain things to me and I would not say that he did because I didn’t know or remember. They tried to say he attacked me with my daughter’s taekwondo weapons. When I told them he did not, they became angry. I refused to talk to them because they would not listen. My daughter took me to the hospital and found that I had a broken jaw and my ear was cut to the point the cartilage was exposed; I had it glued back together. The back of my head was totally bruised and I do not know how any of this happened. When I told his sister what happened she said I was stupid if I thought anything other than he was going to kill me. She said she knew him better than anyone and that was his intentions. Everyone told me things I did not want to hear, everyone said things about my husband that they believed…no one understood that he needed help…no one understood that I was not mad. I was desperate to save our marriage he was desperate for me to understand his problem…
We were both desperate for our fairytale to come true…
He had a problem just like I did…
The things we do out of desperation
Are our reality, at the time.
The things we do out of desperations
Are the only options at the time.
The things we do out of desperation
Can change our lives forever.
I cannot think
I have no feelings
My heart is gone
My husband went to prison. Many people would say: “Good that is what he deserves”, however that is not the way I look at it. When people hear my story, many gasp and say “oh my gosh”, however that is not the response I needed.
After my husband was arrested, I fell into the deepest depression I have ever felt. I didn’t know things could get worse in my mind. I didn’t know there could be a new level of giving up on my life. To say I felt like a failure or to say I couldn’t think straight or to try to express my feelings in any way, would not express the depression I was in. I lost over 40 lbs. I couldn’t eat; I couldn’t sleep. It took every bit of energy I had to be able to talk to anyone because I just wanted to be alone. I tried to be the person everyone expected me to be and that only caused me to feel worse. Everyone wanted me to hate my husband, they wanted me to not ever forgive him or even talk to him again. I couldn’t do that. Remember, the one thing I have always liked about myself is that I am “too nice”. I don’t judge and I don’t get mad at anyone. I hated myself for causing my husband pain. I hated myself for causing my children pain. I hated myself for causing my parents pain. I hated myself for all the decisions I had made that affected everyone’s life in a negative way. In order to heal, I had to get back to being me because if I couldn’t like myself, I could not ever move forward.
I was afraid to be in my house alone. The quiet would ring in my ears and no matter how I tried to stop it, it wouldn’t go away. I found myself pacing the floors and breaking down for what appeared to be no reason. First my heart would start beating so fast it hurt; then I would feel sick to my stomach and my body would feel hot and flushed; then my head would feel like it was going to explode. I would start to hyperventilate and feel like passing out. My emotions were uncontrollable, I couldn’t stop crying. I couldn’t concentrate on anything; even when I realized my mind was drifting, I could not control where it went. If only I could make my mind not remember. If only I could replace the memories with something good. I struggled within my mind because I couldn’t figure out if I was afraid to be home because of the events that had taken place or because of being alone. All I knew is my heart would start to pound as soon as I got in the house. The harder I tried the worse I felt and the deeper my depression became. I was always the person that handled all problems and made sure everyone was okay, why couldn’t I handle this? What was wrong with me? Was I losing my mind? I am not a stupid person, why couldn’t I control my thoughts? Why couldn’t I figure out what was right and what was wrong? My mind would tell me I should be a certain way and my heart would tell me something different. All I could think of was going to sleep and never waking up. My life was now consumed with two main thoughts; 1st to find a way to pay my bills, pay for my funeral and have everything in order so my husband and children would not have to deal with anything after I was gone; 2nd to be sure my youngest daughter was okay since she was the only child not living on her own I needed to know she would be okay when I was gone. I tried to tell myself that my being gone would cause my family even more pain…if I could convince myself of this maybe I could stop thinking of dying. I couldn’t’...I couldn't convince myself because all I could see is the hurt everyone was feeling and it was all my fault. I felt like I was a bad person and that I was being selfish because I didn’t want to be mad, I wanted to forgive, I wanted to find a way to work things out…my wants were causing others pain and again my mind told me that everyone would be better off without me. The struggle going on within myself was taking over my life. It is a feeling I cannot describe…to be sad would have been a happy state of mind compared to what I was feeling. I just wanted to feel peace….why couldn’t I feel peace?
I went to a doctor for help and was put on some sort of anti-depressants. They took the edge off, however it didn’t take long for me to realize I felt like a zombie with no feelings at all. Which is worse…no emotions or extreme emotions? I went to counseling groups to try to understand my feelings. I couldn’t find support for the feelings I was experiencing because of the different levels of my depression. Groups that dealt with abuse, told me to be strong and to prepare myself. They focused on how to protect myself. Groups that dealt with addiction, told me to distance myself from the problem and to not take responsibility for “his” problem. Individuals that I tried to talk to, told me to not believe in my husband and to get away from him. No one seemed to understand the core of my depression. It was not the abuse or the addictions it was the struggle within myself. Nothing helped….it only made me feel worse. I felt like my mind was going to explode. I couldn’t think straight because everything in my mind conflicted with my heart.
