Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Stay safe. Stay home.

How often have we heard those words in recent times?
How often have we said them?

Sadly, those of us who can hear and say them without cringing are privileged.
Too many people are NOT safe at home.  Not safe physically, emotionally, or mentally.

The pandemic crosses borders quickly and insidiously.  But so does family violence.

I knew that and my heart ached.  A few days ago I got a reminder.

Cindi sent me an email asking if she could put up a guest post on my blog.  Not only does she not feel safe at home, her blog is also not a safe place for her.

And of course I agreed.

Here is Cindi's story.  Sadly a story which is told across the world.

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Ten Things

It has been a bit of a minute since I last posted on my blog [here], and I have no real explanation except that the things around me right now have been "off," and I've felt a bit numb and overwhelmed.  Exhausted from the yo-yo life ... thrown out and yanked in ... married to a manipulative, narcissistic alcoholic drug addict. 



I find myself, two years shy of 60, and 10 years into a life I never thought I would see again.  Six years after leaving everything familiar to start fresh in a place where there wasn't any history, or my husband's family and friends who would ply his mind with meth and cocaine.  



I've found myself wondering, especially in light of recent "shelter-in-place" lockdowns ... how many other women found that their home was less of a shelter, and more of a house of horrors?  How many other women have been standing in the shadows, afraid to speak up or speak out, because they felt they had nowhere to go.  No one to turn to that they could trust.  Where do you go when the only "safe" place is supposed to be home?  Who do you reach out to when you must stay six feet apart?



Some of you know that I recently separated ... let me rephrase ... my husband moved out after nearly eight months of turmoil in the house.  His drinking and disappearances became more frequent and his anger more explosive.  My own anger and unhappiness reached volcanic proportions and I said things that can never be forgiven.  Not that I want them to be anymore, and not that I'm apologizing for them either.  Especially after he spent an outrageous amount of money for online pornography, beer and liquor.



I thought that his absence would bring me some inner calm without there being constant drama and tip-toeing about, but that has not been the case.  His threats intensified.  He took Charlie

[my dog] overnight and subjected him to who knows what.  When Charlie was finally returned [after I said I would arrive with the police to get him if he was not], he was quiet, withdrawn, and exhausted for more than 36 hours.  I had to file a restraining order.  Call the police more than once, and the last straw came on Thursday when he tore open a screened window to come into the house while I was working to scare and intimidate me.   Scare me, he did.  Intimidate me, he did not.  As of this moment, at 10p on a beautiful Saturday evening, I still don't know if he has been served the restraining order papers that were filed on Wednesday morning.



His most recent attempt to bully and intimidate me has come with threats to shut off all of the utilities to the house because they are in his name, knowing that I work from home and a sudden disconnect of internet or electric would be damaging to me financially due to lost hours and wages.  (but you see, I am so much smarter than he.  In the last 24 hours I have had all of them put in my name so that he [pun intended] has no power over me.)



Originally, I wanted to be able to stay as long as possible in this house that I once thought would be the last house I ever lived in.  I've lived in more houses than half of my years on this earth.  I wanted a place to finally call home.  Perhaps even forcing him to concede defeat and let me keep it.   Watching with anticipation for every spring bloom, every new bird at the feeder.  But then I realized that those I thought were my "friends" are actually my enemies, and my inner circle became so small it consisted only of me and the fur-kids.   Even if I had been able to stay here in this house for the rest of my life, I would never feel safe here again.  Never feel connected to this town that once gave me such hope.



Plan B became to leave Wisconsin and move to Virginia where I would be closer to my mother in North Carolina, a sister and her family in Virginia, a brother and his family in Georgia, and another heart-sister and her family in Pennsylvania.  But I also need to make sure before I leave that the divorce has been started so that I don't have to come back or wait to meet a residency requirement in another state.  Reserving and renting a trailer to move the furniture I wanted to take to restart my life.  Finding somewhere to live before I got there.  Not as easy as it sounds with two cats and a dog, none of whom I will leave behind.  The list continued to grow, as did my stress, in opposite proportions to the amount of sleep I've been getting lately [just three hours last night].



