Floors so dirty that constant sweeping is required. Bathrooms only straight bleach dare enter. Food not of our choosing yet free. This is life in a battered women’s shelter. And since this past Friday, my children and I have been living there.
Things had been horribly tense for the last couple of weeks. Like “cut the tension with a knife” thick. We were pleasant with each other, slept in the same bed (although each clearly on our own side) but really no fighting. My spidey-sense knew something ugly was brewing, though. I developed a huge knot in my right shoulder and the pain became almost unbearable around 5 pm each day. I found I either couldn’t eat when he was home or I was eating everything in sight. And I was irritable and on edge during evenings I was alone with him without my children to act as buffers.
And then his paranoia ramped up to off-kilter levels. He accused me of not taking good care of the kids, failing to pay bills and not being a good wife. That was the day he drove us across 4 lanes of traffic without looking first. He was so angry and I was shaking inside. This was also the day I didn’t go home.
Fast forward to today: I’m feeling overwhelmed, anxious, stressed, sad, angry and betrayed. Possibly the greatest hurt was that I was “missing” for 24 hrs before I got so much as a phone call from him. I knew, in my heart, that he didn’t really love me. But to have it so blatantly staring me in the face – well that was a shot to my heart.
So I shall remain, living the sheltered life and working on a new life for me. A life of my choosing. A brand new beginning.