Wednesday, August 5, 2009

You Are Only As Sick As the Secrets You Keep

This post is going to require a disclaimer. First of all, I apologize in advance for the length. There are a lot of things I have to get off of my chest. Also, this post, by it's very nature is ugly. There are no butterflies, roses or pink poodles. It's raw, it's real and it hurts. 99.9% of this raw emotion has been placed "Through the Looking Glass." .01% of it is now spilling over here.

This is deep. Read it when you have the time to feel it. If you are my mother, my father or another member of my family, you might want to skip it.

Finally, please do not leave me sunshine and roses comments about this. What I'm putting up here is raw and ugly. I'm aware of that and I'm reserving the right to spend one post raw and ugly. I can go back to being the pinnacle of positivity tomorrow.


Today my divorce was final. Today I close a chapter of my life that I wish I had closed years ago. Today I was set free in one way but have never really been freed in another. For those of you who have been following me elsewhere you know what I am referring to. For those of you here, let me fill you in on a few things.

When someone writes a blog, they tell a story. Whatever they want that story to be, is just what it is. If I want to tell you part of the story you will never know one way or another. All you know is what you see.

This blog is, for the most part, a happy place. Bright colors, fun stories, happy family.
My life, for the most part, was not this blog.

My life was dark and ugly and filled with negativity and fear. I was that woman you see on the lifetime movies who puts on the act for her family but lives her life in fear of her husband.

I was the woman who would do anything not to be alone. Put up with anything to be with this person I was "in love" with.

Until one day, several months ago, I just couldn't do it any more.

We have a slogan in Al-anon: You are only as sick as the secrets you keep and I can't keep these any more.

I found this video a couple weeks ago and I wanted to put it up here but I couldn't. It felt too dark, it felt like it needed explaining and I didn't think I could do that then. This singer is not well known in the US but this song speaks to me. This song is my life and I want to share it with you.

When I first heard this my heart stopped. My breath caught in my chest and all I could do was stare at the video as I watched it play. I was angry for the woman in the video and I was angry for myself.

You see that woman........ she was me.

The part of my world that I left out here is the part about me being a battered woman.

The part about me being so sick inside myself that three years ago I would have done just about anything so Jake would not leave. The part that I left off here was that I was just as sick as him. That despite what I wrote here my life was one never ending nightmare.

I remember the arguments. I remember being thrown down. I vividly remember being picked up and thrown across his parents kitchen. Being picked up and thrown across our front lawn. Being shoved down in an struggle over car keys and drug paraphernalia. Being attacked while I slept in order to get access to those same car keys.

I haven't slept in a month because I am haunted by visions of what happened. I remember being tackled to the ground while he told me that he would kill me before he would let me leave. I also remember staring down the barrel of a loaded shot gun and watching him pump it thinking he was going to make good on that threat.

I remember the phone call from the bank telling me that he had cashed a $700 check. I remember checking my bank balance on-line and seeing two more just like it and wondering what the hell I was going to do. (Not once, not twice, but I believe on three seperate occasions)

I remember covering for him. I remember borrowing from one credit card to pay the negative balance in the bank and the stolen checks from his dad so he wouldn't press charges. I remember borrowing money to pay off drug dealers. Meeting one guy in the parking lot of a gas station so he would stop calling and threatening to kill him.

I remember the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach every time he would peel out of the driveway and I remember even more the panic attack I had every time I would race down the stairs, out to my car and try to follow him. Chase him down. Make him stay where he clearly didn't want to be.

I remember screaming into the phone at his father the night he ripped me from my car and tried to run me over. I can vividly remember the look in his eyes when he ripped the keys from the ignition and I can see him hitting my car, pushing the unlock button while I sat in the drivers seat frantically pushing the lock button until he stuck the key in the door and then ripped me from the car.

I remember his dad trying to hug me and my legs giving out, standing there in the parking lot trying to figure out what the hell had happened to my life.

I remember trying to make it less than it was. Lying to the police, lying to my parents, lying to everyone. Just wanting it all to go away so he wouldn't leave. So I wouldn't be alone so my life could continue in this perfect little show I was putting on for everyone.