Today I have been wandering from room to room during my breaks from work and doing a mental inventory.  I've come to realize that the process of leaving doesn't need to be as stressful as it is.



I measured the back of my truck and realized that it would hold six storage containers without needing to stack any of them above the window height.  Six tubs to hold everything I need to start my life again.  Furniture I can get again, most of mine are upcycled or yard sale finds.  There is a storage unit filled with things I've occasionally thought about, but have really not even looked at in three years.  My clothes are all from the Goodwill, and if I move to a little bit warmer climate, won't need six months of winter wear.



Standing in each room of the house, I looked around for ten things I couldn't live without.  Ten things I couldn't replace.  I had a hard time even finding ten in every single room.



If there is one thing I am looking forward to replacing ... it is the person I became, with the person I will become.  Someone new, for the last four decades of my life.  Someone hopeful, happy, and creative (yes, there will be another book written from this.  It is far too satisfying to write out the karma destiny for an ex to NOT give David his 15 seconds of fame.) 



At the beginning of this year, I chose a word to represent what I wanted this year.

I wanted to thrive.



Be blessed,
~ Cindi

***

And how I hope you can thrive Cindi.  Survive and thrive.  In safety.


113 comments:

  1. Cindi- It is wonderful that you are planning and figuring out how to start over. It can be hard to close chapters in our lives and leave places that were once important, but making the change will make all the difference. You wanted to make 2020 the year you thrive and you are. Wishing you all the best with your divorce, move, and all the changes you are making. :)
    ~Jess

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  2. Replies
    1. Thank you, Charlotte. Now is the time for finding where to plant roots.

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  3. I have never met you cindi but you certainly have touched my heart. I hear the strength in your conviction to survive this horror, I send love and as much strength to you as is possible to start a new fresh life. Best wishes to you and your fur babies, it takes dire circumstances for us to really see with clear eyes what is truly important,, I know you’ve reached that spot. Take care.

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    1. I have reached that spot, and thank you. These times right now are just so stressful ... I am averaging about 3 hours of sleep lately, and my stress levels are just off the charts.

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  4. Bloom where you are planted.

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    1. That doesn't mean stay! It means bloom wherever you find yourself. ❤️

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    2. :) and yes, I knew that. I am going to bloom, grow, thrive, and be so much better than he ever deserved.

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  5. Cindi, may you grow and thrive and be happy. Keeping you and your fur babies in my thoughts and prayers.

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    1. Thank you, Mason. I know that this is the dark before the dawn, and once I get my feet far enough away from this time in my life, there will be blooming. I'm already making a list of bulbs to buy and plant this fall.

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  6. Oh Cindi,

    I wish you the best for you as you create a new life! Blessings to you!

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  7. Cindi, may your sorrows turn into dancing and a better and safer life for you and your fur babies find you very soon.
    I think that you are very resourceful by asking to be a blog guest on Elephant's Child's blog. I know that you will be all right. All the best to you and good luck. It's time for a new beginning.
    Hugs, Julia

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    1. Thank you, Julia. His mother follows my blog, and she is his #1 enabler. I don't think anyone ever cut the umbilical cord. His family were his main meth and cocaine suppliers, including his brother and niece. It is a very dysfunctional family with both of his sisters being known for getting into knock-down-drag-down fights with women who threaten their way of life. I thought being at the opposite side of the country we would be able to have a healthy marriage. But no. He just sought out people like them. I used to joke that I was the one who put the fun back into my own dysfunctional family. He is the one who put the dysfunction into his.

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  8. In this terrible time in the life of the world, you are carrying a heavy load. I am sending you my very best wishes that you will prevail, and that a new and delightful new chapter in your ife has just begun. Sending you virtual hugs!

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    1. Thank you so much. I've missed hugs the most the last six months.

