Letters To My Husband - Number 2

Saturday, 4 July 2020

Dear Husband,

If you’ve read my last letter to you already, you’re probably wondering why I’m writing these things about you. I’m writing so I can heal. I’m writing so other women and men can know they don’t have to suffer in silence and hide the shame of their abusers. You see, the shame carried around by the abused isn’t our shame to carry; it’s YOUR shame. We are so kind that we hide it for you. I’m not hiding it anymore. I kept your abuse hidden from the world for far too long.

I know that you read all of my blogs and probably read every Facebook post and watch every video that I make. I know you’re following me on social media because the same mutual “friend” who gave you the ammunition to stalk and harass my neighbors, friends, and family told me so. She said that you now know what you did wrong. You told her that I love Jesus, and can’t live with alcoholism. While those things are true, not loving Jesus and being an addict isn’t necessarily what you did “wrong.” 

The wrong that you did is so much deeper than that. During a recent therapy session, I sent my therapist the most recent video I made describing only a few violent episodes. I provided little detail of the beatings. I watched him cry and wipe the tears from his face. My therapist is a grown man who I think has great strength. Just learning of a tiny bit of your abuse brought him to tears. After my therapy session ended, I called up a friend to ask him if he also cried after watching that video. He did. It was in that moment that I began to realize how terrible your actions were. Your abuse makes grown men cry; real men cry when they learn the ways you tortured me.

All those years you blamed me for the abuse that you, and you alone dished out. You told me you yelled at me and called me names because I made you angry. You had me believing for years that I controlled your emotions and behaviors. If only I could figure out how to keep you from being angry, you would be nice to me. If I could somehow make you happy, maybe you would stop calling me names and putting me down in front of our beautiful daughters. Every time you insulted me in front of them, I loved you a little less. I remember thinking that I never want a man to treat them the way you treat me, and I had to fix it. Do you remember when I asked you how you think you will feel when your daughters come to you broken, telling you their husbands or boyfriends have been abusing them? To this day, I’m still awaiting a response to this question.

I remember the turning point for me. I remember the day I started to realize you don’t actually love your family. Sierra was an infant; she was still nursing. I kept the breast pump supplies and bottles in some plastic drawers in the kitchen. You had been out all night the night before drinking and doing drugs like you did most nights back then. I got up in the morning to feed our baby and pump milk for her. What I discovered when I opened up the drawers to get my pumping supplies horrified me. You had urinated in the drawers.

I felt humiliated. I was heartbroken. I was disgusted. I felt angry. I felt as though you did not love our new baby. If you loved her, why would you urinate in her feeding supplies? I couldn’t understand why you disliked her so much. This wasn’t the first time something like that had happened. There was another night a few weeks after she was born that you urinated in the laundry basket that housed all of her clean, folded clothes. To make it even worse, when I confronted you about it, you yelled at me. How dare I accuse you of such a thing. You lied and said you didn’t do it. You were so convincing, but there wasn’t another option. This was the first time I began to recognize your gaslighting, though I didn’t know it was called gaslighting at the time.

You are a master gaslighter. You have mastered manipulation, and it’s so scary. You always told me you weren’t abusing me. You would even have me believing that I was the abuser, and you were the victim. I know now that was just part of the abuse. You needed to make me feel like I was the crazy one. You needed me to keep your abuse a secret, so you ensured that I would feel as though I would be the one in trouble if I ever told anyone. On the occasions that I did find the courage to speak out, you would turn it all around and convince the person I had told that I was the one abusing you. I eventually stopped trying to tell anyone and resigned to suffering in silence.

I’ve heard that you’re sober. I’m so glad to know that you’re sober now. I’m glad because I now know for certain that your issues are much deeper than your addiction. There is something deep inside you that is broken. I don’t know if you can ever be fixed. I am certainly not going to stick around to find out. I no longer hold onto the hope that you will be sober and we will have a happy, healthy life together. I know that isn’t possible with you. I also know that saying this puts me in danger of retaliation. It must be said. 

God has promised to keep me safe from you, and I stand firm on that promise. He took me out of the danger that was our marriage. He kept me alive during our marriage, and He will continue to keep me safe and to provide all my needs. My life verse, Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a hope and a future.”

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