At age 38, I gained the courage to leave a 20-year verbally abusive marriage. Leaving Earl was the most frightening experience of my life. I got married to him right out of high-school and had never lived on my own. I knew that it was up to me to nurture and raise my teen-age children. I was terrified that if I did not get support, that I would become a bag lady. I also feared getting sick and not having anyone to care for me, as I had previously suffered for three years with an illness that almost took my life.
Side Note: It’s interesting to me how much older and sadder I looked before I divorced Earl, than after. It’s amazing what stress and unhappiness does to ones spirit. You can really see the difference in both my eyes and my smile.
I cried for the first week that I left Earl. I kept second guessing myself, asking if I did the right thing or if I could have done anything differently in order to of saved my marriage from divorce. I had little support. My friends from church told me that I was a sinner and was going to go to hell because God hates divorce. My parents were deceased and my sister lived over one-thousand miles away. However, amidst the turmoil I met my dear friend Liz, who coached me through my divorce. She was there when I needed to cry and celebrated with me when I wanted to laugh.
Earl turned out to be a man of his word and paid his alimony and child-support in a timely manner. He was not very involved in my children’s lives and this hurt me as I believed they were missing out. Interestingly, within a year many friends came forward and stated that they watched my son blossom into a confident young man after I divorced his father. Looking back, I can see that we were all walking around on egg shells waiting to see what moves we should make, based on Earl’s mood at the time. This is no way for a person to live, especially not a child.
At the time, I didn’t even realize how bad the verbal abuse was and how it affected my children and me. I didn’t even believe that verbal abuse existed. I thought it was all a bunch of crock until I had the following awakening.
Mike (my current husband) and I were sitting in his truck at a park drinking 32-ounce sodas we had just bought from In-N-Out. I spilled my drink all over his truck. Mike, being the happy-go-lucky guy he is, jumped out of the truck, grabbed a rag and started cleaning it up. I curled up into a ball facing the passenger door and began to chant, “I’m sorry.” I was expecting to be yelled at that I destroyed the truck and to be reminded how stupid and clumsy I was. This is the reaction I had grown to expect, because it is what Earl would have done.
Mike looked at me quizzically and stated, “Baby, you have nothing to be sorry about.” I was not used to being treated so kind. I began to weep. Mike crawled back into the wet sticky seat and held me for three solid hours as I sobbed and released all of the abuse that I had suffered. This is when I realized that verbal abusive does exist. I realized how deeply scarred a person could become, just by the words of another.
I worked for Social Services and began to see similar patterns of my female clients, whom were in abusive relationships. My own experiences helped me to empathize and truly see what they were going through. They, like me had a low self-esteem and did not feel worthy of happiness or of good things that life has to offer.
This is why I became a certified divorce coach. It brings me great joy, to be able to bring women hope for their future. I love watching them transform from a life of fear into a life of purpose. I know that I would not have been able to reach and help as many women as I have, had it not been for the experiences I had. I believe that every experience we have can be used to help another person that is going through the same or similar challenge.
I would love to have the opportunity to speak to you about the challenges you are currently facing. Click here if you would like to have conversation with me.
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