Dear FOO,

Dear FOO,

There is so much to say yet I will not waste my breath.  I will write this but you will never see it.  You did not believe me when I first left Bubba and tried to explain what he’d done to me and the kids.  Why would you believe me now?  The truth is that I spent 40 years showing you who I was – kind, caring, compassionate, and giving.  That did not change overnight.  I simply stopped putting up with Bubba’s abusive treatment of me and starting standing up for myself and my children.

I was the perfect abused wife.  I hid everything from you.  I had the perpetual optimism that “this time” things would be different.  After the last time you visited us 3 years before we broke up and Bubba treated you so horribly, I knew that if I complained about him, you’d never forgive him or forget it.  I was bound and determined to single-handedly save my marriage and I did not want how he was acting hanging over my head for years and years.  You know you all hold grudges and had we ever become happy, you never would’ve forgotten how he’d acted.  So I kept my mouth shut – even as his abuse of me and our children escalated.

You wanted to assign me 50% guilt in this divorce.  The problem with that is your premise.  You seem to think that someone can “cause” someone to be abusive.  The truth is that nothing I could’ve possibly done made me deserve to be raped and psychologically abused the way I was.  I did not ask for it.  I did not cause Bubba’s anger issues.  I was simply a target for his anger.  Abuse is always, always, always 100% the abuser’s fault.  By no means was I perfect, but I spent years trying to be a better wife, mother, lover, cook, housekeeper, etc.  Nothing I did was good enough to appease Bubba because it was not about me.  It was all about his view of who I was – his possession.  His need to control me outweighed anything I could do or not do to mitigate it.

Bubba was sadistically tortured by his parents as he was growing up.  That type of treatment as a child tends to warp that child’s brain.  That is something that I did not understand until after I started researching abuse.  He never viewed me as his wife.  He viewed me as his possession and when I did something he didn’t like there was hell to pay.  I can’t possibly begin to describe the types of punishments he would dish out.  They were nebulous and varied – but the result was the same.  I was terrified of him.

I’ve spent the past 17 months intensely working on healing from how he treated me.  When I began counseling, I never dreamed that the roots of abuse in my life where so deeply buried and interwoven with everything I was.  Had I known how very painful it was going to be to confront all these issues at the beginning, I probably would’ve run screaming – content to live in unhealth.

There have been times that the things I’ve confronted and dealt with have been so emotionally painful that they manifested as physical pain deep in my gut.  Even when the pain was so intense that it hurt to breathe, I knew I couldn’t give up.  My children are depending on me to be healthy and to teach them a better way of life.  They are depending on me to teach them how to live in health so that Serenity does not grow up to become an abused wife and Liam and Shane do not grow up to be abusers.  The cycle is being broken with me.

I would love to share some of the emails Bubba sent to me since our divorce was finalized to show you that he hasn’t changed.  I simply don’t believe it will help.  You will find a way to excuse him and to blame me.  Has he even told you that he got fired quite a few months ago and is over $3,200 behind in child support?  My children are going without things they absolutely need because he is a deadbeat dad who feels justified in not paying his child support because he blames me for him having gotten fired.  Hurting his children is just another means to hurt me.  At some point he is going to have to stop blaming me and take responsibility for his own decisions, however, I don’t see it happening anytime soon.  I’m too easy to blame for everything – he’s done it for 20 years, why stop now?

My life now has its ups and downs, as everyone’s life tends to have.  The major difference now is that I no longer live in fear every day of my life.  It is amazing to be free and to be able to sit on my couch each evening and not cringe at every set of headlights that comes up the road, thinking that he’s home and waiting to find out what I was in trouble for that night.

You’ve turned your back on me because you didn’t agree with my right to defend myself.  Yes, all those years that I stood up for the children who were getting picked on showed who I was.  I am still that person.  I simply started defending myself and sticking up for me.  My life is so much better now that I don’t live with abuse and dysfunction on a daily basis.  I am getting healthy and it feels so good.  You may never understand boundaries because you choose not to.  I have healthy boundaries now and I love that I can defend myself and my children.

I’m happy.  I’m free.

Hope

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7 Comments

  1. It is so true abuse is not caused by someone else nor can someone do stuff right enough to stop it. It’s one of the biggest truths, which took me a while to learn and I hope my daughter can realize one day. Optimism is not always a good thing, I think sometimes it can cause us to hang onto bad situations far too long.

    • This is the truth that I’m desperately trying to teach Serenity. Every time I have to email Bubba she freaks out, thinking that he is going to treat her horrifically because of what I’m saying. I tell her over and over that I choose my words carefully – he will react to them the way he chooses. I can say everything perfectly and he will still use them as an excuse to act the way he chooses to. It isn’t about me at all. She is still trying so hard to manage his moods. It makes me so sad.

  2. I really hope that they will understand you one day, that they’ll change their mind. x

    • Thank you! I doubt it. They are so steeped in their dysfunction and have cast me as the bad guy. They have no reason to change. It’s sad. They never knew the real me and now they never will. Even if they would change their minds, I would never feel safe with them.

      • I know how you feel… I have a mother that thought she knew me, still does but really, she doesn’t have a clue.
        It hurts when people who are meant to love, know and support you no matter what are that dysfunctional…
        I hope you’ll find lots of happiness in your life with your kids, your good friends and maybe a future love. you deserve it. You’re a very brave woman x

      • Thank you. I still don’t feel brave. I just feel like I’m doing what I have to do. And I hope you are right about a future love. 😉

      • I’m sure you’ll find a good man 🙂
        Don’t know who though, you might have already met him (Luke or Sean) or maybe a new person entirely 🙂
        And I think you are brave, and strong. And for that, I admire you . You’re a great mother. x

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