I remember being on my honey moon and going flying down a hill because he didn't get his way. I remember what it felt like to be on the other side of that door when he was pounding to ask me if I was ok. If I would just open up, if we could fix this... it was our honey moon after all.

I also remember being on the other side of that door when it was broken down. I am on my second bedroom door. The first one was kicked in. I am on my third bathroom door. In my head I can still see his fist coming through the bathroom door. It was like a scene from a horror movie only it wasn't a movie, it was my life.

I remember spending my entire pregnancy alone. Every belly picture, taken with a timer, every doctors appointment except two attended alone. All the planning, all the happiness I was supposed to have, gone.

I remember being 7 months pregnant on Thanksgiving day trudging through a field in the snow, climbing barbed wire fences all in an effort to find him and make him come just so no one would know what was going on.

I remember being alone in a hospital room with my son, only four hours old, not having any idea where my husband was and being angry that I had to stay there instead of being able to leave and chase him down. I remember lying to everyone, telling them he was out pushing snow, running errands, anything to never let them know the truth.

That I was alone.
Alone and scared.

I remember him being pulled from a hotel room with a prostitute on the night he was committed and me spending all of my time trying to justify to everyone that they were just doing drugs in the room. They didn't sleep together......... except for the part where they did.

I remember being head butted and back handed. I remember him spitting in my face, calling me names, and the pure hatred that spewed from his mouth during every argument we got into. He may not have been violent sober but his mouth did all of the hurting during the last two years.

I remember there were moments when I just wished he would lash out because I thought that it might hurt less to have him hit me than it did to hear him call me names and tell me how much he hated me.

I remember every little bit of this and so much more and as much as he or his family would like to pretend it didn't happen, it did. And it makes me angry. So angry that I want to kick and scream and yell. So angry that for so many years I was told to just act like it didn't happen. Everyone goes through this. He was just mad. He didn't mean to hurt you.

And I'm not just angry at him. I'm angry at myself. I'm SOO mad that I could have had a better life. That I didn't leave. That I let it happen, that I fed into it. I begged him to stay, I lied for him, I covered for him I kept myself in that hell for so many years and it makes me angry beyond all comprehension.

But you know what makes it worse?

Worse than all of it combined is the fact that he doesn't get it. That in his mind because he is sober now everything should be fine.

I should be over it.

And it took me until just last week to realize that's part of the reason why I was so angry. That's why I was furious with the world. Why I wasn't eating and wasn't sleeping. I was waiting on something I may never get. An acknowledgement from him that it was awful and that he did damage that doesn't repair it's self over night.

And if I was holding my breath for that I would be dead by now because I am NEVER going to get it. That's the place I finally got to.

A little late for all the things you didn't say
I'm not sad for you
But I'm sad for all the time I had to waste
'Cause I learned the truth
Your heart is in a place I no longer wanna be
I knew there'd come a day I'd set you free
'Cause I'm sick and tired
Of always being sick and tired

I have to forgive myself for what I did. Understand that I was just as sick as he was and move on with my life. That's the part that the backlash from Monday didn't fully grasp. You could never say anything to me that is worse than what I have already said to myself. I have been my own worst critic through all of this. Given myself the most anger and disgust. I went back during all of this and read this post from right after I had Jake committed and all I could think was why didn't you run then?

No amount of anonymous commenters coming here and yelling at me for blaming him or not leaving or being an idiot or "pathetic" will ever be more than the chatter that has been inside my head since the day this all started.

I can not put my life on hold waiting for an apology from a man who may never understand that I lived in a nightmare for 7 years.

Your love isn't fair
You live in a world where you didn't listen
And you didn't care

I can not put my life on hold waiting for my brain to stop processing what happened to me. I have to move forward, try to live my life one day at a time and hope that eventually all of this is just a distant memory.

To any of you who have been collateral damage in the last seven years I am exceedingly sorry. To Amy and Beth and Lindsay and Jess and my family and friends and all the anonymous people whom I have snapped at, or deleted, or who have felt unjust backlash I'm sorry.

There was a point in my life where my head was buried so far in the sand that I couldn't see what was going on around me. Didn't want to see it and I may have said some things that I now hugely regret.