I guess I can admit that my depression was due to my husband’s actions. However, it is not due to the things he did. It is because of his actions, I was forced into a struggle within myself because of my inner most feelings and beliefs. There is no way to express what I felt like, there is no way to explain the thought process I was struggling with because to say the words out loud would mean I would have to live with what others thought of me. I would be labeled as “stupid” or “naive” or even “weird” and “not normal”.
Everyone thought they understood my depression, they even said it was “normal after what I had gone through.” Everyone knew what was best for me…However no one knew who I was. I was/am not a person who holds a grudge or who judges. I was/am not a person who thinks negatively about situations. I was depressed because I felt guilty for causing pain to everyone. I was depressed because I couldn’t express myself without being judged or labeled negatively. I was depressed because I felt like I was causing separation between my family, because of my beliefs. I was depressed because no one understood that I loved my husband and all I wanted was for him to get better so we could resume our life together. I was depressed because I couldn’t be me…I had to not get upset if they talked bad about my husband…I had to act as if I was ready to end my marriage…I had to pretend to be someone that I was not.
I made a commitment to my husband till death do us part. I made a promise to God that I would do everything in my power to honor my marriage. I believe in forgiveness. There is a difference between forgiving someone and knowing the things they did were wrong. It is not my place to judge the things that happened. It is my place to forgive as I would want God to forgive me for the wrong things I have done.
If I cannot live according to God’s will
I would rather not live on this earth
Is Love Blind
Or do we choose to see only what we want
I can see clearly now
We all have to look in the mirror to see ourselves. Sometimes we do not see what others see. We see what we believe about ourselves not necessarily what is real. Sometimes we see what our mind tells us and sometimes we see what our heart tells us; our self-image may be a mixture of both.
The story I have told is very 'one-sided' in many ways. It tells of the hurt I felt. This hurt was real to me, however it does not tell of the hurt I caused that was just as real to my husband. When I face my judgment day, I will have to account for every word I spoke and ever thing I did. I have to reflect on me because this is the only way I can heal.
When I look back I cannot believe some of the things I did. This was not me. I say that, I believe this, and I know it to be true; so why can't I accept the same from my husband? Why can't I accept that the things he did were not who he really is? I must accept this just as I ask him to accept me for who I am...who I truly am even through the things I did.
I yelled and I cursed.....oh how I yelled. I said hateful and hurtful things. I was selfish and controlling. At the time, I would have argued each of these admissions. At the time, I would have believed I was doing the right thing. I know now that I caused my husband to hurt in many ways also. I must admit my faults. The first is that I did not respect him as my husband; I did things that belittled him. I had been a single mom for 20 years and had only my son to turn to. This became a habit for me and I didn’t realize the hurt it caused my husband. If there was something to be done; I would instantly say “let me ask (my son)” I should not have done this, I should have asked and accepted my husband’s word and opinion. Another variation of this is that he would say something and I would not acknowledge that he said it until I heard the same thing from someone else. By doing this I made him feel like I was not listening and I didn’t put any importance to what he said; it made him feel like I cared what others thought or said more than what he thought or said. I should have known this because I felt the same way. I have a very bad habit of talking…and talking…and talking…This caused many pains. First it made my husband feel like I was treating him like a child. It is not uncommon for me to say something several different ways and many times over. I did not mean to make him feel like a child, this is something I really need to work on because not only did this cause my husband pain; I was also causing some of my own pain. My husband would tend to “tune me out” after a while or after my story was repeating and this would make me feel like he was not listening or like he didn’t care what I had to say when in reality I was saying the same things over and over again.
The next fault of mine is that I was very controlling. I had to have everything my way because if I controlled the way things were, I would be sure they were done correctly. I was so used to doing everything for myself and my children. In my mind I had to do everything to be sure all was taken care of; I had to be sure all problems were solved. Because of my mind set, I took charge in every situation and did not allow my husband to be the “man of the family”. My mind had convinced me that I was taking care of him. I would nag about everything; thinking that I was just making sure everything was getting done. The Bible says it is Better to live out in the desert than with a nagging, complaining wife. Proverbs 21:19 & Proverbs 27:15 says An endless dripping on a rainy day and a nagging wife are alike. This was me and I had no idea I was hurting him and I was not acting like his wife. I was being a mom like I have always been. He didn’t need a mom he needed a wife.
One of the faults that I hate about myself the most is in the things that came out of my mouth. It is still hard for me to believe that I cursed the way I did. I had not ever cursed like this before in my life. I not only cursed, I said some very hurtful and hateful things. I told my husband he was a crack-head whore, I told my husband that I hated him. There is no way for me to say I am sorry for the words that came out of my mouth.
The guilt I feel for the ugly words I said and the way I acted will haunt me forever….who am I to complain about the names he called me when I did the same to him? Who am I to judge him when I will have to stand before God for the things I did to him?
