The picture of the perfect life was easily projected. One can smile for a camera shot even when things are not all good.
The greatest problem, I had, was not understanding who God truly wanted me to be. He alone knows the very real struggles that were had.
He knows about the moments of fear and the feelings of despair. God knows about the lies Repeated in one’s head.
This will go away soon, if I just calm down. He will soon go to sleep. The emotional explosion was over. The shattered glass… The crying children had been put to bed. The glass was now being picked up off the floor. This would give me some time to think on what I had done, this time, that brought this man to anger.
Constantly being reminded, that if, I had achieved anything thus far, it was because this man had married me; a divorced woman who had two little children to raise could never make it alone.
The belittling was not enough. There had to be humiliation too.
Shopping at the supermarket.
We arrived and the statement, get whatever you want, was said to my children. Their smiles were from ear to ear. The quickly climbed off the Jeep. They eagerly began to look through the supermarket for their choice. I was walking through being frugel anf remembering the amount to spend. I gave my childrem a limit. No more than 5 dollars each I said. The battle began.
“Why do you have to say anything?” Why can’t you just shut up. I explaind that I was trying to stay within the amount we had agreed to spend.
The cart was full. The children had made their choices. All eagerly awaiting for us to get to the register. The cart had everything. Vegetables, fruits, meat, rice anf the list goes on. My son had chisen his favorite cereal. My daughter had chosen a book. No matter now.
He looked at them and said, Well its your mother’s fault. Leave the cart, we are leaving. An entire hour walking around to get the shopping done had been wasted. His need to be in control was demonstrated.
The yelling and cursing began. You want to be the man. You want to do things yourself! Go ahead. You can’t. You need me!
The cursing continued. I quietly held my children’s hands and we walked out of the store. He continued to yell after me. That’s right, who’s in control now whore.
The house was quiet. The television was on. A show we all liked to sit and watched was on. We were cozied up on the sofa. All in blankets watching together. The commercials came on. He changed the televisok channel. What was bring played was violent and inappropriate for the children. I asked, can we please go back to the show. He said, All of you get the “x@u%#k out of hear! Now its my time to warch!
The morning arrived for the vacation. Bags were packed. The Jeep was loaded. Snacks and the sleeping bags were all ready. We were all smiling. He appeared happy today. It had been a few days of his “Happiness.” About a week to be exact. He kept saying it was going to be good to be away from the job and just having dome fun. We packed the car and off on the road we went. From Connecticut all the way to New Hampshire. We made several stops along the way. He appeared calm and happy. I felt calm at at peace. My son loved to dress like “dad.” His jeans and a red shirt just like dad. I had dressed us all in the same colors. A good way to identify each other on a trip, I had thought.
We arrived at the camp ground. He had not anticipated the cost. His smile turned to a somber look. Almost without affect. He then paid and said, These people are stupid. To charge so much if we are going to be in tents and in sleeping bags. He shook his head.
The day was lovely. The sun was out and the clear crisp air made it a formidable place to be in. My daughter asked if there were wild animals there. I assured her that we would be fine. My son, coming out of the car noted all the bugs around. He saw a dragonfly and screamed.
The insults began. What are you a girl. Are you some kind of useless piece of…. the words continued. For the next four days it was a roller coaster of emotions. From moments of laughter because he was glad to see the children swimming in the lake. To then having anger bursts for silly things.
We mastered acting calm and collected. Even when, he had been furious or explosive. We learned how to react so, he would not ezcalate.
I pushed my tears back. I learned not to cry. It was easier to show I was well than to cry and fall apart. I had to do this for my children. They had to see a strong mom. They learned to hide their emotions too. They learned to be angry in silence. This was a toxic environment.
Then there were some days of absolute bliss. He had gotten paid. He had been given a raise. He was happy. He bought so many things for the children. Their faces of being unsure, if this was going to be another roller coaster ride, was evident. Quickly I assured them it was time to celebrate. It was daddy’s success. He was noticed for doing a good job!
This man smiled. He seemed so at peace that day. He was just absolute wonderful. I remembered why I had married him. He had been gentle and loving to my children. He had pro.ised to be a did to them. He had seemed so genuine. This day was a good day. He took ud out to dinner. All you can eat buffet. His favorite. The kids ate planty. He did too. I hesitated, I ate and then wondered, how long would it be, this time.
It was about a couole of months before he began again with the nitpicking at how there were problems at work. He then slowly began to complain about the hiw many zthings the kids had. How spoiled they were. He then began reminding me that He had done me a favot by marrying me.
Here we go again. The cycle began. The escalation then the explosion. Then the belittling turned in to physical violence. Then finally, the tears and the I am so sorry. The, I love you. The words of how his life would have meant nothing if it wasn’t for my marrying him and making him a dad. ” You know God gave me your children as my own. I am so sorry.” He would kneel on the floor and cry.
This was the full cycle. It was cyclical. It was constant. Sometimes worse than others. Dometimes for longer periods of sadness and bitterness and anger in him. He was so out of control.
The Enabler That Was Me
She sat there waiting for the cycle to occur. She learned to cope by wearing a smile and not showing she was upset during moments of his spontaneous decisions.
