Things Like This Don’t Happen To Someone Like Me

by Veronica on August 21, 2010

in Guest Posts,Headfuck

This post comes from my friend, Kristin, who is going through a really tough time at the moment and can’t post it on her own blog.

***

It’s hard to tell where it started. Perhaps it was the night I stood in the kitchen. The kids were in bed, he was down in the basement doing god knows what, lifting weights probably. I was alone. I was angry. My body was trembling. And that is when the thought entered my mind. That I could take a glass, one of his glasses, a Guinness glass, and throw it against the wall and it would feel very good. I had bought him a set at Target last year. They were large, over-sized drinking glasses. I stood for a moment and tasted this thought. I had never thrown anything against a wall, never broken anything before. I didn’t think highly of people who did these sorts of things. But wouldn’t it feel good?

It wasn’t just that he had been reading my private emails. It wasn’t just the elaborate lie he had made up to cover up the fact that he had been reading them. Nor was it the lie upon lie upon lie before that. No. It was the eight years of stifling every sharp-edged truth that rose up in my heart lest it disrupt the precarious balance of his emotions and tilt him into a slide. A slide into what? I didn’t want to find out what. I lived in fear of that what.

In the end I picked up the glass and walked to the stairwell and in one easy motion chucked it against the wall where it smashed into a thousand, glorious splinters.

A glass thrown against a wall in an empty room. Immature, perhaps. Fateful, it would turn out. But so clean and honest. I turned and walked quietly to my room. Did I know then that I had aroused the slumbering beast?

It’s funny how when tragedy falls we act so surprised, as if we never saw it coming. This was my very reaction three days later when I sat in my bathrobe filling out the witness statement as the police took photographs. I couldn’t believe any of it was actually happening. But looking back all the signs had been there. I had lived in fear of this moment for months. Years, really. I had gone so far as to pack bags and prepare a safe place for myself and the kids to stay after each legal meeting, just in case, knowing that he would be agitated by the discussions over child support and alimony. I woke often during the night, nervous and on edge. I felt trapped and afraid living in the same house as him during our divorce, waiting for my settlement so I could get out.

No one had ever laid a hand on me in anger before, ever. Not my father, not a boyfriend. No one. I had only seen my parents argue once in their 16-year marriage.

When I sat in the Victim’s Assistance office of the county courthouse, just before my husband was released from jail, I told my story calmly and with careful attention to detail. In truth, I was both exhausted and terrified. I never thought I would be sitting here. I was intelligent, well-educated. Wasn’t this something that happened to other people with different lives?

I told her about the phone call I received from jail. He wanted to make sure no one at his work found out lest he lose his job, was quick to point out that we both relied on his paycheck. He blamed me. Asked how I could do this to him. I didn’t do it, I said. Well, it was your fault for making me angry, he said. The victim’s advocate shook her head. Typical abuser response, she said, no accountability. She was the third person to tell me this.

I am still digesting these words. Abuser. Victim. I don’t like the way they sit in my gut.

I relayed my concern for my children, who seemed by turns angry and stunned. My daughter, 7, sitting alone at the kitchen table, staring off into the middle distance. My son, 5, full of turbulent emotion. By the close of the weekend they were yelling, hitting, kicking, crying. My daughter in the bathroom, my son on the outside, “I’m going to break down this door!” I tried to pull them apart, hold them, comfort them, isolate them from each other, scold them, talk to them, nothing worked, nothing. They were like two broken satellites hurtling through untempered black space. Lost.

* * * * *

I try to imagine what it was like for them, how this must have rocked the simple order of their world. What was it like through their eyes?

That morning they are watching a movie. I come downstairs and sit on the couch with them and I can tell right away he is angry. He immediately begins to pick a fight. He demands I apologize for the glass throwing incident three days before. I tell him I don’t want to argue. He persists, is clearly worked up. Please, not in front of the kids, I say. He walks to the kitchen and picks up a large ceramic artisan bowl my father bought for me before he died. It is my favorite bowl. Do you want me to throw this against the wall? He lifts it up and holds it precariously, tilting it from side to side. No, I answer. Apologize, he demands Please, I say again, not in front of the kids. The children are silent, their movie forgotten. They look back and forth between us. My heart beats fast. I avoid his eyes. They are like steel. He badgers, needles, provokes. I ignore. He disappears upstairs.

I wait. I wait until I think he is in the shower and then I go upstairs to get some clothes for my son, who is still in his pajamas. But of course he is waiting for me.

What did they hear next? Probably nothing for a while, as I try to defuse the situation, talk him down as I retreat backwards into my room. And then? His yelling? Did he even yell? I don’t remember. The door to my room banging open, the pursuit, the crashing of fists through the bathroom door, my screams. His animal-like wail. By this time I can hear them crying downstairs. Then they see him run down the stairs and flee the house–the police had been called–crying, his fist bloodied. The 911 operator is telling me to repeat myself, slow down, breathe. This is when I hear them sobbing outside the splintered bathroom door. My son is clutching his blanket. I let them in, lock it again and hold them close until the police arrive.

* * * * *

Here are the facts:

• On Saturday August 14th, my husband was arrested and jailed for domestic violence.

• He was released on $1,500 bail the following Monday and given a 72-hour no contact order that applied to myself, the kids and our residence.

