I was born in 1948, a front edge baby boomer, a product of location, times, religion, and multi-level abuse. I’m 2nd oldest of 7 with oldest child responsibilities due to the actual oldest having handicaps. I wasn’t allowed to date, no friends, worked away from home since age 11, not allowed to own any of my pay.
My goals in life were to serve out my prison sentence of a childhood and to continue growing in service to God. Educated in private Catholic school to become a translator for the UN, although no one actually ever considered my own interests – music and theater. I declined college for languages.
At 18 I left home and traded a mother’s abuse for a young man’s abuse – except he didn’t hit me – just harped on how fat and boring and frigid and useless I was – so I thought it was an improvement. (Just fyi, I was 5’5”, 125 lbs) He also kept my money from me, and he didn’t work. I became pregnant despite rigorous use of birth control and required him to marry me, as abortion was illegal in Texas in 1968; and I didn’t want to do all the work and then give the child up for adoption.
A couple of years later, I left him and moved in with a friend who was able to secure me a job as a cocktail waitress where she worked. There I met my current husband of 47 years. At the time, he was a successful commercial real estate broker, and he pursued me diligently. He convinced me that I wasn’t cut out for this world, and that I needed “taking care of.” My self esteem was nonexistent, my social anxiety was out the roof, my experiences with people were minimal.
So I thought that perhaps it would be a good idea to connect with this man whom I didn’t really know, didn’t actually like much, and with whom I had nothing in common. I thought that he would be a good “provider” for me and my young daughter. Unfortunately he had saved some money, made a few investments, and had a small monthly income – enough to support one person in 1972. So he quit working and never started again. At this point in my life, I shake my head in wonder at my young self. Naïve, inexperienced, ignorant…take your pick.
I was of the opinion that we would grow together and learn to love one another – which we sort of did.
That was early 1972. Here I am today, still living with the same man, 2019. I still don’t much like him, and we still have nothing much in common. We have lived parallel lives for the most part, and our relationship has been one of him doing whatever he liked while I learned to adapt. I must say, it’s been quite the journey of learning for me, taking me into areas which I would never have ventured otherwise.
When I met him, he was on the verge of what was in those days known as a nervous breakdown. Because my basic nature is that of conciliator, helper, healer, I stayed to help him get himself together. Each time I would think that perhaps I would leave, he’d have another breakdown of some sort. Suicide threats and attempts, refusal of therapy – all he needed was me. Throughout our life together he has also been emotionally abusive and manipulative. From reading about his behaviors, I was able finally to gather some techniques that pretty much stopped the abuse. Also I finally eliminated the deep, formless, inner fear that had ruled my life since birth.
My spiritual path since 1974 is one which promotes the concept of personal freedom requiring total responsibility. I began to look at my relationship with this man as one of karmic debt that needed to be worked out, and as an opportunity to learn and grow spiritually.
In May of 2015, I was in a car wreck and sustained a concussion. I began to experience personality changes, and I didn’t know why. In November of 2016, I was in another car wreck, suffering another concussion, some fractured ribs, and various soft tissue injuries. During this time I was able to connect with some specialists and learn about the changes caused by brain injury – aka concussion. Because of these incidents and the resulting treatments, I began to look more clearly at my life with my husband, and by 2017 I was determining to heal myself and move forward on my own.
Later that same year, my husband began having some issues with his health. In early 2018 he was diagnosed with incipient kidney failure, and I realized I couldn’t leave while he was in this state. Due to my overly supportive behavior throughout the years, he was now pretty much unable to cope with daily life.
So I stayed. His determination was that he would heal himself with meditation, nutrition, and a miracle. This meant, of course, that I would research everything and prepare his food and administer his supplements. I worked around the clock with this, knowing it was a fruitless endeavor, thinking that within a year or so he’d be gone and I’d be free.
We talked many times about how he was ready to leave the earth, move on into higher planes, be done with physical life. In September of 2018 we went to his nephrologist appointment, and the doctor begged him to go into hospice so that his last few weeks would be comfortable and I’d have some help. I was exhausted, but looking forward to freedom. At that point, my husband said he’d like to start dialysis, that he wasn’t ready to die after all. And here we are today, with him getting stronger and more physically able every day.
I have had many, many talks with God, adjusting myself to this situation. It has taken me about 6 months to release the intense and deep anger that I held toward my husband for putting me through the path that he did regarding his illness.
Meanwhile I determined that I would simply move forward in my life without him while still living in the same house. I have joined a gym, found workout partners, and begun to work out three days a week for right now. I love being in the gym, lifting weights, participating in classes. I love being around people, helping where I can with information that I’ve gathered over the course of the past 20 years as I became a massage therapist, an energy worker, and a nutritional therapist – all while fighting his opposition to my doing or learning anything. I am currently putting together an Essential Oils workshop that will be the first of many workshops I plan to organize and present.
I have learned to look at this man as simply a teacher, a weak individual who has much to learn about allowing others to have freedom.
I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned from this relationship, and I am happy to be moving forward with my own hopes and dreams.
My next project to start is Music Theory. In my city, a person over 60 can audit any class available for absolutely no cost. I sing, write lyrics and folk songs, play guitar in a mediocre fashion. I’d love to know what I’m doing and possibly get better. I love to perform, I love to share. I think I can squeeze into a summer semester class.
So there’s my story, one of fear and determination and possible idiocy; but one of great growth and learning. I would never advise anyone to follow my path, but I would note that any relationship, good or bad, requires commitment, dedication, hard work. I think it would be more enjoyable if the persons in the relationship had similar interests and were able to communicate. Because of my long-term fears of abuse, my own communications were not effective, as I was always seeking a way to say things without rousing this man’s temper. It didn’t work well at all, and we don’t communicate much about anything other than daily chores or routines. Today I am growing and moving forward, exploring in areas that I had never thought to access – this site being one of them.
Thanks for the chance to talk.
– Kyttie, 70