The stove was set. The supper was cooking. The table was set. The hluse smelled of pork roast and potatoes and vegetables. Everything was about to be done. 20 more minutes and we would eat.
He came in, “Okay, get ready and let’s go.” Well, supper will be ready in a little bit. I responded. He quickly said, I said, get ready and let’s go!” Quickly I saw his face and he seemed excited and hyper. So, off we went to get dressed. I managed to take a bit of time. I turned of the meal on the stove and off we went. He had decided it was time to go walk on the beach. ” You love the beach, so there you go.” He said.
He skipped rocks on the water. He walked holding my hand. The kids played on the sand for a while. Then they came over and said, ” We want to eat.” At their words he became angry and said, “Go play.” I explained that they had been waiting for the supper ai had made. He then, said, you are never satisfied. Your are such a $@%^$! The cursing began and waht was seemingly sublime, in minutes, became, chaos.
We rushed home. He was speeding. We went in. The children had heard the myriad of awful verbage. Their head was full of this. There were so many times where this happened.
Twenty five years. Twenty five years of emotional roller-coasters. Apologies made for him to people. Excuses an enabler makes…
He is overworked. He is tired. He is just hungry. He had a bad day. God to your rooms, give ‘daddy” time to rest. He needs quiet. I was not his fault the gas attendant was rude. He just meant to say such and such.
The enabler does not realize the cycle they themselves fall in to.
All the while years passed. The children grew. They eneded up entering relationships that were not heamthy at first. Emotionally harmed children suffer. They may learn to keep it all bottled inside and then in life they have to deal with letting og of these issues.
It wasn’t All Bad.
The man could sing. He had a beautiful tenor voice. He rarely sang in public though. His insecurities and his low self esteem had him trapped. But he did sing beautifully. At times I was able to convince him to join a Christmas choir session. Or to prepare and sing with me for some event. The days leading to these times seemed to be good ones. He would be in high spirits and he enjoyed making others smile. But always, after a hugh, came a low.
He also was a great painter. He could paint landscapes and painted a few paintings about war. He had grown up in Chile. His family was well to do as they oened businesses there. He had come to the States as a result of his grandmother’s request. She then became ill and he did not want to leave her.
There were tensions in Chile at the time and the communist Party was taking properties from families. Their family experienced many hardships and saw many dead. His father would take him to go pick up human remains from different areas. Since the man was a butcher. His father had to obey.
As a child he was bullied by others because he had been born with a deformity of one of his ears. He had many operations and eventually, they were able to construct what appeared to be an ear lobe. But they could not repair his ability to hear. This was a birth defect in the inner ear.
He was raised to be proud and neber to let anyone know he had a handicap. That was taboo. So his hair was kept longer to cover the upper ear’s deformity.
He was bright. He was good at math and with his hands. He loved working in repairing old things. He obtained a job once, as a music box maker and repairing heirlooms. My goodness, he was good at that job. We had a couple of good years while he worked there. He had the ability to fix the most intriquite parts of the various collectibles he repaired. Sometimes he would bring them home. We would watch him carefully put things together.
The music box was fixed. The miniature merry go round was repaired the music that was flat at first in that old music box, this man made perfect. He would play the sounds. The children and I enjoyed him then.
There was such compmexity and such depth in this man. I remeber thinking he was like a Mister Jeckle and a Mister Hyde.
The clear picture of a Bipolar mind.
Undiagnosed for most of his life he lived. This ruined family get togethers. This ruined relationships. Church events were marked by the man that slept in the car refusing to come in. Yet he parked, right in front of the church.
In attenpting to help him. He was given the keys to the church to open and close the buimding. He maintaiend the bathrooms and alerted when there were issues with the property. T
These were sad years. He became self inflamed. That is full of himself. He woumd at times take things needed at our home from the storage of the church. Many times I eoumd tell him, that this was wrong snd that God did not approve. He had no sense of right or wrong. He woumd get happy when asked to participate and angry ehen he was done with the task. A perpetual troubled teenager was he.
I remained. 25 years I stayed. Pushed, shoved against walls. Pushed to the limit in every way and yet, I heard him say, you are supposed to forgive. You are supposed to be a minister fo God. He mocked my efforts. He would scream or turn the TV on and raise the volume to the max when I was rehearsing. He woumd tell me, God only had mercy on me becsuse of his tsking me back to church when I was backslidden.
He coumd be generous and wonderful at times. A helpful neighbor. A kind soul to the needs. He loved to help people. His longest standing job was as a medical homecare technician. He loved that job too for 10 years. He would still have his cycles but for the most part he seemed more stable. The outbursts were less and more easily managed.
He would love to go to the homes of the elderly and help them i stall equipment. He woumd tesch them about oxygen and about C Pap machines and nebulizers. He was the one they asked for by name. Then there was a change in personnel. He had a new boss. His new supervisor was not kind. This threw him off. He began to lose heart. He then, began to have to go in to homes, as those he had built a rapport with would die. So picking up their equipment and feeling the sense of loss would slowly throw him in yo a depression again. Rage and anger would fester.