• I was urged by the Victim’s Assistance unit at the courthouse to file a restraining order to extend this.

• I was urged by my lawyer not to file a restraining order as this would interfere with our Collaborative Divorce case, which was fully negotiated and settled, but not yet drafted and signed by us.

• Instead, my lawyer filed a temporary order extending the no-contact order until our divorce is finalized. It allows me to remain in our current house until then and gives him limited contact with the kids. I am responsible for paying the mortgage and all household and child-related expenses and he has been ordered to start support payments. The support payments will not cover the expenses of the house.

• Two days after my husband was released I was out front doing yard work with my son when he said, “Is that Daddy?” I turned around to see a car identical to my husband’s driving by the house. We live on a dead-end street. It had driven by once, turned around at the cul-de-sac, and was driving by a second time.

• I was told by the Victim’s Assistance unit at the courthouse to immediately file a police report seeing as my husband had violated the no contact order.

• I was told by my lawyer not to file a police report as the police would again arrest my husband and then he might not sign the divorce agreement.

• I didn’t file a police report.

• Since the incident on the 14th I have had no direct communication with my husband other than the phone call from jail. I have been told through my lawyer that he wants financial restitution from me for the expenses incurred by him for having to hire a criminal attorney and pay for anger management classes, all of which he deems to be my fault. He is now refusing to sign the divorce agreement and instead asking for a reduction in alimony payments to compensate for this.

• I have incurred several thousand dollars in legal expenses getting a temporary order filed in lieu of a restraining order and otherwise dealing with the fallout of this incident.

• He has never apologized to me or expressed concern about the trauma experienced by the children on that morning.

* * * * *

I’m not sure I can properly convey the way violence can shift a world. I have a jar of compost scraps on the kitchen counter that is full. I need to empty it. The compost bin is at the far end of the backyard where the lawn meets a thick stand of trees. I won’t go empty it.

I’ve had a locksmith out to change the front and back locks and I’ve changed the code on the garage door. And still, at night, I don’t sleep. Every sound, every creak of the house settling, sets my heart to racing. The kids are in the next room and they feel so far away. I want them closer.

I used to think nothing of going out to the mailbox.

I have dealt with a lot of setbacks in my life. I have lost my parents. I have been through break-ups, left old lives behind, started over time and again. I have the drill down. I know how to catch my breath, get up and dust myself off, tuck my humor back in my pocket and head off down the road.

But this. This has quite knocked the wind out of my sails. Because this man is the father of my children and I can’t take their hands and walk off down the road without him. He will always be there. And just when I think I’ve turned a corner, he’s found a new way to break me, financially, emotionally, psychologically. And now the threat is physical.

My own blog has sat silent now for two weeks. I have so much inside me that I want to say but I’m afraid to say it because there is the silent threat of a backlash. Will he sign the divorce documents or not? If not, I stay in a house I can’t afford and we start over again with new lawyers, another 15k down the drain. Will he respect a piece of paper telling him to stay away? Or ignore it as he did earlier this week?

People ask me if I recognize him as the man I knew during our marriage. The truth is yes, I do. Only darker and more amplified. It’s myself I don’t recognize. I don’t know this woman who is paralyzed by fear and stunned into silence. I never dreamed mine would be the face of domestic violence.

{ 92 comments }

kim(frogpondsrock) August 21, 2010 at 10:32 am

I didn’t breathe reading that. Breathe Kristin Breathe. Know that I wish I could be there with you. I would walk to the scary parts for you. LOVE xxx

Good Golly Miss Holly! August 21, 2010 at 10:33 am

That was the most gut wrenching post I’ve read in a long time. My heart aches for you Kristin. Much love and strength to you and your precious babies xx

Mrs Woog August 21, 2010 at 10:35 am

oh darling I knew something was up. sending much love to you you amazing lady. xoxoxoxo

Megan @ Writing Out Loud August 21, 2010 at 10:40 am

Same as Kim – I’ve only just drawn breath. Nothing I can say but *hugs* xxx

LA Dale August 21, 2010 at 10:47 am

Just keep thinking about your beautiful children and you’ll get through. They, and your safety are your main concern. My girlfriend’s partner took to the front door with an axe when she locked him out, then chased her with it. He said and did all the same things to her and she was so scared she was unable to eat for weeks, losing more weight than I thought humanly possible. Its taken her a while but now she’s back better than ever. You can do it too

Lori@RRSAHM August 21, 2010 at 10:58 am

Holy sh*t K. Oh my. No words, again. You don’t that to me a lot. You strong, amazing woman. We love you.

Tracy(ruddygood) August 21, 2010 at 10:58 am

I’m crying. I lived on the edge of that darkness, ended our marriage so afraid of crossing that last, terrible boundary. When a kind social worker carefully explained how I was a victim of domestic abuse even though he had never physically hurt me, I couldn’t understand. A year later, my best friend split up with her partner of 20+ years, and he crossed all the boundaries. She has orders now, and is endlessly grateful they never had children.