Stop … Think … Reflect
Only God can judge
We are all unique in the way God made us
Stop and see who you are before you judge others
Think and Thank God for all of our differences
No one is perfect … we all have faults
Reflect and look inside yourself
Addict, Addiction, Addicted
Words of Judgment
Words of disgrace
My husband’s drug addiction…is that what ruined my life? I am not even sure I can say that is true, because I have to be honest and I believe there are a lot of addictions that harm us in different ways. We all have addictions of some type; sometimes we call them habits. We may be addicted to exercise or coffee or gambling or so many other things. It is when our addictions are not in balance that our life can be thrown off. I had several addictions. My addictions were to be loved, to be accepted, and to be wanted. I would do anything to try to achieve those addictions. My addictions also played a part in the craziness of what I am about to tell you.
Two definitions I found, online, are:
- To cause to become physiologically or psychologically dependent on a habit-forming substance
- To occupy (oneself) with or involve (oneself) in something habitually or compulsively; to devote or surrender (oneself) to something habitually or obsessively
To say that my life got crazy or bizarre would not express the true craziness. This was a life I knew nothing of. I was not prepared. It took me a while to even know what was happening. I was so naïve to drugs that again…I did not see the signs. There is a world known to drug addicts that I never knew existed. There is a code amongst addicts that I couldn’t understand. My life would soon become his, in part, due to my own addiction. “To occupy oneself with or involve oneself in something habitually or compulsively”…wow… that describes me exactly. I was addicted to wanting to be loved…I was addicted to wanting to fit in…I was addicted to needing to be needed. We both did things………maybe due to our addictions.
I lied to my family to protect my husband. I became more and more distant from my family because I didn’t want them to see the truth. After all, he was the man that loved me…right? I became a person I had not ever been. I yelled and I cursed at my husband. I hated the person I was turning into and yet I couldn’t stop doing what I was doing. I didn’t know that by doing these things, I belittled him. I was trying to get him to see things my way and I couldn’t understand why/how he could be treating me the way he was. I wanted so much to have the “perfect marriage” without realizing that I was contributing to my own problems.
His crack addiction led him to do things that I am not sure he would have otherwise done. I say I am not sure, because to this day, I do not know if they were drug induced actions or if these things are a part of who he is. I know he lied to me all the time. He convinced me that he needed my 401K savings to go home and invest in a business deal to help us. I believed him because he talked to “his people” on the phone and it sounded real. He lost all the money. I do know that he stole money from me on a regular basis in order to support his need. First it was $50 at a time then it was hundreds at a time. I couldn’t question him because if I did, I would spark his rage. He would take my debit card from my purse and get money before I even realized it was missing. Once I realized what he did, I started sleeping with my purse next to me or I tried hiding my card. He always seemed to find it and the times when he didn’t he found my checks and wrote checks out to himself signing my name. My money was disappearing and I wasn’t able to pay my bills. I know that he kept in contact with people that I would rather not have in my life and that at least one was a female. This certain female would text my husband every morning and I would be furious each morning. That was the way our day would begin. I know he visited porn and single sites on a regular basis. I would find flirtatious messages some of which were very graphic and inappropriate. Again, this would trigger my anger to a point I couldn’t control the things that came out of my mouth. I know he stole all of my valuable jewelry and many household items; my diamonds and pearls were gone; our flat screen T.V. was gone; I would be looking for something random and find it was gone, things that had great sentimental value to me where just all of a sudden gone. All taken, in order to pay for his addiction. When I asked him, of course, he said he didn’t do it. He swore to me that he would not ever steal from me and yet so many things were mysteriously gone… One of the other traits of his addiction, that I finally learned, is that he would lose track of time. He once left the keys in the car with the car running; he left candles burning till they burned all the way down and melting all over everything. He would swear that he had the best memory. I felt like I had to bring things to his attention when those things could put us in some type of danger, but I soon found it was easier to just let the little things go. There were enough bigger things that got me so upset, I couldn’t seem to let them go. There were several times when he would forget to pick me up from work. One time in particular, he said he was going to get gas, instead he went to the bank…took out money…went out of town and left me to walk 5 miles home from work. He didn’t get home until the following day, with no explanation except that somehow it was due to something I said or did. His addiction was combined with ongoing abuse to cause another level of craziness. If I didn’t give him the bank card, I didn’t trust him. If I questioned his whereabouts, I treated him like a child. If I got upset about his cheating, I must be guilty of cheating. The drug addiction along with the abuse, meant I was being hit on a regular basis and I never knew what I did to deserve it other than the reasons he told me which didn’t seem real in my mind or were just plain not true.
When I learned of his addiction, I was finally able to see the cycle. It was usually a three (3) day cycle. He might be able to stay clean for a couple of days, however by the third day he was craving so bad and that is when he would be violent and extremely mean to me. Although I learned the cycle, I did not learn to keep my mouth shut and that is usually the reason I would get hit. Somehow, I still believed I could reason with him. I believed this because there were some days when he truly seemed loving and believable. He would tell me that he wanted help and that he needed me to help him. He would tell me that without me he couldn’t do it. I soon found out these were only words. He was so good at saying the right thing. He always knew how to convince me. I didn’t know this was another characteristic of a drug addict. He was in his own world and there was no reasoning with him. Many of the incidents I described happened before I ever knew he had an addiction and therefore I struggled even more because I thought it was all because of me.
