Excuses/Abuses – Tale of a Gut Hater

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(My heart is, our hearts are, in deep pain for our world today.  Please pay attention to, and take good care of, each other. Please and Thank You)

Before my Situation (so, ‘BS,’ for short), I never understood why why why anyone would put up with being abused by another person.

Why would you be with someone who hurts you? 

What kind of person puts up with that?  Prostitutes?  Drug addicts? Uneducated people?  People bound by misogynistic cultural norms? 

Who were these adult people choosing to live these lives? 

I could not comprehend abusive relationships at all.

 

Now, After my Sorry Situation (so, ‘ASS,’ for short), I cannot understand how to develop a relationship that isn’t abusive. I just do not trust myself anymore.

I know so many people, people in my BS and ASS communities, who are in or have been in, abusive relationships (and also, healthy functioning relationships, but they are foiling my post and will be disregarded at the moment).  It is hard for me to imagine how to be in any relationship.

I do not know how you functioning couples do it.  I am not saying that in a trite way.  I truly do not know how you do it.  I admire you, as one might admire a first class trip around the world, or a George Clooney Italian Villa – it’s so lovely to imagine, but so out of my reach or reality, that it appears like a magical fantasy.

How did I go from BS to ASS?

Honestly, while I knew that something was not right with my marriage, I had no idea that I was being abused.  I did not know that my husband was abusive.

 

The Police explained it to me.

The Sheriff’s department explained it to me.

Detectives explained it to me.

Domestic Violence Shelter Counselors explained it to me.

Multiple Private Therapists explained it to me.

My Physician explained it to me.

 

My Family and Friends explained it to me.

Church Officials explained it to me.

My Attorney explained it to me (and referred me back to my Therapist, many, many times)

 

I still did not know that I was in an abusive marriage.

 

I thought that I was the problem.  If only I could do this, he would be happy and not threaten our son.  If only I would do that, he would show us respect and kindness.  If only I could do this, he would stop hurting me.

There are days now, still, where I am consumed by guilt and remorse, that I was unable to do more, to help him better, to find the right Dr for him, to provide the right life for him to sooth his worries so that he would like us.

 

On these days, I have to force myself to read some of my notes for/from my attorney, in order to remember the facts of what has transpired, rather than my own feelings.

 

This is a painful, but necessary, process. 

 

Mostly, because in my case, if I lapse and allow my feelings to guide my actions, I would be placing both my son and myself, into lethal danger.  As I type this, I know that sounds like a crazy person.  After all that has happened, WHAT kind of person would subject themselves to that kind of peril?

 

Unfortunately, it is me.

 

And many other well-educated, loved, supported, life-engaged women (and men).

 

We are not stupid.  We are fiercely compassionate.  We are intelligent.  We have a hard work ethic.  We are devoted, dedicated, and honorable.

 

So much so, that our determination to be all of those things, blinds us to our own reality.

 

If something is not working, we set our minds, hearts, and souls to problem solve and correct whatever issue is set before us.

 

We believe we can help and resolve, through love, hard work, and devotion, any obstacle which is presented to us.  Our compassion for our abuser knows very few, if any, limits or boundaries.  We see someone worthy in there and we work our hardest to comfort and support and lift that worthiness out.

 

What we do not know, is that we are worthy enough of recognizing our abuser for who they are.

We are worthy enough to expect the same fierce compassion we exhibit, from our partner.

We are worthy enough to decide when to walk away from a situation that is not healthy or working for us.

We are worthy enough to deserve to feel safe in our home, in our bedroom, in our garage.

We are worthy enough to be treated the way we would want our sons and daughters to be treated in their adult relationships.

We are worthy.

 

It took my entire community over a year to convince me that Mr exH was abusive.  I was afraid of him.  I was confused by him.  I was incredibly painfully sad for him.

 

I was shocked when it was suggested that he was an abusive person.

