Why throw a birthday party and the guest of honor doesn’t show? And other reasons I can’t stand Christmas…

Well, here I sit again with thoughts swirling in my brain, except these thoughts have jagged edges and are tearing my psyche up so; I need to release them so…. Hear I am again, with yet another rant of sorts. As Christmas approaches, I have tried to focus on the positives of the season; family, friends, smiles, beautiful lights, yummy treats etc. but unfortunately, the negatives of the season keep elbowing those lovely thoughts out. Thoughts like “no money”, “you’re single and alone”, “and you really shouldn’t have treats since you’re so fat”. It’s those thoughts that have left me in a state of depression that wants to end it and just disappear. It’s hard to get up every morning and just merely survive rather than live. This level of sadness occurred in 2010 after my separation and divorce and hasn’t shaken since then. Part of my problem isn’t just mere sadness; it’s also deep-seeded anger. Anger towards my ex for tossing me away like trash, leaving me feeling worthless and alone, sure, I think anyone can understand that. It’s hard to celebrate family when your family is ripped apart by divorce. As a woman, wife and mother, I sacrificed a tremendous amount in an effort to make my husband and sons happy and apparently, I failed. It’s an awful feeling realizing that nearly 20 years of your life given to a person isn’t enough. It hurts and it pisses me off but honestly, my anger towards him pales in comparison to my anger towards God. I remember when I asked my ex his biblical reasoning for our divorce he quoted Matthew 9; 7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.” My ex said his heart was hard towards me so, he felt justified in his divorce due to this verse. I asked him, “Did I do anything biblically wrong?” His response was no. So our divorce went through and he was blessed with a new marriage. I asked God, “How can this be when you consider the very next verse in Matthew, “.9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries woman commits adultery.” I didn’t commit adultery so, God, why are you blessing my ex who, according to your Word, is clearly committing adultery? I heard nothing from God. My anger and bitterness toward God only grew.

Angry at God? Why would anyone be angry at Him? In 2003, I gave my life to God. I trusted Him with my life, my marriage and my family. When my then husband asked to separate in 2010, I prayed with everything I could to God to please restore my marriage. From March to August (when the divorce was final), I prayed that He would heal our hearts and bring us back together, stronger. We had been through difficult times before; times apart due to incarceration, we prayed together to end his addiction to pornography (I stayed, despite everything in my being wanting to walk away), rough times with our children, helping them with issues and problems. I couldn’t understand how we couldn’t make it now. I prayed wholeheartedly and earnestly to God, I asked others to pray and they did but to no avail. In August, the divorce was final and I was left devastated and alone. I asked God why and I heard nothing. I asked God if it was REALLY Him who said give the boys and our furniture to my ex and again, I heard nothing. I couldn’t understand why a God who was so loving would leave me so desolate and miserable. How can that be classified as love? I continued to go to church pursuing Him but received nothing. After nearly 2 years of this, I realized that I had nothing more to give Him. My anger and bitterness clouded any bit of wanting to praise Him and love Him. I love my church families; I have been involved in some wonderful churches filled with kind, genuine people who continue to pray for me to this day. I realized my church life was a lie, nothing more than a performance for those around me. I wanted them to believe I was still a good, church and god loving woman but the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. I finally confided to some close friends of where I was at with God and my desire to walk away from Him and the church. They, of course, tried to talk me out of it but I just didn’t feel the “fake it till you make it” premise was working so, I walked away. I know that there are so many, in and out of the church, who love me and for that I am thankful. It is that love and the love from my family that has sustained me in recent years and has kept me from ending it. That and the addition of my surprise granddaughter have brought me some of the joy I once had. But my anger and bitterness towards God hasn’t subsided. I see Him blessing my ex with everything he ever wanted; a house in the country, a new wife (younger and prettier), a new family and even a new baby that even my ex admitted was a new beginning to make things right after handling our own sons’ infancy so poorly. I’ve heard of him being surrounded by gifts and love from all this while I sat alone at Christmas and New Years. Why would a man who was an adulterer, a liar and a thief be so blessed while I was alone, crying myself to sleep on Christmas Eve? Is that fair? I’ve never understood it and probably never will but what’s the past is the past.

