Book Part 4:The Devastation

This is the hard part to write. But, in order to get others through the fire, here goes.

I had serious misgivings about getting into another relationship. I was terrified when I told him I loved him. I shared my fears and he told me he was my last stop. So I trusted him,

That trust began to erode a couple of months before he left. He was talking about his first ex-wife way too much and visiting her. I told him he needed to stop, but he…they kept up.

I had foolishly thought, when we moved to North Carolina to be close to his kids, that it would be healthier for the family if we got along. My grandparents had done it, after all. Boy was I wrong. The night I made him tell me what was going on she had been in our home for a visit with his sister.

It was my worst nightmare come true.

I was blindsided. I had done everything for him and had welcomed her into my home. He had made no effort to talk about any issues with me. And, like all couples we had some.

I was…I can’t even describe it. I had just lost Cocoa, my 13-year-old dog, 2 months previous. I had had so much loss that one more would do me in. And here is the hard part; he was well aware. So instead of working on things, he opted for the easy way out.

I went to his sister’s house, I talked to my daughter-in-law, I got in the car and just drove; anything I could think of to cope. I had none of my own family here, so I only had them.

The pain was so great that I tried to get him out if the house to protect my sanity. He refused to leave. Instead, he went to her home everyday when she got off work and came home when he felt like it. Twisting the knife in deeper.

I truly wished I could kill myself, but I was too strong to even go there. Trust me, the relief would have been welcome, but when things get that bad you have to fight for your future.

First, I drove to what is now my church, walked into the office and broke down. They ministered to me beautifully. But his refusing to leave, flaunting it, and spending my safety net took its toll. I was going to counseling, but it didn’t help.

I even called the cops on him in a desperate attempt to get him out. He still holds that against me, but his “have his cake and eat it too” mentality was all he cared about.

So I drove myself to the hospital and asked to be admitted to the mental crisis ward. They transported me to Charlotte where I stayed for 5 days.

There should be no shame in reaching out for help. Everyone comes to point where they can’t handle a situation. Going in for a mental “reset” could save your life. In the least it will give you a chance to make a plan.

While I was there, he dared to let her give our granddaughter a birthday gift on my behalf. I know. Pathetic. Then the day I got out, he picked me up and I found out that instead of getting my car and bringing it home, he had left it in the hospital parking lot. He dumped me off there and drove to her house. Callous as hell.

It was at that moment that I decided to fight like I never had before for my life. So, a few days later, I told him to get out. He refused and taunted me to try and get me to hit him. He said he would “have me back in the 7th floor so fast my head would spin.” I did what I had to do and spit in his face. FINALLY, he left.

It was a relief. But the pain, confusion, betrayal, and total destruction of my life was something I struggled with every second of every day. Just living was exhausting, but I did it.

No one should have to go through that. No one. Funny thing is, he DID go through it 30 years earlier at her hands!

It took months before the literal shock wore off. It took immersion in church, counseling, my amazing siblings, and friends before the fog began to lift.

I won’t lie… I still have tough days and writing this is torture. But, I know God needs me to because there is someone out there that can be helped.

Give yourself a little time to be the victim, but then focus on getting help. Reach out to anyone you can. Life really does get better. If it didn’t, I wouldn’t be writing this.

Step 2: Understanding your new reality.

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