 

I fought for him to get help, to get support, to get medical care, to have his pillow, to have his special toiletries, comfort items and clothing…

 

He continued to abuse me, and I still fought for him, like some caricature of the definition of an abused spouse.

 

What saved me from all of my excuses for his abuses? 

 

At one point, I was so deep into trying to do “the right thing” for my husband, my attorney called me in to her office (btw, this is never good news) and asked me if I trusted her to represent me in court.

I was having a difficult time understanding exactly what the process was that we were involved in, and what I was supposed to be doing.  My attorney spelled out for me that she was there to advise me, to guide me, and to advocate for me in court.

Even if I could not understand what she was doing, she needed to know if I trusted her as a professional.  I responded that I absolutely trusted her.

It was at that moment I realized

my thinking was based on false assumptions. 

While I was still unable to pinpoint exactly what my false assumptions were, I understood clearly at that moment that my thinking process and beliefs must be flawed.

My attorney has 20+ years of experience and a stellar reputation.

Family and friends had interacted with her multiple times by this point, and all were impressed by her.

Something clicked in me and allowed me to see that even if I did not agree with my attorney, even if I could not see what she was seeing, if I trusted her, I had to believe that she could interpret the situation correctly and knew what to do.

I was in crisis, after years of spiraling toward crisis.  I had no experience.  I reasoned with myself all of the way to, “how could I know what I don’t know?”

I had to trust that my attorney knew.

 

At the same time, my therapist was also gently introducing me to the idea that I was abused.  I did not believe her, but, again, I trusted her to know what she was seeing and hearing.

 

It is hard to follow your gut and not your heart,

when your mind is screaming at you.

 

Mind says, “You are an idiot/slacker/lazy/incompetent/evil/selfish/awful person for setting this situation up”

 

Heart says, “He is in so much pain and distress.  How can I take care of helping him, so that we can all be well?”

 

Gut says, “Listen to respected resources. Get a Safety Plan. Tell trusted people.  Trust your trusted people”

 

My gut saved us.

 

My gut that hates me, because I have treated it so poorly, saved us.

 

For everyone going through similar situations, I want to encourage you to listen to your gut – not the core of your heart, mind, and soul – your gut.

 

Because you are worthy of not accepting or making excuses

 

Because you are worthy of not accepting abuses

 

Your heart, mind, and soul will be revived, comforted, and nourished to where they need to be, through counseling and other support networks.

 

Right now, you need your gut

 

I am praying for you on your journey too.

 

Love, Ms. Herisme xo

When you run my 5K…

Here is the truth.

 When someone wants to murder you, nothing can protect you.

 -Repeat-

 Nothing can protect you

 Nothing can protect

 Nothing can

 Nothing

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A few years ago in our town, over a very short time period, there were three ladies who were brutally murdered by their husbands.  Two of these husbands also murdered their own children.  The third intended to, as far as I’m concerned, but wasn’t given the opportunity, so he just killed his family’s cats, his wife and himself instead.

 

So now our community runs 5K’s in their honor to raise awareness and money for victims of domestic violence.  Well, we run them for two of the white ladies, and one family’s children.  The third woman and her children were a lower income Hispanic family, so our subtle, not so subtle, racist community doesn’t run for them.  But, that’s another topic for another day.

 

What kind of husbands, fathers, sons, uncles, men do this?  Men who are sick.  Men who are crying out for help in ways that go unheard.  Men that are abusive, controlling, ill, and violent in such duplicitous ways that their neighbors and communities, even their own families and spouses, consistently describe them as the “nice guy next door.”

 

How do I know about these things?  Well, I suppose when you read our story in the quaint local paper, or the little paragraph on our sign-up genius/donations webpage, you’ll get filled in.  Maybe you won’t know about any of it until you show up to support our sponsored cause at our memorial 5K, which might be your first 5K and you’ll feel all the community support feels by signing up for the cause.  “Oh my, how sad.  I think that I saw them at a thing once when they did something.”

