Most of us are familiar with the phrase “wrong side of the tracks”. It’s a reference to how railroad tracks separated the “nice” side of town with the “undesirable” side of town. The difference was typically financial.
I’ve been lucky. For most of my life I’ve have been able to live in comfort, in a safe area, with plenty of room in my house. I felt blessed and loved opening my home to friends and family. Money was never an issue. Of course early in my marriage, we struggled but over time financial struggles grew less.
Now I am living on the other side of the tracks. I have no health insurance. Today my new glasses, due to my difficult prescription, cost $805. That included the exam. No idea how I’ll pay for them, but they are needed. I am having some health problems which require expensive medical tests. I can’t afford them because in Texas I must make less than approximately $12,000 to qualify for Medicaid.
I feel ashamed. I feel embarrassed. I feel scared. I feel trapped. This must be the same feeling millions of people live with every day. They are poor but not poor enough. It truly is a stressful way to live.
Take the time and go see the other side of the track. Talk to someone. Help someone. Maybe even someone you know is in the same situation I’m in and are too embarassed to ask for help. Reach out.
An impediment to moving forward. Why do I feel it’s not possible to be happy and relaxed? Is it because I believe I don’t deserve to be happy? Am I not worthy of happiness? Is it I don’t know what happiness is so I don’t recognize it? I know I’ve felt and experienced happiness before but now, for the past several years beginning in 2009, my ability to be happy has eluded me.
I see other people. I can feel their joy. I can sense their satisfaction with life. They are relaxed and have fun. I feel wound up so tightly that it’s impossible to move for fear I’ll break or snap.
Is there a secret? A secret to letting go of the worry, always worried what people think of me? A secret to just enjoy the moment? I know I’ve missed so much since 2009. Time we can never reclaim. I don’t want to waste anymore moments which could possible hold joy and happiness.
My soul is tired. My mind is tired. I cling to hope but as the days go by my grasp is slipping. Whether I like it or not, I cannot make it without a job. I do not want to live in my car. I don’t want to move into the tiny, tiny, overcrowded room in my mother’s house. I’m willing to downsize more. I’ve gone from 4200 sq feet to 1000 sq feet but even a small apartment costs money.
I don’t know what else to do. I’ve applied for every type of job you can imagine. I’ve had no success. Even though I pray and hold on to the hope that God will provide me with a job or a sense of what I should do, but so far I am still completely in the dark. I start thinking I should have sucked it up and stayed married to an emotionally abusive man and then I realize I wouldn’t have survived. But the lure of financial security is strong.
I was scared but now I’m just too weary to even be frightened.
“He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.”Psalm 23:2-3a He first noticed that he was getting tired easily. Then it seemed like he was worn out all day long. Then, as he tells the story, he started to be able to hear his heart beat. That…
We read stories everyday of women that have been abused by a man. And sadly these women tend to repeat bad choices and go from one bad relationship to another. For anyone with a solid self-esteem and self-worth, it is incredulous that any woman would stay in such a damaging relationship. Here is something that so many people fail to understand; the abuser rarely walks in and begins the abuse immediately. There is physical abuse and emotional abuse. They go hand in hand but emotional abuse can happen without physical abuse. That is my story.
Why didn’t I share? I was embarrassed and ashamed. Slowly over time my sense of independence was destroyed. Over time the belief I was lovable was destroyed. Day by day comments, looks, turning things around so I would begin to question myself believing somehow I caused him to cheat and having my concerns being dismissed and ignored regularly created a complete sense of instability. If my ex-husband was home I was always tied up in knots because I was worried I wasn’t making him happy. When he was out-of-town I was tied up in knots because I worried about what he was doing. Should I have left years ago? Of course, but he didn’t reveal his true-self all at once. He did itslowly over time. Think of a bucket being filled by one drop of water at a time. It takes a long time before the bucket overflows. So don’t judge your friend who finds herself in my position. Listen to her. Don’t rebuke her for not leaving sooner. Hug her. Offer support anyway you can. Don’t exclude her because she is no longer a couple. And certainly do NOT remain friends with her abusive ex-husband.
If I could give advice to any woman who is living with a narcissist, it would be to read as much as you can about narcissism and how narcissists manipulate their victims. I would encourage her to find someone to share any secrets i.e. his cheating, his addictions, his crimes. Had I come forward the first time I found out what he was doing, I might have received support from my friends. However the shame he created in me, kept me silent. Silence is a killer. It kills your spirit. So speak up. Leaving is scary. I am facing homelessness at 56 because I was a stay-at-home mom and with no full-time work experience since 1984, I can’t get any business to take a chance on me.
Why do I write about this again? I write about this again because I can’t just dump the over-flowing bucket of abuse. It leaves as slowly as it came. Now I have a small hole in the bottom of the bucket and daily a little more of it drains out. It is just going to take time, a lot of time. Sadly I don’t have time when it comes to a job. While my ex enjoys a life in the lap of luxury, ignores his children and pretends he never destroyed lives, I work to survive and they learn to accept life as fatherless children.
