Is it over?

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It has been yet another year “nearly” since the last time I’ve been in here.
I need this as an outlet right now though.  Actually, I should’ve came back 6 months ago.

I was doing counselling through the University here, the students doing their practicum.  It turned out to be a horrible experience.  Well, not horrible, but she was encouraging the emotional affair I had had.  So wrong.  I stopped going, as did hubby.  She was talking about his mom, nothing else.

We separated for a while after that, after we moved.  It wasn’t long, only about a month or 6 weeks.  But when we got back together, he was everything I’d ever hoped for.  It was amazing.  In my mind though, I couldn’t help but feel like it was a show, so I kept him at a distance.  I was afraid to get close to him again, but I did, eventually, and things were great!  Unfortunately, as time went on, he slowly stopped doing things, and started to be angry with me again over nothing.  He was still far from being the ass he was before, but I still felt it.

We had our 11th wedding anniversary (and 17 years together) on August 6th.  At the end of August, everything changed.  He came home from work one day and just seemed off.  After so long together, I can read him pretty clearly.  His facial expressions, his movements, his eyes and their movements, the tone in his voice and the words he uses.  He seemed like he wasn’t telling me something.  I didn’t know if it was a good thing or a bad thing but considering we had been arguing again, I figured it couldn’t be good.  He swore there was nothing and we went to bed.  When he got home the next day, we went for a drive and he said he had something to tell me.  I said “are you sleeping with someone else?”  Huge grin on his face and he said “no, but…”

He had gotten an email from this woman and had planned to have an affair with her, but because I could tell something was wrong, he decided to tell me what was going on.  From then on, he pushed for a triad. (a 3 person relationship)  My answer was always no.  So then he pushed for an open marriage (married but allowed to sleep with other people) which I of course said no to, at first.  I ended up giving in when I thought I was going to lose him.  He went to meet her in the parking lot at the theater.  He grabbed two condoms and left.  It was heartwrenching.  She ended up not showing up.

The whole time, he’s complimenting me, telling me how I’m his everything and how much he loves me and wants to be with me, blah blah blah.  Even our sex life changed, which turns out was because of her telling him what she liked.  He then drops a bomb on me and says he’s done with us.  He said he couldn’t stand the thought of me with another man (though I hadn’t planned to see any other men), so he wanted out because he wanted to hook up with her.
Turned out that she was fake.  Then he wanted to stay.  All the apologies in the world after that.

He still wanted the open marriage, so we talked to other people but for me personally, it isn’t what I wanted.  I don’t need that.  That wasn’t working well, so he decided swinging would be best. (couples swapping)  On to that.  We met a couple and her and I turned into too good of friends to do anything that could possibly jeopardize our friendship.
Back to an open marriage.  He was talking to another woman and crossed the lines.  No dates.  He asked her for coffee, and then asked her to burlesque with him, which is our monthly date night.
I told him we need to stop and get our marriage back on track, he agreed.

A couple weeks later, he got a message from another woman.  This is a couple weeks before Christmas.  He asked me if it was okay and I looked at him like he was stupid.  It had only been a couple weeks and we hadn’t talked about anything.  At all.  A week goes by of him telling me he’s going to stop.
January comes and he almost went to have an affair with her.
End of January/very beginning of February, he’s telling me, yet again, that he wants to leave me to go hook up.  I told him to go this time…but he changed his mind.

Saturday, a week ago, we went to burlesque.  We saw a bunch of the people we met at a party while doing the “swinging” thing. (No, neither of us hooked up with anyone)  I asked if we could go sit with them, but he had a bit of a fit and said he wanted it to be just us, which I found ridiculous because we were sitting there in silence.  One of the girls came over and asked why we didn’t join them, then another, and then the girl who he had tried to date.  After she came over, he wanted to go join them.  Go figure.  After the burlesque show, they all asked if we were going to head to the gala with them.  Bars of any kind aren’t his thing.  Never have been, so when he said yes, I automatically thought the reason was her.  We got there and didn’t see anyone.  He grabbed his phone and asked me if he wanted me to text her, I asked who, and he said her name.  I didn’t realize he kept her number.  He has her number and the most recents number.
Anyway, he stared at her the whole night and when I said I was going to go get a drink, he damn near pushed me back into my seat and took off for the line.  She was waiting in line.  He ended up standing there talking to her for a good 15 minutes or so, comes back over and tried to put his hands all over me.  Yeah right, buddy!