I know these things because I’ve seen it happen before.

I know these things because my husband is very sick.

I know these things because my husband wants to murder our son and me.

I know this because he said so.

 

Not, “I’m going to kill you for not putting out the trash, you knucklehead.”  More like, “I am your apocalypse, I’ll make you drink my blood, I’m Sly Stallone, Our 3 hearts beat as one, and I know God doesn’t forgive murder.”  You know, he wants to LITERALLY, in the truest sense, kill murder kill us.

 

Let me tell you, um, yikes.  It is extremely scary, and life altering, no matter how sick you know a person is, to know that this other human being wants to hurt your child and you merely for being who you are, for existing.

 

“Get a lawyer,” you say?

“Call the police,” you say?

“Get him to a hospital,” you say?

Done, done and done. 

 

Here’s the catch though, none of these well-intentioned institutions can actually protect us.

“No, no!” you say? 

“You must not have followed the correct procedures. 

You must not have said the right things. 

You must not have filled out the correct police reports. 

You must not have found the right Doctors/hospitals/lawyers, because if you had, you and your son would be safe.”

 

Indulge me with a moment of your time to dispel these lovely, comforting, and overly confident in naiveté myths for you – to decimate your glorious happy bubble.

 LAWYERS:     super negotiative finesse and super law knowledge

The lawyer may file papers for you, provide legal advice to you regarding the laws in your particular state, navigate your local court.  Your lawyer has to work with all of the other lawyers, judges and court personnel long after your legal issues are over, and therefore will not be vigilante advocating for what you think is “right” all Hollywood style.  Also, your lawyer has heard and seen every disgusting side of humanity, most likely, and can only represent actual proven truth – not conjecture, predictions, heresay or those dreaded feelings of yours (tip: see your therapist for those fun times).  What you vehemently insist is non negotiable and the most important things for you and your child, may not match up with the actual laws of the land, and may not be within your lawyer’s capabilities.  Not because they are incompetent, but you will know this because of your lawyer’s undeniable extreme competence and professionalism – both of which you will need if you need a lawyer at anytime in your life.  Also, lawyers are not superheroes with any superpowers, other than super negotiative finesse and super law knowledge.

 POLICE:  need actual proof

There’s a funny thing about the police too.  They cannot arrest or detain anyone because you suspect something or are frightened of something.  They need actual proof (gasp!) to do either of these.  If someone uses their words, like, I don’t know, “I’m going to murder you” and such, yet they don’t actually murder you, the police cannot arrest that person.  As told to me, “words are just words, not actions,” and “if every written threat to kill someone equaled an arrest, most people on Facebook would be in jail.”

 MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS:  HIPPA

Hospitals, Mental Health professionals – hey, guess what?  They are even funnier than the police and tighter bound than the lawyers.  HIPPA – google it, as it is AWESOME in a so very not awesome way for anyone with an adult loved one who has a serious mental illness.  Also, as an adult, no matter what your condition regarding mental illness, your self-reporting is absolutely the only information that the Mental Health professionals can and will take into consideration.  Psychotic much?  Okay.  Do you feel homicidal or suicidal?  Not right now, you say?  Okay.  Do you want treatment?  No, you say?  Super!  You are clear minded, discharged and free to go.  This also frees the hospitals and Mental Health professionals from adhering to any bugaboo “duty to warn” an intended target (insert me, our son) for a psychotic homicidal mentally ill patient (insert my husband), because they just verbally confirmed that the patient can verbally say they are not homicidal right then.

 

“No, no, no, no, no,” you say. 

“That cannot be.  I know that the hospital can commit someone and detain them.” 

 

Sure they can, until the adult patient says they want to go and don’t want to hurt anybody or themselves.  The adult patient who two days prior sent multiple homicidal threatening emails prompting a Protective Order through the court system, after being picked up by police for threatening to blow-up the hotel he was staying in and to physically harm housekeeping, yes, him, indeed.  Clear minded and well = discharged.