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  9. What an awful situation and I really hope you can move on to a happy and supported new life. Good luck.

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  10. This is so sad and even sadder, there are so many more "Cindi's" all over the world.
    I sincerely hope this Cindi is able to accomplish the move quickly and easily and soon. Poor Charlie too. He will recover, but may forever be fearful of men after this.

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    1. Thank you, River. I am hoping that a move will happen sooner rather than later.

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  11. It's me again, I meant to say how sweet and cute little Charlie looks, I bet he's a sweet cuddle.

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    1. He is a sweet cuddle, and knows just how to get what he wants by snuggling under my chin!

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  12. Cindi, all the best wishes in the world. I hope nothing but the best for you and the fur babes. I had to do this forty years ago; we both know how it's done. All the best. May the rest of the Cindi's make escape plans.

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    1. Thank you, Joanne, yes I do hope all the other Cindi's have escape plans.

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  13. So very sorry for all the fear and terror you have experienced. I'm glad you are figuring out how to escape it Here's a piece of practical advice about getting divorced if you are planning to move to Virginia. I'm a retired attorney and a contract writer for attorney websites, including for an attorney who practices family law in Virginia. Divorces can be harder to get in that state. If your spouse and you don't agree to an uncontested divorce, you have to prove specific limited grounds to get a divorce there and sometimes have to wait up to a year to file. You can google grounds for divorce in Virginia and find some fairly easy-to-read articles on it that may help you decide where to file for divorce. Good luck.

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    1. Natalie! Excellent advice, thank you so much! I'm toying with the idea of not filing and letting him do the ugly work so that he has to keep me on his health insurance longer. I've recently developed some health issues that my doctor is concerned about, and more testing to come. I'm sure it would be an uncontested divorce in any case. We have no real property together, no children. He has been wanting it since last fall right before our 9th anniversary.

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  14. Cindi, it is time to find you again and I admire your strength and determination to do it. May the move be as low stress as possible and being closer to family exactly what you need.

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    1. Thank you, Alex, and I am looking forward to the new chapter in my life.

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  15. May you indeed thrive in a new life without him.

    My heart breaks for all those who have never been safe at home.

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    1. Thank you, Mimi. My heart breaks also for those who are still living in fear.

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  16. This is Cindi's post not mine so I am not going to comment other than to say, thank you for the support you are offering her.
    I also hope that she discovers (soon) how aptly selected thrive is as her word for the year.

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  17. Cindi, I'm so sorry for the circumstances you are in right now, and hope you are soon on your way to a better life. This is a hard situation and made harder by the restrictions of the past few months as well as the foreseeable future. Good luck and much strength to you.

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  18. Sounds as though Cindi is more than ready to soar freely. Best wishes on her new journeys.

    Thank you for posting this, EC. It's an important reminder with an inspiring narrator.

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    1. Thank you, Robyn. I am indeed ready to soar!

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  19. Cindi, this was so hard to read, but you seem to be getting on top of it. You are determined to make a better life. I applaud you. Yes. Write that book. Write your Urban Nightmare for this month’s WEP. Write yourself a happy future. Brilliant to use Sue’s blog to avoid spying eyes.

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    1. Thank you, Denise. Sue had also suggested WEP this month, and I'm going to work on it shortly.

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  20. Well done Cindi - you seem to be gaining control over your future ... I do hope you can move very soon ... and you'll be near friends and your own family as you quietly settle down to start up again. You will write this book, and others ...

    All the best now ... it's not long before your life will be so much better - take care and stay safe - Hilary

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    1. Thank you, Hilary. I think my inner Amazon has found her way out of the closet permanently!

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  21. All the best Cindi... I so hope you are able to safely move and thrive.

