Last night a woman who originally wrote to inquire about access to Seven Reasons sent me this poetic piece, in which she succinctly shared the history of the descent of her once loving marriage into a harrowing miasma of pain and fear. She and I hope what she’s written will serve to bring healing to any other woman who finds herself in a situation similar to hers. Please pass it along to anyone for whom you think it may be of some benefit.
19 years ago today, I married my best friend.
9 years ago, he started sinking into depression.
8 years ago, he started becoming the monster he is today.
5 years ago, he started throwing things at me and calling me awful names.
4 years ago, he took the spark plugs out of my car and disconnected the battery so I couldn’t leave.
4 years ago, he kicked in both entry doors because he thought they were locked on purpose.
3 years ago, he ripped the bedroom door off its hinges and broke it in half just because I was crying.
2.5 years ago he hit me.
2 years ago, our then 12-year-old daughter asked me to leave him.
2 years ago, he left bruises on my arms where he grabbed me.
1.5 years ago, while driving down the road, he threw everything within his grasp at me—stuff from the dash, hats, napkins, papers. When we finally stopped, I got out and started walking home. He grabbed me and pulled me back to the van.
1.5 years ago, he yanked the phone out of my hands so I couldn’t call for help.
9 months ago, I moved out with the kids.
6 months ago, he blockaded the driveway so I couldn’t leave after picking up our kids.
4 months ago, on my 40th birthday, he ripped my keys out of the ignition so I couldn’t leave.
4 months ago, on my 40th birthday, I called the police on him.
In the past 4 months, I’ve obtained a Personal Protection Order from my ex,
filed for divorce,
been interviewed by childrens’ protective services,
filed for bankruptcy
went into hiding for full weekends, stashing the kids in different places
had to find somewhere safe for me to sleep.
Today I am still afraid of him.
Today our son is afraid of him.
Today our daughter is afraid of him.
None of his problems will just magically disappear if I change my behavior.
“If you were just the respectful, submissive wife you should be, I wouldn’t have these problems” is a falsehood.
Mental illness: take it seriously, early.
The longer you wait, the harder it is to repair all of the broken lives.
The longer you wait, the more likely it is to be too late.