10.8: Juli A.W.

Why I Stayed

I thought that type of marriage happened to others on TV

Little did I realize, that miserable behavior was to be imposed upon me

Little by little, the relationship became all about control.

That my life was for his life was his ultimate goal.

Words and actions of meanness were disguised

But were obvious through friends’ and family’s eyes

Realizing his words “my treat” meant it was my money with which he’d pay

That his insistence to handle our finances

Gave him calculated way

To ebank my money into choice accounts, including his IRA

That yelling at me to sleep with him in bed

Was for the control of my presence, not words of love being said

His controlling nature raised low level fear

For if I contradicted him, strong words I’d hear

That agreeing to do something “today” was just an answer to say

As he planned for its memory, thrown into the turmoil, would let it just fade away

So words of promise meant nothing

Words of perception

Were later realized to be words of deception

That I let him belittle me in front of others

Was to ease his lack of confidence

Let him toot and preserve his own horn

But as time went on, I let it continue, because I was numb and worn

State of confusion created with promises “I will do it”, “I haven’t been feeling well”, “it’s your fault”, “please understand”

Is why I didn’t realize the marriage got out of hand, or perhaps from the start there were the seeds of the sham

That it’s “when is a marriage over”…. I need to try to make it work, I’ll try to understand him, I can help him to realize, I know I can…

But…….I was soon to find out, that he’s not a “true” man

With persistent intervention of others….I’ve gotten away…I can no longer play…in his warped game

That he practiced each and every moment of day

My tricked and stifled esteem couldn’t think to get away

I now realize why you thought, “why would she stay?”

His opinions and assertions he pushed to my inside

With emptiness and then numbness my feelings could hide

Ability to take action was emotionally paralyzed

Within his meanness disguised

I didn’t know that as I fought battles there was a deeper war kept from my eyes

In his intentional realm of confusion, my self’s respect was kept at bay

Recovering uniqueness, the sense of I, is my only way

To build myself to being healed, day by day

His opinions and assertions he pushed to my inside

With emptiness and then numbness my feelings could hide

Divorce was not in thought when we’d pledged our vows in marriage

But divorce after all else failed,

Is a plan

That in self preservation

I can reclaim, that….I can….

* * *

I Tried to Ignore the Pain

Perception of smiling and speaking kindly of him

Continued as my soul’s light faded dim

During downhill deepened debt

Repeatedly I point out that money was dwindling

Learning later the extra money he used

Was with self purposeful swindling

I waited for him to understand

Yet words I’d spoken were drowned as he’d demand

That I continue along with the life that he’d planned

My parents gravely joked about his being “king of his castle”

Yet these words I couldn’t take in – emotional survival was a hassle

Processing advice beyond the turmoil – was at that point impossible

Talking harshly to me and talking over my words

Was his way of beating me

With language as swords

A strong offense was his way

Example….In a restaurant he’d say,

I want this seat

And if I didn’t arise

He’d repeat his demand to other diners’ surprise

‘Til I was humiliated and my soul wept silent cries

And as time went on my emotions did me no good

In numbness I could survive, this was the only way I could

If I didn’t care about his pain, I’d have left him, in a heartbeat… I would

My freedom chiseled away, imprisoned in low level fear

As I’d assert myself and it seemed he couldn’t hear

My life’s precious time was wasted in each hollow year

Marriage is about caring, and so I sought out the joy

Unaware control of me – was his ultimate ploy

I needed to leave him before things got worse

As what was left of joy was deadening, with his “soul” as its hearse

I gathered my battered emotions and almost empty purse

I’d almost given up – destiny stuck in a rut

I plan to never again justify any incorrectness with “but”….

As I sever all ties, they’re almost cut

He was a bully imposing that his way was right

He could con a day, to think its night*

I escaped, thanks to others, from his grasp so tight

Now to hold my own thoughts is not a fight

I’m in charge of myself…. of my soul with its light….

*by creating vagueness in facts to block one’s sight

* * *

Thank You for Allowing me to See

Thank you to friends

Those souls who God to me sends

You pointed out that his good qualities turned progressively bad

And how when I was with you, my emotions seemed predominantly sad

You realized that if you were treated as I was, that toward your husband you’d be mad

But that reality for me had been twisted, my trust he did trick

I recall one of you dear souls calling him a “pr-ck”

I thought he was confused

But I know now, his mind was deceptively sick

Without you I could still be at what I called home

Where with him, it felt like being less than alone

And trying to figure out what was going on

While my self esteem was less than gone

How much less could there be than nothing

Trend now reversing, I may join you to sing

Joys and freedom uniting in my soul you do bring

And now I work at learning to play

Carefree and just being….I now seek…that way

He, void of nourished soul, to him I say

Journey of difficulty pushed onto me, is not ok

A tangled mess, tortured puzzles every day

He makes his own destiny, and now I seek mine

His soul and my soul, I force to unwind

But if not for friends that include family, police

My soul would still be lead by his leash

Dear friends, I’m not used to human battles

That to get away from him, could result in a war that I’d start

That….is not….the way of my heart

For my family taught me to love humankind

And then, through all of you, the truth creeps up from behind

I turn around, and see that there are other ways to be

Other ways, that aren’t the essence of you…and me

I move on, I leave him behind, unenabling is kind

Since your helping me was allowing me to see

That disengaging from him was not the start of war

As I asserted myself, HE said “no f-cking way, this is all out war”

As I chose to unentangle from him, I chose to have armor

See….to start a war, is to impose one’s will

Something he chose to do until

I finally saw what was happening, but he thought I’d caused war

It was defense, my damaged esteem just trying not to be sore

Defense for me was to fight to be free,

What I am like, I can choose to be

And especially never again, by anyone other than me

– Juli A.W.

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