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  22. Dear EC
    It is something that those of us lucky to have a safe home can easily forget - those who are subject to domestic abuse in a home that is anything but safe. Thank you to Cindi and you for posting this. I do hope that Cindi does make a new life for herself and her animals - she deserves to have a happy future.
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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    1. Thank you, Ellie. I think that domestic abuse - of all genders - is one of the largest unspoken truths in the world because so many are afraid - or ashamed - to speak out, and too often, when they do speak up, they are not believed because the abuser is such a good manipulator that even those closest don't see what is behind the mask.

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  23. What a wonderful word you chose for this year Cindi! I'm rooting for you in your move to a new place with a new life and to leaving behind the things you no longer want. Poor Charlie, my heart goes out to him, as to you. I salute your courage and wish you all the best.
    Thank you Sue for posting this story on your blog.

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    1. Thank you, Kalpana. I think subconsciously I knew it would be a word I needed to cling to this year since the turmoil began last October.

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  24. When we really start to narrow it down, possessions shouldn't need to weigh us down. You won't know yourself once you're free of him.
    I wouldn't have seen this if not for Sue but I wish you a tonne of luck

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    1. That is truth, Kylie. "Things" can be replaced. People and companion animals cannot.

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  25. I am praying everything will be fine in your life! Thank you so much for sharing such an open and honest post! Stay safe☺

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  26. At least you have your head screwed on the right way and getting out of there - well done, good luck with it all and do stay safe..

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    1. There are days when I feel it hasn't been screwed on at all, but thank you, Margaret.

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  27. Sending all kinds of good vibes and positive energy your way, Cindi. You're a smart and courageous woman and I hoping all goes smoothly for you from now on!

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  28. Too many women have been in your shoes. me included. The hardest part is behind you...you made the decision to leave. I won't say stay safe. I'll say stay strong, stay determined and stay true to yourself. Cry when you need to, but remember to laugh and come back to life. The world is out there waiting for you to find it and remember age is just a number.

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    1. I had a good cry yesterday, but more from finding memories of my soul-dog, Trooper, in storage than for the marriage. I have no more tears for the marriage or the man. They dried up a few years ago. Thank you, Mildred.

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  29. My heart breaks for Cindi and all those other nameless who live in fear every single day. the laws have to be changed to monitor these abusers as the femicide rates have gone through the roof during Covid and 137 women are killed globally every day by an intimate male partner. It nearly always escalates, It has to be stopped. Children are often killed in revenge as well, with the mother forced to watch. It makes me ill. And the laws fail them, leaving the man in the house while the mother and kids run for shelter (if available.)

    We HAVE to do things differently and protect them at the first complaint. Every 3 days in Canada alone, a woman is killed by her male intimate partner.

    XO
    WWW

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    1. Those are shocking numbers, and I suspect they are much higher than stated as many simply disappear, and not of their own choosing. In these times of world wide protests over color, I hope that one day, there will be a world wide protest over domestic abuse... with much less violence.

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  30. I understand how you feel dealing with situations of many dramas continuously. I'm sorry. You must be brave enough to make the best decisions for your next life to be happy.

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  31. Wow, well done, that's one hell of a hell you've been living for so long Cindi. Escaping a narc, especially an addict is very difficult but you're getting free. Taking your dog! The bastard. Keep on, pack the truck, thrive like Sue says, grow again somewhere you can feel as safe as you can. What a time for it. Many people are trapped in vicious circles of domestic abise due to covid, most of them are women, and there seems to be very little in place to help them at present. I send you love, light, grit for your teeth and cuddles for Charlie. Fly. X

    Thank you Sue, a really moving post to share and I'm sure it will help others in similar situations. X

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    1. Thank you for your encouragement and words, and for Charlie's cuddles. He knows we are about to make some changes and has become very protective of me.

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  32. Heart wrenching and too frequent a story. I hope you find your new life free of threats and violence. You deserve a safe place somewhere with Charlie.

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    1. Thank you. I think I am going to be able to wrap up this year in a very positive place for both of us.

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  33. Cindi's story rips the heart. I hope this move brings: roots, home, joy and safety.

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  34. Good for you taking your life back. That takes strength. God be with you going forward.

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  35. And Cindi will thrive.