So, here I sit, another Christmas season with the same questions and thoughts roaming in my brain except this year, there’s more. This year, I’ve seen a horrible rift occur between the church and the LGBTQ community and I can’t help but be angry by it. I don’t understand how, in the year 2014, we’re still discussing equality. Why are Christians trying so hard to not allow gays to marry? Is it really that pressing an issue in the mind of God? Is it more important than feeding the poor or healing the sick? I am a straight woman who is an ally to the LGBTQ community. I have made friends within that community who are wonderful. Why is there such discord between these 2 groups, the gay community and the church? What benefit is it to anyone? Of course, considering my past, I have to ask the church the question, God hates divorce and adultery too but I don’t see the church with protest signs at the courthouse requesting that divorce be made illegal? Why is that? Frequent studies have proven that the divorce rate within the church is just as high as it is in the world? It pisses me off tremendously to hear repeatedly about the church wanting to preserve the sanctity of marriage when you can’t even preserve it within your own community!

I still want to believe that God loves me and all who inhabit the earth. I understand that no one can truly understand his ways. How many of us have asked “why is their sickness and pain?” No one truly understands why, I don’t think. But here I sit, another Christmas season, feeling alone, worthless and sad. My boys are grown and have their own lives. It’s hard to want to celebrate the birth of Christ when it feels like He has no desire to be around me. It feels likes throwing a party for someone and they don’t show up. Who wants to do that? I long for the day when I feel true joy again; joy with people and with God but for now, I continue to just survive and hang onto a small thread of hope.

Invisible Abuse vs. Irrepressible Me

Invisible Abuse vs. Irrepressible Me

Today, I have a topic on the brain that I need to release for my own personal catharsis and that’s partner abuse. Now, I am extremely fortunate that I have never been the victim of physical abuse, thank God. For those who have, you have my heartfelt empathy for what you have endured and I hope you are free of that shit once and for all. No, the abuse that’s been heavy on my cranium lately has been emotional abuse. I am fairly certain (although I have no statistical research to back me up) that nearly everyone, men and women, have been the victim of this particular assault. Emotional abuse is when a person manipulates a person through the use of a verbal assault (a more aggressive approach) such as name-calling, blaming, threatening or ordering. A less subtle approach may appear in the form of criticizing or problem-solving which, in a healthy relationship, is two people discussing a situation on equal footing. Abuse is when a person uses a situation to try to prove they are better than other and they end up belittling the other person. Another form of this abuse is denying another person, sometimes taking the form of the “silent treatment” which is a manipulative tool in getting the partner to agree with the abuser wholeheartedly. Another form, and one I’m very familiar with is, minimizing. An abuser will tell a person they’re too sensitive or they’re blowing something out of proportion in an effort to convince a person that they’re emotions are faulty, not to be trusted and in need of help,all of which tends to cycle around itself and can be profoundly damaging to the self-esteem of a person. This lack of esteem can lead a person to question and mistrust their own perceptions and emotional experience. When that happens, many victims will remain with an abuser in an effort to be “repaired” by the abuser or they stay simply because their esteem has been so destroyed they don’t believe anyone else will love them.

Scary stuff huh? You’re damn right. Now, I’m about to dive into some personal stuff involving people you may know. If you think you may be offended or upset by that, PLEASE STOP READING NOW. The title of this blog includes the word “uncensored” and that’s exactly what it’ll be. What I’m going to share is true based on my experiences and what I know to be fact from my life. There are some who say I’m a liar. Eh.. why sugarcoat it, my ex-husband says I’m a liar but, everything I am going to share is the truth as I know it and I would swear on a stack of bibles on it.