I hope that now that all of this is out there it may help some of you to understand who I am and where I am coming from. Obviously there is a lot more that I haven't posted here. A lot more that I save for another place. But for now, this is it....

All the anger and the frustration rolled up into one giant blog post. My life, in all it's imperfect glory splayed out here for you to read.

I'm sick and tired
Of always being sick and tired


Candy said...

God bless you.

kbreints said...

Just reading this bring tears to my eyes, a catch in the back of my throat and an anger so fierce it scares me.

May I be the first to say it here....

Congratulations on your divorce & your legal seperation from these demons.

I hope you PARTY FUCKING HARD. You deserve it.

I love you.

Anonymous said...

Jesus that was deep. Yes, I am going to be one of your anonymous commenters here. I just started reading your blog since reading your sisters and I have gone back and looked at some of your days. You were living in a nightmare and I am so sorry you had to go through all of that, no one should. I am so happy that you can move one with your life now. Obviously you are a very smart young woman (yes, 29 is young!) and you are a CPA for crying out loud...I can barely multiply. Your son is very beautiful and you both have your health, so only good things are ahead for you, and you do know it's true. I wish you the very best and my prayers will be with you.

Anonymous said...

Heather may God continue to bless you with the strength you need to continue with your life. Your son is a true blessing for you he is what keeps you strong.


lonna said...

Heather, I know that you know this, but it may be good to hear it again. You are not the only person who has made these choices. Lots of smart women (and men) end up in these situations. You are not weak or bad or anything like that. You are a survivor and you are putting your son's needs first. Your needs are important too, and I think you are starting to realize that. I really hope that this divorce gives you a sense of healing that you so desperately need.

I teach my students in my human development course that even a divorce that is best for everyone involved causes grief. All parties need to let themselves heal. No one gets married thinking it will end. Even though you are much better off, you are grieving the future you thought you were going to have. You will be much better off in the future and so will your son. You have already shown that in this blog, and it should only get better the further you get away from your past. Good luck to you both.

Alan_Courtney said...

It doesn't matter what happened in the past, you can't change it. You have a bright and wonderful future ahead of your for you and zack! One day at a time. Keep writing....let those deamons out!

Erin said...

Oh Heather, I had no idea. I am so grateful that you are out of that relationship, that you can finally have the time you need to heal and recover and realize how much better this is for you and Zack. I am so sickened that Jake could do such things, and that he still refuses to take responsibility for them. Sobriety is a good start but it is by no means enough.

I'm glad you're able to write this now.

electriclady said...

Congratulations on finally being (legally) free. I am so sorry that you have been through all of this, but you have the power to build a much happier future for you and for Z. And I know you can do it.

Creative Genius? said...

I have no sunshine and roses comments for you - just HUGS!! I am proud of you for seeing that you are WORTH more!!! Stay strong and be the best woman and mother that you can! Standing up for yourself is a great first step to the rest of your life...

and I am proud of you!

Anonymous said...

As I type this comment, next to the bottom of your post, I see the face of your clown. His funny face. I can see no reason any woman would ever have to endure what you have, at the hands of a man. I wish it were never so. It's literally horrific. You have survived a nightmare. You said in the post that you should have left years ago. If by that you mean many years ago, I can see the reasoning. However, when I see next to this, the face of your clown, I think you survived as long as you did, so that angel could arrive in your life. If he ever asks, you could always tell your clown, when there's nothing left positive to say about Jake, that the very, very best thing about his daddy, is him.
I am so relieved, thankful, grateful, and happy for you Heather. You survived. When I think of music and you, I think of Destiny's Child and Survivor. Congratulations on your new start, your old friends, and your surviving. (sorry if this was all sunshine and roses, I really am)

Aunt Becky said...

Don't worry, you know me well enough to know that I don't do sunshine OR roses.

But Heather, I'm here and I understand. Not every single second of it, no, but I understand.

And I'm sorry. You don't deserve any of this. ANY of it. This is not your fault.

Lots of love, and please, shoot me an email if you want to talk. I know it's overwhelming but I'm around.

J said...