My addiction to him also helped in making me believe in him. After all, he was my “fairytale husband”. If only I could get him to see…If only I could get him to understand…
If is such a big word for being so small
It carries so much meaning that may not ever be
Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking,
It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails
The Bible tells me what love is…this is what I believe
My mind is a cloud. I don’t remember the specific details of each hit. I do remember the types of things that would cause them. I remember the bruises, the headaches, and the heartaches. I remember the lies I had to tell in order to hide what had been done to me. I remember feeling desperate. I remember feelings like I didn’t want to live any more.
It could have been because I looked at someone when I left work and smiled as I said bye; that meant I was cheating on him. He would question me and if I said no, he would call me a damn liar and back up his words with a punch.
It could have been because I stood behind him while in a meeting, that meant I was trying to hide so I could flirt and again I would pay for it when we were alone.
It could have been because I got a call on my cell phone that was the wrong number, and that meant I had a secret code to meet someone; again a reason to hit me.
Most of the incidents were because he thought I was cheating on him or lying to him. At first I thought it was romantic that he was jealous. After all, I had never experienced a kind of love where someone actually loved me enough to care what I did. My thoughts of romance were soon replaced with thoughts of death. There was one incident when he threw a dog bone at me and hit me in the head. My head cut open and started to bleed. There was another time he kicked me in the stomach. Another punch was to my eye, which caused my contact to cut my eye. Usually it was a punch. I say a punch because that is what it felt like to me however, there were many times when he said he “barely tapped me”. Those “taps” always seemed to leave bruises on my body. One incident left me with a black eye and the white of my eye was so filled with blood that I had to wear an eye patch to work. I am sure no one believed the lies I told about the patch after all the bruises they had seen on me. I tried to cover the bruises with make-up, I am sure people saw through my attempted cover up.
I was in an abusive relationship before and I always said I would not ever allow this to happen to me again. When you are in the middle of an abusive relationship, you cannot think straight. You are too busy thinking about you next move and how you are going to survive from one day to the next.
There is not much more to say about this. It is what it is. As much as the physical abuse may have hurt me and as bad as the descriptions may seem, they were actually nothing compared to the mental/emotional abuse. The physical affects would eventually heal however, the mental/emotional scars could last a lifetime.
Through the beginning phases of this abuse, I still had no idea my husband was addicted to crack. Maybe if I would have known, some of these things may not have occurred. Maybe, I would have been able to understand the hurt he was feeling that caused him to react the way he did. Maybe I would have been able to look at him differently and therefore see myself in a different way. Maybe I wouldn’t believe that I deserved what I got because he was the person with the problem not me. Maybe….just maybe….
Love is not supposed to supposed to hurt....
What is truth?
What is true to one person may not be true to another.
What is truth?
Our minds are unique
We process thoughts according to our own knowledge.
Are there really three (3) sides to every story?
Or are there many more depending on the story being told?
As I said before, I have always been labeled as “too nice”. I try to believe the best in everyone, I try to trust everyone, I try to see the good side of every situation, I don’t ever hold a grudge or judge anyone. This is the way my mind works. This is who I am.
If I am told something from someone I love, I believe them. When my husband told me, on our marriage night, that I did not ever have to flinch again because he would always protect me and he would not ever hurt me….I believed him. When he told me our fairytale marriage was real….I believed him. When he told me I could believe in him….I believed him. When he told me he loved me “Like the White Light”….I believed him. I stored all his loving words in my mind. Somehow they helped to balance out all the negative words that had been said to me in my past.
When he told me, shortly after we were married, that he would not ever cheat on me unless it was with someone much better than me….I believed him. When he told me stories of his past and the “bad” things he did….I believed him. When he told me “no black man would ever want me, except to use me until there was nothing left to use”….I believed him. When he called me names and pointed out all the things I did wrong…I believed him. When he told me all he had to do was call “his boys” and they would be here…. I believed him. When he told me I better be prepared because he always took care of business when least expected…. I believed him. When he told me he wouldn’t just get me…he would get my whole family because he didn’t leave witness’…. I believed him. When he told me he would burn my house down…I believed him. As he started to tell me more and more “negative” things, his previous statements started to appear to be lies. The words he said now reinforced all the negative things that I had heard all my life.
I believed him, because I had no reason not to.
Our marriage was based on the Bible and our mutual beliefs. He reminded me what the Bible said about being in a marriage. I was to submit to my husband. I was to forgive 7 x’s7 times. The husband was the head of the wife. We were to become one flesh. He reminded me of our vows. Till death do us part, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer. He knew how my mind would process these reminders.
My mind processed what I knew from my past and what was now my present. As I mentioned in a previous post, I believe the effects of childhood bullying can lead to how a person feels about themselves and can lead to adult abuse both for the abuser and the abused.