I’m doing my best to get past everything, but I just can’t.  He’s expecting me just to move on and put it behind me, but I have no trust in him.  How could I?  The trust was compromised the very first time!  He can’t take this back and can’t make it better.
Tomorrow, we’re supposed to start marriage counselling.  $105 per session, going to need financial counselling after this too!  But this is the last straw for me.  If this doesn’t help with something, with anything, I’m out.  I can’t do this anymore.  I can’t stand feeling like this and never once have I been a crazy jealous person and now?  I’m ridiculous.  I’m back to not recognizing myself.  I hate that somehow I keep ending up in this situation, having this stranger staring back at me in the mirror.  I’m still not allowed out by myself and he doesn’t lift a damn finger at home.  I can barely get him to bring his dish to the sink, never mind rinse it out…or lift the toilet seat!

I’m just so lost right now.

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Separation & court

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Well, I’m not too sure where to start.  My life has been extremely stressful and I feel it physically.  Even taking the time to write this, just thinking about everything is giving me a headache.

So here’s what’s been happening here.
I turned 29 on the 29th of May.  Hubby came home and surprised me by taking me out for dinner at our favorite restaurant.  Yes, that was great.  However, the days, weeks, prior to that had been more terrible than wonderful.  He’s been spending a lot of time away from home (I have no idea where he ends up), has no regard for the kids or my feelings, comes home really late and drunk.  I’ve said it before to him, that it’s disrespectful and sure makes us feel like he doesn’t give a damn at all.

Long story short though, on the 30th, I had the support worker from Graces school drop Adam off for a visit at the school (he got to see his girlfriend!) so we could head down to the courthouse.
I filed for sole custody and guardianship, and placed a protection order for my kids simply because he has made the threat in the past that he’d take the kids to Yakima WA where his mom lives.  The protection order says he cannot leave BC without written and verbal consent, cannot pick up the kids at school etc without written and verbal consent, etc.
It was the first time I’ve had to admit out loud and to complete strangers that yes, my marriage is emotionally and verbally abusive.  I swear for cases like that, they should offer an Ativan.  I had to get the support worker (Kathleen) to write some of it, I was just too shaky.  I honestly thought I may have a heart attack, but I’m assuming it was just a big anxiety attack.

Once we left, she bought me a coffee and we went to hubby’s place of employment so Kathleen could serve him the papers.  I was so nervous I thought I might vomit.  It was horrid!  He didn’t come out though, which is what I was afraid of.  We went back to the school to pick up Adam, gave Grace a big hug, all that good stuff, and went home.
A couple of hours later, hubby asked why I still went to the courthouse, that he thought things were getting better and he’s confused.  Two good days in a row does not mean things have gotten better.  At all.

When he got home, he was extremely angry.  We came to the conclusion though that he was angry because he was hurt, and then the anger stopped.  I gave him an option though.  No pressure to him for it, it’s completely his choice.  I know his opinion on counsellors and what not, it hasn’t changed in the 15 years we’ve been together.  They put words in your mouth, they do more harm than good, etc.  Bottom line, that he would never again go see one.  He went through anger management two or three times before we met and I guess had a terrible experience.  I have tried to explain to him counselling isn’t like anger management, especially between youth and adults.  Things are different.  He wouldn’t accept that answer though.  Anyway, he has decided to go to counselling through the John Howard Society, through the S.T.O.P program. (Stop Taking It Out On Your Partner).  I figured if he’s actually willing, I’m going to make sure it counts, that this counsellor is going to understand situations like ours etc.  I’m also going to start seeing Cindy again at the Elizabeth Fry Society for abused women.  If hubby is willing to try, I am too and I know I’m far from perfect, I’ll do my part too.  I need to learn how to place boundaries and see what exactly is abuse compared to just having a bad day and what not.  Plus, I have yet to deal with a lot of things from the past.

Last night, he came home at 11:30pm completely drunk and ended up spending half the night on the bathroom floor.  It’s things like that I just can’t handle.  It’s disrespectful to me and to the kids.  It’s also a lot more than that, such as brushing off anything I see as a problem, or all my feelings in general.  But then again, his grandma (who raised him) told me straight out the other day that she didn’t have time for him when he was growing up so she just gave him money.  At least I know there’s a reason behind his actions and I do have a little hope the counselling will help.  But!  In order to know that he wants to try and he’s not just saying his constant empty words, I’m going to ask him to call and book the appointment.  He can start making an effort and showing me he’s all in by doing that, by going completely out of his comfort zone.  If he won’t, than I at least know where we stand.  That’s actually the advice from Kathleen.