Smart, independent caring women like us CAN be victims, though sometimes we’re the last to know. I’m sending you and the kids much love and many hugs, and am here, just around the cybercorner, whenever you need xxxx

Annie August 21, 2010 at 11:05 am

Oh Kristin I’m so sorry to read this. I know you’ve been going through so much as you have commented on my blog before. Violence takes everything to a whole new place and makes everything so much worse. It is only early days and you are right to still feel scared and feel these emotions – that’s perfectly normal. Just make sure you get plenty of good counselling and you will get through. It won’t be easy, but you are a smart, beautiful, strong, compassionate & caring woman – you will eventually be ok. You will come out the otherside different, but an even better version of you. I promise. You’ve got a lot of people in the blogging community that care about you – and I’m sure you have many wonderful people in real life who also care. Rely on those people. They will get you through. xxxx

Toni August 21, 2010 at 11:07 am

If I had a million dollars, I would buy 3 plane tickets and fly you all out to Australia. Or hire a thug to beat the bastard up. My heart is aching for you all, hon, no-one should have to live like that and no child should ever have to see the things yours have.
I hope and pray this nightmare ends soon and that you are all able to find peace.

Kristin (Wanderlust) August 21, 2010 at 11:10 am

Tracy, a social worker at the courthouse showed me something called the wheel of control that exists in abusive relationships. I was skeptical, told her he had never hit me before. She said there were lots of elements to abuse, economic control, intimidation, coercion, minimizing and blaming, isolation. As I read through the descriptions is was eerie. I still don’t want to believe this was a part of our marriage and I didn’t fully recognize it. Sure I resisted much of it, called him on it and eventually left him. But eight years. I don’t like to think what that says about me.

Watershedd August 21, 2010 at 11:18 am

You know how I feel, Kristin. There are NEVER any excuses for the behaviour shown by your husband to anyone. NEVER. Stay in touch. We want to know youare all OK. Much love from your second homeland.

freefalling August 21, 2010 at 11:18 am

I wanna kick him in the nuts.
Hard.
And repeatedly.
Arsehole.

Christie August 21, 2010 at 11:21 am

If I could send you the strength and patience and laughter that you need to get through this time, I would. Instead I’m thinking of you and wishing only good things for you xxxx

achelois August 21, 2010 at 11:23 am

I don’t know you Kristen. A long time ago I have been in the place you are, albeit different circumstances. A violent very violent father, rare but out of the blue random violence with nowhere to run and a mother who did not protect her children from that violence. Then out of the blue an abusive relationship.

Do not blame this on yourself. Do not waste time worrying at the moment about the rights of the children to see their father; until he is ‘cured’ he loses that right. You and your children have a right to live without fear of violence. My guess is there will be women here reading this who will not comment because they have never spoken to anyone about domestic violence. When you look back at the emergency call in the future you will know that you are a strong, intelligent and beautiful woman who deserved better. He can tell himself whatever he likes, justify to himself and blame anyone and everything but himself. It is he who should hold his head in shame, you on the other hand have done the bravest thing ever by calling an end to emotional bullying and fear of violence then actual bodily harm.

I hope when the initial period of shock abates you go on to have happier times living a life without fear and happy with your children. To live a life without fear is your right, this doesn’t make you a victim anymore even if you were,.. It may take time because being the victim of violence has long lasting effects but he does not deserve you and let the Police know you are still afraid. Let your neighbours know you are afraid. If you are afraid to carry out the compost clipplings carry a loud panic alarm, get a dog if you don’t already have one. I hope you don’t think I am being bossy its not my intention truly. I guess I am angry at this man who leaves you so vulnerable but it won’t always be this way. This is the beginning of better times to come.

The lawyers will take their money, they always do and even if you have to move never again will you have to sleep in the same bed as a man who makes you afraid.

It sounds as though you have good friends and they will be your rock. I have gone on enough but through this weird blogging world I send you the most genuine of gentle virtual hugs.

Kristin (Wanderlust) August 21, 2010 at 11:33 am

Achelois, thank you for your lovely words. Thank you everyone for your concern and support.

Kelley @ Magnetoboldtoo August 21, 2010 at 11:33 am

Beautiful girl, it feels better sharing doesn’t it. It is kinda like a release. Cathartic.

While it doesn’t make it better, it makes you feel less alone.

I will be thinking of you. Keep writing. It is good for you.

Love to you.

Patty August 21, 2010 at 11:37 am

My darling girl. {{{{cradles Kristin}}}

I have so many goosebumps for you. I am always here. Thanks so much for sharing.

Marita August 21, 2010 at 11:40 am

Hugs and prayers

Being Me at Sunny Side Up August 21, 2010 at 11:41 am

Without speech. I’m trying to imagine myself amidst that fear for my own personal safety and that of my child’s but I can’t. I’m with Toni – if I could, I would get the three of you out of there. Know that you are enveloped by an entire blogosphere of love and care, lady. Holding you and your kids very close to my heart right now. I’m so saddened, mostly, that this sorry excuse for a man is showing no remorse about affecting his children by abusing you (and, in turn, them).

MuffinMonsterBB August 21, 2010 at 11:56 am

Holy.Fuck. . All I can say.

Much, much love to you, and your children.
xox

Eva Gallant August 21, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Kristen, I’m so sorry you are going through this; neither you nor your kids deserve this. Don’t let him tell you it’s your fault. It is his, entirely! Take care, stay strong, and do what you have to do to get this menace out of your life. Love and hugs.