His words were like daggers to my mind. His actions were even worse. I remember one time when he got mad at me (for what I don’t remember)…any way, I was sitting on our bed and he started yelling at me and calling me names then said he would burn our room down with me in it. As I sat on the bed he put his cigarette lighter to the mattress and it caught on fire. I was so scared but I couldn’t let it show. I sat there and prayed that God would take me quickly. By his reactions, I think he surprised himself because he tried to put the fire out as it spread faster and faster. He did get it out but the memory would stay burning in my mind for years. It reminded me that I should not ever take for granted anything he said or any of the threats he made.
He kept me humiliated and feeling like I was a disgrace by his actions and words. It became a regular ritual for me to come home from work and him make me take my undergarments off so he could inspect them to be sure I hadn’t cheated on him. He would also “inspect” my private parts for the same reason. I felt so humiliated because he would then tell me I stink or that my body somehow resembled that of a “w (word)”. On one hand my mind knew that what he said was not true…the things he did were not right, on the other hand my mind was so numb I couldn’t think straight because I was too busy trying to think of how to keep things calm.
My mind told me to run…and so I tried, only to be brought back. My mind told me to be scared and yet I had to try to hide my fright. My mind told me that I had no one to turn to and I was stuck. My mind told me I was some sort of bad person, although I couldn’t figure out how or what to do, to be the person he wanted. My mind told me that my life didn’t matter; the only important thing was to protect my children. My mind told me if I wanted to be loved by the person I loved, I had to be the person he wanted me to be and since I couldn’t be that person, no matter how hard I tried, it would be best if I was no longer.
Your Mind can play tricks on you
These tricks can either protect you or harm you
Believe in yourself
Trust in yourself
It is easier said than do
It’s not your fault,
You didn’t’ know your words would eat away at my heart.
It’s not your fault,
You didn’t’ know your words would break my spirit.
I don’t blame you,
You couldn’t have known.
I remember my sister once told me that you should be happy most of the time and have a few unhappy days, when you are in a relationship. I was unhappy most of the time and lived for the few days when things were good. I didn’t realize at the time that there was a cycle that I could count on. I was too busy trying to do everything right to be able to notice anything around me. The verbal, mental and emotional abuse was something I had to deal with daily. I did not ever know if I should speak or have an opinion of my own. I was always on edge. There would be times when we would be in the middle of a “normal” conversation; everything would be great and then I would say something wrong and everything would change. If my words were not EXACTLY as he thought I should say them, the accusations and name calling would begin. We came from different life styles, we came from different cultures and evidently, I didn’t know how to speak or express myself correctly. I tried so hard to say the right things in the right way…I just couldn’t get it right. If I talked “too much” or explained things in detail, he would accuse me of treating him like a child. I have been used to talking in detail with my children and family…we talk and repeat the same thing in several ways. We analyze and we discuss in detail, however when I spoke this way with my husband, again, I was accused of treating him like a child and I had to pay the price by being yelled at and called names. If I tried to explain, it just made matters worse. Even as I write this, I feel my heart start to beat fast because I am afraid I am saying “too much”. If my children called me, I had to be careful of every word I spoke in fear he might take something wrong.
I learned how to listen verbatim. If I paraphrased something and didn’t get it right, he would yell at me for “putting words in his mouth”. If I said something and then latter changed it, I was “lying” or “up to something”. If I forgot something, or didn’t remember exactly as it was said days before, I “was stupid” and a “damn liar”. Anything I got wrong could easily be turned into proof that I was cheating on him or that I was somehow putting him down. I wasn’t and I couldn’t find a way to show him.
I felt like I was losing my mind. There were times when I knew something was said or not said. It may have been that I didn’t remember word for word or that I had a different understanding of what was said then he did; it didn’t matter….I was always wrong.
If I argued what I believed I had heard, I would have to pay with his verbal assult on me.
I was a “damn liar”; I was a “m…f…”; I was a “c (word)..”; I was a “b (word)…”; I was “stupid”; “No one could be that naïve, so I must be lying”; I was a piece of “s (word)”; I was a “w (word)”;
His anger was so strong and the tone of his voice was so harsh, when he spoke these words to me, I was scared and felt helpless.
When you are in school, they call it bullying….as an adult it is abuse. Years of hearing the same types of things carried into my adult life reinforcing and strengthening each word and each name as it was yelled at me.
The name calling echoed in my mind every day and it got louder and louder each time the words were repeated.
There was a very fine line between the verbal, emotional and physical abuse. One crossed right over to the next and any one could trigger the other.
In school we learned
“Sticks n Stones may break your bones,
But words will never hurt you.”
My Daddy always told me
“Don’t care what other people think”
Why do his words hurt me so much?
Imagine your Highest Highs
The most spectacular events of your life
Imagine your Lowest Lows
The worst events of your life
Is it better if I had not ever experienced such Highs in my life? Would it have been better if I had not ever had such high beliefs in someone? Would it have been better if I had not ever had such high hopes for my future? Would it have been better if I had not ever put my total trust in someone? Would it have been better if I did not believe in my fairytale marriage? If I did not experience these things I would not know the blessings of each. If I did not experience these things I would not have crashed so hard.