Kathleen is the one who I thought was pressuring me to keep Adam in school in January.  I still feel like she was, but I quite like her now.  I’m very comfortable with her and can talk to her.  She has also offered to take me to the appointments at E. Fry and Adam can spend that hour at the school with his friends.

At this point, I haven’t cancelled the court date yet, which is the 19th.  I’m still on the fence.  I need to see some effort before then.  Actions speak louder than words and his actions just confirm my reasons for wanting to leave.

So there you have it, my current life situation in a few paragraphs.

What I have realized

I have realized this will be a long process for me.  Yes, the emotionally aspects of it all, the healing, etc, but the actual leaving him may take some time for me.  No, I’m not exactly afraid to leave, but I am heartbroken.  After all, who goes into a marriage thinking it will end; especially due to any type of abuse.  I have done quite a bit of thinking over the past couple days.  Yesterday, I found a book called “Healing The Scars Of Emotional Abuse.”  A lot of good information in that book; a lot of “aha” and “oh” moments.  I’m still on the lookout for more books though, and would love to find some sort of work book to work through.  If you have any recommendations, please let me know, I’m open to anything right now and am all about learning about emotional and verbal abuse, why it happens, the forms, ways to cope, what type of programs that will help; I’d even like to find information on Life Coaches for the future.  I think a life coach may be a healthy choice for me.  I have a friend who is a life coach here in town.  Unfortunately, his specialty isn’t in the category we both think would benefit me best; personal self-improvement.  The price of a life coach scared me a bit though.  He said the price ranges between $20 – $80 per session depending on experience and circumstance.  I can’t afford anything at this point.  Plus, I think the counselling is the best start.

My plan is to keep my appointment on Thursday morning, of course.  As much as I would like to back out of everything at this point, I’m not going to.  I need to go there, I need to speak with Cindy.  Cindy is going to show me the cycle of abuse, the common ways they abuse, etc etc.  She also has books and what not to show me, so in some ways, I’m actually very excited about this appointment.  I’m looking forward to getting set up with the counselling they offer.  Cindy will actually be my counsellor, which is nice because I like her.  She seems very personable and has also been where I am now and isn’t afraid to share her story with me.  I appreciate that a lot.  It’s different talking to someone who says they understand though they haven’t personally been through that sort of situation than it is to sit down and talk to someone who has the personal experience.  They can actually understand and relate because they know exactly what I’m going through and how I’m feeling.  She is also just finishing her psychology degree, which is awesome!

So I’m going to get setup with the counselling.  This will be done over the phone since I live out of city limits and don’t drive.  Also because hubby doesn’t know any of this is going on, just that I’m unhappy.  What I’m hoping to gain through the counselling, is self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-worth.  At this point, I’m afraid I’d leave and end up breaking down.  I need to know deep inside that I am strong enough to do this.  I need to be strong enough for my kids.  They will need me more than ever at that time and I will not let them down.  My plan is to do the counselling, work on myself, and also learn as much as I can about emotional and verbal abuse.  During this time, continue to blog about my situation.  I’m hoping I can reach out to others who may be going through this too.

What I’ve learned about emotional abuse is that in some ways, it can be a physical type of abuse.  Not physical towards the body, but physical in the sense of hitting walls, or breaking things for example.  The partner does not have to be physically abusive to have you fear him or her, these rage fits are enough to keep you on eggshells.  This explains a lot in my case.  The reason my entire body jumps about 10 feet when he comes home from work.  I’m afraid of the argument, the anger, the hurtful words he says, the degrading words he says, the names, all of it.  It’s much more than just calling someone a bitch and having hurt their feelings.  This is part of it, but there is more that can happen in an emotionally abusive relationship.

I’m learning more about my situation, and it feels good.

I also wanted to say that I have added a new link to the navigation bar at the top called “The Girl In The Mirror.”  This is a link to another blog I have which is based on healing myself.
Please feel free to take a look at it.  I’m always open to suggestions, advice, or recommendations on the topic, so please leave me a comment or contact me if you would like to get in touch with me.