In the time were were married, twice I had to run. The first time was when we had been married 10 years. I had to press charges and have him arrested for domestic violence. He had exploded and hit my daughter and broken a window by hitting my son. He then shoved me in to the side of a door frame. Injuring my side.
Believe it or not, At that time, I did still love him. I still felt he was worth saving. I Thought Marriage counseling would help. I thought it did. Anger Management counseling and Pastoral Marriage Counseling too. We were both offered counseling together and apart.
He seemed to be a new man after 7 months. He seemed to be changed. About one good year we had. Then things started up again. We renewed our vows in 2012. All seemd fine. We were given a fresh start.
As the years went on he had ups and he had downs. He climbed the ladder and crashed many times. I remained. I was grateful for the good times and very much afraid in the bad times.
In 2015 he lost his job due to his anger and disrespect and disregard for authority. He was fired. This threw him in to a very dark place. Then the abuse increased. By then I had my little girl with us and this meant she went through the roller coasters of anger anf then, moments of joy. She was not able to explain what she felt. But she was afraid.
In 2016, with fear, sadness and regret I had to leave this man. His life would tske a turn for the worst as he developed leukemia and died in 2018.
But I must say, God had mercy on thid man. Before he died, he asked to see me. I did not want to see him at all. He had been so cruel. But thid man asked to be forgiven. I told him he had repeatedly asked for fogiveness and always returned to violence. I asked God to give me the words.
I felt too wounded. I felt like I had wastedmy entire life in someone who did not even really care. But the Lord reminded me of how He loved humanity. Hiw mankind was doomed and lodt becsuse of sin. I told him,
You want forgivenes? Forgiveness for the belittling? For the abuse? For the times you made me walk home, while you drove away in our car.
I forgave him for being a lousy provider. For abusing my trust, for shaming me and making me feel, God had no place for me. I forgave him for using the word of God as a weapon against me. I forgave him for the physical and psychological and emotional harm commited against me and caused my children and my loved ones. I forgave him for the times he disrespected my father and mother. I forgave him for the disrespect he showed my brothers and their families. I forgave him for the pain and confusion he caused us all.
I forgave not in my own strength.
I forgave him because I had been forgiven by God. The Lord forgave my poor choices. He forgave my disobedient heart. He restored the dignity I had lost becusse fo this man. I forgave him because Jesus went to the cross to die for the sins of every person.
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23
I forgave him becaise he was truly repented.
The Bible says,
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
I John 1:9-10
I understood that, If, I do not forgive, I cannot be forgiven.
This man, my husband had been plagued with the illness that plagues many. Depression.
Depression is one of the results that comes from the results of sin in the world. The anger fear, anxiety and evil in this world is all part of the sinful nature we inherited from Adam and Eve’s fall. In the different sicknesses we see the root is that everything that kills hurts and damages csme as a result of sin. When God created the world it was perfect. No fear, no evil. But when sin entered the world it changed our story. It oerverted our circumstances. It damages our bodies and our relationships. We need a Saviour. We need God to restore us. We have all come from dysfunction. But we can be made whole in Christ.
We have all been stained by the sin of Adam. We have all been given this as part of our DNA. For some, people who go through trauma, thei mind is broken. They cannot understand that they are not living that trauma currently. So, they are unable to separate their emotions. They become selfish, self seeking, prideful and sin breeds sin.
Yes, I believe that in the last year of his life he had gone through counseling and had been diagnosed with depression. Perhaps there had been a chemical imbalance in his brain.
But what we find more often than not, is that if a person truly commits to Christ. They become a new creation. Sickness and their past can be memories that no longer harm us.
GOD CHANGES EVERYTHING.
I forgave him, God forgave him. He became a new creation. He died 4 days after that.
It was a hard process. To face the areas where I had stsyed quiet and not spoken. To face the fact that I had become an enabler to his behaviour. This was admitting I had a part in this cycle too.
There is always something we can do. We cannot remain in a victim mentslity forever. God wants us to live in Freedom and with His peace. God’s word and good solid Christian Counseling helped me as well as Trauma Counseling. My youngest child had counseling as well. Together we went through the process of healing. And the Lord restored our hearts with his hope.
Today, I can tell this story because this man has passed away. He is not hindered by the trlling of it. But it may help someone who may be facing things like thid.
I look at people a different way. They are products of a fallen world. But God loves these fallen people. He wants to restore the broken hearted and the wounded. The abuser as well as the abused are in need of this hope that God can give. Jesus makes us new. He turns our weeping in to dancing. He gives us beauty for ashes. I share this so that if you see yourself in any of this story…
People who hurt others are hurting as well. The painthey may feel inside is what is coming out.
If you are a VICTIM please speak out. There is hope.
I HAVE SEEN HEALING.
I have also seen the Lord transform lives and heal marriages and heal families.
But healing does not come if, we do not seek for help.
There is help, there is hope.
Jesus is able to help you though whatever you are going through.
I was blinded, prideful and foolish, thinking I could go through it all by myself.
It has taken the Lord’s love and mercy to see, we are not meant to suffer alone. We are supposed to ask for help.
God has Created people to be social and interconnected in fellowship.
I pray, in some way this helps some.
For some encouragement go to
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