Yesterday I received a survey from Austin Trail of Lights asking me about my experience. There was one question asking who I came with and how many people there were. They had one HUGE error. There was no selection for anyone who might have gone alone. It was assumed that to go you wouldn’t go alone.
I find this mentality is pervasive in our society. Even when you go online to book a room at a hotel, it is automatically set to 2 people. Restaurant hosts look at you odd when you say just 1. The movie ticket booth isn’t any different. I’ve taken to buying my tickets online to avoid the odd stare.
There is a difference between being alone and lonely. I was lonely when I was married. Even though someone shared my bed, my home, my life it was hollow and empty. I wasn’t alone but I was desperately lonely. I don’t mind going places alone. I have traveled alone because I didn’t want to wait to see places and experience new things. That being said, I do get lonely. It’s not easy making friends especially at this age. I have no home which means no neighbors. I have no children in school so no classmate parents. I don’t have a spouse’s co-workers or a job of my own with co-workers. Churches aren’t generally friendly places. I know they like to think differently but typically there is nothing more than a nod or a quick handshake. Very few are willing to go the extra mile and reach out.
I pray I don’t spend the rest of my life alone but I can guarantee you either way I won’t be lonely.
I was hit by a crashing wave yesterday. It was totally unexpected. I had actually gotten up and went to church. It was small but definitely the friendliest one I’ve visited. I stopped at the grocery store on the way home.
I finished reading the latest book on my list and posted a review. I cleaned up my apartment. I made plans to go see my daughter this week. It was a good day and then out of the blue I was hit by a wave of depression.
It was unexpected and it hit hard. I was knocked for a loop. I began sending increasingly depressing texts to my younger daughter until she finally called her sister. Who in turn called me very upset.
Her tears were flowing and so were mine. I was sobbing. I was having trouble breathing. I had no explanation initially for why I had gone over the edge of sadness.
My therapist says I shouldn’t worry about a job right mow. Maybe he’s right but I need employment and not a $7.25/hr job cleaning toilets. I believe it’s my overwhelming sense of fear that I will end up homeless because I can’t find a decent job is what drives my depression. I would have fought for more when I divorced had I known AGE discrimination and discrimination against FULL-TIME STAY at HOME MOMS and WIVES was so prevalent. I’m smart. I learn quickly. I’m good with people. I have the skills required for the jobs I apply so why do I have an inbox full of Rejections?
I am going to try an experiment. I am going to reapply for a job that recently sent me a basic rejection letter. I’m going to apply with my legal first name and maiden name then change all my dates by 30 years so I will be 26 rather than 56 and see what happens. My gut says I will be offered an interview. If so, it will be a clear case of age discrimination. If this happens I will contact an attorney.
It is sad I am having to go to such lengths to find a job. I will let know what happens.
I watched A&E’s tv show Intervention. It focuses on drug addicts that agree to do a documentary but in the end there is an intervention. Two things stood out to me while watching the show:
1st: I missed multiple opportunities to insist on intervention with my ex-husband and his addictions. Had I been honest with myself and my friends from the first time the police called, there might have been a chance to save him and save our marriage. But instead just like some of the family members on the tv show, I chose to ignore the seriousness of his addictions and how destructive they were and still are.
2nd: I saw too many silimaritirs between drug addiction and the way it destroys families and my depression. I don’t drink or use drugs but I’ve allowed my depression to become an addiction. I’ve taken steps to get help and I’m slowly getting better. But seeing first hand how heartbroken the families are watching their loved ones suffer and how much suffering it causes them made me realize I have to fight harder.
I have to fight every second of every day to forgive myself for allowing my ex-husband to mentally and emotionally abuse me. I have to fight to forgive myself for not leaving. I have to forgive myself for disappointing my daughters.
I have wonderful girls. They make me proud and happy everyday. They along with my son-in-law have stood by me. They have been strong and stood up to their father and refused to accept his behavior and his failure to admit his addictions and how he has hurt our family. They’ve also been strong and stood up to me and told me they know I can do better, be better and be happier.
All I can do is face the reality of my situation and fight my way back. I never deserved to be treated the way I was. I never deserved to be disrespected, ignored or cheated on. I deserve so much more.
I’ve been a talker my entire life. So much so it’s become a reoccurring joke with my family and friends. I always thought I chattered away because I was nervous and wanted to fill the empty space. Recently another possibility was presented to me. Do I talk too much so I don’t have to recognize what I am feeling? Do I use words to cover up my emotions?
I think there is a real chance this is true. When I was married, knowing in my gut my husband wasn’t faithful and I struggled with insecurity, I talked. If was busy talking I didn’t have to admit I was feeling insecure and why. If I admitted my husband wasn’t faithful then I would have to do something about it.
When I am in a social setting and feel like a square peg in a round hole, I chatter. I don’t have to admit I’m feeling scared or worried about being accepted. The words delay having to deal with my emotions.
Just as some people withdraw into themselves to ignore their emotions, I talk over mine. It’s time I’m quiet and listen to the sounds of my heart.