Melissa August 21, 2010 at 12:15 pm

I’m stunned, Kristin. I was worried that you’d gone quiet, I wanted to ask, but thought I’d be prying. I wish I had, just so you’d known you were being thought of. I’m sorry I didn’t.

I wish I had something for you, other than that I’m sorry this has happened. I wish you comfort and strength as you deal with this new reality.

I wish we could get you out here, surround you with all of the blogging sisters who love you so much.

All my love,

Melissa

(Thank you, Veronica, for providing a safe place for Kristin to do this).

tiff August 21, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Kristen,

I have no words to describe everything I feel for you right now. None seem to be enough.
Your may feel so full of fear that you can’t function but know you are amazing and protective and smart and you are doing everything right, for you and the kids.

Thinking of you.

Bern Morley August 21, 2010 at 12:48 pm

i am sitting in a crowded shopping mall food court crying. your son sitting cradling his blanket did me in. big hugs and i know that does probably fuck all in this situation, please know you are loved xx

Bern Morley August 21, 2010 at 12:50 pm

oh and thanks veronica for providing this safe place x

Kristy August 21, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Kristin, I was wondering what was going on, what was wrong. As soon as I saw your email, I thought – uh, oh. Oh, dear. I am so sorry. He will not break you. It may feel like he can. BUT HE WILL NOT. You know it still. You know it deep down. You’ve always known it.
I consider you a friend. I know that sounds strange. A blogging friend. But still a friend. My heart goes out to you.

Tanya August 21, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Kristin.

Thinking of you right now.

You took all of the right steps and for this you should be proud, some people don’t report the violence, they let it continue and this hurts their own self and their children. Your children will heal because you took them out of that environment as soon as it happened.

I hope things start to get easier for you very soon, and that you can sleep again and one day feel safe again. Another big mountain to climb but you sound like a very strong woman and you can do it.

xxx

Lucy August 21, 2010 at 1:54 pm

You must not worry over not recognizing yourself. Those feelings are fleeting.

You have shown, Kristin, through your recent actions, that you are strong. You are kind. You are forgiving. You do want to see the best on others. Hence you pou up with the emotional and finanical control and abuse for so long.

You will survive through this, and so will the children. I promise.

In between times, it will suck. Bad.

My heart goes out to you. xx

I only wish there was more I could do.

Susan August 21, 2010 at 2:02 pm

I don’t you you but your word are so important, they had to have been impossible to write!

Tonja August 21, 2010 at 2:21 pm

HUGS~ from Nebraska. Thoughts and prayers! You and your children are important!

amandab August 21, 2010 at 2:37 pm

There are really no words to say how reading this has made me feel for you. Wishing you and the kids safety, love and hope xx

Adorabibble August 21, 2010 at 3:04 pm

this brings back memories of my married days~ except with no lovely children.
when he finally left for good, I was unconscious in a heap on the floor.
my knee still doesn’t work right.
I am truly sorry that this is happening to you and your beautiful children.
I am glad to know what is going on, and that you are working on the details.
the right thing is never easy, and is usually the scariest thing imaginable.
you know where I am if you need to talk, you have been a wonderful friend.
stay strong and safe.

Leanne August 21, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Oh, I’ve been so worried. I’m shocked. I am devastated. I feel so sad. I can’t believe the date of the attack! That was the date I emailed you to see how you were. I actually had been thinking of your over and over. And I couldn’t get you out of my mind that day which prompted the email. Now I know why. You are so strong Kristen. I know it may not seem it but being able to talk about it shows strength in itself. Keep your head up honey and take deep breaths. I wish there was more we could do, but in lieu of physical assistance take strength in our “in spirit support”. Huge cyber hugs to you and your children. There is always a bed for you if you need a place Down Under. Love, L

Thinkingtoohard August 21, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Okay, so this is like reading about my first marriage. It’s none of my business, but I will say this one thing and then back off: You’re an absolute fool if you don’t get the restraining order. I did, and I was then able to get it included in my actual divorce decree: A permanent, LIFETIME restraining order. It helps me make it to the compost pile at the edge of the yard. And we’ve been divorced for 8 years.
I might add that he won’t sign the papers anyway. It’s the last thing he has over you. And he needs to have something over you. DV is all about control. Plain and simple.

Brenda August 21, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Stay strong, Kristin. Stay strong. We are all here for you. Praying and hoping that this nightmare would soon be over.xxxxxxxx

Tenille August 21, 2010 at 4:45 pm

Fuck that makes me so angry and sad. Kristen I am so sorry that you have to deal with that bullshit. No one should ever have to deal with that. No one. Ever.

You’re a strong person, you will be able to survive this.
xxx

Tracy(ruddygood) August 21, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Hon, that chart? Those elements? Me, too, and my life. Two and a half years later, and I’m finally learning to be gentle on myself, for ending up in that place.

Let me tell you what I think that says about us, with the luxury of a bit more time and healing and safety . It says that we are compassionate loving women, who loved the core of a man and wanted to spend our lives with that person – the fact that we gave 8-10 years of ourselves to something much darker says more about our courage and loyalty than anything else. The worst we can be accused of is misplaced loyalty. Don’t remain a victim by seeking some seed of blame within yourself.

Time spent under that kind of regime takes healing and more time, to gain the perspective you have been coerced out of. I’m so sad to think of how your sense of security has been so damaged – I’m still picturing looking at your compost bin, a million miles away at the end of the garden.

