The Short Version of How it All Went Down

I’ve come to suspect that my physical problems must have something to do with my bowels. I have been increasingly constipated for the last few months for no reason whatsoever. It’s gotten to the point where I drink three glasses of fiber powder water a day to get things moving. I think that must mean that something is sorta blocked. Sorry to be so graphic. I imagine the next test my doctor is going to recommend is a colonoscopy. And why not? I’ve suffered every other indignity!

I’m walking around quite hurt and down right now as it sinks in how fully I have been rejected and mistreated. I keep telling myself that I’d rather be me, on this side of the sh*t than be the one who is the inflicting the pain and misery on someone else.

I can’t imagine why my husband has dangled that shred of hope in front of me these last few months other than to make me feel complacent. Of course it’s possible that he has mixed feelings or might want to keep me nearby in case his new relationship doesn’t work out. But him telling me to “wait and trust him” is no longer going to work for me.

I’m only going to give him this next week to provide me with some sort of binding agreement that he will share his proceeds from his lawsuit with me. If he won’t cough it up, as I have asked him to do for months, I will go meet with an attorney. I must have protection. I have lost so much.

As I’ve mentioned before when I met him I was fresh from a divorce from my best friend. I ruined that relationship with numerous suicide attempts, constant anxiety, and stays in the psych ward. No one would want to stay married to that, not even my best friend. I don’t blame him. After 18 years of marriage we went our separate ways. The biggest regret of my life.

I’m convinced that in my case, all the psychiatric drugs I was on had a worsening effect on me, not to mention how they made me gain massive amounts of weight which made me hate myself for after 10+ years of treatment, I only got worse and worse.

But my next boyfriend who is now my estranged husband told me he wanted “someone to take care of” but the translation of that was that he wanted to have a relationship with an American woman because he wanted to get his family out of London. I didn’t know at the time of his history of running away from everything.

I’m not saying he didn’t like me or didn’t help me. I’ve mentioned at times how much he did help me to grow. But he came into the relationship without a penny and refused to work for anyone and so I slowly cashed in everything I had taken out of my last marriage. When I met him I owned my condo free and clear, I had two small 401ks, a bit of savings, a reliable car, and a great credit rating. Over time I lost all of that and instead of him taking action to change things, he got angrier and angrier at me.

It’s easy to blame me and get mad at me when I’m depressed and anxious all the time. I kept telling him at my age I just needed a bit of stability, but he thought that was ridiculous and an excuse.

We moved back and forth from America to the UK and that sucked up a lot of money. Every time we moved from one place to the other I would put my belongings into storage and kill myself packing. I’d give my car to my daughter to assuage my guilt over leaving her. Then nine months later we were back here, buying another car to replace the one I gave away. We’d be here for six or eight months and then his family would present us with an offer back in London and we’d go there, only to have them burn us three times. Three times his father offered us an opportunity and three times when we got there he yanked it back.

Not to mention that three times I actually shipped 20 boxes back and forth from west coast USA to London because I thought we were making a permanent decision. Do you know what it costs to send your belongings across the world?

The last stint in London was horrific and was filled with abuse. Most of it was emotional abuse, with unspeakable name calling and belittling and making me feel everything was my fault. But it also included some physical violence which made me truly believe I might not live through the experience. I had a couple of suicide attempts in London and once I even wrote anonymously to a women’s abuse hotline. They wrote back and told me to call the police or consider going home.

I began to go numb during that last year and barely had the energy to argue anymore. But he did. He’d have some irritating conversation with his mother and then come home and take it out on me. The houses in London are brick and no one can hear you screaming and crying.

I knew I had to get away from him with the last money I had in the world, but then he needed some surgery. So we waited for that and I nursed him during weeks of recovery and as soon as he got the ok, I bought our tickets for home. I had threatened many times to go without him, but I knew he would not let me. I decided to buy his ticket and leave him when we were here. I felt I had no other choice.

Friends from the USA had been sending us emails about business opportunities and we were getting excited. They knew we had no money, but we had expertise and enthusiasm and time and they said we could slowly buy out our share. But when we arrived here it became clear right away that there was no opportunity.

We had been staying in a hotel and had no place to go. My family disliked my husband so I didn’t even ask them if we could stay at their house.

Because I had purchased round trip tickets from London to the USA and back again, when the date to leave came up my husband and I decided that he would go home and stay with his family and I would stay here with my family while we try to decide what to do. I spent $150 to change his ticket and he was going to leave the next day.

Then we had a knock at the door and these friends offered him a job and insisted he stay. They said not to worry but within weeks the tension was too difficult to live with and it became clear that this couple had a lot more problems than we thought with alcoholism and immoral ways of doing business. My husband and I knew we were helpless, hopeless, and now too broke to even come up with enough money for him to go home.

I began to try to assist him with helping people market their companies, which he did now and then, but rarely charged them for, and one day as I got ready to go do that, my husband began berating me and calling me names and I snapped. I told him to be quiet and let me pack but he wouldn’t. I said that’s it, I’m going.

He wouldn’t stop calling me names. I said, “Look, I have the right to pack in peace without you calling me names. If you don’t stop, I’ll call the police.”

He dared me to.

I held the phone in my hand. He egged me on. The moment I finished with the last one in 911, he was pissed at me for doing it and said he’d stop but you can’t really undo a 911 call. Once you’ve dialed it, you have some ‘splainin’ to do. I told them I was safe and that he said he’d let me finish packing and he’d leave me alone, but they said they had to come to make sure I wasn’t saying that under duress.