 

“Wait a minute,” you say.  “Is this the same guy who was picked up by the same police for erratic and disoriented behavior within 36 hours of being discharged from the hospital after a nine day forced stay?”

 

Thusly I say unto you, “yup.”

 

And so, what are we doing right now?  How are we keeping safe?

 

We have a protective order. 

It’s like a restraining order, except it begins with the letter, “p.”

 

We have had open communications between local domestic violence groups, child protective services, police, sheriff, pediatrician, therapist, school, workplace, lawyers, family members, close friends, church etc so that everyone is aware of the situation.

 

Words, words, words, words, words.

Here is the thing about words. 

They cannot actually physically protect you.

Here is the truth.

When someone wants to murder you, nothing can protect you.

Repeat

Nothing can protect you

Nothing can protect

Nothing can

Nothing

 

You can pray.  You can hope.  You can peek around every corner waiting for the something awful to happen.  You can file every paper, you can contact every agency, you can spread your story far and wide, but absolutely nothing can protect you.

 

You cannot run away because a psychotic adult can hire an almost unethical lawyer to prevent that, especially since you have a child together.  You know, because the law protects parental rights.  Even for a murderer.  Or, in this case, a wannabe murderer.

 

More awesomesauce for this hearty party…

Have I mentioned that our son was forced to attend supervised visitation with his father, who incidentally, in case you misunderstood something previously read, wants to murder us

and we have a protective order from a judge in a court showing they believe his father is too dangerous to be around him?

No?  Well, it is true.

 

So not only has our son been frightened of his father’s behavior because of our previous domestic violence in the home, and his father’s attempt to hurt him because I refused to allow him to hurt me anymore, but also re-traumatized each week by being forced to sit in a room with him for an hour and listen to his father’s manic nonsense.  Or, as I refer to it, “institutionalized abuse in the form of re-victimization.”

“Son, your father is too dangerous for us to be around him, except you’re still going to have to sit with him for an hour in a room each week and be subjected to his psychosis.”

 

Our son was six years-old.

 

Anyone else finding this uncomfortable, barbaric and unbelievable?!!?

 

Any else feeling like this might be truthiness/movie pitch/rantings instead of reality?!!?

 

Me too, except I AM ACTUALLY LIVING IT.

 

For now.

 

Until we are murdered by my husband

 

and then the police can actually arrest him,

 

and the Mental Health professionals will be forced to treat him,

 

and the lawyers can move on to their next case

 

and y’all can carry on planning and running our 5K.

 

When you run my 5K, you should expect tastefully decorated and chilled bottles (not plastic, duh) of water, with matching, tastefully decorated GF, DF cupcakes, which will, of course, have some kind of added unexpected nutritional value (“oh my! I would have never known kale was in there if you hadn’t told me!  Amazing!).  And napkins.  Cloth commemorative napkins, which could maybe double as a glow kerchief or brow sweat mop, as you desire.

 

As you round the corner to the obscene amount of brilliant festive balloons (clear with floating glitter inside, white ribbon) and giant silky white ribbon indicating the finish line, someone, most likely my irreverent Uncle or sardonic brother, will point you in another direction, yelling, “Just kidding, this is a 10K all the way!  Run it for Mrs Herisme and Little Heishim! Go, go, go, go, go!”

And you’ll do it for the cause *fist bump*!

 

Psssst…. Just a thought.  If my husband could have actually received appropriate quality mental health support and guidance, my son and I probably wouldn’t be murdered.

 

I guess then, though, you’d miss out on my sweet tale

and my lawyer would be about $70K short.

 

Tra-la

 

Love, Mrs.Herisme and Son Heishim

Please note, dear Readers,

I should have prefaced this post by saying that it was written in the Fall of 2014.

For an update on our current condition, please read the post dated 4.21.16.

Thank you for checking in on us xoxo