Where you are right now, mentally and emotionally, is about the hardest place of all – you have entered the land of your worst nightmares. With all my heart, I want to tell you that it WILL pass. It will take time, and I can’t pretend that it’s easy, but you and your babies will come out the other side, and you WILL feel safe and happy again.

You are strong and you are loved. Hold fast, my lovely. xxx

Fe August 21, 2010 at 5:10 pm

This…. this…. this, I too know. Only once. At the very end.

He still, 13 years later, blames me. And of course feels justified for not paying child support for all that time.

Just don’t expect him to ever do the right thing. He has a twisted sense of reality. And, if he’s like my ex, the sooner you stop expecting him to do the right thing, the sooner you can live in an upright world.

(((((((hugs))))))))

Sarah August 21, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Oh Kristin, this just breaks my heart. I can’t believe all of that conflicting info from different people, making an impossible situation even harder.

*** hug ***

kim(frogpondsrock) August 21, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Kristin my lovely, If I was sitting in a room with you right this minute I would tell you to listen to Thinkingtoohard’s advice. It will probably be the best advice you hear and I soundly second it. xx

Tracy(ruddygood) August 21, 2010 at 6:00 pm

And yes…Kim and Thinkingtoohard are totally right – take whatever steps you need to ensure the safety of yourself and the children. Don’t expect him to be reasonable and helpful anymore – he has reached the other side of reason, and you need to make sure that you are protected by the full measure of the law. Expect that he will blame you for being unreasonable yourself, and let it go – you (and the rest of the world) know why you need to take that action, and for the sake of the children it is imperative. He must not be able to wield that kind of power and influence again. Making threats is all he has left – do everything in YOUR power to defuse the impact of those threats and innuendos. x

Argentum Vulgaris August 21, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Kristin, I sensed sometime ago there was more to your tale than you had blogged. Sorry, I didn’t comment last night browser froze. But it gave me the chance to read more comments. There are times when I am ashamed to admit being male, as a species we are arseholes. I agree with Kim, Thinkingtohard & Tracy, divorce is a power trip, he needs to be able to say, “I’ve got her by the short and curlies!” Once you get that restraining order, his power diminishes. Your (inc kids) safety is the concern here and future well being is the concern here. Once you are all safe and well, the other parts of the jigsaw fall/start to fall into place. Stay strong and resolute.

AV

river August 21, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Oh dear god. I know some of what you are feeling. I’m a violence victim too. But while my man was in jail for the weekend, my family moved me out of the flat we shared. He’s my second husband, the kids are not his.
I took him back, but the stress got to me, the constant walking on eggshells, trying so hard to judge his mood, I made him leave.
This is a very hard road you’re walking now Kristin, much harder than mine because you have small children.
But always remember there are people to help you.Places you can go. It will take time, a long time, but things will get better.
Remember always that what everyone says is true. This is not your fault.

Maxabella August 21, 2010 at 8:23 pm

My strong, sweet friend I feel you. You need to grieve and feel the pain of the loss of your support, your heart and your safety.

Then reach deep and come back and fight and fight and fight.

TeacherMommy August 21, 2010 at 8:46 pm

Oh honey. Oh, it just isn’t right. It’s never right. And it happens to all sorts of people–I know you are most definitely not alone.

I’m so so so sorry that on top of everything else, you have to deal with this. He is a bastard. And I’m weeping for you and for your children.

Much love. Many hugs.

Barbara August 21, 2010 at 9:00 pm

Bugger. Bollocks. Many other words beginning with b (also Bastard springs readily to mind). I am so sorry and shocked to read this.

If there’s anything I can do, at all, ever, let me know.

You are an amazing woman. This tells much more about his cowardice than it does anything about you.

Hugs.

If you somehow manage to scare up the fare to the UK for the three of you, you’ve got a base here (unlikely, but I thought I’d mention it just in case).

Lots of love and strengthening thoughts.

Amy August 21, 2010 at 11:08 pm

How awful of someone to use you like this. I’m really sorry to hear about what you’re having to go through between lawyers, kids and your husband.

I hope everything, in the end, works out for the better.

Deb August 22, 2010 at 12:05 am

Thinking of you and yours.

This does not stop you from being a strong, independent woman. You reported it, you protected yourself and your children – that makes you strong. Of course you need some time, that doesn’t define you forever. If you don’t like ‘victim,’ consider yourself a survivor, it is a strong thing to be.

Marylin August 22, 2010 at 12:12 am

Oh Kristin. My heart is bleeding for you. I wish I could do something to help. Sending you lots of love. All my love in fact. *hugs* xx

Kristin (Wanderlust) August 22, 2010 at 1:01 am

I want to thank everyone for your support and concern and outrage on my behalf. It helps knowing that others know and are holding me in their thoughts as I navigate my way on this new and unknown journey. The worst thing would be feeling like I was walking this alone.

For the record, the order my lawyer filed is a protection order, which accomplishes the same thing as a restraining order. Law, bureaucracy. I don’t get it. They are both pieces of paper that purport to keep me safe. xx

GrammaB August 22, 2010 at 1:27 am

My daughter is going thru something very similar. She lives several hundred miles from us and we worry if she doesn’t call every couple of days. Her (hopefully) soon-to-be ex is a real a..hole in every aspect. She made excuses for him for years but finally came to her senses and realized he won’t change. The ones who are hurting as much, if not more, are our two grandchildren. I hate to think of what this is going to do to them in years to come. It can’t help but affect them. Hang in there and stay strong, for yourself and your children.