I was convinced that God had brought us together. After all, we would not have ever met unless this was true. Because of my beliefs, I put all my trust in my husband. I had always held back my emotions; I had never let my heart out to anyone like I did now. I remember telling my husband that this was my last chance to find love. I am 15 years older than he and I convinced myself that if this did not work, I would not ever try again. Having told myself that, I knew I had to give 1000% of myself, I couldn’t hold anything back, I had to trust and believe in him and our marriage. I know marriage takes work and I was willing to do what I needed to do. I knew I was finally going to be happy. I remember acting like teenagers and it felt so good to be giddy and carefree. I remember saying people were going to be jealous of our relationship.
I worked so hard to make our home a place I was proud of. This was a place where everyone was welcome and everyone could feel the love within the walls of our home. We had so many plans and dreams and they all began in our home. Now my house was boarded up. I was afraid to be home alone. The security of my home was gone.
There are three things that I had expected most out of our marriage. I look back now and think maybe I expected too much. Maybe, it wasn’t fair of me to expect what I did. These things were important to me and I expressed these things to my husband even before we got married.
The first was that I was extremely lonely. I hated to go to any family event because I always felt alone. I was the one person just sitting there with no one to talk with. I didn’t fit in. I had to pretend like I was happy, when inside I felt very lonely at ever get together. Now I would not ever be lonely again. I looked forward to family events just so I could be with my husband and not be lonely. Now I am lonelier than I have ever been in my life. It hurts more to be lonely when you are with someone than to be lonely when you are by yourself.
The second was to make sure my Dad knew he never had to worry about me again. I have had such bad experiences in the past and I always felt like I put worry on my Dad. I had a husband that promised to love and protect me. I couldn’t wait for my Dad to meet him so he would know he didn’t ever have to worry about me again. Now I have caused more worry and pain to my family because of the things that happened. How can I ever make this up to my Dad?
The third was to have someone love me for who I am. Someone that would love me no matter what and that I could love back with love unconditional. I had the kind of love that was so strong that my husband would dedicate his life to me and I to him. I was on my highest high and in love “Like the White Light”. I have the experience of love even if it were for only one weekend in St Louis. I was blessed with that weekend. Now all I have is a memory.
Everything else was taken from my heart.
The things that I lost cannot ever be replaced by anyone except the person that took them
I had everything I ever dreamed of and more
I believed and had hope for my future
All was taken away from me
Is it wrong to believe in a person
Is it wrong to think the best of the person
Is it wrong to love someone unconditionally
My husband came home and I was in 7th heaven. I was so excited to begin my long awaited fairytale. I knew in my heart that we would be okay and our dreams would come true. We had worked so hard at understanding each other and at studying God’s word so we would live the right way. The things he did after he came home from prison would destroy all the trust that we had built up while he was gone. The promises he made, were nothing but words.
After about 2 months, he got mad about something and slapped my face. I don’t remember what he got mad about; I just remember how shocked I was that he put his hands on me again. As always, he was sorry and swore it wouldn’t happen again. He never hit me again.
Soon after this incident I realized that he had started using drugs again. Things got more bizarre than before. I don’t know if it is because he was using more or if it was because it was a different type. I am still naïve to this, but I do know that once again my fairytale became a nightmare and this time it was worse in many ways. Although he did not hit me again, there were so many other things that were worse.
His paranoia was so intense that it scared me. I couldn’t reason with him because in his mind his paranoia was real. The things he saw or suspected were real and of course, I needed to be aware or something might happen to me. I am not sure if he got high during the day. I suspect he did and I know he did other things that were totally disrespectful to me and our marriage. He would get high when I got home from work saying he was only going to “do a little”. That “little” would last all night. He would pace around the house in a way that made me scared. He carried a knife with him at all times and if I tried to sleep I would be woken with him standing over me with the knife in his hands. He would watch out the back window with binoculars because, as he said, a house in the next neighborhood would turn on or off their lights when he watched. He would tell me to watch the light and I honestly did not see what he saw but it was real to him. The most bizarre thing he did was due to his paranoia. I would be sitting on the couch and if he happened to come into the room and I moved at the same time he walked in, he would get so angry at me and start yelling and cursing. He was convinced that I had someone inside/or under the couch and I was having sex with them and that is why I moved. I was so scared by the way he would come at me and turn over the couch to see who was under it. Again, I couldn’t reason with him because if I tried it would only get him angrier. If I slept with my legs a bit parted and then closed them because I adjusted in my sleep; that meant I was having sex with someone or something. I was so afraid to do anything. I was afraid to sit on the couch or sleep or do anything because I didn’t know how he was going to react. I soon started to sleep with a knife and carry a knife with me at all times. I didn’t do this to hurt him; I did it because I swore I would not let him hurt me again. I would hurt myself first. I could not live like this again. I wanted to die but I had to do it in a way that he would not get in trouble for it.
