Calamity Jennye

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


This is a scary thing for me to come out and talk about but I've said from the beginning I was going to be honest here and I can't be honest without addressing this subject.
I know there are other women in the world going through what I have and much much worse and I do all of us a disservice if I don't use my tiny little space here to talk honestly about my life.
There are many that I risk offending by what I am about to say but I think it is so important that I have to work through it.
Tonight I had a conversation with my father in law about his thoughts that my husband and I should find someone to help us work through our issues in arbitration rather than with lawyers. I was amazed, while listening to him, and trying to stay calm, to realize that I was crying, and practically shaking in terror.
I explained to him that I do not trust anyone to not be fooled by my husband. The one thing I am afraid of is sitting in a room with him and just one other person and watching him convince them of things that are not true.

There is very little I could lose through this process that actually matters to me. Nothing at all to be honest. My daughter is the only thing I want out of this marriage and if I could walk away with her I would even leave behind every momento I have from my dead mother that is left in that house. It is not the results of the conversation that make me afraid. It is literally the conversation itself.
I have spent so many years being utterly manipulated and clearly lied to by this man that I just can't even begin to fathom choosing to sit in a room with him. I can't imagine how, in that room, I will not have to hear more lies. And he is so convincing that I really can't imagine the "unbiased, arbiter" not being charmed into believing everything he has to say.
Knowing that where it comes to 90% of what we have to work out I couldn't care less makes me realize just how deep my fear of him is.
Talking through this also makes me realize what an insidious thing manipulation is. That I could spend so many years of my life perfectly content to take the manipulation, but that now just the thought of speaking to him can strike terror into my heart really says something to me.

I finally worked up enough courage about 2 1/2 years ago to confront my husband about the ways I felt he treated me inappropriately. I was brave enough to say I felt abused, that I felt like his emotional manipulation was inappropriate, and I even went so far as to say that I thought he had a problem with his drinking. I remember the conversation so clearly, not all the words exactly but where we walked, all the tears, and even the way he finally seemed to hear me in the end.
I felt like he really did hear me because it was an argument, there was no immediate agreement, nothing that felt fake. It truly seemed like we worked through things to a point where we could begin to move forward. I want to look at this positively. Maybe he's not 100% manipulative as I fear, maybe this was a good conversation where he realized that what we had was worth fighting for. (although I can't imagine someone could do such an about face as this so quickly) After that conversation we even went to see a counselor. We went once a week for three or four months. There were some moments during the counseling where he seemed to latch on to something here and there. Although I have to say for the most part I felt like he had our counselor wrapped around his little finger and when the day came that we decided to move and he had something new to look forward to and plan the counseling didn't matter at all.
I guess looking back on those counseling sessions and seeing the way that he seemed to let the counselor push him but then had no interest in following through on anything she said plays some part in my current fears. Knowing how many counselors, psychologists, paid professionals he's convinced over the years that he is someone he is not, the ways he jokes about his ability to manipulate these counseling situations and get exactly what he wants out of them, gives me no confidence in anyones ability to handle him.

I wish I had some clear cut place this is all going. Some words of wisdom to offer up to others in my situation, or worse. I don't. The only thing I can say now is the thing I've said all along if you feel it, it's probably true. Those gut instincts, the little voices. Listen to them.
For now, I think I will. I have no idea what the right answer is, what my next step is supposed to be exactly. It's been a week of bad news and fear. I know those weeks are bound to come. But I am trying to follow my instincts and be honest and right now, at least today, that means arbitration with someone I've never met would be a bad idea.

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