Jill Hilliard August 22, 2010 at 1:52 am

Here is anoughter … I have walked in you shoes comment …but I cant just hit the home button and just forget what I just read.

In 1985 I married a man based on the right stuff ..good with kids, good provider…you know the drill. During the next 5 years little things hinted at him being abusive but never came full out until one night in 1991. He was convinced that I was cheating with someone at work ( I wasnt ) and he turned into this rage filled, insane creature that I had never meet before. I remember feeling something break in me that night. It was like you said I had never incountered violence ever in my life. He threated to rape me and “show me what a real man was” He held me captive for 5 hours and almost bit my nose off telling me later that he thought that if he did it that no one who ever want me ever again. Well my advise 19 years after the fact …after sleeping in my closet with all my clothes on so that I would be ready if he broke in on us. Well its this …let go of all or any pity you have for him disconnect that emotional tie you have with him as much and as soon as possible becuase they can use that connection to lure you into anoughter dangerous situation. Do NOT RELY on the police or some litlle piece of paper to protect you. At this point the only sure protection is you …either get a gun and go take classes get a carry permit ….get pepper spray. Get a room mate so that most of the time you are not along….in fact this first year make it you lifes blood not to be by yourself. When you come home always do a walk through always check and see if anything has been moved or messed with. Take a womens defense class. I say all this because men are bigger but they never think that you will fight back especailly after years of you being the batter beat down dog you have been … I know that all this is fear infested but this is where you have to walk that rocky road back to being a healthy and useful human being and mother to your kids because I wasted a couple of years in the fear…like you said to go to the mail box , to work on the yard always afraid that he will show up. Oh and something I passed on was talking to somebody about all this ….go see a domestic abuse counselor you have suffered a trama let someone help walk you through this. Also talk to women that have been through this because they can help lead you back to a semi normal kinda life. Sweetie I will pray for you and your kids…look deep in you and I know that you will find the strength in you for you and those children .
If you need to talk http://theprocrastinista.blogspot.com/

Cinda August 22, 2010 at 3:37 am

Kristin, I have goosebumps reading this and my eyes are welled with tears for you. I pray for the safety of you and your children to somehow get out of this and far far away from that man. You deserve so much better from this world… respect, love and happiness.
You are not alone…. you have us your blogging family. You have touch so many people with the power of your words and I see the strength in you that is going to get you through this. Keep strong for the kids and yourself, the light out of the tunnel will come.

Lesley August 22, 2010 at 4:38 am

Kristen you are one of the strongest people I know….this will pass once the anger comes, which it will. You are incredible….always have been and always will be. The postive impact you make on the world on a daily bases is far greater than many will do in a lifetime. Write and then write some more. Accept the help form the good friends who are close and the caring thoughts from those of us who are not. You are never alone.

Jennie August 22, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Kristin,
My heart is breaking for you. I can’t even express everything I want to say to you. So I’ll go with hugs-hugs-hugs-hugs-hugs-hugs-hugs-hugs-hugs.

Alison August 22, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Oh Kristin, I’m very sorry to hear about your situation. It makes me appreciate while things aren’t always perfect between my partner and I, he has never been abusive (physically or verbally) and feel confident he won’t be. It makes me realise not to ever take this for granted. It can happen to any of us and often there’s no initial signs. I hope you feel safe again soon and that you also have people living close by that can offer support and security if you need it. You’ll get through this and be a stronger person for it, and your kids will see that too. xx

Fiona August 22, 2010 at 8:45 pm

oh.

Me 'N my Monkeys August 22, 2010 at 9:56 pm

omg i’m lost for word,
you are an incredibly strong person just for posting this.
wishing you well and like everyone else many many **hugs**

MaidInAustralia August 22, 2010 at 10:53 pm

You know how I feel honey. It took me a while to comment, because I feel your confusion, your pain, your anger, your disappointment, the lot. And I am so sorry that you and the kids are going through this. I know what it’s like to have to look outside before I open the front door, and look around the whole time as I put the rubbish out or get into the car, always ready to flee. I know what it’s like to sleep with the phone beside the bed, two 0s already dialled into it just in case. I know what i’s like to sleep with a weapon beside me, under the pillow and near the doors, just in case. I know what it’s like to get that ‘aha’ moment when you suddenly realise you do not know this person at all and you have been living with abuse for a very long time.
I’m glad you have supportive friends, in real life and in the bloggy world. Big hugs to you and the kids. And like Kelley said, keep writing, it’s therapeutic and it’s also a record if you need it later xo.
And it’s all just so wrong.

Kelly August 23, 2010 at 12:42 am

Oh Kristin….*HUGS*

edpilolla August 23, 2010 at 7:36 am

i’m glad you have a place here to write this story. i think it’s worth noting how on top of your own situation and state you are. you don’t just write from fear, but seem eager to present some facts. you sound very on top of things. otherwise, i doubt you could have written this clear post as you did.
obviously, i’m so sorry you have to go through this. but i guess you have to.
that beer glass, into a million pieces.
must of have sounded like a bomb.