There came a time when I knew I couldn’t be in the house with him if he was high. I packed my car with clothes and a jug of water. I told him that if he got high I would not be there. He didn’t seem to care. I slept in my car almost every night because that is where I felt safe. Sometimes I slept in the driveway of our house and other times I slept in parking lots; it all depended on how scared I was. After a while, I started sleeping at my job. I think what hurt the most is that he didn’t care if I was in a parking lot somewhere sleeping in my car. He didn’t care if I was sleeping on a couch at work. All he cared about is that he was able to get high. I believe he actually liked for me to be gone because he was cheating on me. It was no longer just the internet sites, now it was in person and with prostitutes. I found out that he was paying to have sex with prostitutes on a regular basis. I cannot explain the hurt this caused me on so many different levels. First because I believed in him and I believed in our marriage and this showed me he did not have the same beliefs as I did. Second because he continually accused me of cheating on him and therefore was justified in his mind to hurt me and yet he was the one doing it all along. Third because I remembered what he had told me shortly after we got married…”he would not ever cheat on me unless it was with someone better than me.” So this is what he thought of me? A wife who dedicated her life to him, who stuck by him no matter what and he would rather be with a prostitute?
I couldn’t tell my children or anyone else what was going on. I had to keep this all to myself and therefore hurt by myself. No one would understand why I didn’t want to get him in trouble. He continued to tell me he wanted help. I believed him…he was so convincing. His problem was getting worse. His actions were getting worse.
I have been told that you can’t help someone if they don’t want help. I tried to help him. He did not want help. I finally realized there was nothing I could do to help him.
To love someone unconditionally
Is to let them be who they want to be
To love someone unconditionally
Might mean to let them go
To love someone unconditionally
Time to heal
Mentally, physically & emotionally
Time to heal
From the hurt, abuse, & betrayal
Time to heal
So life can go on…
We had met the day we got married so we really didn’t know each other. We were able to change this during the course of the time he was gone. We were able to use this time to heal and to grow together. We talked in length about everything that had happened and why. We discussed how we felt and what we needed to do to help each other. We learned to trust each other; we learned to believe in each other. Most of all we used this time to grow in Christ. Many people would say that everyone finds God in prison. I say that is great, because it is the story of the prodigal son. God makes good of all evil if you allow him to and if you believe and ask. We asked and we believed. We took this time to start up our non-profit to help others. We could use our experiences to help someone else. For that reason it would all be worth it. God has a reason for all things; this was our reason. My husband expressed our feelings best when he put the saying on his back…”embracing the struggle”. I could hope again…I could believe again…I was excited about our future.
It wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen fast. I was still depressed and struggled to find a way out of my depression. I had lost my job which caused another level of stress for me, however it turned out to be a blessing because I was able to watch my new grand-daughter. Every time I looked at her I was reminded of my thoughts of death and how her birth had brought me hope. She was my angel…She was a blessing…She helped save my life. I focused on her and how precious she is, I focused my thoughts on my own children and my other grand-children. I focused on my husband and helping him to heal.
One day, while watching my grand-daughter, I was flipping through T.V. channels and accidently came upon a Joyce Meyer telecast. I am not sure what caught my attention. I watched the entire episode and knew that God was talking to me. I still had to deal with the guilt I felt for the restraining order. I still had to deal with the guilt I felt for causing my family pain. I knew it was time for me to heal and to put the past in the past. I heard words that I had heard all my life and it reminded me of who I was. I didn’t ever think I could get into a state of mind that would pull me away from my core beliefs and yet my depression was causing me to not be able to remember these simple beliefs. I watched the next day and the next and slowly began to feel my heart open and my mind clear. I felt light…I felt like I could believe again…I felt happiness
It has been proven that there are certain stages that most people go through in order to heal or in grieving a loss. 1st) Denial and Isolation; 2nd) Anger; 3rd) Bargaining; 4th) Depression; 5th) Acceptance. There is not a set amount of time that each stage should or might last. There are not any limitation to the severity of each stage. We are all unique so there is no right or wrong way to get through your loss or your individual hurt. Everyone I knew gave me advice to help me heal, however they did not realize that I am different; I am unique. The struggle I had, was to face the fact that I had a right to hurt in my own way and in my own time. My sister told me this recently and I didn’t realize that what she said was exactly what was causing me pain in my healing process. I could not change what others thought about my situation, I could only change the way I thought about my situation. I began to “embrace the struggle”. I began to remember that God does things for a reason.
The White Light…..It was shining brightly. I cannot explain the new feelings I had within my heart. My husband and I had so many plans. We took this time to heal in a way I didn’t think was possible. We took this time to grow together. We were one. We both wanted the same things and we were ready to work together to achieve them. The second chapter of my fairytale was becoming a reality. I was blessed in so many ways and I knew everything is possible with God.
I believed this was a new beginning……no looking back
Was I wrong?