My previous post detailed my life as a fat kid growing into a fat adult. My whole life I’ve struggled with self-acceptance and self-love because I felt I was inferior to others. As I’ve said previously, that’s a crock of shit. I am beautiful regardless of size. I know that now but back in the 80’s, I had no clue. I met a cute guy who was fun to hang around with. We did all kinds of stuff us crazy 80’s kids did back then; drugs, drinking, sex, rock n roll. It was a decadent time and we all embraced the carefree attitude of the era. Jack and I were no exception. Unfortunately, the fun times came to a screeching halt when a team of officers came banging on my door in the middle of the night and hauled away my cute boyfriend. That arrest led to several years of arrests, lawyers, bail money and such. I did everything I knew to do to take care of what I could legally. In the midst of all that, I had 2 sons and went to school to learn a trade. Throughout the 90’s, I allowed myself to believe that this was the best I could get so, I had to do whatever it took to keep Jack. I alienated myself from my family, I lied, repeatedly, to my parents to get money. I lost friends and struggled to maintain my sanity. Jack and I got married and during the course of 7 years separated more times than I can recall, all at his insistence. I can now see how manipulative he was back then, whenever Jack wasn’t getting what he wanted, he would leave knowing I would beg him to stay or come back by promising him I would do whatever he wanted. It became an ugly, controlling cycle that I knew was wrong but every time he would leave, I would panic. “What if I never find anyone else?!” “No one else will want me! Look at me!” “I’m going to spend my life alone!” It tore me up inside. In 1997, Jack was arrested a final time and sent to prison for 4 years. Here I was, a single mother of 2 young sons. Now was the time for me to “put up or shut up”. I’m proud to say, I did pretty well. I took care of my boys with 2 jobs. They didn’t have everything but they never went to bed hungry. We were pretty happy and content. I was, of course, lonely. This was the beginning of the internet revolution and I found refuge in chat rooms. I even finally had the courage to file for divorce and in 2000, it was final. Whew! Let the healing begin, right?

Wellll… not exactly..   At the beginning of 2001, I received a letter from Jack, asking me to consider a reconciliation. He had established a new relationship with God and felt he knew now how to be a proper husband. It will be different, he promised. It will be wonderful, he promised. The reality is, despite the divorce, I still loved him so, I gave in and agreed to the reconciliation. In 2002, he was released and we were remarried in 2003. We became good, church going folks who appeared to have an idyllic marriage. The reality was far from the truth. No, there were no separations like last time but the controlling and manipulation continued. Now, before people think I’m a horrible person just playing the “blame game”, I know I was manipulative too. I used the “silent treatment” in order to manipulate situations into my way too. I think a man’s reaction to it is different though. I’d love a man’s take on it, if anyone is daring enough to share. Anyway… let’s just say, there was A LOT of repressed feelings and hurts within both of us. We both just swallowed our pain towards each other rather than open up and truly share with each other and this created a tremendous amount of conflict. Eventually, in 2010, Jack wanted a separation. At first, I figured it was temporary, this had happened so many times before. He even told Jason (my oldest son) “no” when Jason asked if we were divorcing. I figured Jack had some issues to work out and then we would get back together refreshed. I soon found out I was wrong. Our separation was in March 2010. In June 2010, I received an email that said, and I quote, “hey, I’ve drawn up divorce papers, can you come by tonight so we can go over them?” Yes, that’s right, an EMAIL was the first time the word “divorce” had been brought up. A pussy move if I’ve ever seen one but I digress..   I went over, read the papers, said “yeah, sure, whatever” and threw them in his face. 2010 was one of the hardest years of my life, I was faced with separation again, living alone in a state that was not my home, trying to help my sons handle the divorce, healing myself, regaining my footing as a confident woman and dealing with the lies and manipulations of an abuser. I was lied to about the women he began seeing, the money he was spending and the time he was spending with our sons. It all came to a head when in December of 2010, Christmas time, I ran into Jack and his then fiancée at a store. I was devastated. How could he move on so quickly? Was I THAT easy to replace? Was I that worthless? I was shaken to my core. In January 2011, Jack informed me that he was marrying Mandy and moving Kris to her house 1.5 hours away from me. During our divorce, I made the huge mistake of not reading the paperwork closely enough and found myself paying child support for Kris (did I mention I took care of both my sons while he was in prison for 4 years with NOTHING from him?) and being the sole provider of transportation to and from Gravette in order to spend time with Kris. Throughout all this, Jack frequently bullied me into getting his way by using my pain and love against me. Essentially, it was emotional abuse and I may not have had physical bruises from it but, trust me, I felt the same brutality as if I had.

So… why this rant? Because I want you to know that emotional abuse is VERY real and it can be stopped. Just like any other abusive relationship, get out, get help and know your worth. Everyone reading this is absolutely priceless and irreplaceable. You may feel like shit but trust me, you are beautiful and wonderful and another person will see you for you are and treat you as such. For a long time, I hated my divorce and being single again but now, I love it. My life is going as I see fit. It isn’t perfect but it is ALL mine and I’m living it on my terms. ((hugs))       Peace,   the irrepressible Kimberly