Kristin (Wanderlust) August 23, 2010 at 10:56 am

Again, thank you all for your concern and beautiful words. Being able to write about this has helped me feel lighter.

@Maid in Australia, I’m so sorry for what you are living with. No one should have to live with that kind of fear. It is just wrong. I will continue to fight back with whatever resources I have — legal, law enforcement — to make sure my children and I are able to live free of coercion and fear.

Trish August 23, 2010 at 1:24 pm

This is the most heartwrenching post I’ve read in ages. I don’t know what to say at all but my heart aches for you Kristin and your children. All the previous commenters have offered comfort and advice.I hope you can soon live without the paralysing fear and start over.

Yvette Vignando August 23, 2010 at 1:34 pm

This post is important, powerful and empowering – I hope many women read it – stay safe and thank you for sharing.

Anon August 23, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Kristin, I know what you’ve been through. My marriage has been emotionally, verbally and psychologically abusive. I have never been struck, but he’s thrown things at me, grabbed me round the throat and raised his hand as I cowered. I’m still in the marriage.
I have times where I feel like the bad stuff is all in my imagination and then I have other times where I fantasise leaving. My friends and family would be shocked if they knew what was going on, a friend recently told me that most people think our relationship is the one to aspire to. Ha!
I’ve been so scared and confused, but your honesty has brought me much comfort and inspiration. I hope that one day I can be as brave as you have been.

Tina Gray August 23, 2010 at 2:08 pm

No words just sending strength and love for you and your children. x

Lisa August 23, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Oh Kristin, you give so much to us through your blog and now we are helpless, we want to help and hopefully you can feel the silent cyber hugs of many. We are wrapping our arms around you in love and protection. Your beautiful children will come through this nightmare, there is no way you will allow them not to.
Kia Kaha (Maori – be strong)

WarsawMommy August 23, 2010 at 6:03 pm

Kristin,

I was reading this and thinking how awful it was and what an amazingly strong person this woman is and my God those poor children – and I had NO IDEA it was you! I didn’t click on the link in the intro, you see, and it wasn’t until I got to the comments section and saw your responses that I put two and two together.

I am so, so sorry you are going through this. I simply do not understand what happens in people’s heads to make them hurt others, especially when those ‘others’ are their own families, their own children.

And I wanted to say: you are not a victim. You are someone who has had something very very bad happen, and that makes you human. Victims don’t get up afterwards, though. They don’t fight back. They don’t shout about it and tell people. They just accept. And accept. And accept. You’re not accepting his behaviour anymore – which means that, for the first time in years and years, you are NOT a victim.

I know this does not help, but it’s all I can do… I wish I could do more.

I am thinking about you.

Veronica August 23, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Sorry to the two commenters who got caught in spam, I’ve fished you out now!

Penni August 23, 2010 at 8:13 pm

Veronica, I have no advice or pearls of wisdom, only deep sympathy and gratitude that you have shared this story. Blogs are a great way to voice things that are difficult to speak. Your post will provide strength and hope to those who are experiencing similar struggles and show you how much support you actually have, even from those whom you hardly know.

Veronica August 23, 2010 at 8:41 pm

Hi Penni – this is actually my good friend Kristin’s post, she needed a safe place to post it and I was able to provide one.

Teresa Culkin-Lawrence August 23, 2010 at 9:10 pm

Such beautiful writing about a very ugly subject – will hold you in my thoughts.

Lindsay @ Just My Blog August 24, 2010 at 12:52 pm

I’m with Kim…barely took a breath the entire time I was reading this. I will keep your friend in my prayers….I remember the tension, the fear, the walking on eggshells that my mother had to endure with my stepfather. That is no life.

Jean Has Been Shopping August 24, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Kristin, I am so frightened for you. I wish you knew the answers, that the divorce was behind you, that you and the children were safe. God Bless you.

Kristin (Wanderlust) August 24, 2010 at 2:27 pm

@ Anon, I’m so sorry you are living in fear. I would encourage you to find someone trustworthy to talk to about what you are going through, such as a counselor.

@ WarsawMommy, thx xoxo

And thanks to everyone else who has shared their support and concern.

Kristin (Wanderlust) August 24, 2010 at 2:33 pm

@ Veronica, thank you so much for providing me with a space to tell my story. However, given that my husband is culling through all my friend’s blogs looking for anything I’ve written (waves to husband), perhaps in the future I should just save him the trouble and put my posts up on Wanderlust where they can be read by his friends, family and co-workers.

Veronica August 24, 2010 at 2:34 pm

Kristin – Maybe that would make it easier for him? less googling anyhow.

xx

Issac August 24, 2010 at 11:02 pm

How odd of you to post this on Veronica’s blog. How on earth is this a safe place? I only came across sleppless nights because of google when I was looking up dominos pizza one evening. Kristin, your husband will probably find the post on this blog sooner or later. It’s just a test of time really. Has he discovered it yet? This thread’s becoming long and as it gets longer and longer and longer and longer and longer and longer and longer and longer and LoNgeR, it will become even more tedious and dificult to hide your privacy. I like your URL.
Sorry to hear about this. I don’t know you well enough to help, but i’m sure there’s plenty of it as it is. CherriO!