Anything bad can be turned into good
It is all in how you look at it
Look on the positive side
And life will be much brighter
Early on in my business, I was a human tornado (in some ways I still am, but much more strategic and controlled now), I was so excited about my business and the impact it would make on people that I constantly was doing "something" every single day to bring awareness to my business and why it is so "awesome".
It became very clear to me once I found myself worn-out, exhausted stretched but not any more profitable when I began, that there is a difference between "BUSY-ACTIVITY" and "BUSY PROFIT-GENERATING Activity"
BUSY-WORK-ACTIVITY is what alot of business people do in the very beginning or it's an easy trap to fall into at some point in the first 5 years or so of being self-employed. It's when you realize the excitement of your business but underestimated how much work it would take to truly promote, advertise and market your products and services. True there takes time for momentum to build in your business so every business has to be in a state of alot activity that may not product immediate return but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about creating so much activity that it never reaps any return in the long run.
Common examples of "BUSY-WORK-ACTIVITY":
- Not treating social media time the same as face-to-face networking (you wouldn't linger at a networking event for hours and hours would you?)
- Checking and responding to every single e-mail as soon as you receive it instead of carving out time to check those that resort in new profit opportunities (I'm still at times guilty of this)
- Checking email and voice mails as soon as you wake up in the morning, before you have breakfast or
- Your networks are based on your personal needs and not the needs of your business
- You spend a ton of time each month on tasks that can be delegated to someone else while you focus on generating new revenue streams (I'm talking about your EP-Entrepreneur Personality)
- Spending TOO much time researching and networking - there comes a time when the next step simply just needs to be ACTION!
- and I could go on...
But I think you get my point,
Do any of these seem familiar? Where do you fall? What should you do next?
1. Follow my D.E.T.O.X steps to gain new clarity. Learn to get rid of the unnecessary noise and gain new focus for yourself and business.
2. Don't fall into a Love affair with your business. Meaning it's easy to get so infatuated with the new found attention or too pulled into the power of networking that you essentially loose focus on your main goal of your business. It's always best to build quietly. You don't need ALL the attention right away especially if you are doing the business alone.
Click here for the other 3 steps to help you get clarity in your business now.
Katrina M. Harrell is author of "Embrace.Your.Journey.: 180 Day Journey to Unlocking Your Wisdom, R... (The Sum of Her Publishing, 2011). President of the KM Harrell Group, LLC a Strategic Business Development & Management firm supporting minority and women-owned businesses. She is the creator of the "Under the Hood" Business Mastermind Group which is helping business owners get actionable and profitable business strategies. Her firm’sconsulting services have helped many minority and women owned businesses establish foundational structures and exit strategies within their businesses that have aided them in selling for profit or obtaining investor funding. Passionate about entrepreneurship education, Katrina’s insight and expertise is highly sought after both online and off. She is also founding CEO for Your Simple Bookkeeper, outsourced national bookkeeping company for micro and small business.
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Welcome to my new blog column "Oh No They Didn't". I'll be using this post to discuss some of the most scandelous topics that I come across. I actually got the idea from the topic I actually am going to cover in this post.
I was at my job "kicking the shits" with a few of my co-workers. We were doing our usual, comparing interesting stories on the internet. We would always try to find a story that would get the biggest response, or should I say that they would present me with stories that hopefully I would find interesting enough to write and rant about. Often I would find something interesting but I felt as if I didn't have the outlet to do so.
One day though I saw something that made me say "Oh no they didn't!!!" and voila! One of my co-workers decided that I should have a segment of my blog dedicated to the "Oh no they didn't"s in the world. SO here it is.
My topic..."Martin Loofah King"
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Hi everyone, Gee Renee here. I wanted to post this short bio, introducing me to the BBWO community.
I was born and raised in The Bronx, NY, and am the 2nd eldest of 7 children. I have always been a trend-setter and a go-getter. I was the first to do many things in my immediate family; from breaking my leg to leaving home, to graduating from college, to getting married. I am also a born-again believer in The Lord Jesus Christ
For the past 18 years, I have been honored to be married to who I call "the greatest living Jazz Pianist", Mr. Levi Barcourt (bar-coo). Together, we have 3 beautiful children, who I know will one day leave indelible marks on this world. In addition to being a mommy and a wifey, I am also an entrepreneur.
After working in Corporate America for 16 years; 13 years ago, I was privileged to stay at home and become a full-time Momprenuer. I've owned my own baking business; worked as a church administrator, and as a network marketer. Currently, I am a first-time author, writing my first book, a baby name book, entitled, "You Were Destined To Be."
My current online activities includes that of an Internet Marketer. I promote cash leveraging programs, and am passionate about helping others "Create Wealth so they can Leave a Lasting Financial Legacy." Offline, I am also the co-owner of LB Music & Entertainment, Inc., a premier entertainment company, serving the NY Tri-State regions.
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Remember, "Destiny is Not left up to Chance…It's a Matter of CHOICE!!!
Peace & Blessings,
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