The police stood by as I packed up the car and drove off. My husband stood there calm and collected and tried to make me out to be more nuts than I am. He made it sound like he was an innocent victim.

I slept on my parent’s couch because my daughter had been staying temporarily in my paren’t guest bedroom. I didn’t take a phone call from him for a month during which time he threatened to take the car I paid for away because I had bought it in his name. My daughter sat me down and said she was done with him and didn’t ever want him in her life again.

Then I began to cave in because he pursued me night and day. I have saved all the pleas and begging that he sent in emails and text. That’s why it’s so funny that my own pleas, many months later, fell on deaf ears. He no longer cared and could no longer be reached.

Eventually we could not pay our rent or utilities and the stress was unbearable. He began going out one night then two then three and within a couple of months he was gone seven nights a week. I naively thought we were both only doing what we had to do to get by until his lawsuit was resolved. But the truth is that he was finding someone new and falling out of love with me. I was oblivious to it.

It’s especially mean that in our dire straights, he was still coming to me with an open hand for his cigarette money and to buy a beer when he went out.

One night he came home and stood in the doorway to the bedroom and spoke to me as though I were a complete stranger, telling me he was done with me and my horrible, negative behavior. How he had given me every chance on earth but I will never change. He said if I didn’t go, he would. I said, “Okay.”

He stood there in that doorway completely unfeeling and cold. He said, “Don’t do anything stupid.” And then he left for the night. I knew that he knew I would do something stupid. He knows me very well.

I wrote a suicide note and downed a vodka drink and more than 40 klonopen. It was all I had.

The next few days are a blur. I was in the ER for several days and then down to the psych ward for over a week. When you’ve had an overdose of klonopen you do speak, and you can understand what other people say to you, but you have no recollection of it later on. At least that has been my experience twice. Completely blank. No memory at all.

When I came to my parent’s house after more than 10 days in the hospital I was resolved to never go back to him, but in the weeks that followed I became so weak and frightened. He refused to see me so I drove near our apartment just to be near him and I took another overdose, this time with whatever I could find.

I sat there in the car a half a block from where he was and took the pills and waited. Soon my heart began to pound extremely fast and I could hardly breathe. My brain felt like someone was twisting it. I thought to myself, ‘This is no way to go, in acute pain.” So I dialed 911.

The dispatcher asked me questions but I could hardly respond. I set the phone on the passenger seat and felt nauseated. I opened my car door and fell on to the wet grass in front of someone’s house and vomited. I could hardly move or breathe.

A man walking by stopped and asked if I was ok, but I could not respond. He could hear the dispatcher on my phone in the car, perhaps I had it on speaker. He spoke to her and she told him help was coming.

He came back to me and put his hand on my back and tried to comfort me. I was writhing in a ball on the grass unable to speak or even open my eyes. The paramedics soon came and then I was in and out of it for a couple of days again. But I do recall the catheter and the breathing tube.

I came home from the hospital defeated and yet I’ve tried all these months to get him to take me back. I put my family through all that hell. I can’t fathom what it’s like to live with someone who thinks suicide is a sensible option. I’m so embarrassed about my actions and have vowed to never do anything like that ever again.

And I know I won’t. That’s the only thing I’m sure of. I have finally put that chapter of my life aside. It took me far too long to learn that lesson.

What a price I have paid.

In the meantime my husband would agree to see me once every two or three weeks just to keep me hanging on. We’d make love and I did ask him if he had someone else in his life and he said, “No. It’s not like that.” And I decided to believe him. Every time I saw him I’d end up giving him money, from $20 to $60 which made me feel cheap and used.

But soon he would no longer let me into my own apartment filled with my things. He would call me and flirt and want to get naughty on the phone, but I finally said no. I didn’t want to play that way anymore. I could tell he was using me and worse than that, he was playing with my head and my heart.

It’s taken almost four months of humiliation, lies, manipulation and deceit for me to finally understand that he is playing both sides and that he seems to have no idea how deeply he hurt me. If you had an unstable spouse that you wanted to be rid of, would you play with their head? I would not.

So there you have it, a really short version of what transpired. I kept a private blog with all the details of our many fights and all the abuse and all the wrong decisions we made together. It would be interesting reading if it weren’t happening to me.

I am so ashamed of my own actions, and that I let myself be swayed by this man. My entire family disliked him from the beginning, but I would not listen. I thought it was because they had never met such an outspoken, opinionated person before and they didn’t know how to deal with one, but it was much more than that.

I am fairly certain that they all would have put up with him nicely if he had in any way helped to support me. My family are working class and even I have worked extremely hard since I was 15 years old until my late 40s when I was no longer able to.

But my husband has not kept a job for more than six months in his entire life. And he expects his family to support him because they raised him to be a prince, and he is a prince.

I don’t think my husband set out to ruin me, but that is what happened. And that is why I feel entitled to at least 50% of his award for this damned lawsuit. I know that any judge would agree.

I’m a fool and I’ve been stupid, but I’ve also been wronged.

In closing:

William Congreve, in The Mourning Bride, 1697:

As you’ll answer it, take heed
This Slave commit no Violence upon
Himself. I’ve been deceiv’d. The Publick Safety
Requires he should be more confin’d; and none,
No not the Princes self, permitted to
Confer with him. I’ll quit you to the King.
Vile and ingrate! too late thou shalt repent
The base Injustice thou hast done my Love:
Yes, thou shalt know, spite of thy past Distress,
And all those Ills which thou so long hast mourn’d;
Heav’n has no Rage, like Love to Hatred turn’d,
Nor Hell a Fury, like a Woman scorn’d.

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