Kelly August 24, 2010 at 11:39 pm

Issac, I guess what Kristin means is that her husband will spot it on HER blog but is far less likely to find it on Veronica’s blog. All seemed vague to me at first, but everything seems to have revealed itself in the comments

Kristin (Wanderlust) August 25, 2010 at 12:19 am

@ Isaac, I chose not to make it an anonymous post. My intention was to have a private place to write, but I knew that there was the probability of him tracking it down (as he did, in his eternal stalkiness). My main concern actually was to protect his reputation, as he requested. His work colleages read my blog. He was afraid of losing his job.

While I am fearful of repurcussion, I don’t intend to spend my life running and hiding. I will show some respect for his desire for privacy, to a point. However, the longer this expensive divorce process wears on and the more stalky he becomes, the thinner my patience wears.

Lori@RRSAHM August 25, 2010 at 12:58 pm

I’m thinking of turning it into a game for him. I’ll get a pic of you, K, Picnik you into a red stripy shirt and hide you in the headers of different blogs. Kind of like “Where’s Wally?”, but for, ya know, not. :p

kay August 26, 2010 at 3:26 pm

this upsets me a lot. i won’t relate to my personal story because i still fear to do so in public, but i feel for you because i have been there. the explosion of violence, the alienation of who you thought you know into a raging mr hide.. it’s not like our generation was raised to recognize these men, although in hindsight and with some research there are patterns that make them all alike. i must say i am surprised the physical (!) violence happened after 8 years, but then of course, with the divorce ongoing, a dam has broken and he would feel justification to leash out. they always feel it’s not their fault. it is.
men like this are cowards, they will never change and you can’t ever trust him again, do never forget this in the years to come. to let himself go in front of the children is unforgivable, take good care of them and make sure they do talk about it, maybe to a third, professional party.
you have done the right thing and called the police. hopefully the consequences, even if its just the financial part that makes him think, will avoid something else to happen.
abuse men (and my guess is, he would have showed signs of mental abuse in the past) always get worse and more extreme when the feel that they are losing grip on what they think was a controlled situation. they are very insecure. they may be intelligent, educated and respected citizen. they are mindless raging creatures when they feel they have lost.
take good care and be careful please.

Jo August 31, 2010 at 11:56 am

OMG I can’t think of anything to say, so I’ll just send hugs and prayers to you and your children ((XXX))

Madmother August 31, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Oh f*ck. I had no idea. I am so truly sorry.

ericka @ alabaster cow September 1, 2010 at 5:05 am

oh my kristen. i am truly saddened that this has to be your story. the living in fear for yourself, your children, is probably the worst feeling anyone could imagine. i thinking good thoughts for you. i am praying for your safety and peace of mine.

disydoit September 1, 2010 at 1:30 pm

hey you are a very smart and intelligent woman who has the ability to earn income to stand on your own. Kudos to you not accepting that any of this is your fault. Take care my dear you have a big contingency around the world looking out for you ;) xxxx

The NDM September 2, 2010 at 7:00 am

Oh, Kristin. You write so well about something so hard to write about.

The cost, the inconvenience, the disruption to your lives: it takes a brave woman to face all that and not just to stay put and truly silent.

x

Erin September 6, 2010 at 2:29 pm

i cried reading your gut wrenching story no body should ever have to deal with that no child should ever have to witness such horror i sdont know you but i feel for you i wish i could be there for you and to help ,but all i can do is wish you the best xxx

The Soap Box Truth September 13, 2010 at 1:32 pm

I am lost for words Kristen, I have never been able to understand why so called men do this to people they suposably love … Real men don’t use violence !!!

I have always believed you to be a strong person from your writtings, and now you have proven without hesitation that this is true by standing up and having the courage to break the cycle, for you, for your kids and for your future grandkids … you have shown your children teh correct way to respect yourself and those you love by standing up and saying .. NO ! no I will not be treated like this and no I will not allow my children to be treated like this and expected to be raised in fear.

I have so much respect for you …. I am at a loss for words !

Bad things happen because Good people do nothing ! You have broken this cycle Kristen.

Wish I could do more for you, I honestly do xoxo

You know my email and Australia is always here waiting !

Kristin (Wanderlust) September 13, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Thank you Andrew, and thank you to everyone who has left such lovely and encouraging comments. And Andrew, a year ago today I was in your beautiful country. I wish the same were true today. Maybe soon, maybe soon… xo

Wendy September 17, 2010 at 9:14 pm

Oh how I understand. Absolutely understand. And if you decide to pack up and come to Australia I am only four hours from my brother Andrew and you would be more than welcome. Stay strong. Keep talking. Just keep talking. I never talked and it was a huge mistake. God I really don’t know what else to say. All my love and prayers are with you and your children. Wendy

Diane {Palmyra, PA Photographer} January 18, 2011 at 11:51 am

I don’t know you, will probably never have the chance to meet you, but my heart hurts for you. My heart hurts for all the things you’ve had to ask of yourself, of your kids of your friends. It hurts for your kids and the things they’ve had to see and endure and for the strength that is inside them that they’ll question. My heart hurts for you and yet I’m intensely proud of you being able to speak out as you have. My hope for you is that everything is resolved and peaceful for you by now, although I’m guessing it isn’t. Hang in there, ok? Seems like so many of us will be thinking of you.

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