    No one has the right to treat another that way...and yet it happens far too often...every day...everywhere. No one has the right to be abusive physically, and/or mentally towards another...and yet it happens every day, everywhere.

    No one should have to suffer that way...but, sadly, they do. It has to come to an end...

    The fear, anguish, the horrors some go through is unimaginable to those who never have.

    I wish Cindi a bright, happy, safe future...and yes, Cindi...you will thrive.

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    1. Thank you, Lee. I can already feel myself beginning to grow again.

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  36. This story made me sad I heard the same type of life from others before and I wish you all the best in the future and admire you for having the strength to restart your life .
    Merle..........

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  37. Sadness, a life full of empty of love, scared me.

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    1. It has been empty. I never thought of it that way until just now. It was 10 years of everything being about him to the point where I no longer existed.

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  38. Dearest Sue, I cried as I read Cindi's sad story...and how my heart goes out to her.😢
    Being in isolation probably makes us a bit self-centred, I guess...and we don't stop to think of how others who are trapped in abusive relationships are suffering even more.
    Coincidentally, I wrote a poem about precisely this subject last week, hoping to raise awareness...but then decided not to publish it, as I considered it too upsetting at a time when everyone needs cheering up!
    Do you think it would be of any help if I did publish it?
    Would Cindi and others like her be offended? I would have to upset anyone who is going through horrendous experiences like these...
    Poor Cindi...please give her my very best wishes for the future...and much love and hugs to you all ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

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    1. Sorry, that should have been "hate to upset anyone"...my tablet is doing it's own thing again!🙄
      xxx

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    2. By all means, please publish it. Part of the problem with domestic violence is that so few speak of it out of shame or fear. It needs to become another #metoo where we all step up to the soapbox and proclaim to the world that the collective we will no longer put up with being abused. Physically. Verbally. Emotionally. Sexually. We all deserve better.

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    3. Hi Cindi...yes, I will publish it. It is such a delicate subject that, after writing it, I was afraid of causing even more hurt to those of you who have already suffered so much. Yet, at the same time, I felt a deep need to raise awareness of this mostly unseen horror.
      Thank you so, so much for your bravery in sharing your story. I cried when I read it. 😢

      Sending you much love and hugs ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

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  39. I hope Cindi can get away from her awful ex and find peace in her new home, wherever that may be.

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  40. Oh Cindi, take away the drugs and you've just written my story! I was married for 26 years to a violent alcoholic who was eventually diagnosed bipolar (hence the ability to go days and days without sleep) and also eventually diagnosed as a covert narc. I'm tough, I had a good job and I NEVER covered for him. I had support from my employer and called the police on him I don't now how many times. Eventually I got a DV conviction on him but it took him pinning me down on the bed by sitting on my chest (after drinking 16 beers and half a bottle of whiskey) and threatening me with a broken bottle to the throat for me to grab my kids, dash to the hospital and then to the police to file. Oh and did I mention he once told me he woke up on a business trip after getting stinking drunk (in Africa) with a prostitute giving him a BJ!!!! The thing is, I had the ability to get away and the finances but they wear you down so much you can't think straight and wander around like a zombie. You can only understand that if you've lived it right? I divorced him but still walked on eggshells as he was capable of showing up at my house (I'm in France) just out of the blue. But when he eventually moved back to the States I knew I was FREE!!! And that is worth more than gold dust. So I know what you've been through and all those people who say "I would have, you should have" don't know the half of it. Stay as strong as you obviously already are and good luck to you.

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    1. Oh, thank you for sharing. Yes, it is difficult when people look at you as if YOU are the one with the problem because they never see who he becmes when he drinks or does drugs. I think I have found a rental home out of state, and so now I'm in the process of trying to save money for a move at the end of the month. Hugs to you!