I'm not going to be happy and sunshine, I'm not going to be mean and ugly. I really don't believe your post deserves either. A few thoughts... More so questions crossed my mind as I read your blog and I'd like to ask them if you don't mind.

A little note, I have been reading your blog from the beginning and I do have access to the other 1, in case you would like to answer but don't want to do it here. My email is a family account that my children have access to, that's why I'm asking in this format. If you don't want to answer, that's ok too, I understand.
Please also know my questions aren't meant to be hurtful or anything, or to place blame or anything, I'm really just curious!

Was the first time he ever laid a hand on you AFTER the wedding? Were the only aggressive times when he was on drugs? I wonder if he truly does remember or the drugs mess up his memory. Was there ever a time when he wasn't on drugs... with or without violence? If all of this was going on, did you guys try to have a baby or was he a suprise? Or maybe things were truly good then... I'm just curious? Not that you would ever take it back I know, but sometimes people think children will fix things and I wonder if you were at that point? Was there ever any sexual abuse? Did he ever take it out verbally or physically on your child?

And finally... How are things now. Is he staying sober? Has he been able to be a father to Z? Like actually be a father, not just genetics? And his family members... How are they handling it with your son?

Those are just some things that went through my mind.

I hope you can put this nightmare behind you and out of your mind!


Anonymous said...

Wow, all I can is z is lucky to have such a strong and determined mother to do what is best for him (and herself). I hope u both the best in ur new adventures! An old friend. IA

AZ Mommy said...

Thank you for posting this. You have no idea how much this helped me. One day I will have the strength to open up as you did.

Korin said...

Heather, as I awaited this post, I feared this was what you would tell us... that you had been a battered, shattered woman. My heart sank as I read about your life of hell. I ache inside, thinking about what you had to survive.

And then, I realized that you are NOT a shattered woman. You, by the grace of your own power are a whole woman, who is working harder than anyone to create the life you want for yourself and your son.

I admire your honesty, I respect your sadness, and I wish you nothing but success from here on out.

Thank you for sharing your story. Hopefully it will keep another woman from being stuck in a hell like that for so long. You are a brave and powerful woman.

xo xo Korin

Anonymous said...

Good for you Heather. I'm proud of you and wish you all the best. You are a great woman and deserve so much better. Z is lucky to have such a great mom.

~ Amy L.

DD said...

I seriously want to drive out there this weekend and give that SOB a blanket party. You know what a blanket party is, don't you?

I'm so angry for you, Heather. How dare he? How FUCKING dare he??!

I remember the Christmas pictures and it infuriates me that he put on that fake facade; and it makes me ache as well to know you HAD to fake it just to get through the day, and the next day.

You are an amazing woman and mother. He'll never be able to take that away.

Wolvers said...

Heather, I feel for you. I don't know exactly how you feel, but I was in a similar relationship for over a year, not to the exact degree, but sure had my fare share of unwanted physical interactions and cops being called. I like you have rarely been drunk nor have I ever tried drugs. You feel for the person you love and always hope things will be better like you planned. I can't imagine doing all you've done as a single mom. All I can say is turn to God with full faith and he will lead the way for you and your whole family. You are going through SSSOOO much right now, the best help I can be is if you ever need someone to watch Zach so you can have some free time I'm here for you. That's the joy of being single, I get a kid fix, and can help others out, what could be better?? I've been reading your sisters updates, and hadn't been reading here as much. I pray for continued strength and courage for you and Zack. Maybe a move would be a blessing to you, for safety and a new begining of less intense memories together. Take care and keep posting, we are all here for you.

E-Meals & Deals said...


I have been where you are! I know what you are going through! I was married for 10 years and had 3 children before I could get the courage to leave. It is the hardest and scariest thing I have ever done, but it was the most liberating! Let me know if I can help you in anyway!

Take care & God bless,

OHN said...

Heather...I need you to do something. Walk over to the mirror. Go ahead, I'll wait.

That woman that looked back at you. She is stronger than you would ever imagine.

She has risen up against a monster and won. Nothing will ever let her go back to the position she was in for too long.

Hold your head up high. You survived.

Anonymous said...

Inga said, I am hearing you.... I hear, feel AND understand EVERY SINGLE WORD you have said.... :(