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  41. Sending you love and hope and virtual hugs, Cindy.
    We were so lucky after 21 years of gaslighting and mental cruelty that myself and our 4 kids threw their father out.
    Lucky that we had time and space to eventually sell up and move.
    When you do move forward and get free it is a weight removed, mentally and physically. Wishing you all the success in the world xx

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    1. So grateful that you were able to get out! After supporting him for 6 years, now he won't even give me enough for a deposit to move out as fast as he wants me to. I won't be paying HIS mortgage payment this month so that I can have the money to move! Thank you for the good wishes!

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  42. You brought it home to me. Thanks for that. Good luck to Cindi.

    Greetings from London.

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    1. Thank you so much, and London was such a fun city to visit when I was younger!

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  43. That breaks my heart. As soon as the quarantine started, I knew we'd have a rise in domestic abuse.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I have heard that the numbers have almost tripled, as have the divorces.

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    2. Janie Junebug & Cindi Summerlin: Sadly I think the statistics are misleading. I doubt very much whether relationships have suddenly collapsed. I suspect the cracks/fractures had been there already but could no longer be papered over.

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    3. I thought that people spending more time at home together would be the reason behind increased cases of abuse. I hope I was wrong.

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    4. Janie Junebug: I think that it might have bought existing problems to a head, but I doubt that it caused many 'new' cases. Perhaps it increased abuse, particularly when neither party could escape, but in most cases I think it was more of the same.

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  44. What a moving story and a courageous woman.

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  45. Thank you Elephant’s child for sharing this distressing text . Thank you Cindy for writing your tale and coming out in one piece. Your recent decisions and actions, I believe have reenforced your ability to thrive once more in the future. May your move and divorce go swiftly and smoothly. Wishing you the best of luck for your new novel. Take care of yourself, your dog and cats. Keep reaching out to trusted friends and family, your most efficient amour. Your pen is mightier than the sword.

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  46. Cindi,

    I don't know you, but I feel like I do. My heart aches for you. My hope is that you find the peace you deserve. You are brave, strong, and courageous. Something inside me tells me that you WILL thrive. You've flexed that courage muscle and it sounds like you're not stopping. While our journeys are not the same, I do understand. My heart is with you.


    Elsie

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    1. Thank you, Elsie! I have been flexing those muscles quite a bit lately!

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  47. Thank you EC and thank you Cindi for sharing your story. You are one of the bravest people, and an inspiration to many who hopefully will read your story and get out of their own horrific situations. I wish only the very best for you from now on.

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  48. To Cindi: I feel you, for I have walked in your shoes. And you definitely can leave it behind and become the real you. It isnt easy simply because its scary, especially in the moment, but as time goes by it becomes more and more easy, more and more YOU and you become much braver. A tiny hint: do not be afraid to use law enforcement and dont back down once you have started. That happens too many times because we feel guilty and think they can change. They will not. These abusers hate going to jail. Good luck and bless you.

    To Elephant Child: You are truly a friend to Cindi.

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    1. Yes, 7 years ago, I did turn him in more than once and am not afraid to call them, something that has kept him cautious after he was released and completed a court ordered residential rehab. But a narcissist will always begin to believe again that he is greater than everything and will fall. As he did. At least this time it did not take me as long to recognize the signs and do something about it.

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  49. Thank you for sharing your story.
    I send my good wishes to you and your fur babies as you move on to happier times.

    All the best Jan

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  50. Wishing you both a serene weekend.

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    1. Thank you, Sandra. I am hoping for the same!

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  51. Unfortunately there are too many Cindi's being abused in our perfect world not only in the USA but in every country of our world, the hopelessness and sadness is beyond belief, how can a person you once loved become so down - trodden. Harsh penalties for drug and alcohol use similar to those in swinging Singapore and Malaysia are very effective particularly the drug issues where if caught your toes stop short of the ground.

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  52. Sending love to Cindi - you are fierce. You are stronger than you could ever possibly imagine, and i'm sorry that you had been put in a position to have to find that out. Best wishes as you move forward and thrive. i just turned 58. i still feel that my best years are ahead of me. Onward!

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